The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Pacific Triangle, by Sydney Greenbie

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Title: The Pacific Triangle

Author: Sydney Greenbie

Release Date: December 27, 2012 [EBook #41716]

Language: English

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[Pg ii]


To the world a symbol: to Japan a fact

[Pg iii]





[Pg iv]

Copyright, 1921, by
The Century Co.

Printed in U. S. A.

[Pg v]



[Pg vi]

[Pg vii]


This book is an attempt to bring within focus the most outstanding factors in the Pacific. With the exception of Chapter II, which deals with the origin of the Polynesian people, there is hardly an incident in the whole book that has not come within the scope of my own personal experience. Hence this is essentially a travel narrative. I have confined myself to the task of interpreting the problems of the Pacific in the light of the episodes of everyday life. Wherever possible, I have tried to let the incident speak for itself, and to include in the picture the average ideals of the various races, together with my own impressions of them and my own reflections. The field is a tremendous one. It encompasses the most important regions that lie along the great avenues of commerce and general intercourse. The Pacific is a great combination of geographical, ethnological, and political factors that is extremely diverse in its sources. I have tried to discern within them a unit of human commonality, as the seeker after truth is bound to do if his discoveries are to be of any value.

But the result has been an unconventional book. For I have sometimes been compelled to make unity of time and place subservient to that of subject matter. Hence the reader may on occasion feel that the book returns to the same field more than once. That has been unavoidable. The problems that are found in Hawaii are essentially the same as those in Samoa, though differing in degree. It has therefore been necessary, after surveying the whole field in one continuous narrative of my own journey, to assemble stories, types, and descriptions which illustrate certain problems, in separate chapters, [Pg viii]regardless of their geographical settings. If the reader bears this in mind he will not be surprised in Book Two to find himself in Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, or New Zealand all at once—for issues are always more important than boundaries.

The plan of the book has been to give the historical approach to the Pacific and its native races; then to take the reader upon a journey of over twenty thousand miles around the Pacific. I hope that he will come away with a clear impression of the immensity of the Ocean, of the diversity of its natural and human elements, and the splendor and picturesqueness of its make-up. Out of this review certain problems emerge, the problems of the relations of native and alien races, of marriages and divorces, of markets and ideals—problems that affect the primitive races in their own new place in the world. But over and above and about these come the issues that involve the more advanced races of Asia, Australasia, and America—where they impinge upon each other and where their interests in these minor races center. This is the logic of the Pacific.

Though the importance of these problems is now obvious to the world, I feel grateful to those who encouraged me while I still felt myself almost like a voice crying in the wilderness, on the subject. I therefore feel specially indebted to the editors of North American Review, World's Work and the Outlook, who first published some of the material here incorporated. But so rapid has been the movement of events that in no case has it been possible for me to use more than the essence of the ideas there published. In order to bring them up to date, they have been completely re-written and made an integral part of this book. Two or three of the descriptive chapters have also appeared in Century Magazine and Harper's Monthly, for permission to reprint which I am indebted to them.

There is a further indebtedness which is much more[Pg ix] difficult of acknowledgment. To my wife, Marjorie Barstow, I am under obligation not only for her steadfast encouragement, but for her judgment, understanding, and untiring patience, without which my career of authorship would have been trying indeed.

Sydney Greenbie.

Greensboro, Vermont,
August 4, 1921.

[Pg x]

[Pg xi]


IThe Heart of the Pacific3
IIThe Mystery of Mysteries15
IIIOur Frontier in the Pacific30
IVThe Sublimated, Savage Fijians52
VThe Sentimental Samoans79
VIThe Aphelion of Britain108
VIIAstride the Equator128
VIIIThe Australian Outlands143
IXOur Peg in Asia158
XBritain's Rock in Asia168
XIChina's European Capital179
XIIWorld Consciousness192

XIIIExit the Noble Savage205
XIVGive Us Our Vu Gods Again!222
XVHis Tattooed Wife237
XVIGiving Hearts a New Chance254
XVII"This Little Pig Went to Market"265
[Pg xii]
XIXJapan and Asia297
XXIWhere the Problem Dovetails330
XXIIAustralia and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance347
XXIIIPolitical Allies and Financial Consorts364
XXIVUncharted Seas384

[Pg xiii]


Eruption of volcano on the island of Kyushu, JapanFrontispiece
Map of the Pacific16
Diamond head near Honolulu20
The hulk of the German man-of-war, the Adler20
After seven days of sea—this emerged21
Hilo, Hawaii21
Even Fijians are loath to forget the arts of their forefathers28
In giant canoes Heliolithic immigrants roamed the South Seas29
There are only a few Chinese women in Hawaii36
A sage in a china shop at Honolulu36
Feminine propriety37
Whoa! Let's have our picture taken37
Miles away rose the fumes of Kilauea44
The largest cauldron of molten rock on earth44
A river of rock pouring out into the sea45
Whirling eddies of lava undermining frozen lava projections45
Where the tides turn to stone48
A blizzard of fuming heat48
The lake of spouting molten lava49
A corner of Suva, Fiji64
Food for a day's gossip64
The long and the short of it65
A Hindu patriarch65
The scowl indicates a complex68
Instructor of the Fijian constabulary68
A Fijian Main Street69
Little Fijians69
One of the most gifted of Fijian chiefs76
[Pg xiv]Cacarini (Katherine), the chief's daughter76
Fijians dance from the hip up77
A Fijian wedding77
The street along the waterfront of Apia, Samoa96
I thought the village back of Apia, Samoa, was deserted, but it was only the noon hour96
Tattooing of the legs is an essential in Samoa97
Contact with California created this combination of scowl, bracelets and boy's boots—but Fulaanu beside her was incorruptible97
Dunedin, New Zealand112
Bridges are still luxuries in many places in New Zealand112
The fiords and sounds of New Zealand113
Lake Wanaka, New Zealand113
The S. S. Aurora128
Mount Cook of the New Zealand Alps in summer128
Circular quay, Sydney, Australia129
Monument to Captain Cook129
One of the oldest Australian residences is now a public domain144
The interior of a wealthy sheep station owner's home in Melbourne144
Australian blacks in their native element145
An Australian black in Melbourne145
Filipino lighters drowsing in the evening shadows160
The docile water buffalo is used to walking in mud160
One can throw a brick and hit seven cathedrals in Manila161
Cool and silent are the mossy streets of the walled city of Manila161
In China drinking-water, soap-suds, soup and sewers all find their source in the same stream176
Shanghai youngsters putting their heads together to make us out176
This old woman is laying down the law to the wild young things of China177
China could turn these mud houses into palaces if she wished—she is rich enough177
Sea, earth and sky193
This Hindu has usurped the job of the chieftains' daughters224
An Indian coolie village224
A Maori Haka in New Zealand225
[Pg xv]A Maori canoe hurdling race225
Three views of a Maori woman240
A group of whites and half-castes in Samoa241
A ship-load of "picture-brides" arriving at Seattle241
A Maori woman with her children241
Beauty is more than skin-deep256
A half-caste Fijian maiden257
A full-blooded Fijian maiden257
Fijian village272
Little fish went to this market272
Good luck must attend these traders at the doors of the cathedrals in Manila273
A Fijian bazar is a red letter day273
The mountains are called the Remarkables284
The Blue Mountains of Australia284
Australia denuding herself285
Australia is not all desert and plain288
People are small amidst Australia's giant tree ferns289
Japan's first reaction to foreign influence304
Second stage in Westernization304
Third stage in Westernization305
Fourth stage in Westernization305
Lord Lansdowne and Baron Tadasu Hayashi352
Prince Ito352
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen352
Thomas W. Lamont353
Wellington Koo353
Yukio Osaki, M.P. and Ex-Minister of Justice353

[Pg xvi]

[Pg 1]


[Pg 2]

[Pg 3]

The First Side of The Triangle


. . .   stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Exactly four centuries after the event immortalized by Keats, I outstripped Balboa's most fantastic dreams by setting out upon the Pacific and traversing the length and breadth of it. "It is a sight," we are told, "in beholding which for the first time any man would wish to be alone." I was. But whereas Balboa's desires were accomplished in having obtained sight of the Pacific, that achievement only whetted mine. He said:

You see here, gentlemen and children mine, how our desires are being accomplished, and the end of our labors. Of that we ought to be certain, for, as it has turned out true what King Comogre's son told of this sea to us, who never thought to see it, so I hold for certain that what he told us of there being incomparable treasures in it will be fulfilled. God and His blessed Mother who have assisted us, so that we should arrive here and behold this sea, will favor us that we may enjoy all that there is in it.

The story of how far he was so assisted is part of the tale of this book, for in all the wanderings which are the substance of my accomplishment I can recall having met with but a half-dozen of Balboa's kinsmen. Instead there are streaming backward and forward across the Pacific descendants of men Balboa hated and of others of whom he knew nothing.[Pg 4]

Balboa was the first to see the ocean. He had left his men behind just as they were about to reach the peak from which he viewed it. But he was not the first to step upon its shores. He sent some of his men down, and of them one, Alonso Martin, was the first to have that pleasure. Martin dipped his sword dramatically into the brine and took possession of it all as far as his mind's eye could reach. Yet to none of the men was this vast hidden world more than a vision and a hope, and the accidental name with which Magellan later christened it seems, by virtue of the motives of gain which dominated these adventurers, anything but descriptive. To be pacific was not the way of the kings of Castile; nor, sad to say, is it the way of most of their followers.

What was it that Balboa took possession of in the name of his Castilian kings? Rather a courageous gamble, to say the least. The dramatic and fictional possibilities of such wholesale acquisition are illimitable. In the mid-Pacific were a million or more savage cannibals; in the far-Pacific, races with civilizations superior to his own. At that very time China was extending the Great Wall and keeping in repair the Grand Canal which had been built before Balboa's kings were chiefs. Japan was already a nation with arts and crafts, and a social state sufficiently developed to be an aggressive influence in the Oriental world, making inroads on Korea through piracy. Korea was powerful enough to force Japan to make amends. Four years after Balboa's discovery the Portuguese arrived in Canton and opened China for the first time to the European world. The Dutch were beginning to think of Java. It was hardly Balboa's plan to make of all these a little gift for his king: his act was but the customary flourish of discoverers in those days. Men who loved romance more than they loved reality were ready to wander over the unknown seas and rake in their discoveries for hire. Balboa, Magellan, Drake, roamed the seas out of sheer love of wind and sail. Many a man[Pg 5] set forth in search of treasure never to be heard from again; some only to have their passage guessed by virtue of the signs of white blood in the faces of some of the natives. For two hundred years haphazard discoveries and national jealousies confused rather than enlightened the European world. But late in the eighteenth century, after a considerable lessening of interest in exploration, Captain James Cook began that memorable series of voyages which added more definite knowledge to the geographical and racial make-up of the South Seas than nearly all the other explorers put together. The growth of the scientific spirit and the improvement in navigation gave him the necessary impetus. Imbued with scientific interest, he went to observe the transit of Venus and to make close researches in the geography of the Pacific. But to George Vancouver falls the praise due to a constructive interest in the people whose lands he uncovered. Wherever he went he left fruits and domestic animals which contributed much to the happiness of the primitives, and probably laid the foundation for the future colonization of these scattered islands by Europeans.

Backward and forward across the Pacific through four centuries have moved the makers of this new Atlantis. First from round Cape Horn, steering for the setting sun, then from the Australian continent to the regions of Alaska, these shuttles of the ages have woven their fabric of the nations. Now the problem is, what is going to be done with it?

I suppose I was really no worse than most people in the matter of geography when I set forth on my venture. Though the Pacific had lain at my feet for two years, I seem to have had no definite notions of the "incomparable treasures" that lay therein. Japan was stored away in my mind as something to play with. Typee, the cannibal Marquesas—ah! there was something real and vigorous! Then the South Sea maidens![Pg 6] Ideal labor conditions in New Zealand! Australia was Botany Bay; the Philippines, the water cure. Confucius was confusion to me, but Lao-tsze, the great sage of China—in his philosophy I had found a meeting-ground for East and West.

But I was sizzling with curiosity. I wanted to bring within my own range of experience that "unplumbed, salt estranging sea" with its area of seventy million square miles, equivalent to "three Atlantics, seventy Mediterraneans," and—aside from the hundreds of millions of people round its shore—the seventy-odd millions within its bosom. Yet of the myths, the beliefs, the aspirations of these peoples, even the most knowing gave contradictory accounts, and curiosity was perforce my compass.


Something in a voyage westward across the Pacific gives one the sense of a great reunion; it is not a personal experience, but an historic sensation. One may have few incidents to relate, there may be only an occasional squall. But in place of events is an abstraction from world strife, a heading for the beginning of a cycle of existence—for Asia, the birthplace of the human race. The feeling is that of one making a tour of the universe which has lasted ten thousand centuries and is but at the moment nearing completion. For eons the movement has been a westward one. Races have succumbed to races in this westward reach for room. Pursuing the retreating glaciers, mankind snatched up each inch of land released, rushing wildly outward. After the birth of man there was a split, in which some men went westward and became Europeans, some eastward and became Asiatics. The Amerindians were the kick of that human explosion eastward which occurred some time during the Wurm ice age.

One cannot grasp the significance of the Pacific who[Pg 7] crosses it too swiftly. Every mapped-out route, every guide-book must be laid aside, and schedules must cease to count. With half a world of water to traverse, its immensity becomes a reality only when one permits oneself to be wayward, with every whim a goal.

A fellow-passenger said to me, "My boss has given me two weeks' vacation."

"Mine has given me a lifetime," I answered.

In that mood I watched the Lurline push its way into the San Francisco fogs and out through the fog-choked Golden Gate. The fogs stayed with us a space beyond and were gone, and the wide ocean lay in every direction roundabout us.

I was bound for Japan by relays. Unable to secure through passage to the Land of the Rising Sun, I did the next best thing and booked for Honolulu. There I planned to wait for some steamer with an unused berth that would take me to Kyoto, Japan, in time to attend the coronation of the Tenno, the crownless Emperor. After all, Honolulu was not such an unfavorable spot in which to prepare my soul for the august sight of emperor-worship on a grand scale, I thought.

And at last I was out upon the bosom of the Pacific, sailing without time limit or fixed plan, sailing where did Cook and Drake and Vancouver, and knowing virtually as little of what was about me as did they. Our ship became the axis round which wheeled the universe, and progress "a succession of days which is like one day." We went on and on, and still the circle was true. We moved, yet altered nothing. When the sky was overcast, the ocean paled in sympathy; when it was bright, the whitecapped, cool blue surface of the sea abandoned itself to the light. At night the cleavage between sea and sky was lost. Then we lost distance, altitude, depth, and even speed. All became illusive—a time for strong reason.

Then came a storm. The vast disk, the never-shifting[Pg 8] circle shrank in the gathering mist. From the prow of the ship, where I loved most to be, the world became more lonely. The iron nose of the vessel burrowed into the blue-green water, thrusting it back out of the way, curling it over upon a volume of wind which struggled noisily for release. The blue became deeper, the strangled air assumed a thick gray color and emerged in a fit of sputtering querulousness. But the ship lunged on, as unperturbed as the Bhodistava before Mara, the Evil One, sure that he was becoming Buddha.

We were dipping southward and soon tasted the full flavor of the luscious tropical air. The ship never more than swayed with the swells. During the days that followed there was never more than the most elemental squall. The nights were as clear and balmy as the days. For seven days we danced and made merry to Hawaiian melodies thrummed by an Hawaiian orchestra, or screeched by an American talking-machine, or hammered by a piano-player. The warm air began to play the devil with our feelings.

Thus seven days passed. I had taken to sleeping out on deck, under the open sky. The moon was brilliant, the sea as smooth as a pond. I was awakened by whispered conversation at five o'clock of that last day and found a group of women huddling close on the forward deck. Their hair was streaming down their backs, their feet were bare, and their bodies wrapped in loose kimonos. Some of the officers were pointing to the southwestern horizon, where a barely perceptible streak of smoke was rising over the rim of the sea. It was from Kilauea, the volcano on the island of Hawaii, two hundred miles away.

The air was fresh and balmy as on the day the earth was born. Rolling cumulous clouds sought to postpone the day by retarding the rising sun. Lighthouse lights blinked their warnings. Molokai, the leper island, emerged from the darkness. A blaze of sunlight broke[Pg 9] through the clouds and day was in full swing. And as we neared the island of Oahu, a full-masted wind-jammer, every strip of sail spread to the breeze, came gliding toward us from Honolulu.

By noon we were in the open harbor,—a fan-spread of still water. The Lurline glided on and turned to the right and we were before the little city of Honolulu. I can still see the young captain on the bridge, pacing from left to right, watching the water, issuing quiet directions to the sailor who transmitted them, by indicator, to the engine-room. We edged up to the piers amid a profusion of greetings from shore and appeals for coins from brown-skinned youngsters who could a moment later be seen chasing them in the water far below the surface.

This, then, is progress. In 1778, Captain Cook was murdered by these islanders. To-day they "grovel" in the seas for petty cash. One hundred and forty years! Seven days!


But Hawaii was only my half-way house. I was still reaching out for Japan. According to the advice of steamship agencies I might have waited seven years before any opportunity for getting there would come my way. At twelve o'clock one day I learned that the Niagara was in port. She was to sail for the Antipodes at two. By two I was one of her passengers. Hadn't "my boss" given me a lifetime's vacation?

The world before me was an unknown quantity, as it doubtless is to at least all but one in a million of the inhabitants of our globe. My ticket said Sydney, Australia. How long would it take us? Two weeks? What should we see en route? Two worlds? Here, in one single journey I should cut a straight line across the routes of Magellan, Drake, Cook, and into those of Tasman,—all the great navigators of the last four hundred years.[Pg 10] Here, then, I was to trace the steps of Melville, of Stevenson, of Jack London,—largely with the personal recommendations of Jack,—and of one then still unfamed, Frederick O'Brien. All the courage in the face of the unknown, all the conflicts between the world civilizations in their various stages of development, all the dreams of romance, of future welfare and achievement, would unfold in my progress southward and fall into two much-talked-of and little-understood divisions—East and West. I was to discover for myself what it was that Balboa and his like had taken possession of in their grandiloquent fashion and were ready to defend against all comers. Yet the flag at the mast was not Balboa's flag, nor Tasman's, and the passengers among whom fate had wheeled me were, with one exception, neither Spanish nor Dutch, but British. As long as I moved from San Francisco westward and as long as I remained in Honolulu, I was, as far as customs and people were concerned, in America. But from the moment I considered striking off diagonally across the South Seas in the direction of the Antarctic I was thrown among Britons. The clerk in the steamship office was Canadian, the steamer was British, the passengers were British, and the cool, casual way in which the Niagara kicked herself off from the pier and slipped out into the harbor was confirmation of a certain cleavage. For there was none of the gaiety which accompanies the arrival and departure of American vessels,—no music, no serpentines, no cheering. We just took to our screws and the open sea as though glad to get away from an uncordial "week-end." This was a British liner that was to cut across the equator, to climb over the vast ridge of earth and dip down into the Antipodes. We were to leave America far behind. Henceforward, with but the single exception of tiny Pago Pago, Samoa, we could not enter an American owned port,—and on this route would miss even that one. And now that mandates have become the vogue, there is in all that world[Pg 11] of water hardly an important spot that does not fly the Union Jack. The sense of private ownership in all that could be surveyed gave to the bearing of the passengers an air of dignity which was not always latent in the individual.

Meanwhile the ship pressed steadily on, coldly indifferent, fearless and emotionless. We were nearing the equator, and the days in its neighborhood steeped us all in drooping feebleness. Climate gets us all, ultimately. We forgot one another beneath the heavy weight of nothingness which hangs over that equatorial world. Sleep within my cabin was impossible, so I had the steward bring me a mattress out on deck. At midnight a heavy wind turned the air suddenly so cold that I had to secure a blanket. The wind howling round the mast and the flapping of the canvas sounded like a tragedy without human agency. The night was pitch-black and the blackness was intensified by intermittent streaks of lightning. But there was no rain.

It was Tuesday, yet the next day was Thursday. Where Wednesday went I have never been able to find out. We had arrived at the point in the Pacific where one day swallows up another and leaves none. The European world, measuring the earth from its own vantage-point, had allotted no day for the mid-Pacific, so that instead of arriving at Suva, Fiji, in proper sequence of time, we were both a day late and a day ahead. We had cut across the 180th meridian, where time is dovetailed.

That afternoon we sighted land for the first time in seven days. Alofa Islands, pale blue, smooth-edged, were a living lie to reality. A peculiar feeling came over me in passing without touching terra firma. It was like the longing for the sun after days and days of gray, the longing for rain in the desert. It was the longing for the return to the actualities of life after days on the unvariable sea. And presently I was in Fiji, and the Niagara[Pg 12] sailed on without me. Once again I changed my course to wander among the South Seas and leave Sydney for the future.

Yet even on land he who has been brought up on a continent cannot escape a feeling of isolation, the consciousness of being completely surrounded by water. After you have had the deep beneath you for seven days, and again seven days, you begin to feel that even the islands are but floating in the same fluid. The fact that you cannot go anywhere without riding the waves, and that it takes two whole days by steamer to get from Fiji to Samoa, and four from Fiji to New Zealand, and then four again between New Zealand and Australia, a water-consciousness takes possession of you, and the islands become mere ledges upon which you rest occasionally. Something of the joy of being a bird on the wing is the experience of the traveler in the Pacific seas.

Imagine, then, my delight and surprise, early one morning on my return trip from Samoa to Fiji, to find the Talune sidling up to an unknown isle considerably off our course. It was, we were told, the island of Niuafoou, and was visited every month or so to deliver and take off the mails. It was a chill morning. Everything was blue with morning cold. The waves dashed in desperation against the cliffs. Glad was I that we were not run ashore, for I have never yet been able to see the virtue in ice-cold sea-water. Fancy our consternation when down slid a native, head first, from the bluff half a mile away into the water, as we slide into a swimming-pool. For a moment he was lost behind the tossing crests. Then we saw him coming slowly toward us, resting on a plank and paddling with his free hand, seeming like a tremendous water-spider. Tied to a stick like to a mast was a tightly wrapped bundle of mail. The Talune kept swerving like an impatient horse, waiting for the arrival of that amphibian. When he came alongside he dropped the little bundle into a bucket let down to him[Pg 13] at the end of a rope, and kicked himself away. A second man arrived with a packet,—the parcels-post man of Niuafoou. A third came merely as an inspector. Meanwhile, on the bluff the whole community had gathered for the irregular lunar event.

Or, days later, after my second call at Fiji as the ship pressed steadily on toward Auckland, New Zealand, we passed the island of Mbenga where dwell the mystic fire-walkers so vividly portrayed by Basil Thomson in his "South Sea Yarns." I wished that I had had a "callous" on my habits in cleanliness to protect me from the unpleasantnesses of the vessel, as have those Fijian fire-walkers on their soles, then I should have been happier. Their soles are half an inch thick. I should have needed a callous at least two inches thick to endure the Talune more than the six days it took us to get from Samoa to Auckland.

Early in the morning of the fourth day of our journey from Suva, Fiji, we passed the Great Barrier Island, which stands fifty miles from Auckland. We crept down the Hauraki Gulf, passed Little Barrier Island, and entered Waitemata Harbor, where we dropped anchor, awaiting the doctor's examination. Just from the tropics, I was taken by surprise to find the wind biting and chill as we went farther south, and here at the gates of Auckland the coat I had unnecessarily carried on my arm for months became most welcome. Before I could adjust myself to the new landing-place, I had to readjust my mind to another fact which had never been any vital part of my psychology,—that henceforth the farther south I should go the colder it would feel, and that though it was the sixth of November, the longer I remained the warmer it would become. In the presence of such phenomena, losing a thirteenth day of one's month while crossing the 180th meridian was a commonplace. The habits of a short lifetime told me to put on my coat, for winter was coming. But here I had come amongst queer[Pg 14] New Zealanders who told me to unbutton it, even to shed it, for spring, they assured me, was not far behind.

And then for the first time in months I felt the spirit of the landlubber work its way into my consciousness again. I had cut a diagonal line of 6,000 miles across a mysterious, immeasurable sea, and my reason, my heart and my body longed for respite from its benumbing influence. I had seen enough to last me a long time. I fairly ached for retirement inland, for sight of a cool, still lake, for contact with snow-capped mountain peaks. More than all else, I yearned for the cold, for the scent of snow, for the snug satisfaction of self-generated warmth. My soul and my body seemed seared and scorched by the blazing tropical sun under the wide, unsheltered seas. Later, when I should be "well" again, I thought, I would risk the climb up over the equator, the curve of the world that lies so close to the sun.

And now that I was settled I had time to reflect on all I had seen. I had cut a diagonal line through the heart of the Pacific, and had seen in succession the various types of native races—the Hawaiians, the Fijians, the Samoans—while all about me were the Maories. So I reviewed and classified my memories before I started north on another diagonal course which led me among the transplanted white peoples of Australia and Asia. Yet one question preceded all others: whence came these Pacific peoples and when? The answer to that must be given before specific descriptions of the South Sea Islanders can be clear.

[Pg 15]



Not even the speed of the fastest steamer afloat can transport the white man from his sky-scraper and subway civilization over the hump of the earth and down into the South Seas without his undergoing a psychological metamorphosis that is enchanting. He cannot take his hard-and-fast materialistic illusions along with him. Were he a passenger on the magic carpet itself, and both time and space eliminated, the instant he found himself among the tawny ones he would forget enough of square streets and square buildings, square meals and square deals, to become another person. Upon that cool dewdrop of the universe, the Pacific, the giant steamer chugs one rhythmically to rest and one dreams as only one in a new life can dream, without being disturbed by past or future.

One slumbers through this adolescent experience with the smile and the conceit of youth. At last one arrives. The enormous ship, upon whose deck have shuffled the games of children too busy to play, slips away from the pier and is swallowed up in the evening twilight. Left thus detached from iron and certainty, one wonders what would happen if there never should be iron and certainty again in life. What if that ship should never return, nor any other, and the months and years should lose track of themselves, and memory become feeble as to facts and fumble about in hyperbolic aspirations? What if the actualities that knotted and gnarled one's emotions, or flattened them out in precise conventions, should[Pg 16] cease to affect one's daily doings? What if, for you, never again were there to be factories and dimensions of purse, or ambitions that ramble about in theories and ethics, but only the need of filling one's being with food and converting it into energy for the further procuring of food, and the satisfaction of impulses that lead only to the further vent of impulse,—and in that way a thousand years went by? What would the white man be when the lure of adventure and discovery suddenly revealed him to a world phenomenally different from the one he left behind in the bourn of his forgotten past?

As I let myself loose from such moorings as still held me in touch with my world, the wonder grew by inversion. When the Niagara, wingless dinosaur of the deep, slid out into the lagoon beyond, I felt overcome with a sense of drooping loneliness, like one going off into a trance, like one for whom amazement is too intoxicating.

Click here for a larger size of the map


It had not been that way in Hawaii, for there already the grip of the girder has made rigid the life of nature and the people. But down beneath the line one could still look over the corrugated iron roofs of sheds and forget. Everywhere in the Fiji or the Samoan islands something of antiquity cools one's senses with unheard questionings. Instantly one wants to know how it happens that these people came to be here, what accident or lure of paleolithic life led them into this isolation. One cannot get away from the feeling—however far inland one may go—that the outer casings of this little lump of solid earth beneath us is a fluent sea, a sea endless to unaided longing. Homesickness never was like that, for ordinary homesickness is too immediate, too personal. But this longing for contact which comes over one in the mid-Pacific islands is universal; it is a sudden consciousness of eternity, and of the atom. One begins to conceive of days and events and conditions as absolutely incompatible with former experience. One's mind is set aglow with inquiry, and over and over again, as one looks into[Pg 17] the face of some shy native or some spoiled flapper, one wonders whence and how. And a slight fear: what if I, too, were now unable ever to return, should I soon revert to these customs, to the feeling of distance between men and women, to the nakedness, not so much of body as of mind?

That was what happened to Tahiti, to Maoriland, to Hawaii, to the popping peaks of illusive worlds which to ante-medieval isolated Europe could not exist because it did not know of them. For thousands of years these innumerable islands in the Pacific had been the habitation of passionate men, of men who had come out in their vessels from over Kim's way with decks that carried a hundred or more persons; persons who doubtless also entertained themselves with games because too busy to play; persons with hopes and aspirations. A thousand and more years ago the present inhabitants of Polynesia may have dreamed of rearing a new India, a wider Caucasia, just as the Pilgrims and the persecuted of Europe dreamed, or the ambitious Englanders of New Zealand. Welcomed here and ejected there, they passed on and on and on, as far as Samoa and Tahiti. And slowly the film of forgetfulness fixed their experiences. The big ships and the giant canoes rotted in the harbors. They had come to stay. The sun was burning their bridges behind them. What need for means of going farther? Eden had been found. And the soft, sweet flesh of young maidens began, generation after generation, to be covered with the tattooings of time, the records of the number of times the race had been reborn. So, while the nakedness of youth was being clothed, mind after mind stored up unforgettable tales of exploit and of passion, till fancy sang with triumph over things transitory, and tawny men felt that never would they have to wander more.

Is not this the history of every race on earth? Has not every nation gloated over its antiquity and its secu[Pg 18]rity? Was not permanence a surety, and pride the father of ease? And have not song and story been handed down from generation to generation, or, with the more skilled and the more proud races, been graved in stone or wax or wood? And have not the more mighty and the more venturesome come over the pass, or over the crest and invaded and conquered and changed?

So it was when Polynesia awoke to see that which could only be a god, because fashioned in the form of its own imaginings, swept by its gorgeous sails into view,—the ship of Captain Cook. Thus the racial memories that had lain dormant in the Polynesians for centuries were revived by Europeans. Narrative renders vividly their surprise and wonder, especially on seeing the vessel girt in iron such as had drifted in on fragments from the unknown wrecks and had become to these natives more precious than gold.

It seems to me that in the hearts and minds of heliolithic man when he ventured eastward across the chain of islands which links, or rather separates, Polynesia and Melanesia from its home in Asia, he must have felt just as Cook and Vancouver and Magellan felt. Bit by bit I picked up those outer resemblances which give to men the world over their basic brotherliness. They may hate one another justly, but they cannot get away from that fraternity. And they generally reveal relationship when they least expect it.

Thus, as we kicked our way up the smooth waters of the Rewa River, Fiji, in a launch laden with black faces and proud shocks of curly hair, mixed with sleek people of slightly lighter-hued India, a suggestion of the origin of these people came to me. As these alien Indians, so must have come these native negroids. I should have felt successful in my method of inquiry, hopeful of feeling my way into a solution of this wondering, had not an outrigger canoe dragged itself across our course with a dilapidated sail of bark-cloth.[Pg 19]

"Where did they learn to sail?" I asked the white skipper.

"They have always known it," he answered. "But you seldom see these sails nowadays."

I wanted to take a snap-shot of it, but the lights of evening, as those of tradition, were against me, and we were clipping along too rapidly. The last example of an art which brought the whole race eastward was being carelessly retained.

A few days later I caught another glimpse of a past that was working my sun-baked brain too much. We were going up the river in a comfortable launch, some missionaries and I, their unknown guest. We were about twenty or thirty miles up the Rewa. With us was a young native who spoke English rather well. I plied him with questions, but his shyness and reticence, so characteristic of isolated human beings, inhibited him. At last he spoke, with an eye to my reactions, of the methods of warfare along the palisades of the river.

"In my boyhood days," he said, "nobody knew anything of his neighbor. People lived just a mile apart, but you white people were not much stranger to us than they were to one another. There was constant war. We children were afraid to venture very far from our village."

"Has that always been the way?"

"I suppose so, but I don't know," and that was all I could get out of him. Yet it has not always been so, for nothing is always so among people, and the Melanesian-Fijians in many cases have welcomed and received among them Samoans and Tongans, races distinctly different from them. There is a definite separation, however, between ourselves and the Fijians that is obvious even to the casual tourist, and affords no easy solution of the whence and why.

Not so among the Polynesians as in Samoa, where one instantly feels at home. That which attracted me to the[Pg 20] Fijian was his incompatibility, his unconscious aloofness, his detachment.


Once a volcano, now a fortress



Wrecked in the hurricane of 1889 at Samoa

There is, however, not much greater difference between some of the races in the Pacific and the white men than there is between any two of the European peoples themselves. There is less difference between an Hawaiian and a Maori, though they are separated by nearly four thousand miles of unbroken sea, than there is between an Englishman and a Frenchman with only a narrow channel between them. In the Pacific, the chain of relationship between races from New Zealand to Hawaii is somewhat similar to that running north and south in Europe. The variation becomes similarly more pronounced in the latitudinal direction. In other words, the diversity existing between European and Turk is something akin to that between Samoan and Fijian,—from the point of view of appearances.

Something of the kinship of peoples scattered over the millions of square miles of Pacific seas becomes evident, not so much in their own features and customs as in the way in which they lend themselves to fusion with the modern incoming nomads of the West. Something of the possible migrations said to have taken place in that unromantic age of man somewhere back in Pleistocene days may be grasped from the streams that now flow in and become part of the life of the South Pacific. Scientists detect in the Melanesian-Fijian slight traces of Aryan blood without being definite as to how it got there. When I ran into a little fruit shop in Suva, just before sailing, to taste for the last time the joys of mummy-apple, I glimpsed for a second the how. For the proprietor was a stout, gray-haired, dark-complexioned individual from the island of St. Helena. In a vivid way he described to me the tomb of Napoleon, spicing his account with a few incidents of the emperor's life on the island. Should no great flood of Europeans come to dilute the present slight infusions, the centuries that lie in waiting will [Pg 21] perhaps augment this accidental European strain into some romantic story. In a thousand years it would not at all be impossible for this story of Napoleon to become part of Fijian legend, and for children to refer to that unknown god of war as their god and the father of their ideals. This genial islander from St. Helena will puzzle anthropologists and afford them opportunities for conjecture, fully as much as the evidence of Aryan and Iberian races in Asia and the islands east of it does to-day.





An oasis in the desert of the Pacific

Or the wail of the Indian, into whose shop I strayed to get out of the sun, at the downfall of "his" empire, may be the little seed of thought out of which the aspirations of a Fiji reborn will spring.


According to the traditions of almost every race on earth, the place of its nativity is the cradle of mankind. Nor does mere accident satisfy. In nearly every instance not only is the belief extant among natives that their race was born there, but that, be the birthplace island or continent, it came into existence by some form of special creation as an abiding-place for a chosen people. The Japanese kami, Izanagi and Izanami, were commissioned by the other gods to "make, consolidate, and give birth to the drifting land." "According to the Samoan cosmogony, first there was Leai, nothing; thence sprung Nanamu, fragrance; then Efuefu, dust; then Iloa, perceivable; then Maua, obtainable; then Eleele, earth; then Papatu, high rocks; then Maataanoa, small stones; then Maunga, mountains. Then Maunga married Malaeliua, or changeable meeting-place, and had a daughter called Fasiefu, piece of dust." The more primitive Melanesians, the Fijians, and the Australoids are less definite in[Pg 22] their conceptions of whence they came, having in many cases no traditions or myths to offer.

With all our scientific inquiry, we are to-day still lost in the maze of probable origins of various races. The birthplace of man is as much of a mystery as it ever was. Ninety years ago, Darwin said of the South Pacific: "Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact—that mystery of mysteries—the first appearance of new beings on this earth." And in 1921 Roy Chapman Andrews set out upon a third expedition to Mongolia in search of relics and fossils of the oldest man. He writes:

With the exception of the Java specimen, all fossil human fragments have been discovered in Europe or England. Nevertheless, the leading scientists of the day believe that Asia was the early home of the human race and that whatever light may be thrown upon the origin of man will come from the great central Asian plateau north of the Himalaya Mountains.

Thus his antiquity will doubtless interest man to his dying day. Slogans epitomizing the spirit of races fan the flames of human conflict. Conflict wears down the differences between them, or shatters them and scatters them to the whirling winds. Doubtless the records which seem to us so lucid and so permanent will vanish from the earth in the next half-million years, and our descendants will mumble in terms of vague tradition expressions of their beginning. Or perhaps their linguistics will make ours vulgar and primitive by comparison. Possibly, if our progress and development are not impeded, the hundreds of tongues now spoken on this globe will seem childishly incomplete, and in their stead will be one extremely simple but flexible language spoken in every islet in the seas.

What our present world will seem to the man of the future, the world of the Pacific, wreathed in races of every hue—Asia, Australasia, the Americas—seems to us now. In the wide spaces of the Pacific we have several thousands of islands, anchored at various distances from[Pg 23] one another in about seventy million square miles of sea. Grouped with a healthy regard for the freedom of individual needs there are enough separate races, speaking separate languages and abiding by separate customs, to make the many-colored map of Europe seem one primary hue by comparison. Yet all the romance which brightens the pages of European history and its intake of Asiatic culture is ordinary beside the mysterious silence that steeps the origin and age of the cultures of the Pacific. There, beneath the heavy curtain of unknown antiquity, dwell innumerable people who, if they are not the Adams and Eves of creation, have wandered very little from the birthplace of the human race. It seems as though the overflow of living creatures from the heart of Asia had found an underground channel back into the Garden of Eden, like some streamlet lost in the sands of the seashore, but worming its way into the very depths below. Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, are the names by which we know them. The drawer of water, as he lets his bucket down to the farthest reaches of the wells of antiquity, finds in his vessel evidence of kinship with races now covering the whole of Europe. Romance has it that the Amerindians are descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel and Mormon missionaries are carrying that charm among the Polynesians. They are very successful in New Zealand among the Maories. Like a great current of warm water in the sea, the Polynesian races have run from Hawaii to Samoa, the Marquesas, Tahiti, and Maoriland. How they got there is still part of conjecture.

To most of us, the South Seas mean simply cannibals and naked girls. Dark skins and giant bodies are synonymous with Polynesians. The grouping of these peoples into Poly-Mela-Micronesian has some scientific meaning which, if not esoteric and awe-inspiring, slips by our consciousness as altogether too highbrow to deserve consideration. Or we are satisfied with pictures such as[Pg 24] Melville and O'Brien have given us, pictures that as long as the world is young will thrill us as do those of Kinglake and Marco Polo. But, those of us who have gone beyond our boyhood rhymes of "Wild man from Borneo just come to town" and have been White Shadows ourselves, are keenly interested in the whence and the why of these people. Can it be that Darwin was right? Have we approached the spot whereon man made his first appearance on the earth? Or are others right whose soundings divulge a hidden course that gives these people a birthplace ten thousand miles away, in central Asia? Is it that all the people of the world were first made men on land that is now beneath the waters of the Pacific,—men who, because of geological changes, fell back across Asia, leaving scattered remnants in the numerous island peaks now standing alone in that sun-baked world? "There is ground for the belief," says Griffith Taylor,[1] "that the Pacific Ocean was smaller in the Pleistocene period, being reduced by a belt of land varying in width from 100 to 700 miles." Or are the further calculations more accurate,—that there have been constant migrations of people from Asia?

[1] Griffith Taylor: Geographical Review, January, 1912, p. 61.

Slowly scientists are groping their way through legend. No one who has been among the South Sea people, and those of the western Pacific islands, can help being impressed with certain remarkable likenesses between them and European people. Present-day anthropologists are at variance with the old evolutionary school which believed in "a general, uniform evolution of culture in which all parts of mankind participated." "At present," according to Franz Boas, "at least among certain groups of investigators in England and also in Germany, ethnological research is based on the concept of migration and dissemination rather than upon that of evolution." In connection with Polynesia and the Pacific peoples, it seems to be fairly well known that they drifted[Pg 25] from island to island in giant canoes. They had no sails nor compass, but, guided by stars and directed by the will of the winds, they roved the high seas and landed wherever the shores were hospitable. During ages when Europe dreaded the sea and hugged the land, when the European universe consisted of a flat table-like earth and a dome-like heaven of stars,—even before the vikings ventured on their wild marauding excursions, the Polynesians made of the length and breadth of the Pacific a highway for their canoes. "Somewhat before this (450 A.D.) one bold Polynesian had reached polar ice in his huge war canoe."[2] Our Amerindians dared the swiftest rapids in their frail bark canoes; but what was that compared with the courage and love of freedom which sent this lone Polynesian out upon the endless waters of the Pacific? Some day a poet will give him his deserving place among the great heroes.

[2] Griffith Taylor: Geographical Review, January, 1912, p. 61.

Dr. Macmillan Brown tells us that the Easter Islands were once the center of a great Pacific empire. Here men came from far and wide to pay tribute to one ruling monarch. He builded himself a Venice amid the coral reefs, with canals walled in by thirty feet of stone. Fear of the control over the winds which this monarch was said to possess, and superstitious dread of his ire brought the vassal islanders to him with their choicest possessions, though he had no military means of compelling respect. This monarch, like the Pharaohs who built the pyramids, must have had thousands of laborers to have been able to cut, shape, and build the giant platforms of stone or the great canals which are referred to as the Venice of the Pacific. It must have taken no little engineering skill so to adjust them to one another as to require no mortar to keep them together. In the Caroline Islands, now under Japanese mandate, there still stand remains of stone buildings of a forgotten day's requirements.[Pg 26]

These relics of unknown days make it reasonably certain that after having been "shot" out from the mainland, the early people of the Pacific reached all the way across to the island of Savaii, in the Samoan group, and later as far as Tahiti. Why they did not go on to the Americas is hard to say. Perhaps the virginity of the islands and the congenial climate offered these artless savages all they desired. Beyond were cold and drudgery. Here, though labor and war were not wanting, still there was balmy weather. Probably they were the tail-end of the great migration of the Wurm ice age. More venturesome than most, and having arrived at lands roomy enough for their small numbers, they must have called themselves blessed in that much good luck and decided to take no further chances with the generosity of the gods.

Linguistic and ethnological data link the Polynesians with the Koreans, Japanese, Formosans, Indonesians, and Javanese. Legends and genealogies show that about the dawn of our era the early Polynesians were among the Malay Islands. By 450 A. D. they had reached Samoa and by 850 A. D., Tahiti.... In 1175 A. D. the primitive Maoriori were driven out of New Zealand to the Chatham Isles. No doubt New Zealand was first reached several hundred years before this. Tahiti seems to have been a center of dispersal, as Percy Smith has pointed out in his interesting book "Hawaiki." We must, however, remember that Melanesians preceded the Polynesians to many of these islands at a much earlier date.[3]

[3] Griffith Taylor: Geographical Review, January, 1921.

However, mutation is the law of life. Even these small groups split into smaller factions. Some went south to the islands of the Antipodes and called themselves Maories; others went north of the equator and called themselves Hawaiians. The physical distribution of all the races in the Pacific, rooting, as we have seen, in Asia, represents a virile plant the stem of which runs eastward and is known as Micronesia and Melanesia, with the flowers, in all their diversified loveliness, Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, the Marquesas, and Maoriland.[Pg 27]

What made them what they are? How is it that being, as it seems, people of extraction similar to that of Europeans, they have remained in such a state of arrested development? How is it that they became cannibals, eaters of men's flesh? Again the answer is not far to seek. Just like the Europeans, they followed the line of least resistance, having as yet developed no artificial or brain-designed weapons against the stress of nature. Europeans, in time of great famine, have not themselves been above cannibalism. In our Southern States we have isolated mountaineers to show us what men can revert to. And in northern China to-day, essentially Buddhist and non-flesh-eating, cannibalism was reported during the famine last year.

But Europe had what Polynesia did not have. Driven by the force of necessity out of continental Asia, Polynesia hid itself away in the cracks and crannies of the Pacific; Europeans spread over a small continent and broke up into innumerable warring and learning tribes. Backward and forward along peninsular Europe, men communicated to one another their emotional and objective experiences. The result has been a culture amazing only in its diversity,—amazing because, with contact and interchange of racial experiences, the coursing and recoursing of the same blood, stirred and dissolved, it is amazing that such diversity should persist.

But in Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia,—in all the distant land-specks of the Pacific,—contact was impossible in the larger sense. Though canoes did slide into strange harbors or drift or row in and about the atolls, they afforded at most romantic stimuli to these isolated groups. Infusion of culture was very difficult. At most, these causal meetings added to or confused the stories of their origin. And in a little time the different island groups forgot their beginnings.

Presently, the pressure upon their small areas with the limited food supply began to make itself felt. Some[Pg 28] method had to be devised for the limitation of population and to keep in food what few numbers there were. There seem to have been no indigenous animals anywhere in the islands. Darwin found only a mouse, and of this he was uncertain as to whether it really was indigenous. Except for a few birds, and the giant Moa which roamed the islands of New Zealand, animal life was everywhere insufficient to the needs of so vital a people as were these. But much less is heard to-day of the cannibalism said to have run rampant among them. It is even disputed. The fruits of the tropics, doubtless rich in vitamines, are peculiarly suited to the sustenance of so spirited a race.


F. W. Caine, Photo



The Polynesians found in the various islands they approached, during that slow, age-long migration eastward, tribes and islanders inferior to themselves. So did the Europeans in their movement westward. The primitive Caucasians remained and mixed slightly along the way, leaving here and there traces of their contact. And their ancestors in Asia forgot their exiled offspring.

With the landing of Cook at Tahiti, at Poverty Bay, at Hawaii, the counter invasion of the Pacific began. For over a hundred years now the European has been injecting his culture, his vices, his iron exactitude into the so-called primitive races. These hundred years make the second phase of civilization in the Pacific. It might have been the last. It might have meant the reunion of Caucasic peoples, their blending and their amalgamation, and the world would have lived happily ever after. But the eternal triangle plays its part in politics no less than in love, and the third period, the period of rivalry and jealousy, of suspicion and scandal, of still-born accomplishment in many fields has set in. And tragedy, which men love because it is closest to truth, is on the stage.

The third period dates largely from the discovery and [Pg 29] the awakening of Japan. It is the blocking of the European invasion of the Pacific, and the institution of a counter move,—that of the expansion of Asia into the Pacific,—which will be treated in the last section of this book.


Photo, H. Winkelmann


To-day, Polynesia is barely holding its own. Its sons have studied "abroad," they have been in our schools and universities, they have fought in "our" war. Rapidly they are putting aside the uncultured simplicity of adolescence. For long they treasured drifts of iron-girded flotsam which the waves in their impartiality cast upon their shores; to-day iron is supplanting thatch, and a belated iron age is reviving their imaginations, just as iron guns and leaden bullets shattered them a century ago. In the light of their astonishment, Rip Van Winkle is a crude conception; Wells has had to revise and enlarge "When the Sleeper Wakes" into "The Outline of History." No man knows what is pregnant in the Pacific; nor will the next nine eons reveal the possibilities.

[Pg 30]



Honolulu marks our frontier in the Pacific. Honolulu has been conquered. If the conquest is that of love, then the offspring will be lovely; if of mere force, or intrigue, then Heaven help Honolulu! As far as outward signs go, we are in a city American in most details. The numerous trolleys, the modern buildings, the motor-cars, the undaunted Western efficiency which no people is able to withstand has gripped Hawaii in an iron grip. True that the foreign (that is, Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese) districts are steeped in squalor, but this is old Honolulu. The new is a little Los Angeles with all its soullessness, and it has taken all the illusions of modern civilization to accomplish it. The first illusion was that the natives would be better off as Americans than as Hawaiians; the second, that Hawaiians were lazy and Japanese and Chinese were necessary; the third, that cleanliness is next to godliness. How have these things worked out? The Hawaiians are in the ever-receding minority, the Japanese in the unhappy majority, and enjoyment of cleanliness has made most men forget that it is only next to something else. If the invited are coming to Honolulu expecting money-grabbers to turn to poetry and petty politicians to philosophy, they had better save their fares. If readers of magazines expect to find a melting-pot in which all the ingredients are dancing about with their arms round one another's neck, they had better remain at home.

For the first and foremost effect of the tropics is to[Pg 31] individualize things. In colder climes people huddle together to conserve warmth; here they give one another plenty of space. Virtually one of the first things the new-comer does is to name and separate things from the mass. Every little thing has its personality. Plants grow in profusion, but each opens out to its utmost. One is much more inclined to ask what this flower is called in Honolulu than in America, for each stands out, and one stands out to each. Honolulu exudes moisture and fragrance, stirring the passions as does the scent of a clean woman. It limbers up one's reasoning faculties and arouses one's curiosity.

On the street every Chinese and every Japanese comes in for his share of attention. One begins to single out types as it has never occurred to one to do in New York. In Honolulu all intermingle, flower in a sort of unity, but in the very mass they retain their natural variations. The white people are ordinarily good, they have mastered the technique of life sufficiently and play tolerably well to an uncritical audience. While the Hawaiian policeman in charge of the traffic stands out in bold relief because the dignity and importance of his position have stiffened the easy tendencies of his race,—he is self-conscious. Monarch of Confusion, arrayed in uniform, tall and with the manner of one always looking from beneath heavy eyebrows, it is said that he causes as much trouble as he allays. But that is mere prejudice. Who would dare ignore his arm and hand as he directs the passing vehicle? He fascinates. He commands. His austere silence is awe-inspiring. When he permits a driver to pass, there is a touch of the contemptuous in that relinquishment. Nor dare the driver turn the corner till, in like manner, this human indicator points the direction for him. The finger follows now almost mockingly, until another car demands its attention, and it becomes threatening again.

One hears of the all-inclusive South Seas as though[Pg 32] it were something totally without variation. The average tourist and scribe soon acquires the South-Sea style. But the more discriminating know full well that the expressions which describe one of the South Sea islands fall flat when applied to another. "Liquid sunshine" is a term peculiarly Hawaiian. It would never apply to Fiji, for instance, for there the words "atmospheric secretion" are more accurate. Hence, it is more than mere political chance that has made Hawaii so utterly different from the Philippines and the litter of South Seas.

Honolulu is essentially an American city. The hundreds of motor-cars that dash in and about the streets do so just as they would in "sunny California." The shops that attract the Americans are just like any in America,—clean, attractive, with their best foot forward. So meticulous, so spotless, so untouchable are they that the soul of the seeker nearly sickens for want of spice and flavor. To have to live on Honolulu's Main Street would be like drinking boiled water. One imagines that when the white men came thither, finding disease and uncleanliness rampant, they determined that if they were to have nothing else they would have things clean. All newcomers to Oriental and primitive countries cling to that phase of civilization with something akin to terror. Generally they get used to the dirt. They have not done so in Honolulu. It may be that mere distance has something to do with the different results, but certain it is that Manila, under American control just as is Honolulu, has none of these prim, not primitive, drawbacks. Twenty years of American rule have done little really to Americanize Manila, while they have utterly metamorphosed Honolulu.

The man-made machine has now outlived the vituperation of idealists. The man-made machine is running, and even the most romantic enjoys life the better for it. Clean hotels, swimming-pools within-doors, motor-cars[Pg 33] that bring nature to man with the least loss of time and cost of fatigue,—these are things which only a fool would despise. But one longs for some show of the human touch, none the less, and cities that are built by machine processes are, despite all their virtues, not attractive. At least, they are not different enough from any other city in the modern world to justify a week's journey for the seeing. One hears that steamers and trains and airplanes are killing romance. That is so, but not because they in themselves conduce to satiety, but because they destroy indigenous creations and substitute importations and iron exactitude. Within the next few generations there will, indeed, be a South Seas, indistinguishable and without variety. Honolulu is an example. But Honolulu is not Hawaii! It is only a bit of decoration. So we shall leave this phase of Hawaii for consideration at a time when, having seen the things native to the Pacific, we reflect upon the meaning and purport of things alien.

In Hawaii, we are told,—and without exaggeration,—one can stand in the full sunshine and watch the rain across the street. So, too, can one enjoy some of the material blessings of modern life, yet be within touch of nature incomparably exquisite.


He was only a street-car conductor. Every day he journeyed from the heart of Honolulu, like a little blood corpuscle, through arteries of trade hardened by over-feeding, in a jerking, rocking old trolley car, to the very edge of Manoa Valley. His way lay along the fan-shaped plane behind the sea, and was lined with semi-palatial residences and Oahu College. Palms swayed in the breeze, and the night-blooming cereus slept in the glittering sunlight upon the stone walls. He was only a street-car conductor, furnished with his three spare meals a day and his bed, but he fed along the way on[Pg 34] sweets that no street-car conductor in any other place in the world has by way of compensation. He was carved with wrinkles and his frail frame bent slightly forward, but his heart was young within him, and he acted like a plutocrat whose hobby was gardening and whose gardens were rich with the finest flowers on earth. The delight he took in the open country, barely the edge of which he reached so many times a day, was pathetic. When I asked him to let me off where I could wander on the open road, he beamed with pleasure and delight, and told me where I should have to go really to reach the wild. There may be other places in the world as beautiful and even more so, but no place ever had such a street-car conductor to recommend it. And no recommendation was ever more poetic and inspiring than this,—not even that of the Promotion Committee of Honolulu.

And, strange to say, I have never been guided more honestly and more truthfully than when that street-car conductor advised me to go to Manoa Valley. I lived an eternity of joy in the few hours I spent there. I knew that not many miles beyond I should again be blocked by the sea. I could not see it because of the hills which spend three hundred and sixty-five days of every year dressing themselves in their very best and posing before the mirror of the sky. Not more than one or two natives passed me, nor did any other living creature appear. I could only romance with myself, refusing to be fooled by the talk about fair maidens with leis round their necks. I was certain that back home there were maidens whose beauty could not be equaled here; whose soft, white skins and shapely forms were never excelled by tropical loveliness. But I was just as certain that there was nothing at home that compared to nature as it is lavished upon man here in Hawaii, and especially in Manoa Valley.

We all have our compensations, and I have even shown preference for a return to the joys of genuine human[Pg 35] beauty which the maker of worlds gave to America, and to leave to the mid-Pacific verdure and altitudes whose combination stirs my mind with passionate adoration to this very day. Still, I shall ever be grateful to that wizened street-car conductor for having suggested that I visit his little valley, which he himself can enter only after paying a penalty of sixteen journeys between Heaven and Honolulu every day, carrying the money-makers backward and forward. Perhaps he does not regard it as a penalty. Perhaps he feels himself fully compensated if one or two of his human parcels asks him where may be found the Open Road.


Sullen and less concerned with emotional or spiritual values was the driver of the motor-bus whom we exhumed one day from the heart of Honolulu's "foreign" section. He evidently regarded nature on his route as too great a strain on his brakes, though he, too, must have felt that compensation was meted out to him manifold. For few people come to Hawaii and leave without contributing some small share to his support, as he is the shuttle between Honolulu and Kaneohe, and carries the thread of sheer joy through the eye of that wondrous needle, the Pali.

At the Pali one senses the youth and vigor of our earth. Its peak, piercing the sky, seems on the point of emerging from the sea. It has raised its head above the waters and stands with an air of contempt for loneliness, wrapped in mist, defying the winds. The world seems to fall away from it. It has triumphed. There is none of that withdrawing dignity of Fujiyama, the great man who looks on. The Pali imposes itself upon your consciousness with spectacular gusto, like the villain stamping his way into the very center of the stage and gazing roundabout over a protruding chin.[Pg 36]





The palm-trees bow solemnly before changeless winds, in the direction of Honolulu, which lies like an open fan at the foot of the valley near the sea. Color is in action everywhere,—spots of metallic green, of volcanic red, filtered through a screen of marine gray. Honolulu lies below to the rear; Kaneohe, beyond vast fields of pineapple, before us; the sea, wide, open, limitless except for the reaches of the heavens, binding all. And then there is an upward, circular motion,—that of the rising mists drawn by the burning rays of the sun pressing landward and dashing themselves into the valley and falling in sheets of rain upon the earth. Wedged into a gully, as though caught and unable to break away, was a heavy cloud,—but it was being drained of every drop of moisture as a traveler held up by a gang of highway-men.

This circular motion is found not only in inanimate nature. Once, at least, it has whirled the Hawaiians into tragedy. Here, history tells us, Kamehameha I (the fifth from the last of Hawaii's kings) hurled an army of native Oahu islanders over this bluff, back into the source of their being. Without quarter he pressed them on, over this pass; while they, unwilling to yield to capture, chose gladly to dash themselves into the valley below. One is impressed by the striking interplay of emotion with sheer nature. The controlling element which directs both man and mountain seems the same. States and stars alike emerge, crash, and crumble.

We rolled rapidly down into the valley past miles and miles of pineapple fields. Then we came, as it were, to the land's end. Nothing sheer now before us, nothing precipitate. A bit of freshness, of coolness, and an imperceptible tapering off. The sea.

Here at Kaneohe dwelt Arthur Mackaye, brother of the poet, whose name was vaguely known to me. He was slender, bearded, loosely clad, with open collar but not without consciousness and conventionality,—a [Pg 37] conventionality in accordance with prescribed notions of freedom. Refreshing, cool as the atmosphere roundabout, distinct from the tropical lusciousness which is the general state of both men and nature in and about Honolulu, the personality of this lone man—this man who had flung everything aside—was a fit complement to the experience of Manoa Valley and the Pali.


We don't know whether we're Hawaiian, Chinese or American, but who cares. Giddap!


Oriental and Occidental versions

He conducted a small sight-seeing expedition on his own. The proprietor of a number of glass-bottomed launches, he took me over the quiet waters of the reefs. Throwing a black cloth over my head to shield me from the brilliant sky, I gazed down into the still world within the coral reefs. There lay unimaginable peace. What the Pali affords in panorama, the bay at Kaneohe offers in concentrated form. Pink-and-white forests twenty to forty feet deep, with immense cavities and ledges of delicate coral, fringe the shore. Fish of exquisite color move in and out of these giant chambers, as much at home in one as in another. Droll, sleepy sponges, like lumps of porous mud, lie flat against the reefs, waiting for something edible to come their way. Long green sea-worms extend and contract like the tentacles of an octopus in an insatiable search for food.

An unusual silence hangs over the memory of that trip. I cannot recall that the unexpected companion I picked up in Honolulu said anything; the lonely one who furnished the glass-bottomed boat certainly said nothing; the fish and sponges emphasized the tone of silence associated with the experience. But the Pali shrieked; it was the one imposing element that defied stillness. And below it is Honolulu, where silence is not to be found.


For the Honolulu spirit is averse to silence. Honolulu is the most talkative city in the world. The people seem to talk with their eyes, with their gait, with their pos[Pg 38]tures. Night and day there stirs the confusion of people attending to one another's wants. One is in a ceaseless whirl of extraverted emotions. One cannot get away from it. The man who could be lonely in Honolulu would have to have his ears closed with cement. If New York were as talkative as Honolulu, not all of America's Main Streets together would drown it out.

For Honolulu teems with good-fellowship. It is the religion of Honolulu to have a good time, and every one feels impelled before God and Patria to live up to its precepts. Everybody not only has a good time but talks having a good time. Not that there are no undercurrents of jealousy and gossip. By no means. The stranger is let into these with the same gusto that swirls him into pleasurable activities. It is a busy, whirligig world. Even the Y.M.C.A. spirit prevails without restraint. I had found the building of the association very convenient, and stopped there. That put the stamp of goodness on me, but it did not exclude me from being drawn into a roisterous crowd that danced and drank and dissipated dollars, and heaved a sigh of relief that I did not preach to it. Its members were glad that I was just "stopping" at the Y. They didn't see how I could do it, but that was my affair. If I still managed to be a good fellow,—well, I belonged to Honolulu.

Charmian London had given me a note of introduction to a friend, Wright, of the "Bulletin." Wright was a bachelor and had a little bungalow across from the Waikiki Hotel on the beach. There we met one evening. It had every indication of the touch of a woman's hand. It was neatly furnished, cozy, restful. Two nonchalant young men came in, but after a delightful meal hurried away to some party. Wright and I were left. What should we do? Something must be done.

He ordered a touring-car. We whirled along under the open sky with a most disporting moon, and it seemed a pity we had none with us over whom to romanticize.[Pg 39] Quietly, as though we were on a moving stage, the world slipped by,—palms, rice-fields ashimmer with silver light. Through luxuriant avenues, we passed up the road toward the Pali. Somewhere half-way we stopped. The Country Club. A few introductions, a moment's stay, and off we went again, this time to avoid the dance that was to take place there. Slipping along under the moonlight, we made our way back to Waikiki beach, dismissed the car, and took a table at Heinie's which is now, I understand, no more.

But we had only jumped from the frying-pan into the fire. Others, bored with the club dance, had come to Heinie's for more fling than dancing afforded. The hall was not crowded, so we were soon noticed. Mr. Wright was known.

"They want us to come over," he said. "Just excuse me a moment."

Presently he returned. I had been specifically invited over with him. I accepted the invitation. Then, till there were no more minutes left of that day, we indulged in one continuous passing of wits and wets. Before half the evening was over, I was one of the crowd in genuine Honolulu fashion, and nothing was too personal for expression.

But one there was in the group to whom all her indulgences were obviously strange, though she seemed well practised. She was a romantic soul, and sought to counteract the teasing of the others. Her deprecation of whisky and soda was almost like poor Satan's hatred of hell. She vibrated to romantic memories like a cello G string. When she learned that I was westward bound, she fairly moaned with regret.

"China!—oh, dear, beloved China! I would give anything in the world to get back there!" she exclaimed, and whatever notions I had of the Orient became exalted a thousandfold. But my own conviction is that she missed the cheap servants which Honolulu lacks. In[Pg 40] other words, there were still not enough leisure and Bubbling Well Roads in Honolulu, nor the international atmosphere that is Shanghai's. But that is mere conjecture, and she was a romantic soul, and good to look at.

But there were two others in the crowd who did not, in their hilarious spirits, whirl into my ken until some time afterward. Their speed was that of the comet's, and what was a plodding little planet like myself to do trying to move into their orbit? They were not native daughters of Honolulu; most of their lives they had spent in California, which in the light of Hawaii is a raw, chill land. There they carried on the drab existence of trying to earn a living,—just work and no play. But evidently they had never given up hope. They were tall, thin, fair, and jolly. They invested. They won. It was only two thousand dollars. They earned as much every year, no doubt, but it came to them in instalments. Now they had a real roll. Bang went the job! American industry, all that depended on their being stable, honest producers, the smoothness of organization, was banished from their minds. Let the country go to the dogs; they were heading for Honolulu for a good time. And when they got there they did not find the cupboard bare, nor excommunication for being jobless.

For as long as two thousand dollars will last where money flows freely (and there are plenty of men ready to help stretch it with generous entertainment) these two escaped toilers from the American deep ran the gamut of Honolulu's conviviality. Night after night they whispered amorous compliments in the ears of the favorite dancers; day after day they flitted from party to party. I had met them just as their two thousand dollars were drawing to a close, but the only thing one could hear was regret that they could not possibly be extended. Honolulu was richer by two thousand; they were poorer to the extent of perpetual restlessness and rebellion against the necessity of holding down a job.[Pg 41] Yet the "Primer" published by the Promotion Committee tells us that Hawaii is "not a paradise for the jobless." These folk had no jobs, yet they certainly felt and acted and spoke as though they were in Paradise.

Witness the arrivals and departures of steamers. The crowds gather as for a fête or a carnival. Bands play, serpentines stream over the ship's side, and turn its dull color into a careless rainbow. Hawaiian women sell leis, necklaces of the most luscious flowers whose scent is enough to empassion the most passionless. But as to jobs,—why, even the longshoremen seem to be celebrating and the steamer moves as by spirit-power.

Visit Waikiki beach, and every day it is littered with people who enjoy the afternoon hours on the tireless breakers. Go to the hotels, and hardly an hour finds them deserted. The motor-cars are constantly carrying men and women about as though there was nothing in the wide world to do. Even those who are unlucky enough to have jobs attend to them in a leisurely sort of way. Yet these jobless people hold up their hands in warning to possible immigrants that there is no room for them, that "Hawaii is not a paradise for the jobless."


Who, then, does the work of the island? It is obvious that it is being done. There isn't another island in the whole Pacific so modernized, so thoroughly equipped, so American in every detail, so progressive and well-to-do. It is the most sublimated of the sublime South Seas. One wonders how white men could have remained so energetic in the tropics, but one is not long left uninformed. Honolulu is an example of a most ideal combination of peoples, the inventive, progressive, constructive white man with the energetic, persistent, plodding Oriental. Without the one or the other, Honolulu would not be what it is; both have contributed to the welfare of the islands in ways immeasurable.[Pg 42]

It is not surprising, therefore, to find the Oriental elements as much in evidence as the Occidental. One hardly knows where one begins and the other ends. As spacious and individualized as are the European sections, so the Asiatic are a perfect jumble of details. The buildings are drab, the streets are littered, the smells are insinuating, the sounds excruciating.

A most painful noise upon an upper balcony of an overhanging Chinese building made me come to with a sudden clapping of my hands against my ears. As noise goes, it was perfect,—without theme or harmony. It could not have been more uncontrolled. What consolation was it that in China there was more of it! Gratitude awakened in me for the limitations a wise joss had placed upon the capacities of the individual. Yet men are never satisfied. These Chinese weren't, and combined their energies. What one man couldn't accomplish, several could at least approach. So we had a band. I should certainly never have thought it possible, myself.

However, they were trying to achieve something. It was neither gay nor mournful; nor was it sentimental. What purpose could it possibly have served? Surely they had no racial regrets or aspirations, they who played it! The bird sings to his mate, but what mate would listen to such tin-canning and howling, and not die?

To me there was something charming in this shamelessness of the Chinese, something childlike and naïve. I had never realized the meaning of that little rhyme,

I would not give the weakest of my song
For all the boasted strength of all the strong
If but the million weak ones of the world
Would realize their number and their wrong.

The thought is almost terrifying when applied to the teeming hordes of the world, whether of Asia, Europe, or the South Seas. If sheer numbers are any justification of supremacy, God had better take His old world back and reshape it nearer something rational. One[Pg 43] becomes conscious of this welling up of the world in Hawaii. Not that the Chinese and the Japanese haven't the same right to life and to its fulfilment in accordance with latent instinct and ability, with all its special racial traits and customs, but one doesn't just exactly see how numbers have anything to do with it. Yet here are the Chinese and Japanese slowly, quietly, persistently out-distancing the white by a process of doubling in numbers, where mentality and ingenuity would doubtless fail.

One hears much about the progress of the Orient. That is, white folk talk much about the way in which the East is taking to Western ways, and call that progress. One would not expect that sort of progress to proceed with any great velocity in the East itself, but it is only necessary to observe the ingrowing tendencies of life in Hawaii, however superficially, to see how foolishly optimistic is the expectation of such progress. For even in Hawaii, where everything has had to be built afresh, where everybody is an alien—with very few exceptions—and where the dominant element is European, the East is still the East, and the West the West. There is a slight overlapping, but not enough to make one lose one's way,—to make a white man walk into a Chinese restaurant and not know it. The fastidious white man whose curiosity gets the better of him, moves about the Chinese and Japanese districts fully conscious of his own shortcomings. He is less able to feel at home there than the Oriental on the main street; but why doesn't the Oriental build for himself a main street?

I was abroad early one Sunday morning, headed for the Chinese section. Lost in thought, I went along, gazing on the ground. Had Charlie Chaplin's feet suddenly come into my range of vision I should not have been more surprised than I was when two tiny shoes, hardly bigger than those of a large-sized doll, and with some of that stiff, automatic movement of the species mechanicus, dissipated my reflections. I raised my eyes[Pg 44] slowly, as when waking, up, up, up,—hem of skirt, knees, waist-line, flat bosom, narrow shoulders, sallow face, and slit eyes! A Chinese woman! She was as big as a fourteen-year-old girl, but her feet were a third of their due proportion. How many thousands of years of natural selection went into the making of those little feet? Yet she was a rare enough exception to astound my abstracted mind. About her strolled hundreds of others of her race, who would have given much of life to possess those two little feet.


During the day they were ashen and at night like rose dawn



Eight hundred feet below it seethed

Differences abound in Hawaii. The Chinese is no twin brother of the Japanese. In fact, there is probably as much relationship between the Hawaiian and the Japanese as there is between these two "Oriental" races. The major part of the Japanese being Malay and the Polynesian Hawaiians having at least lived with the Malays some hundreds of years ago and infused some of their Caucasic ingredients into them, there is more of "home-coming" when "Jap" meets "Poly," than when he meets "Chink." But notwithstanding proximity and propinquity, over which diplomatic letter-writers labor hard, when the Chinese and the Japanese and the Hawaiian come together, the Hawaiian "vanishes like dewdrops by the roadside," the Chinese jogs along, and the Japanese runs motor-cars and raises children. The Japanese obtrudes himself much more upon the life of the community than the other two races, but with no more relinquishment of his own ways. He drives the cars and he drives white men to more activity than they really enjoy. And the Hawaiian sells necklaces of luscious flowers under the shaded porticoes of the buildings along the waterfront.

Aside from the adoption of our trousers and coat and hat, and a few other unimportant aspects of our civilization, the observer on the streets of Honolulu sees no mingling of races. The only outward sign of this mixing is the Salvation Army. There, large as life, with the [Pg 45] usual circular crowd about them, stood these soldiers of misfortune, praising the Lord in English. A row of unlimited Oriental offspring upon the curb; a few grown-ups on the walk; a converted Japanese who looked as though his Shinto father had disowned him; a self-conscious white boy who confessed to having been converted just recently; two indifferent-looking soldiers; a distrustful-looking leader and a hopeless-visaged white woman. Twenty feet away, a saloon. I wonder what the Salvation Army is going to do now that that object of attraction is no more.


Photo, Otto C. Gilmore




Photo, Otto C. Gilmore


As far as Honolulu was concerned, it seemed to me that barter and trade were more intoxicating to the majority than was drink. The world everywhere about seemed a-litter with boxes and bales and shops and indulgences. How much of all the things exchanged, how many of the things for which these people toil endlessly, are worth while or essential, or even truly satisfying? The dingy stores, their only worth their damp coolness; the huddling and the innocent dirt; the inextricable mesh of little things to be done,—only the Chinese sage who posed for my camera in front of his wee stock of yarns was able to tell their value to life. His long, thin, pointed beard, his lack of vanity in accepting my interest in him, his genial smile and fatherly disinterestedness symbolized more than anything I saw in Honolulu the virtue and endurance of race. Beside the eager, grasping Japanese and the rolling, expanding white men, he looked like the overtowering palm-tree that seems to grow out of the monkey-pod in the park.


To a creature from another world, hovering over us in the unseen ether, watching us move about beneath the sea of air which is life to us, Honolulu would seem like a little glass aquarium. The human beings move about as though on the best of terms with one another. Some[Pg 46] look more gorgeous than others, but from outward appearances they are as innocent of ill intentions against one another as the aquatic creatures for which Hawaii is famous, out in the cool, moist aquarium at Waikiki.

Kihikihi, the Hawaiians call one of them, and his friends the white folk have christened him Moorish Idol. I don't know what Kihikihi means, but as to his being an idol, I can't accept that for a moment, except in so far as he deserves to be idolized. For about him there is no more of that static, woodeny thing which idols generally are than there is about Pavlowa. Yet he is only a fish, and not so very large at that. He is moon-shaped, but rainbow-hued. He is perhaps three-quarters of an inch across the shoulders, but six inches up and down, and perhaps eight from nose to the ends of his two tails. And so he looks like a three-quarter moon. Soft, vertical bands of black, white, and egg-yellow run into one another on both sides, and a long white plume trails downward in a semicircle. He is the last word in form, translucent harmony of color and of motion. He moves about with rhythmic dignity and grace. At times his eyes bulge with an eagerness and self-importance as though the world depended on him for its security. Though he is constantly searching for food, he does not seem avaricious; and while he admits his importance, he is not proud.

Kihikihi has a rival in Nainai, who has been given an alias,—Surgeon Fish, light brown with an orange band on his sides. Nainai is heavier than Kihikihi, more plump. His color, too, is heavier and therefore seems more restrained. It is richer and hence stimulates envy and desire.

Lauwiliwili Unkunukuoeoe has no aliases, thank you, but he has a snout on which his Hawaiian name could be stamped in fourteen-point type and still leave room for half a dozen aliases. Only a water-creature could possess such a title as this and keep from dragging[Pg 47] it in the mud. Knowing that he would be called by that appellation in life, his Creator must have compensated him with plenty of snout.

But it is better to have one long snout than eight. And though no one would give preference to any devil-fish, this long-snouted creature is the rival by an inverse ratio of that eight-snouted glutton. The octopus, the devil of the deep, is an insult to fishdom. The Moorish Idol and this Medusa-like monster in the same aquarium make a worse combination than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This ugly, flabby, boneless body, just thick skin and muscle, with a large bag for a head,—eight sea-worms extending and contracting in an insatiable search for food is the paramount example of gross materialism. If only the high cost of living would drive to suicide this beast with hundreds of mouths to feed, the world might be rid of a perfidious-looking monster. But his looks do him great injustice, and were the Hawaiian variety—which is, after all, only squid—to disappear, the natives would be deprived of one of their chief delicacies. At the markets—that half-way house between aquaria and museums—numerous dried octopus, like moth-eaten skins, lie about waiting for the housewife's art to camouflage them. But I shall have something to say elsewhere about markets and museums, and now shall turn, for a moment, to more startling wonders still.


An artist is delighted if he finds a study with a perfect hand or a beautiful neck; or, in nature, if a simple charm is left undisturbed by the confusion of human creation. Yet at night as our ship passed the island of Maui, it seemed to me that all the sweet simplicities that make life worth while had been assembled here in the beginning of the world and left untouched. The moon rose on the peak of the cone-shaped mountain, and for a time[Pg 48] stood set, like a moonstone in a ring. The pyramid of night-blue earth was necklaced in street lights, which stretched their frilled reflections across the surface of the sea; and just back of it all lay the crater of Haleakala, the House of the Sun.


Photo, Otto C. Gilmore



Photo, Otto C. Gilmore


At sunrise next morning we were docked at Hilo on the island of Hawaii, two hundred miles from Honolulu. There was nothing here impressive to me, despite the waterfalls. For two and a half hours we drove by motor over the turtle-back surface of Hawaii toward Kilauea. Tree-ferns, palms, and plantations stretched in unending recession far and wide. A sense of mystery and awe crept slowly over me as we neared the region of the volcano. At eleven we arrived at the Volcano House.

Yet, in a mood of strange indifference I gazed across the five miles of flat, dark-brown frozen lava which is the roof of the crater. Ash-colored fumes rose from the field of fissures, like smoke from an underground village. Sullen, sallow vapors, these. Sulphur banks, tree molds cast in frozen lava, empty holes! Nothing within left to rot, but fringed with forests and brush, sulphur-stained or rooted in frozen lava. Everywhere promise of volcanic fury, prophecy of the end of the world.

The road lay like a border round the rim of an antique bowl which had been baked, cracked, chipped, but shaped to a usefulness that is beauty. All day long we waited, watching the clouds of gray fumes rise steadily, silently, and with a sad disinterestedness out of the mouth of the crater.

Frozen, the lava was the great bed of assurance, a rock of fearlessness. It seemed to say to the volcano: "I can be indifferent. Down there, deep down, is your limitation. Rise out of the pit and you become, like me, congealed. There, down in that deep, is your only hope of life. This great field of lifeless lava is proof of your effort to reach beyond your sphere. So why fear?" And there was no fear.

[Pg 49]


Photo, Otto C. Gilmore

In the volcano of Kilauea. At night the white here shown is pink and terrifying

As night came on the gray fumes began to flush pink with the reflection of the heart of the crater. We set out in cars for the edge. Extinct craters yawned on every side, their walls deep and upright. Some were overgrown with green young trees, but as we came nearer to the living crater, life ceased. Great rolls of cloud-fumes rose from the gulch to wander away in silence. What a strange journey to take! From out a boiling pit where place is paid for by furious fighting, where pressure is father of fountains of boiling rock, out from struggle and howling fury, these gases rose into the world of living matter, into the world of wind and water. Out of the pit of destruction into the air, never ceasing, always stirring down there, rising to where life to us is death to it. The lava, seething, red, shoots aimlessly upward, only to quell its own futile striving in intermittent exhaustion.

We stood within a foot of the edge. Eight hundred feet below us the lava roared and spit. In the night, the entire volcano turned a pink glow, and before us lay three-quarters of a mile of Inferno come true. The red liquid heaves and hisses. Some of it shoots fully fifty feet into the air; some is still-born and forms a pillar of black stone in the midst of molten lava. From the other corner a steady stream of lava issues into the main pool, and the whole thumps and thuds and sputters and spouts, restless, toiling eternally.

On our way to the crater we were talkative. We joked, burnt paper over the cracks, discussed volcanic action, and expressed opinions about death and the probability of animal consciousness after death. But as we turned away from the pit we fell silent. It was as though we had looked into the unknown and had seen that which was not meant for man to see. And the clouds of fumes continued to issue calmly, unperturbed, with a dreadful persistence.

Just as our car groped its way through the mists to[Pg 50] the bend in the road, a Japanese stepped before us with his hands outstretched. "Help!" he shouted. "Man killed." We rushed to his assistance and found that a party of Japanese in a Ford had run off the road and dropped into a shallow crater. Down on the frozen bed below huddled a group of men, women, and children, terrified. As we crawled down we found one Japanese sitting with the body of his dead companion in his arms, pressing his hot face against the cold cheek of his comrade. A chill drizzle swept down into the dark pit. It was a scene to horrify a stoic. To the wretched group our coming was a comfort the richness of which one could no more describe than one could the torture of lava in that pit over yonder.

Japanese are said to be fatalists. They hover about Kilauea year in and year out. One man sat with a baby in his arms, his feet dangling over the volcano. Playfully he pretended to toss the child in, and it accepted all as play. The same confidence the dead man had had in the driver whose carelessness had overturned the car. And now it seemed that his body belonged in the larger pit at which he had marveled not more than half an hour earlier.


As I look back into the pit of memory where the molten material, experience, has its ebb and flow, I can still see the seething of rock within a cup of stone, the boiling of nature within its own bosom. Where can one draw the line between experience past and present? Wherever I am, the shooting of that fountain of lava is as real as it was to me then; nor can conglomerate noises drown out the sound of lava pouring back into lava, of undermined rock projections crashing with a hissing sound back upon themselves. It is to me like the sound of voices when King Kamehameha I forced the natives of the island of Oahu over the Pali, and the group of terrified Japanese were like the fish in the coral caves at[Pg 51] Kaneohe when aware of the approach of a fish that feeds upon them.

Yet there is a sound rising clear in memory, perhaps more wonderful even than the shrieking of tortured human beings or the hissing of molten lava. As I stood upon the rim of Halemaumau there arose the vision of Kapiolani, the Hawaiian girl who, defying superstition, ventured down into the jaws of the crater and by her courage exorcised Kilauea of its devils. What in all the world is more wonderful than frailty imbued with passion mothering achievement? Kapiolani may be called Hawaii's Joan of Arc. Unable to measure her strength with men, she defied their gods. A world of prejudice, all the world to her, stood between her and Kilauea. Courage triumphant had conquered fear. In defiance of her clan and of her own terror, she was the first native to approach the crater, and in that she made herself the equal of Kilauea. As she cast away the Hawaiian idols, herself emerged an idol.

[Pg 52]



Fiji is to the Pacific what the eye is to the needle. Swift as are the vessels which thread the largest ocean on earth, travelers who do more than pass through Fiji on their way between America and the Antipodes are few. Yet the years have woven more than a mere patchwork of romance round these islands. In climate they are considered the most healthful of the South Sea groups, though socially and from the point of view of our civilization they do not occupy the same place in our sentiments as do Samoa, Tahiti, the Marquesas, and the Sandwich Islands. Largely, I suppose, because of the ethnological accident that planted there a race of people that is farther from Europeans than the Polynesians. The Fijians are Melanesians, a negroid people said by some to be a "sub-branch" of the Polynesians. They have been slightly mixed through their contact with the Tongans and the Samoans, but they are not definitely related to either and full mixture is unlikely.

A century ago a number of Australian convicts escaped to Fiji. They brought to these savage cannibal islanders all the viciousness and arrogance of their type, and imposed themselves upon the primitive natives. The effect was not conducive of the best relations between white people and natives, nor did it have an elevating influence upon the latter. However, despite their cannibalism and their unwillingness to yield to the influence of our benign civilization, the Fijians are a people in many ways superior to both the Polynesians east of them[Pg 53] and the true Melanesians or Papuans to the west. They are more moral; they are cleanly; their women occupy a better position in relation to their men; and in character and skill they are superior to their neighbors. I was impressed with this dignity of the Fijians, conscious and unconscious, from the time I first laid eyes on them. I felt that, notwithstanding all that was said about them, here was a people that stood aloof from mere imitation.

Yet such is the nature of reputation that when I announced my intention of breaking my journey from Honolulu to Australia at Fiji, my fellow-passengers were inclined to commiserate with me. They wondered how one with no special purposes—that is, without a job—could risk cutting loose from his iron moorings in these savage isles. Had they not read in their school geographies of jungles and savages all mixed and wild, with mocking natives grinning at you from behind bamboo-trees, living expectations of a juicy dinner? They warned me about dengue fever; they extolled the virtues of the Fijian maidens, and exaggerated the vices of the Fijian men. The word "cannibals" howled round my head as the impersonal wind had howled round the masts of the steamer one night. But the adventurer soon learns that there is none so unknowing as the average globe-trotters (the people who have been there); so he listens politely and goes his own way.

When, therefore, I got the first real whiff of tropical sweetness, mixed though it was with copra and mold, all other considerations vanished. From the cool heights the hills looked down in pity upon the little village of Suva as it lay prostrate beneath the sun. If there was any movement to be seen, it was upon the lapping waters of the harbor, where numerous boats swarmed with black-bodied, glossy-skinned natives in that universal pursuit of life and happiness. As the Niagara sidled up to the pier and made fast her hawsers, these black fellows rushed upon her decks and into the holds like so many[Pg 54] ants, and what had till then been inanimate became as though possessed.


I had been under the impression that the natives were all lazy, but the manner of their handling of cargo soon dissipated that notion. Further to discredit the rumor-mongers, three Fijians staged an attempt to lead a donkey ashore which would have shamed the most enthusiastic believer in the practice of counting ten before getting angry and trying three times before giving up. The Fijian is as indifferent to big as to little tasks, and seems to be alone, of all the dwellers in the tropics, in this apathetic attitude toward life. There is none in all the world more lazy, indolent, and do-nothing than the white man. As soon as he comes within sight of a native anywhere, that native does his labor for him; you may count on it.

So it was that with fear and trembling I announced to the stewards that I had a steamer trunk which I wanted ashore with me. They grunted and growled as the two of them struggled with it along the gang-plank and dropped it as Atlas might have been expected to drop the earth, and stood there with a contemptuous look of expectation. I took out two half-dollars and handed one to each. The sneer that formed under their noses was well practised, I could see, and they took great pains to inform me that they were no niggers, they would not take the trunk another foot. There it was. I was lost, scorned, and humiliated. Why did I have so much worldly goods to worry about? Just then a portly Fijian stepped up. Beside him I felt puny, doubly humble now. Before I had time to decide whether or not he was going to pick me up by the nape of the neck and carry me off to a feast, he took my trunk instead. Though it weighed fully a hundred and sixty-five pounds, it rose to his shoulders—up there a foot and a half above me—and the giant strode along the pier with as little concern as though it[Pg 55] were empty. The two stewards stood looking on with an air of superiority typical of the white men among colored.

I cannot say that mere brawn ever entitles any man to rank, and that the white generally substitutes brain for brawn is obvious. But I failed to see wherein they justified their conceit, for to men of their type the fist is still the symbol of their ideal, as it is to the majority of white men. And as I came away from the ship again that afternoon I found a young steward, a mere lad, standing in a corner crying, his cheek swollen and red. I asked him what happened. "The steward hit me," he said, trying to restrain himself from crying. "I thought I was through and went for my supper so as to get ashore a bit. He came up and asked me what I was doing. I told him, and he struck me with his fist." Yet the stewards thought themselves too good to do any labor with black men about. No ship in a tropical port is manned by the sailors; there they take a vacation, as it were.

From the customs shed to my hotel the selfsame Fijian carried my trunk majestically. I felt hopeful that for a time at least I should see the last of stewards and their ilk. But before I was two days in Suva I learned that shore stewards are often not any better, and was happy to get farther inland away from the port for the short time I could afford to spend in the tropics.

Meanwhile, some of the younger of my fellow-passengers came on shore and began doing the rounds, into which they inveigled me. From one store to the other we went, examining the moldy, withered, incomplete stocks of the traders. Magazines stained brown with age, cheap paper-covered novels, native strings of beads formed part of the stock in trade. We soon exhausted Suva.

At the corner of the right angle made by Victoria Parade and the pier stood a Victoria coach. A horse[Pg 56] slept on three legs, in front of it, and a Hindu sat upon the seat like a hump on an elongated camel. We roused them from their dozing and began to bargain for their hire. Six of us climbed into the coach and slowly, as though it were fastened to the ground, the horse began to move, followed by the driver, the carriage, and the six of us. For an hour we continued in the direction in which the three had been standing, along the beach, up a little knoll, past corrugated-iron-roofed shacks, and down into Suva again; the horse stopped with the carriage behind him in exactly the same position in which we had found them, and driver and beast went to sleep again.

Much is heard these days about the effects of the railroad and the steamer and the wireless telegraph on the unity of the world, but to those travelers and that Hindu and to the Fijians whom we passed en route, not even the insertion of our six shillings in the driver's pocket has, I am sure, as much as left the faintest impression on any of us except myself. And on me it has left the impression of the utter inconsequence of most traveling.

Thus Suva, the eye of Fiji and of the needle of the Pacific, is threaded, but there is nothing to sew. The unexpected never happens. There are no poets or philosophers, no theaters or cabarets in Suva, as far as mere eye can see,—nothing but smell of mold and copra (cocoanut oil).

In Suva one cannot long remain alert. The sun is stupefying. The person just arrived finds himself stifled by the sharp smells all about him as though the air were poisoned with too much life. The shaggy green hills, rugged and wild in the extreme, show even at a distance the struggle between life and death which moment by moment takes place. Luxuriant as on the morning of creation, the vegetation seems to be rotting as after a period of death. In Suva everything smells damp and moldy. You cannot get away from it. The stores you buy in, the bed you sleep in, the room you eat in,—all[Pg 57] have the same odor. The books in the little library are eaten full of holes through which the flat bookworms wander as by right of eminent domain. Offensive to the uninitiated is the smell of copra. The swarms of Fijians who attack the cargo smell of it and glisten with it. The boats smell of it and the air is heavy with it. If copra and mold could be banished from the islands, the impression of loveliness which is the essence of the South Seas would remain untainted. Yet to-day, let me but get a whiff of cocoanut-oil from a drug store and I am immediately transported to the South Seas and my being goes a-wandering.


I seldom dream, but at the moment of waking in strange surroundings after an unusual run of events my mind rehearses as in a dream the experiences gained during consciousness. When the knuckles of the Fijian—and he has knuckles—sounded on my door at seven to announce my morning tea, I woke with a sense of heaviness, as though submerged in a world from which I could never again escape. At seven-fifteen another Fijian came for my laundry; at seven-thirty a third came for my shoes. Seeing that it was useless to remain in bed longer, I got up. I was not many minutes on the street before I realized the urgency in those several early visits. Daylight-saving is an absolute necessity in the tropics, for by eight or nine one has to endure our noonday sun, and unless something is accomplished before that time one must perforce wait till late afternoon for another opportunity. To keep an ordinary coat on an ordinary back in Suva is like trying to live in a fireless cooker while angry. Even in the shade one is grateful for white duck instead of woolens, so before long I had acquired an Irish poplin coat. Yet Fiji is one of the most healthful of the South Sea islands.

Owing to the heat, most likely—to give the white devils[Pg 58] their due—procrastination is the order of life. "Everything here is 'malua,'" explained the manager of "The Fiji Times" to me. "No matter what you want or whom you ask for it, 'wait a bit' will be the process." And he forthwith demonstrated, quite unconsciously, that he knew whereof he spoke. I wanted to get some information about the interior which he might just as easily have given me off-hand, but he asked me to wait a bit. I did. He left his office, walked all the way up the street with me to show me a photographer's place where I should be able to get what I was after, and stood about with me waiting for the photographer to make up his mind whether he had the time to see me or not. There's no use rushing anybody. The authorities have been several years trying to get one of the off streets of Suva paved. It has been "worked on," but the task, turned to every now and then for half an hour, requires numerous rest periods.

In Fiji, every one moves adagio. The white man looks on and commands; the Indian coolie slinks about and slaves; the Fijian works on occasion but generally passes tasks by with sporty indifference. Yet there is no absence of life. Beginning with the noise and confusion at the pier, there is a steady stream of individuals on whom shadows are lost, though they have nothing on them but their skins and their sulus. The Fijian idles, allows the Indian to work, happy to be left alone, happy if he can add a shilling to his possessions,—an old vest, a torn pair of trousers of any shape, an old coat, or a stiff-bosomed shirt sans coat or vest or trousers. Tall, mighty, and picturesque, his coiffure the pride of his life, he watches with a confidence well suited to his origin and his race the changes going on about him.

Thus, while his island's fruits are being crated and carted off by the ship-load for foreign consumption, he helps in the process for the mere privilege of subsidized loafing. All the fun he gets out of trade in the tropics[Pg 59] seems to be the opportunity of swearing at his fellows in fiji-ized versions of curses taught him by the white man. Or he stands erect on the flat punt as it comes in from regions unknown, bearing bananas green from the tree, the very picture of ease and contentment. Yet one little tug with foreign impertinence tows half a dozen punts, depriving him even of this element of romance in his life.

Still, there is nothing sullen in his make-up. A dozen mummy-apples—better than bread to him—tied together with a string, suffice to make his primitive heart glad. Primitive these people are; their instincts, never led astray very far by such frills and trappings as keep us jogging along are none the less human. Unfold your camera and suggest taking a picture of any one of them and forthwith he straightens up, transforms his features, and adjusts his loin-cloth; nor will he forget to brush his hair with his hand. What a strange thing is this instinct in human nature anywhere in the world which substitutes so much starch for a slouch the moment one sees a one-eyed box pointing in his direction! None ever hoped to see a print of himself, but all posed as though the click of that little shutter were the recipe for perpetual youth.

The motive is not always one of vanity. Generally, at the sound of the shutter, a hand shoots out in anticipation of reward. In the tropics it is no little task to bring oneself together so suddenly, and the effort should be fully compensated. The expenditure of energy involved in posing is worthy of remuneration. Nevertheless, vanity is inherent in this response. The Fijian is a handsome creature, and he knows it. He knows how to make his hair the envy of the world. "Permanent-wave" establishments would go out of business here in America if some skilled Fijian could endure our climate. He would give such permanence to blondes and brunettes as would cost only twenty-five cents and would really[Pg 60] last. He would not plaster the hair down and cover it with a net against the least ruffle of the wind. When he got through with it it would stand straight up in the air, four to six inches long, and would serve as an insulator against the burning rays of the sun unrivaled anywhere in the world. While I squinted and slunk in the shade, the native chose the open highway. Give him a cluster of breadfruit to carry and a bank messenger with a bag of bullion could not seem more important.

The Fijians, notwithstanding the fact that they take less to the sentimental in our civilization than the Samoans, are a fine race. Their softness of nature is a surprising inversion of their former ferocity. What one sees of them in Suva helps to fortify one in this conclusion; a visit farther inland leaves not a shadow of doubt. And pretty as the harbor is, it is as nothing compared with the loveliness of river and hills in the interior.

I was making my way to the pier in search of the launch that would take me up the Rewa River, when a giant Fijian approached me. He spoke English as few foreign to the tongue can speak it. A coat, a watch, and a cane—a lordly biped—he did not hesitate to refer to his virtues proudly. He answered my unspoken question as to his inches by assuring me he was six feet three in his stocking feet (he wore no stockings) and was forty-five years old. For a few minutes we chatted amicably about Fiji and its places of interest. There was never a smug reference to anything even suggestive of the lascivious—as would have been the case with a guide in Japan, or Europe—yet he cordially offered to conduct and protect me through Fijiland. Had I had a billion dollars in gold upon me I felt that I might have put myself in his care anywhere in the world. But I was already engaged to go up the Rewa River and could not hire him. Cordially and generously, as an old friend might have done, he told me what to look for and bid me have a good time.

[Pg 61]


I took the launch which makes daily trips up the Rewa. The little vessel was black with natives—outside, inside, everywhere, streaming over to the pier. It was owned and operated by an Englishman named Message. Even in the traffic on this river combination threatens individual enterprise. "The company has several launches. It runs them on schedule time, stopping only at special stations, regardless of the convenience to the Fijians. It is trying to force me out of business," said Mr. Message, a look of troubled defiance in his face. "But I am just as determined to beat it."

So he operates his launch to suit the natives, winning their good-will and patronage. It was interesting to see how his method worked. No better lesson in the instinctive tendency toward coöperation and mutual aid could be found. He had no white assistant, but every Fijian who could find room on the launch constituted himself a longshoreman. They enjoyed playing with the launch. They helped in the work of loading and unloading one another's petty cargo, such as kerosene, corrugated iron for roofing (which is everywhere replacing thatch), and odd sticks of wood. And the jollity that electrified them was a delightful commentary on this one white man's humanity.

Delight rides at a spirited pace on this river Rewa. The banks are seldom more than a couple of feet above the water. The launch makes straight for the shore wherever a Fijian recognizes his hut, and he scrambles off as best he can. Here and there round the bends natives in takias (somewhat like outrigger canoes with mat sails, now seldom used), punts, or rowboats slip by in the twilight.

The sun had set by the time all the little stops had been made between Suva and Davuilevu, the last stopping-place. Each man, as he stepped from this little float[Pg 62] of modernism, clambered up the bank and disappeared amid the sugar-cane. What a world of romance and change he took into the dark-brown hut he calls his own! What news of the world must he not have brought back with him! A commuter, he had probably gone in by that morning's launch, in which case he spent three full hours in "toil" or in the purchase of a sheet of corrugated iron or a tin of oil. He may have helped himself to a shirt from somebody's clothes-line in the spare time left him. One thing was certain, there were no chocolates in his pockets, for he had no pockets, and I saw no young woman holding a baby in her arms for daddy to greet.

Yet even from a distance one recognized something of family affection. To enter and examine closely would perhaps have made a difference in my impressions. I was content with these hazy pictures, to see these dark-skinned people merge with their brown-thatched huts curtained by shadows within the cane-fields. When night came on all was dissolved in shadow, and voices in song rose on the cool air.


The Rewa River runs between two antagonistic institutions. At Davuilevu (the Great Conch-Shell) there is a mission station on one side and a sugar-mill on the other. Both are deeply affecting the character and environment of the Fijians, yet the contrast in the results is too obvious to be overlooked by even the most casual observer.

As I stepped off the boat a young New Zealander whose cousin had come down with us on the Niagara and whom I had met the day of our arrival in Suva, came out of a building across the road. He was conducting a class in carpentry composed of young Fijian students of the mission. They were so absorbed in their work that they barely noticed me, and the atmosphere[Pg 63] of sober earnestness about the place was thrilling. From time out of mind the Fijians have been good carpenters, the craft being passed down from generation to generation within a special caste. Their shipbuilding has always been superior to that of their neighbors, the Tongans. It was not to be wondered at, therefore, that the main department here should be that of wood-turning, and some of the work the students were doing at the time was exceptionally fine.

The buildings of the mission had all been constructed with native labor under the direction of the missionaries. They were simply but firmly built, the absence of architectural richness being due fully as much to the spirit of the missionaries as to the lack of decorativeness in the character of the natives.

However, there was something to be found at the mission which was harshly lacking at the sugar-mill. The students moved about in a leisurely manner, cleanly and thoughtful; whereas across the river not only were the buildings of the very crudest possible, but the Hindus and the Fijians roamed around like sullen, hungry curs always expecting a kick. Those who were not sullen, were obviously tired, spiritless, and repressed. Their huts were set close to one another in rows, whereas the mission buildings range over the hills. The crowding at the mill, upon such vast open spaces, gave the little village all the faults of a tenement district. Racial clannishness seems to require even closer touch where space is wide. The very expanse of the world seems to intensify the fear of loneliness, so men huddle closer to sense somewhat of the gregarious delights of over-populated India. But there is also the squeezing of plantation-owners here at fault, and the total disregard of the needs of individual employees.

The mill is worked day and night, in season, but it is at night that one's reactions to it are most impressive. The street lamps, assisted by a dim glow from within[Pg 64] the shacks, the monotonous invocation of prayer by Indians squatting before the wide-open doors, the tiny kava "saloons," and the great, giant, grinding, grating sugar-mills crushing the juice out of the cane and precipitating it (after a chain of processes) in white dust for sweetening the world, are something never to be forgotten. The deep, pulsating breath of the mill sounded like the snore of a sleeping monster. Yet that monstrous mill never sleeps.


The unexpected happened—the cab moved




The sound did not cease, but rather, became more pronounced after I returned that night. Deeply imprinted on my memory was the figure of a sullen-looking Indian at his post—small, wiry, persistent—with the whirring of machinery all about him, the steaming vats, the broken sticks of cane being crunched in the maw of the machine. The toilers sometimes dozed at their tasks. I was told that once an Indian fell into one of the vats in a moment of dizzy slumber. The cynical informer insisted that the management would not even stop the process of turning cane into sugar, and that into the tea-cups of the world was mixed the substance of that man. My reflection was along different lines,—that into the sweets of the world we were constantly mixing the souls of men.


But unfortunately those who look after the souls of these men at the mission are apt to forget that they have bodies, too, and that body is the materialization of desire. There is something wonderful, indeed, in the sight of men known to have been of the most ferocious of human creatures going about their daily affairs in an attitude of great reverence to the things of life. And reverence added to the extreme shyness of the Fijian is writ large in the manner of every native across the way from the mill. Sometimes I felt that there was altogether too much restraint, too much checking of wholesome and [Pg 65] healthy impulses among them for it to be true reverence. That was especially marked on Sunday morning, when from all the corners of the mission fields gathered the sturdy black men in the center of the grounds where stood the little church.


My Fijian guides



On board the launch going up the Rewa River, with shy Fijians all about

They were a sight to behold, altogether too seriously concerned to be amusing, and to the unbiased the acme of gentleness. There they were—muscular, huge, erect, and black, their bushy crops of coarse hair adding six inches to their heads; dressed in sulus neatly tucked away, and stiff-bosomed white shirts over their bodies. Starched white shirts in the tropics! And the Bible in Fijian in their hands. In absolute silence they made their way into the church, the shuffle of their unshod feet adding intensity to that silence. When they raised their voices in the hymns it seemed to me that nothing more sincere had ever been sung in life. But then something occurred which made me wonder.

From the Solomon Islands had come on furlough the Rev. Mr. Ryecroft and his delicate wife. He was a man of very gentle bearing and great fervor. He and his plucky wife had suffered much for their convictions. All men who really believe anything suffer. The missionary is as much anathema in his field as the anarchist is in America, and is generally as violent an agent for the disruption of custom. Mr. Ryecroft rose to speak before the congregation. He spoke in English and was interpreted by the missionary in charge. He told of his trials in the Solomon Islands, and appealed for Fijian missionaries to go back with him and save the blood-thirsty Solomons. I watched the faces of these converted Fijians. Some of them were intent upon the speaker, repugnance at the cruelties rehearsed coming over them as at something of which they were more afraid as a possible revival in themselves than as an objective danger. Some, however, fell fast asleep, their languid heads drooping to one side. I am no mind-reader, nor is my[Pg 66] observation to be taken for more than mere guess-work, but I felt that there were two conflicting thoughts in the minds of the listeners, for while Mr. Ryecroft was urging them to come arrest brutality in the Solomons there were other recruiters at work in Fiji for service in Europe. While one told that the savage Solomon Islanders swooped down upon the missionary compound and left sixteen dead behind them, in Europe they were leaving a thousand times as many every day, worse than dead. To whom were they to listen!

That afternoon Mr. Waterhouse, one of the missionaries, asked me to give the young men a little talk on my travels, he to interpret for me. I asked him what he would like to have me tell them and he urged me to advise them not to give up their lands. I complied, pointing out to them how quickly they would go under as a race if they did so. The response was more than compensating.

The outlook is all the more reassuring when you sit of an evening as I did in the large, carefully woven native house, elliptical in shape, with thatched roof and soft-matted floors, which serves as a sort of night school for little tots. The children, who were then rehearsing some dances for the coming festival, sat on tiers of benches so built that one child's feet were on a level with the shoulders of the one in front. Like a palisade of stars their bright eyes glistened with the reflections of the light from the kerosene lamps hanging on wires from the rafters. Lolohea Ratu, a girl of twenty, educated in Sydney, Australia, spoke to them in a plaintive, modulated voice, soft and low. All Fijian voices are sad, but hers was slightly sadder than most of them, tinged, it seemed, with knowledge of the world. She had studied the Montessori method and was trying to train her little brothers and sisters thereby. But she was not forgetful of what is lovely in her own race, primitive as it is, and was preparing these children in something of[Pg 67] a compromise between native and foreign dances. Round and round the room they marched, the overhanging lamps playing pranks with their shadows. Others sat upon the mats, legs crossed, beating time and clapping hands in the native fashion. Their glistening bodies and sparkling, mischievous eyes, their response to the enchanting rhythm and melody borrowed from a world as strange to them as theirs is to us, showed their delight. I wondered what strange images—ghostly pale folk—they were seeing through our songs. Perhaps the music was merely another kind of "savage" song to them, even a wee bit wilder than their own. On the following day they were to sing and dance to the amazement of their skeptical elders.

Thus does Fijian "civilization" steer its uncertain course between the two contending influences from the West—the planters and the missionaries—just as the river Rewa runs between them over the jungle plains, struggling to supplant wild entangling growths with earth culture.


And that "civilization" leans at one time toward the mill and at another toward the mission. Frankly, Fiji grows more interesting as one gets away from these two guy-wires and floats on the sluggish river. My opportunity of seeing that Fiji which is least confused by either influence came unexpectedly. The missionaries generously invited me to go with them up the river in their launch early Monday morning. Everywhere along the banks of the broad, deep stream stood groups of huts and villages amid the sugar-cane fields. I gazed up the wide way of the river toward the hazy blue mountains which stood fifty miles away. They seemed to be a thousand miles and farther still from reality. The Himalayas which lured the Lama priest and Kim could not have been more enticing. Because of the cloying at[Pg 68]mosphere of the day, this distant coolness was like an oasis in the desert, and I longed for some phantom ship to bear me away on the breeze.


At Suva


For he is not quite certain that the missionaries are right about that club not being a god

For twenty miles we glided on through cane plantations, banana- and cocoanut-trees, and miniature palisades here and there rising to the dignity of hills. We landed, toward noon, at a village which stood on a little plateau,—quiet, self-satisfied, though in no way elaborate. The best of the huts stood against the hill across the "street" formed by two rows of thatch-roofed and leaf-walled huts. It belonged to the native Christian teacher. He turned it over to us, himself and his wife and baby disappearing while we lunched. Much of our repast remaining, the missionary offered it to the teacher, but I noticed that he looked displeased and turned the platter over to the flock of children which had gathered outside,—a brood of little fellows, their bellies bulging out before them, not even the shadow of a garment covering their nakedness.

I returned to the hut a little later for my camera, not knowing that any one was there. Inside, in one corner, lay the teacher's wife, stretched face downward, nursing her baby, which lay on its back upon the soft mats. She smiled, slightly embarrassed, and I withdrew. Here, then, was the place where civilization and savagery met.

There were few Fijians in the village, mostly children and several old women. A Solomon Islander, who had got there during the days when blackbirding or kidnapping was common, moved among them. He had quite forgotten his own language and could not understand Mr. Ryecroft when the missionary spoke to him. An elderly man beckoned to me from his hut and there offered to sell me a heavy, ebony carved club that could kill an ox, swearing by all the taboos that it was a sacred club and had killed many a man in his father's time.

A narrow path climbing the hill close behind the village led us to a view over the long sweep of the river [Pg 69] and its valley. The utmost of peace and tranquillity hung, without a tremor, below us. Twenty huts fringed the plateau, forming a vague ellipse, interwoven with lovely salvias, coleuses, and begonias. The village seemed to have been caught in the crook of the river, while a field of sugar-cane filled the plain across the stream, the shaggy mountains quartering it from the rear. Distant, reaching toward the sun, ranged the mountains from which the river is daily born anew.


The corrugated iron-roofed shack is the one we ate our lunch in



The only things some of these had on were sores on the tops of their heads

As our launch chugged steadily, easily down-stream, and the evening shadows overstepped the sun, Fiji emerged fresh and sweet as I had not seen it before. The missionaries, till then sober and reserved, relaxed, the men's heads in the laps of their wives. Sentimental songs of long ago, like a stream of soft desire through the years, supplanted precept in their minds, and I realized for the first time why some men chose to be missionaries. It was to them no hardship. The trials and sufferings were romance to their natures, and the giving up of everything for Christ was after all only living out that world-old truism that in order to have life one must be ready to surrender it.


Next day Mr. Waterhouse and I wandered about the village of the sugar factory. At the bidding of several minor chiefs who had described a circle on the mats, we entered one of the dark huts by way of a low door. In a corner a woman tended the open fire, and near an opening a girl sat munching. The room was thick with smoke, the thin reeds supporting the roof glistening with soot. Everything was in order and according to form. They were making kava (or ava or yangana), the native drink. This used to be the work of the chieftain's daughter, who ground the ava root with her teeth and then mixed it with water. The law doesn't permit this now; so it is[Pg 70] crushed in a mortar (tonoa). Specialization has reached out its tentacles even to this place, so that now the captain of this industry is an Indian.

The ava mixed, it was passed round in a well-scraped cocoanut-shell cut in half. As guests we were offered the first drink. Extremely bitter, it is nevertheless refreshing. After I made a pretense of drinking, the bowl was passed to the most respected chief. With gracious self-restraint he declined it. "This is too full. You have given me altogether too much." A little bit of it was poured back, and he drank it with one gulp. He would really have liked twice as much, not half, but there is more modesty and decorum among savages than we imagine. In fact, our conventions are often only atrophied taboos.

But the women, not so handsome nor so elegantly coifed as the men, were excluded from a share in the toast. They were not even part of the entertainment. The sexes seldom meet in any form of social intercourse. The boys never flirt with the girls, nor do they ever seem to notice them. In public there is a never-diminishing distance between them. A world without love-making, primitive life is outwardly not so romantic as is ours. The "romance" is generally that of the foreigner with the native women, not among the natives themselves.

The daughter of the biggest living Fijian chief wandered about like an outcast. She wore a red Mother-Hubbard gown, and nothing else. Her hair hung down to her shoulders. Having gone through the process of discoloration by the application of lime, according to the custom among the natives in the tropics, it was reddish and stiff, but, being long, had none of the leonine quality of the men's hair. Andi Cacarini (Fijian for Katherine), daughter of a modern chief, spoke fairly good English. She wasn't exactly ashamed, but just shy. The better class of Fijians, they who have come in contact with white[Pg 71] people, all manifest a timid reticence. Andi Cacarini was shy, but hardly what one could call bashful or fastidious. She posed for me as though an artist's model, not at all ungraceful in her carriage or her walk.

The male Fijian is extremely timid, but none the less fastidious. The care with which he trains and curls his hair would serve as an object-lesson to the impatient husband of the vainest of white women. This doesn't mean that the Fijian man is effeminate in his ways, but he is particular about his hair. The process of discoloring it is exact. A mixture of burnt coral with water makes a fine substitute for soap. When washed out and dried, the hair is curled and combed and anointed. From the point of view of sanitation, the treatment is excellent, and from that of art—just watch the proud male pass down the road!

No matter where one goes in Fiji—or any of the South Sea Islands—the dance goes with one. Here at Davuilevu one afternoon in the hot, scorching sun, the natives gathered on the turf for merrymaking. It was no special holiday, no unusual event. To our way of thinking it is a tame sort of dance they do. We hear much of the freedom between the sexes in the tropics, and one gains the impression that there are absolutely no taboos. But just as there is nothing in all Japan—however delightful—to compensate the child, or even grown-ups, for the lack of the kiss, so none of the Fijian dances fill that same emotional requirement which with us is secured through the embrace of men and women in the dance. From the Fijian point of view, the whirling of couples about together must be extremely immodest, if not immoral.

Sitting in a double row, one in front of the other, were oiled and garlanded Fijians. Behind them and in a circle sat a number of singers and lali-players. As they began beating time, the oiled natives began to move from side to side rhythmically. Their arms and bodies jerked[Pg 72] in a most fascinating and interpretative manner. No voices in the wide world are lovelier than the voices of Fijians in chorus; no other music issues so purely as the Fijian music from the depths of racial experience. Sometimes the dancers swung half-way round from side to side, with arms akimbo, or extended their arms in all directions, clapping their hands while chanting in soothing, melodious deep tones.

Judging from what I heard of the music of the Tongans, the Samoans, and the Fijians, I give the prize to the Fijians for richness of tone. More primitive than the plaintive Tongans, the Fijian music is a weird combination of the intellectual, the martial, and the industrial,—more fascinating than the passionate, voluptuous tunes and dances of the Samoans and the Hawaiians. The Polynesians, probably because of their close kinship with the Europeans, are much more sentimental in their music. The Fijian is more vigorous and to me more truly artistic.

No study, it seems to me, would throw more light on the history and unity of the human race than that of the dance and music. Why two races so far apart as the Japanese and the Maories of New Zealand should be so strikingly alike in their cruder dances, is hard to say. And the Fijians seem in some way the link between these two. The Fijian doubtless inherits some of his musical qualities from his negroid mixture, but he has certainly improved upon it if that is so. He has no regrets, no sentimental longings, and in consequence his songs are free from racial affectation.

The Fijians always sing. The instant the day's work is done and groups form they begin to sing. Half a dozen of them sit down and cross their legs before them, each places a stick so that one end rests lightly on one toe, the other on the ground; and while they tap upon these sticks, others sing and clap hands, swaying in an enchantment of loveliness. One carries the melody in a[Pg 73] strained tenor, the others support him with a bass drawl. Once in a while an instrument is secured, as a flute, and the ensemble is complete. Even the tapping on the stick becomes instrumental in its quality.

As the day draws to a close, from the cane-fields smoke rises in all directions. The plantation workers have gathered piles of cane refuse for destruction. Like miniature volcanoes, these, with the coming of darkness, shine in the lightless night. It makes one slightly sad, this clearing away of the remnants of daily toil, this purification by fire. Then the sound of that other lali (the hollow tree-trunk), once the war-alarum or call to a cannibal feast, now at Davuilevu the invitation to prayer, the dampness, and the sense of crowding things in growth,—this is what will ever remain vivid to me.


Poor untroubled Fijians! This simple love of harmony, a majestic sense of force and brutality,—yet, withal, so naïve, withal so easily satisfied, so easily led. Once a foreigner met a native who seemed in great haste and trembling. The native inquired the time, in dread lest he miss the launch for Suva. In his hand he carried a warrant for his own arrest, with instructions to present himself at jail. When the foreigner told him that it was up to the jailer to worry about it, he seemed greatly shocked. One of the missionaries had been asked to keep his eye on a friend's house. In the absence of the owner, the missionary found a Fijian in the act of burglarizing. When questioned it was found that the native wanted to get into jail, where he was sure of three meals and shade, without worry. This is almost worthy of civilized man, by whom it is perhaps more commonly practised.

But the kind of jail in which men were at that time incarcerated was not enough to frighten the most liberty[Pg 74]-loving individual. Because of the humidity and dampness, the structure was left open on one side, only three substantial walls and a roof being practical. Before the white man got full control and the native had some iron injected into his nature, it was not an arduous life the prisoners led. The missionary told me that once the head jailer was found sitting out of sight, with the officer in charge of the prisoners, tilting his chair against the wall of the jail. The prisoners had been ordered to labor. The officer in charge was to execute the command. Between puffs of tobacco, he would shout: "Up shot!" and rest a while; then "Down shot!"—more rest. Not a prisoner moved a muscle, the weights never rose from the ground. The men were deep within the shadows. The period of punishment over, they were ordered into their heaven of still more rest and more shade.

From our way of thinking, these are flagrant deceptions. But to the Fijian (and to most South Sea races) the inducements for greater exertion are simply non-existent. His revelries have been tabooed, his wars have been stopped, his native arts are in constant competition with cheap importations from our commercialized, industrialized world. What is there, then, for him to do? Little wonder that his native indifference to life is growing upon him. His conception of life after death never held many horrors. Even in the fierce old days it was easy for a Fijian to announce most casually that he would die at eight o'clock the following day. He would be oiled and made ready, and at the stated time he died. Most likely a state of catalepsy, but he was buried and none thought a second time about it. One boy was recently roused from such a condition and still lives.

The only means of counteracting this apathy are education and the awakening of ambition through manual training and the teaching of trades. This, the head of the mission told me, was his main object. Missionary efforts, according to one man, were directed more to this[Pg 75] purpose than to the inculcation of any special religious precepts. And there is no question that that will work. The will to live may yet spring afresh in the Fijian.

From the nucleus formed by the mission is growing a more elaborate educational system. Recently the several existing schools have been amalgamated under a new ordinance. A proposal in reference to a more efficient system of vernacular or sub-primary schools was embodied in a bill put before the legislative council. A more satisfactory method of training teachers was deliberated upon. The Fijians are, it is seen, outgrowing the kindergarten stage, but the grown-ups are largely children still.


A fortnight after I landed in Suva I was steaming for Levuka, the former capital of the islands, situated on a much smaller land-drop not many hours' journey away. These are the only two important ports in the group, and inter-island vessels seldom go to one without visiting the other. Levuka is a much prettier place than Suva. Its little clusters of homes and buildings seem to have dug their heels into the hillside to keep from sliding into the sea.

Along the shore to the left stood a group of Fijian huts,—a suburb of Levuka, no doubt. Only a few old women were at home, and one old man. Nothing in the wide world is more restful to one's spirit than to arrive at a village which is deserted of toilers. Nothing is more symbolic of the true nature of home, the village being more than an isolated home, but a composite of the home spirit which is not tainted by any evidence of barter and trade.

On the other side of Levuka, however, was an altogether different kind of village, that of the shipwrights. Upon dry-docks stood the skeletons of ships, fashioned with hands of love and ambition. In such vessels these[Pg 76] ancient rovers of the sea wandered from island to island, learning, teaching, mixing, and disturbing the sweetness of nature, with which no race on earth was more blessed.


But who said that the wearing of hats causes baldness (?)



In her filet gown of Parisian simplicity

The Atua, on which I had sailed from Suva, was a fairly large inter-island steamer that made the rounds of all the important groups. She was bound for Samoa, whither I had determined to go. There is no better opportunity of getting a glimpse of the contrast between the natives of the various South Sea islands than on board one of these inter-island vessels. They are generally manned by the natives of one of the groups,—in this case, the Fijians. These men handle the cargo at all ports, and remain on board until the vessel returns to Fiji en route to the Antipodes. They feed and sleep on the open deck and make themselves as happy and as noisy as they can. A gasoline tin of tea, baked potatoes, hard biscuit, and a chunk of fat meat, which is all placed before them on the dirty deck (they are given no napkins),—that is Fijian joy.

After their work, which in port sometimes keeps them up till the morning hours, these strange creatures, untroubled by thought, stretch themselves on the wooden hatchway and sleep. There I found them at half-past five in the morning, all covered with the one large sheet of canvas and never a nose poking out. Air! Perhaps they got some through a little hole in the great sheet. Some stood and slept like tired, overworked horses.

One queer Fijian with turbaned head grinned in imitation of none other than himself, a vague, undefined curiosity rolling about in his skull. He followed me everywhere, his white eyes staring and his mouth wide open. Here was a future Fijian statesman in the process of formation. His nebular, chaotic mentality was taking note of a creature as far removed from his understanding as a star from his reach.

One white soldier, an elderly man, wished to protect himself from the wind, and asked a Fijian to haul over [Pg 77] a piece of canvas. The black man did so, but when the boatswain saw it, he was enraged. The Fijian took all the scolding, said never a word, and quickly replaced the sheet. As the boatswain moved away, the soldier handed the native a cigarette, saying: "Have one of these, old sport. One must expect reverses in war." The native grinned and felt the row was worth while.





Puzzle: find the bride. No, not the one with the hoop-skirt; that's the groom

There were Tongans, Indians, Samoans, and whites on board, and though these are nearer kin to us, I liked the Fijians most. Yet the Tongans are an attractive lot, refined in feature, in manner, and in person. Perhaps that is why they have the distinction of being the only South Sea people with their own kingdom, a cabinet, and a parliament.

The noise the Fijians make while in port is excruciating. It is something unclassifiable. They roll their r's, shout as though mad with anger, and then burst out in childish laughter at nothing. These boyish barbarians enjoy themselves much more in yelling than they would in chorus with a Caruso. How torrential is the stream of invective which issues against some fellow-laborer! With what a terrific crash it falls upon its victim! But how utter the disappointment when, after one has expectantly waited for a scrap, a gurgle of hilarity breaks from the throats which the moment before seemed such sirens of hate and malice!

And so they toil, happy to appear important, busy, honestly busy, loading the thousands of crates of green bananas, the cargo which passes to and fro. Happier than the happiest, sharing the scraps of a meal without the growl so common among our sailors, each always seems to get just what he wants and helps in the distribution of the portions to the others. The missus never bothers him, no matter how long he is away, and instantly labor ceases the group is "spiritualized" into a singing society and the racial opera is in full swing.

I had anticipated relief at their absence when the[Pg 78] steamer set off for the colder regions south. Yet something pleasant was gone out of life the moment the ship steamed out. The sailors moved about like pale ghosts who had mechanically wandered back to a joyless life. The white man's virtues are his burdens. His tasks are done so that he may purchase pleasure. The ship was orderly, everything took its place, even the cursing and yelling came within control. We were heading again for civilization.

I felt somewhat like the old folks after their wish had rid the town of all mischievous little boys, and my heart strained back for an inward glimpse of the life behind. The smell of mold and copra returned; the damp beds; the cool, clear night air; the moonlight upon the shallow reefs; dappled gray breakers, playing upon the shore as upon a child's ocean; in the dark, along Victoria Parade, the shuffle of bare feet in the dust, the dim figures of tall, bushy-haired men and slim, wiry Hindus; the thud of heeled boots on the dry earth. And far off there, the sound of the lali, the singing of deep voices, the vision of an earthly paradise,—shattered by the sighting of land ahead.

[Pg 79]



On the Niagara was a troupe of Samoan men and women who had been to San Francisco demonstrating their arts at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition. This, our meeting on the wide, syrup-like tropical sea seemed to me almost a welcome, a coming out to greet me and to lead me to the portals of their home. They were en route to Suva, Fiji, where they were to await an inter-island vessel to take them to Samoa. They were traveling third class, and the way I discovered them is not to their discredit. We were becoming more or less bored with life on deck, the games of ship tennis and quoits being too obviously make-believe to be entertaining. At times I would get as far away from the gregarious passengers as possible, and again a number of us would gather upon the hatchway and read or chatter. It was a thick latticed covering, and the warm air from below none too agreeable. But with it rose strains of strange melodies, as from Neptune's regions of the deep. Peering down, we espied a number of Samoan men and women, lounging upon the floor of the hold. We took our reputations in our hands and made the descent.

There were big, burly men and broad, sprawling women, half-naked and asleep. One could see at a glance that they had been spoiled by the attention they had received while on exhibition at the fair, but the freedom of life among third-class passengers somewhat softened the acquired stiffness, and they relaxed again into native ways. Hour by hour, as the vessel moved southward,[Pg 80] they seemed to come back to life, to thaw out as it were, while we were wilting by degrees.

The scene was one which could have been found only in tropical waters under the burning sun. Smoke, bare feet, nakedness, people fat with the sprawly fatness which is the style of the South Seas, unwashed sailors,—a medley of people and cargo and steamer stench. But also of the sweetly monotonous song of the Samoan girl, the swishing of the water against the nose of the ship in the twilight without, and the steady push of the vessel toward the equator.

I whiled away many a pleasant hour, learning a few of the native words in song and gossip. It is hard to distinguish one native from the other at first, but Fulaanu stood out above the rest like a creature over-imbued with good-nature. She was flat, flabby, with a drawl in speech that had the effect not only in her voice but her entire bearing of a leaning Tower of Pisa. Her body bent backward, her head was tilted up, and her long, prominent nose also slanted almost with pride. She was an enormous girl, plain, soft, with absolutely no fighting-spirit in her, but she stood her ground against all masculine advances with a charm that was in itself teasingly alluring. She was always flanked on each side by a sailor. They pretended to teach her the ukulele, they proffered English lessons, they found one excuse after another for being near her, and she never shooed them away; but I'd swear by all the gods that not one of them ever more than held her hand or leaned lovingly against her.

Yet Fulaanu was as sentimental a maiden as I have ever laid eyes on. She was constantly drawling some sentimental song she had learned in California, the ukulele was seldom out of her hands, she never joined in any of the card games going on constantly roundabout her, and she was always ready to swap songs with any one willing to teach her.

"I teach you my language," she said to me, and slowly,[Pg 81] with twinkling eyes, she pronounced certain words which I repeated. We had often taught French to our boys at our little school in California in that way,—the Marseillaise, for instance,—and the method was not strange to me. She used the song method, too, an old English song that was just then the rage in Samoa. The English words run somewhat like this:

And you will take my hand
As you did when you took my name;
But it's only a beautiful picture,
In a beautiful golden frame.

I'm sure I have them all muddled, but let me hum this tune to myself and immediately Fulaanu, the hold, Fiji, Samoa, and all the scents and sounds of savagedom come instantly to my mind. For everywhere I went they were singing this song, through their noses but with all the sentimental ardor of the young flapper; as at a summer resort in America when a new song hit has been made, the sound of it is heard from delivery boy to housemaid and as many different renderings of it as individual temperament demands.

There was Setu, too,—tall, straight, with that easy grace known only among people free of clothes. Setu spoke English very well, and was as companionable a chap as one could pick up in many a mile. But Setu's heart was not his own; he stood guardian over a treasure he had found in San Francisco. Not an American girl, no, sir! These savage boys did not play the devil in our land as our savages do in theirs. But Setu was the personification of chivalry, and, what was more, he was in love. To look at him and then at her was to despair of human instinct of natural selection. How an Apollo of his excellence should have been unable to find a more handsome objet d'amour, I cannot imagine. She was short, well rounded, with a head as square as Fulaanu's was oblong, and a nose as snubby as Fulaanu's was romanesque. She was evidently committed, body and soul,[Pg 82] to Setu for she was as devoid of charm for the others as Fulaanu was full of it. And so all day long, Setu and his sweetheart hugged each other in a corner, as oblivious of the presence of a ship-load of people as though they had been ensconced in a hut of their own. They were evidently taking advantage of proximity to civilization, for such immodest behavior is not frequent in the tropics. Civilization had taught the savages some things at least. Whenever Setu was free from love-making, he would spare a moment to me, and on those rare occasions he stirred my spirit with promises of guidance in his native island that threatened to exhaust my funds.

The romantic associations we have with the South Seas were in this group reversed, for to these primitive people the greatest romance imaginable came with their journey to America. There young people from different islands met and fell in love with one another; there, under the benign influence of American spooning, one couple was married, and there their first baby was born,—an American subject, brought back to Pago Pago (American Samoa) to resume his citizenship. There they learned true modesty, which comprised stockings and heavy boys' shoes; the art of playing solitaire, in which one fat, matronly-looking woman indulged all day as though she had been brought along as chaperon and felt herself considerably out of it; and even en route for home they were learning the art of striking by calculation and without passion or frenzy.

I was sitting on the hatch with Fulaanu, who was strumming away on her ukulele, when a ring was formed in the middle of the hold and a young white man began boxing with a Samoan. The white boxer was obviously an amateur, bearing himself with all the unpleasant mannerisms of his profession,—a haughty, pugnacious, overbearing self-conceit. He had every advantage in training over his antagonist, whom he peppered vigorously. He kept it up when it was evident that the young Samoan[Pg 83] was going under. One last blow and the fellow doubled over, bleeding from nose and mouth. It took ten minutes to bring him round. In the meanwhile, the victor of the unfair bout strutted around as though he had accomplished something remarkable.

It was interesting to see the effect this had on the "primitive" Samoans. There was consternation among them; a hush came over the hold. The vibration of the steamer and the splashing of the water against its iron side alone broke the stillness. The Samoan girls, though they did not grow hysterical, were most decidedly displeased, turning in disgust from the sight of blood. Yet according to our notions they are primitive, and the fact is that a few generations ago they were savages.

But they were not long in distress. The spell of the equatorial sun was upon them, and they soon relaxed. There upon mats, as in their own huts, lay rows of fat, large, voluptuous men and women; nor was there even a rope to separate the sexes as in an up-to-date Japanese bath. They seemed to sleep all day, in shifts governed by impulse only. A woman would rise and move about a while, then go back to lounge again. Enormous, broad-shouldered and black mustached men would snore gently, rise and inspect life, and decide that slumber was better for one's soul. But Fulaanu lounged with her ukulele, surrounded by amorous sailors who gazed longingly into her eyes.

One night we arranged for a meeting of the "classes." We promised the Samoans a good collection if they would come and dance for us on deck. We invited the first-class folk to come, too. They stood as far to one side of us as was consonant with first-class dignity represented by an extra few pounds sterling in the price of the ticket. But for a moment we forgot that there were class and race in the world.

It was not one of those interminable revelries one reads about, that begin with twilight and end with twi[Pg 84]light. On the contrary, it was a little squall of entertainment, one that breaks out of a clear sky and leaves the sky just as clear in a trice. There was no occasion for self-expression here. They had been asked to dance for our entertainment, not for theirs. There we stood, ready to applaud; there they were, ready to be applauded, to receive the collection promised. It was another little thing they had picked up in our world, from our civilization,—the commercialization of art. Our artists, scribes, and entertainers have been considerably raised above prostitution of their talents by a certain commercialization, by the translation of their worth in dollars and cents; and we need a little more of it to free art from bondage to patronage. But in the tropics, where the dance and jollity are no private matters, there is something sterile in commercialization. No doubt to the natives there is little difference between a woman giving herself for gain and a man dancing for the money there is in it without the whole group becoming part of the performance: the dancer feels that his purchaser, his public, is cold and unresponsive. And so it seemed to me at this dance. They finished, they expected their money, they got it and departed, and there seemed something immoral to me in the exploitation of their emotions.

What a different lot they were one night when I visited the little house they rented in Suva while waiting for the Atua to arrive from New Zealand and take them on to Samoa. There it was song and dance out of sheer ecstasy: life was so full. They were again in their home atmosphere, and their voices only helped swell the volume of song which issued forth everywhere about,—an electrification of humanity all along the line, in village after village.

They hung about the pier before sailing for Samoa till after midnight, singing sentimental songs and hobnobbing with the Fijians. The Fijian constable joined them with a flute, and the lot of them tried to drown out[Pg 85] the voices of the natives loading and unloading cargo. Not until notice was given that the ship was about to get under steam did they think of going aboard. They looked as though ready for rest, but by no means dissipated, by no means weary. The spell of song was still upon them.

When we woke next morning, we were tied up to a pier at the foot of the hills of Levuka. But I have already dwelt upon the features of this former capital, and am only concerned with it here as it was reflected in the eyes of the Samoans. Levuka to me was one thing; to them it was quite another. The moldy little stores afforded them more interest than the village to the left, or the shipyards to the right which were to my Western notions commendable.

I followed in the wake of these gliding natives as we left the steamer. They looked neither to the right nor to the left, but wended their ways, like cattle in the pasture, straight toward the shops. Into one and out the other they went, bargaining, pricing, buying little trinkets and simple cloths, chatting with the Fijians as though friends of old.

Setu's sweetheart and the pretty mother of the young American citizen, who was left in the care of the fat "chaperon," set off by themselves through the one and only street of Levuka. It was obvious that they were quite aware of whither they were going,—so direct was their journey. My curiosity was roused and I wandered along with them. They said never a word to me, nor objected to my presence. We turned to the left, off into a side street that began to insinuate its way along the bed of a stream lined with wooden huts and shacks. Some of these were fairly well constructed, with verandas, like the houses of a miniature American town, garlanded in flowers. Just above the village, where the stream began to emerge from behind a rocky little gorge, the two women turned in at a gate to a private cottage.[Pg 86] A bridge led across the stream to the little house, the veranda of which extended slightly over the stream. Beneath, in a corner formed by a projecting boulder, lay a quiet little pool of water—clear, cool, fresh and deep.

Without asking permission from the owners, the women began slowly, cautiously to wade into the pool. Seeing that I had no thought of going, they put modesty aside, slipped the loose garments down to their waists and immersed themselves up to their necks. One of them was tattooed from below her breasts to her hips; the other's breasts alone bore these designs. They dipped and rose, splashed and spluttered, but there was none of that intimacy with their own flesh which is the essence of cleanliness and passion in our world. There was no soap, no scrubbing. It was something objective, almost, a contact with nature like looking at a landscape or listening to a storm.

Presently some of the inmates of the cottage, evidently well-to-do Fijians, came out to greet them. I could not tell whether they were friends or not, but the women were invited in,—and I turned into town through back roads and alleys that were just like the back roads and alleys anywhere in the world.

That afternoon we steamed out again for Apia, Samoa. The sea was disturbed somewhat and gave us various sensations; but the vile odors that threatened my nautical pride never changed.

Most of the Samoans were under the weather. They did not look cheerful, and all song was gone out of them. Setu and his sweetheart were here even more inseparable than on the Niagara. She was not very well and stretched out on the bench on the edge of which he took his seat. In her squeamish condition she could hardly be expected to pay much attention to proprieties she had acquired in less than a year's residence in America. Her sprawly bare feet on several occasions made too bold an exit from beneath the loose Mother-Hubbard[Pg 87] gown she wore, and each time Setu would draw the skirt farther over them, affectionately pressing them with his hand. This one instance, exceptional as it was, made me notice more consciously the absence of that public intimacy which is the bane of the prude with us. Not all the charm of the tropics which is so real to me can take the place of the cleanliness of the West, the tenderness of clean men and women in public, to be observed even on our crowded subways, the loveliness of white skin tinged with pink and scented with the essence of flowers.

I did not see them again before we arrived at Samoa the next day; the sea was too choppy. But in the afternoon Setu came out with a pillow held aloft over his head, and declared he would take a nap. There was childish glee in his face at the prospect, and he stretched out on the hard deck in perfect ease. And long after I ceased to figure in his fancies, the beaming, sparkling eyes and merry grin seemed to light up the soul within him.

Toward sundown we passed the first island of the group,—Savaii, the largest. It lay at our left, Mua Peak emitting a sluggish smoke from reaches beyond the depth of the waters which had nearly submerged it, and as the sea made furious charges into blow-holes or half-submerged caverns, the earth spit back the invading waters with an easy contempt.

At our right lay the island of Manono, much smaller, and nearer our course. Shy Samoan villages hid in little ravines, almost afraid to show their faces.

Shortly after eight o'clock we neared the island of Upolu. The troupe of Samoans came out on deck with the eagerness in their eyes that marks such arrivals at every port of the world. The lights of the village of Apia pricked the delicate evening haze. One strong, steady lamp, like a planet, shone from above the others. Setu called to me eagerly, his right hand pointing toward it.[Pg 88]

"That is from Vailima, Stevenson's home," he said, with some pride.

When at last we anchored just outside the reefs before Apia, these natives, who had grown close to one another during the year of their pilgrimage, began bidding one another farewell before slipping back to the little separate grooves they called home. The women kissed one another, cheek touching cheek at an angle, a practice common both at meeting (talofa) and at parting (tofa). But with the men they only shook hands. Then, clambering over into canoes, they were borne across the reefs to their homes. And as long as Polynesia is Polynesia there will echo the stories of this journey to the land of the white man and all children will know that what the white man said about his lands is true.


The reader who has never entered a strange port nor come home from foreign lands will not be able to imagine the psychological effect of my entry of Samoa. Not only did the thousands of eyes of the natives seem to turn their gaze upon me, but it seemed, and I was quite sure, that at least two thousand pale faces with as many bayonets were fixed upon me. Samoa was under occupation. I asked the captain of the forces what I could do to avoid trouble.

"See that you don't get shot," he said. I assured him there was nothing nearer my heart's desire, and, seeing that I looked harmless, he ventured to reassure me: "Oh, just keep away from the wireless. That's all." I had come to see the natives, not electric gymnastics, so I found it very easy to keep away from the wireless.

What there was of Apia was essentially European and lay along the waterfront. Here stood the three-story hotel, built and until then managed by Germans. Diagonally across from it and nearer the water's edge, was a[Pg 89] two-story ramshackle building even then run by Germans. The little barber to whom I had been directed spoke with a most decided German accent. He cut and shampooed my hair, but let me walk out with as much of a souse on top of my head as I ever had in a shower-bath. Wherever I went were Germans,—and yet they said the islands were under occupation. Turn to the right and there, back off the street within a small compound that seemed to lie flat and low, was a German school still being conducted by black-bearded German priests. But to the left, within the dark-red fence, stood the dark-red buildings of the German Plantation Company, closed, and the little building that once was the German Club had become the British Club; while at the other end of the street were the office buildings of the military staff, where once ruled the German militarists. In between, in a little building a block or two behind the waterfront, was the printing-office,—where, strange to say, the daily paper was still being printed in both German and English. With the few structures that filled in the gaps between these outposts we had small concern. They were the nests of traders, the haven of so-called beach-combers and the barracks and missionary compounds. And alien Samoa is at an end.

Mindful of the mild instructions not to get myself shot, I took as little interest in the details of occupation as was compatible with my sense of freedom; but this course was precarious, for at the time any one who was not with us was against us. However, details of such differences must be reserved for a later chapter. Here we are interested in Samoa itself. But in my very interest in the place I struck a snag, for every other day Germans were being deported or coraled for attempting to stir up a native uprising. Still, inasmuch as I could not acquire the language in so short a time, I felt secure, and took to the paths that led to the Stone Age as a Dante without a love-affair to guide him.[Pg 90]

The island is hemmed in by coral reefs on the edge of which the waves break, spreading in foam and gliding quietly toward shore. As they sport in the brilliant sunlight, it seems as though the sea were calling back the life lost to it through evolution. The tall, gaunt palms which lean toward the sea, bow in a humble helplessness. There, a quarter of a mile out, upon the unseen reefs, lies the iron skeleton of the Adler, the German man-of-war which was wrecked on the memorable day in 1889. Such seems to be the fate of the Germans: even their skeletons outlive disaster. But the sea has been the protector of the natives. It would be interesting to speculate as to what course events about the South Seas would have taken had not that hurricane intervened. The natives are indifferent to such speculations; for, as far as they were concerned, one turn was as good as another. Borne over the swelling waves from island drift to island drift, the ups and downs of eternity seem to leave no great changes in their lives.

Roaming along the waterfront to the left of Apia with the sun near high noon, all by myself, I met with nothing to disturb the utter sweetness and glory of life about. I wavered between moods of exquisite exhilaration and deep depression. Bound by the encircling consciousness of the occupation, the sense of wrong done these natives who had neither asked for our civilization nor invited us to squabble over their "bones," I felt that but for the presence of the white man this would have been the loveliest land in the world. For here one becomes aware of nature as something altogether different from nature anywhere else. That distant pleading of the sea; the gentle yielding of the palms to the landborn breezes,—there was much more than peace and ease; there was absolute harmony. But where was man?

I became restless. Nature was not sufficient. I went to seek out man, for at that hour there was none of him anywhere about. I was, for all intents and purposes,[Pg 91] absolutely the only human being on that island. Every one else had taken to cool retreats. But where should I go? I wondered. I knew no one, and the sense of loneliness I had for a while forgotten came back to me with a rush. For a moment I was again in civilization, again in a world of fences and locked doors. "I will go and look up Setu," I thought. "He promised to guide me about Samoa. I have his address. I'll look up Setu." So I turned back toward the hills and in among the palm groves, where I could see the huts of the village of Mulinuu, where Setu lived.

When I arrived I realized why I had suddenly become conscious of my loneliness. Throughout the village there wasn't a soul abroad. The domes of thatch resting on circles of smooth pillars were deserted, it seemed, and the fresh coolness that coursed freely within their shade was untasted. Nowhere upon the broad, grassy fields beneath the palms was there a walking thing; and I was a total stranger. It was slightly bewildering, as though I were in a graveyard, or a village from which the inhabitants had all gone. I approached one of the huts and found, to my satisfaction, that there was a human being there. It was a woman, attending to her household duties. She was just under the eaves on the outside, beside the floor of the hut, which was like a circular stage raised a foot or two above the ground, and paved with loose shingles from the shore. I hardly knew how to approach her, not thinking she might know my language.

"Good afternoon," she said in perfect English. "Sit down." The shock was pleasant. So there were no fences or doors to social intercourse in Samoa, after all. Still, I must find Setu. I asked her where I could locate his home. Before directing me, she chatted a while and assured me that I could go to any one of the huts about and make myself comfortable. I was not to hesitate, as it was the custom of the country and in no way unusual. She was a fine-looking woman, robust and tall, genial[Pg 92] and attentive, as housewifely a person as could be found anywhere. I have since had occasion to talk with many a housewife in New Zealand and Australia when searching for private quarters and cannot say that their manners, their dress, their regard for a stranger's welfare in any way exceeded those of this woman who had nothing to offer me but rest and no wish for reward but my content.

Taking her directions, I turned across the village to where she said Setu could be found. Beneath the shade of a palm squatted a group of men who when they spied me called for me to come over to them. Had I not been on curiosity bent, I should have regarded their request as sheer impudence, for when I arrived they wanted me to employ them as guides. It was amusing. Instead of running after hire, they commanded the stranger to come to them. It was too comfortable under the spreading palm branches. I told them that I had arranged with Setu to guide me and was in search of him. They began running Setu down. He was untrustworthy, they assured me, and would charge me too high a price. Then they asked me what my business was, what Setu had said, when he was going,—everything imaginable. But never an inch would they move to show me the way to Setu's house. I wandered about for a while, inquiring of one stray individual and another, but no one had seen Setu, and at last I learned that he had left the village early that morning for his father's place, far inland, and would not return. Setu had gone back on me. He had promised to call for me with his horse and buggy and convey me over the island. But Setu had forsaken me, and there was nothing to do but to make the best of the day right there.

Taking the word of the well-spoken woman, I approached the most attractive-looking hut, where sat a number of people roundabout the pillars. It was a mansion-like establishment even to my inexperienced[Pg 93] judgment of huts. It was roofed with corrugated iron instead of thatch, and the pillars were unusually straight and smooth. The raised floor was very neatly spread with selected, smooth, flat stones four to five inches in diameter, and framed with a rim of concrete. Fine straw mats lay like rugs over a polished parquet floor at all angles to one another, and straw drop curtains hung rolled up under the eaves, to be lowered in case of rain or hurricane. The floor space must have been at least thirty-five feet in diameter, and it was plain that each inhabitant occupied his own section of the hut round the outer circle.

I was cordially greeted and invited to rest, which I did by sitting on the ground with my legs out, and my back to a pillar for support. From the quiet and decorum it was evident that the householders were entertaining guests. Each couple or family sat upon its own mats. There were twelve adults and three children. It happened that the man who greeted me and bade me be seated was the guest of honor, a gentleman from Rarotanga, passing through Samoa on his way to Fiji. He was a very refined-looking individual, and made me feel that the Rarotangans were a superior race, but the contrary is true. However, his regular features and courtly manners were a distinction which might well have led to such a supposition. His handsome wife, who sat with him, was as retiring as a Japanese woman, and as considerate of his comfort.

The others were set in pairs all round the hut. At the extreme left were two women, sewing; opposite us, a man and woman apportioning the victuals; to my right, a man and a woman grinding the ava root preparatory to the making of the drink. Farther way squatted a very fat woman, with barely a covering over her breasts, which were full as though she were in the nursing-stage. The children moved about freely neither disturbing nor being curbed. In the center of the com[Pg 94]pany sat two men, one evidently the head of the family, with his back up against a pillar, the other his equal in some relationship.

The dinner was being served by a portly individual, a man who could not have been exactly a servant, yet who did not act as though he were a member of the family. He passed round the ample supply of fish, meats, and vegetables on enamel plates, his services always being acknowledged graciously. No one looked at or noticed his neighbor, but indulged with the aid of spoon or finger as he saw fit, and had any made a faux pas there would have been none the wiser. That, I thought, was true politeness.

Dinner over, the remains were removed and each person leaned back against the nearest pillar. After a slight pause, the eldest man, he in the center of the hut, clapped his hands, and uttered a gentle sound, as one satisfied would say: "Well! Let's get down to business." But it was nothing so serious or so material as that. It was ava-drinking time. The polished cocoanut bowl was passed round, by the same old waiter, to the man whose name was called aloud by the head of the household, and each time all the rest clapped hands two or three times to cheer his cup. It was like the Japanese method of "ringing" for a servant, not like our applause. Then fruits were passed around. Cocoanuts, soft and ripe, the outer shell like the skin of an alligator pear and easily cut with an ordinary knife, were first in order, after which the companion of the man in the middle of the hut, like a magician on the stage, drew out of mysterious regions an enormous pineapple which may have been thirty inches in circumference. It might have had elephantiasis, for all I knew, but it was the cause of the only bit of disharmony I had noticed during the entire time I rested with them. The man to whom it fell to dispense its juicy contents—he who had sat unobtrusively beside the head of the house now found it necessary to stretch his legs[Pg 95] in order the better to carve the fruity porcupine. The shock to my sense of form the moment I caught sight of those legs was enough to dissipate my greediest interest in the pineapple. They were twice the size of the fruit, and as knotty. He was suffering from elephantiasis of the legs, poor man,—a disease, according to the encyclopædia, "dependent on chronic lymphatic obstruction, and characterized by hypertrophy of the skin and subcutaneous tissue." Morbid persons seem to enjoy taking away with them photographs of people affected by this hideous disease in various parts of the body, but it was enough for me that I saw this one case; and sorry enough was I that I saw it at that quiet, peaceful hut, from which I should otherwise have carried away the loveliest of memories.

For as soon as the meal was over, and the ava-drinking at an end, pleasures more intellectual were in order. Neighbors began to arrive, including the fine woman who had urged me to rest wherever I wished. As each new guest appeared, he passed round on the outside and shook hands with those to whom he was introduced, finally finding a quiet corner.

When the interruptions ceased, the head of the house began to speak in a low, reflective tone of voice. All the others relaxed, as do men and women over their cigarettes. My Tongan neighbor acted as interpreter for me, being the only person present who could speak English. The head of the house was telling some family legend, the point of which was the friendship between his forefathers and the fathers of this Tongan guest. Then one at a time, quietly, in a subdued tone, each one present expressed his gratitude for the hospitality extended, or recited some family reminiscence. There wasn't the slightest affectation, nor the semblance of an argument. Here, then, was Thoreau's principle of hospitality actually being practised. As each one spoke he gazed out upon the open sky decorated with the broad green[Pg 96] leaves of the palm. Sometimes the listeners smiled at some witticism, but most of the time they were interested in a sober way. Last of all arose the companion of the head of the house, upon his heavy, elephantine legs, and in a dramatic manner—probably made to seem more so by the tragic distortion of his limbs—related a story, several times emphasizing a generalization by a sweep of the hands toward the open world about.






A gentle breeze crept down from the hills and swept its way among the pillars of this peaceful hut and skipped on through the palms out to sea. As far as the eye could reach through the village there was no sign of uncleanliness, no stifling enclosures, no frills to catch the unwary.

The afternoon was well-nigh gone when I moved reluctantly away from this charmed spot. Slowly life was becoming more discontented with ease and bestirred itself to the satisfaction of wants. A few hours of toil, in the gathering of fruits, and one phase of tropical life was rounded out. It might be more pleasant to believe that that is the only side, but such faith is treacherous. The life of the average South Sea islander is as arduous as any. Fruits there are usually a-plenty, but they must be gathered and stored against famine and storm. Be that as it may, the open life, the things one has which require only wishing to make them one's own, the uncramped open world,—by that much every man is millionaire in the tropics, and it is pleasant to forget if one can that there is exploitation, despoliation, and oppression as well, both of native and of alien origin. But for the time at least we may as well enjoy that which is lovely.


That night I witnessed the usual events at the British Club. The substance of the evening's conversation, every word of which was in my own language, was quite [Pg 97] foreign to me. It comprised "Dr. Funk" and his special services in counteracting dengue fever. The aim and object of every man there seemed to be to make me drink, quite against my will. A visiting doctor added the weight of his learning to induce me to turn from heedlessly falling a victim to fever by engaging "Dr. Funk." I was inclined to dub him "Dr. Bunk," but why arouse animosity in the tropics? there is enough of it.





But I couldn't help contrasting in my own mind the little gathering on the shingle-paved floor of that corrugated iron hut with the more elaborate club that changed its name from German to British with no little hauteur. More than once I wished that I had had command of the language of those people in the hut where allegory, mixed with superstition but seasoned with gentle hospitality—and not rum—was the order of the day.

Weary of refusing booze and more booze, I set off for the shore. Though military order forbade either natives or Germans or any one else without a permit to be out after ten o'clock, I had had no difficulty in securing a permit to roam about at will, day or night. The new military Inspector of Police strolled out with me and we took to the road that led out of Apia to the left, past the barracks, past the school, and the church, past all the crude replicas of our civilization.

"Oh, how I loathe it all!" said Heasley to me. "God, what wouldn't I give to be back with my wife and kiddies! This everlasting boozing, this mingling with people whom I wouldn't recognize in Wellington, being herded with the riffraff of the world. They talk of the lovely maidens. Tell me, Greenbie, have you seen any here you'd care to mess about with? The tropics!—rot!"

I saw that I had to deal with a frightfully homesick man, and there was no point in running counter to him. The fact that to me the tropics were lovely only when seen as an objective thing, not as something to feel a part[Pg 98] of, would have made little impression on his mind. He was condemned to an indefinite sojourn, whereas I was foot-loose, had come of my own free will, and was going as soon as I had had enough of it. To him the daily round of drink and cheap disputes, the longing for his wife and kiddies, the heat, the mosquitos, the mold, the cheap beds and unvaried fare, the weeks during which the British troops had virtually camped on the beach in the steady downpouring tropical rains; the inability to dream his way into appreciation of South Sea life; the necessity of looking upon the natives as possible rebels; suspicions of the few Germans there, suspicions of every new-comer, suspicions of even the death-dealing sun,—no wonder there was nothing romantic about it to him!

But as we wandered along, chatting in an intimate way, as only men gone astray from home will chat when they meet on the highways of the world, he seemed to grow more cheerful. Time and again he told me what a relief I was to him, how being able really to talk freely with me was balm to his troubled spirit. I knew that an hour after my departure he would forget all about me, that there was nothing permanent in his regard, that I really meant nothing to him beyond an immediate release for his pent-up mind,—but I felt that he was sincere.

As we kicked our way along the dusty road we came to a stretch where the palm-trees stood wide apart. The smooth waters covered the reefs, and a million moonbeams danced over them. Within the palm groves camp-fires blazed beneath domes of moon-splattered thatch, and from all directions deep, clear voices quickened the night air. We of the Northern lands do not know what communal life is. We move in throngs, we crowd the theaters, we crowd the summer resorts,—but still we do not know what communal life is. We are separate icicles compared with the people of the tropics. Only to one adrift at night within a little South Sea village is the meaning of human commonalty revealed. It seemed to[Pg 99] touch Heasley as nothing had done before. After our little conversation he appeared relieved and receptive. We wandered about till long after midnight, long after the village had sung itself to sleep, even then reluctant to take to our musty beds.

Thus did one day pass in Samoa, and every day is like the other, and my tale is told.


I tapped one man after another in Samoa for some personal recollections of Stevenson, but without success. At last I heard of an American trader who had been an intimate friend of R. L. S. and knew more about him than any other. So to him I went. He was a round-headed, red-faced, bald individual in the late fifties, deeply engrossed in the sumptuous accumulations he had made during more than a quarter-century of residence in Samoa. His reactions to my declaration of interest in Stevenson made me think he was turning to lock his safe and order his guard, but instead he really opened the safe and dismissed all pretense. In other words, he realized, it seemed to me, that he had another chance of adding luster not to Stevenson, but to himself. Stevenson he dismissed with, "Well, you know, after all he was just like other men. Often he was disagreeable, ill-tempered," etc. The thing worth while was the fact that he had written a book about Stevenson, in which he had exhausted all he knew of the man, so why did I not read that and not bother him about it! I felt apologetic, almost inclined to bow myself out, backward, when he announced that he too had written stories of the South Seas. My interest was whetted. I asked to be shown. He drew from among his bills and invoices a packet of manuscripts, and handed one to me to read. I thought of Setu and his enthusiasm at the recognition at sea of the light from Vailima, and felt that, as far as Stevenson's own life went, Setu was, to me at least, more important.[Pg 100]

Notwithstanding all the cynics who laugh at those who come to Samoa to climb to Stevenson's grave, I was determined to make the ascent. I could get no one to make it with me. At five o'clock in the morning I mustered what energy I had left from the North, ready to spend it all for the sake of seeing Stevenson's grave. By six, the wind was already warm and dragged behind it heavy rain-clouds. Hot and brain-fagged, I pressed on, my body pushing listlessly forward while my mind battled with the temptation to turn back. Near the end of European Apia I turned toward the hills, into a wide avenue cut through the growths of shaggy palms. Suddenly opening out from the main street, it as suddenly closes up, an oblong that dissipates in a narrow, irregular roadway farther on. It was too overgrown to indicate any great usefulness, yet in the history of roads, none, I believe, is more unique. In the days when Samoa was the scene of cheap international squabbles among England, France, Germany, and America, Stevenson, the Scotsman, mindful of the fate of Scotland and of the similarity between his adopted and his native land, stood by the natives as against the foreign powers (Germany in particular). He took up the challenge for Mataafa, courageously cuddled these children while in prison, and won their everlasting good-will. Later, as a mark of gratitude, they decided voluntarily to build a wide road to Vailima, Stevenson's home. Their ambitions did not live long. The road was never finished. But this is indicative not of diminished gratitude, but of the overwhelming hopelessness of their situation in face of foreign pressure and native temperature.

For everything in the tropics seems on the verge of exhaustion, a keen enthusiasm in life which finds its ebb before it has reached high tide. Only a supreme endeavor, a will sharper than nature, can overcome the spirit of non-resistance which condemns native life from very birth. And it was the remnant of determination[Pg 101] bred in another climate that carried me on toward the remains of the object of that gratitude which this road symbolized.

Vailima was four miles from Apia, hidden within a rich tropical growth well up the mountain side. Half the time I rested in the shade, taking my cue from my idol that it was better to travel than to arrive. No one was about, except here and there a child in search of fruit dropped from the tall trees. Presently I came to a set of wooden buildings on the road which upon investigation turned out to be the temporary barracks for the guard of Colonel Logan, commander of the forces of occupation. The soldiers directed me most cordially to a path near the barracks, and there a board sign announced the way to "Stevenson's Grave."

Crossing a creek and turning to the right, I found myself immediately at the foot of Mount Vaea. At this juncture lay a small concrete pool obviously belonging to the cottage, well-preserved and clean. So was the path upward. Strange contrasts here, for both pool and path were the result of the private interest of the German Governor of Samoa who, despite Stevenson's bitter opposition to German possession of the islands, had generously had the path cleared and widened so that lovers of the great man might visit his tomb with ease. It had been neglected for ten years until this German reclaimed it.

For a decade the grave lay untended. At the moment of death, the silence is deep. The pain is too fresh. Out of very love neglect is justifiable, for it is the train of dejected mourners who cannot think of niceties. But then come the "knockers at the gate," they who know nothing of the frailties of men and revel in an immortality that is memory.

I paused frequently during that half-hour climb. Cooing doves called to one another understandingly across the death-like stillness which filled the valley below.[Pg 102] From the direction of Apia came the sound of the lali, which seemed only to quicken mystery into being. I breathed more heavily. There, alone on the slopes of that peak, with the only thing that makes it memorable beneath the sod on the summit, I felt strangely in touch with the dead. The isolation gave distinction to him who had been laid there, which no monument, however superb, can give in the crowded graveyard. The personality of the departed hovers round in the silence.

Still, the thought of death itself is alien here. Fear is barren. One climbs on with an easy, smiling recognition of the summit of all things,—not as death, but as life. Oh, the sweet silence that muffles all!

A strange relapse into the ordinary came to me as I reached the top. I took a picture of the tomb, gazed out across the hazy blue world about,—and thought of nothing. I was not disappointed, nor sad. Had I found myself sinking, dying, I believe that it would not have ruffled my emotions any more than the flight of a bird leaves ripples in the air. Below, five miles away, the waves broke upon the reefs and spread in smooth foam which reached endlessly toward the shore. "It is better to travel than to arrive," they seemed to say to me across the void.

The red hibiscus was in bloom around the tomb. A sweet-scented yellow flower made the air heavy with its rich perfume. The trees speckled the simple concrete casing over the grave with their restless little shadow leaves. The spot was cool and free from growths. And it was, then, a symbol of a quarter of a century made real.

Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.

Savage, child, romancer, literary stylist,—all have been under the influence of this wandering Scotsman, and the manner of showing him love and gratitude has been not in imitation only. At Monterey in California he was nursed by an old Frenchman through a long period of[Pg 103] illness; in semi-savage Samoa men untutored in our codes of affection beat not a path but a road to his door, and carried his body up the steep slope of Mount Vaea. And the month before I stood beside his tomb, the ashes of his wife and devoted helpmate were deposited beside him by his stepdaughter, who had journeyed all the way from California to unite their remains.

Tusitala, the tale-teller, the natives called him, and in the sheer music of that strange word one senses something of the regard it was meant to convey. And in the years to come, when Samoans become a nation in the Pacific, part of the Polynesian group, Tusitala will doubtless be one of the heroes, tales of whose beneficence will light the way for little Polynesians growing to manhood.


It was becoming too hot up there on the peak for me before breakfast-time was over, so I slipped down into the valley. At the barracks the soldiers invited me to have a bite with them. The simple porridge, the crude utensils, the bare benches would elsewhere after so long a walk and so steep a climb have been a Godsend; but here, in the tropics, it seemed that more would have been a waste of human life. The sergeant-at-arms asked me if I should like to have some breadfruit. He stepped out into the yard and gathered a round, luscious melon-like fruit which, when cut, opened the doors of alimentary bliss to me. The trees grow in bisexual pairs, male and female, the female tree bearing the fruit.

The sergeant then took me to Vailima, Stevenson's last home, now the residence of the governor-general. It was, of course, stripped of everything which once was Stevenson's, and had acquired wings and porticos, gaunt and disproportioned. I could not work up any sentimental regret at this change, for that is what Stevenson himself would have wished. The best way to preserve a thing is to keep it growing. Stevenson worked here[Pg 104] for four years; others may tamper with it for four hundred years without completely obliterating the character given it by its first maker.

When I entered I was somewhat surprised at the hangings on the walls. Pictures of the kaiser, pretty scenes along the Rhine, German castles,—what had they to do with Stevenson? what with Colonel Logan and British occupation? The chambers are so large and the woodwork is so somber that these pictures fairly shrieked out at one, like a flock of eagles in high altitudes. I felt almost guilty, myself, simply for being in the presence of such enemy decorations, and remarked about them to my guide.

"The colonel won't touch them," he said, respectfully. "They are the property of the German Governor, and till the disposition of the islands is finally settled, the colonel won't move them. He's a soldier, y'know."

We came out again upon the veranda just in time to see Colonel and Mrs. Logan arrive in their trap. He was tall, straight, an icy chill of reserve in his bearing. Mrs. Logan was a pretty young woman, as warm and cordial as he was stiff. He preceded her up the steps and was saluted by the sergeant with the explanation of my presence.

"Am showing this gentleman round a bit," he said.

"Has he had a look round?" said the colonel, perfunctorily, saluted stiffly, and passed by as though I didn't exist. As Mrs. Logan came up behind she suppressed a smile that threatened to make her face still more charming, and the two passed within.

I smiled to myself. How should I have been received had Stevenson come up those steps that day? To the colonel there was nothing in my journey to the tomb. Nor was there anything in it to the soldiers at the barracks. Yet the fact that I had been there made me one of them.

"How'd ye like it?" asked a soldier on my return,[Pg 105] with the same manner as though I had gone to see a cock-fight. "Blaim me if Oi'd climb that yer 'ill on a day as 'ot as this to see a dead man's grave."

They asked me if I'd like to take a swim in the stream Stevenson liked so well, and on the strength of my great interest three of them got leave to accompany me. They winked to me when the sergeant agreed. We wandered along, jumping fences, crossing a grassy slope, and cutting through a spare woods. The bamboo-trees creaked like rusty hinges. Cocoa plantations stood ripe for picking. The luscious mango kept high above our reach, so that we were compelled to devise means of getting at it. The soldiers seemed concerned about my seeing everything, tasting everything, learning everything the place afforded. We chatted sociably, plunging about in the stream, with only a few stray natives looking on. Then we made our way back as leisurely as possible, they being in no hurry to return to the barracks. How I got back to Apia I haven't the faintest recollection.


I had set out to see the world without any definite notion of whither I was drifting. I had bartered the liquid sunshine of Hawaii for Fiji's humid shade, and twisted a day in a knot between Suva and Apia so that I hardly knew whether or not Fiji was more devilishly hot than Samoa. And then for four days I endured the stench of ripening bananas in the hold of a resurrected vessel which, if ships are feminine, as sailors seem to believe, was decidedly beyond the age of spinsterhood. I was headed for New Zealand. Little wonder, then, that when I found that we had finally arrived with our olfactory senses still sane and were about to land in a real country with real cities and a social life dangerously near perfection, I felt as though I were coming to after ether.

When I suddenly found myself alone on the streets[Pg 106] of Auckland, a sense of the icy chill of reserve in civilization came over me. The weeks in the tropics were of the past. There, though the faces were more than strange to me and the speech quite unintelligible, there was a sense of human kinship which stole from man to man through the still air. There was the lali thumping its way across the valley; the chatter of voices by day, the mutter of voices by night when the people gathered beneath their thatched roofs; the gradual infusion of native melody with the swish of palms and the hiss of the sea; call answering call across the village; songs with that deep, primitive harmony which effects a ferment of emotion not in one's heart, but in the pit of the stomach. In such a place, the word alone has no meaning. One cannot be a stark outsider. Everything is done so freely and sociably that even the stranger, despite thousands of years of restraint in civilization, merges into an at-one-ment known to no group in our world.

Social life in New Zealand (as in all white communities) contained no such admixture. Not even on Sunday, on which day I landed, did the crowds that sauntered up and down the street, present any kindred closeness. People just sauntered back and forth across the three or four business blocks known as Queens Street. The sweeps and curves and windings which were its offshoots made a short thoroughfare look picturesque, but they were just flourishes. They did not lead to anything. And one immediately returned to Queens Street.

There, the wheeled traffic having been withdrawn, the people leaving church flooded the wide way, coursing up and down in what seemed to me an utterly aimless journey between the monument at the upper fork in the street and the piers at its foot. As a white man's city goes, in the three-story structures and spacious business fronts, and the massing of architecture tapering in an occasional turret, there was stability enough in the appearance of things.[Pg 107]

There were jolly flirtations, girls singly and in pairs, some mere children in short skirts, gadding about with eyes on young men whom they doubtless knew, and of whom they seemed in eternal pursuit. Groups gathered for political or religious argument; platitudes and pleasantries were exchanged, some interesting, some dull, seldom truly cordial. A vague suspicion one of another was manifest in every relationship.

Suddenly the crowd vanished. A few persistent ones hung about the lower extremity of the street or lurked about the piers, spooning. The street became deserted. Not a sound from anywhere. No joyous singing under the eaves, no flickering lamp-lights beneath thatched roofs. Blinds drawn, doors locked. Sunday evening in civilization! I had returned.

[Pg 108]



There are no holy places in New Zealand, none of the worn and curious trappings of forgotten civilizations to search out and to revere. There are no signposts which lead the wanderer along, despite himself, in search of sacred spots; no names which make life worth while. Whom shall he try to see? Is there a Romain Rolland or a Shaw, or an Emerson to whom he could bow in that reverence which invites the soul rather than bends the knee?

There are only boiling fountains and snow-packed ranges and wild-waste places to which neither man nor beast go willingly. Yet an unknown urge pushes one on, that urge which from time immemorial has impelled saint in search of salvation, and age in search of youth, as well as youth in search of adventure, to the most inaccessible reaches of the world. All of us bring back accounts of what we've seen, but which of us can answer why we went?

First impressions in older countries are generally confusing. Ages of accumulations pile up, covered with the dust of centuries which has gone through innumerable processes of sifting. But the stranger in the Antipodes is plunged into a bath of youth. Every aspect of the country is young. The volcanoes are mostly extinct, but about them lurks the warmth of the camp fire just died down. In mountain, bush, and plain something of the childhood of Mother Earth is still felt; at most, an adolescence, rich in possibilities. One almost[Pg 109] feels that the very rivers are only the remnants of the receding floods after the rising of the land from beneath the sea. There is nothing old anywhere. Instead of being disappointed at the apparent paucity of man-made products, one is greatly surprised that so little and young a country should have so much. There is room, much room, ample acres which lie fallow, the winds of opportunity blowing over them, wild with abandon.

New Zealand, as I said, was a kind of resting-place. It was the point where the lines of interest in the native peoples of the Pacific, and those of the efforts of the white men, intersected, just as later I was to find a point of intersection between the white men and the Orientals at Hongkong. For here the new social life of the South Pacific, and the remnants of the old races of the Pacific equally divide the attention.

I had some little difficulty locating Auckland from the steamer, so many suburbs littered the forty miles of irregular bluff which surrounds the harbor. The homes upon the hills seemed reserved and unambitious. There were no streams of smoke from factory and mill. One felt, at the moment of arrival, that were it morning, noon, or night, whatever the season, Auckland would still be the same, and New Zealand would continue to be proud of the resemblance the youngest of its cities has for its parent. All seemed quiet, restful and inactive.

If all these were inactive, not so the human elements. Their rumblings on localisms were to be heard even before we landed. As a new-comer, I was made aware of Wellington, the capital, and its winds; of the city of Christchurch and its plains; of prides and jealousies which provincial patriots acclaimed in good-natured playfulness. Dunedin's raininess was said to have been a special providence for the benefit of the Scotch who have isolated themselves there. The wonders of this place and the beauty of that broke through the mists of my imagination like tiny star-holes through the night.[Pg 110]


I had returned to civilization, and though all my instincts settled into an assurance which was comforting, a feeling that dengue fever was no more, that damp and moldy beds and smell of copra would not again be mingled with my food and slumber, still, I knew I was not a part of it. Almost immediately my mind began moving spiral-like, outward and upward, to escape. I was to do it all in a month. I was to see Auckland, with its neighbor, Mt. Eden, an extinct volcano; I was to visit the other large cities,—vaguely their existence was becoming real to me,—I was to penetrate at least some of New Zealand's dangerous bush, to see the primitive-civilized lives of the native Maories. But, strange to say, return to civilization had the identical effect on me that return to primitive life is said to have on the white man. It entered my being in the form of indolence. I did not want to move. I wanted to rest. To stay a while in that place, to make myself part of the life of the city, to remain fixed, became a burning desire with me. And days went by without my being able to stir myself on again.

The life in the Dominion was conducive to ease and dreaming. Nobody seemed in any hurry about anything, least of all about taking you in. Every one went upon a way long worn down by the tread of familiar feet. The conflicts of pioneer aggressiveness were over. The differences between the aboriginal and the foreign elements were lost in the overpowering crowding in of the alien. The stone and wooden structures, the railways and the piers, the homes wandering along over the hills as far as the eye could see, completely concealed that which originally was New Zealand.

I spent one month wandering up and down Auckland's one main street, and I can assure you it was like no other main street in the world, except those of every[Pg 111] other city in New Zealand. There were the carts and the cars by day, and the clearing of the pavement of every vehicle for pedestrian parades by night. There were the carnivals and the fêtes on Queens Street, and on every other royal highway during the summer months; and during the two hours which New Zealanders require for lunch, there was nothing to be done but to lunch too. And then on Sunday nights there was the confusion of cults and isms each with its panacea for spiritual and social ills. Nobody was expected to do anything but go to church; hence the street cars didn't run during church hours, and the bathing-places were closed. And after ten o'clock it was as impossible to get a cup of tea outside one's own home as it is to get whisky in an open saloon in New York to-day.

On the Niagara I had been assured by a young lady from New Zealand that we Americans didn't know what home life was and that she would show me the genuine thing when I got to her little country. She did, and I have been most grateful to her for it. It was sober and clean and quiet, and I accepted with great satisfaction every invitation offered me, because it was a thousand times better than being alone on the deserted streets. But the good Lord was wise when He made provision for one Sunday a week, as His human creation could hardly endure it more frequently; and that is what one might say of New Zealand home life. It is all that is good and wholesome, all that is necessary for the rearing of unobstreperous young, but red blood should not be made to run like syrup, though I quite agree with my New Zealand friend that it should not be kept at the boiling-point, either. Our evenings were usually spent in quiet chatting on safe generalities interspersed with home songs and nice cocoa; and at ten o'clock we would separate. I hope that my New Zealand friends will not feel hurt at what I say. Let them put it down to my wild-Americanism. But home life on a Sunday evening was[Pg 112] not worth going all the way diagonally across the Pacific to taste.


From the belt of wild wood that girdles the city




Hence, a month in Auckland was quite enough for me. By that time the call of the mountains and lakes had come to me, and in natural beauty New Zealand can rival any other country of its size I have ever been to, except Japan. In answering that call I accepted the swagger's account of how life should be lived and took to the open road. In the year that followed I filled my memory with treasures that cannot be classified in any summary. From Auckland in the North Island to Dunedin in the South Island I journeyed on foot through three long months, zigzagging my way virtually from coast to coast, dreaming away night after night along the great Waikato River, holding taut my soul in the face of the mysteries of the hot-springs districts, and quenching feverish experiences upon the shores of placid cold lakes and beneath snow-covered peaks of mountain ranges thirteen thousand feet high; gripping my reason during long night tramps in the uninhabited bush (forests) or in Desolation Gully, forty miles from nowhere. I know what wild life in New Zealand is, as well as tame. It is not all that it used to be when men left their home lands for that new start in life which Heaven knows every man is entitled to, considering what our notions of childhood are and the eagerness of man to pounce upon any one who has not reached insurmountable success.

In between I saw the courageous struggles these selfsame men have gone through and are still enduring in order to make of the whole of New Zealand what it is as yet only in parts. Those parts are rich farm lands, with swiftly scouting motor-cars used by great capitalist-farmers who have more than one station to look after. It is a strange phenomenon of New Zealand life that the small farm towns are generally much more alert and progressive than the big cities. The New Zealanders [Pg 113] build houses that look like transplanted suburbs from around New York, and bring to their villages some of the love of plant life that the city-dweller is soon too sophisticated to share. They draw out to themselves the moving-picture theaters, which are now the all-possessing rage in the Dominion as elsewhere, and read the latest periodicals with the interest of the townsman. There are over a thousand newspapers in the Dominion, which for a population of a million is a goodly number, though one cannot regard this as too great an indication of the intellectual advancement of the people. Yet literacy is the possession of the farmer as much as and frequently more than the city-dweller in New Zealand. His children go to school even if they have to use the trains to get there; free railway passes on these are accorded by the Government. And on the whole the farmer's life in New Zealand is richer than that of most rural communities. But the struggle is still great. I have seen some who do not feel that the promise is worth it.


Post Card. J. B. Series No. 205

The pride of the Dominion




Though each of the big cities in the Dominion has its own special characteristics, they are all considerably alike. The three chief ones are all port cities of about 80,000 inhabitants each, and except for the fact that Dunedin in the far south is essentially Scotch and somewhat more stolid than the rest, and Wellington in the center is the capital of the Dominion and therefore suspicious, one may go up and down their steep hills without any change in one's social gears. The colonial atmosphere is at once charming and chilling. There is a certain sobriety throughout which makes up for lack of the luxuries of modern life. But one cannot escape the conviction that regularity is not all that man needs. Everything moves along at the pace of a river at low level,—broad, spacious, serene, but without hidden places to explore or sparkling peaks of human achievement to emulate. One paddles down the stream of New Zea[Pg 114]land life without the prospect of thrills. One might be transported from Auckland in the north to Wellington or Dunedin in the south during sleep, and after waking set about one's tasks without realizing that a change had been made.

Every city is well lighted; good trams (trolley-cars) convey one in all directions, but at an excessively high fare; the water and sewerage systems are never complained of; the theaters are good and the shops full of things from England and America. There are even many fine motor-cars. But there are few signs of great wealth, though comparatively big fortunes are not unknown. It is rumored that ostentation is never indulged in, as the attitude of the people as a whole is averse to it.

On the other hand, neither are there any signs of extreme poverty, though it exists; and slums to harbor it. While the usual evils of social life obtain, the small community life makes it impossible for them to become rampant. Every one knows every one else and that which is taboo, if indulged in, must be carried out with such extreme secrecy as to make it impossible for any blemish to appear upon the face of things.

In these circumstances, one is immediately classified and accepted or rejected, according as one is or is not acceptable. Having recognized certain outstanding features of the gentleman in you, the New Zealander is Briton enough to accept you without further ado. There is in a sense a certain naïveté in his measurement of the stranger. He is frank in questioning your position and your integrity, but shrinks from carrying his suspicions too far. He will ask you bluntly: "Are you what you say you are?" "Of course I am," you say. "Then come along, mate." But he does not take you very far, not because he is niggardly, but because he is thrifty.

As a result of this New Zealand spirit I found myself befriended from one end of New Zealand to the other by a single family, the elder brother having given me[Pg 115] letters of introduction to every one of his kin,—in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. And with but two or three exceptions I have always found New Zealanders generous and open-hearted. Wherever I went, once I broke through a certain shyness and reserve, I found myself part of the group, though generally I did not remain long, because I felt that new sensations could not be expected.

My one great difficulty was in keeping from falling in love with the New Zealand girls. Rosy-cheeked, sturdy, silently game and rebellious, they know what it is to be flirtatious. For them there is seldom any other way out of their loneliness. Only here and there do parents think it necessary to give their daughters any social life outside the home. In these days of the movies, New Zealand girls are breaking away from knitting and home ties. But even then few girls care to preside at representations of others' love-affairs without the opportunity of going home and practising, themselves. Hence the streets are filled with flirtatious maidens strolling four abreast, hoping for a chance to break into the couples and quartets of young men who choose their own manly society in preference to that of expensive girls. I have seen these groups pass one another, up and down the streets, frequent the tea-houses and soda fountains, carry on their flirtations from separate tables, pay for their own refreshments or their own theater tickets; but real commingling of the sexes in public life is not pronounced.

At the beaches! That is different. There the dunes and bracken are alive with couples all hours of the day or night during the holiday and summer seasons. Thence emerge engagements and hasty marriages, nor can parental watchfulness guard against it.


The most difficult thing in all my New Zealand experiences was to reconcile the latent conservatism of the[Pg 116] people with their outstanding progressiveness. It would be easy to assert without much fear of contradiction that notwithstanding all the talk of radicalism in the matter of labor legislation there is little of it in practice in the Dominion. The reason for this is twofold. First, New Zealand, unlike Australia and America, was not a rebellious offshoot of England, not a protest against Old-World curtailment. Quite the contrary, it was made in the image of the mother country, and natural selection for the time being was dormant. Furthermore, it was simple for labor to dominate in a country where labor was to be had only at that premium.

Nowhere in the whole Dominion did I come across concrete evidence of awakened consciousness on the part of the masses to their opportunities. None of that feverish haste to raise monuments of achievement to accompany the legislative enactments which have given New Zealand an illustrious place among the nations. True, the country is young; true, there are not enough people there to pile creation on creation. But that is not it. It is that they are not keyed up to any great notions of what they ought to expect of themselves, but are content with what freedom and leisure of life they possess.

Throughout the length and breadth of the two islands, islands more than two thirds the size of Japan, there isn't an outstanding structure of any great architectural value; there isn't a statue or a monument of artistic importance; there is hardly a painting of exceptional quality; nor, with all the remarkable beauty of nature which is New Zealand's, is there any poetic outpouring of love of nature that one would expect from a people heirs to some of the finest poetry in the world. Even British India has its Kipling and its Tagore. With all the excellence of their efforts to solve the problem of the welfare of the masses, New Zealanders show no excessive largeness of heart in the sort of welcome they extend to labor of other lands. Here, it would seem, is a land[Pg 117] where the world may well be reborn, where there is every opportunity for the correction of age-long wrongs that have become too much a part of Europe for Europeans to resent them too heartily. Yet what is New Zealand doing and what has it done in seventy-five years to approximate Utopia?

This is not meant as a criticism of New Zealand; rather is it meant to let New Zealand know that the eyes of the world are upon it and expect much from it. Possession may be nine points of the law; but the utilization of opportunity which possession entails is the tenth point toward the retention of that which one has.

Babies are cared for better in New Zealand than any other place in the world, yet boys and girls still receive that antiquated form of correction, corporal punishment, and thought of letting the youth find his own salvation, with guidance only, not coercion, is still alien to the New Zealand pedagogic mind. Women have had the vote for over twenty-five years, but the freedom of woman to seek her own development, to become a factor in the social life of the community apart from the man's, is still a neglected dream. And young women are dying of ennui because they aren't given enough to do. The country is fairly rich, with its enormous droves of sheep, great pastures full of cattle, its coöperative capitalistic farming-schemes; but the human genius for beauty and self-expression must find opportunity in Britain or America. And even the old romance of pioneer life is virtually of the past. In all my wanderings I came across only one home that made me throw out my emotional chest to contain the spirit of the pioneer life of which we all love to hear. It was a house as rough as it was old, laden with shelving and hung with guns, horns, and lithographs, and cheered by a blazing open fire,—an early virility New Zealand has now completely outgrown. The house must have been fifty years old, to judge from the Scotsman living there. He was keen, alert, and[Pg 118] quick, a most interesting opponent in discussion, most firm in his beliefs without being offensive. Here, in the very heart of one of the earliest of New Zealand's settlement districts in the South Island, he lived with his family; and something of the old sweetness of life, the atmosphere of successful conquest, obtained. And ever as I dug down into New Zealand's past, I found it charming. The present is too steeped in cheap machine processes to be either durable or really satisfying.

Discouraging as this may sound, he who has lived in the little Dominion and has learned to love its people and their ways, hastens to contradict his own charges. For in time, as one becomes better acquainted, one finds a healthy discontent brewing beneath that apathetic exterior. Just as the Chinese will do anything to "save face" so the Briton will do anything not to "lose face." He loses much of his latent charm in so restricting himself, but when assured that a new convention is afoot and that it is safe for him to venture forth with it, he will do so with a zest that is itself worth much.

Furthermore, there is in the atmosphere of staid New Zealand life a passion for the out-of-doors which is worth more than all the Greenwich Village sentiment twice over. Girls are always just as happy in the open and more interesting than when indulging in cigarettes and exposing shapely legs in intellectual parlors. Given twenty million people instead of one New Zealand would blossom forth into one of the loveliest flowers of the Pacific.


In the Auckland (New Zealand) Art Gallery hangs a picture representing the coming of the Maories to New Zealand. Their long canoe is filled with emaciated people vividly suggesting the suffering and privation they must have undergone in coming across the mainland some four hundred years ago. Venturing with[Pg 119]out sail or compass, these daring Polynesians must have possessed intrepid and courageous natures.

Yet at the time I was in that gallery the place was full of stifled boyish laughter. A half-dozen little tots, with spectacles and school-bags, one with blazing red hair, had come to see the pictures. They were not Maori children, but the offspring of the white race, which less than a hundred years ago came in their sailing-vessels and steamers, with powder and lead, and took with comparative ease a land won by such daring travail.

I had heard much of these natives,—idyllic tales of their charm and the lure of their maidens. Those lovely Maori girls! I expected to see them crowding the streets of Auckland. But they were conspicuous by their absence. Occasionally a few could be seen squatting on the sidewalks, more strangers to the city than I, more outstanding from the display of color and manner which thronged Queens Street than any American could be in so ultra a British community as dominates New Zealand. Where are the Maories? I wondered. Upon their "reservations" like our own Amerinds, or lost to their own costumes and even to their own blood and color?

I had returned to Auckland from a visit with a friend whose wife was Maori, in the company of her nephew. He carried with him a basket of eels as a gift to his mother, and walked up the street with me. At a corner he was hailed by a dark-skinned man in a well-cut business suit, and said, "There is my father. I must leave you." In another moment he was in a large touring car and was whizzed away by his Maori father at the wheel. No wonder I hadn't been able to see any Maories.

I visited a school where Maori boys are being encouraged to artificial exercises,—sports, hurdle-jumping, running. I watched them make ready, eager for the petty prizes offered. Off went their shoes, out went their chests, expanded with ancestral joy. In their bare feet, still as tough as in former days before they were in[Pg 120]duced to buy cowhides, they skipped over the ground, filled for the moment with the glory of being alive. Their faces broke out in fantastic, native grimaces and contortions as though an imaginary enemy confronted them. But alas, they were seeking him in the wrong direction! The enemy comes with no spears, and no clang, but he is more deadly. He is not without but within. He makes them cough. They fall behind.

"They do not last long," said the Briton who was instructing them. "They are dying rapidly of consumption. As long as we keep them here in school they are all right. Finer specimens of human physique could not be found anywhere. But as soon as they return to their pas, and live in the squalor of the native villages, they return to all the old methods of life and soon go under."

I set out on my tramp through New Zealand. At Bombey, a few days' jaunt from Auckland, I met an old settler, whose accounts of the great and last war of the redcoats with the fierce fighters of Maoriland dated back to our own Civil War, 1861-64. Until that time both Maories and Britons said, with few exceptions, "Our races cannot mix. One or the other of us must give away." Naturally, the Maories had the prior claim, but they finally yielded, surrendering their lands to the aliens at Ngaruawahia, "The Meeting of the Waters," that little hamlet lying in the crotch between the beautiful Waikato River and one of its tributaries. And henceforward, the two races were constrained to meet, and rush down together into that green sea of human commonalty, albeit one of them contributes the dominant volume.

Maori legend has it that the Maories are the descendants of the great Rangatira (chief) who was the offspring of a similarly great Tanewa (shark). He was born in the dark southern caves of the Tongariro Mountains, and the spirits of their ancestors have always dwelt along the broad Waikato. Along this river I wan[Pg 121]dered for many days, but I found few of the Rangatira's descendants. If one is quiet and alone the voice of the great Tanewa will call softly through the marsh rushes from out of the heart of the quivering flax. It is peaceful and encompassing, modest and almost afraid. I heard it and I am sure those Maories hear it who are not too engrossed in the scramble after foreign trinkets. It said: "The last mortal or man descendant of mine will be the offspring of a Pakeha-Maori (a white man who lives among the Maories) who will live in the cities and rush about in motor-cars, but I shall remain in the marshes, the calm rivers, and near the glittering leaves of flax."

A few miles farther on I came to Huntley, and hearing that there was a native village across the Waikato River, I turned thither by way of the bridge. I overtook two wahines, slovenly, indolent, careless in their manners. They spoke to me flippantly. They wanted to know if I was bound for the missionaries' place. This led to questions from me: Why were they turning Mormon? Which sect did they prefer? But I could obtain answers only by innuendo. I left these two women behind and found three others chasing a pig in an open field, three boys bathing a horse in the deep river. All about the village was strewn refuse; vicious dogs slunk hungrily about,—neglect, neglect, on every hand. But instead of flimsy native huts there were wooden shacks with corrugated iron roofs, the longer to remain unregenerate, breeders of disease and wasters of human energy.

But the more elaborate native village at Rotorua, at the other end of the island, where visitors are frequent, was more up-to-date and cleaner. And on a little knoll was a model of an old Maori pah, such as was used in the days before guns made it possible to fight in ambush and in the valleys, and brought the sturdy savages down not only from their more wholesome heights but from their position of vantage as a race.[Pg 122]

Here I met an odd sort of article in the way of human ware. Only seventeen, he was twice my size, and lazy and pliable in proportion. He would come into my room and just stay. With a steady, piercing, yet stolid and almost epileptic stare, cunning, yet not shrewd, not steady, nor guided by any evident train of thought, he would watch me write. I was a mystery to him, and he frankly doubted the truth of things I told him.

First he said I had the build of a prize-fighter; then, perhaps on thinking it over, he doubted that I had ever done any hard work in my life. As to himself, he said he loved to break in wild horses. His father, according to one tale, was wealthy; two of his brothers were engineers on boats. But he hated study. He was altogether lacking in any notion of time, but he was not lazy. He was even ready to do work that was not his to do.

One afternoon he was in a most jovial mood. He was about to have a tent raised in which he would spend the summer, instead of the hotel room allotted to the help. He was full of glee at the prospect. Primitive instincts seemed to waken in him. But there was a sudden reaction,—whimsical. We had stepped upon the lawn which afforded an open view across Lake Rotorua.

"Strange, isn't it," he said without any preamble, "how money goes from one man to another, from here to Auckland and to Sydney? So much money." He became reminiscent: "Maories didn't know a thing about money. They were rich. See, across this lake,—that little island,—the whole was once a battle-field. The Maories went out in their canoes and fought with their battle-axes. What for? Oh, to gain lands. But now they are poor. Things are so dead here now. Nothing doing." A moment later he was called and disappeared. It was the only time he was ever communicative. The tent had roused in him racial regrets.

One evening he came up to my door and told me there was a dance at the hall, and that he was going to it.[Pg 123] Again that strange revival of racial memories, but these of hope and prospect, came into his face, "I'm going to take my 'tart' (girl) with me," he announced. And later in the evening, as I sat alone, watching the moon rise over the lake, the laughter of those Maories rang out across the hills.

Though I wandered for many miles, running into the hundreds, the number of Maori villages and people I came across were few and far between. Yet records show that once these regions were alive with more than a hundred thousand fighting natives. At Rotorua, the hot-springs district in the North Island, the pah was in exceptionally good condition, but it was so largely because the New Zealand Government has made of the place one of its most attractive tourist resorts and the natives are permitted to exact a tax from every visitor who wishes to see the geysers. Elsewhere the villages are dull, dreary, and neglected: the farther away from civilization, the worse they get. The consequence is not surprising.

According to the census of 1896, there were 39,854 people of the Maori race: 21,673 males, 18,181 females, of which 3,503 were half-castes who lived as Maories, and 229 Maori women married to Europeans. The Maori population fell from 41,993 in 1891 to 39,854 in 1896, a decrease in five years of 2,139. But in 1901 it had risen to 43,143, going steadily up to 49,844 in 1911, and dropping to 49,776 in 1916 on account of the European war.

There was considerable discussion in the New Zealand Parliament on the question of whether the Maories should be included in the Draft Act, most white men declaring that a race which was dying, despite this seeming increase, should not be taxed for its sturdiest young men in a war that was in truth none of its concern. But the Maories—that is, their representatives—objected, saying they did not wish to be discriminated against. Among the young men, however, I found not a few who[Pg 124] were inclined to reason otherwise. So it was that while I was talking to the young fellows who were washing their horse in the Waikato, one of them said to me:

"Yes. Years ago the white men came to us with guns and cannon and powder and compelled us to give up our warfare, which kept us in good condition individually and as a race. We put aside our weapons. Now they come to us and tell us we must go to Europe and fight for them." And he became silent and thoughtful.

As I came back into Huntly from my visit to the pah I passed the little court-house, before which was a crowd of Maories. Some of the wahines sat with shawls over their heads smoking their pipes as though they were in trousers, not skirts. I chatted with the British Bobby who stood at the door, asking him what was bestirring Maoriland so much.

"Oh, that bally old king of theirs has been subpoenaed to answer for his brother. The blighter has been keeping him out of sight so that he won't be taken in the draft."

"But," I protested—democrat though I was, my heart went out to the old "monarch"—"can't the king get his brother, the archduke and possible successor to the throne, out of performing a task that might hazard the foundation of the imperial line?"

"King be damned! Wait till we get the blighter in here," said the servant of the law, pressing his heels into the soft, oozy tar pavement as he turned scornfully from me.


A few days later I was cutting my way through a luxuriant mountain forest above Te Horoto in the North Island, listening to the melodious tui, the bell-bird, and to the song of the parson-bird in his black frock of feathers with a small tuft of white under his beak, like[Pg 125] the reversed collar of a cleric. No sound of bird in any of the many countries I have been to has ever filled me with greater rapture than did this. There are thousands of skylarks in New Zealand, brought from England, but had Shelley heard the tui he might have written an ode more beautiful even than that to the "blithe spirit" he has immortalized. Yet, like the human natives, these feathery folk have vastly decreased since the coming of the white man. No wonder Pehi Hetan Turoa, great chief of a far country on the other side of the island, in complaining of the decay of his race, said: "Formerly, when we went into a forest, and stood under a tree, we could not hear ourselves speak for the noise of the birds—every tree was full of them.... Now, many of the birds have died out."

Enraptured with the loveliness of the native bush and the clear, sweet air, I pressed up the mountain side with great strides. Presently I passed a simple Maori habitation. It was about noon. Seeing smoke rise out of an opening in the roof, indicating that the owners were at home, I entered the yard. My eyes, full of the bright, clear sunlight, could not discern any living thing as I poked my head in at the door, but I could hear a voice bidding me enter. I stepped into a sort of antechamber, a large section of the hut with a floor of beaten earth and a single pillar slightly off the center supporting the roof. Gradually, as my eyes became accustomed to the subdued light, I saw an aged couple within a small alcove on the farther side. An open fire crackled in the center of its floor. The old woman sitting on her bed-space, was bending over the flame, fanning it to life. The old man, who was very tall, lay on a mat-bed to the right, his legs stretched in my direction. The two beds, the fire, and the old couple took up the entire space of the alcove,—a sort of kitchenette-bedroom affair like our modern "studio" apartments.

"Where are you from?" asked the old man, after I[Pg 126] had seated myself before the fire. "America," I said. My reply evoked no great surprise in him.

"The village is quiet," I said. "Where are the people?"

"Oh, down in the valley, working in the fields."

"Don't you go out, too?" I asked.

"Oh, I'm too old now. My legs ache with rheumatism. I go no more. Let the young fellows work. Stay and have tea with us," he urged.

I looked at their stock. They did not seem to have any too much themselves, and the old woman seemed a little worried. I knew that the heart of the hostess was the same the world over, so I assured them I had had my meal, and only wished to rest a while away from the sun. The old woman showed relief.

We chatted as cordially as it is possible where tongues cannot fully make themselves understood. I learned that the man was an old chief. He could not fall in with the times, acknowledged his inability to direct the affairs of this strange world, and only asked for rest and quiet, and the respect due one of his position. He did not expect to live long, nor did he much care. "These are not days for me," he said with a smile. He did not speak of the former glories of his race. Doubtless he could not exactly make up his mind whether to look before or after: if there were great chiefs before, are there not big M.P.'s now?

The fire was burning low, and I knew that the old woman would have to go for more wood unless she hurried with the preparation of her meal, and that as long as I was there I was delaying her. So I rose to go. The old man excused himself for not rising by pointing to his lame legs. She saw me to the gate, and as I struck down the road she waved her hand after me in farewell, and remained behind the screen of trees round which I veered.

Down in the valley lying almost precipitately below[Pg 127] me were a number of natives working in their fields; but my road led me on to the cities, and it is there that the future of this race hangs in the balance.

Some months later, while I was living in Dunedin in the far south of the South Island, the newspapers came out in a way almost American, so exciting was the bit of news. The editorial world forgot all decorum and dignity and pulled out the largest type it had on hand. It was announced that the Maori priest, Rua, was caught. Several persons were wounded and one, I believe, was killed in the process. The priest was treated with no respect and little consideration and thrown into prison,—all because he believed in having several wives as his men-folk always had, if they were chiefs and priests, and was trying to put a little life into his race, trying to stir it up to casting out these "foreign devils." He had built himself a temple that was an interesting work of art, but it holds worshipers no more, even though the priest has since been released. His efforts to rouse his people failed. Such efforts are only the reflex action of a dying race.

[Pg 128]

The Second Side of The Triangle

Dark is the way of the Eternal as mirrored in this world of Time: God's way is in the sea, and His path in the great deep.—Carlyle.


More than a year went by before I began drawing in the radial thread that held me suspended from the North Star under the Southern Cross,—a year replete with lone wanderings and searching reflections. During all those months not a single day had passed without my surveying in my mind's eye the reaches of the Pacific that lay between me and the Orient. Roundabout New Zealand I had become familiar with the Tasman Sea looking toward Australia, on the shores of which I had spent some of the most mysterious nights of my life; on Hawkes Bay looking out toward South America; and across the surging waters of Otago Harbor at Dunedin, looking in the direction of the frozen reaches of Antarctica.


Just arrived at Port Chalmers, N. Z., from the South Pole




Once staid Dunedin was thrilled by a wireless S.O.S. from the direction of the South Pole. The Aurora, Shackleton's ship which had gone down to the polar regions, was calling for help. She had snapped the cables which tied her to land when the ice-packs gave way and had drifted out to sea. Fortunately, most of the officers and crew were at the moment on board, but sixteen men were left marooned. To add to the prospect of tragedy, the ice smashed the rudder, and a jury-rudder, worked by hand from the stern deck, had to be improvised. With these handicaps the vessel made her way [Pg 129] slowly till within five hundred miles of New Zealand, the reach of her wireless. Here she was rescued by a Dunedin tug and brought to Port Chalmers.


A whirl of pleasure-seeking and business



At Botany Bay, Australia

I made friends with the mate and the chief engineer and gained access to their superb collection of Emperor Penguin skins and an unusual number of photographs. Months afterward they wanted four men to complete the crew necessary for another journey south and I was tempted to join them, but tallow and bladder and a repressed pen were the negatives, while China and Japan were the positives. So I sailed away with the rising sun in the direction of the great West that is the Far East. Crisp and clear in the bright morning air shone the towering peaks of the New Zealand Alps as I sailed toward Australia and to Botany Bay,—not, however, without being nearly wrecked in the fog which had gathered in Foveaux Strait, which separates Steward Island from the South Island in New Zealand. Bluff, the last little town in New Zealand, is said to have the most southerly hotel in the world. I saw it.


Four days from Bluff to Melbourne on a sea that seemed on the verge of congealing into ice. It was not cold, yet autumn-like. And the passengers seemed the fallen leaves. The stewards maintained the reputation for impudence and unmannerliness of the Union Steamship Company crews, but I had grown used to that, and thanked my stars that this was the last coupon in the ticket I had purchased in Honolulu more than a year before. Of human incidents there was therefore none to relate.

But chill and melancholy as that Southern sea was, there hovered over it a creature whose call upon one's interest was more than compensating. Swooping with giant wings in careless ease, the albatross followed us[Pg 130] day in and day out. Always on the wing, awake or asleep, in sunshine or in storm, the air his home as the water is to fish, and earth to mammal. Even the ship was no lure for him by way of support. He followed it, accepted whatever was thrown from it, but as for dependence upon it,—no such weakness, you may be sure. His sixteen feet of wing-spread moved like a ship upon the waves, like a combination of a ship and sails. Swift, huge, glorious, unconsciously majestic, he is indeed a bird of good omen. How he floats with never a sign of effort! How he glides atop the waves, skims them, yet is never reached by their flame-like leapings; simulates their motion without the exhaustion into which they sink incessantly.

The albatross had left us, and now the swarming is his artistry, so refined his "table manners." He does not gorge himself as does the sea-gull, nor is he ever heard to screech that selfish, hungry, insatiable screech. Silent, sadly voiceless, rhythmic and symbolic without being restrained by pride of art, he exemplifies right living. He is our link between shores, the one dream of reality on an ocean of opiate loveliness wherein there is little of earth's confusion and pain. For the traveler he keeps the balance between the deadly stability of land life and the dream-like mystery of the sea. But for him it were impossible to come so easily out of an experience of a long voyage. Away down there he is the only reminder of reality. Which explains the reverence sailors have for him and their superstitious dread of killing him. It is like the dread of the physician that his knife may too sharply stir the numbed senses of his patient under anæsthesia.

Land may be said to begin where the albatross is seen to depart. He knows, and off he swoops, ship or no ship to follow and to guide; back over the thousand miles of watery waste, to measure the infinite with his sixteen-foot wings, glide by glide, with the speed of a twin-screw tur[Pg 131]bine. Only when the female enters the breeding season does she seek out a lost island to rear her young. Independent of the sea, these birds are utterly confined to it, a mystery floating within mystery.

The albatross have left us, and now the swarming gulls abound. Why they are dignified with the Christian name "Sea" when they are such homely land-lubbers, is a question that I cannot answer. Pilots, rather, they come to see us into the harbor, or, with their harsh screeching, to frighten us away.

But something within me would not know Australia, nor any lands, just then. Perhaps it was that my unconscious self was still with the albatross; for strange as it may seem I could not sense any forward direction at all that day, but only one that pointed backward,—toward home. Try as I would to realize myself on my way to Australia, still my mind persisted in pointing toward America. Not until we got the first sight of land ahead was my soul set right. Then it was the Sister Islands, Wilson's Promontory, the Bass Straits, with Tasmania barely in sight, Cape Liptrap, and finally Port Phillip. And Australia was on all fours, veiled in blue,—a thin rind of earth steeped in summer splendor.

Flag signals were exchanged with the lonely pilot-ship that hung about the entrance. All being well, we passed on, crossing that point at the entrance where five strong water-currents meet and vanquish one another, turning into a smooth, glassy coat of treachery. The Wimmera hugged the right shore of the largest harbor I have ever seen. In places the other shore could not be seen with the naked eye. But it is very shallow and innumerable lights float in double file to guard all ships from being stranded.

Just as we entered, the sun set. A stream of color unconstrained obliterated all detail as it poured over the point of the harbor, filling the spacious port. Clots of amber and orange gathered and were dissipated, sof[Pg 132]tened, diffused, till slowly all died down and were gone. Darkness and the blinking lights of the buoys remained.

Two big ships, brilliantly lighted, flinging their manes of smoke to the winds, passed, one on its way to Sydney, the other to Tasmania and Adelaide in the south. Far in the distance ahead we could see the string of shore lights at Port Williamson. It took us three hours to overtake them, and we arrived too late to receive pratique. For half an hour the captain and the customs carried on a conversation with blinking lights. The winches suddenly began their rasping sound, and the anchor dropped to the bottom. We did not debark that night.


I spent nearly six months in Melbourne and Sydney, those two eastern eyes of that wild old continent, and for the first time in a twelvemonth the sense of security from the sea obtained. For a fortnight I occupied a little shack on Manly Beach, near Sydney, but oh, how different it was there from the sand-dunes on the shores at Dunedin, in New Zealand! In the Dominion one had to hide within the interior to get away from the sea: on the beach one felt about to slip into Neptune's maw. But at Manly, Bondi, Botany Bay, the sea might hammer away for another eternity without putting a landlubber off his ease.

But we shall return to Australia in another section. The sea is still much in the blood, there is still a vast length that lies close to Asia and marks off another line of our imaginary triangle. Here are no landless reaches, but all the way to Japan one passes strip after strip, as though some giant earthquake had shattered part of the main.

Months afterward I took passage once more, this time on the Eastern, bound for Japan.

There was no mistaking the side of the world I was[Pg 133] on and the direction of my journey from the moment I stepped upon the pier to which the Eastern was made fast. Hundreds of Chinese, with thousands of boxes and bundles, scurried to and fro in an ant-like attention to little details. Then as the steamer was about to depart, mobilization for the counting of noses took place, and veritable regiments of emaciated yellow men lined the decks. Here and there a fat, successful-looking Chinese moved round the crowd, an altogether different-looking species, more as one who lives on them than as one who lives with them. On the dock stood several groups waiting to wave farewell to their Oriental kin. One of these groups was composed of a stout white woman with two very pretty Eurasian daughters,—as handsome a pair of girls as I saw in Australia. Their father was a well-to-do Chinese merchant taking one of his regular trips to China. In Australian fashion they were ready for a mild flirtation, spoke Australian English with Australian slang, and, aside from their pater, they were native to all intents and purposes. And in Australia they remained.

Of those who departed, the major number likewise remained native—though to China—despite years and years of residence in Australia. It is a one-sided argument to maintain that because of that the Chinese are unassimilable. There is no ground for such a deduction, because they arrived mainly after maturity, and the Chinese could challenge any white man to become one of them after he has fully acquired his habits and prejudices. But we had not been many minutes at sea before it was our misfortune to find that we had among us a Chinese boy who was born and brought up in New Zealand and was just then going to China for the first time. Here I had ample opportunity of observing the assimilability of the Oriental. And here I bow before the inevitable.

He had assimilated every obnoxious characteristic of our civilization, the passion for slang, the impertinence,[Pg 134] the false pride, the bluff which is the basis of Western crowd psychology. He was not a Chinese,—that he denied most vehemently,—he was a New Zealander, and by virtue of his birth he assumed the right to impose his boyish larrikinism upon all the ship's unfortunate passengers. He banged the piano morning, noon, and night; he affected long, straight black hair, which was constantly getting in his way and being brushed carefully back over his head; and he took great pains to make himself as generally obnoxious as possible. He was not that serious, struggling Chinese student who comes to America afire with hope for the regeneration of his race. He was a New Zealander, knew no other affiliations, had no aspirations, and lorded it over "those Chinese" who occupied every bit of available space on the steamer.

In his way he was also a Don Juan, for he hovered over the young half-Australian wife of a middle-aged Chinese merchant who was taking her back to China for her confinement. She was morose, sullen, as unhappy a spirit as I have seen in an Oriental body. Obviously, China held few fine prospects for her. She was seldom seen in her husband's company, for he was generally below playing fan-tan or gambling in some other fashion. And the Australian half of her was longing for home. It seemed to devolve upon our young Don Juan to court this unhappy creature, and court her he did. But she had no resilience, no flash, her Chinese half-self offering him as little reward for his pains as a cow would offer the sun for a brilliant setting.

I expected any hour of the day to see that woman throw herself into the sea, or that husband stick a knife into the bold, bad boy, but nothing happened; the husband and the wife were seemingly oblivious of the love-making, and all went well.

Besides the Chinese crew and passengers there were perhaps a dozen white people, including the officers. An old English army captain whose passport confirmed his[Pg 135] declaration that he was seventy-three years old, was taking a little run up to Japan. His only reason was that Japan was an ally, hence he wanted to see it. Such is the nature of British provincialism. Otherwise, there were but two or three young Australians bound for Townsville, and the stewardess. Somewhere along the coast we picked up a Russian peasant, who with his wife had been induced to emigrate to Australia, but who was now going home to enlist. As though there weren't already enough men in Russia armed with sticks and stones! At still another port we commandeered a veritable regiment of Australian children, colloquially called larrikins. These were bound for the Philippines, where their father had preceded them some months before. Their exploits deserve an exclusive paragraph.

Suddenly, out of a clear sky, there would be a shriek like the howl of a dingo on the Australian plains. There would be a rush to the defenses by an excited female,—the mother. There would follow such a slapping as would delight the English Corporal Correction League, except that it wasn't done cold-bloodedly enough. And thereafter for half an hour there was bedlam all around. After exhaustion, a new series of pranks set in. This time they were playing a "back-blocks" game which entailed a hanging. One of them needs must be hanged, and was rescued just in time by an ever-swooping mother. After hours of hunger-stimulating escapades on deck, the dinner-bell sent them scurrying down into the saloon. Before any of us had time to be seated all the fruit on the table was divided according to the best principles of individual enterprise. Beginning with the first thing on the menu, they went down the sheet, leaving nothing untasted; nor did it matter much whether it was breakfast or dinner,—steak enough for a meal in itself comprised the entrée. And the littlest kept pace with the biggest. Nor did afternoon and morning tea escape[Pg 136] them. Fully stoked up, they were ready for another beating and another hanging on deck.

In contrast were the little Chinese children,—quiet, shy, never spanked; and though they put away enough within their Oriental bread-baskets, one never saw that same wild struggle for existence which told the tale of life on an Australian station better than anything I wot of.

We had now reached Brisbane, 519 miles from Sydney, a distance which took the Eastern from noon of the 8th to sunrise of the 10th of October to negotiate. And from the outer channel to the docks on the Brisbane River we steamed till half-past one in the afternoon. Here we were "beached" in the mud when the tide went out and had to wait twenty-four hours before floating out again. In the meantime we picked up two more gems,—mature larrikin this time. One of them was so drunk he couldn't see straight, the other was sober enough to bring him on board. Unfortunately for me, they were placed in my cabin, and from then on, after the youngsters had turned the day into chaos, these two would come in to sleep, and the cursing, the spitting, the reference to women with which they consoled their souls, would have shocked the most hardened beach-comber, I am sure.

To avoid annoyances I explored every nook and corner of the vessel. At last I discovered a sanctuary on the roof of the unused hospital. It could not be called a model of order and comfort, for various air-tanks and stores of sprouting potatoes belittered it. But it was like the holy of holies to me, for there I might just as well have been on a lone craft of my own. No sound reached me from any living thing,—except an occasional extra-loud shriek from the youngsters. Above and about me there was nothing to obstruct my view, and within, absolute peace.

On the following day we were on the Great Barrier Reef, grayish green in color, languid in temperament,[Pg 137] shallow and therefore dangerous in make-up. Numerous islands, neutral in color and sterile of vegetation, seemed to stare at us and at one another in mute indifference. For the first time the storied reality of being stranded on a desolate island came home to me. As I sat watching this filmy show, I became conscious of a familiar something in the world about me, be it warmth or color, a something which immediately brought the picture of Santa Anna Valley in California back to mind. Sometimes we come across a face we feel certain we have seen before: that was the case with the atmosphere along the Great Barrier Reef. The setting is that of the island home of Paul and Virginia. Near and far, lowly and majestic, in generous succession on each side, were islands and continent,—an avenue wide, spacious, and clear. Occasional peaks along the mainland recalled old-fashioned etchings,—dense clouds, heaven-reaching streaks and shafts of twice-blended astral blue; rain-driven mountain fiords.

Early one day, an hour before dawn, the Eastern moored before Magneta Isle with her stern toward Townsville, as though ready for instant flight, if necessary. With an early-morning shower of filthy words, one of my cabin-mates pulled himself together and dressed. Shortly afterward he slipped over the side of the ship into a tossing and pitching launch and was rushed to Townsville. His rousing me at that hour was the only thing I had reason to be grateful to him for in our short acquaintance.

For the world was exquisitely beautiful in its delicate gown of night. Dawn was but waking. Four-o'clock stupor superintended the easy activities. A few lights in a corner, a bolder and more purposeful flash from a search-light, and all set in twilight. A ring of islands—the Palm Isles—stones set in a placid bay. That was all I saw of Townsville.

And perhaps it is just as well. It may have been[Pg 138] "ordained" that my ignorance obtain, be the city's virtues and its right to fame what they may. What if I had gathered closer impressions, added meaningless statistics or announced the prevalence of diphtheria throughout Queensland, or discovered the leading citizen of Townsville to an apathetic world? But it may be of interest to hear that Townsville claims one distinction. It is the Episcopal See of Australia and the seat of the Anglican Bishop and possesses a cathedral.


On the afternoon of the following day a heavy wind or squall came up. This time the ship did not defy it. No foolhardy resistance here. The reefs are too near and they stretch for thirty miles seaward. Again we anchored. The horizon contracted like a noose of mist; it stifled one. The ship seemed to crouch beneath the winds. An hour, and the anchor was heard being lifted and the propellers were slowly revived to action. A little later we anchored again. A light was hoisted to the stern mast and twilight lowered on a calm gray sea. Distant little flat islands loomed through the mist. Two sailing-vessels at anchor, moored in companionship, rested within an inlet. A gentle swish, a murmur of human voices, and our little world was swaying gently upon a curious world. And there we remained all night.

As the sun gave notice of day, we moved off, and all day the sea was so still that but for the vibration of the screws it would have been hard to realize that the ship was in motion. Here we came to where the jagged coastline has run down. Tiny islets, flat and low, most of them but a landing-place for a few tropical trees. Summer calm, with barely a ripple of the sea. That night we anchored again, having come, it was said, to the most dangerous pass on the reefs.

Ten days after having left Sydney we arrived at the[Pg 139] last port in Australia, Thursday Island. A cloudy morning had turned clear for us, but on ahead to the northwest hung heavy mists. Because of these, I was later told by two soldiers on guard atop the mountain fortification, they could not see us coming. They saw our smoke, but the steamer was hidden from them by mist. Then suddenly we shot into view. All the while we had been in the clearest sunshine, the sea glassy and the flying-fish darting about. It was no place for speed. We moved just fast enough to leave the scene undisturbed. And thus we stole into Torres Straits.

Of all the numerous harbors I have entered in the Pacific, none, with the exception of the Inland Sea in Japan, is more picturesque than that at Thursday Island. Shelter, space, and depth, and stillness! One's eyes sweep round this pearly promise with greed for its beauty. Seventy-five sail-boats, their sailless masts swaying with the swells, are anchored on the reefs. It is Sunday and they are at rest, but what enchantment lies hid in those folded sails! I wish for the power to utter some word which could put them to flight; but that remains for Monday, when "the word" is spoken.

And on Monday, too, immediately upon leaving port at ten o'clock, the ship's time was returned to standard time, leaving Australia and its "bunkum" daylight-saving time behind. Thence we lived again by "dinkum" time. The ship about-faced and left the channel the same way it had entered, and shortly afterward we struck across the Arafua Sea.


From that day until I reached Japan it was all I could do to keep track of the seas we passed through,—Arafua, Banda, Molucca, Celebes, Sulu, China, and the Inland Sea.

As we neared the equator again, there was nothing to disturb the peaceful splendor of life, except the little[Pg 140] hoodlums on board. About sixty miles south of it a tiny creature, like a turtle, sailed along the still surface; the flying-fish blistered the water, the scars broadened and healed again just as the sportive amphibians pierced it and disappeared. What a contrast to the albatross!

Then the miracle occurred. From the west, hidden from me by the ship, the sun reached to the eastern clouds, dashing them with pink and bronze and blue. I could not tell where the horizon went to, and was roused to curiosity as to what kind of sunset could effect such lovely tints. It wasn't a sunset, but a sunfall, a revelation. Where suggestion through imitation glistened on the eastern side, daring prodigality of color swept away emotion on the western side. It was neither saddening nor joyous. It was a vision of a consciousness in nature as full of character, as definitely meaningful and emotional as a human face. There was something almost terrifying in the expression of that sunset face. One could read into it what one felt in one's own soul. And a little later a crescent moon peeped over the horizon.

At about midnight of the seventeenth day after leaving Sydney we crawled over the equator, and no home-coming ever meant more to me than seeing the dipper again and the Northern stars. During all those days nothing wildly exciting had happened at sea; but just after we left the equator we passed a series of water-spouts—six in all—which formed a semi-circle east, south, and west. The spout to the east seemed to me to be at least two or three hundred feet high, and tremendous in circumference. It drew a solid column of water from the sea far into a heavy black cloud. On the sea beneath it rose a flutter of water fully fifty feet high, black as the smoke produced by a magician's wand. Weird and illusive, the giants beggared description as they stalked away to the southeast, like animated sky-scrapers.

Then we reached Zamboanga, the little town on the island of Mindanao of the Philippines. From there, for[Pg 141] twelve hours, we crept long the coast till we entered Manila Harbor.

There remained but two days' voyage before I would reach Asia, the object of my interest for years, and of all my efforts for two. But it was not so easy as all that, for two days upon the China Sea are worth a year upon the Atlantic. Riding a cyclone would be riding a hobby-horse or a camel compared with the Yellow Sea, and though I was the only passenger who missed only one meal during the whole period, I was beaten by the seventy-three-year-old English captain,—who managed all but half a meal. The sea would roll skyward as though it were striving to stand on end and for a moment the ship would lurch downward as though on a loop-the-loop. Sometimes it seemed as though the world were turning completely over. Yet I was told this was only normal, and that typhoons visit it with stated regularity. The China Sea is "the very metropolis of typhoons."

A month had well-nigh gone before we reached Hong-Kong, the British portal to Cathay, a month of dreamy weather. Only one thing more,—a thing more like a scene in the Arabian Nights. Toward the end of the journey I discovered where the five hundred Chinese whose noses had been counted when we left Sydney had gone. Going forward, I looked over into an open hatchway, down into the hold, and there was a sight I shall never forget. These hundreds of deck passengers were all in a muddle amid cargo, parcels, hundreds of birds in cages, parrots, a kangaroo,—yet oblivious of everything. For the entire voyage nothing that I tell of could possibly have come within their ken, as during those days their minds were bent on one thing and one alone,—on playing fan-tan. There in the bottom of the hold hundreds of gold sovereigns passed from hand to hand in a game of chance. And at last they were to be released, to spread, a handful of sand thrown back upon the beach.

As for myself, with my arrival at Hong-Kong and a[Pg 142] visit to Shanghai ended the longest continuous voyage I had made upon the Pacific, and the second side of that great Pacific Triangle was drawn. But meanwhile let me review in detail the outposts of the white man in the far Pacific—the lands I had passed on the white man's side of the triangle, ending in Hong-Kong, where white man and Oriental meet.

[Pg 143]



In the normal course of human variation, there should have been virtually no change of experience for me in going from New Zealand to Australia, notwithstanding the twelve hundred miles of sea that separate them. And though the sea is hardly responsible, there was a difference between these two offshoots of the "same" race for which distance offers little explanation. To me it seemed that regardless of the pride of race which encourages people to vaunt their homogeneity, the way these two counterparts of Britain have developed proves that homogeneity exists in wish more than in fact. It seems to me that the New Zealander has developed as though he were more closely related to the insular Anglo-Saxon, and the Australian as though he were the continental strain in the Englishman cropping out in a new and vast continent. However, this is sheer conjecture. All I can do is to offer in the form of my own observations reasons for the faith that is in me.

From the moment that I set foot in Australia I felt once again on a continent. Melbourne is low, flat, and gave me the impression of roominess which New Zealand cities never gave. They, with the exception of Christchurch on the Canterbury plains, always clambered up bare brown hills and hardly kept from slipping down into the sea. But in Australia I felt certain that if I set out in any direction except east I could walk until my hair grew gray without ever coming across a mountain. It was a great satisfaction to me that first day, for it[Pg 144] was intensely hot and I had a heavy coat on my arm and two cameras and no helmet. Added to my difficulties was the cordiality of an Australian fellow-passenger who was determined that I should share with him his delight at home-coming. He was a short, stout, olive-skinned young man of about twenty-three who had a slightly German swing in his gait and accentuated his every statement with a diagonal cut outward of his right hand, palm down.






He lured me from one end of Melbourne to the other, made me lunch with him at a vegetarian restaurant,—which is a very popular resort in Melbourne,—introduced me to Cole's Book Arcade, to the Blue-bird Tea Rooms, where fine orchestral music flavors one's refreshments, to the latest bank building and even to the station of the railway, which "carries the largest suburban passenger traffic of any in the world." "Meet me under the clock," is the Melbournian motto. How they can all do so is beyond me, for the half-dozen stone steps that lead to the narrow doors at the corner of the station could not, I am sure, afford a rendezvous for more than thirty people at one time; yet the old clock ticks away in patience,—the most popular and most persistent thing in Melbourne.

I had so much trouble keeping pace with this Australian, who seemed to grow more energetic the hotter it became, that I was grateful when he said he would have to leave me, and I was alone again. Then I realized for the first time that I could really like Melbourne; that it had long, broad, spacious streets with clean, fresh-looking office and department-store buildings, that even the narrower side streets were clean and inviting, and that the street cars were propelled by cables and not by trolley wires. So easy were these cars and so low that no one ever waited for them to stop, but hopped aboard anywhere along the street. Melbourne was to me a perfect bath in cleanliness and orderliness,—just what [Pg 145] a city ought to be. Even in the very heart of the city the homes had a suburban gentility about them, and there were no unnecessary noises, no smoke, and no end of pretty girls. The people were a joy to look at. Something of the tropical looseness in both dress and flesh, as though their skins were always being fully ventilated, made them attractive. The New Zealanders made me feel as though I were in a bushel of apples; the Australians, carefully packed yellow plums. I have never enjoyed just being on the street more than I did in Melbourne.


A. A. White, Brisbane




Out of his element but happy none the less

On Bourke Street, in the very midst of the pushing crowd, a soft-voiced lad approached me for some information and strutted off, tall in his self-confidence. Victorian belles, tall, graceful, russet-skinned, plump but not flabby, moved with a fine air of self-reliance. On closer acquaintance, I found that these girls were not silent and opinionless as were most of the New Zealand girls. Whatever the issue before the public, they had their defined opinions concerning it, and they were not sneered at by the men. Then, too, there was a companionship between the boys and girls, without reserve, that was balm to my soul after the year in New Zealand.

Melbourne was the home of Madame Melba, and in consequence the city is the most musical of any I lived in in the Antipodes. Even the babies sing operatically on the streets, and the voices one hears from open windows are not the head-voices of prayer-meetings, but those of people who seem to know the value of the human larynx.

During the two weeks that I was in Melbourne, I was, whenever I chose, a guest of the Master of the Mint, Mr. Bagg, who was the uncle of a New Zealand girl of my acquaintance; lunched, dined and afternoon tea-ed with his family whenever I felt like it; was rushed to the theater to see an old pioneer play; and went to attend public meetings at which the mayor and the prime minister spoke; visited the beaches, and knew the joy of the[Pg 146] most refreshing companionship it was my good-fortune to meet with in all my wanderings,—though there were others. And it was so with whomever I met in Melbourne, from the clerk in the haberdashery, who acquainted me with the jealousy that exists between Sydney and Melbourne, to the woman in whose home I roomed on Fitzroy Park, or the young couple with the toddling baby and the glorious sheep-dog, who engaged me in conversation on the lawn near the beach at St. Kilda.

And so I still see Melbourne in memory as a place I should enjoy living in. I was often alone, but never lonely in it. And I see it from its Botanic Gardens, with the broad Yarra Yarra River slowly cleaving it in two, its soft, semi-tropical mists hanging over it, its temperate climate, its cleanliness and its low, rolling hills where it hides its suburbs.

I didn't go to see Adelaide, in South Australia, because I was destined to live in Sydney, in New South Wales.


It is more than mere accident that Victoria has broader-gaged railways than New South Wales, and that travelers from one state to the other must get off at Albury and change, or between New South Wales and Queensland to the north of it. It is not mere accident, I am sure, for there is a like difference in the width of streets between Melbourne and Sydney.

Sydney is hilly, exposed, bricky, and crowded, and though it is the premier city of Australia, it grows without changing. There is a conservatism about it which, in view of the activity of Australians, is inexplicable. Sydney is almost an old city. Its streets wind as though the settlers had been uncertain of the prevailing winds; and the hills tend to give it an appearance of huddling. The red roofs of the cottage-like houses, and their architectural style give it a European tone, slightly like an[Pg 147] English city. It has none of the fresh, "hand-me-down" regularity of the American, nor the sober coziness of the English, village. Every street leads one to the center of the city, and wind as it will there is hardly any relief from commonplaceness. The thoroughfares are crowded with street cars which cross and circumambulate, some of the main streets are too narrow for more than single-track lines. Yet instead of seeing the earlier error and trying to correct it by prohibiting the erection of buildings on the present curb lines, the authorities have permitted one of the finest office buildings in the city—the Commonwealth Bank Building, to be placed on the same line as the rest of the old structures. It is hardly to be expected that such methods will ever broaden the streets.

There are no tenements in Sydney, in the New York sense of the term, but the average home as I saw it on my usual rounds in search of quarters, was ordinary. The rooms were small, and there were few conveniences.

But this is Sydney proper. Newer Sydney, with its suburbs and homes along the numerous peninsulas projecting into the waters of Port Jackson, is modern, clean, and airy, and really convenient. Man is a lazy animal and prone to dote on nature's beauties, neglecting his responsibilities to nature. Sydney, proud of its harbor, builds there and forgets its city-self. There are no fine structures to speak of, no monuments, no art, and even the library has to borrow a roof for itself in a building essentially excellent but neglected as a municipal white elephant. But there is a municipal organ in the Town Hall, and that makes up for much that is wanting in Sydney.

I took up my quarters across the water from Sydney, and from there I could see the city through the glory-lens, its harbor. Little peninsulas, crossed in but a few minutes, project into the waters of the harbor, making it look like an oak-leaf and affording sites for the splendid homes that have been built there. Crowding is im[Pg 148]possible; views of the water may be had from all angles. And here, in a borrowed nest, I sat for hours perched above the water, noting and gloating over its moods and character. What charm it works, when in the blood-red streaks of sunset the tidal floods cool the peaceful turquoise; when the busy little ferries of day become fairy transports with streaks of shimmering light as escort, moving across the still waters; when on Sunday morning Sydney across the way relaxes, amazing with revelations. With street and sky-line clear, quiet hangs in the air; or on more windy days, myriad whitecaps royne at the numerous ships which cross and recross one another's paths. In one direction, industry is idealized; in others, nature and beauty lie naked, above idealization.

For two weeks I lived out at Manly Beach, nine miles by ferry from Sydney, and went in and out every day. The Heads lie to the right, and as we made our way across, the swells from the sea beyond rolled the little ferry teasingly. At times, when the swells were heavier and the crowds excessive, a sort of panic would spread over them, but some of the inevitable minstrels that swarm the streets and by-ways of Sydney, would counteract contagion with music and song.

The beaches are always crowded. Annette Kellerman is Australian, and somehow, whether as cause or effect, Sydney people are the most amphibious folk in the world. They seem to live in the water. Every spare hour is spent on the wide stretches of sand that lie warm and white in the blazing sun. But nothing takes precedence over the harbor in the adoration of Sydneyites.

Sydney is known for its gaiety, yet I was lonely in Sydney,—bitterly so. Perhaps people are too gay to think of others, perhaps their gaiety made me exaggerate my loneliness. "Nothing like the Australian larrikin when he gets going," you will be told. But what struck me was the latent distemper that lurked beneath much of the hilarity that I saw in Sydney. Australia is not[Pg 149] very different from any of us,—a little more imitative, a little more outspoken, a little more gruff, a little more youthful. But wildness is not specially Australian; nor is bluntness; nor yet youthfulness. The Australian is perhaps a little more reckless, individually or en masse, than the people of other lands, but he puts up with the same social inconveniences; he reasons falsely at times and gets fooled; he gloats over the spectacular, becomes intensely excited over nothing,—and suddenly relapses. In a crowd he sometimes becomes belligerent, yet is easily led and easily relinquishes. But, above all else, he is gregarious. And it is because of this that he takes you in in Sydney,—and drops you out before you have known what has happened to you. Hence he is an inveterate sportsman, a heavy drinker, a perpetual gambler at the races,—faithful to his whimsicalities.

Intellectually he is a fanatic, but tolerates all sorts of fanaticisms. A Sunday morning on the beautiful grounds of the Public Domain is enough to convince you that Sydney would welcome the most freakish freak in the world, imprison him for the fun of it, then sympathize with him if he dies in prison, as did the famous naked man, Chidley. I have seen Sydney men who seemed to me men without hearts, as soft and gentle as women in the face of another man's hurt. Yet when a well-known army officer stole funds that belonged to wounded soldiers and their needy families, I heard respectable Sydney men say they were glad he got away with it. I have seen girls at carnivals, who at ten o'clock went about tickling strange men under the chin, snarl at them at eleven and order them to "Trot along, now." I have heard Australians say harsh things of themselves in criticism, but true loyalty is widely prevalent among Australians. An Australian always wants a mate, "some one who would stick like lead" if he were up against it. The self-criticism comes rather from the more thoughtful Australians, who, looking out upon the[Pg 150] future, want to see their country hold on to the prize it has won, and grow and become a leader in the affairs of the Pacific.

But though Sydney and Melbourne are the leading cities of the commonwealth, he who has to judge of the nation by them wonders where that leadership is to come from. The love of pleasure is a sign of health in any people; and Australia is in that sense most healthful. Material progress is the next best indication of the state of a nation; and Australia is universally prosperous. But it is in the outlook on life that a country justifies its existence and insures itself against decay. Until the war, all reports of Australia on that score were negative. Provincialism, of the most ingrowing kind, obtained. Every state thought chiefly of itself; every city of itself only; every district of none other than itself. But with the war Australia took a tremendous leap forward. For the first time in her history, her men had a chance to leave the land which intellectually was little more than a sublimated prison to them. Half a million men left Australia for Europe and other sections of the globe. And if Australia knew what she was about she would now send the rest of her men and women abroad with the same end in view,—the education of the people for the place they occupy in the world.

Much criticism is flung at Australia because her young men and women are inclined to enjoy life rather than burden themselves with a succeeding generation. If the beginning and end of life is reproduction, then that is a just criticism. But the welfare of the living is as important as the welfare of civilization. The greatest criticism is not that people will not bear children in the face of trying economic conditions, but that, having exceptionally favorable circumstances, they show no special inclination to become parents, and that nothing is being done to create conditions under which the bearing of young would be no handicap. But that requires an intel[Pg 151]lectual outlook which is at present wanting in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney. There is an over-emphasis of pleasure per se, a lack of seriousness in the concerns of life.

Sydney lures men and women from the back-blocks and makes them feel human again, makes them forget the plains are sear, and that manliness is next to cleanliness. It affords dull station-owners a chance to mix with folk where sweetness and refinement, and not crudeness, is the order of the day and of life. It takes men and women who have been told that to increase and multiply is the only contribution they can make to the welfare of the community and shows them that there is something in life besides that. So when I think of what Sydney means to the world that lies behind it I cannot refrain from offering my contribution of praise. But then I ask myself and Sydney what it has done to make the back-blocks better, what it is doing to build up the country, and the fact becomes evident that it is only draining it. Fully 51 per cent of the inhabitants of Australia live in cities. It is for these cities to lay railroads and highways and to open the vast continent; and that can be done only by putting prejudices aside, by adding to recreation real creation and a soberness in the affairs of life which alone will win for Australia its place in the affairs of the Pacific.

What, socially and individually, then, is the contribution of Australia to the civilization of the Pacific? Is her position to be one of eminent leadership commensurate with the welfare of the individual members of the Commonwealth, or is their joyousness going to make her citizens forget ambition and their ruling destiny? This much must not be forgotten,—that born as a convict colony, Australia has more than justified itself; that the term "convict colony" is now no more applicable to Australia than it is to Virginia. That handicap notwithstanding, Australia to-day is as far advanced as any[Pg 152] nation in the world. The people do not generally take to higher mathematics, to philosophical thinking, or to science, but illiteracy is rare in Australia. Given a continent wherein nothing of civilization was to be found, Australia has made of it, in a little more than a century, a land productive, healthful, and promising. Much praise is due Japan for what she has accomplished along material lines in seventy years; how much more praise is due Australia for what she has done in about the same time!


As one journeys north along the Australian coast, life begins to thin out. Fate must have been in a comic mood when it apportioned me my experiences as I was leaving that island continent, for in Brisbane it allotted me an august funeral, and in Thursday Island it sent a missionary out to "attack me." Thereby hang two tales.

I had walked what seemed to me fully two miles from the pier in the Brisbane River to the heart of town and was rather overheated. My septuagenarian Englishman trudged along by my side. When we arrived in the central thoroughfare I took note of the fact that things looked fresh and clean, that there was a tendency toward pink paint, but that otherwise I might have saved myself the journey. Alas, it was Saturday afternoon, and a half-holiday! Leaving my venerable comrade behind, I strode along at my own pace in search of adventure, my camera across my shoulder. I had taken to a hilly side street, and must have looked like a professional tourist. Absorbed in seeking, I was startled by an appealing voice behind me. Turning, I found the owner of that voice gazing intently at my camera.

"That's a camera you have there, sir."

I admitted my guilt, wondering what crime lurked in the possession of a camera.[Pg 153]

"I've been trotting all over town trying to find a photographer, sir, but their shops are all closed. Would you mind coming along with me, sir, and taking a picture of a funeral as the mourners come out of church. Lady ---- is so anxious to have a picture of them just leaving church. The deceased, sir, her husband, was a very much beloved gentleman, a prominent official, and devoted to the church in which now lie his remains, and she would be so pleased if you would come and taik a fouto for her." In his excitement, he slipped into the use of cockney, so prevalent in Australia. I threw out my chest and thought to myself: "See here, old man, do you think I've lived in New York and London and Paris, and Sydney, and —— to be sold a gold brick in Brisbane? But I'll show you I'm game." And I followed him up the street. But sure enough, there at the top of the hill, from an imposing church, emerged a funeral, posing to be taken. It did not matter to this man that I told him my ship was in port only for the day and that before I could possibly make a print I should be either in China or Japan. But just then Fate thought she was carrying the joke too far and sent along a native son with a camera, and I was released. I set out for the ship.

In the little gullies that lie along the way were shacks or cottages, raised on piles, with inverted pans between them and the floor beams. White ants were eating to pulp these supports. We were in the tropics again.


Fate must have chuckled. She is fond of practical jokes. The next time she tried one on me, I was in Cairns. Having entered Australia on the ground floor, Melbourne, I suppose Cairns might be said to be the fifth-story window. I left the ship the moment she was made fast, keyed up with expectation of seeing the tropics again. Ashore, the spirit hovering about tropical villages took me in hand. No better guide can be found on earth. With a voice subdued, it urged me to pass[Pg 154] quickly through the town, which was still asleep except for the saloons and their keepers. The spirit leading me complained of that other spirit which leads and captures most men in the tropics. My spirit, happy to have a patron, offered me luxurious scenes, melodious sounds, and mellow colors,—happy in receiving a grateful stranger. While pressing through the little village, I noticed the mission type of architecture of the post-office; the concrete columns guarding the entrance of the newspaper office; the arched balconies of a hotel; the delicate, dainty cottages raised on wooden piles, the verdure hiding defects, and the main building lost in a massive growth of yellow flowers overgrowing roof and all. A small opening for entrance and a pugnacious corner were the only indications of its nature as a residence. Then there were a "School of Arts" and a double-winged girls' school. The whole town was pretty and in concord with the scenes about.

But I was not held. I pressed on toward the hills, to the open road. Allons! But alas! I betrayed myself by doubting the "spirit of the tropics" which was guiding me. I resorted to a tiny mortal for information, and in that way angered the spirit, which instantly deserted me. Not content with whisperings, I had sought definition, asked for distance,—Where? Whence? How? And I lost!

He was a little man, with worn shoes from the holes of which peeped stockingless feet. In the early morning he had slipped on shoes which would not deprive him of the dew. He had covered his little legs with a dark pair of dirty trousers, his body with a soiled white coat, and his mind with misunderstood scripture. His bulging eyes betrayed his inward confusion.

Upon inquiring, he informed me that the road led to the hospital and would take me fifteen minutes to negotiate. Then he wanted to know if I came off the Eastern. "Any missionaries on board?" he asked. "I don't[Pg 155] know," I answered. "I suppose that is something you don't trouble much about." I agreed. "Ah, that's just it. Don't you know the Bible says, 'Be prepared to meet thy Maker?' How do you know but what any moment you may be called?" "Well, if I am, I have lived well enough to have no fear." "Yes, that is just it. You live in carnal sin. You have no doubt looked upon some woman with lustful eyes this very morning. I sin, too, every moment." Heaven knows I had not been tempted. I hadn't seen any woman to look at, and nothing was further from my mind just then. And so it was,—sin, assumption and condemnation. I talked with him a few minutes, asserted my fearlessness, the consciousness of a reasonably good life. But nothing would do. The poison of fear with which he contrived to wound me I now had to fight off. I had come out all joy and happiness in the new day, the loveliness of life. If worship was not on my lips it was in my heart, and he had tarnished it. He brought thoughts of sin and death to my mind, which, at that moment, if at any time in my life, was free from selfishness and from unworthy desires.

I cut across to the sea,—not even an open avenue being fresh enough for me now. It was as though I had suddenly inhaled two lungfuls of poison gas and struggled for pure air. I turned back to the boat, not caring to go too far lest she leave port. A tropical shower poured its warm water over me as though the spirit of the tropics felt sorry, and forgave me. I returned to the ship, and quarter of an hour later we were moving out into the open sea again.


The next and last time that I landed on Australian soil was at Thursday Island, one of the smallest of the Prince of Wales group, north of Cape York Peninsula, in the Torres Strait. German New Guinea (now a British[Pg 156] mandatory) lies not far away. There is not much of a village and most of the buildings are made of corrugated iron. But there was not at that time that stuffy, damp odor which pervades Suva; nor, in fact, was there much of that mugginess that is Fiji. Yet it is only eleven degrees from the equator, whereas Fiji is thirteen. The street is only a country road, and dozens of goats and kids pasture upon it. The few stores (closed on Sunday) were not overstocked. There are two large churches. One was built from the wreckage of a ship that had some romantic story about it which I cannot recall. There was also another institution, the purpose of which I could not discern. It was musty, dirty, dilapidated, with shaky chairs and shelves of worm-eaten books. I suppose it was a library. Hotels there were galore, and though bars were supposed to be closed on Sunday, a small party of passengers succeeded in striking a "spring."

I wandered off by myself. Slowly the great leveler, night, crept into the heart of things, and they seemed glad. Orientals and natives from New Guinea lounged about their little corrugated iron houses, obedient to law and impulse for rest. Japanese kept off nakedness with loose kimonos. One of them lay stretched upon the mats before the open door, reading. Others squatted on the highway. Tiny Japanese women walked stiffly on their wooden geta as they do in Japan. Tiny babies wandered about alone like wobbling pups. Upon the sea-abandoned beach groups of New Guinea natives gathered to search for crabs or other sea-food. A cow waded into the water to cool herself. And the sail-boats, beached with the receding tides, lunged landward.

Peace and evening. Nay, more. There is not only indolent forgetfulness here; there is more than mere ease in the tropics: there is affluence in ease. A something enters the bone and sinew of moving creatures which awakens and yet satisfies all the dearest desires.[Pg 157] And nothing remains when night comes on but lamplight and wandering white shadows.

Late that night I returned to the ship. Deep, familiar sounds revived my memory of Fiji, on the other line of my triangle. A chorus of New Guinea voices,—rich, deep, harmonious, and rhythmic—rose from a little boat beside us. In it were a half-dozen natives, squatting round a lantern, reading and singing hymns in their own tongue. Such mingled sadness with gladness,—one does not know where one begins and the other ends. Shiny black bodies crouching and chanting. Hymns never seemed more sincere, more earnest.

They were waiting there for midnight to come, when Sunday ends for them, and toil begins. The ship must be loaded. Then voices will rattle with words and curses. All night long they labored with good things for other men. When I came out in the morning they breakfasted on boiled yams and turtle, a mixture that looked like dough. Instead of using their fingers, they employed sharp pointed sticks, doubtless in imitation of Japanese chop-sticks. Progress!

Shortly afterward we struck across the Arafua Sea, and saw Australia no more.

[Pg 158]



Venturing round the Pacific is like reincarnation. One lives as an Hawaiian for a spell, enters a state of non-existence and turns up as a Fijian; then another period of selflessness, and so on from one isle to another. From such a period of transmigration I woke one morning to the sight of Zamboanga, and knew myself for a moment as a dual personality,—a Filipino and an American in one. All day long we hugged the coast of the islands of the group—Mindanao, Negros, Panay, Mindoro, Luzon—the cool blue surface of the choppy sea between us and reality. After so many days' journey along the coast of Australia, through sea after sea, it seemed unreasonable to require a turn of the sun in which to outstrip a few Oriental islands. Then we swung to the right. Ahead of us, we were told, lay Manila, but even the short run to that city seemed interminable. At last the unknown became the known. A red trolley-car emerged from behind the Manila Hotel. Life became real again.

Our ship had hardly more than buoyed when a fleet of lighters surrounded her,—flat, blunt, ordinary skiffs; long, narrow, peculiar ones. The former I thought represented American efficiency; the latter, Filipino whimsicality. The Filipino craft were decorated in black, with flourishes and letters in red and white. Over their holds low hoods of matting formed an arch upon which swarmed the native owners. How business-like, yet withal attractive. And business became the order of the night.[Pg 159]

From beneath the matted hoods of the lighters flickered glimmers of faint firelight. Life there was alert, though quiet. It hid in the shadows of night; confined in the holds, dim candles and lanterns quivered: peace reigned before performance. A quiet harbor; moon and stars and mast-lights above; a cool, refreshing breeze. That was my first night in Manila Harbor.

Morning. Not really having stretched my legs in nearly three weeks, since sailing from Sydney, Australia, I naturally felt in high spirits upon landing. The mists which hung over Manila quickened my pace, for I knew that before I could see much of that ancient town they would be gone, dissipated by the intense heat of the tropical sun. I was eager to put on my seven-leagued boots to see all that I had selected years before as the things I wanted to stride the seas to see. But I soon discovered that I was only a clumsy iron-weighted deep-sea diver. All round the Pacific I had traveled alone. I wanted no mate but freedom. But the three weeks en route from the Antipodes, on board a small liner whose major passenger list was made up of monosyllabic Oriental names drove me, willy-nilly, into the companionship of the septuagenarian English captain.


On account of the keying down of my reactions to the tempo of seventy-three plus British sedateness, I wrote many things in my book of vistas that seem to me now mere aberrations. Just to indicate what the effect was I shall confess that as I approached the Walled City I conceived of myself as almost a full-fledged Don Quixote storming the citadel of ancient aggression. But my elderly Sancho Panza held me back lest the shafts of burning sunlight strike me down.

Standing before the gates of antiquity, even the most haughty of human beings moves by instinct back along[Pg 160] the line of the ages, like a spider pulling himself up to his nest on his web. Round the black stone wall which encircles the old Spanish city, that which was once a moat is now a pleasant grass-grown lawn. The wall itself, still well preserved, has been overreached by two-story stone houses with heavy balconies which seem to mock the pretenses of their "protector." Outwardly, things look old; within change has kept things new. Mixed with surprised curiosity at two Antipodes so close together comes a feeling of contact with eternity, the present of yesterday linking itself with the antiquity which is to be.






A long, narrow street stretched across the city. Spanish buildings tinted pink and delicately ornamented, lined the sides. White stone buildings, chipped and seamed with use and age, lined the way. Broad entrances permitted glimpses of sumptuous patios, refreshed by tropical plants; low stone steps leading up to dark vault-like chambers; windows barred but without glass,—spacious retreats built by caballeros who thought they knew the value of life. Indeed, they knew how to build against invasion of the sun and the Oriental pirate, but not against the invasion of time. Perhaps they live better as Spaniards to-day than they lived as conquerors yesterday.

Here, within the walled city, everything looks as though change were not the order of eternity. Everything is as it was, yet nothing is so. Trolley-cars clank, motor-cars of the latest models throb quietly, pony-traps and bullock-carts stir the ancient quiet. One wonders how so much new life can find room to move about in such narrow streets with their still narrower sidewalks that permit men to pass in single file only, and angular corners and low buildings. But there they are, and there they bid fair to remain. Even the unused cathedrals, whose doors are here and there nailed shut, stand their ground. Some of them even close the street with their [Pg 161] imposing fronts, the courage of fervent human passion in their crumbling façades.






At that early hour there was little sign of human life. Into some of the cathedrals native women crept for prayer. Here and there a confined human being passed across the glassless windows; here and there a tourist flitted by in search of sights. And I soon realized that within the walls, intramuros, there was nothing. Across the park, across the Pasig River, there one finds life.

Yet within that ancient crust there is new life. Some old buildings have been turned into government offices, high schools, a public library fully equipped, an agricultural institute, everything standing as in days of old, but new flowers and plants growing in those crude pots,—old surroundings with a new spirit. Something mechanical in that spirit,—typewriters clicking everywhere under native fingers; still, typewriters don't click without thoughts.

Here, then, is the conflict in growth between the ends of time, heredity struggling with environment, the fountains of youth washing the bones of old ambitions. They may not become young bones, but may we not hope they will at least be clean? May not time and patience remold antiquity, absorb its bad blood and rejuvenate it? Typewriters clicking everywhere; tongues born to Filipino, then turned to Spanish, now twisting themselves with English. The trough has been brought to the horse. Will he drink? The library was full of intelligent-looking young Filipinos, the cut of their clothes as obviously American as the typewriters clicking behind doors. Both typewriters and garments indicated efficiency, but I could no more say what was the impulse in the being within those clothes than what thoughts were being fixed in permanence to the sound of an American typewriter.

The most symbolical thing of all was the aquarium built beneath one wing of the great wall round this little[Pg 162] village. If in the hard shell of American possession arrangement can still be made for the freedom, natural and unconfining, of the native Filipinos, we shall not lay ourselves open to censure. The natives may not be satisfied, they may prefer the open sea; but that is up to them to achieve. As long as we keep the water fresh and the food supplies free, they can complain only of their own crustaceous natures and nothing else.


All Manila does not live within the walls, however,—not even a goodly portion of it,—and the exits are numerous. Passing through the eastern gate, one comes into a park which lies between the walled city and the Pasig River. Beyond the river and on its very banks is Manila proper. As I got my first glimpse of the crowded, dirty waterway, I could not say much in reply to my companion, whose patriotic fervor found expression in criticism of American colonization. It was like looking into a neglected back yard. The Englishman did not seem to see, however, that to have done better in so short a time would have been to inflict hardships on the natives which no amount of progress ever justifies. Still, with memories of Honolulu as a basis for judgment I was not a little disappointed. How to change people without destroying their souls,—that is the problem for future social workers for world betterment to solve.

Meanwhile I had succeeded in eluding my burden of seventy-three years and opened my eyes to the life round about me. There was still a bridge to cross. It was narrow, wooden and crowded. It was only a temporary structure, built to replace the magnificent Bridge of Spain which was washed away in the great flood of September, 1914. During the few minutes it took me to saunter across it, the traffic was twice blocked. Per[Pg 163]haps to show me how full the traffic was, for in that moment there lined up as many vehicles and people and of sufficient variety to illustrate the stepping-stones in transportation progress. There were traps, motor-cars, carts drawn by carabao, or water-buffalo, bicycles, and trolley-cars. Everybody seems to ride in some fashion.

Yet everybody seems to walk, and in single file at that. Gauze-winged Filipino women,—tawdry, small and ill-shod, or, rather, dragging slippers along the pavement—insist on keeping to the middle of the narrow walks. Frequently they are balancing great burdens on their heads, with or without which they are not over-graceful or comely. Their stiff, transparent gauze sleeves stand away from them like airy wings. One hasn't the heart to brush against them lest these angelic extensions be demolished, and so one keeps behind them all the way.

The men also shuffle along. They wear embroidered gauze coats which veil their shirts and belts and trousers. There is something in this lace-curtain-like costume that seems the acme of laziness. Neither stark nakedness nor the durability of heavy fabrics seem so prohibitive of labor as does this thin garment. No inquiry into the problem of the Philippines would seem to me complete without full consideration of the origin of this costume.

But one is swept along over the bridge, and is dropped down into Manila proper by way of a set of steps, through a short alley. The main street opens to the right and to the left. It is brought to a sudden turn one block to the left and then runs on into the farther reaches of the city; to the right it winds its way along till it encompasses the market-place and confusion. This chiseling out of streets in such abrupt fashion is puzzling to the person with notions of how tropical people behave. Why such timidity in the pursuance of direction and desire? The obstruction of the bridge promenade by the main street and of the main street by a side street have[Pg 164] a tendency to shoot the seer of sights about in a fashion comparable to one of those games in which a ball is shot through criss-cross sections so that the players never know in what little groove it will fall or whether the number will be a lucky one or not.

I first fell into a bank, and the amount of money one can lose in exchanging Australian silver notes into American dollars is sufficient to dishearten one. The shops were too damp and insignificant to attract me much, however, so I ventured on into the outer by-ways of the city. There the dungeon-like stores and homes and Chinese combinations had at least the virtue of ordinary Oriental manner in contrast to our own. The Chinese cupboard-like stores, that seem to hang on the outside of the buildings like Italian fruit-stands, held few attractions. There was an obvious utilitarianism about them which, strange as it may seem, is the last thing the man with no fortune to spend enjoys. Shops and museums afford the unpossessing compensation for his penury.

As I made my way ahead to a small open square, my attention was arrested by a performance the full significance of which did not at first appear to me. At the gateway of a large cigar-factory from which came strolling male and female workers, sat two individuals—two women at the women's gate, two men at the men's—and each worker was examined before leaving. As a woman came along, the inspector passed her hands down the side of the skirts, up the thighs, over the bosom,—then slapped her genially and off she went. Through it all, the girls assumed a most dignified manner, absolutely without self-consciousness and oblivious of the gaze of the passers-by. What is more certain to break down a man's or a woman's self-respect than becoming indifferent to the opinion of the public as to the method of being searched? A Freudian complex formed to the point[Pg 165] of one's believing oneself capable of theft, the next thing is to live out that unconscious thought of theft and to care nothing for the censure of the world.

When at work, these girls possessed a sort of sixth sense. The cigarettes are handed over to them at their benches to be wrapped in bundles of thirty. They never stop to count them—just place the required number in their left hands encircling them with thumb and fingers, reject an odd one if it creeps in, and tie the bundle. I counted a dozen packets, but did not find one either short or over, and the overseers are so certain of this accuracy that they never count them either.

But what a different world is found at the public school not very far from the factory! The building was not much of a building,—just an old-fashioned wooden structure with a court. Its sole purpose seemed to be to furnish four thousand children with training in the use of a new tongue. "Speak English," stared every one in the face from sign-boards nailed to pillars. I listened. The command was honored more in the breach than in the observance, yet where it was respected strange English sounds tripped along tongues that were doubtless more accustomed to Tagalog and Spanish. There was nothing shy in the behavior of these boys and girls. They moved about with a certain monastic self-assurance, less gay than our children, more free than most Oriental youngsters. In a few years they will be advocating Filipino independence, in no mistaken terms,—if they have not been caught by the factory process.

I went straight ahead and found myself on my way back into the city,—but from a side opposite that from which I had left it. The squalor and the dungeon-like atmosphere were indeed nothing for American efficiency to be proud of. Slums in the tropics fester rapidly. One cannot say these places were slums; but they certainly were not native villages. One felt that here in[Pg 166] Manila America's heart was not in her work. Why build up something that would in the end revert to the natives, to be laid open to possible aggression and conquest! One felt further that the Filipinos did not exactly rejoice in being Americans. What they actually are they have long since forgotten. Once foster-children of Philip of Spain. To-day the adopted sons of America. To-morrow? How much more fortunate their Siamese cousins or relatives by an ancient marriage! Yet all who know Manila as it was ten years ago agree that there have been vast improvements in a decade. One does not include in this generalization the residences and hotels of the foreigners, for obvious reasons; still, the welfare of a community is raised by good example.


That afternoon I stretched in the shade of one of the walls of the old walled citadel with its fine gateways. I pondered the significance of those stones against which I was resting. One gains strength from such structures as one does from the sea,—not only in the actual contact, but in the thought that that which human effort accomplished human effort can do again. My septuagenarian had returned to the ship for rest. I thought of his criticisms of the American occupation of Manila, of his suggestions that England would have made of it a fine city. I wondered what drove the Spanish to build this wall. To protect themselves against Chinese pirates? There is not a country in the world that has not tried to safeguard itself against invasion by the process of invasion. Yet any attempt to do otherwise is decried as impractical. All the while, decay weakens the arm of the conqueror.

But more luring scenes distracted my thoughts. The sinking sun stretched the lengthening shadows of the wall as a fisherman, at sunset, spreads his serviceable nets. Filipinos passed quietly to and fro; cars, motor-cars, and electric cars cut a St. Andrew's cross before me.[Pg 167] The scent of mellow summer weighted the air. Slowly everything drew closer in the net of night.

Two days later I was in Hong-Kong, where the Oriental dominates the scene. I was at the third angle of the triangle, and hereafter the subject is Asia.

[Pg 168]



To one who had received his most vivid impressions of China from her noblest philosopher, Lao-tsze, it was somewhat disconcerting to peep through the porthole just after dawn and find oneself the center of a confusion indescribable. The sleepy, heaving sea was more in tune with the mystic "Way" of the great sage. I had not anticipated being thrust so suddenly among the masses and the babel on which Lao-tsze, that gray-beard child, had tried to pour some intellectual oil.

Yet, I had been living on the top floor of a Chinese "den" for twenty-six days between Sydney and Hong-Kong. On board I was ready to blame the steamship company for the crowding and the uncleanliness. Had there been a dozen murders, I should not have regarded it as unnatural. Had I been compelled to spend three weeks in such circumstances, I should either have committed hara-kiri or killed off at least four hundred and fifty-five to make the decent amount of room necessary for the remaining fifty. So I was prepared to exonerate them, to praise them for their pacifism and their orderliness in such conditions.

But when I peeped out of the porthole that morning and saw the swarming thousands struggling with one another to secure a pittance of privilege, which these five hundred had to offer by way of baggage, my heart went out to the great sage of 650 B. C. He must have been courageous indeed.

Full families of them on their shallow sampans co[Pg 169]operating with one another against odds which would sicken the stoutest-hearted white folk. Yet in that Oriental mass there was the ever-present exultation of spirit. Laughter and good-natured bullying, full recognition of the other man's right to rob and be robbed. No smug morality teaching you to be shy and generous in the face of an obviously bad world, a world ordered so as to make goodness the most expensive instead of the least expensive quality. But I soon discovered that beneath that external jollity only too frequently fluttered a fearful heart, filled with dread of the slightest change of circumstances.

The distance between the ship and the shore was not like Charon's river Styx, but it was a way between the Elysium of an alien metropolis and a Hades of hopeless nativity, none the less. Beyond stood the towering hills of Hong-Kong with its massive palaces in marble at the very summit. Chinese will to live had builded these, but the people had not, it seems, enough will left to build for themselves. From the very foot of the hills upward rose a steady series of buildings which looked surprisingly familiar, yet somewhat alien to my expectations. It was something of a shock to me to find that Hong-Kong was Chinese in name and character only, while being European-owned and ordered. I felt fooled. I had gone to see China, but found only another outpost of Great Britain. My American passport had had most fascinating Chinese characters on the back of it. But the "Emergency Permit" issued to me in Sydney, had none. Between British ports one can always expect British courtesy and that largeness of heart which comes from having taken pretty nearly all there is worth while in the world without being afraid of losing it. So I made some hurried mental adjustments as we chugged our way across, amidst bobbing sampans, and convinced myself that it might have been worse.

In that great future which will put modern civilization[Pg 170] somewhere half-way between the Stone Age and itself, the stones of Hong-Kong will give investigators much to think about. Everything in Hong-Kong is concrete and stone. From the spacious office buildings that stand along the waterfront, to the palaces upon the peak, stone is the material out of which everything is built. What achievement! What a monument to Britain! But as the stones become harder beneath one's feet, one senses the toil embodied in them. Male and female coolies still trudge over these stony paths, carrying baskets of gravel, tar, or sand higher and higher. These structures seemed to me like human bridges which great leaders of men sometimes lay for their armies to pass over. Where do they lead to? Perhaps to England's greatness; perhaps to the world's shame.

At first one is prone to be rigid in one's judgment. There seems too much evidence of desire to build securely, rather than humanely or beautifully. The Orient, one hears, builds more daintily, more softly, more picturesquely; America builds more comfortably and more thoroughly. One might add, apologetically, that had not the masters driven these coolies to such stony tasks, the poor creatures would simply have built another Chinese wall at the behest of one of their own tyrants. Cheap labor makes pyramids and walls, and palaces on the peaks of Hong-Kong. But it also makes an unsightly slough of humanity about itself. Considering how costly pyramids and palaces such as those at Hong-Kong are, considering the plodding toil it took to build them, for the sake of humanity it is better that they were built of stone, so that rebuilding may never be necessary.

Everywhere as we climb we pass rest stations, coolies buying a few cents' worth of food, coolies carrying cement. While far beneath lies murky, moldy Hong-Kong with its worm-like streets, its misty harbor waters, its hundreds of steamers, sail-boats, sampans, piers, and dry-docks, and all around stand the peaks of earth and[Pg 171] the inverted peaks of air. Returning by another route, down more winding and more precipitous paths, one passes great concrete reservoirs, tennis-courts, an incline railway, water-sheds,—and the city again.


The days draw on even here, and sunlight is curtained by dim night. The din of human voices loses its shrill tone of bargaining, the rickshaw men trot regularly but more slowly. Carriers of sedan-chairs lag beneath their loads; their steps slow down to a walk. Women by the dozen slip by, still with their burdens, but their voices have a note of softness, pleasing sadness. And now comes the time of day when no matter in what station one's life may be cast, spirit and body shift to better adjustment. And through the dim blue mist the shuffling of feet is heard, or the sounding of loose wooden slippers like drops of water in a well. Whatever revived activities may follow this twilight hour, now, for the world entire, is rest,—even in toil-worn, grubbing, groveling China, which seems not to have been born to rest.

"Business" is not yet gone from the streets of Hong-Kong, though it is now wholly dark. Every one is working as though the day were but just beginning and it were not Sunday night. It is impossible to select "important" things from out this heap of human debris. Filth, odors, activity, jewelry, dirty little heaps and packets of food,—all are handled over and over again, and each one is content with a lick of the fingers for the handling. Then when quite worn out one may rest his bones on the pavement covered with straw or mat, or if more fortunate, may have a hovel or a house in which to breed. The number of homeless wretches sleeping on the inclined stone pavements of Hong-Kong was simply appalling. And Hong-Kong is British made. Hong-Kong was a barren island twenty-nine miles in area when seventy-[Pg 172]five years or so ago Britain demanded it from China; to-day its population is nearly a tenth of that of the whole continent of Australia. But what a difference in the status of that population! Certainly no man who sees the result of over-population in proportion to a people's industrial ingenuity can blame Australia for keeping herself under reproductive self-control.

A few of the things one sees as a matter of course in Hong-Kong will illustrate. As I was coming down Pottinger Street I was horror-struck at the sight of a small boy on his knees groaning and wailing as though he were in unendurable agony. I thought at first he was having a fit, but it became obvious that there was method in his madness. He was repeating some incantation, bowing his head to the ground, tapping frantically with a tin can on the stones, and chanting or shrieking out his blessings or his curses, which ever the case may have been. He was a blind beggar, and though he must have received more money than many a coolie does (for even Chinese have coins to give) and in a way certainly earned it, I could not but smile at his wisdom,—for at its worst it was no worse than the labor of the coolie. Yet from many passers-by he evoked only slight amusement.

Upon some steps in an unlighted thoroughfare stood a Chinese haranguing a crowd. His voice was not unpleasant, his manner was persuasive. But what to? Had he been urging China to stop breeding, to cease this worm-like living and reproducing, I should have regarded him as a public benefactor. For it made me creepy, this proximity to such squirming numbers.

Beside a dirty wall around the corner was a medicine man selling a miraculous bundle of herbs. He screeched its powers, gave each a smell, which each one took since it cost nothing, and then he went into frightful contortions to demonstrate that which these herbs could allay. But from the expression on his face it was obvious they could[Pg 173] not allay his disappointment that the purchasers were few.

At an open store was a crowd. I edged my way up to see the excitement. It was a "doctor's operating-room." Upon a bench sat an old man, gray-haired and almost toothless. The "doctor" stood astride the patients' knees and with a steel instrument, somewhat rusty, calmly and carelessly stirred about in the old man's eyeless socket. All the sufferer did was to mutter "Ta, ta, ta," pausing slightly between the ta's, but never stirring. No guarding against infection out on the open, dusty, dirty thoroughfare.

The crowd looked on without any sign of emotion. A few women sat on a bench inside, but seemed quite indifferent. There was one exception. A little mother with a boy of about six contemplated the performance with a pained expression. Her boy's eyes were crossed and turned upward. He had to be treated, too.

Finally even these things end. It is nine o'clock. Shops are closing, the crowds on the streets die down. And for one brief spell the world will rest.

Here we have four examples of life in China. When we examine them closely, haphazardly chosen as they have been, there is a strange uniformity and contradiction in their basic situations. The blind beggar-boy, the charlatan advocate and medicine man, the careless surgeon,—at bottom all charlatans, yet all essentially sincere. That ranting little beggar howled his lying appeals, but at home, no doubt, were other mouths to be fed for which he—blind head of the family—was responsible. The herb-specialist seemed, from the tone of his voice, sincere in the belief in his remedies; the surgeon, certain of his operation. Yet that is what China is suffering from most, and because of the faith in their crude panaceas and the conviction that five thousand years of tradition gives folk, the Rockefeller Foundation will have[Pg 174] to work for many generations before it will make China prophylactic.


There was another incident that illustrated, to me at least, China's ailment. Hong-Kong seemed possessed one night. I thought a riot or a revolution had broken out, but it was only a house on fire. Thousands of Chinese scurried about like rats looking for ways of escape. From the littered roof and balcony of a five-story tenement a flame leaped skyward as though itself trying to escape from the unpleasant task of consuming so dirty a structure. The curious collected in hordes from everywhere.

I made my way into this mass not unaware of being quite alone in the world. It was interesting to be in this sort of mob. The reason for China's subjugation showed itself in the ease with which it was controlled. One single white policeman, running back and forth along the length of a block, kept the whole mob well along the curb. It was amazing to watch the crowd retreat at the officer's approach and then bulge out as soon as he passed by. One young Chinese stood out a little too far. The officer came up on his rear, yanked him by the ear, and sent him scurrying back into the mob. They who dared rushed timidly across the street. I remarked this to the policeman. He was pleased. "If you want to get closer up, just walk straight ahead," he said. And so I did, as did other white men who arrived, without being stopped. That was it: we were quite different; we could go. Later a host of special police, Chinese and Indian regulars, arrived and relieved this lone white officer.

This incident seemed to me to symbolize China's present state. No leader, no cohesion, no common thinking. Had the mob been resentful,—what then! It was a mob the like of which I had never seen before. A dull murmur sounded through all the confusion. It seemed to be[Pg 175] of one tone, as though all the notes of the scale were sung at once and they blended into one another like the colors of the spectrum. The people seemed wonderfully alert. Their hearing was keen. Two tram-car conductors conversed forty feet away from each other, with dozens of yapping Chinese between.

Thus, China enjoys a oneness like that of water. Easily separated, lightly invaded, rapidly reunited, her masses flow on together when directed into any channel, and it matters little where or why. And the white policeman assured me that when the Chinese still wore queues a policeman raided a den and tied the queues of fifteen Chinese together and with these as reins drove them to prison.


Yet, what nation or race in the world has maintained such indivisibility against so much separation! Think of what the family is and has been to China,—its creeds, its government, its entire existence. Yet the family and concubinage obtain side by side.

There was evidence of this in British Hong-Kong. Upon the street one day I saw another crowd. It was waiting for the appearance of the Governor of Canton. When the worthy governor emerged from a very unworthy-looking building, the crowd cheered and gathered close around the automobile.

A well-dressed young Chinese in European clothes emerged from the hall. I asked him what was toward, surmising his understanding. He spoke English fluently and seemed pleased to inform me. So we strolled down the street together. He was not very hopeful about Chinese democracy as yet, but believed in it and expressed great admiration for America. Britain, he said, was not well liked. He spoke of his religion, his belief in Confucianism. He regretted that Hong-Kong had no temples and that he and his friends were compelled to meet at the club for prayer.[Pg 176]






Yet though he was a Confucianist, he decried the family system. "Chinese cling too much to family," he said. "One man goes to America, then he sends for a brother simply because he is a relative. The brother may be a very bad character, but that doesn't matter. So it is in official circles in China to-day. Graft goes on, jobs are dispensed to relatives worthy or unworthy, efficient or inefficient. And the country is getting deeper and deeper into difficulties."

As though to prove the truth of his assertions, he told me of his own experiences as a child. "Chinese obey," he said. "My father paid for my education, therefore my duty toward him should know no bounds." His father had had ten children, only two of whom survived,—he and an elder sister. When his father died, he became the head of the family. Therefore he had to marry, even though then only fifteen years of age. He had been married for sixteen years. I should never have believed it, to judge from his appearance. He seemed no more than a student himself, but he assured me he had five children,—one daughter fifteen years old. Birth-control! Limitation of offspring! Why bother? If his father could "raise" a family of ten on "nothing" and then just let them die off,—why not he? So does duty keep the race alive.

And duty tolerates that which is sapping the very foundation of the race,—not only the enslavement of the wife in such circumstances, but the entertainment of the concubine. I saw the way that works.

At the opposite end of the city is the quarter where the concubines abound. Life there does not begin till eight o'clock in the evening, if as early. The clanging of cans and the effort at music is terrifying. Hotels of from four to five stories, with all their balconies illuminated, gave an effect of festive cheerfulness which the rest of the city lacked utterly.

Upon the ground floors, which opened directly upon [Pg 177] the street, the women could be seen dressing for the evening. Nothing in their behavior or dress would indicate their profession,—so unlike the licensed districts of Japan. The women never as much as noticed any stranger on the street. At the appointed time each little woman emerged, dainty, clean and sober, and passed from her own quarters to the hotels and restaurants where she was to meet her chartered libertine. Her decorum approximated saintly modesty, and she moved with a childlike innocence. There was throughout the district no rowdyism, no disorderliness. Everything was businesslike and according to regulation. Strange, that with so much self-control should go so much licentiousness. But it is part of the mystery of the Orient.







Yet, this is no stranger than that with so much of excellence in Hong-Kong, there should also go the perpetuation of coolieism; to paraphrase, that with so much dignity and honesty in trade should go so much inhumanity in the treatment of men. That is the mystery of Britannia,—and her success. America went into the Orient and immediately began educating it. In answer to a German criticism of British educational work in Hong-Kong, the "Japan Chronicle" (British) says:

Considering how much greater British interests in China have hitherto been than American, the Americans are far more guilty of the abominable crime of educating the Chinese than the British, having spent a great deal of money, and induced young Chinese to come to America and get Americanized. Most people, including impartial British subjects, would find fault rather with the narrow limits of English education in China than with its intentions. Hongkong has been for many years the center of an enormously profitable trade, and had things been done with the altruism that one would like to see in international relations, there would be ten universities instead of only one and a hundred students sent to England for college or technical training where only one is sent to-day.

Hitherto, it has been Britain's success that she has not interfered with the habits of the races she has ruled. In[Pg 178] Hong-Kong she has built a modern city out of nothing, but has permitted Asiatic defects to find their place within it.

For instance, there was no sewerage system in Hong-Kong,—a fact than which no greater criticism could be made of Britain, or of any other nation pretending to be civilized. In this no question of altruism is involved, but purely one of self-interest. And if greater concern for such matters were manifest, doubtless it would work its way back through concubinage, ancestor worship, charlatanism in public and private life.

Having taken my chances with criticism, I shall risk praise. Englishmen have never, to my knowledge, been given credit for the possession of romantic souls; yet nothing but a deep love of romance could be responsible for the manner in which Britain has preserved Hong-Kong's Chinese face. Despite the fact that it is entirely Western in its structure, I never felt the Oriental flavor more in all Japan than I did at Hong-Kong. The sedan-chairs that take one up the steeps and remind one of the swells on the China Sea in their motion, the thousands of rickishaws that roll swiftly, quietly over smoothly paved streets, the particularly attractive Chinese signs that lure one into dazzling shops with unmistakable Eastern atmosphere, the money-changers and the markets dripping with Oriental messes, left an impression on my mind that none of my later experiences can dispel.

[Pg 179]



Under the benign influence of a Salvation Army captain, my feet were guided safely through some of the lesser evils of Shanghai. The greater could not be fathomed in the short time allotted to me in the European capital of China. Miss Smythe, who resented being called Smith, in a manner that revealed she had long since ceased to be shy of mere man, belonged to New Zealand by birth and heaven by adoption. She chose Hong-Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo as temporary resting-places. It was her task, every five years or so, to make a complete tour of the Orient to collect funds for the Salvation Army. Hence her captaincy.

I was walking along Queens Street, Hong-Kong, somewhat lone in spirit, when a rickshaw passed quickly by. The occupant, a fair lady, bowed pleasantly to me and disappeared in the mêlée. I could not recall ever having seen her face and wondered who in Hong-Kong she could be. Then it struck me that she wore a hat with bright red on it. Later that day, as I stepped into the launch to be taken across to the Tamba Maru, who should appear but this selfsame lady. We greeted each other, both surprised at the second meeting and at the coincidence of our joining the same ship.

"I thought I had met you when I greeted you on the street this morning," she said.

All the way from Hong-Kong to Shanghai she was as busy going from class to class as she was on shore, spreading the faith, placing literature where it could be found and read, organizing hymn parties and discourag[Pg 180]ing booze. The Japanese on board took her good-naturedly. She spoke their language fluently, but I could not see that they drank one little cup of saké the less for her.

When we arrived at Shanghai she would have nothing else but that I should go with her to some friends of hers for dinner. Into one rickshaw she loaded her bags, into another me, with the manner of one handling cargo, and then deposited herself in a third. The train made its way along the Bund and out of confusion. And that was the way I was shanghaied.

Somewhere in a street that might for all the world have been in Chicago, our train drew up. It was quiet, had a little open park in it, where two streets seemed to have got mixed and, scared at losing their identity like the Siamese twins, ran off in an angle of directions. Here at a brick-red building with balconies and porticoes, and a dark, damp door, we made our announcement and were received. Now what would the world have thought if a Salvation Army man had picked up a strange young woman on a steamer and haled her into a strange house? None but a Salvation Army Lassie could have done what Miss Smythe,—not Smith, mind you!—dared to do. We were welcomed as though the appearance of a stranger were in the usual course of events, and I was asked to stay for dinner. The hostess, a quiet woman, with her pretty young daughter, kept a boarding-house, and was always prepared for extra folk.

It was a boarding-house like any I should have expected to find in America. The rooms were spacious, hung with framed prints, and dark and slightly damp, according to Shanghai climate. There was something haunting about the house, but to a homeless vagabond like myself it seemed the acme of comfort. And to one who had had no real home meal in five weeks or more, but only ship's food, the spread we sat down to was delicious.[Pg 181]

Miss Smythe did not enjoy her dinner as much as I did, for she feared all along that she would not be able to get to church on time. Then it was too late for me to regain my ship, so I was invited to spend the night under a roof instead of a deck.

The next day I wandered off by myself, but not till I had promised to return for Chinese "chow." In the meantime Miss Smythe had spread my fame among others of her profession, and made a date for me to go to a "rescue house" or some such place that evening. It was a mission home for Japanese, run by a woman who, if she wasn't from Boston, I'm sure must have come from Brookline. The only thing Oriental about that mission was its Japanese. A sumptuous dinner was served which, despite the fact that I had had "chow" only twenty minutes before, I was compelled to eat. With two heavy meals where one is accustomed to berth, accommodations were somewhat crowded.

Everything would have gone well if I hadn't promised to give the residents a talk on my travels. I began. Miss Smythe felt that I wasn't emphasizing the presence of God in the numerous regions I had visited. I took His omnipresence for granted, but she kept breaking into my talk at every turn. Two meals inside of two people who both tried to lecture at once didn't go very well, especially at a mission in China run by Europeans and attended by Japanese. It seemed that there was not over-much love lost on the part of the sons of Tenno for those of the Son of Heaven, nor did the European missionaries at this place encourage the intermarriage of these illustrious spirits. The Bostonian in exile on more than one occasion spoke disparagingly of the cleanliness of the Chinese, much to the satisfaction of the Japanese. But then, she was winning and holding them to the Son of God, and when they reached heaven they would all be one. Miss Smythe afterward apologized to me for interrupting me during[Pg 182] my talk, and we parted as cordially as we had met. Some months later I found her roaming the streets of Kobe, Japan, as active as ever in the militant cause. Her insinuations about what goes on in Japanese inns seemed to me unjustifiable. So I asked her whether it was fair to the Japanese and Chinese for her to be forever repeating hearsay when she would resent it were I to repeat what I had heard about the morality of the Australians. It took her aback, but I am sure that she is still pursuing vice and drink and irreverence, aided and abetted by the dollars which she extracts from foreign business men and reprobates throughout the East.


But I must get back to Shanghai, even though Miss Smythe is so attractive. As long as I remained under her wing I had taken virtually no notice of China. So it is in Shanghai; one cannot see the Orient for the Occidentals. For if Hong-Kong is an example of adulterated British imperialism, Shanghai is one of European internationalism grafted upon China. At Shanghai the forces of two contending racial streams meet, like the waters at the entrance of Port Philip, and here, though the surface is smooth and glassy, there are eddies and whirlpools within, which are a menace to any small craft that may attempt to cross.

How strange to wander about streets and buildings quite European but to see only here and there a white face! It is an ultra-modern city built upon a flat plain. The streams of Chinese that come wandering in from regions unknown to the transient, give him a sense of contact with a vast, endless world beyond. They might be coming from just round the corner, but their manner is of plainsmen bringing their goods and chattels to market. In comparison with the Southern Chinese, these are giants, but still dirty and most of them chestless. In constant turmoil and travail, beggars pleading for a[Pg 183] pittance with which to sustain their empty lives, limousines making way for themselves between rickshaws and one-wheeled barrows, coolies pulling and carrying loads, some grunting as they jig their way along, others chanting in chorus,—yet all in the "foreign" settlement, amid buildings that are alien to them, and largely for men who see only the gain they here secure. I wonder if the Chinese say of the Europeans as Americans are often heard to say of Italians and Orientals,—that they come only to make money and return to spend it?

Yet the white have built Shanghai. Shanghai is not Chinese. Had it not been for the white men, the plain would still be swampy, would still be a litter of hovels with here and there a mansion flowering in the mud. The mud still messes up the edge of things in Shanghai. The creek is an example. There are the sampans and barges, some loaded with pyramid-like stacks of hay, some with heavy, thick-walled mahogany coffins, the myriads of families huddling within the holds, and the murky tides washing in and washing out beneath them. Here the sexes live in greater intimacy, it seemed to me, than in Hong-Kong. I actually saw one woman place her hand in what I was sure was an affectionate way on the shoulder of a man: and some were mutually helpful. But otherwise, despite the great conglomeration and greater coöperation, in the entire mass one cannot see how ancestor-worshipers can show so little regard for one another.

In the market-place the confusion is more orderly. Here even white women come to stock up their kitchens, and here Japanese women move about, sober by nature and by virtue of the superiority they possess as conquerors in their husbands' rights. Two girls are quarreling vociferously and the more self-controlled look on both sympathetically and antipathetically. The washed-down pavement of the market floor is no place, however, for a serious bout.

Through the long hours of early evening I wandered[Pg 184] into one street and out the other. I had become more or less reconciled to the alien aspects of Shanghai, to good stores selling good goods, to fashionable hotels and spacious residences, but one thing was inalienably alien to it, and that was a second-hand book-shop. It had not occurred to me that foreigners in China would part with their books if they ever got hold of them. And for a moment I was altogether transported, and my magic carpet lay in San Francisco, in Chicago, in New York all at once. But it was chilly and the rain made the city worse than a washed-down market, for it depopulated the streets, leaving me as dreary in heart as in body. I was glad when the hour came for me to make my appearance at the kind woman's house for chow.

Though I was sorry to hear the missionary at the mission decry the Chinese to the satisfaction of her Japanese patrons, and felt that it turned me slightly against both, still both Japanese and missionaries were kind and attentive to me. In the evening, a young Japanese business man called for a motor-car and took us out in the bleak, wet night to see the great white way of Shanghai. The rain deflected the strange glimmers of electric light through the isinglassed curtains of the car. For a time we skidded along over slushy streets, turning into the theater district as the attraction supreme. Here the gonfalons drooped in the watery air, while Chinese mess merchants stood in out of the rain with their little wagonettes of steaming portions. In a whirl we were through the cluttering crowds and making for the residential districts. Then wide avenues opened out in serpentine ways, shaggy trees dripping overhead, the slippery pavement swinging us from side to side as our dare-devil Chinese driver sped on to Bubbling Well. For an hour we rode, I did not know whither, but everywhere at my right and left were palatial Chinese and foreign residences. Without knowing it we had turned and were back in Shanghai, and presently within doors again,—and asleep.

[Pg 185]


Next day, this same Japanese business man volunteered to escort me to Chinese City. I would have gone by myself, but every one looked horrified at the idea; so I accepted this knightly guide. At the appointed time I presented myself at his office. He had asked his Chinese clerk to accompany us for protection, and ordered three rickshaws. Though he had lived in Shanghai for years, he had never gone to see Chinese City, and was glad to avail himself of an excuse for doing so now. The Japanese is a natural-born cicerone.

In a few minutes we had left the international section of the settlement—that jointly occupied by Britain and America—and wobbled into the French district. Suddenly we stopped, and our carriers lowered their shafts to the ground. We were at a narrow opening three or four feet wide, and I could not understand why we should pay our respects to it. "From here we have to walk," said the Chinese, and in single file we entered, dropping out of Shanghai as into a bog. That was real China, but only as little Italy in New York is real Italy.

The whole of Chinese City can be summed up hastily and in but a few words. Narrow, dirty little thoroughfares laid out in broken stone paving, tiny shops where luxuries, necessities, and coolie requisites are sold,—dark, dirty, open to the damp! What destitution is the inheritance of these thousands of years of civilization!

The first thing to greet us, standing out against the general wretchedness, was not beautiful. To one accustomed to hard sights and scenes, to one not easily perturbed by human degradation, that which passed as we entered was sufficient to unnerve him. Upon the wet, filthy street rolled a legless boy. He had no crutches; his business required none. He was begging: howling, chanting, and rolling all at the same time. I could not[Pg 186] say "Poor child!" Rather, poor China, that it should come to this!

Immediately after, though having no business connections, came an old man. Came? Walked crouching, bowing his gray head till it touched the filthy pathway. He was kotowing before the menials of China, not its empress.

The third was the worst of all. One old, ragged, broken beggar was carrying on his back what might have been a corpse, but was another beggar; the two—one on top of the other—were not more than four feet above the ground.

I felt as though Mara, the Evil One, was trying to frighten me by an exhibition of his pet horrors so that I might not go farther. I was not being perturbed, the horrors ceased.

But what beauties or treasures were they meant to guard? What was there that I was not to see? What ogre dwelt within? Nothing but a bit of business, so to speak, in a social bog.

Beside a tideless creek, advertised as a lake, stood a pagoda-like structure, just a broken reflection imaged in the mud. As we approached we were immediately taken in charge by a Chinese guide and led along a path crudely paved with cobblestones into an "ancient" tea-garden. The wall around it was topped with a vicious-looking dragon that stretched around it. A tremendous monster of wood, it lay there; and perhaps it will continue to lie there long after China shall have forsaken the dragon. Then from chamber to chamber we strolled, past tables of stone and shrines and effigies, and into the heart of China's superstitious soul. Though in itself not ancient, what a peep it afforded into antiquity,—dull, dead, yet powerful!

For within these secret chambers there were displayed endless numbers of emperors and their dynastic celebrities. In one chamber, blue with smoke and stifling[Pg 187] incense, lighted with red candles, burning joss-sticks, behung with lanterns, and crowded with lazy Chinese, we found several "emperors" with red-painted wooden effigies of their wives. To me the smoke was choking; not so to them. The incense was sweet in their nostrils, and nourishing. And in payment for the sacrificial generosity and the prayers of fat, wealthy Chinese women who fell upon their knees, rose, and fell again, bowing and repeating incantations, they were to make the husbands of these women—too busy to come themselves—meet with success in business. Seriousness and earnestness marked the features of these women, and who can say their faith was ignored?

We emerged from this underground chamber upon another thoroughfare, pursuing which we came upon an open, unused plot. Here a circus had attracted a crowd. A three-year-old baby, a pretty little sister, a feminine father, and a masculine mother were the entertainers. They were acrobats. A family row—which, it would seem, is not unknown in China—was enacted without any of the details being omitted; nor did they stop at coarse and vulgar acts which would have brought the police down upon them in America. Yet the audience seemed highly amused, while some of the spectators might easily have posed for paintings of Chinese bearded saints, or have been models for some of the sacred effigies which, not more than a block away, were idols in the temple.

These are the high spots in Chinese City, a city into which I was urged not to venture alone. That human life should be considered of little worth here is not marvelous; but that any one there should consider the prolongation of his own a bit worth the taking of mine, is one of the inexplicable marvels of the world.

Is this China? By no means. It is merely the back-wash of the contact with European life which has been imposed on China without sufficient chance for its absorp[Pg 188]tion. It is no more typical of China than our metropolitan slums are really typical of American life. True, they are the result of it, but where the rounding out of relationships and conditions have been accomplished there follows a graduation of elements to where good and evil obtain side by side. And Chinese City is but the worst phase of Chinese slums plastered upon Shanghai.


Poverty in Chinese City is one thing; in Shanghai it is another. It is all a matter of the background. Buddha the beggar is still Buddha the Prince.

After I came out of Chinese City I took much greater note of the details of the life of the coolie, the toiler in Shanghai proper. I was out on the Bund. The stone walls hemming in the river Whang-po rise at a level round the city. For five feet more the human wall of coolies shuts out the tide of poverty and despair from a world as foreign to China as water is alien to stone. From both walls a murmur reaches the outer world: the swish of the tide, the hum of coolie consolation. I let myself believe that they chant beneath their burdens to disguise their groans. Up and down the Bund they course, here at exporting, there at importing. Their gathering-places are at the godowns, and in and out they pass up and down inclined planks, each with a sack, or in couples with two or more sacks hanging from their shoulders, never resting from these rounds.

At another point they are delivering mail to the ship's launch. Two cart-loads arrive. Coolies swarm about the carts, waiting for orders. Some are mere boys, but already inured to the tread. As each lifts a bag of mail he passes a Japanese, who hands him a stiletto-shaped piece of wood with some inscription on it,—painted green to the hilt. He takes two steps and is on the gang-plank, two more, and he has burdened himself with[Pg 189] three bags of mail, and returns; he received and returns three sticks. That is the way count is kept of the mail. I couldn't understand this close precaution. Could the coolie possibly abscond with a bag of mail under the very eyes of an officer?

Two small boys eagerly rushed a distance on, to pick up some bags that had been left there. They were acting without order,—spontaneously. They would have saved themselves some labor in that way. But the officer in charge shrieked his reprimand at them. One, in his enthusiasm, ignored the command. The officer rushed after him and boxed his ears. The boy received the punishment, but went right ahead with his burden. Hardened little sinner! calloused little soul! poor little ant!

One youngster came up, chanting the sale of some sweet-cakes. Looking into his face, I wondered what he was thinking just then. He must think! No one could be so young and have such a cramped neck, such sad eyes, such furrowed brows without hard thoughts to make them so.

In the slush and rain, under semi-poverty and destitution, barefoot, ragged, and in infinite numbers,—still they toil. Yet against the background of sturdy Shanghai, their labor and their travail does not hurt as much as it does in Chinese City. The perplexities of life—national, racial, of caste—pervaded my thoughts. Why has China remained dormant so long? Why is she now waking? How will she tackle the problem of poverty? To me it seems that nations rise and fall not because fluctuation is the inherent law of life, but simply because universally accepted glory and prestige are positions generally paid for by accompanying poverty and disease. No nation can dominate for a long time with such coolieism as that in China.

China has standards all her own. We come with our ways and claim superiority. China grants it, yet goes her own way. And when we see her sons we like them,[Pg 190] though we may criticize, condemn, and try to change them. This is the oneness of China and the consensus of opinion is that it is lovable. People come, employ Chinese as servants, and try to train them. They may take that which they think you do not need, carry out their own and not your ideas. You in turn rave and roar, but in the end they are still there as servants and you as master. But they have educated you, you have not changed them. And when you leave China you long for them as did that American woman I met in Honolulu who fairly wailed her longing aloud to me. China has done this with whole nations, and, to the very end of time, whatever nation sets out to rule and conquer that new republic must make up its mind to be lost.

And so behind Shanghai is Chinese City, and behind that there is China, out upon the flat plains. There is another China yet beyond, and still another and as many as there are billows on the sea. Build modern buildings and cities, and the Chinese take them and turn them inside out, and they are what he wants them to be. This plastic people,—what is their destiny? And what, still, is there awaiting the world as they fulfil that destiny?

How strange it feels to call her republic! Yet China has taken to republicanism as though it had been brewing in her these thousands of years. From outward appearances one would never know that she is a republic to-day. Some say she really isn't. Coolies still are coolies, and Chinese, Chinese. And I dare say she is both empire and republic, two in one.

For centuries China has lain dormant as though stung by a paralyzing wasp. Centuries have been lost in sleep. But what are centuries, when waking is so simple and is always possible? China has wakened. She is rising. An hour's work has been accomplished in the first fresh flush of the new dawn. Perhaps that is all that will be done that day, the house put in a little better order. To-morrow is time enough for real work. A Chinese[Pg 191] junk comes out of its night-mist retreat with its own dim lights. A shrill whistle of a passing launch echoes across the flat plains about Shanghai. The rain of yesterday remains only as a sorry mist. A vision of clearer day shimmers through, but soon grows dull again. China seems to have shaped her climate in her own image.

A two-days' steam to Moji, Japan, on the bosom of that heaving mistress the China Sea, and my journey was over for a long while. The sea was black, the sky somber; even the sun was sad as it stooped that evening to kiss the cheek of Japan good night. I did not know just then that I was to say farewell to the sea for two and a half years,—a farewell that resulted in Japan: Real and Imaginary.

[Pg 192]

The Third Side of the Triangle

... For surely once, they feel, we were
Parts of a single continent.
Now round us spreads the watery plain—
Oh, might our marges meet again!


I had gone out to the Katori-maru to inspect my quarters. I always loved to get away from shore, even if only in a launch or sampan; it was so much cleaner and fresher on the bay. That afternoon it was altogether too attractive out there, and the city of Kobe lay so snugly below the hills that I decided to remain on board till late in the evening, and missed the last launch. I hailed a sampan. In this, with the wind splashing the single sail and the spray scattering all about us, we slipped romantically back to the American Hatoba. It was my last entrance to Kobe.


Photo from Brown Bros.

Japanese roofs may be monotonous—but never so is Fujiyama

All of the next day I kept changing trains and creeping over Japanese hills and rice-fields in my devious and indirect route to Yokohama by way of Japan's national shrine, Yamada Ise. A few days later I was on board the Katori-maru, the newest type of Japanese shrine, the modern commercial floating shrine, named after one of the most ancient of shrines in Japan. The Katori shrine is said to have been founded some twenty-five hundred years ago during the reign of the mythical first emperor, Jimmu Tenno. It was dedicated to deities who possessed great military skill and has always been patronized mainly by soldiers. Transferring shrines from land to sea is a hazardous procedure. For me, however, I [Pg 193] was ready to give my offering most willingly as long as it brought me to Seattle. There were too many people willing to patronize floating shrines at that time for me to be too particular about deities.


Photo from Brown Bros.

All are one in this glorious Pacific World

For a moment, as we slipped away from the pier, I felt what a dying man is said to feel when the flash-like review of life's experiences course through his sinking consciousness. I saw Japan and all its valleys, its dirt and its sublimity; and with all its past confusions I loved it.

Waiting for a final glimpse of Fuji left me idle enough to observe the little things about me. There was, for instance, the two-by-two-by-five sailor who was showing two Japanese girls through the "shrine" he was serving. I followed them about the ship. He was explaining to them various mysteries.

The Sailor: "Kore wa otoko no bath. [This is the men's bath.]" To the minds of these Japanese maidens such a distinction was surprising.

The Sailor: "Kore wa second class. [This is second class.]" This was like treading on sacred ground to these lowly born mites.

The Sailor: "Kore wa kitsu en shitsu. [This is the smoking-room.]" Why a special room for so simple a service—and why men only?

He led them above to the hospital. He never made any comments, they asked him no questions, but followed, single file, as is proper for Japanese girls, agape with curiosity. They passed the life-saving equipment. A tiny voice ventured a question. An amazed member of the Japanese Government (it was a government subsidized vessel) said, with semi-scorn:

"Kore wa? Boat. [This? Boat.]" And they went below.


All of that forenoon, waiting for the Katori-maru to slip away from the pier, I watched for Fujiyama, that[Pg 194] exquisite pyramid (to the summit of which I had climbed twice), but it was veiled in mist. I wanted to see what it looked like from the sea, just as I had seen what the sea and the universe looked like from its peak. All afternoon, as Japan was receding into the past, I tried to distinguish old Fuji, but there was only a glittering edge, like a sword, beneath the low, bright sun. After dinner I went on deck and there in all that simple splendor which has made it the wonder of the world, stood Fujiyama, with a soft, sunset glow beneath its peak. The symbolic sword had vanished. And I felt that in all those years and miles and space which gather in my memory as that single thing—the Pacific Ocean—nothing transcends in loveliness the last view of Fuji from the sea.

Then for two days the world seemed to swoon in mist. The fog-horn kept blowing drearily every two minutes; yet the steamer never slackened its speed for a moment; in fact, we made more miles those two days than during the clear days that followed. We had taken the extreme northern route and were soon in a cold latitude. The fog became crisp, as though threatening to crystallize, and when I stood on the forward deck it was almost like being out in a blizzard. The siren continued to emit its melancholy wail across a wilderness of waves lost in mist. One could not see the length of the ship. At midnight I woke, startled by the sudden cessation of the propellers. For three hours we were stationary, owing to engine trouble. The steamer barely rocked, giving me the sensation of the deep as nothing ever did before. It was at once weird and lovely, and in the darkness I could imagine our vessel as lone and isolated, a thing lost in an open wilderness of space. The siren continued moaning like the wail of a child in the night, and once I thought I heard another siren off in the distance. We started off again and from then on didn't once slacken our speed in the least, so large, so spacious, so unfrequented is the Pacific in these days.[Pg 195]

The fog hung close for so many days that a rumor went round that the captain was unable to get his bearings. With neither sun nor stars to rely on men's best instruments are altogether inadequate. At half-past nine o'clock one evening, however, the steel blinds were closed over the port-holes. The ship began to pitch and roll. The waves rushed at us and broke against the iron cheek of the vessel. The fittings on deck rolled back and forth, and those passengers unused to the sea clung to their berths.

Only when we were within three days of the American coast did the sun come out. For over a week we had been in a dull-gray world which was becoming terribly depressing. We were considerably farther north than I had expected to be.

Five days after our departure, I was again at the 180th meridian, and enjoyed what only a very eager, active person could enjoy,—a forty-eight-hour day. This time, going eastward, we gained a day. I also had the pleasure of being within fifty degrees of the north pole just as three years before I had been within fifty degrees of the south pole. In other words, I had touched two points along the 180th meridian which were six thousand miles away from each other, or twice the distance from New York to San Francisco.

Calculations are somewhat misleading at times. For instance, when we were near the Aleutian Islands, I chanced to compare the records of that day's run as posted in the first saloon with those posted in the second saloon. The first read 4,240 miles from Yokohama; the second, 4,235 miles. Japanese handling of figures made the prow of the ship five miles nearer its destination than the stern. Japanese historians also have a tendency to make such innocent mistakes in their imperialistic calculations. Japan's feet do not seem to be able to keep pace with her desires.

As though to investigate this phenomenon, a little[Pg 196] bird,—slightly larger than a sparrow, with the same kind of feathered back, but with a white breast, flitted down upon the deck before me,—and began hopping about. It approached to within two feet of me, then sneaked into a warm place out of sight. A stowaway from birdland, stealing a ride and planning, most likely, to enter America without a passport. Perhaps it thought that being near the stern of the boat, according to the calculations above quoted, it could still remain beyond the three-mile limit.

Then the homeward-bound spirit took possession of me,—that selfsame realization of my direction which had come over me upon sight of the Australian coast three years previously, a psychological twisting which baffled me for a time. Another day and we were within the last square marked off by the latitudinal and longitudinal lines,—the nearest I had been to America in nearly five years. To remind me of my wanderings, the flags of the nations hung in the dining-saloon: under nearly every one of them I had at some time found hospitality.


The reader who has followed me thus far has been with me about three months on the sea. What to the Greeks and the Romans was the Mediterranean, the Pacific will be to us seventy times over. Already there is a wealth of literature and of science which has come to us through the inspiration of that great waterway. For Darwin and Stevenson and O'Brien the Pacific has been mother of their finest passions. In the near future, our argosies will cross and recross those tens of thousands of miles as numerously as those of the Phœnicians on the Mediterranean in antiquity. They will bring us back the teas and spices and silks of the Orient. But there are those of us who have watched the "White Shadows" of the Pacific who would wish that something were brought away be[Pg 197]sides the ephemeral materials. For there is in the sea a kinship with the infinite and the absolute, and who studies its moods comes nearer understanding life.

I wandered along one night with a New Zealand man, without knowing where he was leading me. Suddenly we came, by way of a narrow pathway, against a wall of darkness. We were at the seashore. It was as though we had come to the world's end and the white glistening breakers arrived as messengers from eternity, warning us against venturing farther. I strained my eyes to see into that pitch-black gulch, but I might just as well have shut my eyes and let the persistent breakers tell the story of the sea in their own way. Afterward I often made my way out to that beach and sat for hours, or trod the sands till night left of the sea nothing but mournful whisperings.

One day in August, when the first snow fell over our little winter world in the far South, I had climbed the hills up to the belt of wildwood that girds the city of Dunedin. The very joy of life was in the air. Keenly I sensed the larger season,—that of human kinship merged in the centuries. I looked across the hills to mountains I had known; but it was then not the Alps I saw, not the Rockies, the Aeta Roa under the Southern Cross, nor yet the Himalayas nor the snow-packed barriers of the Uriankhai, the unrenowned Turgan group. In truth, I was not seeing impassable peaks at all, but imprisoned ranges which were themselves trying to outreach their altitudinal limitations. It was a world consciousness which was mine, and I towered far above the highest peaks, above the world itself. I saw no single group, no political sections nor geographical divisions, the conquest of ridges, the commingling of noises, the concord of peoples. And when men come to this world consciousness they will recognize and accept all, include the barrier and the plain. They will see these great, sheer rugged peaks knifing the floating clouds, yielding[Pg 198] to the creeping glaciers, yet one and all, when released sweeping down the valleys as impassioned rivers, filling the lowest depths of earth, depths deeper than the sea, lower than the deserts. In such moments of world consciousness men will have to step downward from the bottom of the sea and upward from the summit of McKinley. Then barriers will become beacons. Mankind lives at sea-level. We care little about our neighbors over the ranges. That mental attitude makes barriers real and valleys dark. But when we turn them into beacons we shall climb the barriers in order to look into the valleys of our neighbors and they will become the ladders of heaven and the light unto nations. That is the lesson of the sea.

At present we live at a sea-level, but beneath and behind the barriers, are the peaks of earth. Hence walls of houses are as great barriers as mountains. Hence even thoughts are barriers and ideals become terrible, cold, insurmountable prominences.

But in world consciousness, which is the lesson of the sea, we do not reject anything,—the religions, the political parties, the anti-religions, and the negations,—but we bring them to the level of human understanding by absorption, by taking them in. That is the story of the sea.

The ocean breaks incessantly before us, but only the one majestic wave thrills as it rises and overleaps the rocky barrier. A forest is densely grown, yet only the stately, beautiful tree stirs the forest-lover. The street swarms with human beings all of whom are material for the friend-maker, yet only one of the mass, in passing, steeps the day's experience in the essence of love. But loving that one wave, or tree, or being does not shut us against the source of its becoming; rather does it teach us the possibilities latent in the mass. That is the moral of the sea.

But what is the sea? How can we know the sea? Is[Pg 199] it water, space, depth? Can we measure it in miles, in the days required to traverse it, in steamship lines, by the turning of the screws, or by the system of the fourth dimension? To me who have been round the greatest sea on earth comes the realization that I have seen only a narrow line of it, and that I can only believe that the rest is what it has been said to be. Yet my faith is founded on my knowledge of the faithfulness of the sea.

The sea, we sometimes say, has its moods, but rather should they be called enthusiasms. It is really not the sea at all to which we refer, but to something which in the vague world of infinitude is in itself a sea whipping the surface of an unfathomable wonder. The sea's moods are not in its breakers, any more than is the surface phenomenon which floors the region between our atmosphere and ether, the story of our earth. We cannot reach down beneath the breakers and learn the secret of the heart of the sea. In ourselves, as in the sea, we obtain a record of that tremendous silence which is the harbinger of all sound, as the heavens are of all color.

One day in New Zealand I witnessed a conflict between the earth and the sea. A tremendous wind swept north-westward, and pressed heavily down upon the shore. It sent the sand scurrying back into the sea. Even the breakers, like the sand, fell back in furious spray like the waves of sea-horses,—back into the ocean. The entire length of the beach for three miles was alive with retreating spray, mingled with the bewildered sand-legions scurrying at my ankles.

One night, on the shores of Otago Harbor, the moon, blasted and blunted by heavy clouds, had started on its journey. In a little cave huddled a cloud of black night. We had spread the faithful embers of our camp fire so they could not touch one another, and wanting touch they died in the darkness. We had put the curse of loneliness upon each of them. The little cave had become only a darker spot on a dark landscape,—a landscape so rough,[Pg 200] so rare and rugged, reaching the sea and the western sky of night. So rough, so unformed, so uncompleted. The maker of lands was beating against it impatiently, rushing it, forming it. What uncanny projections, what sandy cliffs! For ages the wind and sea have been whipping them into shape. Yet man could remove them with a blast or two. For thousands of miles, all round the rim of the great Pacific, the same process is going on, day and night. While upon land, man has continued working out his mission in the same persistent, unconscious manner.

O Maker of lands' ends, O Sea, when will man be formed? When will the conflicts among men cease? They have tried to curb one another and to subject one another to slavish uses, even and kempt. But still, after ages of whipping and lashing, they are still unfinished as though never to be formed. Are the various little groups which lie so far apart, scattered by some ancient camper, to die for want of the touch of comrade, like those embers in the darkness of that empty cavelet?

Here round the Pacific we dwell, each in his own little hollow. May not this vast, generous ocean become the great experiment station for human commonalty, for distinction without extinction? The dreams that centered in the other great seas—the Mediterranean, the Atlantic—were only partially fulfilled. But here at the point where East is West, it ought to be possible, because of the very obvious differences, to maintain relations without irritating encroachment. There was a time when passionate desire justified a man taking a woman from another with the aid of a club. To-day the decent man knows that however much he may love, only mutual consent makes relationship possible. And from the frenzy of untutored souls let those who feel repugnance withdraw till[Pg 201] the force of a higher morality makes the rest of the world follow in its wake.

... now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating to the breath
Of the night-wind down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain:
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

[Pg 202]

[Pg 203]


[Pg 204]

[Pg 205]



To the primitive or simple races of the world marriage, divorce, and supply of only the elemental wants are the most intense problems. Nourishment and reproduction make up the rounds of life. While the highly developed nations around the Pacific are concerned with the exploitation of the resources of the islands, and with political problems growing out of their reciprocal interests, the natives are struggling with matters that lie nearer the real foundations of life. For them the question of survival is an immediate and pressing one. Extinction is facing many of them, absorption by inflowing races is creating altogether new difficulties and relationships, such as marriage and divorce, while newer conceptions of exchange and trade, the buying and selling of meats and vegetables, are introducing social and moral factors they could not as yet be expected to understand. Nor can we who have thrust ourselves upon them or accepted responsibility for their well-being understand our obligations unless we think of them as human beings, or without visualizing their problems by human examples. Nor can we escape these responsibilities or shirk them. Out of the stuff their lives are made of grow the larger problems, those of the relationship of the great civilizations that touch each other on the Pacific—Asia, Australasia, America.

Threnodies and elegies a-plenty have mourned the passing of the Polynesians of the South Seas. The noble savage whose average height often measured six feet[Pg 206]—plus thick callouses—has stalked among us, as a mythical figure, maidens unabashed in their naked loveliness have lured men to the tropics oblivious of home ties. Leisure and unlimited harems in prospect have afforded many a civilized man salacious joys the like of which the white race has not altogether abandoned, but which few have the courage to pursue in the open. The passing of these Pacific peoples has in some quarters been hailed as an indication of the viciousness of civilization; their yielding to virtue has been deplored by others. The sentimentalist has clothed them in romance; the cynic has stuck horns in their brows. But whether the romancer is wrong or the missionary devoid of appreciation of nature unadorned, the passing of the Polynesian is an admitted danger. Whether it was the vice of the drunken sailor or the clothes of the devout disciple that brought about this downfall shall not here be determined. It will be mine merely to depict in living examples the episodes that indicate their evanescence, and to point to the silent forces of regeneration that are at work,—forces that, having accomplished the virtual decease of some of the finest races in the world, and yet are bringing about their rebirth.

One cannot live in the tropics without romancing. The simplicity, the earnestness of life, devoid of many of the outer signs of avarice so consonant with the individualism of our civilization; the slovenliness unhampered by too many clothes,—these take one by a storm of pleasure. One forgets the natives once were cannibals; or rather, one delights in saying to oneself "they were," and forgets to thank the missionary and the trader for having altered these tastes before one arrived; one exalts every sprawling female into a symbol of naturalness, though Heaven knows the soft white skins and hidden bosoms of the North come as welcome reminders in face of native temptations. And with Professor Brown of New Zealand, one deplores that the[Pg 207] selfsame missionaries and traders "in spite of their antipodal purposes and methods, alike force the race to decay." Their contract with the white race is demoralizing even where it aims to be most just and helpful. Their lands, made secure to them by legislation (as in New Zealand), often become the means of gratifying wild tastes for motor-cars and fineries which leave them bankrupt physically and morally.


It was a steaming day. I had been up from before dawn in order to make my pilgrimage to Vailima. Half the morning was not yet gone when I returned to the little hotel in Apia, situated beside the reefs, to hide myself away from the burning sun. Even within the shade of the upper veranda my flesh squirmed beneath my shirt and the shoes upon my feet became unbearable. So off went my shoes. Nothing merely romantic could have induced me to crawl from under the shadows. There I was content to listen to the lapping of the broken waves as they washed shoreward over the reefs. There I inhaled the scent of tropical vegetation as it reached me, tempered and sifted to the satisfaction of one who dreads the sun and its overweening brilliance.

Suddenly a wail lanced the silence. It sounded for all the world like the melancholy "extra" which New York newsboys cry through the side streets when they wish to make a fire the concern of the world. I sprang up and, leaning over the veranda rail, strained my neck in the direction of the crier, who was still behind the bend in the road which is Apia's Main Street. It seemed to take him an unconscionable time to come into view, his voice approaching and receding, and being battologized as though by a hundred megaphones. Prancing, crouching, and shading his eyes in the manner of an Amerindian scout, he finally made his appearance,—a grotesque fiend, one to strike terror to the heart of a god. His[Pg 208] oiled body glistened in the sun; his charcoal-blackened jaw resembled that of a gorilla; while a scarlet turban of cheese-cloth wound after the fashion of the Hindu gave flaming finish to this frightful impersonation of the devil. Nothing but the presence of the army of occupation and the Encounter out in the harbor could have allayed my apprehension, not even the vanity of racial superiority or the oft-repeated prophecies about this vanishing race. For he seemed savagery come to life.

Presently four others, similar personifications of deviltry, came on behind him. In addition to make-up, each brandished a long knife used for cutting sugar-cane, or a clumsy ax. They squatted, they jumped, whirling their weapons in heavy blows at imagined enemies. Never was make-believe played with greater conviction, never was the wish father to the act with more pathetic earnestness. The pitcher of a chosen nine never hurled his ball across an empty field with greater determination to win the coming game than did these warless warriors wield their weapons.

Slowly from the rear came the army, four abreast, in stately procession. There were seventy-five Samoans, each over six feet tall, men of girth and bone and pride. Their glistening bodies reflected the sun like a heaving sea. Their loins were draped in leaves in place of the every-day sulu, with girdles of pink tissue paper round them. Their faces, too, were blackened with charcoal, and turbans of red cheese-cloth capped them. Those of them who could not secure knives or axes, wielded sticks with threatening realism.

In an instant I was in my shoes again and out upon the road, a bit of flotsam in the wake of a great pageant.

I fell in with a Samoan policeman, dressed like an English Bobby, trailing along in the rear. "What's the trouble?" I asked. "Is this a preliminary uprising?" There was much talk of the Germans stirring the natives to rebellion against British occupation, but evidently the[Pg 209] natives had had enough of alien squabbles, and it seemed to matter little to them by which of the white invaders they were ruled. A strange expression came into the policeman's face, a mixture of awe and contempt. He could speak only a very scant amount of English, but enough to unlock this awe-inspiring secret. "Tamasese, the king he dead," he said. I fumbled about in my memory for coincidences. The policeman was old enough to have been an understanding boy at the time Stevenson took up the cause of Mataafa as opposed to the German interests and antagonistic even to the British and American attitude. It must have been strange to him, therefore, to find himself a British policeman in a uniform of blue, with a heavy helmet, timidly following a funeral procession in honor of the son of a king disfavored of Stevenson,—while all about were the soldiers of New Zealand. I got nothing from him of any political significance, but much in the way of the spirit of his race. For though an officer of "the" law, perhaps the only one of his kind in Samoa, he dared not go too close to the ranks of these stalwarts. They had come from every islet of the Samoan group, the pick of the race, representatives declaring before the whole world: Our race is not dead; long live our race!

So, all along the way for over a mile into the country behind Apia, continued the procession. Not for a moment did the antics cease; not for a moment did the wail of the warriors subside. Every time the advance scouts called out, "O-o-o-o-s-o-o-o" [The king is dead], the four behind him thundered their denial, "E sa" [Long live the king], and the entire regiment droned the confession "O so." For the king was truly no more. Not only the king but his kingdom. For not only was there now no struggle of aliens over its precincts, but the second conqueror, Britain, who once did not think Samoa worthy as spoils, had stepped in and taken possession.

The procession filled the native population with awe.[Pg 210] No one ventured near. A dog ran across the road and was immediately cut down by the sugar-cane knife in a warrior's hand. A Chinese, with the contempt of the fanatic for the fanaticism of others, drove his cart indifferently into their line. Knives, axes, and other borrowed, stolen, or improvised weapons found their way into the chariot of the Celestial.

Half-way along, a limping old man whose leg was swollen with elephantiasis advanced against them. He challenged their approach. They cut the air with furious blows aimed in his direction. He pretended to fall, in the manner of a Russian dancer, picked himself up and started on a wild retreat. The army had routed an enemy.

Here the roadside spread in open land dotted everywhere with native huts. Presently the army arrived at the king's grounds, where a simple hut sat back about two hundred feet from the road, with a bit of green before it. The army broke "rank," and squatted in a double row just at the side of the road. For a few minutes there was silence.

Then out of the group rose Maii, the leader. Silently he strode the full width of the space in front of the thirty seated men, leaning lightly upon the long rough stick in his hand. His giant-like figure was the personification of dignity; his roughened face the acme of sobriety; he seemed lost in thought. Facing about, he started to retrace his steps in front of the seated men, then, as though suddenly recollecting himself, turned his head in the direction of the king's hut and in a subdued tone no higher than that in ordinary conversation, addressed the house of Tamasese, which stood fully half a block away. Quietly, but not without emotion, he spoke and paused; and every time he paused the leading four men would shout "O-o-o-s-o-o," and the entire group would answer "O sa." Convincing and convinced, the leader[Pg 211] proceeded with his oration. An hour later, to the minute, he finished.

At the king's house appeared an old man in a snow-white sulu, leaning heavily on a stick. I could see his lips moving, but could not hear a word. He was speaking to the leader, who could not hear any more than I. They kept up the pretense at conversation for a few minutes and all was agreed upon. A servant, who had followed the old man with a soft mat in his hand which to me looked like silk, advanced cautiously toward the warriors.

Two of them jumped instantly to their feet, brandishing their knife and ax furiously as though to protect the leader or to drive away evil spirits, I knew not which. But certain it was the cautious servant became still more cautious, timidly arriving with his offering and presenting it to the chief. The manner in which the gift was accepted, though solemn enough, was full of admonition, much as to say: "Now, don't you do that again." The mat-bearer's heart seemed relieved of a great terror, and he started back to the house of the king. On his way he passed a mango-tree, stopped, looked up as though he had spied an evil spirit, picked up a mango, stepped back, and dramatically hurled it at the tree as a boy would who was playing make-believe. At that the whole army of stalwarts rose and departed to the right.

As soon as they left the grounds, eleven girls, in single file, each with a mat of the loveliest texture imaginable flung to the breeze, came out upon the road from the other side of the grounds and followed round the front to the right after the way of the warriors. And the ceremony was over.

I had squatted on the ground, close to the warriors. They treated me as though I were an innocent child who did not know the dangers of evil things, nor enough to respect my superiors. Not so the natives. Even the policeman with whom I had arrived had retreated to the[Pg 212] protection of a hut some three hundred feet away from the road. All the people in the neighborhood—men, women and children—kept within their own huts, their solemn faces full of awe and respect. Nor did the tension slacken until the last of the maidens had made her way out of sight.

Thus was the son of the last Samoan king escorted in safety along the other way,—a way which to the native mind seemed as vivid and real as heaven and hell were to Dante and Swedenborg.


Exit the Noble Savage. "Think," says Bancroft, spokesman of the arrogant "Blond Beast," "what it would mean to civilization if all these worthless primitives were to pass away before us." The beginning of this end was witnessed and told by Stevenson in 1892, but the natives' version of it has yet to be related. Against those who mourn his loss as the Hellenist the Greeks, are some of our most practical men.

The Samoans are not vanishing as rapidly as are the Hawaiians and the Maories, for two very simple reasons: their climate is not so suitable to the white man as is that of New Zealand and of Hawaii. Nor, like Fiji, has Samoa been hampered by indentured coolieism, though Chinese do come. Racially there seems no immediate prospect of Samoa being submerged, though politically it fell before Hawaii did. Socially, however, it is going, as are the native features of most of the more progressive and more assimilable peoples of the Pacific.

Simple naturalness is fast fading even from Samoa. I do not mean to say that because Samoans are drifting farther and farther from their primitive customs they are losing their "charm." With progress, one expects not oddity, but simplicity; not shiftlessness, but a certain tightening up of the finer fibers of the race. It is[Pg 213] satisfying to see the contrast between the loosely built native hut and that whose pillars are set in concrete and roofed with durable materials. But it is disheartening when the change is only from thatch, which needs to be replaced every so often, to corrugated iron, without any other signs of durability. In other words, the corrugated iron roof is no proof that the race is becoming more thrifty, less lazy,—but the reverse. It indicates that indolence has found an easier way, a more permanent manner.

My presence at the ceremony in honor of the royal demise gave me an opportunity to see at once some of the best specimens of Samoan manhood. It left me with the impression that no race capable of mustering so many men of such build was on the decline. There was nothing in their manner to indicate servility or despair. And some day Setu, with his knowledge of Western civilization gained at first hand, may be the means of arousing his fellow-Samoans to great things.


The process of assimilation and decline is taking place with far more rapidity in Hawaii. Hawaii crashed like a meteor into America and was comminuted and absorbed. The finer dust of its primitive civilization is giving more color to our atmosphere than any other American possession. But the real Hawaii is rapidly receding into the past. On the beach at Waikiki there is a thatch-roofed hut, but like most of the Hawaiians themselves, it bears too obviously the ear-marks of the West, the imprint of invasion.

What there is left of the Hawaiians still possesses a measure of strength and calmness. Big, burly, self-satisfied, they wend their way unashamed of having been conquered. Only a few thousand can now claim any racial purity. The mixture of Hawaiians with the vari[Pg 214]ous peoples now in occupation of their lands is growing greater every year; those of pure Hawaiian blood, fewer. And after all, is it any reflection upon any race that it has been assimilated by its conquerors?

And assimilated to the point of extinction Hawaii has been. It has become an integral part of a continental nation of whose existence it had hardly known a hundred years ago. When Captain Cook discovered Hawaii he estimated its population at 400,000. Fifty years later there were only 130,000. To-day there may not be more than 30,000. The white race has had its revenge on these natives for the death of this intrepid captain. And the last of the great Hawaiian rulers, Queen Liliuokalani, shorn of her power, passed away on November 11, 1917. She, the descendant of great warriors and remarkable political leaders, had turned to the only thing left her—expressing the sentiments of her people in music.

The submersion is nearly complete. Politically, there isn't a son among them who would feel any happier for a revival. So little fear is there of such a hope ever rising even for a moment in the Hawaiian breast that the key to the former throne-room hangs indifferently on a nail in the outer office of the present government. I believe that that is the only throne-room under the American flag. It is a small room, modern and finished in every detail. On its walls hang paintings of kings and queens and ministers of state. There is a musty odor about it, which could easily be removed. All one need do is open the windows and an inrush of sensuous air would sweeten every corner of it. This would be doing only what the race is doing with every intake of alien blood.

A broad-shouldered, broad-nosed, broad-faced—and seemingly broad-hearted—Hawaiian clerk took me into the room. As we wandered about he told who the worthies were, enframed in gilt and under glass. Interspersed with some facts was inherited fancy. His[Pg 215] enthusiasm rose appreciably when he recited the deeds of Kamehameha I, their most renowned king.

"Once he saw an enemy spy approach," said my guide. "He threw his spear with such force that it penetrated the trunk of the cocoa-palm behind which the traitor was hiding, and pierced the man's heart." A merry twinkle lit up the cicerone's eyes. That twinkle was something almost foreign to the man: it must have been the white blood in him that was mocking the tales of his native ancestry.

Aside from these few portraits there was nothing in the throne-room which gave evidence of Hawaii's former prestige. Here that king's descendants planned to lead his race to glory among nations. And here they were outwitted. The guide had recounted among the king's exploits his ability to break the back of his strongest enemy with his naked hands. Yet the white man came along and broke the Hawaiian back. And to-day he who wishes to learn the habits, the arts, and the exploits of these people has to go to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

A primer got up for children, to be learned parrot-like, and distributed to tourists, tells us "the Hawaiians never were savages." We are also assured they "never were cannibals," and "speedily embraced religion." The first is an obvious misstatement; the second is an apology of uncertain value; as to the third, the son of one of Hawaii's best missionaries, who just died in his eighty-fifth year, said: "Not until the world shall learn how to limit the quantity and how to improve the quality of races will future ages see any renewal of such idyllic life and charm as that of the ancient Polynesians." Dr. Titus Munson Coan, whose father converted some fifteen thousand Hawaiians to Christianity, deplored the effect on the native of the high-handed suppression of native taboos and attributes their extinction—which seems inevitable—to the imposition of clothes which they put[Pg 216] on and off according to whim, and to customs unsuited to their natures. Dr. Coan said that though his father had a powerful voice he remembered that often he could not hear him preach because of the coughing and sneezing of the natives.

Be that as it may, a visit to the Bishop Museum would quickly contradict the primer. There the array of weapons shows that the natives were not only barbarous but savage. This is no serious condemnation, for none of Europe's races can show any cleaner record. Arts, indeed, the Hawaiians had, and sense of form and color. An apron of feathers worn by the king required a tax of a feather apiece on hundreds of birds. After this feather was extracted, the bird was set free, an indication of thrift if not kindliness. Yet they did not hesitate to strip the flesh off every bone of Captain Cook and distribute portions among the native chiefs. No one has proved that they ate it; but cannibalism is, after all, a relative vice and was not unknown in northwestern Europe.


The passing of the Hawaiians, like that of many other races in the Pacific, is due to a cannibalism and a barbarism which are less emphasized in the ordinary discussions of the problem. There are more ways than one of eating your neighbor. However harrowing that savage diet was, it did not work for the destruction of any of these South Sea islanders as ruthlessly as did the practice among the Hawaiians of infanticide. Mothers were in the habit of disposing of their impetuous children by the simple method of burying them alive, frequently under the very shelter of their roofs, lying down upon the selfsame floor and sleeping the sleep of the just with the tiny infant squirming in its grave beside them. Parents were not allowed to have more than a given number of children because of the strain on the available food[Pg 217] supply. This more than anything else depleted the number of natives most disastrously. But in addition came the white man with his diseases, contagious and infectious,—a form of destruction that, from the native point of view, is quite as dastardly as eating the flesh of the vanquished.

Certainly, whatever the viciousness of the occasional or annual outbursts of passion among these primitive folk, there was no example of regulated, insistent pandering to vice such as has been set them by the Europeans, especially in Hawaii. There one evening I wandered through the very depths of degradation; there I witnessed a process of fusion of races which had only one possible end,—extinction. Its Hawaiian name had a strange similarity to the word evil: it is Iwilei. McDuffie, Chief of Detectives of Honolulu, was making his inspection of medical certificates, which was part of the work of "restriction," and took me with him.

Mr. McDuffie had been standing near the window of the outer office, with one foot upon a chair, talking to another detective, when I called out his name. Tall, massive, with hair almost gray, a rather kindly face, he looked me up and down without moving. I explained my mission.

"Who are you?" he asked bluntly.

A mean question, always asked by the white man in the tropics. Well, now, who in thunder was I, anyway? I murmured that I was a "writer." "Be round at seven-thirty, and you can come along," he said dryly.

On his office walls hung hatchets, daggers, pistols, sabers, and many other such toys of a barbarous world hacking away against or toward perfection. On the floor were dozens of opium pipes, taken in a raid upon Chinese dens,—toys of another kind of world trying to forget its progress away from barbarism. One Japanese continued his game of cards nonchalantly. Flash-lights were in evidence, fearlessly protruding from hip pockets.[Pg 218]

At half-past seven I was there again. As we were about to enter the motor-car, I ventured some remark, thinking to make conversation. "Get in there," said the chief, abruptly. For an instant he must have thought he was taking a criminal to confinement.

Zigzagging our way through the streets and across the river, we entered an unlighted thoroughfare, hardly to be called a street. A steady stream of straggling shadows moved along like spirits upon the banks of the river Styx. Our way opened out upon a lighted section, crowded with negro soldiers and civilians of all nationalities. Here, then, and not only beyond the grave, class and distinction and race dissolve. A perfect hubbub of conversation, soda fountains and plain noise, and reeling of drunkies. A futurist conception of confusion would do it justice. We were at the gates of Babylon.

A closely boarded fence surrounded this city of dreadful night. Hundreds of men crowded the passageway. Within were rows and rows of shacks and cottages. Men stood gazing in at open doors and windows. Outside one shack a negro soldier remained fixed with his foot upon the door-step, but ventured no farther. Within, on a bed in full view, sat a Portuguese female, smoking, an Hawaiian woman companion lounging beside her. Both ignored the male at the door. But he remained, silent. Hope fading from his mind, and some interest elsewhere creeping in, he moved away. The Hawaiian woman smiled contemptuously.

Then for three-quarters of an hour we made strange calls. Our card was a club which the assistant to the detective—a massive Hawaiian—rapped on every porch step, announcing the expected visitor. He was not unwelcome. From every door emerged a woman, covered with a light kimono, and neatly shod. At cottage after cottage, door after door, they appeared, showed their "health" certificates, and retreated. Japanese, Hawaiian, white, brown, and yellow. Some extremely pretty[Pg 219] and not altogether unrefined in manner; some ugly and coarse. The inspection was done hastily. Where appearance of the inmate was delayed, a stamp of the foot brought the tardy one scurrying out. Some greeted the detective familiarly; others showed their certificates and retreated. One Japanese woman called after us when we had passed her door without stopping.

Wherever there was any transgression against the proprieties, the inspector commanded the guilty to desist, and went on. One woman complained that a negro had just attacked her with a knife. She whistled and called, she said, "But I might have been killed for all the assistance I got." The inspector spoke kindly to her, assured her he would order the guard to come round. But nothing was done.

Two or three doors farther on a fat and playful woman entertained a number of men who stood outside her porch. The inspector told her to keep still. "Just such remarks as that cause trouble. You get inside and stay there." She shrugged her shoulders, made faces at him, and danced playfully within-doors.

We came upon two groups of negroes, gambling. The inspector slapped one of them upon the shoulder in a kindly way and told them to get out of sight. "You know it's not allowed here." They moved away.

It was a network of streets. Not an underworld but a hinterland, a dark swamp-land, full of scum and squirming creatures. A dreadful city, full of "joy" and abandon. A city in which women are the monarchs, the business factors, the independent, fearless beings, needing no protection. Protection from what could they need? Surely not from poverty, for wealth seemed to favor these. From loss of reputation? They had no reputations to lose. Protection they needed, but rather from themselves than from outside dangers.

For this was a restricted district which harbored no restrictions. This was the crater of human passion, of[Pg 220] animal passion. The well-ordered universe without; within, the toils of voluptuousness. In this pit the lava of lust kept stirring, the weight of unbalanced emotion overturned within itself. The crater was thought to be deep and secure against overflow. But if it did boil over, was it far from the city?

In the city the sound of pianos playing, people reading, swimming-pools full, streets crowded with racing automobiles, soda fountains crowded, theaters agog, gathering of folks in homes and cafés,—a great world with allotted places to keep men and women and children happy; that is, away from themselves. A heavy curtain of order protects one section. The most disgusting polyandry shrieks from out the other. Yet no savage community needed such an outlet for its emotions.

From various sources I learn that that little crater has overflowed. The Chamber of Commerce, backed by the missionaries and others, secured legislation against the "regulation" of the district in 1917. From another source I got it that it was not the forces for good that banished it, but that two contending and competing forces for evil had mutually eliminated themselves. But still another source gives it out that certain "slum" sections where housing facilities are inadequate are now the center of evil, and that Filipino panderers are the most guilty. And a year after Iwilei was "done away with"—in April, 1918—the Chief of Detectives asked for "thirty days" in which to show what he could do to clean up the place so as to make it fit for the soldiers to come to Honolulu.

Little wonder that, with such examples of "self-respect" and shamefulness, lovers of the Hawaiians are throwing themselves into the work of saving the few remaining natives from demoralization. Before Cook's time these people did not know what prostitution was. Now they have lost hope and confidence in themselves. The less pessimistic say that another hundred years will[Pg 221] see the last of the Hawaiians, as we have seen the last of the Tasmanians. Others fear it will come sooner. The Hawaiian Protective Association is stimulating racial pride in them so that they may take courage anew, and, with what sturdy men and women there still are, rejuvenate the race. But the odds are against them, for besides disease and demoralization we have introduced Japanese, Chinese, and all sorts of other coolies who have completely undermined the Hawaiian status in the islands, and are rapidly outnumbering them in the birth-rate and survival rate. What factors are at work for possible regeneration will be discussed in a later chapter.

[Pg 222]



Some of the gravest mistakes the white man has made in his efforts to regenerate the Pacific peoples have been indirect rather than direct. This fact is best illustrated by the method Australia and New Zealand resorted to in order to exterminate certain pests. To eliminate the rabbit they introduced the ferret. The ferret then began to reproduce so rapidly that it, too, soon became a pest. So the cat was let loose upon the ferret. Forthwith the cat ran wild and is now one of the most serious problems in Australia.

So has it been in the matter of many of the native races. Commercial greed, which was not satisfied to use what native labor was extant because it is never the manner of natives to be willing serfs to their conquerors, looked everywhere about for people who might be imported under crushing conditions and then cast out. It was that which created the Japanese and Chinese situation in Hawaii; and it is that which has created a similar situation in Fiji.

One would have to be an unadulterated sentimentalist to contend that the passing of the natives is not justified by the present development of the Antipodes. None of the native elements—the Australoids or the Tasmanians or the Maories—would, of their own accord, even with years of Caucasian example and precedent, have made of these dominions the healthful, productive lands they now are. As long as the problem remains one of the ascendancy of the fittest over the fit, it is simple, and the[Pg 223] present solution justifiable. But the introduction of other races who have only their servility to recommend them is a poor practice and soon turns into a more serious problem still. In most cases, a little patience and foresight would have obviated such contingencies. Had the white folk who tried to exploit Hawaii contented themselves with a slower development, the Hawaiians would to-day be as secure as are the Samoans and the Maories. In all cases such as these and that of the Philippines, the native, when given a chance, soon justifies his existence and our faith in him.

In Fiji we have an example of the introduction of the Hindu to the extinction of the Fijian for the sake of the enrichment of the white man. The indentured Indian, small and wiry, who seems too delicate for any task and is stopped by none, acts as a reinforcement in the South Sea labor market. He glides along in purposeful indifference. As coolie, he may be seen at any time wending his way along Victoria Parade, bareheaded, a thin sulu of colored gauze wound about his loins. As freed man, he is the tailor, the jeweler, the grocer, and the gardener. As proprietor he is buying up the lands and becoming plantation-owner. Then he bewails the woes of his native land, India, far off in the distance. Here in Fiji, where the coolie has a chance to start life anew, the longing for rebirth in this world, still fresh, bursts into being. But no sooner does it see the sunlight than it turns to crush the Fijian, in whose lands the Hindu is as much of an invader as ever Briton was in India.

The introduction of the Indian into Fiji was not accomplished without considerable protest from small planters, who saw in it and the taxation scheme introduced over thirty years ago, great danger to the Fijian laborer. Aside from the burdens imposed upon the people by a law which compelled them to work for their chiefs without wages, for the same length of time that they[Pg 224] worked for some plantation-owner with wages, there was the equally bad law being "experimented" with which compelled the people to pay in kind instead of in money. So serious had the situation become that the "Saturday Review" of June 19, 1886, declared: "As the Natives must eat something to live, it is perhaps not unnatural that many people who know Fiji entertain distinct fears that the combination of over-taxation and want of food will drive the Fijians to return to cannibalism." The charge of cannibalism was denied by the Rev. Mr. Calvert, though further evidence is not at hand, as I have seen only the Government's side of the case.


Western Pacific-Herald Post Card Series

Near the sugar factory, Fiji


He is grinding the Kava root in a mortar. What the girls are doing with their teeth now no one knows

However, with the admission of some 3,800 Indians as indentured laborers in 1884 (or thereabouts) among a population of 115,000 natives, the vital statistics of the islands have changed so that there were only 87,096 Fijians against 40,286 Indians in 1911, and 91,013 Fijians against 61,153 Indians in 1917. This would seem to indicate a healthier state of affairs for the Fijians as well as for the Indians, were not the comparison of births with deaths for the last year named taken into consideration. This shows that to 3,267 births there were 2,583 deaths among the Fijians; while among the Indians the births were 2,196 as against only 588 deaths. This proportion obtained also in 1911. The struggle between the Fijians and the indentured Indians, even if the former were not to become extinct within the century, would place the Fijians in the minority in no time; and what were their lands would be theirs no more.

This, briefly, is the story of the submersion of the Fijians.

In itself, the situation is not very serious. What if the Fijian passes, or gives way to the Indian? The contribution of the Fijian to the culture or the romance of the Pacific is small compared with that of other races, such as the Samoans or the Marquesans. Of that more anon. But there are problems involved that are of more [Pg 225] immediate import. Two races like these cannot live together without creating a situation of strength or of weakness that is very far-reaching. We are concerned with the attitude they assume toward each other, or in the substitution of a race like the Indians, with their fixed traditions and destructive castes, which will introduce Hindu problems into the very heart of the Pacific. India is no longer within bounds, and sooner or later we shall be face to face with new conditions. In eliminating the Fijian or the Hawaiian, or any other Pacific islander, by the Indian or the Japanese coolie process, we are only intensifying the difficulty, unless we are ready completely to overlook the questions of likes and dislikes.


It is a procession of gesticulating, grimacing savages whose protruding tongues are not the least attraction



At Ngaruawahia, North Island, N. Z.


In Fiji one is not yet compelled to ask, "Where are the Fijians?" As long as one's gaze is fixed slightly upward, the Fijian face with the bushy head of coarse, curly hair stands out against the green of the hills. But let the eye fall earthward and the resultant confusion of forms and manners forthwith raises the problem of the survival of the fittest. For among these towering negroids there now dwell over sixty thousand Telugus, Madrasis, Sardars, Hindustanis, and a host of other such strange-sounding peoples from India, and "Sahib" greets one's ears more frequently than the native salutation. In the smaller hotels the bushy head bows acknowledgment of your commands; in the one fashionable and Grand Hotel the turban does it. In the course of the day's demands for casual service, the assistant is the stalwart one; for the more permanent work—as, for instance, the making of a pongee silk suit—the artisan is the slender one. If your mood is for sight of sprawling indolence, you wander along the little pier and open places among the Fijians; if it is for the damp, cool, darkly kind to help you visualize the dreams of the Ara[Pg 226]bian Nights, you enter some little shop in an alley with an unexpected curve, in the district of transplanted India.

Feeling venturesome, I let fancy be my guide, though, to tell truth, I was escaping from the burning sun. Life on the highway was alluring, but, large as the Fijian is, his shadow is no protection. I hoped for some sight of him within-doors. The row of shops which walls in the highway, links without friction the various elements of Suva's humanity. In a dirty little shop I ran into an unusual medley of folk. A blind Indian woman in one corner; a Fijian chatting with an Indian in another; a boy whistling "Chin-chin"; boys and girls fooling with one another; while in the little balcony, like a studio bedroom hung in the deeper shadows of the rafters, slept one whose snoring did not lend distinction to his paternity. The place was evidently a saloon, but minus all the glitter so requisite in colder regions. Here the essential was dampness and coolness and improvised night. Hence the walls had no windows and the floors no boarding. Hence the brew had need of being cool and cutting, regardless of its name; and whether one called it yagona, kava, buza or beer, it had the effect of making a dirty little dungeon in hiding not one whit worse than the Grand Hotel in the beach breezes. Better yet, where in all Fiji was fraternization more simple?

Still, too much love is not lost between the sleepy Fijian dog and his Indian flea. Does the Fijian not hear the white man—whom he respects, after a fashion—call his slim competitor "coolie?" And is not kuli the word with which he calls his dog? Infuriated, conscious of his centuries of superiority, the Indian retorts with jungli, and feels satisfied. His indentured dignity shall not decay. At any rate, he knows and proves himself to be the cleverer. The future is his. While the Fijian, seeing that the importation the white man calls "dog" gets on in life none the less, seeks to steep himself in the Indian's immorality and trickery in the hope that he[Pg 227] may thereby acquire some of that shrewdness, as when he devoured a valiant enemy he hoped to absorb that enemy's strength. Thus in that dark little underworld the Fijian Adonis vegetates in anticipation of the future Fiji some day to spring into being.

Though the Indians are said to despise the Fijians, I saw representatives of the two races sitting sociably together upon the launch up the Rewa River, smoking and chatting quite without any signs of friction. Indian women, all dressed in colored-gauze raiment and laden with trinkets, huddled behind their men. They seemed a bit of India sublimated, cured of the ills of overcrowding. One woman had twelve heavy silver bracelets on each wrist, a number on her ankles, several necklaces and chains around her neck, and many rings on each of her fingers and toes, with ornaments hanging from her nose and ears. But there was more than vanity in this, for, pretty as she was, she refused to permit me to photograph her. Not so the men. One Indian had his flutes with him and began to play. His eyes rolled as he forced out the monotonous tones, over and over again. His heart and his soul must have had a hard time trying to emerge simultaneously from these two tiny reeds. One bearded patriarch smiled and rose with a jerk when I asked if he would pose for me. A young Indian woman crouched on the floor, all covered with her brilliantly colored veil. She shared a cigarette with a Fijian boy in a most Oriental fashion. But those who know distrust this fraternization. It is the subtle demoralization of the Fijian.

For the type of Indian men and women who now accept the terms of indenture are even worse than those who did so formerly, and the conditions under which they are compelled to carry out their "contracts" are such as to develop only the worst traits of Indian nature. In consequence, the Fijian is being ground between the upper (white) and nether (Indian coolie) mill-stones.[Pg 228] His primitive taboos which worked so well are taboos no longer. The missionary has destroyed them well-meaningly; the plantation-owner has preyed upon them knowingly, has turned the predatory native chiefs upon them; and now the riffraff of India is loose upon them, too. I am convinced, from what I saw in the missionary settlements, that had the missionaries alone been left to lead these people away from barbarism, they would have accomplished it,—as they partially have. But unfortunately, the one weakness in their civilizing process, the overestimation of minor conventions, such as the wearing of clothing, only left an opening for the intake of diseases and defects of our civilization. The insistence on monogamy is another weakness, for to that the steady decline of the native can be traced.

This dual process of degradation going on in Fiji is a great disappointment to the adventurous. Though the natives number 91,000, their ancient rites and festivities are without newer expression, without newer form. And though one hears much of Fiji as another India, because nearly half the population is Indian, still, as C. F. Andrews has pointed out, the utter absence of anything Indian in the architecture, the religious practices, or the other expressions of Indian ideals leaves one wondering what is wrong with that newer world. Everywhere one hears the appeal, "Give the man a chance," and democracy and the advocates of self-determination for nations repeat and repeat the plea. One believes that somehow if India were partially depopulated and the remaining Indians were given a chance, the soul which is India would blossom with renewed life and glory. One believes that here in Fiji such a miracle might occur. But no promise of regeneration greets the seeker, go where he may. Then, too, there is something lacking in the native. One is led to conclude that the inhibitions upon the mind and the soul of all the Fijians, through the preaching of doctrines strange to them, or through the[Pg 229] practices of foreigners over them, has put the seal upon their lips. Trying to approximate the ruling religions and to live in their ways must create emotional complexes in the natives that are clogging the wells of their beings.

From Suva for forty miles up the Rewa River, the only manifestation of life is in labor. Aside from the crude ornaments on the limbs of the women of India there is virtually nothing of art or higher expression to be seen. Nothing but the tropical loveliness, which cannot be denied.


The regeneration of the Fijian seemed more possible after I had spent a few moments in the hut of the chief of the district. In the middle of the village stood one plain, unpainted wooden house, distinctive if not palatial. It was altogether wanting in decoration and with us might have passed as a respectable shed. But here, surrounded by thatched huts, picturesque when not too closely scrutinized, it assumed exceeding importance through contrast.

The door, reached by a flight of four or five steps, stood wide open. The interior was not partitioned into rooms. Half of it was a raised platform-like divan or sleeping-section, spread with native mats. Upon this elevation sat a fine-looking man,—clean-shaven, with a head as bald as those of his brethren are bushy, dressed in clean and not inexpensive materials, and wearing a gold watch on his left wrist. On my being introduced, he greeted me in English so fluent and pure that I was considerably taken aback. He was as self-possessed as most Fijians are shy. This was Ratu Joni, Mandraiwiwi, chief of eighty thousand Fijians, one of the only two native members of the Legislative Council, highly respected, and the most powerful living chief of his race.

He remained seated in native fashion, legs crossed before him, and after a few general remarks indicated a[Pg 230] desire to resume his confab with the half-dozen natives—all big, powerful men—facing him on the lower section of the chamber. His reception of me was cordial, yet his was the reserve of a prime minister. His bearing gave the impression of a man intelligent, calm, just, and not without vision. He knew his rank. Had I been a native and dared to cross his door-step—plebeian that I am—I should most likely have seen dignity in anger. But, though an insignificant white man, I still bore the mark of "rank" sufficient to gain admission unceremoniously and was given a place beside him on the divan. But he had an uncanny way of making me feel suddenly extremely shy. I was aware of intruding, of having been presumptuous,—an uninvited guest. So I withdrew.

The district over which he rules, though inferior to many another in productivity, has always had the reputation for being well kept up and in healthful condition and was pointed out as an example to the other chiefs as early as 1885. At Bau, five miles the other side of the river, Ratu Joni has a home European in every detail. It forms an interesting background for his European entertainments. His income is enough to make a white man envious. One son, an Oxford man, was wounded in Flanders at the outbreak of the war; another was at the time attending college in Australia. Ratu Joni is Roko (native governor) of the province of Tailevu (Greater Fiji).

Mr. Waterhouse, the missionary who kindly went about with me and made it possible for me to meet this chief and to understand some of the native problems, gave me a brief story of this impressive man's life. Though his father had been hanged or strangled for plotting against the life of the chief who ruled then, Ratu Joni succeeded in making his way to the fore in Fijian politics. He set himself the task of cleaning up his country. Of him it could not be said that he ever had reason to be ashamed of his rule. Of him none could say as did a British[Pg 231] governor in a speech say of another Fijian: "What! has this chief been indolent? Perhaps he limes his head, paints his face, and stalks about, thinking only of himself; or is it that he squabbles with his neighbors about some border town, and lets his people starve?"

One cannot judge a people by the conditions of its chiefs or rulers; but with regard to the natives of the Pacific, as in the case of other people accustomed to the rigorous life of battle, their safety lies in the uses to which they have been put by their conquerors. The British Government has utilized the Sikhs, its most difficult Indians, by making them the constabulary throughout the length and breadth of its Asiatic empire. This has been done in Fiji, too. But the most hopeful sign to me in these islands on the 180th meridian was the Fijian constabulary. A finer lot of men could not be found anywhere in the world. Not only their physique but their intelligent faces and their alacrity suggest great promise. One of them came on board our ship with his clean, tidy, sturdy wife—a public companionship rare for these people—and was received by the officers. His white sulu, serrated on the edge like some of the latest fashions on Broadway, hung only to his knees. His massive legs and broad shoulders were a delight to look upon. His wife was as handsome a woman as I have seen in the tropics. The two gladly posed for me, and asked me to send them a print.


Generally the thought and feeling of the natives in the South Seas come to the outer world through the works of white men,—missionaries and scientists. But rare indeed is the revelation of the mind of a strange people brought to us pure and clear without the white man's bias or reaction. Here and there I have run across snatches of native thinking that were revelations, but no others so[Pg 232] full and vivid as the essay by a native Fijian on the decline of his race, which appeared in the "Hibbert Journal" (Volume XI). The translator opens the door to the Fijian mind as by magic. After reading that, I felt that personal contact with these natives akin to contact with any other human being, for I looked behind dark skin and bushy head, and saw the spirit of hope within. The translator says:

It shows exactly how an intelligent Fijian may conceive Christianity. That is a point we need to know badly, for most missionaries see the bare surface. It also contains hints how the best intentions of a government may be misconstrued, and suspicion engendered on one side, impatience and reproaches of ingratitude on the other, which a more intimate knowledge of native thought might remove.

The argument of the essay is that "The decline of native population is due to our abandoning the native deities, who are God's deputies in earthly matters. God is concerned only with matters spiritual and will not harken to our prayers for earthly benefits. A return to our native deities is our only salvation."

The native reflects:

Concerning this great matter, to wit the continual decline of us natives at this time, it is a great and weighty matter. For my part I am ill at ease on that account; I eat ill and sleep ill through my continual pondering of this matter day after day. Three full months has my soul been tossed about as I pondered this great matter, and in those three months there were three nights when pondering of this matter in my bed lasted even till day, and something then emerged in my mind, and these my reflections touch upon religion and touch upon the law, and the things that my mind saw stand here written below.

He then takes up the points that have disturbed him:

Well, if the very first thing that lived in the world is Adam, whence did he come, he who came to tell Eve to eat the fruit? From this fact it is plain that there is a Prince whom God created first to be Prince of the World, perchance it is he who is called the Vu God [Noble Vu].... Consider this: It is written in the Bible that there were only two children of Adam, to wit Cain and Abel. But whence did the woman come who was Cain's wife?...

It seems to me as though the introducers of Christianity were slightly wrong in so far as they have turned into devils the Vu Gods of the various parts of Fiji; and since the Vu Gods have suddenly been abandoned in Fiji, it is as though we changed the decision of the[Pg 233] Great God, Jehovah, since that very Vu God is a great leader of the Fijians. That is why it seems to me a possible cause for the Decline of Population lies in the rule of the Church henceforth to treat altogether as devil work the ghosts and the manner of worshiping the Vu Gods of the Fijians, who are their leaders in the life in the flesh, whom the Great God gave, and chose, and sent hither to be man's leader. But now that the Vu Gods whom Jehovah gave us have been to a certain extent rudely set aside, and we go to pray directly to the God of Spirit for things concerning the flesh [life in the flesh], it appears as if the leader of men resents it and he sets himself to crush our little children and women with child. Consider this:

If you have a daughter, and she loves a youth and is loved of him, and you dislike this match, but in the end they none the less follow their mutual love and elope forthwith and go to be married, how is it generally with the first and the second child of such a union, does it live or does it die? The children of Fijians so married are as a rule already smitten from their mother's womb. Wherefore? Does the woman's father make witchcraft? No. Why then does the child die thus?

Simply that your Vu sees your anger and carries out his crushing even in its mother's womb; that is the only reason of the child's death. Or what do you think in the matter? Is it by the power of the devil that such wonders are wrought? No, that is only the power that originates from the God of Spirit, who has granted to the Prince of men, Vu God, that his will and his power should come to pass in the earthly life.

He develops this theme with ever-increasing emotion, until his poor mind can think no more.

Alas! Fiji! Alas! Fiji is gone astray, and the road to the salvation of its people is obstructed by the laws of the Church and the State. Alas! you, our countrymen, if perchance you know, or have found the path which my thoughts have explored and join exertions to attain it, then will Fiji increase.

But Fijians have prayed to God, yet they have not increased, he exclaims, faced with the unalterable facts. Why not? Christianity has been with them many years. Does God hear their prayer! He proceeds to give his own observations of life, and asks: "Is this true, reverend sirs? Yes, it is most true." After making some comparisons between his land and others, neglected of God in that they have no Vu Gods, he expostulates:

And if the Vu were placed at our head ... there would be no still births and Fiji would then be indeed a people increasing rapidly, since our conforming to our native customs would combine with progress in cleanly living at the present time. Now, in the past when the[Pg 234] ancients only worshiped Vu Gods and there was no commandment about cleanly living, yet they kept increasing. Then if ... this were also combined with the precept of cleanly living, I think the villages would then be full of men. Or what, sir, is your conclusion?

A few more excerpts, taken here and there, will reveal the interesting mind of this Fijian:

If this is right, then it is plain how far removed we are from certain big countries. How wretched they are and weak, whose medicines are constantly being imported and brought here in bottles.[1] As for me, I simply do my duty in saying what appears in my mind when I think of my country and my friends who are its inhabitants; for since it wants only a few years to the extinction of the people it is right that I reveal what has appeared in my soul, for it may be God's will to reveal in my soul this matter. Now it is not expedient for me to suppress what has been revealed to me, and if I do not declare what has appeared from forth my soul, I have sinned thereby in the eyes of the Spirit God: I shall be questioned regarding it on the day of judgment of souls; nor is it fitting that one of the missionaries should be angry with me by reason of my words; it is right that they should consider everything that I have here said, and judge accordingly. It is no use being ashamed to change the rules of the Church, if the country and its inhabitants will thereby be saved.

[1] The translator says in a footnote: "Whites pity Fijians, but they find reasons to pity us. That is what white men generally fail to realize; they put down to laziness or stupidity their reluctance to assimilate our civilization, whereas it arises from a different point of view; and that point of view is not always wrong or devoid of common sense. Is Fijian medicine more absurd than our patent medicines, or as expensive?"

There is great hope for a people with such thinkers among them. And if there are such hopes for the Fijians, there are still greater possibilities for the Maories, Samoans, Tahitians, and Hawaiians.


Politically, as separate island races, they are no more. The little Kingdom of Rarotonga is one of the last to remain independent. The European war, oddly enough, in which Maories and Fijians fought for "the rights of little nations," has sold them out completely, just as it did Shantung in China. No one thought that a war in a continent fifteen thousand miles away would play such havoc with the destinies of these people. The[Pg 235] "mandates," yielded with such cynical generosity, put the seal upon their fate, and opened new international sores.

Pessimistic as this may sound, there are evidences of resuscitation in the working out of these mandates, as will appear in the chapter on Australasia. The Polynesians are becoming conscious of unity, and talk of leadership under the New Zealand mandate is rife in Parliament. "Nothing would hasten the depletion of the race more than the loss of hope and confidence in themselves," says the Hawaiian "Friend." That hope seems to be flickering into new life.

No people have suffered more, directly, from contact with the "civilized" white races than the Polynesians. Morally undermined, politically deprived of powers, physically subjected to scourge after scourge of epidemic introduced by white men, their own standards of living brushed aside as vulgar and infantile,—these heliolithic people with their neolithic culture approached the very verge of extinction. Then the white race began to sentimentalize over them, and sincere scientific people to deplore their evanescence. Some of these latter have earned the eternal gratitude not only of the natives but of the whole world. Some of them I have mentioned in other connections. Two others decidedly deserve recognition. Mr. Elsdon Best, the curator of the Wellington Museum, is a tall, thin individual who has roamed all over the Pacific. He has worked his way for years in the interests of the Amerindians, Hawaiians, and Maories. Now he has one of the finest museums in the South Seas—excepting that, of course, in Honolulu—in which he treasures anything and everything that will help throw light on the history of these interesting people. The other is Mrs. Bernice Bishop, a part-Hawaiian woman, who established the museum in Honolulu which bears her name. These are the centers round which we white folk shall be able to gather for the preservation of this[Pg 236] other type of the human species. In the summer of 1921 a Scientific Congress under the auspices of the Pan-Pacific Union and the immediate directorship of Professor Gregory of Yale was held to devise ways and means of furthering the study of these races, and its work is proceeding apace.

Museums and "models" of native architecture are the modern white man's diaries, recalling the acts of ravishment and destruction which his development and expansion entailed. Let us hope that out of the efforts of scientists will spring a new consciousness of worth, which early missionaries and scheming traders did everything to destroy. Yet it must not be forgotten that much of our knowledge of these races comes from those missionaries who were broad-minded enough to recognize the value of recording customs and beliefs, even if their purpose was the more effectively to counteract them.

[Pg 237]



Something there is in the very bearing of the people in the Pacific which, despite the obvious differences between us, strikes a note of kinship in the mind of the white man least conscious of his true relationship to these brown folk. A certain chemical affinity, as it were, makes the problem of intermarriage with the Polynesians an altogether different matter from that among Eurasians. For in the marriage of an Occidental and a true Oriental there is the clashing of two antagonistic cultures each equally complex and tenacious, while "here there is evidence in the physique of the people that three great divisions of mankind have intermixed."

But in the Pacific islands the white man feels himself among his kind. The reason is hard to explain. Certainly it is not the loose and ungainly Mother-Hubbard gowns which are still the style of the native maiden. Yet the stoutish, portly individual who is introduced to you as a chief and who parades the street along the waterfront in a suit of silk pajamas might easily be a continental sleep-walker who has no remembrance of the thousands of years that lie between him and the men among whom he is waking. And the white man just arrived drops off under the anæsthetic influence of the tropics, forgetful of the thousands of years in which he has been busy laying up his treasures on earth.

Under this narcotic influence I wandered along the shores of Apia, Samoa, toward sundown, the day before my departure. Within me was a melancholy satisfaction,[Pg 238] an unwillingness to admit even to myself the truth that I was glad to go, like one conscious of being cured of a delightful vice. I had had my fill of association with men whose main theme of conversation when together was the virtues of whisky and soda as an antidote for dengue fever, and when apart, the faults of one another. I had watched the process of acclimatization as it attacks the souls of men, and pitied some of them. Many would have scorned my pity. Some did not deserve it. Others did not need it. The story of one is worth while, though it has no solution.

He had been stationed in Samoa as a member of the military staff with police duties. Behind him he had left a wife and kiddies. He longed for them as only a man struggling against tropic odds to remain faithful to his promise needs must long. He was faithful, but she was fearful. She was writing to him daily not to forget. No woman forgets easily the ill-repute of her fellow-women, and all Northern women distrust their sisters of the warmer worlds. Women hear and believe that there is none of their kind of virtue in the tropics, and they do not trust the best of their men. They do not seem to be at all aware of the fact that faithfulness and devotion are as strong impulses in the breasts of the dark maidens as among themselves, and that semi-savage girls have hearts, too, which can be broken. So this man whose friendship I had won urged that I write to his wife and, in my own way, assure her of his loyalty. I have never heard the end. But if ever she reads this account, I hope she will believe in him.

For there are women in the tropics, just like her, who pray that their men will be faithful. I was walking along, thinking of him and of her. The evening glow, full to overflowing of tropic loveliness, was all about. The white foam of the breakers dashing themselves against the reefs out there, a quarter of a mile away, came softly in, over the smooth water, to land. The[Pg 239] laughter of little children on the beach seemed to tease, the hiss of the sea, a combination of elemental things utterly without tragedy.

Just then I came upon a group of people gathered at the little pier. Strewn about their feet were trunks and bags and kits, indicating departure in haste, while the presence of a handful of soldiers, standing at attention, was an unspoken explanation of what was toward. The civilians clustered in a little group, quiet, communicating with one another in whispers. They comprised seventeen Germans, erstwhile the wealthiest plantation-owners, now prisoners of war, and their wives and children, from whom they were to be parted. The cause of their departure is not pertinent here. The human equation is.

As the officer issued his order for embarkation, there was a momentary commotion. Soldiers, by no means unfriendly to their prisoners, assisted them in the placing of luggage on the boat. The men, turning to their women and children with warm embraces, called in forced cheerfulness that they would soon be back. All the men stepped into the rowboats and with full, powerful strokes of Samoan oarsmen they were borne out across the reefs toward the steamer anchored beyond. Upon the beach remained bewildered native women and their half-caste children, some of them in an agony of grief now run wild. One family lingered, weeping silently. A group of two middle-aged women, a girl of about twenty, two small girls, and two boys stood gazing out toward the ship. They brushed away tears absent-mindedly. A little girl and boy cried quietly. And like that white wife in the temperate world, these dark-skinned women of the tropics were left to wonder whether their husbands would remain faithful to them in a world of which they had vague if not altogether wrong notions.

A full, mellow afterglow threw the ship for a moment into relief, and twilight lowered. Upon the end pile of[Pg 240] the pier sat a young Samoan in a halo of dim light. From this modern scene which may some day be the theme for a South Sea "Evangeline" I moved away wondering what this cleavage of people would mean to the Polynesians. An unconscious curiosity led me into the village. It was night. From the various huts rang the voices of happy natives. Fires flamed under their evening meals. Dim lamps revealed shadow-figures of men and women. A slight drizzle brushed over the valley and disappeared. Then the firm tread of feet sounded in the dusty road. About twenty girls, two abreast, stamping their naked feet, passed by and on into the darkness to drop, matrice-like, each into her own home. Earlier that evening they had escorted to the ship the white woman who was their missionary teacher. One long skiff had held them all. Each had a single oar in hand, short and spear-headed, with which she struck the gunwale of the boat after every stroke, thus beating time to a native song. Here was another case of contact and cleavage. Their teacher was returning to her land, leaving them with the glimmer of her ideals, her notions of life and loyalty. How much of it would hold them? Coming and going, the fusion of races, once of a common stock, is taking place.

In European clothes With her New Zealand husband at home In her native costume
In European clothes With her New Zealand husband at home In her native costume



I cannot recall having received any definite invitation from any of the principals responsible for the party I attended one evening in Apia, but in the islands the respectable stranger does not find himself lonely. It was sufficient that I was a friend of one of the guests. Four young men who were leaving were given a send-off; and the celebrations were to take place in the little Sunday-school shack.

That evening the little structure was metamorphosed from crude solemnity by a generous trimming in palm branches and flowers, as though it had been turned [Pg 241] outside in. Oil-lamps hung from the rafters by stiff wires, unyielding even to the weight of the light-giving vessels. The awkwardness of some of the natives in their relations with the whites could not be overcome even by their obvious inclination. But the music stirred us all into a whirl of equality. It was furnished by an old crone of a native woman. She was dressed in a shabby Mother-Hubbard gown and her feet were bare. Her stiff fingers worked upon the keys of an accordion in a sluggish fashion, as she confused old-fashioned barn-dances with sentimental melodies. She was stirred on to greater sentiment by the teasing approaches of one white man fully three-quarters drunk. As for the dancers,—what to them were half-expressed notes? Their own fresh blood more than overcame any lack.


The father of the two girls was a lawyer and the son of a Sydney (Australia) clergyman



Japanese seldom marry other than Japanese women



The father is a white man—a New Zealand shepherd

Pretty young flappers, eager for the arms of the white chaps, moved about among stolid dames whose purity of race revealed itself in russet skins and slightly flattened noses. They had finer features than the matrons. The white "impurities" shone out of them. But they were not quite free, not quite absolved from the weight of their primitive forebears. They were shy and had little to say for themselves, and it seemed they wished they could just cast off the high-heeled shoes and tight garments and be that which at least half of themselves wished to be. Yet they were erect and proud,—and gay.

Behind the curtain which hung across the little rostrum stood tables fairly littered with bananas, mangos, and watermelons, mingled with the fruits of the Northern kitchen stove,—cakes, pies, and meats enough to satisfy a harvesting-gang. And when the call to supper came, the invasion of this hidden treasure island and its despoliation proved that however much mankind may be differentiated socially and intellectually, gastronomically there is universal equality.

There is another basis upon which the wide world is[Pg 242] one, and that is in its affections. Long after midnight the party would have still been in progress but for the threat of the ferry-men. They wished to retire and announced that the last boat was soon to start across the moon-splattered reefs. There was a hurried meeting of lips in farewell. The silver light revealed more than one sweet face crumpled before separation. Then with the first dip of their oars into the sea the swarthy oarsmen began the song which, exotic and sentimental as it was, left every heart as aching for the shore as it did those of the simple half-caste maidens for their casual lovers of the colder Antipodes.

"Oh, I neva wi' fo-ge-et chu," drawled the oarsmen, and they on shore joined in with the softer voices of that gentler world.


I had been an unknown and unknowing guest, paying my rates for keep at the hotel. For most of an hour I had been in a small upper room with three or four white men whose sole object seemed to be to get as drunk as they could and to induce me to join them. In those clear moments that flash across leary hours, they gave voice to their disapproval of intermarriage with the natives. Then I learned of the wedding taking place below. My curiosity led me downstairs, and though an utter stranger, I made my way into the company. Not for a moment did I feel myself out of place. Such is the nature of life in the tropics. Among those present were pretty half-caste maidens, slovenly full-blooded native matrons, men and women of all ages and conditions of attire. There were German-Samoans, English, English-Samoans, American and American-Samoans, with a salting of no (or forgotten) nationality. Some were in Mother-Hubbard gowns, some in pongee silks, some in canvas and white duck, cut either for street or evening wear. One young chap, the clerk at the customs, came[Pg 243] dressed in the latest tuxedo. And a half-caste chief appeared in a suit of silk pajamas.

The marriage-feast was as sumptuous as any that ever tempted the palate of man. It was spread not on acres, as in the olden days, but on a long table which stretched the length of the thirty-foot room. Photographs are everywhere sold displaying so-called cannibal feasts, with huge turtles and hundreds of tropical vegetables. However it may have been in those days, at this feast the guests were cannibal in manners only. They stood round the table and helped themselves with that disregard of to-morrow's headache and the hunger of the day after which is said to be primitive lack of economy.

As the guests were led out into the dance-hall, one young stalwart took the remnant of the watermelon rind he had been gnawing and slung it straight at the pretty back of a Euro-Polynesian girl in evening frock. She tittered at him. The jollity was running too high for any one to be disturbed by anything like that.

Soon the dance was in full swing. Not the tango, which we regard as primitive and wild, but sober editions of dances with us long out of date. The need is more pressing in the tropics among folk of part-white parentage than an appearance of real civilization. And though it is not so long in the history of the Pacific since the coming of the first white man, there is already an intermediate race growing up which, beginning with Samoa, spreads northward and southward and all around as far as the reaches of the sea. Nor is the mixture always to be deprecated.

The night wore on. The dancing ceased. Flushed faces and perspiring forms slipped out into the moonlight. The white collar which had adorned the tuxedo of the clerk was now brother to the pajamas. The white men who had tried to drown their objections to intermarriage had yielded to the lure of the pretty half-caste maidens. One of them now disappeared with his "tart."[Pg 244]

A traveling-salesman from Suva, thin and wiry, had been in dispute with a new civil officer. They contradicted each other just to be contrary. The officer had a wife at home to whom he was bound to be faithful in matters of sex; in the matter of spirits he could not be unfaithful, since in that all the world is one. When the two of them and I left the party, they were still disputing the question of intermarriage, in which neither believed but on which both had pronounced complexes.

To change the subject, which was bordering on a fight, I asked: "Why do the palms bend out toward the sea?"

"Now, what difference does it make to you?" said the salesman. "You're always asking why this, why that?"

"Why shouldn't he?" grumbled the officer, more sober and more intelligent.

We rambled along. The salesman soon slipped into his hotel. The officer and I wandered toward the native village.

"Strange," he said, somewhat sobered by the sea air. "If I met him in Auckland I wouldn't speak to him. He's beneath me."

Free and easy as the relationship of marriage seems to be here, one not infrequently runs across descendants of very happy and desirable unions. I had gone on a little motor jaunt with some of the men of the British Club. Our way was along the road the natives had built in gratitude to R. L. S., and our destination the home of a friend of his, who had married a native woman. The house was of European construction, solid and comfortable, with a veranda affording a view of the open sea. The interior was in every way as typical of British colonial life as any I later saw in New Zealand. There were photographs on the wall, hanging shelves, bric-á-brac, a piano,—all importations of crude Western manufactories.

The hosts were Euro-Polynesians; the father a lawyer and son of a clergyman of Sydney, Australia, who had[Pg 245] settled in the islands years ago. I do not recall whether, like his closest friend, Stevenson, he was buried on the island, but certainly he left by no means unworthy offspring, whatever prejudice may say.

Thus, in the mixture of emotions often sterile, and in the bones of white devotees is the reunion of the races of these regions being slowly effected. And at the two extremities of the Pacific—New Zealand and Hawaii—we find the process nearer completion.


In the journeys to and fro across the vast spaces of the South Pacific one rarely meets a white man who takes his native wife with him. One such I did meet when slipping down from Hawaii to the Fiji Islands. There were two couples on board who always kept more or less to themselves, two rough-looking white men, a white woman, and one who for all I could tell was a middle-class Southern European woman. She wore simple clothes,—a blouse hanging over her skirt and comfortable shoes. She was in no sense shy, laughed heartily, moved about with a self-conscious air of importance, but with ease, and made no effort to hide the curving blue lines of tattooing that decorated her chin. She was a Maori princess, and all the vigor of her race disported itself in the supple lines of her figure.

Her husband, Mr. Webb, however, was not a British prince. Blunt in his manners, he was ultra-radical in his opinions,—a proud member of New Zealand's working class. Domineering in his temperament he was, but she was a match for him. It was obvious that she had missed in her native training any lessons in subservience to a mere husband. She spoke a clear, broad, fluent English without the slightest accent, and when her extremely argumentative husband made a strong point, she gave her assent in no mistaken terms.[Pg 246]

At table she was more mannerly than her spouse, though laboring under no difficulties whatever in the acquisition of food. I have never seen a person more self-possessed. Her royal lineage was writ large in her every expression. Though out on deck they both seemed somewhat out of place among the white folk and preferred a corner apart, in the dining-room they were kin to all men.

I found them both extremely interesting, and when the usual invitations were passed round for a continuance of the acquaintanceship after landing, I accepted theirs more readily than any other. Blunt and without finesse as they were, there was an obvious cordiality and virility in their manner, and no man alert to adventure turns so promising an offer aside.

Months afterward I was in Auckland, New Zealand, and made myself known to them. Most cordial was the reception they gave me when I stepped upon the well-built pier that jutted out into the inlet from the little launch that brought me there. Back upon the knoll stood Madame, her heavy head of curly hair loose about her shoulders. Her very being greeted me with welcome, firmness of foot and arm and calmness of poise proclaiming her nativity. When I approached, her strong hand grasped mine, her face beamed, and she led the way over the grass-grown path to the porch with even more self-confidence than when she had gone to her seat in the saloon, on shipboard.

Yet it was no saloon they led me into, but a simple hollow-tile structure with slate roofing and plain plastered walls. Just an ordinary four-roomed house, the haven of the rising pioneer. There were no decorations on the walls, no modern equipment of any kind, not even a stove. The table was machine-turned, the chairs ordinary, and on the mantelpiece stood some bleached photographs. My hosts went about in their bare feet, and otherwise as loosely clad as the early November spring[Pg 247] permitted. They prepared their meals on the open fire, and the menu was as simple as anything ever offered me; and for the first time in my life I ate boiled eels, the great Maori staple and delicacy. Had it not been for the emanation of her genial personality and his vigorous, breezy, almost hard pleasure in my presence, I should have felt chilled in that habitation. But in place of things was sincere welcome. I had proof of that that night, for I was placed in the guest-room, upon a soft, comfortable bed, while my hosts themselves spread a mattress on the floor in the living-room. Lest I misunderstand, they explained that it was their custom, Maori fashion, to sleep on the floor, as they preferred the hard support to that of the yielding spring.

I woke next morning just as the sun peeped over the hill directly into my window. It was a sober dawn,—just a healthy flush of life, with crisp, invigorating air. One branch of a young kauri pine-tree stretched across the rising orb like nature rousing itself from sleep. And in the other room I could hear my hosts moving quietly about, preparing breakfast.

Without word of warning or any apparent welcome, the wife's brother and his young bride arrived. It was obvious that the visit was no unusual occurrence. They made themselves as much a part of the place as possible, and were ignored by the white man and his Maori wife as though they were servants. Yet they were both, to me at least, delightful. He was broad-shouldered, erect, rounded of limb but muscular,—as handsome a boy of twenty as I have ever seen, and it gave one joy to see him mated to so fine a girl. Their beings vibrated to each other with the joy of their union.

And she was as fine a mate for him. Though she accentuated every feature of her sex, it was with the joy of fitness for him, not with any effort to be alluring. She wore a very close fitting middy-blouse, which made more firm the rounded breasts of her young maidenhood. She[Pg 248] was supple and plump and moved with litheness and grace, full of animal spirits. With an affected air she swung about to the step of an American rag, and every once in a while she would throw herself into her lover's arms, and take a turn about out of sheer happiness. It had never occurred to me how extremely civilized and not primitive our rag-time music is until I saw these young "savages" affect it. But however ill-fitting the tune to their emotions, there was something absolutely natural in their adoration and their rushing into each other's arms which no amount of civilization could tarnish.

In the afternoon they went digging for eels in the mud of the inlet. While they were gone, my host and his wife cleared the yard of overgrown weeds and rubbish.

"That's the way they are," said he. "All day long they dance and fool away their time. They think they've done a lot if they dig for eels all afternoon. When we went away to Hawaii we left them to look after our house without charging them any rent. This is what we found when we returned. The whole place was overgrown with weeds, the fences were broken down, the gates were off, and the place was strewn with rubbish. They don't know what it is to be careful." And he struck a match to the heap of weeds he and his wife had gathered.

Presently the two lovers returned with a basket full of eels. The young "housewife" hung her catch by the tails on the clothes-line to dry, and in a pail of clear water washed the mud-suckers they had gathered as by-product. Then they felt they were entitled to rest.

All afternoon until late evening they lay upon the spring of an unused matressless bedstead, which stood upon the veranda. Their heads were at the opposite ends of the bed. He kicked his feet in the air, but every time a move of hers showed more of her legs than he thought proper, he pulled down her tight skirt. He held[Pg 249] an accordion over him upon which he played a medley of airs, while she whirled a soft hat with her fingers. From their throats issued a fountain of song, harmonious only in the spirit of joy which inspired it.

So far they might just as well have been guests at a hotel for all the attention their elders paid to them. We had had our meals by ourselves. They were simply tolerated. But after nightfall, they joined their relatives in a game of cards. Every move provoked a burst of laughter, whether successful or unsuccessful to the hilarious one, and never a suggestion of strife or thought of gain was manifest.

The Maories are more sober than their kinsmen of the upper South Seas. Life was never to them less than a serious struggle. I daresay they are happier to-day than they were in their own time, with peace and prosperity guaranteed them. But that is problematical. Laughter and play are to-day urgent necessities. The dances and games that were native to them—when not stimulated by some social event—do not come to them with the same old spontaneity. It took considerable begging on my part and nudging from Mr. Webb to persuade the women to show me a native dance. Donning her skirt of rushes, Mrs. Webb stepped into the center of the room, giggling all the while, and insisting that her sister-in-law dance with her. The latter took a stick in her hand and they began. But after two or three movements they doubled over with laughter, and faltered. I kept urging them on. At last they caught the spirit of it, and for a few minutes they were as though possessed. Their movements, mainly of the hands and hips, were not unlike those of the geisha dances of Japan. They kept them up for fifteen minutes. Suddenly they stopped, as though struck self-conscious, almost as a modest girl who had wakened from a somnambulant journey in her nightgown. They slipped into chairs, and were silent. Then for about half an hour they sat[Pg 250] "yarning" soberly before the hearth fire. And something sad seemed to creep away up the chimney.

The two young lovers decided they would take a bath, and went into another chamber to heat the water. My bed was spread for me; the hosts unrolled the mattress which had been lying in the corner on the floor all day. We retired. Then from the other room came sounds of hilarious laughter, the splashing of water in the tub, and the slapping of naked wet flesh. It kept up for hours, long after midnight. When silence finally reigned over the household, an adorably cool moon peeped in at our windows, and I knew that the two lovers in the room next mine were at last overcome by the conspiracy of moonlight and fatigue.

"Did you hear those mad Maories?" said Mr. Webb to me the first thing in the morning. "Such mad things! To keep the whole house awake till long after midnight!" Then he, too, seemed to become self-conscious. Wasn't he passing reflections on the tribe of his wife? We strolled out into the fields. He seemed to feel the necessity of an explanation. Among his people, the white folk, though he was not ostracized for having taken a native wife (for it is common enough), still it did lower one in the social scale. I steered the conversation round till he himself spoke of it. He referred to his wife, somewhat soberly. "I like her and am satisfied with her. She's a good woman." And during the whole of my visit I saw nothing to indicate that their marriage was not a success. She was tidy, thrifty, and companionable. He always treated her with respect and affection, though once or twice with undue firmness. But she always stood her ground with dignity and good-nature. When he poked kindly fun at some photographs of her, she smiled and winked at me. Then she said of a picture taken of him on the beach: "I wouldn't lose it for all the world, just for his sake."

By way of apology for the absence of more furnish[Pg 251]ings, they explained that they had sold out; they were tired of labor conditions in New Zealand, of the too great closeness to the "tribe" and in consequence had paid a visit to Hawaii, where they bought a plantation. Thither they went shortly afterward, the Briton and his Maori wife, he to mix with his European cousins, she with her Polynesian kinsfolk, and a more general reunion, after centuries of separation, consummated.

Not the least lovable among the fifty-seven blends of humanity that make up the inhabitants of the South Seas and the Pacific are these Maories and their half-brothers and sisters.


From a Member of Parliament I had received several letters of introduction, one of which was to the famous Dr. Pomare, the native M. P. who represented native interests in the Dominion's parliament. When I arrived at Wellington, the capital, I presented myself at his office and was received by a most genial, well-spoken, widely read individual whose tongue would have entertained the most sophisticated of European gatherings. There was hardly a subject we touched in which he was not well versed, and his native qualities rang out in intermittent bursts of laughter such as only a healthy-minded and healthy-bodied individual could indulge in. When we began to discuss the question of the virtues and vices of his native race, the Maories, he assured me:

"Oh, we're just like any people. There are good and bad amongst us. Some of our people will sell their lands, if they can, and buy an automobile which they run madly about and then leave in an open plot in ruin. On the other hand, one of our women has been very clever with her property, has sold it off, and invested her money in stocks so that to-day she owns the greatest number of shares in the Wellington tram lines. So you see we are just like other people."[Pg 252]

And so it is. But there is a slight exception, for I have heard from every one that the tendency to revert to type is very great, and that one of the wealthiest native woman in the Dominion will frequently leave her mansion, her jewels, her limousine, her fine clothes, and spend a time in a Maori pah, eating eels in the good old native way.

But such reversions cannot last long. Despite that drift, there are indications of a racial recrudescence through the half-castes, a tendency noticed by students of the primitive peoples throughout the Pacific. Hope for the Maories is in the younger elements who have that happy mixture in them, called Pakeha-Maori. Visiting a class of young women in a commercial school in Dunedin I noticed among them one whose dark face and black eyes were full of a certain wicked fascination. She was as bright and alert as any member of the class. And when I spoke of her to the head of the school, he said, "Oh, that little half-caste girl." I should not have known it.

One does not like to be too enthusiastic, but if these savage Polynesians can in the course of three generations, and with the aid of a slight mixture, change from fierce cannibalism to something as sweet and lovable as this, there is indeed great hope for them. What though the prejudiced assure you that, however far the mixture may have gone, it reveals itself in a tendency to squat when least expected? There is in the most civilized of us still enough of the savage strain to make us wary of carrying our aversions too far.

Doubtless the Britons of New Zealand would enter any debate with the Americans of Hawaii as to which is the superior people, the Maories or the Hawaiians. For our own peace of mind let us accept their Polynesian kinship at the outset. Both are worth saving as separate races or in mixture with others.

The Maori M. P., the rebellious priest, Rua, later re[Pg 253]leased from prison, the Hawaiian clerk in the throne-room, the Fijian chief turned governor, the Samoan chief in pajamas who, with the customs officials, boarded the steamer anchored beyond the reefs, and Mrs. Webb, the princess,—all these are natives playing the new part allotted to them in this strange new world.

Thus slowly, into the life and fabric of the South Seas, is coming this consciousness of rebirth. It is a new class, a new race. Not the Eurasians, scorned by the white and the superior Asiatics,—but the reverse. Half-caste, but the proud possessors of the virtues of the natives, with the strength and superiority of the white; half-caste in blood but not always so in spirit.

[Pg 254]



Casual, impermanent, or broken as these unions hitherto have been, their cyclonic process of attraction and repulsion has created a suction drawing in both good and evil. The white sailor and vagabond who ravished the brown maiden never intended to father the consequences. But gradually, as communication increased and mutual interests developed, greater stability entered into the relations of the races. Marital contracts became necessary and, from the point of view of property and other acquisitions, even desirable. Readjustment of conceptions of sex grew urgent. This entailed the complement, divorce.

From all corners of the world came people whose notions of man's relations with woman were as divergent as the seas. The Japanese and Chinese brought their Oriental attitude toward women; the American his Occidental. Besides, with the passing of native control, European nations superimposed European regulations upon the islands. We have, then, the introduction of legalism into the casual affairs of the tropics, and the vanishing of primitive license. We have the Japanese woman, subject to the control of her husband, finding herself protected by the laws of another race. These raise her status and her self-respect. She rebels against unpleasant sex-unions. Divorce in these conglomerate regions, therefore, means the idealization of sex, raising it above the stage of animal possession and material interest; based upon the sense of justice to woman, it recreates marriage, makes decent unions possible.[Pg 255]

Hence, in the wake of queer marriages we see even more queer divorces, as though hearts, having become self-conscious, seek a new chance. As age mellows racial associations, we find that men's hearts the world over beat as one, and relationships which are at all compatible seek permanency, if not "normalcy."

It was easy enough for a wanderer or a few hundred traders and romancers to leave their imprint on the native races. It is another matter when the native races are overwhelmed by a hundred thousand aliens of twenty-odd races, and the work of amalgamation falls to the lot of the white man. An altogether new problem manifests itself,—not only that of bringing them together in a legal and permanent manner, but of separating such types and individuals as cannot work for the betterment of the new race.

Throughout the Pacific already reviewed, the mixture is as yet essentially accidental and occasional. But in no spot in the Pacific has the problem assumed such serious proportions as in Hawaii, where, added to the great diversity of conglomerations, comes the factor of white and Asiatic superiority in number. As we have seen, the infusion of this flood of foreign blood into the thin native element has fairly swamped it. This jungle of humanity seems at first sight utterly beyond cultural purification. The streets throb with such multiplicity of little ways that one feels bewildered. One has to snatch a sample of the life and place it beneath the magnifying-glass of tradition and code to be able to separate it from the whole. And that I did one day in Honolulu.

The sun was pouring down in veritable splutters of softness and mellowness. It was warm in an all-embracing tenderness of warmth. To be in the shade with another human being was here as unifying in spirit as sitting before an open fire is on a blizzardy day in the North. And on such a day I entered the court-room of Honolulu. The dusty tread of people from every land[Pg 256] has sounded across this court-house floor and all the simple tragedies of life with their hoarse warnings have been enacted within its walls. Hundreds of disappointed men and women have come into that room hoping to have their lives straightened out, their affections given a new chance.

In these two cases it obviously goes back to their Hawaiian and European blood

When I entered, the court-room was empty. A massive Hawaiian looked in, and walked away. Then a thin white man approached and, when he learned what brought me, he sat down on one of the wooden benches to talk to me. It was Judge William L. Whitney, who died in New York just recently.

Presently, an emaciated-looking Chinese entered and sat down to wait. A small, wrinkled, sallow little woman from the Celestial Republic, accompanied by a compatriot, came in after him, and seated herself a little distance away. Then came the fat Hawaiian again who had peered in earlier, and with that everything seemed in order. Judge Whitney left me, approached the bench, and, though he wore only his ordinary street clothes, he was forthwith crowned with the halo of his office.

The proceedings began. Proceedings in this case meant great round eyes rolling in tremendous sockets, a tongue free with the dialects and linguistics of every mixture, and a temperament free from ambition or guile. The judge could speak no Chinese, the respondents could speak no English, the witnesses (of whom two strayed in later) could speak neither English nor Chinese,—and so among them the Hawaiian interpreter had all the fun to himself. He was in reality the dispenser of justice.

The case was rehearsed. The Chinese was suing his wife for divorce.

"Where were you when you saw this man kiss your wife?" asked the judge.

The interpreter took up the question in Chinese as though the language were part of his inheritance, and[Pg 257] after the Chinese spoke, back came the reply through the lips of the Hawaiian, but in the first person.

"I was in the garden. When I looked up into our bedroom I saw this man kiss my wife."

The evidence was vague. To John Chinaman it meant more than a few facts, for his wife had borne him no offspring. What a timid-daring attempt to reach out for new life! At home he would just have dismissed her, but here it was different. Yet from their appearance it was doubtful that either of them would ever have the courage to try to live life over.


F. W. Caine, Photo



F. W. Caine, Photo


This was only one of the many entangled lives that came to be straightened out in Hawaii. There are more than forty-seven different combinations of races there, such as American and American, German and German, Korean and Korean, Russian and Russian, Spanish-Marshall and English, Half-Hawaiian and Chinese-Hawaiian, Hawaiian and Chinese-Hawaiian, Hawaiian and Hawaiian-Portuguese, Chinese and Chinese, Hawaiian and Hawaiian, Portuguese and Portuguese, Spanish and Spanish, Spanish-Hawaiian and Spanish-Hawaiian, Portuguese and Creole-Spanish-Portuguese, Chinese and Irish, American and Half-Hawaiian, Portuguese and Pole, Half-Hawaiian and Half-Hawaiian, American and Hawaiian-Chinese, English and Half-Hawaiian, Japanese and American, American-Japanese and Japanese, Half-Hawaiian and German, Portuguese and Hawaiian, German and Irish, Hawaiian-Chinese and Spanish-Italian, Portuguese and Hawaiian-Chinese, Half-Hawaiian and Spanish, Porto-Rican and Porto-Rican, Oginawa and Oginawa, French-Porto-Rican and Porto-Rican, Swede and Portuguese, English and English, Hawaiian and Chinese, American and French-Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese, American-Portuguese and German-Irish, Portuguese-Hawaiian and Portuguese, Portuguese and German-Irish, Portuguese-Hawaiian and Portuguese, Portuguese-Irish and Hawai[Pg 258]ian, Hawaiian and American-Negro, Portuguese-Hawaiian-Chinese and Chinese. And I am certain that I can add another, that of my New Zealand acquaintance and his Maori wife.

They are but one phase of the whole problem of the mixture of races and the melting of their silvers and bronzes down to the human essence within them. For there were in Judge Whitney's time on an average of two hundred and thirty couples divorced under that ceiling every year. Figures make human facts seem so remote that I hate to use them. As soon as figures are quoted the individuals lose their identity. That which is living and real becomes, as it were, an astronomical calculation and one might as well talk of stars. But the figures of the divorces in Hawaii are in themselves a living thing, as they interpret the life there more than words could do; so I'll risk giving a few of the figures Judge Whitney published while I was in Honolulu.

The Japanese contributed 49% of the divorces in Hawaii, though they comprise only 34% of the population; the Americans, 7%, though they were 8% of the population. The rest were distributed among the other nationalities. This is how those statistics compared with divorce statistics in other countries. There were in England out of every hundred thousand inhabitants, two divorces per year; in Austria, one; in Norway, six; in Sweden, eight; in Italy, three; in Denmark, seventeen; in Germany, twenty-three; and in France, the same; in the United States, seventy-three; and in the island of Oahu (Honolulu), four hundred.

Hundreds of little folk, a host of children, have passed out of that room either fatherless or motherless. Back in the lands which they might have called home it would not have happened in just this way, or having happened so, it would not have had the same tragic meaning. For in Oriental countries fathers frequently put the mothers of their children aside. Yet, somehow the tragedies do[Pg 259] not fret and strut in such distorted ways in lands where distortion is much more common, as in the East. In most Oriental countries it is enough for a man to say his wife talks too much and declare her divorced, but when he comes to the half-way house, Hawaii, he must be cruel, extremely cruel to his wife before the law will grant him a divorce. So he is "cruel" in a way he may be sure will secure his freedom.


What the results of all these mixtures will be, no one can as yet tell, but the consensus of opinion gives the Chinese-Hawaiian the prize for superiority. However promiscuous other races may be, the Japanese seldom stoops to conquer in that way. The maiden of Japan shares with the white woman an aversion for these strangers in Hawaii, though the number of Japanese women who marry white men is far greater than that of white women marrying into any of the races in the Pacific.

One of the most prolific causes of divorce in Hawaii has been the so-called "picture bride." Because of the exclusion of Asiatic laborers, few Japanese and Chinese women have been born in the island. But because of their preference for their own women, Japanese sent home for wives. To get round the exclusion laws, they stretched the home process a bit, selected by photograph the girls they wished, had themselves married by proxy (a method recognized in Japan as legal), and then simply sent for their "wives." Aside from the subsequent divorces which very frequently ensued, there have been cases not without their humorous sides.

One story was told that must be accepted with caution.

Mr. Goto, who just a short while ago was Goto San, wants a wife. He sees a go-between who secures for him the pictures of some girls of his own district. He makes his selection and the process of marriage is accomplished.[Pg 260] With something little short of glee, he waits the maid's arrival.

She comes. But alas, not alone! Mr. Goto waits with others at the pier. Everybody is blessed but him. Chagrin and impatience battle in his heart. Nearly everybody has been supplied with a wife. There are only two women left. Neither seems to be the one he married. Goto thinks,—thinks rapidly. Who will ever know the difference? He claims the prettier; she accepts him, and off they dash on their honeymoon, à la Occident, a two-day trip round the island of Oahu in a motor-car. And never were nuptials more satisfactory.

In the meantime Fujimoto San comes rushing up pell-mell. His garage business has kept him. He finds a lone girl, but she does not tally with the reproduction he married. "Not so nice," is the first thought that flashes across his brain. "Little too broad in the nose, lips thicker than those on the photograph. Can I mistake?" But she is the only one left. He bows at least a half-dozen times, bows clean over, half-way to the ground, but alas! every time his head bobs up he sees the same disheartening face, a face he never ordered, a face he cannot accept. He must clear up the mystery. He calls the agent. Investigations reveal that Goto was there ahead of him; so Fujimoto sets out on a chase after the honeymoon pair. It ends in Honolulu two days later, and another divorce case comes up in court.

The "picture bride" is now a thing of the past, as the Japanese Government has agreed to deny her a passport in accordance with the spirit of our treaty with Japan. From the point of view of immigration, this may be a solution; but there is a phase of the problem of the mixture of races in Hawaii I have never yet seen discussed,—that is, the woman. In the case of the Japanese woman, much more than in that of the man, entrance to Hawaii or America is freedom such as has never been known before. At home she has been taught obedience[Pg 261] and deference to her husband. There are many others ready to accept that burden if she is unwilling. But in Hawaii, where there are so many Japanese seeking wives and where she moves among peoples whose standards are an inversion of everything she has been taught to regard as virtuous and feminine, she finds herself in an altogether different position. On the streets she sees many white women treated with courtesy; in the courts women receive even more sympathy than men,—to her an unheard-of thing. And so we find that when all the divorces in the Hawaiian Islands have been tabulated, these little timid creatures of Japan have been emboldened to the extent of deserting their husbands in veritable shoals, making up 90% of the entire number of Japanese divorces. It is a scramble for readjustment of conjugal relations based on something nearer emotional equality.

But where do the Hawaiians come in? will be asked in all reason. They are virtually no more. Of the entire race which at the time of their discovery by Captain Cook numbered some 130,000 to 300,000, only a few thousand are left. At the time of the annexation of Hawaii by America (1898) there were some 31,000 Hawaiians of pure blood, or about 28% of the population. Of Orientals there was about 42% of the population, with 24,400 Japanese and 21,600 Chinese. Then there were 15,191 Portuguese, 2,250 Britons, 1,437 Germans, 8,400 Americans, 1,479 Norwegians, French and others combined. Already there were 8,400 part-Hawaiian. From the rulers down there was a free mixture, even the queen had a white spouse. Some of the best types of Hawaiian women had been married by men of fine caliber, unlike almost any other place in the Pacific. The relationships were of a permanent nature, for, as the governmental report in connection with annexation stated:

The Hawaiians are not Africans, but Polynesians. They are brown, not black. There has never been and there is not any color line in Hawaii as against native Hawaiian, and they participate fully and on[Pg 262] an equality with the white people in affairs, political, social, religious, and charitable. The two races freely intermarry one with the other, the results being shown in a population of some 7,000 of mixed blood. They are a race which will in the future, as they have in the past, easily and rapidly assimilate with and adopt American ways and methods.


In defiance of prejudice, intermarriage between the races in the Pacific is taking place. What the result is to be, no one as yet knows definitely. The number of white men legalizing their relations with native women is large. The tropics are veritable whispering-galleries sounding the stories of men who have returned to keep their promises even after they have been despatched from the islands under the influence of the cup so as to prevent their marrying. In the mid-Pacific, in the South Seas, in the Far East, white men are marrying native women, even in cases where these have been their mistresses for years.

In Japan, many leading white men have married Japanese women, among whom the most celebrated has been Lafcadio Hearn. The list is long. In the ports, many foreigners have married Japanese women, and though there is a strong feeling against it socially, discrimination is not universal. The French and the British are not nearly so fastidious in these matters as are the Americans and the Japanese. Wherever there is outward opposition, it comes from the Japanese side as well as from the white. Japanese complain against discrimination here, but we are received with no more open arms by them in Japan.

The girl from Japan coming to the West is by virtue of her immigration alone to some extent emancipated; but to the white woman turning her steps east there is only the emancipation, in part, from drudgery by means of ample servants. To the white woman who goes a step farther and links herself in marriage with a Japa[Pg 263]nese or Chinese there is in the majority of cases only sorrow, soreness of heart, isolation, and regret. It is not that she might not be happy with the individual Oriental, but in the East she becomes part of a vicious family system that strangles her individuality. Though the maid of Japan is not over-welcome in the West, as the wife of a white man she comes into a higher plane of life. By no means is that true in the case of the white woman in the East. There are too many cases, still warm with regret, to be named in proof of the statement. I have come across several cases of American girls who had married Japanese and returned with them to Japan. They were content enough with their husbands, but their position in the Japanese home was intolerable. I remember the loneliness of a New York girl who had gone to live in Kyoto. The contemptuous way in which some notable Japanese looked at their countryman's white wife was only comparable to the treatment she would have received here. The children, born in the same labor, are not respected as are either "pure" Japanese or white. The Eurasian is frequently disqualified. The white father regrets that his children are not Aryan as did Lafcadio Hearn.

This is no attempt to make out a case for the mixture of natives and white in the Pacific. There are not enough facts at hand. Unfortunately, for the next few hundred years the differences between the peoples living on the borders of the Pacific will continue to irritate, and experiments in blood-mixture will probably be tried externally. I have only mobilized such incidents as have come within my own personal observation that will take the problem out of the cold, statistical plane. It is with human flesh and blood, human hearts and affections, human gropings and aspirations that we are dealing,—not with the conflicts of imaginary hordes and with terrifying invasions.

To me, the human elements in Honolulu and throughout the Pacific remain a memory of one perpetual stirring[Pg 264] of sounds, colors, and desires. The whole is not confusing, for it is outside one's consciousness. In a sense it is an inverted world consciousness. Instead of nationals thinking outward, they have come together and are thinking inward, recognizing themselves as part of some whole. Eventually, after all the races in the Pacific have been mixed more or less, or have proved mixture impossible, they will find some way in which they can dwell at one another's elbows without nudging. The mixture may even assume an appearance of unity. The color scheme, like a thorough blending of all the colors of the spectrum, may yet become white.

[Pg 265]



The basket was growing heavier and heavier, and his stomach weaker and weaker. How to convert his burden into a meal was a problem, written as large upon his face as the delight in the bargains he was making shone in the face of the marketer beside him. He was a young chap just emerging from boyhood. He had been employed by this restaurant-keeper because he said he needed a meal. It was not to be a real job. He was to get his meal all right, but not till he earned it by going with the boss to market and carrying his basket for him.

The basket was soon full to overflowing, and the young man bearing it was nigh exhaustion. They were now going home. At the corner of the open square that had been assigned to garden-truck venders the old man stopped to buy a rose. He disputed the price with the flower-girl, got it at a reduction, and went on. "I always bring my wife a rose from market," he remarked in semi-soliloquy, and they disappeared, the young fellow with his burden, the old man with his rose.

Thus does the European little pig go to market, and he's the most civilized little pig in the world. For hundreds of years he has been learning to market, and that most essential of social functions is the progenitor of communal life. The way in which it is performed is a test of the civilization of a people.

The first democrats and artists of Europe, the Greeks,[Pg 266] knew this, and made the agora a market-place, a focus of public art, and the scene of their political gatherings. Wretched, indeed, was the little pig that stayed home when the agora was convoked, for he it was whom the Greeks had determined to ostracize. Despite their efforts as democrats, there were only too many who had to stay home when the affairs of that world were being decided; but as a market, with all the architectural genius concentrated on making it attractive and beautiful, and Socrates leading his classes through it, it was a certain success.

In the ruder parts of Europe, owing to the absence of means of communication and the dangers of carrying one's possessions abroad, definite market-places became an imperative necessity, and charters for their existence were granted by decree. They became an important means of securing revenue.

Even the Church recognized the value of festivals as means of enriching itself in a combination of barter with merrymaking and adoration. Festivals and fairs alike enhanced the material and the artistic life of medieval Europe, and marked, as it were, the embryonic element out of which grew all the later laws and ethics of trade. The legitimacy of piracy at sea and robbery on land had to be counteracted in some way, and the dignity and decency of exchange established.

The evolutionary process by which civilization has achieved some sort of business morality may yet be traced in various countries, especially among the primitive peoples of the South Seas, the more advanced Filipinos, the recently awakened Japanese, the Mexicans, and the accomplished New Zealanders. Beneath the surface of the market-place, the wide world over, one finds the source of civilization, and at its level, the level of human commonalty. For as men hunt to cover up their love of wild life and nature, so women market as an excuse for mingling with people. There is in the behavior of the mar[Pg 267]keter all the cunning of the animal in search of prey, and the degree to which these instincts are developed gives in a sense the measure of a man's civilization.

Even outside the bonds of law and order the mere process of exchange tends to establish social ethics. This is nowhere better exemplified than at the thieves' market in Mexico or in the hidden reaches of the Orient. Thither all robbers bring their stolen wares for sale. Thither all the robbed hasten, to recover their lost property. The instinct within each and all of them is the gambling spirit. The despoiler is eager to sell as quickly and as successfully as possible lest the rightful owner arrive and claim the booty. The general public is anxious to buy, for the prices naturally are low, and many a bargain may be secured. The despoiled, chagrined though they may be at their loss, are in part compensated by the hope of a purchase made at somebody else's expense.


I had not known that buying and selling was ever part of the scheme of things among people whose needs were as few as those of the South-Sea islanders. Saints and philosophers are always teaching us that the most desirable state is that in which wants are few, and their indulgence is still more limited. But it seems to me that where that condition holds, the few necessaries of life become so much more desirable and so much more difficult to obtain that, instead of a release from slavery, slavery is even more rigorous. Our pictured impressions of the tropics are full of breadfruit-trees and fruits growing in abundance without labor. But quite the contrary is the case. The fear of famine and the insecurity of life have dampened the joys of many a wild man, and the pressure of population has only too frequently resulted in infanticide and cannibalism.

When, therefore, I heard that there was to be a native[Pg 268] bazaar across the Rewa River, in Vita Levu, the largest island of the Fiji group, I defied the yellow sun that hung overhead, secured a complement of guides in two Fijian boys who were more afraid of me than they were of their chief, and set out for real primitive excitement. We were pulled across the river on a punt secured to each shore by a cable, and made our way up the banks in the direction of the sugar-mill.

It was noon when we arrived at the fair-grounds. Aside from long wooden tables that stood beneath arbors of palms, there was nothing completed by way of preparation. A few straggling natives wended their ways from hut to hut of slab-board and thatch, their quiet manners reminding me of the monks in monasteries, absorbed in their duties. Gradually, venders arrived; the tables began to sprout with banana-leaves and flowers. Strings of berry beads were displayed, like fish out of water,—appealing eyes of the plant world asking why, with nature so near at hand, they needed to be torn from life. Bottles of liquid fats, like capsules of the castor-plant, stood ensconced in green-leaved packages containing sweet messes that left the eager natives, old and young, literally web-handed.

The goods displayed, the crowds from the surrounding huts arrived, drawn by an irresistible charm. A Fijian never came with his mate; maiden never approached on her lover's arm. Though they all appeared indiscriminately, there was no obvious grouping of friends with friends. They moved like shoals of fish that had got the scent or the sight of food. It was a crowd with every evidence of cohesiveness except that of companionship.

To me there was something pathetic in that crowd. An outsider by all the laws of centuries of contrary development, I had no means of entering their emotional lives, of guessing the promptings which made them leave privacy for herding. I had only the most outward signs[Pg 269] to go by, and I thought what spiritless, barren lives they must lead who could be brought together on such an occasion in so casual a mood. For aside from the bottles of oil, the strings of beads, and the wrappings of stuff in banana-leaves, there was nothing from my view to make a hundred or two hundred thousand pounds of sluggish flesh rise from its mats and dare the piercing sun.

Yet the women, who did most of the selling, with their unkempt hair and their crude alien costumes, awoke to something universal under the game of barter they were here called upon to play crudely. Rummage-sales and carnivals, dog-shows and dances, likewise change the glitter of blue eyes and pink cheeks; and I smiled at the thought of Lao-tsze and Tolstoy, who between 650 B.C. and A.D. 1910 preached the ugliness of trade.

When the play of barter and exchange had stirred these primitive folk to a little more life, they quite naturally sought a way of giving it off again; but so foreign did a real bazaar seem to them that they entered the recreations with little zest. In these days of savage sedateness, with trade becoming more and more a feature and a pastime of life, it is not surprising that the natives attend with spirits in abeyance. Following the great exchange of beads and oils and edible messes, the crowds moved out to a more open space, under the clear sun. There, with the aid of a native band, under the conductorship of a Catholic priest, they made merry, with strange sounds and more familiar dances. But it all seemed perfunctory and not without a touch of sadness. The Fijian voice at its best is rich, deep, and stately. One cannot imagine it attuned to singing jazz or rag-time. It seems exclusively made for hymns. In consequence, the crowds could not rise to the occasion, and stood behind the entertainers like so many solemn Japanese in the presence of royalty.

[Pg 270]


But lest the little pig who stays at home may really starve to death, the world sometimes indulges him a little by letting the market go to him, and never have I seen a market more picturesque and more self-possessed than one of this sort that visited our steamer as she lay anchored in the harbor of Manila.

All about us during the night had crept Filipino lighters, their gunwales capped with low-arched mats. They hugged the steamer like a brood of younglings waiting for their food. They were to receive the cargo of boxes and canned goods from New York and other markets of the world.

It was still cool. A native Filipino woman squatted on the ridge of a lighter top between two men. She was enjoying her morning cigarette. As she caught my gaze her face beamed flirtatiously. Then and there I tried my tongue for the first time in the real use of Spanish, and failed. As the morning advanced, children crept from the darkness of the covered lighters; charcoal pails were fanned into a glow like that of the dawn; and roosters, tied to the boats by one leg with a string, crowed, their contempt, protest, or indifference to a gluttonous and unjust world.

As the hour of breakfast's needs arrived, a thin, long canoe came up, insinuating its way among the many more capacious crafts, quietly, slowly, like a thing just stirring with the new day. On its narrow bottom flopped dozens of little fish in agony, dying of too much air. They looked like so many bars of silver when they lay dead. A basket of bananas and a few simple vegetables comprised the rest of the stock of these aquatic tradespeople, this man and his woman. She squatted comfortably, looking from side to side for customers, while he pushed the canoe along with easy strokes. They did not cry their wares, and handed their stores out as though known to[Pg 271] all for fair dealing and fearless of competition. Thus with the freshness of morning air they stimulated this little world to action.

By noon that day I was slipping through narrow streets, avoiding the moldy shops of the main street, seeking out the men and women who make life interesting. The coolness of the morning was gone, crowded out by steaming noon. The casual, gift-like manners of those two aquatic traders was now a thing not even to expect, for I was in the midst of civilized trade. Unexpectedly, I came upon the public market.

What a different world! The hand of the law was in evidence. Here, despite the general confused appearance, the concrete drains and stone tables gave an assurance of at least periodical cleansing. Here the laws of barter held men tied to fair dealing, as the roosters were tied to those lighters. Venders make a mad dash for freedom through cheating, but were jerked back to honesty by the bargain-hunter who watches the scales and knows the laws. Values are measured by the size of the pupil or the intensity of the gaze; if eagerness is manifest, up goes the price.

A Buddhist, looking upon a market like this, if he were unaccustomed to pagan ways, would shrink from the sight as we would at a cannibal feast. Here the world was calmly cruel. All the things we eat lay in their naked ghastliness,—the thin streams of blood, the bulging eyes of little creatures, the stiff inflexibility of limbs once quick and supple. And the men and women were unconsciously affected by the scene.

For nothing stimulates the snarling quarrelsomeness of human beings more than the sight of food or the fear of imposition. The appeals of the sellers were mingled with the bargainings and bickerings of the buyers, a competition among both to best one another. Two women stood over a fish-bin engaged in a matching of wits that[Pg 272] might well have been envied by filibustering senators. The debate was over a tray of tiny fish.


One is content with its peaceful aspects



© Harper Brothers

Before Japan woke up

A white woman, firmly knit in body and in character, made her way through the many aisles, purchasing with a precision as clearly civilized as it was silent. A Spanish woman, dark and dashing, swung through the same aisles like a little whirlwind. There was brilliance in her eyes, and brilliancy in the gems on her fingers and in her ears. She was exceedingly well dressed, buxom, and attractive, but every purchase was made with a gust of austerity and command quite uncalled for. She bullied the fisherwoman, she bullied her hackman, she bullied the servant who had come to carry her purchases for her; and then she sat down at one of the little restaurant tables and ate the strange concoctions with a dexterity obviously native to her. She was a half-caste, but the Spanish vein was strong in her blood, and Spanish passion actuated her. She got into her ancient-looking hackney-coach with flash and gusto; but not, however, before she had gained her point in the matter of an extra piece of fat upon which she was insisting. She was the little pig who had roast beef because she knew how to market economically.


But the little pig that has none, and the one who cries, wee! wee! wee! all the way home, in the Far East, is like the Greek about to be ostracized by the community in the agora. Indeed, he has been ostracized in Japan for hundreds of years, and even modernization and imperial edict have changed his status but little. He is known as the eta. To him has been allotted the task of attending to dead animals, whether edible or not, and though his touch profanes the lowest classes of Japan, his labor keeps the country clean after a fashion. Much more. Not only do these outcasts remove dead carcasses from a careless Oriental world, but in one place [Pg 273] at least they have been given the sweetest of all professions,—that of selling flowers with which to decorate the tokonoma, the most honorable place in the Japanese home. And all through the day, if one is not too much engrossed in the marts of the foreign settlement, one will hear the voice of these flower-girls calling plaintively, "Hana! hana-i! hana-iro!" Flowers are the things that stand between her and the degradation of her class, because for years the shrine of a loyal servant of the neglected emperor who was struggling against a greater and more powerful group of disloyal Japanese had been kept fresh with flowers by these eta, or outcasts, who did not know whose grave they cherished.





Otherwise the market in Japan is in the hands of Japanese now in good social standing, men who before the opening of the country numbered among those not much above the outcasts. To be in trade was worse in Japan than in England, and when one watches the behavior of men at markets, one is not surprised. One who takes the average trader at his word in Japan—not the big concerns, to be sure—deserves to cry, wee! wee! wee! all the way home.

While all over the world woman goes to market, in Japan the market goes to her. She has had to have most of her daily supplies brought to her door by the cobbler, the bean-curd-maker, or the fisherman. In consequence, except when she has servants, she has been deprived of the educational advantages of market gossip, and has been kept in her sphere more easily. She will be the last to come forward to freedom.

Not so the men. All the social advantages of barter and exchange are theirs. They communicate their experiences to one another at four o'clock in the morning over the fish-tub. They test their wits and their eyes with the auctioneer who starts them running in competition with one another over an attractive specimen from the sea. Or the more imaginative resist confusion in the[Pg 274] pit of the stock-market, where they keep in touch with their entire country and with the world. They are becoming, in consequence, more efficient and more practised in world-wide ethics of business.

Yet within the last few years public markets have sprung into vogue in Japan, and I look toward a revolution in the relations of the sexes, for no woman who goes to market remains long an obedient and submissive little soul. This is obvious to any one who wanders into the market of Shanghai. There one can see the status of the various women who replenish their household supplies and the most humble, it seemed to me, was the woman of Japan. She moved about like Priscilla suddenly brought back to life and sent to compete with the modern American woman.


In ancient Greece, of course, no woman of refinement went marketing herself. She sent her slaves. But in modern New Zealand not only are there no slaves, but there is no one to do any personal service of that nature. In the old days, in Europe, the market was the general rendezvous where life played its pranks at all levels. The religious festivals also afforded dramatic pageantry, and sometimes the two interplayed with each other. But in our modern times, when the public market is largely supplanted by the great department store, shielded, protected, organized into a minimum of human interest and a maximum of efficiency, the charm of the market is no more. So, too, our festivals have surrendered much of their artistry. This was somewhat revived during the war. New Zealand, because of the still evident atmosphere of pioneer life, the lack of interlocking systems of communication, and its distance from the most advanced places in the world, still affords some of that simple charm of a life one reads about. The streets of the main cities nightly resemble something one has dimly[Pg 275] heard of and never hoped to see. The people have laid aside all thought of business or barter. There is in their attitude something of that suppressed amazement that revealed the thoughts of the South-Sea islanders when asked to thrill to an alien band conducted by the Catholic priest. Both the whites and the primitives seemed to recall that once they knew how to celebrate.

Queens Street of Auckland was decorated one day, and booths were erected on which simple products were offered for sale. A parade of two fire-department machines, a number of men in Chinese costumes, others painted and foolscapped, boys with enormous masks, and girls in dominoes, marched through the city, and in their wake was a rush of just plain pedestrians. Other than that nothing happened. From five to ten thousand people jammed the street. The crowd was essentially like every other crowd in the world,—the same in gregariousness, the same in hunting after pleasure that abideth but a moment.

One evening the events were more thrilling. Sulky races, men driven by girls, and May-pole dances round the street lamps that stand between the tram-lines gave a suggestion of antiquity to the city. The only difference between these performances and those in the upper regions of the tropics was in the absence of palms and green arbors. In place of wide spaces were narrow streets, lined with brick buildings and studded with iron poles whose only blossoms were glowing electric lights, and whose only branches were pairs of stiff arms holding the trolley wires.

So, too, the market side of this carnival was a sharp contrast to the fairs and markets in more modernized communities. Britons are essentially traders, but they trade by rule. Even when they play trading, as at this carnival, they are more constrained. What little was done to allay the sober spirit was revived by the element of barter. The gambling spirit, checked in normal times,[Pg 276] was stimulated. Raffles, wheels, and rings were employed to extract coins from the under-zealous. The only abandon was in the confetti, which was scattered generously about in the throngs.

In the booths conservation was the key-note. Everything, from motor-cars to potatoes, was auctioned and raffled. A man from Coney Island, accustomed to that hysterical release of emotion, would have felt that he was attending not a carnival, but an open market in which only the basic necessities of life were in demand.

Not so in Napier, New Zealand, or in Sydney, Australia. There they seem as different from their British ancestry as Hottentots are from Polynesians. There men and women know how to make merry in ways almost unforgettable, and to ripple the smooth surface of sedate civilization with lovely flirtations that would weaken the most stoic of mortals and paragons of propriety.

Otherwise, in all New Zealand, life goes along in its leisurely, businesslike way. Men attend horse-sales with great zest; salesmen rush across the country in their little motor-cars, bringing the wares of the world's elaborate markets to the doors of stations or ranches; auctioneers dash hither and thither to confuse, if they can, farmers into the exchange of sheep or cattle.

While tramping along the road to Wellington, I was overtaken by a touring-car.

"Want a ride?" asked the driver. And when I mounted, he asked: "Seeing our little country, are you? Nothing like it in the world. Ever been to a sheep auction? Want to come along?" And the next thing I knew we were rushing over the dirt road toward Onga Onga. We drew up at the accommodation house with a sudden jolt.

The guest-room was filled with farmers. Sallow, hollow-cheeked, with voices that seemed to plow through their brains for thoughts, their conversation was labored. Dinner was devoured in semi-silence.[Pg 277]

But when they got to the stockyards, they became more alert. The auctioneer mounted the fence like an orator. He began cackling like a bewitched hen. The farmers moved about, feeling sheep offered for sale, the more expert glancing at them with pride in judgment. One sleek farmer, whose elaborate motor-car stood by the roadside, scrutinized the yards as one who might buy the entire lot as a whim.

The psychology of the auction-sale crowd is distinct from that of the bargain-hunter. The latter believes himself to be the winner because of the confessed misjudgment of the trader. But the auction-buyer moves about quietly, makes his own judgments of values, exchanges opinions only with his associates, and waits his chances. At a bargain-counter every one rushes for the thing he wants; here the very thing most wanted is ignored, as though to lead other hunters off the scent. As soon as the sale was over, men fell apart, like boiling rice in a pot when suddenly douched with cold water.

So far has civilized man made certain the processes by which he secures the satisfaction of his wants that one begins to wonder why men like to buy and sell at all. They are like the artisans and the mechanists who have become specialized and divorced from contact with the living, finished product. So much so is this true that much of New Zealand's real marketing is done in London. Once the manager of a station wired his London principals:


The principals, according to New Zealand's version, replied:



Wander where one may this wide world over, one finds that the places to which tourists are drawn mostly are the markets. There one finds the richest reward for[Pg 278] curiosity. The traveler in foreign lands, especially if he is alone and somewhat homesick, knows no pleasanter thrill than the sight upon the pier, amid cargoes from every known quarter of the globe, of a box of canned goods stamped in black-stenciled letters with the seven signs of bliss, "NEW YORK."

When lost in that good old town, it had never occurred to him that ships trail the seven seas carrying canned soups and fruits and vegetables to black-faced, sprawling-toed savages. But out there in the wide spaces of the globe he realizes how strikingly alike are the alimentary failings of mankind. Lost in reminiscences, when on Broadway again, he thinks himself forever cut off from romance, until he happens to turn into a side street, a public market, or even a small chain-store grocery. There he finds that in a way romance is not dead. The sedate housewife permits herself on occasion to flirt with the butcher or the baker; incidents the on-looker has not thought possible prevail here as well as in the markets of the Orient. And packages with the imprint of Japan, of China, coffee from South America, awaken in him memories irresistible. He goes away wishing he were again off there where New York seems like romance to him. The day will never come when silks and spices and marts will not conjure up in the minds of the most prosaic the very essence of romance.

[Pg 279]


[Pg 280]

[Pg 281]


New Zealand and Australia are to-day the only spots in the world wherein the white race may expand without encroaching upon already existing and developed races. The extent to which they are taking advantage of their opportunities, the extent to which they are enlarging the scope and the quality of progressive civilization is the measure of their right to the maintenance of their exclusive "White-Australasia" policy.

I confess at the outset that I am at a loss for an adequate argument against this policy. Narrow, selfish, dog-in-the-manger-like as it may be, we are faced with the other question: From time out of mind China and India have had two of the largest slices of the world's surface. What have they done with them? How can India and Asia, having littered up their domains with human beings, ask that more of the world be turned over to them for a repetition of the same ghastly reproduction? They have made it impossible, with their degradation of womanhood and their exaltation of caste and ancestry, for new life to start with anything like a decent chance. Is there not every reason to believe that permitted to take up quarters in the open spaces of the white man's world, they will do the same?

True that the white man, in both of these cases, has wrested his lands from existing native tribes. But it was also true that, in New Zealand at least, and through Polynesia, the natives were immigrants who in their turn imposed on yet more primitive natives, as did the Japanese. Furthermore, no race on earth has[Pg 282] been given a better opportunity to make good than has the Maori in New Zealand. The Australoid seems on the whole not equipped for the effort. There have been cases of Australian blacks making good. There is the case of the savage who after receiving an education became a Shakespearean scholar. But the exception only proves the rule. Furthermore, though there is bitter opposition to any white man marrying a native black woman in Australia—an opposition that is calling for legal action from some quarters so that such marriage will be in future impossible—still, the White-Australia policy is not aimed against the blacks. These will either take hold of themselves and make good, in time, or will die out. Be that as it may, there is no answer to the Asiatic demand for admission based on the argument about the white man's plunder.

The only other argument is that, if this is the case, the white man must get out of Asia. There too, it seems to me, is a weak spot. The white man in Asia—as man to man—does not lower the standard of the civilization of the native; nor is he ever likely to migrate in numbers large enough to create a problem. Only politically, where a leeching-process exists, where native industries are destroyed by cheap foreign products (like that of cotton goods, which were forced upon the Indians by the British, to the utter ruination of the Indian textiles) has the havoc been serious. That is a real argument, and it is up to the Asiatics so to adjust their own affairs and to come together as to "oust" the white man,—a problem for the natives to solve for themselves.

There is still another consideration. What of Japan? Japan has national unity, she is advancing. Is she, then, to be made an exception in the White-Australia policy? The answer is, Japan must do as she would be done by, an answer which will be enlarged upon in the chapter dealing with Japan.

Having thus focused on the negative phases of this[Pg 283] discussion, let us see what is written on the inner side of the Australasian shield. Before we can at all understand the motives that move Australasia in the direction she is going, and foresee the future, we shall have to know by what channels she came to be what she is, what ideals are parents to her being, and what ideals are her offspring.

Strange as it may seem, Britain's interest in her south Pacific possessions have always been more or less mild. When the question of annexing New Zealand came up in 1839, the Duke of Wellington said in Parliament that Great Britain already had too many colonies. It is common knowledge that she gave them as much rope as they would take, that when she had the opportunity of acquiring the Samoan group in 1889 she let it slip, and that she took the Fiji Islands only after their chief, Thakambau, offered them in liquidation of unjust debts to America. In other words, it was New Zealand and Australia that held on to the mother country, instead of the reverse. And in order to understand the spirit of the Dominion and the Commonwealth, we must consider the reasons for their clinging to "home."

Australia was first settled by men convicted of offences against Britain's then crude sense of justice; but New Zealand was devised as a colonial scheme under which every feature of British life was to be transplanted. When Europeans came to America, political and religious freedom was sought. When Great Britain went to New Zealand, eighty-five years ago, society was politically and religiously free, but industrial organization was awaiting an ambitious hand. In New Zealand it was not, as Havelock Ellis puts it so vividly, "the roving of a race with piratical and poetic instincts invading old England where few stocks arrived save by stringent selection of the sea." They did not come because of romantic longing, nor to escape oppression and restriction. The story of the development of New Zealand, from settle[Pg 284]ment and conquest of the Maories to the beginning of that legislation which has made it famous, is the story of conservatism. When the first shipload of colonists set out from England, their prospectus was a document of conservatism. The aim of the projectors was to transplant every phase and station and class of English life, to build in the other end of the world another England.


Farmer M—— had the reputation for being the worst boss in the Wakatipu (New Zealand)



Seen from this side they look more like gorges

Doubtless the fathers of this scheme were seeking to overcome the fear of forced transplantation which had made of Australia a land of horror in anticipation, and hence they spread broadcast accounts of the sort of colony New Zealand was to be, which made it alluring. But such are the erring tendencies of human nature that Australia, intended to be the land of one of the worst forms of indentured and penal servitude and the perpetuation of unprogressiveness, set the pace for the entire world in untried liberalism in industry, while New Zealand, likewise advanced, has developed her latent conservatism in regard to imperialism to a marked degree.

For apart from the experiments in labor legislation, New Zealand has never lost any of the dependence on England. She seems to be afraid of her isolation, lest, deprived of communication with the world, she should be forced into a condition such as that in which the white man found the heliolithic Maories. Canada might become a nation separate from Britain; so might Australia. But New Zealand has not even that proximity to a continent which made England what she is, for she is twelve hundred miles from her nearest neighbor. In consequence, the New Zealanders have always maintained a strong leaning toward the homeland, whereas in Australia early resentment alienated the settlers. The New Zealander to-day is the exact replica of the Englishman as we knew him; the Australian is a compromise between an Englishman and an American. The modern Australian on the east coast of the continent is as little an Englishman as possible. I have heard [Pg 285] any number of Australians resent being called English. The last "convict" was brought to Australia in 1840; yet the Australians are very conscious of this stigma on them. The other day an English engineer told me that in Subiaco, one of the suburbs of Perth, it was impossible for one to join the tennis-club whose grandfather was born in Australia—lest that ignoble ancestor should have passed on some of the "taint" to his unfortunate offspring. Yet in the eyes of enlightened legislation, the taint involved is of course questionable.


Photo from Brown Bros.


It is therefore not to be wondered at that Australia kept growing farther and farther from England. In the early days each settlement maintained its own government, and so great was the jealousy among the settlements that they sought to bar one another even in the construction of railroads. Victoria built a broad-gage line, New South Wales, a narrower, and Queensland the narrowest,—not mere engineering accident due to any notion of superiority of the special line, but clearly and openly to make communication of one with another difficult. But by 1900 the settlements had outgrown their childish squabbling, and they became federated into the Commonwealth of Australia.

Though this brought them together within Australia, it awoke New Zealand to the danger of being drawn into that union against her will. "The Melbourne Age" prophesied that in a quarter of a century they would be federated. "The fate and destiny of Australia and New Zealand were the same and they should be united in the defense of these distant lands that were held by people of the same thought and same political system." But there never has been much love lost between them. New Zealanders have been anathema in Australia, and Australians hadn't a ghost of a chance of getting a job in New Zealand. Nor was this a matter of different standards of living, except that they both discriminated against the Englishman. And not without reason, for the[Pg 286] type of Englishman who set out for the Antipodes was one who generally had nothing to sustain him at home. To the Australasians he was virtually a foreigner, and foreigners of any sort are few in the far South, and are encouraged still less. Yet there is excessive pride in the fact that something like 98 per cent. of the inhabitants are British.

In view of the economic departures they have taken from European conceptions, this would seem a paradox. But even among the workers, the psychological effect of "home" is apparent to the most casual observer. Though material security has been assured by the State, the result of much of the legislation in the Antipodes seems to me to have been something akin to the class system in England. The worker has become legally recognized as a worker, he has been given a minimum wage and protection against imposition, but any effort on the part of labor to crystallize its ideals is still obnoxious to the masses. There is not even any of the impulse found among American workers toward that rise in the social scale which is essentially bourgeois. There is a most decided tendency to accept the status of worker in the good old English fashion. Working-people do not regard themselves as "gentlemen" or as "ladies," these terms in New Zealand having the same significance they have in the old country. Deference to one who does not look like a laborer is pronounced, and the average workman is more ambitious for the "gentleman" than he is for himself. This spirit obtains much more in New Zealand than in Australia.

Than dignity in labor nothing in the world could be more worthy. But if that dignity spells merely content, it lays society open to a renewal of the very class divisions industrial progress has sought to remove. The laborer is too content to remain a laborer actively to enter the lists against injustice. And in a short time you have[Pg 287] those who refused to be doped by the talk of virtue in labor on the top, and the laborer at the bottom.

Yet, socially and outwardly, there are not the gaps between the classes in New Zealand that are found in Australia. There are no great restaurants and pleasure places for the rich. All people visit the dainty little tea-rooms, and often workingmen come dressed in their working-clothes, with unwashed hands. In Dunedin the proprietor of one of the best tea-rooms handed out little cards to laborers with "Your Patronage is Undesirable" on them, but the public howled his practice out of existence. This is largely because the level of life in New Zealand is more even. The wealthy do not display themselves over-much, and the most obvious club life is that among the workers. Workingmen's clubs are equipped with very good libraries and reading-rooms, but also with tremendous circular bars fully as much frequented as the book-shelves.

The result is that though, from a progressive point of view, New Zealand is outwardly tame and sober, from a consideration of health, the standard of life is universally good. Any great influx of peoples with standards of living that would of necessity demoralize this normality, would give the country a setback which might take generations to overcome. On the other hand, though the present state of affairs might continue indefinitely, unless New Zealand gains in numbers, her place among the influential members of the Pacific Ocean nations is certain to be strained, if not jeopardized.

Torn between these economic enthusiasms of a small country and the restraining influences of a tradition that is essentially imperialistic, New Zealand has a pretty hard time of it. Naturally enough, she is holding on to her beloved mother country with an excessive amount of talk, while at the same time nibbling away at the ties that bind her. She is in the hardest position of any of the Pacific countries. By tradition adoring England and[Pg 288] scorning Australia, emulating the one and trying to keep peace with the other, realizing that proximity makes her more than a brother of her continental kin, looking toward America for applause and assistance, New Zealand is shaping a policy that will probably become a patchwork of colors,—and most interesting to look at.


South Australian Government Photo


But Australia is cutting the waters with the force of a triple-screw turbine. And toward Australia we shall have to look for the leadership of British policy in the Pacific. Canada is too close to Europe and America ever to become the real leader in the destinies of the Pacific. The truth of this statement becomes manifest when one watches the inner workings of the island continent. Though New Zealand is more widely known for its great liberalism, there is really more freedom of thought in Australia, more freedom from traditional thinking, more boldness of expression. That was manifest during the war when the conscription issue came up. The New Zealand Legislature simply enacted a conscription measure. In Australia, the Government tried twice to force it through by way of a referendum, and twice it failed. William Morris Hughes, the Prime Minister, had gone to England to attend a conference, promising that conscription would never be proposed. He was wedded to voluntaryism. When he returned, Australians suspected him of having conscription up his sleeve. There was an outburst of indignation. Australians charged him with having had his head turned by fawning lords and ladies at "home" and with sidling up to a title himself. Australians are not very keen about rank; in that matter they are more like Americans. Hughes nearly committed political suicide by declaring himself in favor of conscription. It is said that he was warned by labor not to try to put it through without a referendum. What happened then illuminates the Australian character.

For weeks the country was in as wild a state as pending [Pg 289] civil war could produce anywhere. The feeling was tense. Conflicts and wrangling occurred everywhere. Up to the last night of the discussion it seemed as though there would be war. Then came the day of the vote. The quiet and the orderliness was one of the greatest boosts for democracy ever staged. Everything was bathed in sunny restfulness. Workingmen lay upon the grass of the public domain like seals. When they talked it was about anything but conscription. Conscription lost. It lost a second time the year after. Two main factors stood out against the sending of more men to Europe,—labor and Asia.


Photo from Brown Bros.

See the group on the rocks at lower right-hand corner

Almost immediately after the referendum the coal strike occurred. The situation became grave. To conserve fuel for industrial purposes, the Government prohibited the use of electricity and gas except during specified hours. Places of business on the main streets were lit with kerosene lamps, movies were closed, the ferry stations stood in semi-darkness. People conversed as though certain doom were impending. Things looked forlorn indeed. Shops and factories were closing down, throwing thousands out of work. One heard remarks about things heading for a revolution.

Australia is reputed to have done wonders in the way of solving the problems of capital and labor, but there are as many strikes in that Commonwealth as in any other state. The country is crystallizing quickly and is bound to become more and more conservative. Despite the worthy democracy to be found there, every public utterance seemed to bear itself as though made by a lord. One is constantly aware of the presence of the crown, even though it has been removed, like the sense of pressure behind one's ears after having taken off one's spectacles. For notwithstanding its democracy, Australia is bound up in the monarchy. Revolution was hinted at every now and then, but at its mention one also heard the creaking of the bones of empire. It was evi[Pg 290]dent and clear, though hardly spoken. One felt the security which comes from the accumulation of tradition and custom, but it was not comfortable. Even in Australia change seems to be regarded as synonymous with destruction. A marvelous structure, this British Empire, and fit for the residence of any human being,—but not an American. He is too dynamic, too restless, too eager for creation.

And here is where we arrive at the point of meeting and of parting in our relations with Australia. America has determined upon keeping the country "white" against the invasion of Asia. So has Australia. But America has the inclusive tendencies of an empire; Australia the exclusive. America is heterogeneous; Australia is homogeneous. American strikes are regarded as importations, but what about the strikes in Australia? America has a population of 110,000,000 in an area but a little larger than Australia, while Australia has only a paltry 4,500,000. America is trying to amalgamate the diverse races it already has without taking in such people as the Asiatics, whose racial characters are so unyielding. But Australia is herself unyielding. Homogeneous as her population is, she has great difficulty in keeping it from disagreement. With a vast region not likely to be touched by labor in generations, Australia uses the same arguments against outsiders coming in as does America in regions already well developed.

Keeping Australia "white" is the keynote of all Australian politics. For this reason half of the leaders waged war against Germany; while to keep Australia white, the other half stayed conscription. Labor is at the bottom of the "white" Australia policy. The most serious problem the country has to face is her insufficient population. Yet what labor is to be found there receives no more consideration than anywhere else in the world. It is no better off than elsewhere. There is less poverty simply because poverty is synonymous with over[Pg 291]-population. To protect itself against invasion of cheap (not necessarily Asiatic) labor, Australia passed the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. To speak of restricting immigration into a country containing only four and a half million seems suicidal, but Australia went at it without any trepidation and declared for the exclusion from "immigration into the Commonwealth ... any person who fails to pass the dictation test; that is to say, who, when an officer dictates to him not less than fifty words in any prescribed language in the presence of the officer" fails to pass in the judgment of the immigration officer. This is the crux of the Act; other than that, restriction is placed only on those diseased or incapable. In other words, this restriction places a person failing in the test on a level with the criminal, lunatic, and the leper. It is obviously a snare, for it means that an officer may spring any language he may choose on an immigrant. He may ask a Frenchman to write Greek, or a Greek Spanish, failure to comply giving the officer the power to exclude the applicant. The law has kept Australia white, but with pallor rather than purity.

Veiled and unveiled, this White-Australia policy was at the bottom of the failure of conscription. The spirit which dominated both camps was fear of invasion. Argued the pro-conscriptionist: "If we do not stand behind the empire and the Allies in this war, Prussia or whoever may become her ally in future will swoop down upon us." Argued the anti-conscriptionist: "If that is the danger, then let us keep our men at home to protect us against this possible peril." The antis were more open. They pictured an invasion following the sending of men to Europe, and pointed to the importation of coolies for labor in Europe. One member of Parliament was fined a thousand dollars and made to enter into "cognizance and comply with the provisions of the Regulation" because he specified whom they were afraid of,—Japan. And to add grist to their mill, a hundred na[Pg 292]tives of the island of Malta (British subjects, mind you) appeared at the beautiful front door of Australia, Sydney Harbor, and asked for admission. They did not land. Even Indians are excluded, a deposit of five hundred dollars being required of any admitted, to guarantee his return. A transport has been fitted out in Java with native labor, but Australian workers refused to load it till the fittings were torn out and done over by Australian labor.

Now, the White-Australia policy is, if you care to stretch a point, a humane attempt to avoid conflict. The Australians say to themselves and to the world: "We would rather call you names across the sea than scratch your eyes or pull your ears over a wooden fence." They point to the American Civil War and the present problem in the South as an example. They wish to save themselves future operations by avoiding the cancer and are willing to bear the burden of retarded development for this promised peace. Let us see how it worked out.

It is interesting to note that in 1915, 890 Germans were admitted to Australia, and only 423 Japanese; in 1914, 3,395 Germans and 387 Japanese. The number of Germans for the two years previous was virtually the same, whereas that of Japanese fluctuated from 698 in 1912 to 822 in 1913, and 387 in 1914. From 1908 to 1915 the Germans entered in increasing numbers, while the Japanese decreased. Chinese gained admission in vastly greater number than the Japanese, exceeding them by 1,500 and 2,000 yearly. On the whole the preponderance of arrivals over the departure was seldom excessive, most of the steamers from the south bound for the Orient being taken up by returning Asiatics. With the vast regions of the island continent uninhabited and untouched, this movement of Orientals is only evidence of the check the Government keeps on invasion. The fallacy in the White-Australia policy is obvious. Its psychological significance was pointed to above,—a tendency[Pg 293] on the part of Australians, though politically democrats, to revert to habits of thought inherited from England. England is an island kingdom, but the Englishman cannot forget this even when he has taken up his home on a vast continent like Australia. In this day and age of steel ships and submarines, with possibilities of the airship clear before us, for any one to think in an insular way is to lack the common sense of a King Canute. Australia has shown that even with an enemy recognized and fought she has been unable to remain unified in thought, yet she thinks that merely by excluding the Asiatic she will be able to maintain her integrity. Capital in Australia would be willing to admit the Oriental in order to reduce the cost of labor; but as soon as he becomes a factor in commerce—as in the case of the Chinese furniture-makers who exploit Chinese laborers and undersell Australian furniture manufacturers—Capital becomes wroth and shouts for the exclusion of the coolie. Labor, on the other hand, swaggering about the brotherhood of man and the common cause of labor throughout the world, becomes just as nationalistic when "foreign" labor threatens to undersell it. True that it would be easy enough to establish a minimum wage by law, so that no Chinese would be allowed to receive less than that wage for his work, but the principle doesn't work out so easily. Even with a minimum wage and an eight-hour day, the Chinese with his intense application to his job and his manner of living would threaten the white man. But have we not the same difficulty even among a given number of white men, where some are ready to undersell others? Australia, the experiment-station for labor legislation, is the last country where one would expect to find the exclusiveness which she condemns so vigorously. She has shown herself exclusive in her discrimination against the English workingman; she has even been exclusive in her attitude toward her neighbor, New Zealand (an exclusiveness, which is recip[Pg 294]rocated, of course); and finally and foremost, she is exclusive of Asiatic and colored people.

This exclusiveness has left a continent with barely the fringe of it scratched. To people like the Japanese, Chinese and Indians, this must indeed seem the height of selfishness. True, that sparse as her population is, Australia has done more to better the condition of her people than has Japan or China; and there is the rub. That mere excessive breeding gives a nation a right to invade other lands is a principle that no decent-minded man could tolerate for a moment. Only people to whom woman is merely a breeding-machine would advance such an argument. And in the chapter on Japan and the Far East I shall elucidate the basic facts in that contention for the elimination of a White-Australia policy.

From the Australian point of view, though admitting that hardships are bound to result, admitting that ethically discrimination is unprogressive, the country is faced by the danger of sheer numbers. Idealistically the Australian policy is wrong. Individually, those of us who know the Japanese and the Chinese would just as soon live next door to them as to any other human beings. But as long as numbers are the racial ideal of the East, there is no solution that would not undermine quality if quality did not defend itself against quantity. I am ready to admit that there are many Australians who are as inferior to the Chinese as the coolie is to us. But the Australasian has one virtue: he does not breed like the Oriental.

The problem of assimilation and Australianization is intricate and sometimes extremely unjust. There is the case of the young Chinese boy born and brought up in Port Darwin, North Australia. In every way he is an Australian citizen. To further his education and westernization, he came to America to study at Harvard, and here fell in love with a Chinese student born in Boston.[Pg 295] Now, she is an American citizen. They are to be married. He has every reason for wishing to return to Port Darwin with his wife. But, says the Australian Immigration Law, you can't come in because you're a Chinese. "But I'm an American Citizen, and the wife of an Australian," she argues. "That doesn't matter. We exclude Indians, who are British subjects, from entering Australia, and we intend to exclude you. Australia is the only country in the world in which the white race is still free to expand, and we intend to keep it free for them." "What is America going to do about it?" I asked my informer. "What can she do? The only thing she could do would be to come to a clash of arms with us, and we intend to let the Chinese do their own fighting if they want to. We won't let Japanese who are American-born citizens enter Australia; we may seem a bit piggish about it, but we intend to hold to our own nevertheless." This question was up for the British Minister to decide upon, but at the time of writing no decision has yet been arrived at.

That injustice such as the above is bound to result is obvious. But for generations to come the onus rests on the Orientals, and on those white men who would profit by either cheap or untiring laborers whose minds ask for nothing, and whose bodies are content with little.

Though Australia's contribution to the intellectual welfare of the world has as yet been slim, the advance in political and economic thought has been exceedingly worth while. The freedom of the individual to go his way in life, to develop the best that is in him, the standard of general welfare and the quality of life as a whole so far excels the average of Oriental social life that Australasia is justified in trying to prevent the dilution of its concentrated comfort. We all know and admit that both China and Japan have civilizations, intellectual and artistic, the like of which might well be emulated in the[Pg 296] West. But beneath it all is the dreadful waste of human life for which China and Japan must give answer before demanding of the West certain physical and material advantages which we have.

[Pg 297]


When I completed the final section of my book "Japan: Real and Imaginary," last year, and sent it to the publisher, I was not a little worried lest the movement of events in the Far East proceed so rapidly that the cart upon which I was riding slip from under me and leave me to rejoin the earth as best I could. So fast did things run that I thought surely there would be a revolution in Japan, or at least universal manhood suffrage, and that without doubt Japan would withdraw from Shantung. I am afraid I shall have to confess that the wish was father to the thought. So far nothing has happened in that intricate island empire seriously to affect any of the generalizations in that book. Nor have any criticisms from my Japanese friends come forward so that I might now be able to alter my position in any way.

However, enough has happened to make it necessary for me to extend and enlarge upon some of the phases of the Japanese situation as they now obtain. In my former book I handled Japan as an integer, avoiding implications. Here I shall attempt to show how the Japanese phase of the problem of the Pacific affects the three important elements round the Pacific,—America, Australasia, and Asia. Under that head I shall have to begin where I left off in "Japan: Real and Imaginary," with the question of emperor-worship and its natural offspring, Pan-Asianism and the so-called Monroe Doctrine of Asia; with the ingrowing phases of it, democracy in Japan, and the Open Door without; with Japan's new[Pg 298] mandates and what she is doing with them; with the fortification of the Bonin Islands and the Pescadores.

At the very outset, let me crystallize in one short paragraph the essence of the whole situation. We have in Japan now a heterogeneous nation whose ideals are essentially those of imperialism, the political grip on the people being based on the worship of the emperor. The outward consequence of this is that the entire nation is fairly united upon the questions that affect the nation as a whole, such as Pan-Asianism, the leadership of Asia. But if that were all, Japanese rulers would have things pretty much their own way. This strange consequence results, however,—that having been stimulated to feeling that a Japanese is the most superior person on earth, the populace, in this pride, is demanding greater recognition for themselves as individuals. Hence that which the military and naval parties in Japan win in their hold upon the people through increased pride of race, they lose in the enhanced difficulty which comes from a restive population. Added to which are the numerous alien elements that aggression has inherited,—a rebellious Korea and Formosa, a boycotting China, and a native element that sees itself being flaunted by world powers and unable to obtain recognition of racial equality.

It is Japan's misfortune that she is still unable to live down her reputation. With all her might she is trying to stand up to the world as a man, and not as a pretty boy such as she has been regarded heretofore. Hence, it is necessary, that after having paragraphed the make-up of Japan, I do the same with the attitude of the world toward Japan. Wherever I have gone I have been asked a certain type of question that seems to me to hold the mirror up to Japan. The questions are generally these: What business is it of ours, after all, what Japan does in Asia? Isn't it only the conceit of the white man that makes him regard himself as superior to the Japanese? Isn't it true that the Japanese[Pg 299] haven't any room for their surplus population? Or, the more knowing, those who have read up on the subject—like the man who signed a contract with a publisher to produce four boys' books at once, one of which was on Shintoism in Japan—assume this attitude: "Let them adore their emperors; it's a charming little peculiarity." There is still a third group. It belongs to the adolescent class, to the age of boys who threaten to lick other boys with their little finger, or "I'll fight you with my right hand tied behind my back," and has been fed by the romancers who portrayed everything Japanese as petite and charming. The Miles Gloriosus, suffering from political second childhood, asserts: "America could wipe the floor with Japan with one hand, just as she could Ecuador." This statement was made by an Englishman with remarkably wide international experience.

Now, until Japan lives down this reputation she will be forced to make as big a showing of her might as is safe, and until then we shall doubtless have ample reason for shouting for an increased navy and an increased army. In other words, as long as we continue to publish the impression that Japan need not be regarded seriously, so long will Japan have to continue to convey the impression that she might become a menace. To deny that Japan is a disconcerting problem is to stick one's head in the sand. But Japan is no more of a menace to us than we are to her. Japan is not simply going to walk across the Pacific and slap us in the face. If any such catastrophe takes place over there, it will be a conflict. "A conflict supposes a violent collision, a meeting of force against force; the unpremeditated meeting of one or more persons in a violent or hostile manner" with another, according to Crabb. On the other hand, it is equally true that those who urge and stimulate war talk with Japan are playing into the hands of special interests that are too narrow in their thinking and too broad in their avarice, and make war inevitable.[Pg 300]

There is only one solution, and that is the presentation of facts. But facts alone are sometimes worse than figures. They lie like a trooper. Hence we are in the habit of saying: It is an honest fact. Facts are the most irresponsible things in the world, and without the motives and the spirit that underlie every circumstantial thing in life, they are the source of all conflict and all sorrow. Therefore, let us consider the questions that appear to be typical enough to clarify the situation, but with the motives and spiritual factors included in the answer.

First of all, then, is it really any of our business what Japan does in Asia? I shall have to split this question in two. The "our" side of the matter will have to be answered in the succeeding chapter on America in this Pacific Triangle. Here I shall handle it by inverting it. Is it any of Japan's business what interest we take in Asia? This may sound like a pugnacious question, but it is asked with all due respect to Japan. It raises the question of the Open Door in China, of Pan-Asianism, of the misnamed Monroe Doctrine of Asia. We have come to a new stage in the history of the world. People with a developed sense of justice no longer admit that a man may declare himself monarch of all he surveys without consideration of the rights of the inhabitants of the "surveyed" areas. When, during the war, everything was being done to placate Japan, a certain "understanding" was reached between Secretary Lansing and Viscount Ishii. While declaring for the Open Door it acknowledged the precedence of propinquity over distance, of time, place, and relationship. That is, it admitted that Japan was nearer the continent of Asia geographically than was America. A very remarkable observation it was. Certainly had that not been put in black and white, "understanding" would never have been possible. But what was the result of that "understanding"? Japan immediately translated it into a "Monroe Doctrine of Asia." Here, then, was a fact. Japan[Pg 301] most decidedly is nearer Asia than are we. Ergo, Japan has the right to set herself up as the god and little Father of China, to declare the Mikado Doctrine of Asia. But is there any parallel whatsoever? Not only no parallel, but an apparent contradiction in the use of the Monroe Doctrine from the American angle; for that pronouncement involved non-interference in European or foreign affairs. If we adhere strictly to the Monroe Doctrine we have no right to set any limitations for Japan. Our concern is only with the Americas. Even the amount of understanding involved in the Ishii-Lansing agreement is in violation of our doctrine of isolation. On the other hand, we virtually pledged ourselves to keep our own hands off South America, Hence, the Monroe Doctrine, if applied to Asia by Japan, would mean the denouncement of the Twenty-one Demands made on China in 1915, the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Shantung and Siberia, the return of independence to Korea,—and then the demand on the part of Japan that all European powers abstain from further extension of their influence on the continent of Asia. If ever a Monroe Doctrine of Asia was really declared, it was in the principles of Hay in his Open-Door policy. If Japan should set herself up as the guardian of Asia in this wise, she would never raise the question of whether we have any business in Asia or not. It would not be necessary. And Japan would be able to enjoy the fruits of propinquity to her heart's content. Then Japan would truly be the sponsor for a doctrine that could be called the Mikado's Doctrine of Asia and its worth would recommend itself to the respect and admiration of the world. But this, of course, is a dream, and in the words of a worthy Japanese author who "deplored" in his book "the gross diplomatic blunder which Japan made in 1915 in her dealings with China" and the "atrocities perpetrated in the attempt to crush the Korean uprising": "Manifestly, the dawn[Pg 302] of the millennium is still far away. We have to make the best of the world as it is."

Into these criticisms of Japan's foreign policies one could read the usual white man's conceit,—asking that a yellow man make such sacrifices as no white man has ever made. There is nothing further from my mind. There is only a groping down into the depths of Japanese practices to discover, if possible, a real basis for the justification of her Pan-Asiatic pretensions.

To me, Oriental civilization is something to conjure with.

There is in the Far East more art and beauty than there is in America. When Europe was so poor as to make the Grand Moguls laugh at the simple presents which Englishmen brought them, to remark with scorn and truth that nothing in Europe compared with the silks and gold and silver of the East, the white man was humble. He wandered all over the world in search of riches which were unknown to him except by hearsay. His dominions never extended over such vast spaces as seemed mere checker-boards to Oriental monarchs. But the white man had his ships, his latent genius, and these he has developed to where his realms now so far outstrip the realms of old as thought outstrips creation. With these the white man has secured for himself a place in the world which the brown and the yellow man now greatly envy. But the Asiatics have much to look back upon and be proud of.

How much of this splendor is Japan's? A great deal! But not as much as the splendor of China, nor as much as that of India. Japan is to the East what England is to Europe. Japan is building up her ships and her material arts to such an extent that she is destined to wield and does now partly wield the same influence in Asia that England wields in Europe. But is that to be her sole contribution? Is that to justify her place as leader of Asia? Let us see.[Pg 303]

In Europe to-day there is no crowned head who really rules. The monarch, where he does exist, is the memorial symbol of the nation's past. But the basis of rule is the people. The extent to which democracy exists in fact is not for this chapter to discuss. The slogan of rulership is democracy. Even China calls itself a republic. Round the Pacific alone are three great republican or democratic countries—Australia, New Zealand, America—whose people are reaching for greater and greater independence in the working out of their own destinies.

But what have we in Japan? We have a monarchy with a "constitutional" form of government. The monarch is said to have held his power from the beginning of time. He is literally regarded as a descendant of the gods who created Japan,—which was then the world entire. The myth of his origin would not be very different from any other myth of the origins of rulers, were it not for the recent developments in the history of Japan. At the time of the restoration of the previous emperor to power, it was decided by the rebellious daimyo that the long-neglected mikado, he who for hundreds of years had had absolutely no say in the government of his lands, should be restored to power. That is to say, because there was no one daimyo who could himself take the leadership and become shogun, they determined to rule with the tenno as nominal leader, but themselves as the real rulers. Other than in the superstitious reverence of the ignorant masses for the symbol of the tenno—whose person they had never seen—that lowly illustrious one might just as well have been non-existent for all the say he had in his country's affairs. So far, the situation might not be different from that in England, but England's Parliament is in the control of the Commons, while Japan's Diet—both upper and lower houses—is at the mercy of the cabinet, which, though ostensibly responsible to the emperor, is actually in the control of the genro and the military and naval clans. The[Pg 304] worship of the emperor, on the other hand, is made part of the political function, the better to cow the masses into reverential obedience to the wishes of the actual rulers.





Some of my students leaving Kobe for a cross-country hike

The basis for this theocratical grip on the people is Shintoism. With the Restoration in 1868, Shintoism, that ancestor-worshiping cult, was revived as the spiritual core of the new empire; Buddhism was sent packing, and all the cunning of pseudo-historians was resorted to to bolster up this effete and primitive national ideal.

"Let them worship their old emperor," say some, largely those with a love of pageantry in their unconscious. And no one could raise an argument against this if that was where it ended. If it merely meant the binding together in a communal nationalism the thought and devotion of the people, it would be a desirable performance. But the natural result of an artificially stimulated nationalism based on a myth and a deception is that it becomes proselytic in its tendencies. It is not satisfied with its native influence, but begins to reach out. In other words, it takes upon itself the duty of making the entire world one, just as religion and democracy seek to convert the world. And Shintoism is a short step to Pan-Asianism. Pan-Asianism is the logical consequence of Shintoism.

What is Shintoism? In this connection, none is more authoritative than Basil Hall Chamberlain, Emeritus Professor of Japanese and Philology at the Imperial University of Tokyo, and author of numerous scientific works on Japan. In "The Invention of a New Religion" he says (page 6):

Agnostic Japan is teaching us at this very hour how religions are sometimes manufactured for a special end—to observe practical worldly purposes.

Mikado-worship and Japan-worship—for that is the new Japanese religion—is, of course, no spontaneously generated phenomenon. Every manufacture presupposes a material out of which it is made, every present a past on which it rests. But the twentieth-century Japanese religion of loyalty and patriotism is quite new, for in it [Pg 305] pre-existing ideas have been sifted, altered, freshly compounded, turned to new uses, and have found a new center of gravity.... Shinto, a primitive nature cult, which had fallen into discredit, was taken out of its cupboard and dusted.


This is not England, but Shioya, Japan



This is not Manchester, but Osaka, Japan

Thus Shintoism, a cult without any code of morals, in which nature was worshiped in primitive fashion, was made the basis of the national ideal. There is nothing in Shintoism that might with the greatest possible stretch of imagination become the ideal of any other nation in the world. However much Japan might assume the economic leadership of Asia, it would never be because she could obtain a following for her Shinotistic ideals. "Democracy" has become a rallying cry even to the Japanese, but there is nothing in Shintoism that might counteract that appeal.

"What about Bushido?" Japanese will ask. Regarding this, it is also well to read what Professor Chamberlain has to say:

As to Bushido, so modern a thing is it that neither Kaempfer, Siebold, Satow, nor Rein—all men knowing their Japan by heart—ever once allude to it in their voluminous writings. The cause of their silence is not far to seek: Bushido was unknown until a decade or two ago! The very word appears in no dictionary, native or foreign, before the year 1900. Chivalrous individuals of course existed in Japan, as in all countries at every period; but Bushido as an institution or a code of rules, has never existed. The accounts given of it have been fabricated out of whole cloth, chiefly for foreign consumption. An analysis of medieval Japanese history shows that the great feudal houses, so far from displaying an excessive idealism in the matter of fealty to one emperor, one lord, or one party, had evolved the eminently practical plan of letting different members take different sides, so that the family as a whole might come out as winner in any event, and thus avoid the confiscation of its lands. Cases, no doubt, occurred of devotion to losing causes—for example, to Mikados in disgrace; but they were less common than in the more romantic West.

And when it is further taken into consideration that Bushido, or the so-called code of the samurai, was the ideal of a special class, a class that held itself aloof from contact with the heimin, or common people, whom it at at all times treated with contempt, and cut down even for no other reason than that of trying the edge of a new sword, one sees how utterly unacceptable it would[Pg 306] be to peoples of other races and nations asked to come to the support of its standards. And according to one Japanese spokesman in America, only by methods that "had the appearance of browbeating her to submission by brandishing the sword" was China brought to accept the infamous Twenty-one Demands.

I search my memory and experience earnestly trying to find a basis for Japan's leadership in Asia that is not materialistic, and I cannot find any. Energy and intellectual capacity Japan has. Her present leadership in practical affairs is a great credit to her. In time, when greater leisure will become the possession of her teeming millions, there is doubtless going to appear much more that is fine and valuable in the fabric of the race. For Japan has fire. Her people are an excitable, flaming people who may burst out in a spasmodic revulsion against their commercialization. But for the time being, her only right to a voice in the destinies of Asia is found in her industrial leadership of the East, but that is a leadership which is fraught with more menace to Japan than to the world.

Let us review hastily the results of this preëminence. From being one of the most admired nations in the world, Japan has suddenly become the object of almost universal suspicion. To a very great extent, commercial jealousy is playing its part in this change. But that is not all, by any means. There is as much enmity between British and American traders in the Far East as there is between Japanese and American, or any other two groups of nationals.

But the animosity toward Japan is deeper than that of mere trade. It lies at the bottom of much of the seeming equivocation of Japan's best foreign friends. I was talking recently to one of the leading members of the Japan Society in New York, and said of myself that I deplored being regarded as anti-Japanese in some quarters, because I was not. "But," spoke up this Jap[Pg 307]anophile, "the majority of the members of the Japan Society are anti-Japanese, or pro-Chinese, if you will." They are trying their best to defend Japan, it would seem, and to cement bad relations with good, but the result is that the ground of many sympathizers of Japan is constantly shifting, though perhaps unconsciously. It is due, I presume, to the disappointment of people in that, having regarded Japan as worthy of their sympathy and adoration, they are now finding that all is not as well as it might be.

Then there is that peculiar twist to Japanese psychology that somewhat unnerves the Westerner. This is not a language difficulty, though it is best illustrated by a linguistic example. A Canadian in Kobe told me that he felt a strange shifting in his own mentality as a result of the study of Japanese, something queer entered his thinking processes. This is of course absurd as a concrete argument, but it indicates that which I am striving to uncover in the Japanese mind and method which works upon the Western mind, and puzzles and perplexes the white man in his relations with the Japanese. And in the wider fields of Japanese life, it makes us tighten our muscles when we survey and weigh the expressions of the best Japanese minds, expressions by which they hope, earnestly no doubt, to better our relations with them.

Take, for instance, the growth of democracy. As I have said, when I left Japan it was with a sense of revolution impending. Agitation had got so far out of bonds that it seemed nothing but complete collapse of the Government could follow. The agitation has gone on, violent expressions are often used, democracy is hailed and Japanese "propagandists" abroad assert with a boldness that is inexplicable their faith in democracy and their hatred of militarism and bureaucracy. But democracy in Japan is virtually non-existent. Japan is to-day no nearer liberalism than Russia was in 1905. One dreads to make parallels, when one thinks how it was that Russia got[Pg 308] rid of her czars, that the dreadful war in Europe alone made it possible for a change in the Russian Government. Is it going to take such a war to accomplish this in Japan? Some of the most ardent Japanese in America boldly answer, "Yes."

Again, China! Many Japanophiles will say that our love of China is based on our trade with her, and her own weakness to resist it, while at the same time pointing to our enormous trade with Japan as proof of friendship. That is false. True, that, compared with Japan, China is no "menace" to America. But though China is the root of our problem, there is something in the nature of the true Oriental that makes him charming, jovial, childlike and lovable. Japan is, of course, not truly Oriental. Japan is essentially Malay, mixed with some Oriental and a little Caucasian. But in the two and a half years of my residence in Japan I did not once come across a white person who had that same unexplainable admiration for the native that is the outstanding characteristic of white men in China. Be that as it may—and that is, after all, a personal matter—that which enters into the Sino-Japanese problem is the attitude of the Japanese to the Chinese. None was so ready to exalt the Japanese as were the foreigners after the Boxer uprising in 1900. Then the Japanese were hailed for their helpfulness and their dexterity. But the manner of Japanese in China to-day goes against the grain of people. They ask themselves constantly: For nearly seven years Japan has promised faithfully to withdraw from Shantung, and her promises are as earnestly being expressed to-day. Is it, then, so hard to remove troops? Not so hard to move them in, it seems.

Those of us who listen to Japanese promises are from Missouri. Japan in conjunction with the Allies sent troops to Siberia to "protect" Vladivostok. Each of the Allies were supposed to send seven thousand troops. Japan sent close to one hundred thousand. She has[Pg 309] earnestly promised to withdraw them ever since. Why are they not withdrawn?

Then comes the hardest thing of all to reconcile with her promises,—Japan's actions in Korea. It is easy to sentimentalize over the fate of nations. Korea's independence is a slogan that doesn't mean much, though Korea claims four thousand years of civilized existence. An independent Korea doesn't offer very great promise, even if one is constrained to sympathize with her aspiration for independence. Korea might just as well be an integer of the Japanese Empire. She had ample time in which to expel foreign intriguers and denounce her own grafters, for the sake of independence, years ago. But what has that to do with Japanese atrocities in Korea? What has that to do with the action of Japanese merchants who, according to Japan's own envoy to Korea, Count Inouye, acted worse than conquerors. Count Inouye said:

All the Japanese are overbearing and rude in their dealings with the Koreans.... The Japanese are not only overbearing but violent in their attitude towards the Koreans. When there is the slightest misunderstanding, they do not hesitate to employ their fists. Indeed, it is not uncommon for them to pitch Koreans into the river, or to cut them down with swords. If merchants commit these acts of violence, the conduct of those who are not merchants may well be imagined. They say: "We have made you an independent nation, we have saved you from the Tonghaks, whoever dares to reject our advice or oppose our actions is an ungrateful traitor." Even military coolies use language like that towards the Koreans.[1]

[1] In Nichi, Nichi Shimnun, quoted by Professor Longford in The Story of Korea, pp. 137-338.

The atrocities in Korea committed by the Japanese in the uprising of 1919 would parallel the most exaggerated reports of what happened to Belgium. Yet America's treaty with the Kingdom of Korea, ignored when Japan annexed the empire in 1910, has never been abrogated. Where is Bushido in Japan, that it does not rise in indignation at these atrocities? It has done so, but so faintly that it might just as well have saved itself the effort. Apology after apology, but atrocity following[Pg 310] each apology with the same inexorable ruthlessness of fate. Likewise, the massacres in Nikolajevks, and Chien-tao are still unanswered. They require a public apology of some sort.

If I am charged with deliberately selecting things derogatory to Japan, I can only say that nothing, in my mind, that Japan may have done for the good of Korea and of the world, none of the virtues which Japan possesses can ever counterbalance these crimes. Yet intelligent Japanese write:

Fortunately, a change of heart has come to the Mikado's Government ... there will be established ... a School Council to discuss matters relating to education. [No mention is made of the up-rooting of the native language.] The step may be slow, but the goal is sure. Korea's union with Japan was consummated after the bitter experience of two sanguinary wars and the mature deliberation of the best minds of the two peoples.

The italics are mine. Who were these minds? No mention is made of the assassination of the Korean Queen by Japanese, later "exonerated." In other words, now that the lion has eaten the lamb he is going to tell the lamb the best way in which he can be digested, for they are "discussing matters" to their mutual advantage.

One is inclined to become bitter in the rehearsal of such facts, the feeling being induced by the evasive apologies of rhetoricians. But these outstanding facts must be faced if any true judgment can be formed of Japan's position in the Far East: If it is her aim merely to dominate in Asia, then Japan has set out to do it masterfully. But if the leadership of the yellow race is her aim, if Pan-Asianism means the uplifting of all Oriental races now under the heel of the white race, then Japan has chosen the most unfortunate line of action. She is running an obstacle race in which the silken garments of Bushido are likely to suffer considerable wear and tear. Credit Japan deserves for her administrative ability. Certain it is that no country in the Orient[Pg 311] to-day has the same capacity to rule that Japan has. In international affairs, Japan has proved herself a match for the shrewdest diplomats of the Western world. It is not to be marveled at that the yellow races should be willing to yield her her position and her prestige. Thousands of Chinese who could not afford a Western education are now being educated in the universities of Japan; many Indians are doing likewise. In the simple matter of road-building, Japan has done what few Oriental countries seem to have the capacity to do. It is natural that the Orient should look to Japan for leadership in government and industry, in direction and help. But is Japan giving it?

The experiences of Tagore in Japan are not reassuring. He turned from Japan as from a gross imitator of the West from which he had escaped. He expressed keen disappointment at what he saw in modern Japan. In the "New York Times," recently, there was an article by a Chinese called "The Uncivilized United States," the thesis of the writer being that the Americans lacked the gentlemanliness of the English. The Chinese was obviously a great admirer of the Japanese and repeated over and over again that the Tokugawas were great rulers because they advocated the rule by "tenderness of heart"; but he, too, despaired of the modern Japan, of its great industries and little heart.

That, of course, has been the oft-repeated criticism of America from older countries, and need not discourage Japan. But Japan is making that greater error of believing that a world which has won civil liberty and enlightenment after so many centuries of strife, has builded for the masses at least a semblance of economic freedom and democracy, is going to yield all this blithely to an antiquated ideal of Oriental imperialism that has not even the virtues of Oriental mysticism to recommend it.

[Pg 312]



Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, ended his career at Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1847. Step by step he made his way over the wilderness, winning the good-will of the pioneers and the devotion of the Indians, and planting apple-seeds which time nourished into orchards. Johnnie Appleseed has been glorified by Vachel Lindsay,—and with him, not a little of the richness of life that went into the make-up of America.

Unfortunately, Johnny Appleseed died in Indiana, at the early age of seventy-two. Had he lived twice as long he would most likely have reached the coast. By most he was regarded as rather a queer character, but there were men who felt the current of greatness in his being, and to-day Johnny Appleseed might well be hailed as the symbol of America.

For if the virtue of England lay in that process of selection which was the result of "the roving of a race with piratical and poetic instincts invading old England where few stocks arrived save by stringent selection of the sea," how much more is the hardihood of pioneering the very bone and marrow of America. For the sifting process here did not end merely by the crossing of the Atlantic. To those who broke through the fears of the Atlantic, lanced the gathering ills of Europe, that Eastern ocean was only the symbol of a tradition. The way has been kept open by the passage of millions of men and women and children who, year after year, for four cen[Pg 313]turies, have been invading young America. But what is that coming compared with the arduous reaching out across the wilderness of this vast continent itself, a reaching that left its mile-stones in the form of log cabins, graves, and roaring cities. Following the trade-winds or beating up against the billows of the Northern seas was a joyous pastime compared with the windless waiting and tireless pressing on of the prairie schooner. The conquest of the mountains, of the Mississippi, of the treeless plains, of the desert, and of the rocky barriers in the farthest West is a story replete with tragic episodes, and it is destined to become the dominating tradition of America.

It is a strange story, and because it was essentially so lowly in its early impulse, because it was seemingly a secondary phenomenon, snobs and cynics dispose of it with indifference. The movement westward was undertaken by men of small means and little culture. Pathetic in its simple requirements, seeking fortunes that always lay on the fringe of fortune, moving on with a restlessness that seemed to despise rest and ease, it still left in its wake sorrows that approached tragedy but never felt it. If "Main Street" is a necessary corrective, "The Son of the Middle Border" is the crystallization of an unconscious ideal. This westward movement is a vivid rehearsal of a belated migration that tells the tale of man's first yielding to the mobile impulse in his nature, an impulse that has made of him the conqueror of the globe. These thousands of Johnny Appleseeds were not utilitarian seekers after wealth alone; in them was the unconscious mother principle yielding to the forces that were fathering a new race.

And that new race has come. Centuries of arduous trial and tribulation have molded it. Go where you will, except for some slight differences in tonal expression, there is one people. Beneath their Americanism are the crude complexes resulting from a war between refinement[Pg 314] and the unkind forces of nature. The pioneers had all known what civilization meant, but circumstances thwarted their inclinations. They brought with them a respect for woman which no other people had known so well. Primitive and Oriental people—and many European races of to-day—do not have the same exalted notion of woman, simply because they have developed along with women whose functions of life were determined by the savage circumstances. But Americans found themselves in the continent with few women, and those in danger of savage ruthlessness. Hence they became doubly concerned for their welfare, even to the point of sentimentalism.

So, too, with regard to personal liberty. The pioneer knew what his freedom meant to him, and fought for it as a lion or a tiger fights for his. Too frequently his own freedom could be bought only at the expense of others around him. The word itself became a magic with esoteric properties. Hence we find throughout our West a fanatical regard for the term "freedom" that sometimes works itself into a frenzy of intolerance. So fine are the achievements of our coast states, on so high a level is the standard of life, that men cannot see the exceptions. When such are pointed out to them there arises in their unconscious a fear of those horrible days, a something which terrified their childhood and which must be downed as the ghost of a crime one imagines himself to have committed. Hence, not to be "with" certain people in the West in the shouting adulation of their state or their city or their orchards is a worse sacrilege than counteracting one prayer by another ritual. The winning of the West was the aim of all the pioneers. For years and years they were faced with the most obvious threats to its consummation. Mountains, climate, savages, European jealousies, lack of population,—everything that spelled despair stood before them. But an uncomprehended passion drove them on. Perhaps it was[Pg 315] the recrudescence of intolerance which marked the early settlers in the East. Perhaps it was the lack of opportunity resulting from overcrowding after the advertisement of the desirability of life in America. It may have been any one of a dozen possibilities that kept men and women moving on and on and on,—nor always, by any means, the yielding to ideals. But on it was and on it continued till the Pacific was reached.

This, superficially, is the accepted story of the development of our West. I have attempted neither criticism nor laudation. It is an unavoidable approach to the discussion of America's place in the Pacific, an approach which even the most Western of our Westerners is not always prone to take cognizance of. But within it lies the kernel of future American life. To some, like the founders of the State of Oregon, it was more defined. Some as early as 1844 realized that to the nation which developed the coast lands belonged the spoils of the Pacific and in its hands would lie the destinies of the largest ocean on the globe. The opening of the Panama Canal has placed the Pacific at the door-step of New York, and fulfilled the dream.

But to the vast majority of people on the coast to-day, occupation and development of those enormous areas seem to carry with them opportunity, but little responsibility. They have one concern which is akin to fear, and that is of the Japanese. They only vaguely grasp the significance of their fate. They do not see that they have hauled in a whale along with their catch and that unless they are skilful they will drag the whole nation into the sea with them.

But if they have forgotten the vision for the appearance of the catch, what about the East? The East is as indifferent to matters pertaining to the Pacific and the West. Its face is turned toward Europe. We think that America is a nation, but the utter ignorance of one section with regard to another, the lounging in local ease,[Pg 316] is appalling. Easterners are like the philosopher who when told that his house was on fire, said it was none of his business, for hadn't he a wife to look after such things! These are strange phenomena in a democracy. People think that they discharge their duty by voting, but how many people are in the least concerned with the problems that will some day light up the country like a prairie fire? Westerners are generally much more acquainted with Eastern affairs. As unpleasant as is the promotion publicity of Los Angeles, it is a much more healthful condition than the seeming ignorance of New York in matters pertaining to Los Angeles.

Yet while the East is aflame over affairs in Europe—the Irish Republic, for instance—it probably thinks that Korea is the name of a Chinese joss over which no civilized man should bother to yap about. This indifference is not to be found in the man on the street alone. That man is often uninformed simply because the dispensers of information are uninformed. There is much he would want if he knew its value to him. And so while we are becoming embroiled in European affairs another and henceforward more sinister problem is threatening to back-wash over us.

It was while in such an apathetic state that America changed her status from a continental republic to a colonial empire. Few Americans have ever taken any interest in their insular possessions. Hawaii and the rest had fallen to the lot of the Government, and would sooner or later be returned; that was the sum and substance of their outlook on the whole affair. That the Monroe Doctrine ceased to be a real factor with the acquisition of these outlying possessions, that we virtually abrogated it, did not seem to matter much. At large, the notion was that American altruism would never involve the country in any difficulty.

But whatever a man's motives, once he has stuck his tongue against a frozen pipe only a tremendous outpour[Pg 317]ing of altruism will ever detach it. America began her adventures in the Pacific when she urged young men to go West. Now we have the whole continent, we have Hawaii, the Philippines, Pago Pago, Samoa, and Alaska,—a hefty armful. Are we going to let these things go, or are we simply going to drift to where they drag us into conflict with others who want them and want them badly? We cannot merely blow them full of democracy and then wait for any one who wishes to to prick the bubbles. For it must be borne in mind that the issues are clear. The Pacific cannot remain half-citizen and half-subject. Every time we stir up within a small island the self-respect of individuals, we destroy the balance of power between an expression of the wills of people and the wills of autocracies. Is America going to set out to make the world safe for democracy in Europe and then withdraw just when Europe needs her help most? Is she going to continue to make treaties with small nations like Korea and then when Korea is devoured body and soul simply overlook the little fellow as though he had never existed.

Let me make the case of Korea clearer by a parallel. We had a treaty with the Kingdom under which we had assured her that in the event of any other power interfering with her independence we would exert our good offices toward an amicable solution. Then came the Russo-Japanese war. Korea received a pledge from Japan that her sovereignty would be protected if she permitted Japanese troops to pass over her territory. Korea, at the risk of being devoured by Russia for violating neutrality, acceded to Japan's request. Five years after the Russo-Japanese War, Korea was annexed by Japan, and we said never a word in her favor. Nor have we ever denounced our treaty with Korea.

But here is the parallel. Belgium refused to let Germany cross her territory. Because of Germany's invasion of Belgium, Great Britain entered the war. What[Pg 318] if Great Britain now decided to annex Belgium? What if America did so?

Yet Colonel Roosevelt, who was so vociferous in his denouncement of the Wilson Administration for its early neutrality in the face of the rape of Belgium, himself condoned the annexation of Korea by saying that inasmuch as Korea was unable to defend herself it was not up to us to rush to her assistance. In other words, our treaty was only a scrap of paper which was to be in force if the other high contracting party was strong enough to have no need for our aid.

Is America going to drag China into world wars with promises of friendship, and then concede Shantungs whenever diplomatic shrewdness shows her to be beaten? Is she going to promise the Philippines independence, allow her governor-generals to withhold their veto power for years so that the natives may the better handle their own affairs, and then simply let any who will come and undermine or explode the thing entire?

This is not meant to imply by any manner of means that America is to display force and employ it for the sake of democracy. It is not navies nor armies that will count, but principles. It is America's duty as a free country to encourage freedom and discourage autocracy. And in that spirit, and that alone, can she justify her place in the sun. On several occasions she has done so, though only those in which the Pacific are involved need reference here.


Apropos of the Philippines: Two factors and two alone are involved. It is not a question of whether America shall or shall not hold on to the islands. In that America has given her word. The Philippines will become, must become, free. There, as elsewhere, it is not our concern whether one group or another gains the upper hand. It is not our concern that the Filipinos, being Malay[Pg 319]-Orientals, will evolve a democracy that is not compatible with our notions of democracy. Our concern is, and has been repeatedly stated to be, only the welfare and happiness of the Filipinos. McKinley, Taft, Roosevelt, Wilson,—all have considerably discoursed upon Filipino independence and Filipino welfare. We have recently been on the very verge of granting independence, but, unfortunately, oil has been discovered by the Standard Oil Company, and the question will doubtless now depend on the amount of oil there is. If a great deal, then fare thee well Filipino independence! However, the real reason for our being in the islands is neither the altruistic concern for the democratization of the people, nor to protect the immediate interests of sugar, tobacco, or oil-handling capitalists. The one and only basis for our action should be the extent to which Filipino independence or our protectorate ministers to the peace of the Pacific. If an independent Philippines will allay the suspicions of Japan, then they should be independent. But Japan would have to give more than the usual promise of her word that she would keep her hands off the Philippines. The extent to which her word may be relied upon can easily be determined. One need only mention Korea, Shantung, Siberia, the Marshall Islands. We say to Japan: "As soon as you live up to the promises in your treaty and other relations with these Orientals, we shall be able to accept your further promises in regard to the Philippines."

Yet it must not be overlooked that Japan saw our coming to the Philippines with apprehension. Japan is an Oriental nation and cannot understand any one doing anything out of pure goodness of heart. Fact is, neither can we. Let the most honest man in the world offer any other a solid-gold watch and that other would suspect something was wrong. We declared to the world that we had only the best intentions toward the Philippines—to democratize them. To Japan that was like[Pg 320] holding up a red flag to a bull. What, you are going to create a democratic sore right in my neighborhood? That will never do. It might be catching. And Japan is not interested in contracting democracy as yet,—that is, official Japan. Even liberal Japanese are doubtful. When in Japan, I interviewed the democratic M.P., Yukio Ozaki. He turned, without question from me, to the subject of the fortification of the Philippines. He pleaded that the forts be dismantled. In the event of that plea failing, what could Japan do, he asked, other than proceed to fortify the Marshall Islands? Yet at that time Japan had not even been granted a mandate over these islands. The logic of his appeal is irrefutable. But this is a sort of vicious circle. Who is to begin, and whom shall we trust?

One thing is certain,—that in that whole problem of the control of the islands of the Pacific, whether by annexation, protection, or mandate, lies the seed of the future peace of the Pacific. And unless in each and every case the natives are given the best opportunities of self-development, that nation responsible for their arrested condition is going to be the nation upon whose conscience will rest the sorrows of the world.

In regard to the Philippines, this must be remembered,—that we are dealing with human beings, not problems and principles. The stuff one generally reads about foreign places might be just as descriptive of the inhabitants of Mars. Little wonder that those for or against independence or protection fail to win their case! We must remember that for twenty years we have been building up the hopes of children whom we taught in our schools, with our money and our ideals. They are now, many of them, active men attending to the work of the Filipino world. They are our foster-children and would be fools not to want to live their own lives in their own way. Our policy in regard to them must be a negative one; from now on it cannot be positive. All we can[Pg 321] say to them is what we cannot and will not permit them to do; we have no right henceforth to say what they must do. We can say that we will not permit them to invite any other nation whose governmental ideals are likely to threaten ours. The world must continue on its road toward the greater and greater liberation of peoples, hence we cannot permit them to step back toward any form of imperialism. We cannot permit them to invite unlimited numbers of Orientals who might swamp them. They must maintain the Philippines for the Filipinos, with as much generosity thrown in as will not endanger that. We must remember that our effort in the Philippines is the first in which any government has attempted to treat its subject natives with any degree of equality,—legally, if not socially. If the world is to move on toward greater freedom—which is needed, Heaven knows!—we must not let the Philippines be an example of the failure of democratic management of natives.


In all this some may discover implications that our hold on the Philippines should be maintained purely for strategic reasons. That may be the purpose of the imperialistically minded. There may be some who will read into this fear of Japan or a bellicose attitude irritable to her. Neither interpretation would be accurate, for behind all this are certain historical factors which prove that whatever use statesmen may make of world situations, evil designs will be frustrated so long as the circumstances which created the primary conditions were not evil. Specifically, because the earlier relations between Japan and America were brought about through essentially good motives, these later developments can be kept to a sane path. And severe as may be our present criticisms of Japan, so long as the purposes behind them are good, they can have only a desirable result.[Pg 322]

When Commodore Perry went to Japan in 1853, his only desire was to open that country to trade. It may seem now that for the sake of peace in the Pacific it would have been better had he been guided by the spirit of conquest. Had Japan been conquered in the early days, she would never have come to the fore as a possible menace. But she was not. It does not follow, however, that that was unfortunate, for the earliest relations between Japan and America were amicable and basically altruistic. The relations between us have continued to be amicable, but altruism has slowly given way to envy and jealousy. But the point that is missed in all this reference to these cordial relations of the past is that inasmuch as America was a great moral influence upon Japan in the early days, she might continue to be that to-day. Cock-sure as Japanese statesmen have become, and pugnacious as some Americans seem toward Japan, a strong moral attitude will still do more to check hostility than all the shaking of sabers and manœuvering of dreadnaughts. We need the Philippines more as a base for democratic experiment than as a fortified zone. We need them as one needs a medical laboratory for the manufacture of serums in the time of plague,—for the manufacture of the serum of political freedom, of the rights of people to develop and to learn to be free. And this experimental station should stand right there at the door of Japan—and of British and French concessionists, if you please, in China—and of China itself, for none of them has any faith in this educating of natives and making them your equals. Only down below the line, in New Zealand and Australia, far from where it can really affect Japan, is that experiment being carried on. And more than all else, when Japanese imperialism is spreading its wings, when Japanese bureaucracy is throwing out its chest in pride and telling its poor, impoverished people, "See what I am doing for YOU," we need that serum station in the Philippines where a solution of de[Pg 323]mocracy and freedom may continue to be made,—be it ever so weak.

And it needs to be injected into Japan. Some of it is already working in that empire. Japan needs more, it needs to be reinforced. Democracy in Japan is struggling for a foothold. Let the germs of democracy persist in the Philippines and be rushed to the island empire. And let America stand as a great moral force, impressing upon Japan that the rights of the people shall not be suppressed. But that will never be unless the people in America who stand for liberalism, for true democracy, for all that America has hitherto meant wake up to the seriousness of the situation in the Far East and cease to turn from it with sentimental notions about Lafcadio Hearn's Japan. There are two Japans.

Both of these Japans are watching America closely. They are watching the actions of America in the Philippines, they are following in the footsteps of America in China. That need not be taken too literally, for there are two meanings to it. One example points in one direction, another in another. But one or two by way of illustration will do.

When America returned the Boxer Indemnity Funds to China for educational purposes a new precedent was established in international affairs. No other nation had the moral courage to follow suit. But just at the close of the war, Japan, having replenished her exchequer considerably, unloosened her purse-strings and returned the balance of the indemnity funds to China. It was a case of thrifty self-denial, a tardy giving back of gold that none of the powers were really entitled to. As misguided and foolish as the Boxer Uprising was, still had it been a little better organized, none of the evils from which China is suffering to-day would obtain. China should have been as wise in her method as she was in impulse. However, it is good to see Japan doing so much. She should be encouraged.[Pg 324]

Again, seeing that American missionaries—and others—are influencing China in the direction of Occidental culture, Japan is following suit. Here it is likewise a tardy giving back to China what Japan took from her centuries ago, for Japanese Buddhism is only the sifting of the Buddhism that made its way from India by way of China and Korea. Still, it is worth noting that intellectual and moral precedents are often as forceful as more materialistic weapons.

Observing the influence that doctors and hospitals wield in China,—the Rockefeller Foundation, for instance,—the Japanese are following suit and establishing hospitals in the interior. Educational and industrial work likewise will lead the way for educational and industrial work by Japanese in China. Witnessing the force of friendship in America's relations with China, the public in Japan is protesting against the antagonizing of this gigantic neighbor to whom the Japanese bureaucratic wolf has been making such grandmotherly pretentions. And indeed there is much good reason for the protest, for the Japanese merchant who expected so much juice in that Chinese plum found that because of antagonism, because of the rape of Shantung, the plum momentarily became a lemon, to use a vulgar expression. Japan, after the "peace" Conference contemptuously handed over what didn't belong to it but a duped assistant in the prosecution of the war against Germany learned that there are more ways than one of killing a cat. And China proceeded to gnaw at the vitals of the Japanese bureaucratic wolf in a most telling fashion. China declared a boycott of Japanese goods that was so effective that it brought about a financial slump in Japan from which she is not yet fully recovered. China was of course forced to yield. One cannot live on sentiment, and when Japanese goods are the nearest and cheapest at hand, what could China do?

If only Japan could see the real significance of this[Pg 325] she would at once withdraw all her nefarious demands on China, proceed sincerely and honestly to win the friendship of China, and then undermine the very ground of every foreign trader because of her propinquity. But bureaucrats are blind. They are moles that move underground. The ground of China is all broken up on that account. One of these days the Chinese giant will clumsily step, not in the wake of the mole, but on the mole itself. Inadvertently, of course; giants are such clumsy things!


These, then, are some of the ways in which Japan has and has not followed in the footsteps of America.

Let us follow the Chinese giant a bit, and see what blundering paths he has pursued. Unfortunately, he has had his mind too much on the American colossus to observe the mole. And so he blundered into accepting a republican form of government. A vain Malvolio, he thought he was being honored with blue and yellow ribbons on his enormous legs, but to stretch the metaphor a little farther, it turns out that these alien Lilliputians are strapping him securely down to earth. The ribbons and the Lilliputian bands are the foreign-built and foreign-controlled and operated railroads which have been talked of with sanctimonious metaphors to make them palatable. And now China parades herself before the world as a republic. That is some of the influence of America. The Republic of China is our own handiwork. Is it anything to be proud of? Poor China is a battered republic, with hands outstretched, appealing to us for help. As I write the newspapers tell of the appeal of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, recently elected President of the South China Republic. After surveying what he regards as the situation, exposing the Peking government, declaring that but for its intriguing with Japan there would have been unity between North and South, and that the Northern mili[Pg 326]tarists were profiteering in food during the recent famine, and charging them with a string of other crimes, he adds:

Such is the state of affairs in China that unless America, her traditional friend and supporter, comes forward to lend a helping hand in this critical period, we would be compelled against our will to submit to the twenty-one demands of Japan. I make this special appeal, therefore, through Your Excellency, to the Government of the United States to save China once more, for it is through America's genuine friendship, as exemplified by the John Hay doctrine, that China owes her existence as a nation.

Now let us listen to the word from Japan on American diplomacy in China. The "Asahi Shimbun" said:

Of all the foreign representatives in Peking the American was the least known previous to the revolution. A lawyer by profession, he was not credited with any diplomatic ability or resource. Yet he will reap more credit than any of the others on account of the ability and energy which he has displayed. But what have our Government and our diplomacy done to counteract the American influence? Our interests in China far exceed those of any other country, and yet our officials have allowed themselves to be outplayed by a diplomatically untrained lawyer. China, which ought to look to Japan for help and guidance, does not do so, but looks to America. The inertia of the Kasumigaseki has given Mr. Calhoun an opportunity to restore American prestige in the neighbouring country.

Japan has done nothing to gain the good-will of China, and America is constantly veering her ship with its treasury of Chinese good-will more and more in the direction of Japan. We had in Japan a man of unusual gifts and sagacity. Mr. Roland S. Morris, American Ambassador under the Wilson administration, though avowedly a friend of Japan, certainly had a most unenviable position to maintain. He seemed peculiarly fitted for his post, for during his years in Japan, notwithstanding the innumerable missions that moved like settings on a circular stage, and the infinite number of dinners that fall to the lot of distinguished foreigners in Japan, he never seems to have got political indigestion. And doubtless he is to-day a friend of China.

With an eye to the "special interests" of Japan, Dr. Paul S. Reinsch was permitted to throw up his hands in[Pg 327] despair. We were not doing much to save China from being Shantung-ed. Because Mr. Crane once undiplomatically expressed himself in ways unwelcome to Japan, he was recalled before he got beyond Chicago. Several years later, Mr. Crane succeeded in smuggling himself through to China as American Minister, and as far as may be seen, he did noble work in connection with the Famine Relief last winter. Now we have dispatched a Japanophile to China. Dr. Jacob Gould Shurman was so strongly impressed with the schools of Japan that he gave up Cornell University to go to China and help Japanize the Celestial. At least, that is the mood in which he left America. A man who knows him well and is close to the inner circle of American financial affairs in China assured me the other day that Shurman would not be in China six months before he would completely reverse his sentiments, and regard Japan's work in China as it is regarded by every one there who is not a Japanese official.

Poor deluded, short-sighted Japan! She could have China as a plaything if she only went about it properly. Propinquity could put special interests in last year's list of bad debts if Japan sincerely, honestly, firmly made a friend of China, threw the doors wide open,—and then laughed a hearty, healthy laugh at the efforts of white men to outwit her in Asia. Propinquity has made Japan Oriental, it has given Japan a script that opens the doors for her more than for any other alien: Oriental methods, Oriental concepts, Oriental customs and requirements give Japan a better chance in China than all her millions of soldiers and dreadnaughts ever will. Yet the little mole loves it underground.


Thus we are blindly following the Japanese mole. We are catering to Japanese "sensitiveness" by sending[Pg 328] diplomats with a list in the direction of Japan now. Presently, I presume, we shall withdraw our diplomats from China as we did from Korea, and forget about it. But, then, of course, we sha'n't. Things in the Far East are not going to pan out so easily, not in the matter of China and Japan. Ever since the first American clipper flirted with Chinese trade, American interests have been involved in the interests of China, and they will continue to be so involved. Without ordinary, decent, honest trade among nations, the relationship of peoples ceases to have its reason for existence. Just imagine a world of nothing but tourists! But decent trade is not the forcing of opium on a country against its will, as Britain forced it on China in the early days and as Japan forces it to-day. Decent trade is not the impoverishing of native industries by the introduction of cheap products from Japanese, European, and American factories. Neither is decent trade altruism. The spirit of really decent trade may be found, though not yet fully defined, in the motives behind the consortium; but, then, that scheme has not yet been proved workable. Its future remains to be seen, and I shall later describe it as far as it has gone.

It has been admitted, even by the most prejudiced—and by Japanese—that America's practices in the Far East, and China in particular, have been essentially well-principled. The Philippines are restively seeking independence, but they cannot claim that America's protectorate has been discreditable. One could go on all the way through to the return of the Boxer Indemnity, and the only serious charge that can be made with truth is that altruism has often been accompanied by indecision and inefficiency.

The question that now faces the world is whether the effect of Western democratic governmental methods, which seem to have made a sudden, yet vital, impression on the minds of the Chinese, shall become effective with[Pg 329] time, or shall be uprooted by another Oriental country for whom we have expressed constantly the most affectionate regard. We do not love a child less because it needs correction; correction, we realize, is the necessary accompaniment of growth. Japan needs to be shown the error of her ways; not in high-flown moral terms, but in just plain, everyday examples of the impracticability of her doings in China. Thus, having been instrumental in the opening of Japan to the world; having acquired possessions in the Pacific which must remain the outposts of democratic management of native peoples; having set an example of disinterested, generous treatment of unwieldy China; having stood by as her friend, as her preceptor, her sponsor; having, in a word, made that inexplicable journey from the Atlantic to the farthest reaches of the Pacific, let the robin say of Johnny Appleseed:

To the farthest West he has followed the sun,
His life and his empire just begun....

[Pg 330]



I have come now to the most delicate and most difficult task in the whole problem, that of the dovetailing of nations. Twice has this phase of the subject come before us: once when we met it in that welter of racial experiments, Hawaii and the South Seas in general; and again in that great outpost of the white race, Australasia. But in the one it is too localized, and the other too much in anticipation. In Hawaii it is hard to say which race has justly a prior right to possession; in Australia the problem is only imminent.

But in California and the entire West the impact of the two races of the Pacific has taken place. Nothing but a just solution can possibly be any solution at all. Let me therefore define the problem at the very outset, lest that which is really irrelevant be expected, or insinuate itself into the discussion.

Primarily, the problem of Japan in America is not a racial one. Primarily it is political, and hinges upon the rights of nations. Secondarily, it is economic, and only in so far as the political and economic factors are unsolvable can the problem become a racial one, and terminate in conflict. All attempts at handling the situation which do not take into consideration these two factors would be like crossing the stream to get a bucket of water. For nothing can be done without reciprocity, and reciprocity is the last thing that Japan would ever consent to, as it involves a transformation in her political philosophy and the relinquishment of her own position from the very[Pg 331] outset. Hence, before we can even approach the consideration of facts in California, we must get clearly in mind exactly what Japan is doing within her own territories. Japan is the appellant. Japan demands that her people be given free entry the world over. We are not asking her to let our people enter Japan and her possessions as laborers and agriculturists. Hence, before she can make her plea at all rational, she must show that she herself is not discriminating in the identical manner as the one she objects to.

Now, in only one or two instances have I seen that question emphasized. In all the literature I have read emanating from Japanese sources, in the lectures of its propagandists here, I have never seen it faced fairly and squarely. The actions of Japan are ignored or glossed over. The protagonists of Japan in California—Americans, mind you—make of it purely an American issue, as though discrimination were a fault peculiar to ourselves. Two blacks don't make a white, but neither do two blacks quarrel with each other for being black.

The questions in the order of their importance then are:

Does Japan permit the free entrance of alien labor?

Does Japan permit the ready purchase by aliens of agricultural land?

Does Japan make the naturalization of aliens easy?

Does Japan permit the denaturalization of its people abroad?

Now, these are all political problems, for the simple reason that the very economic conditions of Japan make them unnecessary. That is, Japanese labor is essentially cheap labor, and owing to the great crowding there would be little likelihood of any great influx of Korean or Chinese labor were the bars not raised fairly high. And the bars are high. The number of Koreans admitted is greater largely because Koreans are now subjects of[Pg 332] the mikado, but even they are kept in check by Japanese objections to their entrance, and conflicts between Japanese and Koreans are not unknown. Chinese are permitted to enter Japan only by special permission from the local authorities, as provided for in a regulation in force since 1899. Forgetting the two hundred and fifty years during which the doors of Japan were sealed; forgetting that even after the opening of Japan a foreigner had to obtain a special passport to travel from Kobe to Kyoto, a distance of forty miles inland; forgetting all the psychological factors that have by no means broken down the crust that still closes most of Japan to alien possession or acquisition, one is still amazed at this discrimination against fellow-subjects and Chinese, to whom the Japanese are in some essential way, at least, related.

But let us see what happens to these people when they do get in. Let me quote a statement in the bulletin of the East and West News Bureau, a Japanese propaganda agency located in New York.

In Japan proper the Korean laborers are estimated to number about 20,000. Compared with Japanese laborers they are perhaps superior in point of physical strength, but in practical efficiency they are no rivals of the latter. They feel that they are handicapped by strange environments and different customs, which partly account for their low efficiency. But experienced employers assert that the Koreans are markedly lazy, and that their work requires overseers, which naturally results of curtailment of their wages.

According to inquiries by the Osaka police on conditions among Korean laborers in the city, many of them have been thrown out of employment on account of the economic depression; that they are mostly engaged in rough work, such as carrying goods around or digging holes, etc., as unskilled laborers. It states that they are indolent and have no interest in work which requires skill and attention; they are simply contented as cheap laborers.

This quotation is illuminating in many ways. First, it strikes me as being anything but fair play on the part of Japanese in America to send out such discriminating and unkind accounts of a people whom they have now taken in as fellows in an empire, and whom they are "trying to assimilate." Secondly, it is not quite[Pg 333] true, for Japanese manufacturers are going to Korea with their factories. If Korean laborers are efficient in Korea, why not in Japan? But the fact of the matter is that the Japanese, quite naturally, are not going to give the best jobs to Koreans with their own men round about.

Now let us see what the British Vice-Consul at Osaka has to say of Japanese labor, in a report to Parliament. Admitting that external conditions have much to do with the poor quality of the Japanese workman, and that in time and under better conditions he will improve, the vice-consul says: "The standard [of intelligence] shown by the average workman is admittedly low," while some of his sub-captions are: "Docility," "Apathy," "Cheerfulness," "Lack of Concentration," "Scarcity of Skilled Labor," and under the caption "Why Wages are Low" he says: "Labor is plentiful and inefficient."

It is seen, therefore, that the opinion of the vice-consul in the matter of the Japanese is similar to that of the Japanese in regard to the Korean; and so it goes. The point in the whole question, to my mind is, that Japanese discriminate as much against other races as they are discriminated against. Not until Japan lays low the chauvinistic notions about the superiority of the most inferior Japanese to the best foreigner can we expect that other nations will set to work to remove the obstacles toward a clear understanding.

In America the very reverse is true. No one ever asserts that the Japanese is inferior to a white man. What is said is that the white man is essentially an individualist who at maturity starts off in life by himself, whereas the Japanese is bound by all sorts of notions of ancestor-worship which submerge him completely in the group. Furthermore, as a group the Japanese are able to overcome the greatest odds that any individual can raise against them. The nature of that group-con[Pg 334]sciousness will be analyzed in the answer to some of the other questions.


But to return to Japan: That Japan has no occasion for fear of a serious invasion of aliens is evident from recent figures that show that there are only 19,500 foreigners there, of whom 12,139 are Chinese, 2,404 Britons, 1,837 Americans, 687 Russians, 641 Germans, and 445 French. These figures are, however, unreliable, and antedate the Russian Revolution. However, the question here pertinent is whether any of these would be permitted to engage in such industries as the Japanese engage in here; for instance, agriculture. That can be answered in the negative. The Japanese land law, however generous it may seem from mere reading of the statutes, does not extend that privilege to foreigners. The first proviso of the law is that the person desiring to own land in Japan shall be from a country wherein Japanese are permitted to own land. In other words, if America does not allow a Japanese to acquire land, no American can do so in Japan. As it stands, therefore, no Japanese can complain if American laws make a similar ruling. The second provision excludes from any and all ownership, in any and all circumstances, the Hokkaido, Formosa, Karafuto (Sakhalin), or districts necessary for national defense. Considering that every other inch of ground is held in plots of two and a half acres per farmer, to whom they are the beginning and end of subsistence, the privileges innocently extended are mighty short. The law virtually excludes all right to any agricultural lands that any foreigner might be able to avail himself of.

There is one kind of real property foreigners do wish to own, and that is property for business purposes. But they cannot own that, even; they may only lease it on long leases under conditions that are frequently a hard[Pg 335]ship and often enough insecure. They may lease land under the so-called superficies lease, but that means virtually evading the law, and is always expensive. Even ordinary leases are frequently encroached upon, as foreigners in the ports are only too well aware. While I was in Kobe, Japanese were forcing foreign business firms out of the former foreign settlement, which fully fifty years of white men's toil had converted from a worthless bit of beach land into one of the most up-to-date "suburbs" in the Orient, and which is now the best part of Kobe. This was done by calling in leases, by making the rents prohibitive, and by "buying out" foreign lease-holders at almost exorbitant rates, just as the Japanese buy out white men in California. One British druggist, Dr. Richardson, sold for $225,000 a corner plot for which he had paid $12,500. He made a great profit in the deal, but the process by which he, and others, were bought out is indicative of the methods of the Japanese. For behind many of the real-estate dealers was the Government, making loans at most favorable rates of interest with the sole object of getting back into Japanese control as much of the port plots as possible,—cost what it might. Even men of lifelong residence in Japan must form themselves into corporations with their wives and some Japanese as members, in order to own the land upon which their residences are built. Some of these cases I investigated for the "Japan Chronicle" and learned from the priest of the Catholic Church that pressure was constantly being exerted upon him to make him relinquish his hold upon the ground on which the church stands, because it is in the heart of the business section. He said he did not know how long he would be able to hold out against them.

How corrupt landlords may overstep the bounds is illustrated by a case reported in the "Chronicle" of February 10, 1921. The editor says:[Pg 336]

The notorious Clarke lease suit is a case in point. This was a lease for twenty-five years, renewable for a further term of similar duration. A syndicate of Japanese was organized which purchased the land, knowing of the burdens upon it, with the hope of worrying the lease-holder either into paying more rent or into selling the lease for an inadequate sum. Suit after suit was brought in various names, until at last a court was found to give judgment raising the rent on the ground that taxes had increased and the value of surrounding properties had expanded since the lease was made. In justification of a judgment upholding this decision, the Osaka Appeal Court declared that there was a local custom in Kobe which permitted a landlord to raise the rent in certain circumstances. No evidence was produced in support of this contention, which was clearly against all contract law and rendered lease agreements meaningless. The result was that the gang of speculators who had banded themselves together to despoil a foreigner were successful. The holder of the lease was forced to sell and the syndicate profited greatly.

If the argument is raised that you will find bad people everywhere, and that one cannot take the poorest type of person and set him up as the example, let us recall the case of the Doshisha University. There, because of these selfsame land and property laws, The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions placed the million dollars' worth of property in the hands of Christian Japanese directors. Presently the Government brought pressure to bear upon these directors, and they yielded to their Government. In February, 1898, they virtually ousted the foreign owners, turned the institution into a secular college, and saw nothing dishonest nor immoral in the action. Japanese have of course come to a better understanding of the rights in such cases, nor am I trying to impugn the integrity of the "better-class" of Japanese. I am merely bringing evidence to prove that not only are Japanese laws with regard to the ownership of land by foreigners as discriminatory as those of California, but their interpretation is a serious handicap to aliens in Japan.

In America the fight is not to prevent Japanese from taking hold of land for business purposes, but to prevent them from monopolizing farming-lands, which, as Mr. Walter Pitkin has shown so clearly in his book, "Must We Fight Japan?" are rapidly passing out of American[Pg 337] hands because of our vicious shallowness in agrarian matters. I am not as yet bringing up the question of fairness, justice, generosity, or the rights of over-crowded Japan. I am merely making parallels which seem to me telling.


Does Japan make the naturalization of aliens easy? As far as the letter of the law goes, there appears nothing in the eyes of a layman that might stand in the way of a man, already married and with children, from becoming a Japanese subject. There is no legal discrimination against any race or color. But notwithstanding that there now are 20,000 foreigners in Japan, and that the number throughout the years must have been much greater, there are on record only nine cases of foreigners having been naturalized between 1904 and 1913; two English, two American, five French; and ten cases of adoptions by marriage into Japanese families. These, to my knowledge, do not include men previously married. They are all cases of men who have married Japanese women, or of women who have married Japanese men. There have been 158 Chinese who became naturalized. This does not indicate that naturalization is easy—except by marriage—and the general consensus of opinion is that it would take a man fully fifteen years to become naturalized in the due process of law.

Furthermore, the restrictions attached to the acquisition of Japanese nationality take all the sweetness out of the plum, for even after you have gone through the regular processes and have been permitted to sit "amongst these gods on sainted seats," there are still exalted pedestals beyond your reach. You may not become a Minister of State, President, or Vice-President, or a member of the Privy Council; an official of chokunin (imperial-appointment) rank in the Imperial Household Department; an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister[Pg 338] Plenipotentiary; a general officer in the army and navy; president of the Supreme Court, of the Board of Audit, or of the Court of Administrative Litigation; or member of the Imperial Diet. Nor are the professions in all cases open to you.

However, this is a minor matter compared with that of the inability on the part of any Japanese to accept another nationality without official consent. If he resides abroad after his seventeenth birthday he cannot in any circumstances become a citizen of that other country unless he has completed his military service. Women may freely relinquish their nationality through marriage; not so men. If men are born abroad, they must make a voluntary request for denaturalization between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, but such other factors are involved that only a negligible number of American-born Japanese have ever attempted to rid themselves of their ancestral connections; and there is one case on record in which the Government refused on a technicality, for the child had applied for denationalization according to Western reckoning, whereas Japanese count the child's age as from the day of conception, not birth.

In view of this, then, there seems no point whatever in the fuss made about Japanese being barred from citizenship. Again, I am not discussing the advisability of this restriction, but merely trying to brush aside many of the webs that have been spun for the netting of sympathy. The relations between Japan and America are thus involved in an infinite number of petty political regulations on each side, and nothing but a complete sweeping away of all restrictions on both sides would ever assume even the semblance of justice. But how far is Japan ready and willing to go in this denationalization of herself? The most casual study of her nationalistic aims and aspirations answers that question.

That the problem is essentially a problem for Japan[Pg 339] to solve is self-evident. That it is political and not racial, and that this political problem is rooted in Japan's economic condition, is likewise clear. For no nation loses its nationals except when the conditions at home are worse than those abroad, worse than those of the country to which her people wish to emigrate. Australia and New Zealand find it almost impossible to lure out British laborers, while Germany's desire for room was largely for the utilization of her mechanics and scientists and others whom she had trained in such large numbers that she hadn't enough work for them at home. Two changes in the structure of world economics have accentuated a condition of racial conflict which have hitherto been virtually non-existent. Religious and political conflicts have always obtained, but the color line has been drawn only in very recent times. As long as black and yellow people have been of a lower order and have been willing to serve the white, there was never any serious disorder between them. The color line is not marked even in Europe to-day, for the same reason that it is not marked in Japan. Europe is herself too crowded to be a desirable immigration station. Whatever the causes of conflict may have been, to-day it is clear that they lie in the endeavor on the part of white labor to maintain a better standard of living than Oriental labor has yet attained. And in exactly the degree to which certain Oriental labor groups have risen above others, the conflict becomes manifest,—to wit, the objection on the part of Japanese labor to Korean and Chinese coolies. No serious conflicts take place between Fijian laborers and Indian coolies, because the Fijian maintains his standard under competition, that being lower than the Indian's.

We have therefore to study the problem of Japanese in America, the so-called race conflict, not so much as it develops here but at its source, Japan. And there, if I read Japanese conditions aright, the problem is political and psychological in the main. Japan has come very[Pg 340] far along material modernization; she has virtually stepped up to the front rank of nations. But the most casual observation reveals that that is only so in part, that the advance is made as a government, not as a people. That government is rooted in antiquated notions, is vicious in many of its aspects, and is opposed to even the most conservative developments of Western countries. That government refuses to recognize the social forces that are at work within Japan for the leveling upward of classes. And there is the rub.


Glancing over the history of the nineteenth century, we realize that all nations have passed through a continuous struggle of the masses for betterment of their conditions, political and social as well as economic. During the greater part of that century Japan lay dormant, its masses mentally mesmerized. The sudden impact of the West has stunned the people more than awakened them. Only part of the social body is coming to life,—a limb, an essential organ. To be generous, I might say the brain is working, though from many of the actions of Nippon that would seem doubtful. But certain it is that whether it is the brain or merely the spinal column, instead of limbering up the rest of the body as rapidly as possible, it is trying to retard it. Hence, the feverish condition of the country.

This is not mere speculation. As I have said, only such countries as have an inferior economic condition suffer from the exodus of their laboring people. That exodus takes place for several reasons. From Europe it has come because of the hunger for religious freedom, to escape political oppression, or merely to get a new start in life. And though we have few political or religious exiles in America from the Land of the Rising Sun, they come because of an unconscious desire for relief[Pg 341] from Japanese social domination. I am convinced that that which most Japanese so prefer in America is that sense of individual freshness, that desire for individual expression, for freedom from the clutch of family and oligarchy. It is unconscious, and without doubt few Japanese when brought face to face with the issues would admit it, so deeply ingrained is the education and training at the hands of the political administrators. Only here and there is some such statement made, with an eye to the press and the galleries.

Were Japan to extend to the masses greater freedom, there would be plenty of work for them at home. There is scientific advancement to be made. Japanese are frightfully behind in the scientific habit. I have been told by a friend at one of our greatest institutions of medical experimentation that with but one exception the Japanese who come there have to be constantly dismissed for their incompetence. There was no anti-Japanese sentiment in the mind of the person who made this statement. Japanese still need generations of training to acquire the scientific spirit. Their historians prove this. In the business of life Japanese have plenty of work at home which could easily absorb all the man-power, both masculine and feminine, at their command, without the necessity of shipping any of it abroad. But the vulgar acquisition of wealth, the vulgar acquisition of political prestige in the world, the vulgar appeal for equality which no man or nation with true dignity and self-respect would mouth to the extent that Japanese officialdom has mouthed it, the vulgar wearing of its sensitiveness on its sleeve,—it is these with which bureaucratic Japan is preoccupied. While, at home, every effort on the part of Japanese to secure manhood suffrage, to arise to the dignity of true men, of which the masses are as capable as any race on earth, is discouraged. On the one hand pleading, in mendicant fashion, for racial equality abroad; on the other, refusal to give the people at home[Pg 342] racial equality. On one hand it is asserted loudly that "The Japanese do not like to be regarded as inferior to any other people. In no country will they be content with discriminatory treatment";[1] on the other, Prime Minister Hara answers the demand for the franchise with the maudlin fear that it would break down "distinction."

[1] From the Kokumin, a leading newspaper.

So that the problem of Japan and the world is largely a political problem which she must face at home. Raising the standard of living; increasing the economic welfare of the masses; extending the rights of the people who are clamoring for it in sections, not only to the intelligent elements but down to the very eta; cleansing the social pores of the empire,—these will in themselves automatically solve the problem for the world. The people don't want conquest. They are not aggressive. But the misguided leaders,—there's the rub.


As to Japan in America—or, more specifically, the Japanese in California—the problem is for us to solve. I once heard an American sentimentalist who practises law, and hence assured an audience he ought to know what he was talking about, say that the trouble in California was that the Japanese will work and the American is an idler and won't work. Why he wasn't howled out of the auditorium I don't know. That America has reared this vast continent and made it one of the most productive countries in the world did not seem to enter the head of this lawyer. Yet the Japanese problem will not be solved by exclusion alone.

We hear constantly that the reason for the conflict is that Japanese as groups and as tireless workers are able to outwork Americans; and, in certain special types of industry, that is proved. But were the conditions [Pg 343]made more acceptable to Americans in those industries, and were we to devise mechanical means of production suited to them, it would not be long before Japanese labor would find it extremely unprofitable to come here, just as it finds it unprofitable to go to Manchuria and Korea, where it has to compete with the cheaper Chinese and Korean labor. Laws and restrictions can always be evaded, and the price of vigilance is more costly than the gain. But those laws that are basic in the condition of life no man can evade.

The Gentlemen's Agreement has not worked because gentlemen themselves seldom work. It has not worked because it has denied America the right, as all nations claim it, to determine who shall or shall not come in. Gentlemen never exact such agreements from their friends. They realize that a man's home is his domain, to be entered only on invitation. Furthermore, the agreement is not mutually retroactive. It says that Japan has a right to decide the issue, and promises not to permit coolie labor to enter America. I shall not enter the statistical controversy as to whether flocks of Japanese have or have not evaded the agreement. An agreement such as that should be evaded, and was loose enough to make evasion simple. That is enough of an argument.

Japan pleads for room on account of the tremendous increase in her population every year. When a great appeal is made, the number is stated as 700,000 or 800,000, according to the emotional condition of the appellant. Professor Dewey contends that the Japanese Government, in its own records, admits to only some 300,000 or 400,000 a year. Whether the increase in California is or is not as stated, on one side or the other, matters little. Japan's grounds for appealing for room are sufficient. If the increase is so disgustingly large in Japan, it stands to reason that it would be as large, if not larger here, where economic opportunity makes[Pg 344] increase possible and desirable. Every child born in America is a handle worth getting hold of. But on the other hand, it is also true that wherever Japanese better their standard of living their birth-rate falls, as with every race. In which case there is only one answer to Japan's appeal for more room: Better your standard of living and you will not need to invade our house. That disgusting process of breeding which aggressive nations indulge in should be decried from the house-tops. It is no great mark of civilization to breed like mosquitos. Mosquitos need to reproduce by the millions because their eggs are consumed by the millions by preying creatures. Civilization makes it possible for those born to survive. (See Appendix D.)

Some students of Far Eastern affairs, like J. O. P. Bland, urge that Japan has a right to the occupation of Siberia; and none will gainsay that. But the fact is that though free to go both to Korea and Manchuria, Japanese have not gone to these regions even to the extent of one year's increase in population during the last ten years. Where, then, is the argument? As has been shown, they do not go as settlers because cheap continental labor makes it unprofitable. They go as business-men, as the advance-guard of the empire, as the rear-guard of the army. No one has ever raised a voice against the migration of Japanese to these unpopulated regions—with the exception, perhaps, of the natives. But ever and always one feels the hand of imperial Japan behind each little man from the empire, and that hold on her nationals is the thing that vigorous nations resent, because it threatens to impair their status.

That is what California and the sixteen other states who share her views feel. They are conscious of some subsidy behind every extensive purchase of land. From somewhere Japanese get enough money to buy anything they want. It is always the paternalistic arm of the Government round every little son of Nippon, or the em[Pg 345]brace of his family. That is where the problem begins and that is where it ends. If only some chemical substance could be discovered that, when poured over the Oriental, would separate him from the mass, he would be as good a fellow as can be found anywhere in the world. But that was what always irritated me in my relations with Japanese in Japan. I never met a man I liked but that in order to enjoy association with him I had to tolerate his group. If I started off anywhere with one, I soon had a retinue. That racial clannishness is to be found everywhere, but nowhere is it more sticky than in ancestor-worshiping Japan.

Consequently, in whatever manner the problem is finally solved here in America, one thing is agreed upon by both Japanese and anti-Japanese,—that those here will have to be redistributed over the country, their clannishness broken up. That is a problem which affects not only the Japanese. However, nothing that is now done should in any way be retroactive so as to deprive any single Japanese of the fruits of his labor. Whatever solution is found for the Japanese problem in America, one thing is certain,—that no war will ever be fought because of Japanese immigration to America. Japan, as has been shown, would have to readjust her own political thinking to such an extent as virtually to revolutionize conditions in Japan in order to make an issue of the citizenship problem and the matter of alien landownership here. Such a revolution would considerably reduce the scope of the issues, they would fall apart and virtually cease to exist.

If we are looking for the causes of a possible conflict in the Pacific, they must be sought not in California but in China. The dovetailing of the angle of our triangle in America is contingent upon the dovetailing of the angle of the triangle in Asia. The one in America can be dislodged only by a wrenching apart of the angle in Asia.[Pg 346]

Japan's hegemony in Asia is a serious matter. Japan is an industrial nation now. She is entitled to access to unused resources in China. Propinquity accedes this, but propinquity precludes the necessity of submerging China in the process. The Open Door in China means peace in the Pacific. We leave it to time to determine what the walling up of that door would mean.

[Pg 347]



The tempest in the European teapot has become a tornado in the Pacific. Small as the Balkans are, they were the stumbling-block in the way of the downward expansion of the European powers.

The tragedy in Europe has left Europe in the background. Civilization is rapidly veering round in the direction of the Pacific. There are little nations to-day whose possession is as fraught with unhappy consequences as anything in southern Europe ever was. Yet we hear innocent dispensers of information assure us that Yap is only a little speck in the Pacific over which no one would think of going to war. They forget that America nearly went to war with Germany in 1889 over the Samoan Islands, which then meant much less to her. And the settlement in Europe at the Peace Conference has greatly enhanced the position of the present powers in the Pacific.

Until very recently two developments in Pacific affairs had not been given as much prominence in the press as they deserved. One, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, and the other the British Imperial Conferences, held every other year since 1907. Just in proportion as the Imperial Conferences have become, as it were, a super-Parliament to Great Britain, so has the Anglo-Japanese Alliance waned. And just as the so-called mandates over the various island groups in the mid-Pacific congeal from lofty aspirations to concrete management there are emerging in the Pacific the identical antagonisms that[Pg 348] made of the little group of states in Southern Europe the cause of the conflict.

The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was formed in 1902. Its aim was to oust Russia, and to guarantee British interests in China. Later on it was revised to include Japanese protection over India. But consonant with that agreement there blossomed in the British Empire a new thing to be reckoned with,—an independent Australian navy. That navy has by no means matured, it is not and cannot for years to come be a great consideration in the Pacific, but it has been from the start prophetic and explanatory of much that is taking place to-day. It is at the bottom of the problem, because it is the beginning of Australian independence, of her rise to nationhood. Let me rehearse the historical incidents in connection with this development.

Now, until the advent of that navy all the colonies had been paying certain sums yearly toward the maintenance of the British Navy,—Canada, Australia, New Zealand alike. But with the federation of the Commonwealth, Australia began to agitate in no mistaken terms for a navy of her own, to be built and manned by Australians, and kept in Australian waters, rushing only in an emergency to the support of the empire. Canada decided otherwise,—i.e., to build her own ships, but to merge them with the home fleet; New Zealand continued the old scheme. Being twelve hundred miles away from Australia, her isolation and her inadequate resources and population made her more timorous. With Australia the construction of a separate little fleet was the beginning of a straining at the leash. Then came the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which, while it allayed the fears of the Australians somewhat, intensified certain other phases of the problem, such as the White-Australia policy. The Russo-Japanese War did nothing to allay apprehension on the part of the Australasians.

For years both the Dominion and the Commonwealth[Pg 349] were absolutely obsessed by the naval question. Sir Joseph Ward, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, championed a single, undivided imperial navy; the late Mr. Alfred Deakin of Australia stood out strongly in favor of an independent navy. Seeing little hope of a very strong concession from England, Deakin extended and urged an invitation, in 1908, to the American fleet to visit Australia. He admitted that his object was to arouse Britain to fear an Australian-American "alliance." The thrust went home. The English "felt that it was using strong measures for an Australian statesman to use a foreign fleet as a means of forwarding a project which was not approved by the Admiralty." But even Sir Joseph Ward let himself go to the extent of declaring that they welcomed America as "natural allies in the coming struggle against Japanese domination."

And when at last the American fleet came to Australia, it received an ovation such as still rings in the conversation of any Australian with an American. For an entire week Sydney celebrated. Melbourne followed suit; New Zealand could not but take up the cue. Every one pointed with pride to the similarity between the Australian and the American. Australian girls virtually threw themselves into the arms of American sailors. It is even said that many a sailor remained behind with an Australian wife. Not even the Prince of Wales (now King George) was given such an ovation.

After that visit, so cordial was the attitude of Australians that everywhere they talked of floating the Stars and Stripes in the event of—what? In the event of pressure from Downing Street or from Tokyo. The Australian temperament is not one which buries its grievances or harbors ill-feeling. The Australian speaks right out that which is on his mind. And though much must be discounted because of this bubbling personality, almost primitive in its extremes, nothing that affects Australia can long be ignored by us.[Pg 350]

Frankly, the situation is this: Australia is set on her so-called White-Australia policy. Australia made it clear to England that, alliance or no alliance, she would never swerve from her policy of excluding Japanese and Chinese. When the American fleet appeared, knowing the exclusion of Orientals practised in America, Australia felt that bond of fellowship which comes from common danger. And everything was done to develop friendship; America became the pattern for everything Australian. Never particularly fond of the Englishman, at times discriminating against him as much as against the Oriental, advertising that "No Englishman Need Apply" when looking for labor, afraid of the little yellow man up there,—Australia naturally looked to America as a possible defender.

But along came the European war. Great Britain was in danger. America held aloof. Then everything changed. The wave of anti-American sentiment in Australia was much more pronounced than in New Zealand. This was a strange anomaly, for inherently New Zealand is much more imperialistic. But it was characteristic of the Australian. There was almost a boycott against American goods. One firm published a scurrilous advertisement which the American Consul-General at Melbourne showed me and said he had sent to Washington. For a time it looked rather serious, but in view of the Australian character, its importance was not very great. It was the impetuosity of a little boy, disgruntled because his opinion was not feared. Many said openly: "We were so fond of America and thought you were our friend. From now on we don't want anything from you. We don't want your protection."

Yet, as late as December 8, 1916, the Sydney "Morning Herald" said editorially: "And those of us who think of a possible run under America's wings forget that her strength at present is proportionately no greater than our own [Australia's]. She is not ready for either[Pg 351] offence or defence and she knows it. This being so, can we ask Great Britain," etc. The feeling toward America at that time was only commensurate with the petty jealousies that now rankle somewhat because of fear that America has taken to herself too much credit for the accomplishment of victory. But then it gave that stimulus to navalism in the South that the Australians wanted; further, it gave birth to the movement for greater independence in imperial affairs, which for twenty-five years had determined the policies of the several states.

Just recently a New Zealand navalist, writing in the "Auckland Weekly News" (New Zealand), brought up the dread specter "balance of power" again, calling attention to the fact that inasmuch as Japan is a great naval power and America is increasing her naval strength, it is for democratic Australasia to see to it that Great Britain does not lag behind with its fleet in the Pacific,—to maintain the balance of power. And the further sad fact was revealed that Australasia (seen in the expression of this one individual at least) did not care particularly whether, in the event of conflict, they were on the side of America or Japan.

Feeling did not take the same turn in New Zealand. That little country continued in its more imperialistic tendencies, was content to be a finger in the great hand of empire. In 1909, at the Imperial Conference, Mr. Joseph Ward sprung a surprise by offering a battle-cruiser to the Government without consulting his constituents at home. For this he was knighted. But the New Zealanders were in a mood to make him pay for it himself when he returned. Mr. (now Sir Joseph) Ward was severely criticized for what he did. He was ridiculed even by the university lads during their "Capping Carnival." They took him off in effigy and carried a little boat with a sign saying: "This is the toy he bought his crown with." Upon his return from the conference[Pg 352] he lost his Prime Ministership and a "conservative" government came into power. Later developments so justified him that he became a sort of political idol for a while. When the cruiser visited New Zealand, in 1913, the excitement knew no bounds.


© Underwood & Underwood


Photo by Brown Bros.

The "Fathers" of the Anglo-Japanese alliance



© Underwood & Underwood

Japan's foremost statesman assassinated in Korea, October 26, 1909


Photo from Adachi

President of South China Republic

Germany was always regarded as a potential enemy. The colonies had always arched their backs at the proximity of German possessions in the South Seas. When in 1889 Samoa was the bone of contention, the colonies were rather eager to have America take it, in preference to the Germans. Then, as Japan came to the fore, America as a potential protection became more and more obvious to Australasians. The Panama Canal intensified their conviction. They looked forward to a combination of British and American power for the furtherance of peace as they conceived it should be maintained, and consciousness of their own destiny in the Pacific was stimulated. Suddenly they were brought close to the United States. The anti-Japanese riots in California, the annexation of Hawaii, the protectorate over the Philippines all pointed to the Australasians lessons for their own guidance. They could not expect from England the same keen interest in racial questions which manifested itself in America. America demonstrated the dangers of having two unmixable races like the white and the black together; Hawaii showed them that Asiatic immigration is a breeder of trouble. They do not seem to see that circumstances are not the same, that the pressure of population has become much more keen, that industrial conditions in the world to-day are altogether different from what they were when Great Britain refused to have her American colonies put down the kidnapping of Africans; that America to-day has 110,000,000 people and has encouraged them to come from every country in Europe, as Australia does not.

Australia looks only at the most obvious phase of the problem,—that certain people are not happy together.[Pg 353] Whether or not she over-estimates her own strength against the pressure of changed conditions, remains to be seen, but she is pursuing her own course with a certain steadfastness that is at once a pathetic blindness and a courageous self-assertion. In a country whose political outlook is essentially generous, whose labor experiments have been extremely costly to her, it strikes one as a great contradiction of principle. How can a labor government be so utterly opposed to the extension of ideal opportunities to laborers from other lands seeking to enjoy them? How can she be so utterly capitalistic on a national scale when nearly everything within her own ken is laboristic? The explanation of this enigma lies in a certain measure in the manner in which Australia has set about making herself independent of her mother country and, while working indirectly for the break-up of the empire, is becoming imperial in her own small way. All these counter currents must be seen clearly before understanding can follow. They whirl about the pillar of imperialism—England—and have come out clearly since the war. They hinge upon the mandates over the South Sea Islands.


© Underwood & Underwood



© Underwood & Underwood

Chinese Ambassador to Great Britain



Photo from Adachi

The most prominent Liberal in Japan


While, as has been shown, Australia has for twenty years pursued a course that threatens to lead toward separation from England, New Zealand has bound herself closer and closer. Australia, however, has been extremely shy of any semblance of rupture. She does not want to break away. She feels her isolation too much. But what she wants is in a sense the rights that American states have within the Union. She wants to be independent, to be able to develop in her own way, to expand, if necessary, without danger of attack. This spirit is inherent in the Australian temperament. When I told any Australian that I was traveling and tramping on "me own," he could not understand it. He could not[Pg 354] go without a mate. He wanted to be sure that if he got into any scrape and was with his back to the wall, his mate was there to help him. Still, he wanted to fight alone. It did not seem to occur to any of these people that a civilized man might go the wild world over and not have occasion to fight. And this trait comes out in Australian international relations. She wants to pursue the White-Australia policy contrary to sentiment in England, to develop her own navy, to hold the whole continent against the time when full nationhood will have become a reality. But for the time at least she will not declare her independence of Great Britain. She will not even give Britain the imperial preference in trade which would compensate her for her trouble. But she did show in the last war that she realized her responsibilities. In the Boer War it was said that her assistance was merely for the sake of giving her men adventure and practice for possible later use in her own defense. And in this war conscription was defeated because, as it was openly declared, it was not certain what the turn of affairs in Europe might be. It was felt imperative that the men be not all gone and the continent left undefended. And that contingency was voiced by the Premier of Queensland as involving—Japan. To the outsider, Australia's attitude seems extremely selfish, but to enthusiastic young Australia, with the wide world before her, with a future that looks as promising as that of America, it seems the only logical one. And as long as her potential enemies do not take the trouble to show by deeds that they are not enemies, her reasoning is not unjustifiable.

But a strange thing has happened to Australia. She has got what she was after, and now she hardly wants it. She fought for the imperial conference method of settling imperial affairs. Australians have time and again declared that though an empire, they are a nation first and foremost. That the empire represented too hetero[Pg 355]geneous a list of peoples for them to forget that an Indian, though part of the empire, is still an inferior as far as they are concerned. And Australia realized that the mother country could not see eye to eye with her on that score. Yet she insists on the Anglo-Japanese Alliance remaining in some form acceptable to her and to America. How is that to be? What has happened since peace was declared?

Australia and New Zealand were loudest in the protest against the return of the South Sea Islands to the Germans. New Zealand soldiers had taken Samoa; the Australian navy—what there was of it—had cleared the neighboring seas of German raiders. But though they asked that Germany be deprived of the possessions, and though the leaders thundered for a New Zealand mandate over Samoa and an Australian mandate over New Guinea, the people realized that they did not particularly care for the burden of looking after these lands. Mr. Hughes of Australia urged annexation. The people as a whole preferred that Great Britain should annex them and guarantee the dominions against possible dangers from enemy control. They felt they could not stand the cost of governing them. They were even not averse to their being turned over to America. They have come to realize that they were much better off before the war, when they merely contributed their small quota to the support of the navy; now Great Britain has intimated that she can no longer maintain that navy without their full share in its costs. Besides, the mandate over the islands is not going to be simple.


Before giving consideration to the developments which not even the Australasians had anticipated, let us look upon the gains they have made. They have acquired some new possessions which make of them an empire within the empire, as it were. The islands of the south Pacific are to be ruled as though they were an integral[Pg 356] part of New Zealand and Australia, yet they have their own facets just as the Dominions had their own problems within the empire. They afford them certain commercial advantages: copra and cocoa from Samoa, phosphate from Nauru, which alone has an estimated deposit amounting to forty-two million tons. Nauru is of utmost importance to them because they are extensive agricultural countries. It has been agreed that Great Britain take 42%, Australia 42%, and New Zealand 16% of the export. The South Seas as a whole supply 14.7% of the world's copra supply, and this may yet be greatly increased. But this is nothing compared with the advantages they afford as ports of call. Further, if the plan of linking the islands together by wireless is effected, they will become an outer frontier for the Antipodes of inestimable value. There is even a faint suggestion of binding them together into one separate governmental entity,—a buffer state, as it were, between the big powers in the Pacific.

But what are these few assets compared with the greatly extended line of defense now left to the Dominion to keep up? What is that to the great problem of how to develop the native races? Australia is interested in developing Queensland, a tropical region, not the distant island beyond. The question of labor is bad enough for themselves, without having added regions to worry about. Throughout the Pacific the problem of where to secure man-power is pressing. Hawaii cries for labor; Samoa is in a similar state; Fiji is troubled with the indentured Indians now there. Go where one will, the islands would yield readily enough if cheap labor were available. But Australia and New Zealand are not willing to exploit these islands at the expense of cheap Asiatic labor which evolves into a racial problem as soon as its returns become adequate. As for the mandates both labor and capital in the South Seas are not keen about these war orphans. A further problem is, what[Pg 357] will happen when the policy applied to island possessions conflicts with the course permitted by the law of the mandate? What is worse yet, the mandate over the South Seas has brought Japan closer by hundreds of miles to both New Zealand and Australia, and has thrown open the question of admission of Asiatic people to these islands. The Australasians feel that they are obliged to protect not only themselves from Asiatic competition, but the native races as well. If they are to carry out the provisions of the mandate to rule the islands for the good of the natives, they feel that they cannot introduce Asiatic labor, which undermines the natives economically and morally every time it is attempted. These are some of the problems Australasia inherited from the Peace Conference.

How have they affected the relations of New Zealand and the Commonwealth of Australia with Great Britain? They have put a new strain upon the empire as such; they have put an added strain upon the relations between Japan and Great Britain; they have driven a wedge into the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

Further, the whole question of mandates as it pertains to the Pacific has completely opened new sores. The island of Yap, which has been in the press so much of late, is an example. A blow at so vital a factor in world relations as cables would be like a blow on the medulla oblongata. Yet under that new and misleading term, "mandate," Yap became Japanese, and the near future is not likely to know just what was done when Germany's colonies were apportioned under its ruling. Yet what is fair for Great Britain and the Dominions should be fair for Japan, and if mandate means possession for one it ought to mean it for the other. But where do we come in and where the peace of the Pacific? Already, as stated elsewhere, Japan has had in mind the fortification of the Marshall Islands. She is proceeding to fortify the Bonin Islands and the Pescadores. She[Pg 358] is, according to a very recent rumor,—and rumors are really the only things one can secure in such matters,—establishing an airship station on the southeast coast of Formosa,—not on the west, which would shorten her distance to China, but on the east, cutting down mileage to the Philippines. And we? Well, we know what we are about, too. Hence, the sooner such matters as mandates are defined, the better for the world.


How would these things work out with the new British arrangement as to the control of the Dominions? We have seen that behind the whole struggle for the development of an Australian navy was the desire for greater independence. As long as the war lasted, no troublesome topics were broached. Now that the war is over, one may expect the feathers to begin to fly. The Dominions are not stifling their desire for greater and greater freedom. They were involved in a colossal war without ever having been consulted. They feel that now they have earned their right to express judgment on international affairs. They realize that nothing could be done effectively if Downing Street were hampered by several wills at work at the same time. Yet it is obvious that the people of the Dominions are concerned first with their own affairs, as nations, and are devoted to Britain only in a secondary manner. They are now conscious of their power, and are determined to wield it. They have made and are doing everything to continue to make friends on their own, by whom they mean to stand through thick and thin. At the Peace Conference they were not inferior to any of the deliberators, and signed the Peace Treaty as virtual members of the League of Nations.

"But," asks the Wellington "Evening Post," "are the Dominions ever to cast an international vote against the Mother Country on a question relating, say, to the[Pg 359] future of the Pacific regarding which their interests and wishes might rather harmonize with those of the United States?"

Mr. Massey, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, on the other hand, held "that the Dominions had signed the Treaty not as independent nations in the ordinary sense, but as nations within the Empire or partners in the Empire."

But to show how complicated the whole position was, a Mr. W. Downie Stewart, M.P., pointed out that

When New Zealand signed the Peace Treaty ... she took upon herself the status of a power involving herself in all the rights and obligations of one of the signatories.... That means that she may have created for herself a new status altogether in the world of foreign affairs, and instead of being an act to bring together more closely the component parts of the Empire, it may be that it was the first and most serious step toward obtaining our independence and treating ourselves as a sovereign power.

And in connection with Samoa he says the time may come when, having been recognized as an independent power, they will be told "we look to you in future, whenever a question of internal affairs arises, to act as an independent power, making peace or war on your own initiative."

Prime Minister Hughes, of Australia, however, has been steering a middle course. He points to the dangers lying ahead, and to the absolute necessity of keeping close to Britain. He urges that the alliance with Japan be renewed, but in such a way as to leave no danger of losing America's friendship. But he shows that the spirit of independence is still uppermost in Australia. Declaring that "The June Conference has not been called to even consider Constitutional changes," he adds: "It it is painfully evident from articles which have appeared in the press and in magazines ... that to a certain type of mind, the Constitution of the British Empire is far from what it should be."

But though Hughes is to-day the leader of Australia,[Pg 360] it is not because he has the country back of him. It is rather because there is unfortunately no better man on hand. He has never cared much for consistency, and even in the matter of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance there is a suggestion of yielding that makes one feel uncertain. He has declared that at the present conference the question of a reorganization of the Government so as to give the Dominions a direct share in the control of imperial affairs is not even being thought of, but it is evident in his speech that that question is going to be delayed only because more pressing matters, such as the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and Imperial Naval Defense, must be dealt with first. In other words, as spokesman he realizes that "little" Australia, with its five million people and its vast continent has asked too much of its parent to be allowed to stand alone. So he is pouring oil on the troubled waters by trying to devise an Anglo-Japanese Treaty "in such form, modified, if that should be deemed proper, as will be acceptable to Britain, to America, to Japan, and to ourselves."

But there is a third consideration in this whole question, and that is Japan. What is Japan going to say about it all? For some time Japanese have been rather cool in their enthusiasm over the alliance, because it seems to them to have outlived its usefulness and because Article 4 absolves Great Britain from assisting Japan in the event of war with America. The "Osaka Asahi," one of the most influential of Japanese journals, has boldly advocated its abrogation. The reason for both British and Japanese indifference is obvious. Russia and Germany are out of the way. British mercantile interests are not at all satisfied with Japanese methods in China. The alliance has been disregarded twice,—when the Sino-Japanese Military Agreement was signed, and when the Twenty-one Demands were made. Furthermore, the alliance never protected Japanese interests when they[Pg 361] came in conflict with the interests of the colonies, nor has it prevented British interests from suffering in the Far East. As a protective alliance it has little more to do except to guarantee Great Britain against Japan and Japan against Great Britain. China is extremely antagonistic, because she deems herself to be the worst sufferer. She is the main point under consideration, yet she has not been consulted. Hence she has done everything in her power to arouse public opinion against its renewal.

Nevertheless, Japan has been concerned enough for the renewal of the alliance to make a departure from her age-long attitude toward the imperial family that is extremely interesting if not illuminating. The recent visit to England of Prince Hirohito, heir to the throne, while meant to widen his grasp of world affairs, was certainly intended also to arouse public feeling there in favor of Japan and the alliance. This was the first time that any Japanese prince of the blood had left Japan. He hobnobbed with the common people, a thing unheard of in Japan. But if he succeeded in winning popular approval for the alliance, it was doubtless worth while from the Japanese point of view. Otherwise the risk would not have been justified, for such visits are not without their dangers. It is interesting to recall that when Nicholas, Czarevitch of Russia, made a tour of the world upon the completion of the Siberian Railway, in 1891, he passed through Japan. An attack upon his person by a Japanese policeman nearly brought down the wrath of the czar upon Japan, and there was much explanation.

While Japan was anxious to have the alliance renewed, she argued that England was more in need of it than she. America, she said, had somewhat eclipsed England. Japanese feel that England must now lean on Japan as never before. They felt this when the alliance was[Pg 362] formed. Count Hayashi, in his "Secret Memoirs," quotes a statement attributed to Marquis Ito, as follows:

It is difficult to understand why England has broken her record in foreign politics and has decided to enter into an alliance with us; the mere fact that England has adopted this attitude shows that she is in dire need, and she therefore wants to use us in order to make us bear some of her burdens.

Ito was then playing Russia against England. To-day England is being played against America, and the colonies are eager to utilize the feelings of Japan and America for a greater Pacific fleet and for their own augmented freedom within the empire. There is much talk of a secret agreement existing between Japan and Great Britain. Even if there were, Great Britain would be able to live up to it, in the event of war between Japan and America, only at the risk of losing her colonies.

However, that need not be taken as a serious check, for though Great Britain wants her colonies, she does not want them enough to forego all other considerations. On the other hand, a good deal of the pro-American feeling in the colonies cannot be accepted too easily, for, as we have seen, when America remained neutral they forgot blood relationship in their criticism. To-day there are interpretations of the alliance which would put Great Britain in exactly the same position toward her younger "daughters" for which Australasia condemned America in 1914-17. But both the psychological and material elements in the situation point to an absolutely united front in Australasia for America in event of all the talk about war with Japan coming to a head. That is best illustrated by a statement in the "Japan Chronicle." The editor says: "As we have repeatedly pointed out, it is unthinkable that Britain should join Japan in actual warfare with America. No Ministry in England which deliberately adopted such a policy would live for a single day." And the colonies, from Canada to Australia, will echo that sentiment, as they did boldly at the Conference.[Pg 363]

But it seems that with so much of the world vitally interested in maintaining peace in the Pacific there should be no difficulty at all in so doing. The colonies are sincere in their desire for amity with America; nor is it merely a matter of common language. No one who has taken the trouble to inquire into Far Eastern affairs finds the handicap of language even the remotest cause of misunderstanding. Actions speak louder than words, and none but the ignorant can now misread what is going on in Asia. Let but those actions coincide with the promises made, with the spirit of the alliance and with the constant expression of amity and good-will, and we shall see the mist of war in the Pacific clear as before the glories of the morning sun.

There seems, therefore, no justification for the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. It is to all intents and purposes virtually dead. Alliances on the whole have proved themselves treacherous safeguards. Is there not something which can be substituted for them? Cannot coöperation among nations replace intriguing misalliances, with their vicious secret diplomacy? One way has been launched, and in the succeeding chapter its character will be analyzed.

[Pg 364]



If all goes well, the open shop in international finance is a thing of the past; at least so far as China goes. On May 11, 1920, exactly eighteen months after the signing of the armistice, Japan formally declared her willingness to enter the new consortium for lending money to China, and on October 15, following, representatives of the British, French, Japanese, and American banking-groups met in New York and there signed the provisions by which they are for the next five years going to finance China under what is known as the Consortium Agreement.

For a full year after the signing of the armistice, Great Britain, France, and America had been ready to act in consort in the matter of future loans to China, but Japan insisted on excluding from the terms of the agreement international activity in Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia. These two provinces have virtually become Japanese territory. Into these she has extended her railroads or added to those built by Russia, and over these she watched as a hen over ducklings. And because she strenuously sought to manœuver the Allies into admitting her prior rights to these regions, the consummation of the Consortium Agreement was delayed and delayed. Japan finally yielded, at the same time claiming that the powers conceded her special interests; while they, through their chief representative, Mr. Thomas W. Lamont, claimed that Japan waived these interests. We shall presently see what happened, but[Pg 365] in the meantime it is obvious that both yielded and both won out,—and that no nation is to-day sufficiently powerful and self-contained to be able to stand apart from the rest of the world. The closed shop in international finance has been ushered in, and the union of world bankers is now known as the Consortium.

In a chapter it is hardly possible to make more than a hasty survey of so intricate a stretch of history. China before the war with Japan was free from debt, but in order to meet the indemnity demanded by Japan she was compelled to raise money abroad. The scramble among the foreign powers to advance this money gave China certain advantages. Her own capitalists had money enough to pay off this indemnity immediately, but they did not trust their government and hoarded their funds. They knew that with the Oriental system of "squeeze" only a fraction of it would succeed in freeing their country.

Another factor conspired to introduce alien domination over China,—her lack of railroads and modern industries. She had wealth, man-power, everything that an isolated nation could possibly desire, but she was no longer an isolated nation, and she had nothing that an active nation among nations needed for its very existence. Instantly, along with the loans, came concessions for railroad-building, and the development of China began. So deeply was China getting embroiled in alien machinations that five years later, seeing that the young emperor himself, Huang-Hsu, was head-over-heels in love with Western ways, the reactionaries precipitated the Boxer Uprising in 1900. This only resulted in another overwhelming indemnity, which China has not yet succeeded in paying off. Consequently, more loans had to be made, and more urgent still became the necessity for means of transportation and for the modernization of industry.

The Russo-Japanese War, which ordinarily might[Pg 366] have meant a modicum of relief to China, only succeeded in entrenching her enemy much more securely at her very door, and another period of alien scrambling over Chinese loans set in. Coöperation among various groups of foreign bankers regardless of nationality was not unknown, for absolute competition would most likely have been fatal. But thoroughly thought-out getting together was, in view of the existing jealousy among nations, inconceivable. Still, to such a pass had this suicidal competition come that by 1909 a consortium was proposed which aimed to include Russia, Japan, Germany, France, England, and America. It began to work, but Secretary of State Knox made a proposal for the neutralization and internationalization of the Manchurian railway system which met with a cold no from Japan. Shortly afterward Japan made an agreement with Russia which completely frustrated Knox's proposals, and the thing virtually fell through.

In 1913, President Wilson took the matter in hand. He refused to become a party to a scheme which, in his estimation, instead of working for the rehabilitation of China and the Open Door bound her helplessly. And ever since China has been getting "the crumby side" of every deal. For the plan as it then existed had no provisions against the pernicious practice of marrying China to one power after another with concessions, without giving any guaranty of the preservation of her dower rights,—freedom in her industrial and political affairs.

Russia then was Japan's "natural" enemy. Russia was threatening the "very existence" of Japan. Yet when Knox's proposal came up, Japan was ready to unite with Russia in order to keep the others out of Manchuria. She had to use that argument to save her face. Bear this in mind, for we shall presently see that a second time Japan used this argument in order to keep the consummation of the consortium in abeyance. It was more than a plea for special interests because of[Pg 367] propinquity; it was a plea that the peace and safety of the empire demanded it.

Propinquity! The pin in that word has pricked nearly every one who has shown any interest in China, no matter where. Japan used propinquity as a justification of her annexation of Korea, breaking her word to that kingdom in so doing. Yet Japan contends that she never has broken her word. Japan is a nation true to her word, but, like many another nation, is loose in her wording. She has guaranteed the Open Door in Manchuria and Mongolia,—and Korea. In Korea the door is shut, and Japan has made entrance to the other spheres of little advantage. Ill-content with penetration of these regions, she has, by means of her railroads there, sought to divert the course of Chinese trade from Shanghai through Manchuria and Korea and Japan. In this there is nothing intrinsically wrong. But she goes farther and tries to exclude consortium activity in other fields in these two provinces. But that these are not the only slices of China she is after,—that they are, in fact, only stepping-stones for the final domination of the great republic,—is attested to by certain well-known facts in Far Eastern affairs.

Japan and her friends assert she never has broken her word; her enemies declare she is sinister and not to be trusted. Neither statement is correct. Her methods may sometimes be sinister, but no one who follows events in the Far East is unaware of them, and Japan has taken no pains to conceal them. Actions speak louder than words. But has Japan actually never broken her word? We have already referred to Korea, whose independence Japan has guaranteed by published treaty. During the war Japan carried out the requirements of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, but Article V reads:

The High Contracting Parties agree that neither of them will, without consulting the other, enter into separate arrangements with another Power to the prejudice of the objects described in the Preamble of this Agreement.

[Pg 368]

Notwithstanding this clear stipulation, Japan immediately after capturing Kiao-chau from Germany, without consulting Great Britain as herein provided, issued the Twenty-one Demands on China. Of these Group V alone would have made a vassal state of China had she accepted them. Knowledge of these were kept from Britain completely, but when they finally leaked out, Japan vociferously denied them. Downing Street was not pleased, but there was much to be done in Europe just then. In 1918, Japan a second time made an arrangement with China without consulting her ally, Great Britain. This time it was the Sino-Japanese Military Agreement. At the moment Russia withdrew from the war and released the German prisoners, and that was the excuse for imposing combined military action under Japanese officers.

As though this were not enough, when the success of Germany on the western front was at its height, Count Terauchi, Prime Minister and arch-plotter in China, came out with a statement published by Mr. Gregory Mason of the "Outlook" to the effect that it was not unlikely that some understanding, if not alliance, might be effected between Japan, Russia and Germany. And the rumors of such an understanding having been actually arrived at, have since been shown to have had just foundation.

Furthermore, since 1917, according to "Millard's Review" for April, 1920, Japan has lent China about 281,543,762 yen or thereabouts, privately, for political and industrial purposes, for reorganization, railway construction, munitions, canal improvements, flood relief, wireless, forestry, war participation, and other undertakings.

These things must be recalled in considering the new consortium, as they show what led up to its final consummation. These actions of Japan indicate encroachment upon China to the extent of virtually closing the[Pg 369] Open Door. In this regard, the alliance has had a dual effect: while it makes possible for Japan to go as far as Britain would dare go, and even farther, on the other hand it tends to keep Japan in check. Hence, the state of mind of the Japanese on the subject of the treaty has been contradictory. They have regarded its renewal and its abrogation with about equal anxiety. From a moral point of view, they dare not stand alone in the world, being the only great autocracy remaining. Conscious of their power and twitching under the restraint which the alliance imposes, yet needing its support, they are trying to make it appear that Great Britain needs it fully as much.

As far as Great Britain goes, the alliance was formed chiefly to guarantee the interests of the empire, but also the Open Door and China's integrity. That is, that Japanese Yen and British Sovereigns should have full freedom to go to China to earn a living. Let us see what the various treaties and understandings purport to accomplish.

The Anglo-Japanese Alliance assures "The preservation of the common interests of all Powers in China by insuring the independence and integrity of the Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce and industry of all nations in China."

The Root-Takahira Understanding declares: "The Policy of both Governments [Japanese and American], uninfluenced by any aggressive tendencies, is directed to the maintenance of the existing status quo in the region above mentioned and to the defense of the principle of equal opportunity for commerce and industry in China." In other words, without an alliance, America has secured from Japan an understanding guaranteeing the integrity of China and the Open Door for her pet, the Dollar. Hence, except for the fact that it made no promises to the effect, "My Ally, right or wrong, but still my ally," this agreement says that the American[Pg 370] Dollar has as much right to earn a living in China as the Yen has.

But in the meantime the Yen has been having it all his own way, for the Sovereign and the Franc and the Dollar were very busy doing things in Europe. And in good Oriental fashion the Yen has been breeding, and breeding rapidly. He was going to China, as we have seen, by the million and keeping China's interests and integrity, which all had guaranteed, in a very feverish state, notwithstanding alliances and agreements born and in embryo.

This, at bottom, is what the whole Far Eastern problem is,—all of the governments seeking opportunities in China and mutually binding and barring one another from aggression and concessions. They have all guaranteed China's "integrity," but none, except America, has actually lived up to the agreement, and China's integrity is rapidly ceasing to be an integer.

Now, if that were all there was to it, debate would be childish, but integers, like the atom, are not easily divided without creating something new. The atom becomes an electron; and the integer, when a nation, becomes a source of international conflict. Hence, it is of the utmost importance that China remain an integer. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance has failed to maintain China's integrity. The Root-Takahira Agreement seemed to cover the ground well enough, but that it was not sufficient is proved by the later necessity on the part of Mr. Lansing to supplement it by his so-called "understanding" with Viscount Ishii. However, that the Ishii-Lansing Agreement is loose and inadequate was obvious on the face of it and it was shown to be absurd when the Consortium Agreement was being negotiated. It seems that Secretary-of-State Lansing, realizing that his "agreement" with Ishii was being translated into a Monroe Doctrine of Asia, as it was never intended to be, fostered the new Consortium Agreement in order to[Pg 371] throw a ring round the Ishii-Lansing Agreement and define its limitations. With the very first approach the promoters of the consortium made to Japan, Japan, as we have seen, began eliminating from its scope everything that propinquity permitted, threatening not only the consortium but the various previous agreements. I state these facts not to condemn Japan, but to delve into the psychology of the powers who, at the Peace Conference at Versailles, came to the conclusion that the only solution for the situation in the Far East was a coöperative scheme. They must be borne in mind in order to understand why Japan withheld from concurring, and finally yielded.


America was viewing all this with no little apprehension. Matters in the Far East were extremely precarious at the time she entered the war. It was in order to reassure Japan and merely as a restatement of issues that the Ishii-Lansing Agreement was made. Japan's propinquity was recognized. But it was also recognized that the Open Door was being walled up. Hence, the American Government, which had withdrawn from the Sextuple Consortium, suggested that a new consortium agreement be made in which the four leading powers take equal part. These powers had been drawn closer together during the war, and that concord was to be taken advantage of before it had a chance to dissipate.

At the time that I wrote the article on "Lending Money to China" for the "World's Work," August, 1920, the whole consortium scheme was shrouded in mystery. Since then the correspondence that took place between the powers has in part been published. The way it developed is worthy of being outlined.

The American bankers had been asked by the Government to enter the proposed consortium. They were not over-enthusiastic about it, for at the time they felt they[Pg 372] had enough demand at home and in Europe for such funds as they could command. They realized that at that time (July, 1918) they would be expected to carry, with Japan, both England and France, but they agreed that "such carrying should not diminish the vitality of the membership in the four-Power group." But they did stipulate that "One of the conditions of membership in such a four-Power group should be that there should be a relinquishment by the members of the group either to China or to the group of any options to make loans which they now hold, and all loans to China by any of them should be considered as a four-Power group business."

Lansing replied to the bankers, accepting their stipulations, obviously his main intention in working for the consortium being, as I have said, to encircle the problem with a view to defining its limitations so as to make it impossible for Japan to interpret his agreement with Ishii too broadly.

These communications were transmitted to the British Foreign Office, prompting a reply from Mr. Balfour on August 14, 1918, wherein he inquired whether it was the intention of the American Government to enter the $100,000,000 loan to China for currency reform which was then under consideration and toward which Japan had already made two separate advancements; and whether it was the intention of the United States to confine activities to administrative loans or to include industrial and railway enterprises as well. Lord Reading made inquiry of the State Department and determined that both types of loans had been considered.

It is obvious from these communications that both Japan and Great Britain wished to retain their special interests in regard to the existing railway and industrial loans, and balked at their being pooled with those of the consortium. But England was ready enough from the beginning to forego these. The United States held[Pg 373] "that industrial as well as administrative loans should be included in the new arrangement, for the reason that, in practice, the line of demarcation between those various classes of loans often is not easy to draw."

Everything went along smoothly until Japan was consulted, and then it was found that while she was willing enough to enter into a consortium for the whole of China, she was emphatically unwilling to have Manchuria and Mongolia included. From the very beginning, the American, British, and French banking-groups and governments most decidedly refused to accede to Japan's demands in this matter, declaring that such a rendering would simply open up the sores of spheres-of-interests and concession-hunting, and completely nullify the purposes and intentions of the consortium. The Japanese argument is amusing. When Japan first encroached upon Manchuria and Mongolia, it was because of danger to her safety from Czarist Russia. Now she was face to face with Bolshevist Russia, and she trembled for her safety in these terms:

Furthermore, the recent development of the Russian situation, exercising as it does an unwholesome influence upon the Far East, is a matter of grave concern to Japan; in fact, the conditions in Siberia, which have been developing with such alarming precipitancy of late, are by no means far from giving rise to a most serious situation, which may at any time take a turn threatening the safety of Japan and the peace of the Far East, and ultimately place the entire Eastern Asia at the mercy of the dangerous activities of extremist forces. Having regard to these signals of the imminent character of the situation, the Japanese Government all the more keenly feel the need of adopting measures calculated to avert any such danger in the interest of the Far East as well as of Japan. Now, South Manchuria and Mongolia are the gate by which this direful influence may effect its penetration into Japan and the Far East to the instant menace of their security. The Japanese Government are convinced that, having regard to the vital interests which Japan, as distinct from the other Powers, has in the regions of South Manchuria and Mongolia, the British Government will appreciate the circumstances which compelled the Japanese Government to make a special and legitimate reservation indispensable to the existence of the state and its people....

The utter fallacy of this is obvious. The consortium was not a miracle-worker. Its efforts would necessarily ex[Pg 374]tend over a series of years; its principals were as opposed to Bolshevism as Japan was. But there was Japan,—bureaucratic, imperialistic Japan,—shedding tears over the prospect of what might happen to her people from Bolshevism if the consortium were permitted to take a share in the development of Manchuria and Mongolia,—to which she has no right other than that of her might.

No pressure such as could be said to be in the nature of an ultimatum to join the consortium was exerted, of course, but it was obvious that unless Japan withdrew her objections the consortium would not materialize. Japan made an effort to get the other powers to make some written statement or accept her formula securing to her these special rights; but the others were adamant. Japan specified just what she feared,—the construction of other railroads.

The United States replied:

The American Government cannot but acknowledge, however, its grave disappointment that the formula proffered by the Japanese Government is in terms so exceedingly ambiguous and in character so irrevocable that it might be held to indicate a continued desire on the part of the Japanese Government to exclude the American, British, and French banking groups from participation in the development, for the benefit of China, of important parts of that republic, a construction which could not be reconciled with the principle of the independence and territorial integrity of China.

It is interesting to note that in all these communications, the Japanese Government is constantly referring to its own special interests and dangers, whereas the others repeat and repeat their concern for the integrity of China. It may be, after all, that the Japanese Government is the more honest, though America's stand is unchallengeable.

I have dwelt sufficiently, I believe, with the emanations from behind departmental doors. The human elements are much more interesting. Suffice it to say that Japan held out for a long, long time, and things seemed hopeless. At last, after an understanding with all those[Pg 375] concerned outside Japan, Mr. Thomas W. Lamont went to the Far East as spokesman for the other powers, to carry on negotiations with Japan.

Unfortunately—whether by design or not I have no way of telling—an American business mission also went to Japan at that time, upon the invitation of Baron Shibusawa, popularly known as the "Schwab of Japan." Everybody got these two parties mixed, but I have since been very earnestly assured that Mr. Frank A. Vanderlip, who headed the business mission, had nothing whatever to do with Mr. Lamont's mission. Be that as it may, it was certain even from the twin-reports that while the business mission was being lavishly entertained, Mr. Lamont was seeing all that he wanted to see, and saying all that he wanted to say. The mission was discussing with Junnosuke Inouye, Governor of the Bank of Japan, and Baron Shibusawa, and others such questions as Japanese immigration, the Shantung situation, the invasion of Siberia, and the submarine cables. All that the world at large got as to the decisions arrived at was the fact that views were exchanged in a friendly manner, and some delightfully amusing articles from the pen of Julian Street who was the scribe of the occasion.

In the meantime, Lamont, who seems to be a man for whom a dinner has little attraction, left the impression on the Japanese Government that Japan and Japan alone would lose by holding back. When he left Japan, to go to China, the Japanese Government was still determined on securing from the powers exemption for Manchuria and Mongolia.

But a series of subsequent events helped Japan to make up her mind. First and foremost among these was the financial slump in Japan, which was seriously embarrassing. This was followed by financial stringency in Manchuria and the eagerness of the directors of the South Manchurian Railway,—who are at present involved in a far-reaching scandal for a loan which could[Pg 376] not be floated in Japan and which was sought in America. Third, as either cause or effect, was the situation in China. China, on account of Japan's courtship of the Peking militarists and the rape of Shantung, had instituted a boycott of Japanese goods the bitterness and force of which Japan had learned to respect. These circumstances alone might have been enough to drive a nation to desperation; but a sensitive nation like Japan would suffer these things a thousand times over in silence. One thing Japan cannot stand, and that is the distrust of the world.

And the Lamont party found from the moment it left Nagasaki for China until the moment it set foot again in Shimonoseki on its return that there was not a white man nor a yellow man who had a good word to say for Japan. Japan was an isolated country socially,—isolated a thousand times more definitely than she is geographically. And the good sense of the Japanese has brought them to a realization that that does not pay. Japan wants the good-will of the world, and she wants it sorely.

When Mr. Lamont arrived in China he did not find the same atmosphere he had found in Japan. The fact that he had been in Japan first added to the suspicions of the Chinese. They had many things to ponder over and be suspicious about. China remembered the processes of westernization which she had had to answer with the Boxer Uprising in 1900. But China has never forgotten the return of the Boxer indemnity by the United States.

In Peking some students threatened to stone the hotel at which Mr. Lamont stopped. A few came as special representatives of the student body, according to one report, and quizzed Mr. Lamont for two hours. They left apparently satisfied. Their strong plea was that no loans be made to the Government until peace between North and South was established.[Pg 377]

The press of China and the people of China were divided. Some of the Japanese, who owned papers in China, sought to alienate the sympathy of the Chinese for America; some tried other tactics. The Chinese militarists in Peking who had tasted of the flesh-pots of Nippon were not over-anxious to put themselves on a diet. Chinese patriots saw in the new consortium a rope of a different fiber. The consortium party found itself double-crossed by obvious agencies.

In a measure this was justified all the way round, for the undertaking was shrouded in secrecy on many points which could not but discredit it in the eyes of many. Perhaps this was unavoidable, but it was none the less natural that China should be wary. In her own sort of way, China was taking inventory. The last loan of $125,000,000 only arrived in China as $104,851,840 after deductions for underwriting had been paid. And before the sum can be paid off, it will have cost China $235,768,105 by way of interest and commissions. And China knows that only a small part of this tremendous sum had gone into actual constructive work.

Yet China needs assistance. Railroads are the world's salvation and China's crying need. But for lack of railroads, China would to-day be the most powerful nation on earth, financially and politically. And the fact that her railroads are short while those of other countries are long makes of her a prey to those tentacles of trade against which she is helpless. China has to-day only about 6,500 miles of railroad: she needs 100,000. She who built the rambling wall has still only foot-paths. She needs 100,000 miles of highway. Her canals, which a thousand years ago kept the country open to trade and partially free from famine, have fallen into disrepair. She needs telegraphs, telephones, wireless. If only the money she borrowed went into such enterprises China would repay the world a thousandfold.[Pg 378]

It was therefore natural that China should be suspicious, and likewise natural that she should be willing to be convinced. What young China wanted most was definite and outspoken assurance that her integrity as a nation would not be jeopardized.

The leading Chinese newspapers expressed their gratitude at repeated, assurances of due respect being given to Chinese public opinion and promises to refrain from interfering in her internal affairs. But others, like the China "Times," said:

The British plan to control our railroads jointly, and the American plan is to monopolize our industries jointly, while the Japanese plan to monopolize all our railroads, mines, forestry, and industries. Any one of these plans will put our destiny in their hands.

It also declared: "Although it has been reported that Japan will make certain compromises, it is hard to say to what extent these will go."

To this Mr. Lamont said: "It now remains for the Japanese Government formally to confirm this desire [of the bankers to join]. If they fail to do so and if Japan remains outside the consortium, I should think that Japan might prove to be the chief loser." He next made it clear to China that she would first have to establish peace if she is to be helped. Aside from the reorganization of the currency, the consortium is going to see to it that a sufficiently safe audit system is established, so that it will be sure that all loan expenditures go as far as they should into the properties themselves. Further, the Chinese Government, in order to save some cash, refused to pay on certain bearer bonds which had come back rather curiously. These were formerly German property bonds on the Hukuan Railway loan which Germany had evidently sold off before the war. They had now come back by way of England and America. The Chinese Government wanted proof of transference on bearer bonds. Mr. Lamont pointed out to them that this action would totally discredit them and that the ability to secure further investments would be very slim[Pg 379] unless these were redeemed. Mr. Lamont then returned to Japan.

Then it became known that the Japanese Government had finally given its consent. In Japan, opinion ranged from imperialistic chauvinism to liberal recognition of the consortium as a way out of the mess. On May 11 things came to a head. Mr. Lamont stated on his return to America that:

The fact that Japan has come into the Consortium for China without reservations should be made clear. The agreement that the Japanese banking group with the approval of its government, signed at Tokio, leaves nothing to be desired on this point; but in Japan, while there was perfect readiness by all authorities to announce that an understanding had been reached, there seems to be some reluctance to make public any statement that the Japanese Government had withdrawn its reservations as to Manchuria and Mongolia. It is only fair, therefore, that every member of the American banking group and American investors generally should clearly understand the facts.

Still Viscount Uchida, the Foreign Minister, insisted:

While other powers can afford to regard the new Consortium solely as a business matter Japan is otherwise situated, since her vital national interests, such as national defense and economic existence, are apt to be involved in enterprises near her border. When the three other governments expressly declared to Japan that they not only did not contemplate acts inimical to her vital interests but were ready to give assurance sufficiently safeguarding them, the Japanese Government decided to confirm the Paris agreement.

What Japan expected the powers to say other than just that is a matter for diplomats to play with. To the common person this statement is absolutely meaningless. It is a generalization which leaves the door open for Japan to object to loans for any work which she feels will jeopardize her national life or vitally affect her "sovereignty." Any railroad scheme which might become a competitor by diverting freight from Manchurian lines owned by Japan would be a menace to Japan's sovereignty.

For instance, it seems understood that among these vital interests are certain loans to Chinese capitalists and corporations. And doubtless Japan would right[Pg 380] now much rather have the millions which she has sunk in China in her own hands. But if these loans are recognized, what guarantee is there that even under the nose of the consortium further "loans" will not be made?

Is it likely that Japan will relinquish her hold on the South Manchurian Railroad, which in her opinion is of strategic importance? If the consortium is to have no say in such vested interests, obtained before its conclusion, how is it going to secure itself against these very interests being used as a means of breaking up the unity of the cooperative enterprises? How is so sweeping a clause going to be kept within bonds? If Japan is left in full control of the Manchurian railways, if the consortium has not really dissolved the Sino-Japanese Military Agreement, if Japan is to control the German-built railways in Shantung, how is the consortium going to better things in the Far East? There is altogether too much silence on many points in the consortium project for the world to have any real assurance. Secret diplomacy having been discredited, it seems that bankers have themselves broken into diplomacy. Of course, individuals have a perfect right in this modern world to discuss whatever matters they like,—and governments, too, for that matter,—but it should seem that the people as a whole whose money, whose happiness, and whose lives are involved have a right to know to the last detail what has been traded off in the making of the consortium. China evidently was placated by Lamont with full explanations of what the consortium intended. In brief it was this:

The agreement calls for the pooling of all such interests of the several powers in China as had not been already developed separately, in a "full and free partnership." In this way it is hoped that future spheres of influence will be eliminated, jealousies between the powers be done away with, and Chinese grafters be pre[Pg 381]vented from pitting one power against the other for their own selfish ends. Chinese complain that now they will not be able to secure loans on a competitive basis and that therefore they are being more surely strangled. That is partially true. But it is also true that corrupt Chinese officials have been keeping China and the world in turmoil for their own greedy ends. Both of these things must be stopped if peace is to obtain in the Pacific.

The guarantees given to China were to the effect that in no circumstances would the consortium undertake such private enterprises as banking, manufacturing, or commerce, but would devote itself entirely to the construction of railroads, the laying of highways, and the reorganization of China's currency. The consortium was to make loans to the central or provincial government only, but as a condition of their advancement, peace between the North and South was urged. The consortium was not to interfere in the domestic affairs of China. Loans were to be made only with the approval of the governments behind the bankers. Nor, of course, can you compel any one to borrow money from you, wherein China has the whip hand. Herein lies a very important possibility.

China has plenty of money. Its bankers hoard enough to clean up the country's debts in no time. But they cannot trust their governmental officials; they never have trusted them. But just lately these bankers have been awakening to the wisdom of foreign financial methods, and are adopting them. This may be the first good result of the consortium.

On the other hand, should the terms of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance displease China, she may refuse to recognize the consortium. What then? China has set out to strangle the alliance, which was formed without consulting her. But we speculated enough in the last chapter to show that should the consortium really work,[Pg 382] the Anglo-Japanese Alliance would cease to have any functional value.

But there are dangers in the consortium,—and even in the coöperative development of China. If Japan joins whole-heartedly in the consortium, she may be the greatest gainer. For here are all the powers mutually developing China, laying railways, and opening up the resources of the country. Who, more than Japan, is going to tap China's unlimited raw supplies,—the coal in Shansi, for instance, which is enough to supply the world's needs for a thousand years? And should Japan in the end still seek the hegemony of the East, she could utilize these railroads and resources for her own aggrandizement. Who could stop her? Have not the separate governments given Japan their assurance that she "need have no reason to apprehend that the consortium would direct any activities affecting the security of the economic life and national defense of Japan?"

There is, it is said, only little left to be told, but that little may be more than enough. But if China is really helped to strength and independence, then the greatest menace that has ever faced mankind will have been averted, and China, a country with the oldest culture in the world, will have been won back to civilization. Not in emasculated alliances but in a healthy cooperation will the peace of the Pacific be preserved. And the consortium, as things are in the world, is the first example of international good sense known to modern history.

Now, the Consortium Agreement is not an idealistic scheme. The powers recognize that the future peace of the world depends on how they manage their affairs in China. If the consortium throws all secrecy to the winds and comes out openly and at all times for the principles on which it was formed and for which the several governments have guaranteed their protection to these banking-groups, what use is there going to be for the alliance? Perhaps, to paraphrase President Wilson's statement[Pg 383] when he went across the Atlantic with his challenge for the freedom of the seas, Great Britain and Japan may now have to say to the world: "Gentlemen, the joke's on us. Why, if the consortium works in China there is going to be no need of an alliance!"

[Pg 384]


We have taken a long journey together. The main routes along the Pacific which are the highways of our past and future intercourse have been inspected. But the great Pacific basin is not yet everywhere safe for navigation. There is, I understand, a scientific expedition now at work thoroughly charting every inch of that wonderful watery waste. There is, I know, a scientific body under the directorship of Professor Gregory of Yale for the thorough research of ethnological materials among the races of the Pacific. But aside from the efforts of individuals, politically and socially and hygienically, there is nothing going on to bind the peoples together. I had nearly forgotten that a year ago we did send out a political expedition to the Far East, a Congressional expedition which spent four days in Japan and, I daresay, a week in China. Otherwise, we are still at the mercy of individual scribes, who, like myself, have their own points of view, their own motives, and their own reactions.

For years I have read religiously every interview reported in the press, with spokesmen for one country or the other on the Pacific. The mass of clippings I have accumulated I have time and again sifted carefully for some word or sign that might indicate the real problem. But I have failed to find any. I cannot lay the responsibility on the press. It rests with the individuals who have been asked to give their opinions. But as far as substance goes, they may all best be illustrated by a sentence from the speech of Viscount Uchida, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered before the Imperial Diet. I have the speech as it came to me from the East and[Pg 385] West News Bureau. The sentence I have selected, for the translation of which the Viscount is of course not responsible, is this: "It is true that this friendly relationship is not without an occasional mingling of incidents; that is almost inevitable in any international relations." All speeches such as these are remarkably free from definition. Speech after speech is reported, all plead for understanding, but in none of these is any basis for understanding given. Sentiment will not dissolve international suspicion.

Right here I should like to make it clear that Japan is not the only nation that is being maligned, as some would have us believe. Exclusion is practised not against Japan alone, though in other cases it is practised in a different manner. The Honolulu Chamber of Commerce excludes white men from entering its sacred sanctums nearly as much. Unless you are approved by the chamber, you will find it very difficult to take up a profession. As I look back over my years of wandering in the farthermost reaches of the Pacific I recall incident after incident that is indicative of what is toward.

Wherever competition is rife, the competitors lay themselves out to be courteous and friendly, but in the long runs that dissect the waters of that ocean, so secure have many of the steamship companies felt that decency has frequently been forgotten. The carelessness of the rights of the unhappy voyager who merely pays for a privilege on the Union Steamship Company is not conducive to international good feeling. The lack of common courtesy on the part of many of the employees of this company is proverbial even among the Britons in Australasia. Peoples in the goings and comings gain their impressions of countries very often from such samples as are forced upon their attention en route. And over the bars in the distant lands compatriots give vent to recriminations of the compatriots of other nations in a manner not flattering to either.[Pg 386]

One of the most unfortunate features of the whole problem of the Pacific is that only too often the men who are accountable for the most serious sources of dislike are men who at home would be kept in check by a healthy fear of social ostracism. But once a white man enters trade in an Oriental port as a clerk or salesman, he seems to consider it his bounden duty as a representative of his country to run down the natives as viciously as he dare. I have seen white men who at home would hold their tongues lest they offend some decent woman's ears with their vile language assume an air of superiority toward the men amongst whom they are living that is certainly not conducive to international amity. I have heard them express a longing for a chance some day to come back and "lick" these natives that, considering the human sufferings involved, is at the very depths of unrighteousness.

Nor is this feeling directed against Orientals only. I have heard serious statements from Americans against the British that are not only unjustifiable but astounding. And the British themselves maintain a lordly superiority to all others. The boast that "the sun never sets on English soil" is illustrative of a certain provincialism among Britons that is not healthful from an international outlook. Britons generally take such routes hither and thither as leave them always within the British Empire, and the result is a dull point of view with regard to foreign lands. To be regarded as a foreigner is a source of great irritation to a Briton; he cannot stand this "slur" when passing through America. Even within the British dominions themselves there are childish prides that make understanding impossible,—the New Zealander being against the Australian and both against everybody else.

These antagonisms more than all else are at the bottom of the confusion obtaining to-day in the Pacific. Their utter folly and futility are simply suicidal. Were it not better that we study carefully the social and political[Pg 387] ideals of every race on the Pacific and see in what manner such changes may be effected as will preclude conflict? Is not America's preëminence in the Pacific to-day due to her return of the Boxer indemnity, to her attempt at winning the sympathy of the Filipino, to her friendship for China? Cannot the sympathy and the emulation of races supplant their enmity and jealousy? In the manner in which the various peoples of the Pacific turn to their problems lies permanent peace. There is already a considerable veering round of national conceptions toward the recognition of our common welfare being dependent on mutual development, as in the case of the consortium.

One gets tired of the perennial expressions of felicitation of the "leaders" of states, of the sentimental balderdash which emanates from international "functions" of the world's "best" people, who don one another's garments and pledge one another eternal affection, of those who assure us that the fact that one nation has placed with "us" an order for the latest type of electrically driven super-dreadnaught indicates the love and fellowship obtaining between us. Only four years ago, Viscount Bryce admitted that "Most of us, however, know so little about the island groups of the Pacific, except from missionary narratives and from romances, like those of Robert Louis Stevenson, that the recent action of the white peoples in the islands is practically a new subject, and one which well deserves to be dealt with." And despite all those speeches, despite all the international societies—that exist, it seems, only to entertain celebrities, not to uncover misunderstandings that they may truly be corrected—real irritation comes from the average man's notions, and to him should attention be directed.

Those vast spaces to which Viscount Bryce referred, once regarded with such awe, are now criss-crossed with a veritable network of steamers. They have made short[Pg 388] shrift of the distances between the East and the West. We may invite one another across for week-ends, but not necessarily for life, and the impressions each brings away with him will go toward making up the sum total of what is going to be the thought of the Pacific. Are we to navalize the Pacific or to civilize it? Are we to convert every projecting rock into a menace, or are we to be honest navigators exposing every treacherous island for the safety of all races? Are we to scramble for interests in the Pacific, or are we to help races there to rise to strength and independence, so that each will be a healthy buffer against aggression? The "Valor of Ignorance" is not to be met with the blindness of force.

I sought to obtain a bit of information once from a dispenser of "understanding" located in New York, but he tried to lead me off the scent. It was not, he feared, to his country's credit that such and such facts be known. He was very sensitive, and gave me no assistance. This covering up of our weaknesses before the eyes of our neighbors is certain to lead to disaster. This putting our best foot forward, only to have the other ready for a nasty kick, is not going to bring about amity. If there is an ideal worthy of emulation in any race in the Pacific, we ought to know and honor it. If there is a sore which needs scientific political treatment, let us attend to it. Our problems are well defined, if we will but look for them; our obligations are clear, if we will but undertake them courageously.

We are not going to solve our problems as we did with the coming of Japan into the range of the world,—by adulation. To-day we are suffering from the effects of having made the Japanese feel that they are perfect and to be adored. The problem is one of unadulterated education, of education in the simple arts of self-support among the primitive people, and self-government among the more advanced.

But if our efforts are to be fruitful we must avoid[Pg 389] abstract education which leads to hair-splitting. It is to be education in the fundamentals,—education in the use of hands and brain for self-support and mutual happiness founded on justice. It is to be education of ourselves as well as of those we wish to elevate.

But the problem is even deeper than that. Merely elevating other races will not preclude conflict. Germany was well educated and on a level with, if not in many ways superior to the nations roundabout her. Her very development created friction. And the talk of Japan as a menace is largely due to the fact that Japan has grown out of the lowly state in which her exclusionists had placed her for two hundred and fifty years. As yet China is no "menace," for China has still her teeming hordes who curtail one another's usefulness.

Nor, as I have said in the chapter on Australasia, will the problem of our relationship with the people of the Pacific be solved by the effort of labor to keep up its own high standards by the exclusion of those of lower standard.

Nor will the problem be solved by our assuming more and more protectorates over simple nations unused to the tricks of diplomacy.

Our problem will be solved only by working assiduously for international coöperation. Our problem will clear away when all nations establish departments open to civil-service appointments of people who will enter the field of education and uplift work without other compensation possible than that of an honest salary. There should be a Department of Education for the Pacific in which the people of the United States do out of their own funds what we did in China out of the moneys paid in the Boxer indemnity. This department would study the races of the Pacific with a view to finding what are the special requirements of each particular people and how they can be supplied. There should be a Bureau of Social Hygiene and Sanitary Engineering recruited[Pg 390] from the American student body with luring pay, drawing thousands of young physicians and engineers out into the various Pacific islands to study the questions of the eradication of disease and the care of body and mind. There should be a Bureau of Civics and International Law carrying to the peoples of the Pacific whose simplicity lays them open to the chicanery of political parasites the simple truths of human relationships as we understand them. So the entire fabric of civilization might be spread over the waters of the Pacific. But to guard against the possibility of some sword piercing it and rending it must come the voice of civilization calling shame upon the present practices of any nation now operating in the Pacific in other than pacific ways.

All this must be done not by America alone, but by all the people now in a position to coöperate. Just as Japan codified her laws and changed them in conformity with those of the West, so as to regain full rights over foreigners in her own territory, so must all the nations reorganize their laws in conformity with the best interests of all. There must be judges in all lands who know the laws of other lands as well as their own and an attempt be made to bring them all in greater conformity to a universal standard of justice, of right and wrong. There must be educators set to work studying the educational systems of nations on the Pacific so as to bring the methods more and more in line with one another. There must be departments of health advising one another how so to remedy conditions as to eliminate the danger of spread of plague. It is not enough that we have an excellent department of health vigilant in the exclusion of plague; our department of health should co-operate with that of Japan and of Australasia, and of every island in the Pacific. In other words, we must realize that the problems of every group anywhere in the world affect for good or ill our own welfare.

Our problem in the Pacific is therefore ten times more[Pg 391] complicated than that which faced the powers in Morocco, Africa and Persia. While the diversity of nations was great in Europe, in the Pacific it is greater. But while the relationship in the Balkans was in some cases close, not only in sheer propinquity, but in development, in the Pacific not only is the blood running in the veins of the races in many cases extremely alien, one to the other, but the distances separating them in space and in development make coöperation and getting together difficult. This makes it easier for selfish nations to place themselves as wedges between them. The scramble after mandates in the Pacific indicates the recognition of their importance.

But in inverse ratio,—in so far as the races of the Pacific have none of the irritating intimacy which obtained in Europe, the problem is clearer. The repetition of the intrigues which Germany, through her daughter on the Russian throne, could carry out, is here impossible. Only once in my knowledge has royal intermarriage been attempted and it proved a failure. The Japanese changed their law against the marriage of their royalty with royalty of another race in favor of Korea—and to forestall a Japanese-Korean union we are told, the Ex-Emperor of Korea committed suicide. Insurrection followed. The marriage has since taken place, but Korea is no longer an independent empire.

The more pronounced differences of race should perhaps be recognized, but recognized with sympathy. Each race then presents its own problems. But over all must come recognition of the commonalty of man. This does not mean international fawning and flattering of one another. Racial equality must be admitted, but not as Japan sponsored it,—with the existence of her own castes and classes, and the oppression of Korea,—but in full recognition of the latent possibilities in all peoples. Japan regards herself as infinitely superior to all man[Pg 392]kind. So do we. But that must be replaced by realization of the historical worthiness of Orientals as well as Caucasians.

We have in the Pacific, as has been seen, a great number of races in varying degrees of development. Most of them know little of one another and hate one another less. They have never been close enough for serious conflict, and they need never be. We can instil into them through educational channels a regard for one another which all the love-potions in the world could not pour into the races of Europe, inured to war and slaughter and religious bigotry.

There is still one great obstacle in the way of a peaceful solution of the problems of the Pacific, an obstacle that can be overcome only by a rapid evolution or revolution. Even as the forces for the greater liberation of the people are at work in China, now bound no more by her own swaddling-clothes of imperialism, so must they be encouraged in Japan, whose bureaucracy is to-day entangling not only her own liberal elements, but a greater number of nations in the Pacific. Jingoists speak of the yellow peril as though it were a single thing, elemental and simply conquerable. But it is not very different from the peril of imperialism everywhere.

In the working out of the problems of the Pacific, Japan is the farthest from our ken. Our relations with Australia and New Zealand and with Canada—apart from Great Britain—are already more or less intimate. Just as Japan is beginning to realize that she must make China her friend, so must we four Western nations on the Pacific realize the fullness of the possibilities in coöperation. There should be an exchange of opinion, a greater supply of news from one to the other,—news of personal, educational and geographical value, in the nature of local news. With these four countries as a nucleus and the same thing going on between China and[Pg 393] Japan, the problem of the East understanding the West will be simplified.

But we must show that we appreciate the fine points in the Oriental civilizations, while the Orient will have to remove from its conscience the hatred of the foreigner. The millennium? Not in the least. Just the beginning of our groping toward human commonalty.

[Pg 394]

[Pg 395]



Mr. Sydney Greenbie,
      New York, U.S.A.

Dear Sir:

Your letter of 26th March has been forwarded to me from Samoa. I relinquished the Administration when Civil Government was established there.

The Chief whose funeral you saw was TAMASESE, a son of the late King Tamasese.... MATAAFA, the son of King Mataafa, died in the influenza epidemic in 1918 and I dug his grave with my own hands, everyone working hard to avoid a pestilence.

The Chief TAMASESE was made much of by the Germans when they were in Samoa, was taken a trip to Berlin but was not allowed to visit England. He remained pro-German to the end; one of the few Samoans who did so.

On his death-bed Tamasese remembered a promise made to his deceased father (he said the spirit of his father appeared to him and reproached him) that he would bring the late King's bones to the family burying place and he could not die in peace until this was done. I was approached in the matter and at once sent a Government launch with the family party to get the bones, and they were put in a coffin and buried in the family ground. This done, Tamasese passed away in peace in a very short time.

You are probably aware that when Tamasese's body was lying in state the hair was sprinkled with gold dust and a German crown made of white flowers was placed on the coffin. The widow had a Samoan house built alongside the tomb on the Mulinuu peninsula and lived in it for some months in spite of the stench which came from the tomb. She died in the influenza epidemic in 1918, having in the meantime named one of the native Samoan judges.

I am sorry the information I can give you is so meagre, but I have not my records here as yet.

Yours faithfully,                  
Robert Logan,        

Devon, England,
13th July, 1921.


Dear Mr. Greenbie:

Your letter of Feb. 20th was forwarded on to me here, and reached me yesterday.

I regret that I cannot tell you definitely as to the celebration held in Samoa in 1915, in honor of the late "King"; I returned to Samoa in 1917 after an absence of some years, and heard nothing of it. I think, however, that the celebration must have been for Mataafa, as the natives told you that the deceased Chief had been the favorite of Mataafa.

Stevenson rather despised Laupepa who although an amiable man and the rightful King, was of feeble character, and when broken up by the suffering and indignity of his deportation by the Germans, weakly ceded the throne to Mataafa out of gratitude for the stand taken by the latter on his behalf during the years of his exile.

My own conviction is that, had R. L. S. lived a few years longer, he would have realized that his championship of Mataafa was a mistake, and precipitated the very event he wished to avoid—the German rule in Samoa.

Very sincerely yours,



Apia, Samoa,        
October 5th, 1904.

A. M. Sutherland, Esq.,
        San Francisco, U.S.A.

Dear Sir:

The kind invitation extended to me by the members of the "Stevenson Fellowship" through your welcome letter or the 17th August, 1904, has been received by me with great delight. I thank you and the Committee from the bottom of my heart for remembering me, and for including my name in the long list of friends whom Tusitala has left behind to mourn his irreparable loss. I[Pg 396] would have very much liked to be present and meet you all on this fitting occasion, but the fact is, my health and old age will not permit me to cross the vast waters over to America. So I send you many greetings wishing the "Stevenson Fellowship" every success on the 13th November next. And whilst you are celebrating this memorable day in America, we shall even celebrate it in Samoa. It is true that I, like yourselves, revere the memory of Tusitala. Though the strong hand of Death has removed him from our midst, yet the remembrance of his many humane acts, let alone his literary career, will never be forgotten. That household name, Tusitala, is as euphonious to our Samoan ears as much as the name Stevenson is pleasing to all other European friends and admirers. Tusitala was born a hero, and he died a hero among men. He was a man of his word, but a man of deeds not words. When first I saw Tusitala he addressed me and said: "Samoa is a beautiful country. I like its people and clime, and shall write in my books accordingly. The Samoan Chiefs may be compared to our Scotch Chiefs at home in regard to their clans." "Then stay here with me," I said, "and make Samoa your home altogether." "That I will, and even if the Lord calls me," was the reply. Tusitala—story-writer—spoke the truth, for even now he is still with me in Samoa. Truth is great and must endure. Tusitala's religion and motto was: "Do ye to others as ye would have them do unto you." Hence this noble, illustrious man has won my love and admiration, as well as the esteem and respect of all who knew him. My God is the same God who called away Tusitala, and when it has pleased Him for my appointed time to come, then I will gladly join T. in that eternal home where we meet to part no more.

With perfect assurance of my best wishes for your progress and prosperity,—I remain, dear sir, cordially yours,

M. I.                        
C. C. MATAAFA            
High Chief of Samoa.


April 24, 1921        

Dear Madam:

Thank you very much for the letter which came some four months ago. I read it over, over and over again to memorise every word of the letter, and it was a glad toil. I thought of you and Mr. ... I thought of Messrs. F.... D.... and R.... and Miss G...., every body to-gether and every body separate that gave me untold happiness, and I heard the throbs of my heart. I told to my wife who is very glad to hear from me. As you know I got married in the year of 1913. And we have five children now. Please don't be scared! Two boys and three daughters. Takako oldest daughter six year, seven months old. Takashige, William (boy) four years; Fuziko Elsie two years and nearly four months; Chiyeko, Lucie eight months old. And this made me perfect papa, which is my joy and my pride! Beside this I have thirty acres of orange orchard (four years old) all is my own, and my wife's now which brought me four (boxes-horses) (?) poor fruit year before last, and seventy two boxes better fruit last year. I am expecting greater crop this fall. I read Mr. —— article about June drop in California Cultivator, and irrigated my orchards last December and this year I started to wet from February which no body does this in this visinity (orchardists of here keep orchards with weeds and wild oats as high as my shoulder all winter and they wait irrigation until orchards perfectly dry and cracke.) I am taking care our orchards after Mr. —— idea mostly with some of my own, as I feel as it mine but all of them are a collection of idea of other people's experiences.

I have debt of five thousand five hundreds dollars which need not to pay interest except one thousand five hundred dollars. This is my joy and my pride too, is it not?

Five children and five thousand five hundreds dollars debt are not big job to carry on, for me, but they make me very busy indeed. For this reason, I do not write to my friends, as often as I wish, of course I can, if I do, like this one, but it is great strain for me now.

Therefore please will kindly excuse, I shall not write you again until next Christmas probably.

Please remember me to Mr. —— and All your family.

When you will come to Terra Bella to see Mr. ——.

When you have spare time, and when you thought of old servant, please stop a moment at my humble dwelling place and give me chance to hear your voice directly. That will be my honor, that which will encourage me, if it is possible with Mr. F. P. It will be a greater honor for us. Befor I ask you to come to see us, we should go to see you first, but just excuse for the reasons as above written.

I shall leave the pen with prare of your sound health, and happiness. God be with you.

From your old servant                        

[Pg 397]


Adelaide, 132, 146

Adler, 90

Africa, 391

Alaska, 5, 317

Albatross, 129 et seq.

America: 10, 22, 100;
pioneer, problems of, 312, 314;
insular possessions of, 316 et seq.;
adventures of, in Pacific, 317 et seq.;
diplomacy of, in China, 326;
Japan in, 342 et seq.;
Japanese immigration to, 345;
attitude of, toward Eastern affairs, 371 et seq.

Ameridians, 6, 23, 25, 119

Andrews, C. F., cited on self-determination, 228

Andrews, Roy Chapman, quoted, 22

Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 355, 357, 359-360, 363, 367, 381

Antarctic, 10

Anthropologists, 24

Antipodes: 9, 26, 76;
legislation in, 285 et seq.

Apia: 87, 88, 100, 101, 105, 207;
a party in, 240 et seq.

Arafua Sea, 139, 157

Aryans, 20

"Asahi Shimbun," quoted on American diplomacy, 326

Asia: relation of, to human existence, 6 et seq., 14, 18, 22;
culture of, 23;
Britain's rock in, 168-178

Atlantic, 141

Atua, 76

Auckland: 13, 110, 114;
market, 272;
Art Gallery, 118

"Auckland Daily News," 351

Aurora, Shackleton's ship, 128

Australasia: political problems affecting, 281-296;
intermarriage in, 355 et seq.

Australasians: games of, 355 et seq.

Australia: 5, 6, 9, 14, 22, 53;
population of, 150, 158;
and the labor problem, 289 et seq.;
and immigration, 292;
and labor legislation, 293, 294;
attitude of, toward independence, 353;
and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 347-363

Australian Immigration Law, 295

Australoids, 21

Ava: 93, 94;
making of, 69, 70

Balboa: discovery of the Pacific by, 3 et seq.;
quoted, 3, 10

Balkans, 391

Bancroft, quoted, 212

Banda Sea, 139

Bagg, Mr., 145

Ban, 230

Bass Straits, 131

Beach-combers, 89

Belgium, 317

Best, Mr. Elsdon, 235

Birds of New Zealand, 124, 125

Bishop, Mrs. Bernice, 235

Black-birding, 68

Bland, J. O. P., 344

Bluff, 129

Boas, Franz, quoted, 24

Boer War, 354

Bondy, 132

Bonin Islands, 357

Botany Bay, 6, 132

Boxer Indemnity Fund, 323, 328, 389

Boxer Uprising, 308, 365

Brisbane, 136, 152

Britain, outpost of, in Asia, 168-178.
See also England, Great Britain

British Club, 96

Brown, Dr. McMillan, 25

Bryce, Viscount, quoted on Pacific Islands group, 387

Buddha, 8

"Bulletin," Honolulu, 38

Bushido, 305, 309

Calhoun, 326

California, 40, 103, 104, 343, 345

Cannibalism, 27, 28, 216

Canoes, 25

Canton, 4

Cape Horn, 5

Cape Liptrap, 131

Caroline Islands, 125

Caucasia, 17, 28

Celebes Sea, 139

[Pg 398]Chamberlain, Professor Basil Hall, quoted on Shintoism, 304, 305

Chaplin, Charlie, 43

Chapman, John, 312

Chatham Islands, 26

Chidley, 149

Chicago, 184

China: Great Wall of, 4;
effect of famine in, 27, 39, 129;
licentiousness in, 176, 177;
coolieism in, 177;
waking of, 189;
standards of, 189, 190;
and the Twenty-one Demands, 306;
American trade with, 308;
bureaucracy and, 324 et seq.;
development of, 365;
consortium for financing, 364 et seq., 373;
need of constructive work in, 377;
latest loan to, 377

China Sea, 139, 141

Chinese: 30, 132, 133;
gambling, 141;
music, 176;
superstition of, 186

Chosen People, 21

Christchurch, New Zealand, 109, 143

Civil War, 120

Coan, Dr. Titus Munson, cited, 215, 216

Cocoa plantations, 105

Compasses, 25

Confucius, 6

Consortium: Agreement, 370;
function of the, 381, 382, 383

Consumption, 120

Cook, Captain James, 5, 7, 18, 28, 216, 261

Coolieism, 177, 212, 343

Copra, 53, 56, 57

Coral reefs, 37

Cradle of Mankind, 21

Culture, 27

Customs, 23

Dante, 89

Darwin: quoted on South Pacific, 22, 24, 28

Davuilevu, 61, 62

Deakin, Mr. Alfred, 349

Dengue fever, 110

Desolation Gully, 112

Dewey, Professor: cited on Japanese birth rate, 343

Divorce, 254 et seq.

Draft Act: in relation to the Maories, 123

Drake, Sir Francis, 4, 7, 9

Dunedin, New Zealand, 109, 112, 113, 127

Dutch, 4, 10

East and West News Bureau: statement of on alien labor in Japan, 332, 385

Easter Islands, 25

Eastern, the, 132, 133, 136

Eden, 17, 23

Elephantiasis, 94, 95

Ellis, Havelock, quoted, 283

Emerson, 108

England, 19, 20, 22, 24.
See also Great Britain

English, 19, 20

English Corporal Correction League, 135

Episcopal See of Australia, 138

Equator: astride the, 128-142

Europe, 17, 20, 22

Europeans: 18;
effect of famine on, 27, 52

"Evening Post," Wellington, New Zealand, quoted, 358, 359

Extinction: danger of, of primitive races, 205 et seq.

Famine: effect of upon civilized nations, 27

Fan-tan, 141

Fiji: 11, 12, 13, 18, 21, 32;
relation of, to the Pacific, 52 et seq., 81, 105, 356

"Fiji Times," Manager of, quoted, 58

Fijians: 14;
characteristics of, 19, 20, 21;
study of, 52-78;
personal appearance of, 59, 60;
characteristics of, 64 et seq.;
dances of, 67;
women, 70 et seq.;
tastes of, 71 et seq.;
music and dances of, 71, 72;
schools for, 76, 84, 85, 86;
jail of the, 73;
submersion of, 223 et seq.

Filipinos: habits and customs of, 162 et seq.

Fire-walkers of Mbenga, 13

Food, 27

Formosa, 298

Four-River Group, 372

France, 100

Frenchmen, 20

Fujiyama, 35, 193

German New Guinea, 156

German Plantation Company, 89

Germans: in Samoa, 88, 89, 90

Germany, 24, 100, 389, 391

Golden Gate, 7

Governor of Samoa, 101

Great Barrier Island, 13

Great Barrier Reef, 136, 137

Great Britain: attitude of, toward Pacific possessions, 283 et seq., 360, 361;
[Pg 399]attitude of toward her colonies, 362

Great Wall of China, 4

Gregory, Professor, 384

Haleakala, 48

Halemaumau, 51

Hauraki Gulf, 13

Hawaii: music of, 8, 9, 16, 17, 23, 32;
aspirations of, 42;
birth-rate, 43;
assimilation in, 43;
foot-binding in, 44;
kinship, 44;
racial evanescence, 44;
dances of, 72, 105;
divorce in, 255 et seq.;
census of, 261, 317, 356

Hawaiians: 14, 20, 30;
racial purity percentage of the, 213 et seq.

"Hawaiki," by Percy Smith, cited, 26

Hearn, Lafcadio: cited on fruit of intermarriage, 263

Heasley, Inspector, 97

Heinie's, 39

Heliolithic man, 18

"Hibbert Journal," quoted on Fijian mind, 232-234

Hilo, 48

Hindus, 78

Himalaya Mountains, 22

Hong-Kong: 109, 141, 167, 169 et seq.;
slums of, 171;
poverty in, 172;
surgery in, 176;
birth-rate in, 176;
music in, 176

Honolulu: 7, 9;
our frontier in the Pacific, 30-51;
the spirit, 37 et seq., 235.
See also Hawaii

Huang-Hsu, 365

Hughes, Premier William Morris: attitude of, toward conscription, 288, 355, 359, 360

Hukuan Railway, 378

Imperial Conferences, 347 et seq.

Imperial Diet, 384

India, 17, 18, 21, 63, 117

Indians, 77

Infanticide, 216

Inouye, Count: quoted on Japanese merchants in Korea, 309

"Invention of a New Religion," by Basil Hall Chamberlain, quoted, 304, 305

Ishii-Lansing Agreement, 370, 371

Izanagi, 21

Izanami, 21

Japan: 4, 5, 7, 9;
awakening of, 28, 29, 132, 135, 282;
in relation to the Pacific problem, 297 et seq.;
foreign policies of, 299 et seq.;
race-pride of, 302;
government of, 303;
Democracy in, 305;
attitude of, toward commercialization, 306;
American trade with, 308;
in Siberia, 308;
Buddhism in, 324;
relations of, 326 et seq.;
and alien labor, 331;
foreign population statistics of, 334;
naturalization in, 337 et seq.;
science in, 341 et seq.;
in America, 342 et seq.;
birth-rate, 343;
attitude of, toward financiering China, 373, 374;
attitude of the Orient toward, 376;
and the Pacific problem, 379;
and Manchurian railways, 380

"Japan Chronicle," quoted in British educational work in Hong-Kong, 177;
quoted on English policy, 362

"Japan: Real and Imaginary," by Sydney Greenbie, 297

Japanese: 21, 25, 30, 31;
races, 72, 94.
See also Japan

Java, 4, 22

Joan of Arc, 51

Junnosuke Inouye, 375

Kaiser, the, 104

Kamehamea, 36, 50, 215

Kaneohe, 35, 36, 51

Kapiolani, 51

Katori-maru, 192

Keats, quoted, 3

Kellerman, Annette, 148

Kiao-chau, 368

Kilauea, 8, 50

Kinglake, 24

Kinship of Pacific peoples, 20 et seq.

Kipling, 116

Knox, Secretary, 366

Kobe: business situation in, 335

Korea: 4, 298;
Japan's actions in, 309;
the case of, 317, 324, 391

Kyoto, 7

Labor: conditions in New Zealand, 6;
in Fiji, 13 et seq.;
legislation in New Zealand, 116;
indentured, 222

Lake Rotorua, 122

Lali, 71, 73, 78

Lamont, Mr. Thomas W.: 364;
negotiations with Japan by, 375;
mission of, to China, 376, 377;
statement of, 379, 380

Language, 22, 23

Lansing, Mr.: 370;
attitude of, toward loans to China, 372

Lao-Tsze, 269

[Pg 400]Laupepa, 395

League of Nations, 358

Legend: and the Pacific, 24 et seq.

"Lending Money to China," by Sydney Greenbie, 371

Leper Island, Molokai, 8

Levuka, 75, 85

Lindsay, Vachell, 312

Little Barrier Island, 13

Logan, Colonel Robert: 101, 104;
letter of, 395

London, Charmian, 38

London, Jack, 10

Longford, Professor, "The Story of Korea," quoted, 309

Los Angeles, 30

Lost Tribes of Israel, 23

Lurline, 7, 9

Luzon, 158

Mackaye, Arthur, 36 et seq.

Magellan, 4, 9, 18

Magneta Island, 137

"Main Street," 313

Malays, 308

Manchuria, 344, 373

Mangoes, 105

Manila: 32, 141, 158 et seq.;
description of, 163 et seq., 271

Manoa Valley, 33, 34, 37

Manono, 87

Maories: 20, 23, 26;
dances of the, 72, 110, 118 et seq.;
vital statistics of, 123;
racial discrimination against, 250

Maoriland, 17

Marital contracts, 240-253

Markets, 265-278

Marquesas, 5, 26, 52

Marshall Islands, 319, 357

Martin, Alonso, 4

Mason, Mr. Gregory, 368

Mataafa, 396;
letter, 395, 396

Mbenga: mystic fire-walkers of, 13

McDuffie, Mr., 217, 218

Melanesia, 18, 19, 23, 26, 27

Melanesian-Fijians, 20, 21

Melba, Madame, 145

Melbourne, 129, 143, 144, 349

Melville, 10, 24

Message, Mr., quoted, 61

Micronesia, 23, 26, 27

Migrations, 20

"Millard's Review," 368

Mindanao, 140, 158

Mindoro, 158

Missionaries: 19;
Fijian, 65 et seq., 68, 69, 73, 121, 231, 236

Moa, 28

Moji, 191

Molokai, the leper island, 8

Molucca Sea, 139

Mongolia, 373

Monroe Doctrine, 316

Monroe Doctrine of Asia, 297 et seq., 320

Monterey, 103

Montessori Method: in Fiji, 67

Mormon missionaries, 23

"Morning Herald," Sydney, quoted on America's War policy, 350, 351

Morocco, 390

Mt. Eden, 110

Mount Vaea, 103

Mua Peak, 87

Mulinuu, 91

Mummy-apples, 20, 59

Nagasaki, 376

Napier, New Zealand, 276

Napoleon: 20;
in relation to Fijian legend, 21

Negros, 158

New South Wales, 146

New York, 111, 113, 184, 270, 364

"New York Times," on Japanese, 311

New Zealand: labor conditions in, 6, 13, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 72, 84, 105;
study of, 108-127;
home life in, 111;
the bush of, 111;
farmers, 112 et seq.;
newspapers, 113;
population, 113;
characteristics, 114, 115;
girls, 115;
progressiveness, 116;
development, 117 et seq.;
Parliament, in relation to the Draft Act, 123, 133, 145;
and the class system, 286 et seq.;
policy toward England, 353

Niagara, the, 9, 10, 11, 16, 53, 62, 79, 86, 111

Nichi Nichi Shummun, 309, note

Nicholas of Russia, 361

Night-blooming cereus, 33

Niuafoou, 12, 13

North Island, 112

Oahu: 40;
College, 63

O'Brien, Frederick, 10, 24

One hundred and eightieth meridian, 11, 13, 195

Open Door, 367, 369, 371

Origins of races, 22

"Osaka Asahi," 360

"Outlines of History," Wells, 29

Pacific: discovery of, 3 et seq.;
significance of, 7;
effect of the mid-, on time, 11;
kinship of Pacific peoples, 20 et seq.;
Darwin quoted on South, 22;
[Pg 401]origin of, cultures, 23;
Griffith Taylor quoted on size of, 24;
counter-invasion of, 28 et seq.;
our frontier in the, 30 et seq.;
relation of Fiji to the, 52;
outposts of the white man in the far, 143 et seq.;
our peg in the far, 158-167;
ideals that dwell around the, 199-201;
Hindu problems and the, 225;
political problems of the, 281 et seq.;
adventures of America in the, 317 et seq.;
causes of confusion obtaining in the, 386, 387

Pago Pago, 10, 82, 317

Paleolithic life, 16

Pali, the, 35, 37, 50

Panama Canal, 315

Panama-Pacific Exposition, 79

Panay, 158

Pan-Pacific Union, 236

Papuans, 53

Pasig River, 161

"Paul and Virginia," 137

Pavlova, 46

Peace Conference, 357, 358, 371

Peace Treaty, 358

Persia, 390

Pescadores, 357

Pharaohs, 25

Philippines: 6, 32, 140, 317;
problem of the, 318 et seq.;
and independence, 328

Pilgrims, 17

Pleistonic period, 20

Polyandry, 220

Polynesia: 17, 18, 23, 27;
present status of, 29

Polynesians: 19;
origin of the, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 52;
dances of the, 72, 88, 206;
character of the ancient, 215;
and the problem of intermarriage, 237 et seq.

Population: limitation of, 27, 28;
decline of, 30 et seq.

Port Chalmers, 129

Port Williamson, 132

Portuguese, 4, 30

Poverty Bay, 28

Prisoners: Fiji, 73, 74

Promotion Committee: of Honolulu, 34;
"Primer" of the, 41

Queensland, 138, 146

Race-blending, 28 et seq.

Rangatora, 120, 121

Rarotanga, 93

Ratu Joni, 230

Reading, Lord: on loans, 372

Reinsch, Dr. Paul S., 326, 327

Rewa River, Fiji, 18, 19, 60, 62, 67

Rickshaws, 171, 178

Rockefeller Foundation, 173, 174, 324

Rolland, 108

Roosevelt, Colonel, and Korea, 318

Root-Takahira Agreement, quoted, 369, 370

Rua, Maori priest, 127

Russia, 308, 391

Russo-Japanese War, 317, 348, 365

Ryecroft, Reverend Mr., 65 et seq., 68

Salvation Army, 44, 45, 179

Samoa: 10, 11, 13, 19;
cosmogony, 21, 23, 26, 52, 84, 238, 317, 356

Samoans: 14;
dances of the, 72;
study of the, 79 et seq.;
songs of the, 80;
dances of the, 83;
hospitality of the, 93 et seq., 208

Samurai, 305

San Francisco, 7, 10, 184

Santa Anna Valley, 137

Savii, 26, 87

Scientific, 236

Scientists, 231

Seattle, 193

Sedan chairs, 171

Shackleton, Sir E., 128

Shanghai: China's European capital, 179-191;
description of, 192 et seq.;
slums of, 185;
the Chinese city, 185 et seq.;
market, 274

Shantung: 297;
rape of, 324

Shaw, 108

Shibusawa, 375

Shimonoseki, 376

Shintoism: 299;
defined, 304, 305

Shurman, Dr. Jacob Gould, 327

Siberia, 344

Siberian Railway, 361

Sikhs, 231

Sino-Japanese Military Agreement, 380

Sino-Japanese War, 365

Slums: tropical, 165;
Hong-Kong, 171

Smith, Percy, cited, 26

Smythe, Miss: 179;
work of, 180-182

Solomon Islands, 65

"Son of the Middle Border," 313

South Manchurian Railway, 375, 380

South Pole, 128

South Seas: 5 et seq., 10, 12 et seq., 14, 30 et seq.;
style, 32, 57, 74, 80, 82

[Pg 402]Spanish, 10

Sponges, 37

St. Helena, 20

Stevenson, R. L.: 10, 88, 100;
pilgrimage to tomb of, 100-105;
home of, 103, 387, 395

Stevenson Fellowship, 395

Stewart, Mr. W. Downie: quoted on status of New Zealand, 359

Stone Age, 89

Street, Julian, 375

Sulu Sea, 139

Sulus, 65

Sun Yat-sen, Dr., 325;
quoted, 326

Superstition, 25

Suva, Fiji, 11, 13, 20, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 73, 75, 76, 84, 105

Sydney, 9, 12, 132, 139, 146 et seq.

Tagalog, 165

Tagore: 116;
experiences of in Japan, 311

Tahiti, 17, 26, 28, 52

Talume, 12

Tamasese, 395

Tamba Maru, 179

Tasman, 9, 10

Tasman Sea, 128

Tasmania, 132

Tattooings of Time, 17

Taylor, Griffith: quoted on size of Pacific, 24

Te Noroto, 124

Terauchi, Count, 368

Thomson, Basil, cited, 13

Thursday Island, 155

"Times," China: quoted on foreign control of industries, 378

Thoreau, 95

Tokyo, 349

Tolstoy, 269

Tongans, 19, 77

Torres Straits, 139

Townsville, 137

Traders: in the Far East, 55, 89, 236, 306

Tradition, 22

Tulane, 13

Turks, 20

Tusitala, the tale teller (Stevenson), 103, 395

Typee, 5

Typhoons, 141

Uchida, Viscount: quoted on Consortium, 379, 384

Union Steamship Company, 129

Upolu, 87

Vailima, Stevenson's home, 88, 100, 101, 103

Vancouver, George, 5, 7, 18

Venice of the Pacific, 25

Vice: among the primitive races, 217

Victoria, 146

Vikings, 25

Virginia, 151

Vladivostok, 308

Waikato, 124

Waikiki, 39

Waitemata Harbor, 13

Ward, Sir Joseph, 349, 351

Waterhouse, Mr., 69

Waterspouts, 140

Webb, Mr., 245

Wellington: 97, 109, 113;
Museum, 235

Wellington, Duke of: cited on Britain's colonies, 283

Wells, H. G., 29

"When the Sleeper Wakes," Wells, 29

White Australia policy, 291, 292, 294, 348, 350

Whitney, Judge William L., 256-258

Wilson Administration, 318

Wilson, President, 382, 383

Wimmera, 131

World War, 234, 350

"World's Work," 371

Wright, Mr., of the "Bulletin," 38 et seq.

Wurm ice age, 26

Yamada Ise, 192

Yokohama, 192

Y. M. C. A., 38

Zamboanga, 140, 158

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