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Title: The Story of a Working Man's Life
Author: Francis Mason, D. D.
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0900771h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: October 2009
Date most recently updated: October 2009

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The Story
of a
Working Man's Life:
With Sketches of Travel in
Europe, Asia, Africa, And America,
As Related By Himself.


Francis Mason D. D.

An Introduction,
William R. Williams, D. D.


"When they sing at their sumptuous dinners 'God save the Queen,' the singing of my grateful soul, going up in psalm and prayer is, God save the Working Man!"


Entered according to Act of Congress,
in the year 1870, by OAKLEY, MASON & CO.,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Southern District of New York.

20 N. WILLIAM ST., N. Y.


Dear Brethren,–Dr. Warren, your Corresponding Secretary, under date of July 16, 1868, wrote me: "By your history, by your life-work, you belong in the ranks of the missionaries of the Union. In those ranks you ought to spend the remainder of your days, and as one of our number of faithful workers for God and man, you ought to die and be buried, when life's work ends."

I beg, therefore, to inscribe to you these reminiscences of a life mainly spent in your service, and to beg your acceptance of a tithe of my profits from the book towards the support of a Karen native preacher in Toungoo, under your direction.

I desire to subscribe myself, your affectionate brother in Christ and co-worker together with God,


TOUNGOO, October 8, 1869.



The bar across the window–The Robin–First sin, self-will–Child's
prayer–The Crocuses–No innate ideas of God–Mansel's opinion to the
contrary–Evidence for the existence of a God–Innate reverence for
authority–Exalt the authority of the Bible–Christ blessing little
children–Anecdote of Karens–"Child's Gospel"–Zinzendorf's
childhood–The Moon–Innate love of Nature–Capability of very young
children for knowledge–Wrongs of children–The curse of the bar in the

York in the days of Solomon–Historical dissolving views–The
Druids–Altars to Jupiter, Hercules, and Augustus–Temple to
Serapis–Residence of the Roman emperors–Jewish Synagogue–Celtic,
Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Norman-French and English, spoken
successively in the courts–Multangular tower–St. Leonard's
Hospital–Castle–Massacre of Jews–Minster–Edwin, first Christian
king–Paulinus–Magnificent architecture–God lost in the
ornaments–Laurence Sterne–Grandfather founder of Baptist Church–Father
succeeded him as a preacher–Story of the two poor girls who suddenly
became rich–Grandfather's estate lost through poverty

Truth–Honesty–Bad habits in children result of bad education–Morality
not exclusively Christian–Lacks strength in temptation–Christianity
with Christ left out–Astrology–Boy and mirror–Fortune-telling by
cards–Witchcraft–The witch that outwitted the devil–Faith in ghosts
not dead–A haunted house in St. Louis–People not naturally
superstitious–Educated into superstition

Mental faculties obtuse from the lack of use–The man goes down to the
brute, not the brute up to the man–The working man's school sixty years
ago–A disagreeable teacher making knowledge hateful–Programme of
studies–Just enough to keep the poor from stealing the rabbits of the
rich–Occult science of grammar–Man's emotional nature dormant–Needs to
be educated into life–Heard 1,500 sermons, 3,000 prayers and 4,500 hymns
without profit–Sufferings of little children under long
sermons–Vapidness of English Sunday-schools

Desire to become a man–Makes so many newsboys and shoeblacks–Shared
mother's cares–Father's literary pursuits–Saturday night's
shopping–Never knew the careless days of boyhood–Errand boy for a kind
master–Novel-reading wife–Objection to apprenticeship–American
boy–Became a shoemaker–A printer half a century afterwards–Ought not
to be confined to one trade–Yankee shoemaker who made brooms

Victims of a strike–"The Wolds"–Beverley–Hull–Humber, the Mississippi
of England–Brutality of the lowest stratum of working men–Need temporal
as well as spiritual aid–Approachable to men of their own class–Deacon
Tilden a lay preacher–More lay preachers needed–Ko Thabyu very ignorant
but very effective–Anecdote of a well written letter–Kind of preaching
preferred by ignorant congregations

Measuring the distances of the heavenly bodies, a myth to the
multitude–How I fell in love with "Trigonometry"–Introduction to
night-school–Read "Euclid" like a novel–The professor who stumbled over
"Legendre"–Worked by day and studied into the small hours of the
night–How I solved a hard Diophantine problem–The difference between a
learned man and a dunce–Let the rich provide night-schools for hard
working youth

Parliamentary Reform the grand panacea–Bribery at English elections–A
million of dollars at a single election–None but the rich can get into
Parliament–Father's fireside a Reform meeting–Always ready–Published a
political poem–At Leeds a popular public speaker–"Times" reporter heard
him "with wonder and astonishment"–Chairman at Otley Reform
Meeting–Specimen of his address

Reform needed for working men is society reform–More time for the
cultivation of the mind–More leisure for mothers to teach their
children–Let mothers preach in the nursery–The school-mistress at
home–Vicious classes–Improvident classes–Worthy poor–A favorite
author sold for waste paper to supply a breakfast–The heathen in Burmah
more comfortable than the poor in England–A new society
required–Tenements of working men–Theatres of daily tragedies–Incident
of father, mother and dying child–Incident of father, mother and child
dying in succession–Servant-girls degraded in England–Should not be
ashamed but glory in their work–Should bring out a periodical devoted to

Dr. Cumming and the United States in prophecy–The working man's
country–Quotation from Motley–English lands possessed by the soldiers
of William the Conqueror–Comparison of wages in England and
America–England owed my father $3,500–Obstructiveness of officials in
Hull–Difficulty of the "Pilgrim Fathers" to get from Hull to
Holland–Long passage to America–Captain out of his reckonings–Fine
scenery of Delaware Bay–William Penn–Anecdote of passenger who kissed
the earth–Philadelphia–American towns unpoetical–Banks of the
Schuylkill–Franklin's biography

Advantages of traveling on foot–The walk across Pennsylvania–No poetry
in railway traveling–No river in England so picturesque as the
Susquehanna–No mountains like the Alleghanies–Wagons attacked for
black-mail–Field of Braddock's defeat where Washington won his first
laurels–Pittsburg with seven thousand inhabitants–Descent of the Ohio
in an ark–A reliable book on the discoveries in Indian mounds a
desideratum–Cincinnati a picturesque city seen from Kentucky–Remains of
an Indian fortified town–Dr. Drake's lectures and museum–Efforts to
improve the minds of the masses–None to correct social evils–Temperance
society would have been patronized–Drank no intoxicating drinks till
twenty years of age–Tried experiments on myself–Could do more work
without than with them–Drinking the most formidable of our social
evils–Conscience of drunkards, whole moral sense of the world against
it–An acquired habit, no natural appetite to be overcome–Remove the
temptation and the tempters–Reduce the profits of dealers–Burmese a
sober people–Finest physical forms in the East–Examples of
Christians–Student at Newton–Moderate drinking–Actor in St. Louis–The
intemperate major, how he became sober–The insane Quaker who used
tobacco–Example of ladies in Indiana–The "Can of Tobacco"

Still among foreigners–The ale-house emigrant–Foreigners should
naturalize themselves by mixing in American society–Dangers to the
United States from foreigners, negroes and Chinamen–Fever and
ague–Examples of the foolish and the wise course of emigrants

Strike in Cincinnati–Adventure with a skiff–The American
farmer–Americans see a little too far–Vevay and
vineyards–Louisville–First love–Story of the man that was jilted

General Jackson like a Mississippi boatman–His censure of the
Kentuckians–Popular in Missouri–His "spoils of office" doctrine–Monroe
like an old English gentleman–The Latin address–"The Monroe Doctrine"
should be appended to Declaration of Independence–President Harrison
like a farmer–Porter Clay became a Baptist minister–Kentucky
camp-meeting–Young lady "struck down"–The man that fell from grace–The
Karen who was "struck down"–Baptized, ordained, apostatized

Vincennes–"Palmyra" in the desert–Prairies–St. Louis with five
thousand inhabitants–Inefficient indigenous French–Dancing their
forte–The American with a French wife–Election of the first mayor in
St. Louis–A contest between the Protestants and Roman Catholics–John M.
Peck and his "hard-shell" deacon–His mistake–Could not finish his large
meeting-house with his small church, and it was turned into a
hotel–Methodists come, build a small meeting-house and a large
church–The man that understood Hebrew–Militia training a
farce–Anecdote of the Virginian captain who would not obey a Yankee
colonel–Duels–The journeyman shoemaker who became a
brigadier-general–Attorney-General Bates–Abolition of dueling

The largest Indian mound leveled to the ground–"American Bottom" and the
speechless monks of La Trappe–First Legislature in Missouri–The Indian
a sot–Indian eloquence–An Indian Ossian–Wrongs of the Indians–Must
consent to be civilized or move on–Daniel Boone and his family–An
upright Indian Agent

Power of one idea–Wilberforce–Negro carried off at Cincinnati–Northern
slaveholders–The blacksmith–Brutal treatment of slaves–The Frenchman
beaten by his slave–Sheriff of St. Louis killed by a slave–Slave hunted
and tortured to death–Anecdotes of slaveholders–Care taken of negro
children–Letter to Mr. Tappan

Punishment follows sin, an immutable law–Killing no murder–Killing for
political purposes–Barton–Irish Roman Catholics–Upper
Alton–Insignificant awards of courts–Versailles–The "ring-tailed
painter"–Carrying arms deprecated–"Poor whites" nearer the negro than
the negro's master–Good manners a power in society–Example

Herculaneum and St. Genevieve, old French towns–Cairo, a swamp with a
classic name–New Madrid and the earthquake–Mouth of the Arkansas and
two duelists–Natchez and the story of their wrongs–Baton Rouge first
high land above the mouth of the Mississippi–The crevasse–The
negro-driver and his gang–New Orleans not an American city–Remarkable
for its clean drains–Roman Catholic cathedral–"Congo Ground"–Gambling
house–Evil end of gamblers–The battle-field–Incidents in the life of
Colonel Rennie–Present state of the battle-field

"The Divinity within us"–The theatre an unmixed evil–Puppets and
punch–Lafayette–Signers of Declaration of Independence–Said: "Let
there be a working man's country"–And there was a working man's
country–The rebellion–Support for the widows and orphans–Bunker
Hill–The Bay State, the land of my choice–Randolph–Mr.
Putnam–Personal conversation–Impersonal preaching

Contrarieties in marriage–Education not completed till after
marriage–Influence of the wife–Karen proverb–A New England
Courtship–Milton–Massing many workmen together a great evil–Men and
women working together a moral benefit–Factory near London–"Press
Dinner" in New York–The evil of theological discussions–History of the
Emperor Akbar's infidelity–Why the daughters of a Baptist Minister
became Roman Catholics

Butler's Analogy–Prayer to Christ–Conversion–Rich in Christian
friends–Conversion necessary to fully develop the man–Love the test of
church membership–Made a close-communion Baptist by logic–Greek studies
and Mr. Adlam–Hebrew studies–Greek classics and Mr. Huntoon–The
Unitarian minister who believed in the necessity of a change of heart

Inducements to settle in Canton–Opportunity to become a
land-surveyor–Tempting offer to study medicine–Unwillingness to become
a minister–The Canton church–Licensed by the church–Newton–Go through
the whole Greek Testament with the professors, a rare
advantage–Professor Ripley's notes

Appointed missionary to Burmah–Ordained, married, sail for
Calcutta–Unkind treatment on board ship–The supercargo–Sailors the
worst used of all men–Punishment of the sailor who broke a pane of
glass–Power of forgiveness an unknown power on shipboard–The captain
who left an offending sailor in a French prison–Moral condition of the
forecastle–Men brought on board intoxicated–Ignorant of
seamanship–Condition of sailors must be ameliorated at whatever cost

Mouths of the Ganges and the Mississippi–Sunderbunds formerly with
populous cities, now abandoned to the tigers–How the change was produced
a mystery–Hoogly, "Bulrush River"–Danger of being thrown overboard by
Hindu boatmen–Mr. and Mrs. Pearce–Captain of pilot brig and Bishop
Heber–"Garden Reach"–Esplanade–Black Town the reverse side of "City of
Palaces;" a city of abominations–Mr. Robinson and Lord Dalhousie–Mr.
Hough and his grandson, one of the rulers of British Burmah–Native
hack–Serampore–Dr. Marshman's Chinese Grammar–Dr. Carey and his Forty
Versions–Monthly Missionary Conference–Dr. Duff and English
teaching–Mr. Lang and the vernaculars–Substantial advantages of
preaching to custom-house officers

Maulmain and the picturesque country–No singing at native
worship–Burmese invocation–Singing introduced–Hymn-book compiled

Tavoy and its fifty villages–Tracts distributed in every house–Baptism
of Burmans–Moung Bwah, revenue officer in Prome–Remarkable conversion
of his brother-in-law–Vitality of seeds–Head native judicial officer,
his enmity to Christianity–His fall–The rewards of
faithfulness–English worship established in Tavoy–Europeans
baptized–First missionary society east of the Ganges–Europeans married
to Burmese wives–State of morality in British Burmah at different
dates–Statement of "Friend of India"

Hindu affinities–Burmese affinities–Their pyramidal heads–Allied to
Tibetans–Burmese civilization–Women treated better than in other
nationalities–Married women hold property–Women do business equal to
men–Share the judgment-seat–Wife of the seek-kai in Tavoy–Female
school teachers–Form of marriage–Equal division of property among
children–Burmese chess compared with the English–Burmese public
spirit–Malcom's remarks on the Burmese religion

Characteristics of the Talaings–The language–Allied to the Koles–Have
Hindu traditions–Alphabet of Hindu origin–Their ancient
architecture–Allied to Hindu in part–In part resembles Christians

Fifteen Karens baptized before my arrival–Increase of a
thousand-fold–Affinities of the Karen language–Probably with the
Chinese–Languages of intonation–The Karens have the Chinese organ–Mr.
Knowlton on Chinese mountain tribes–"Fire of St. Elmo described–Malcom
on "Matah"–Tenasserim River explored–Plagiarisms–Raft traveling–Kabin
changed by the Gospel–Mr. Benjamin's testimony–Mr. Cross'
report–Church at Pyeekhya, "a well organized Christian body"–Mr. Cross'
testimony–Pwos–Karen Grammar–Remarks from Dr. Wade–Karen
seminary–Treatise on Trigonometry in Sgau, Burmese and Bghai–First
native periodical beyond the Ganges–Karen traditions–Derived from Jews
in China–Mr. Knowlton's opinion–Memoir of Ko Thabyu

How Burmese girls use cosmetics–Khyen girls disfigure their
faces–Origin of the custom–First Khyen baptized in Tavoy A. D.
1837–The tribe appears under five different names

The Karens of the sea–Related to the Sandwich Islanders–Degraded state
of the women–Boats described–Ruined by alcohol and opium–Labors of Mr.
and Mrs. Benjamin to save them–The revenue from alcohol and opium
steadily on the increase–Remarks of a Maulmain editor

Death of Mrs. H. M. Mason–Memoir–Sickness and departure from
Tavoy–Voyage to Calcutta and return to Maulmain–Translation of the Old
Testament into Karen–Charge of the Pwo churches–Work on the Natural
Productions of Burmah–Review by editor of "Friend of India"–Marriage
with Mrs. E. H. Bullard–Return to Tavoy to print the Karen Bible

Numerous revisions of Bengalee Bible–Six translations of the Chinese
Bible–A translation should be the work of a whole mission–Aids to Karen
version–Letter to Dr. Peck–Extract from Report of the Board–Speech of
Dr. Binney–Dr. Warren on revision

Final departure from Tavoy–Remarks by Mr. Thomas–Letter from Mr. Thomas
when leaving Rangoon–Journey to Toungoo–Cordial reception–Commencement
of normal school–Distribution of assistants–Departure for the United

Madras–"St. Thomas' Mount–Syrian Christians–Point de Galle–The most
ancient port in existence–The Tarshish of Solomon–Ptolemy's "Salae" for
Ceylon in Karen tradition–Ceylon and Buddhism Port Louis–Isle of
France–Whittington and his cat–Paul and Virginia–Peter Botte
Mountain–Demand for laborers–Iniquity in the production of sugar–Cape
of Good Hope–Table Mountain–Cape Town needs American
enterprize–Remarkable for the beauty of its flowers–Language of
"clicks"–Native tribes dying out–Bishop Colenso–Colenso's
communion–Increased value of his books–First publishers of "Uncle Tom's
Cabin"–St. Helena–Burial of Mrs. Judson–Put in quarantine

Lisbon–Columbus in Lisbon–Degradation of Portugal–Plymouth and its
defences–Scott at Cerro Gordo–Isle of Wight–Queen Victoria–The most
liberal monarch in Europe–A heathen king of the Isle of Wight–How his
sons were converted to Christianity–Anecdote of a Roman
Catholic–Southampton–Canute's Point–London City Missionary–Reformed
from the streets–The way to make permanent reformations–London at first
sight–Its millennium churches–Its Pandemonium–Purlieus–London of 1810
and 1854 compared–A prisoner confined half a century for contempt of
court–London a little world in itself–Has three thousand miles of
streets–Its natural productions in every
department–Antiquities–Crystal Palace

Studies in German–Biblical education German–Voyage to
Holland–Persecutions from Dutch laws–Rotterdam an artificial
place–Headquarters of gin–Erasmus–His labors superseded–The honest
Dutchman–Dusseldorf–Utilizing painting–Hanover and its intolerant
king–Incident of a Baptist funeral–Wiped out of political existence at
Sadowa–Herschel–The Marktkirche, and its cabalistic markings–Berlin,
and its lions–The police a nuisance–Professor Hengstenburg–Mrs.
Hengstenburg–Berlin University–Lecture-room described–Mode of
lecturing–American method more advantageous to the student–Pali and the
Germans–Dr. Hoffman–Mr. Lehmann and his labors–Intolerance of the
church dignitaries–Young Lehmann a conscript–Style of a German
countess–Americans popular in Berlin–Hamburg–Miss Oncken–Oncken's
labors–His trials and successes–Letter from him

Meeting with my mother after an absence of thirty-six years–No innate
instinct for mothers to recognize their children–Letter from
Leeds–History of Leeds–Kirkstall Abbey–Largest room in the
world–Wretched appearance of factory-girls

Working men and women a rising power in society–Need
self-culture–Injure themselves pecuniarily and socially by
"strikes"–Wise to count the cost–The employers are moneyed men–Money
is power–No strike has succeeded when the employers were
aroused–Greatest strike on record in 1854–The workmen spent on it
L100,000, and were beaten, with the additional loss in wages of
L250,000–Wages cannot be regulated by force–Government tried it, and
acknowledged they were beaten–The workmen are trying it with no better
success–If they persist, employers will be driven to combine–Atrocious
deeds connected with strikes–Working Mens' Unions radically wrong in
their constituent parts–They retain the dregs, but lose the
cream–Societies worse than their individual members–Extract from the
New York–"Examiner and Chronicle"–Illustration of the moral character
of the Unions–Rejected Douglass, who fought for the country, because he
is black–If Unions must exist, then let them repudiate strikes, and be
select in their membership–Working men are coming to the surface, but
they must purge themselves of their evil elements to be a power for
good–Let workmen and employers cultivate kind relations with each
other–Employers generally kind, considerate men–My employer in York, a
specimen–A New York employer who had rather suffer himself than allow
his men to suffer–Journeymen often making as great profits as their
employers–Success of peace-plans in Cornwall–Working men should have a
paper devoted to their own affairs conducted by themselves–Where the
trades are overstocked the men must turn farmers

Sickness of Europeans in India–Frequent changes favorable to
invalids–Departure from Leeds–"Celebrated Druidical
monuments"–Ripon–Remarkable mound–Fountains Abbey–Newcastle–The
neglected colliers

Edinburgh–Its picturesque views–Its handsome monuments–What would be
for a city worth boasting of–Glasgow–"Washington Street"–Scotch
peasant life–Loch Lomond–"The Petrel"–The compass in iron ships–The
iniquity of insurance–Instance in Maulmain–The remarkable rock of
Dumbarton Castle–Storm at sea–"The Petrel" a floating wreck–The
cholera–Fatal effects of fear in cholera–Ship put back–Cholera
departed–Giant's Causeway–A lesson for architects–Glasgow vessels
slightly built–Liverpool–Departure for Boston

Changes in America in thirty-four years–Bunker Hill Monument–Edifice of
the First Baptist Church in Boston–Meeting of the Oriental
Society–Numerous American savans there–Preached to a congregation of
two thousand in Hartford–Disabled by sickness from addressing the Bible
Society at the Annual Meeting in Chicago–Took a last look of the country
we chose and the faces we loved, July 2, 1856–Learning thrown away on
sailors in the books on navigation–Getting the longitude by the Gulf
Stream–Making the mouth of the Hoogly by soundings–Made
"Sand-heads"–Ordered out to sea again to meet a cyclone–Blown into a
cyclone–Whirled into the centre–A splendid dome–A natural
cathedral–Whirled out again to the mouth of the Hoogly–Loss of steamers
by cyclones there since–The mate a fine sailor–Anecdote of his presence
of mind

Return to Toungoo–Comparison of America and the Toungoo
mountains–Interesting reception–The new tribes of Toungoo–The Bghai

Red Karens the largest Karen tribe–Visited in 1859–Favorable
reception–Translation of Catechism into their language–Slave-trade in
Karennee–A specimen of its barbarity–Red Karens of Chinese origin
according to Dr. Dean

Many small tribes with final consonants in their language–Anecdote of a
government officer–The Taru or Lahta–Shave the head and leave two locks
of hair–A remarkably moral people–Avoid strong drink–When accused of
crime become their own executioners

What constitutes riches–Burmese in comfortable circumstances–Wages in
Toungoo–Wages in Rangoon–Not overtaxed–Sir Arthur P. Phayre considered
the poor–Administration of justice unsatisfactory–History of a
suit–Difficult for judges to ascertain facts, from the mendacity of the
people–Burmese and Karens compared–Burmese superior tact–Karens
overtaxed by Burmans–Karen lands dishonestly measured by Burmans–Karen
imprisoned for seizing a Burman thief–Too much confidence reposed in
Burmese officials–Story of their dishonesty and ability to deceive their
superiors–Law of libel–Rev. Mr. Long imprisoned for endeavoring to help
the oppressed natives–Danger of being sent to jail for contempt of
court–Freedom of speech and writing in the United States–Penal code
restricting missionary preaching–Government for its own stability should
encourage missionary efforts–The hearts of the people are the same now
as they were in the mutiny–Government keeps them down by brute
force–Missionaries labor to change their hearts–Missionaries are
laboring now like coral insects, but are coming up to the surface with a
foundation on which government can build–Government makes grants for
secular education–Would be wiser to distribute their funds among the
Missionaries–The army of missionaries working for government in the
field–The ruler that despised a Burman Christian–The Christian Burman a
hero–Fast friends to religious labors for the people are found among the
governing class–Three military men recently left the army to preach to
the natives at their own charges–A major in Toungoo published two tracts
at his own expense–Lady Canning the first to patronize Mrs. Mason's

Resolution on reduction–Extract of letter from Dr. Wayland–Receipts and
expenditures of Toungoo Mission for 1860–Rs. 2,589 sent to Rangoon for
printing–Resolved to try to do our own printing–Ordered a press from
America in 1862–Press popular with Karens–King of Burmah purchased a
press–Testimonies to the good printing done by the Karen Press–Chief
Commissioner, Sir A. P. Phayre–Deputy Commissioner–Mr. Cross–Mr.
Norris–Medical studies–"The Burmese Hand-Book of Medicine"–The Pali
Grammar–Notice of the work from "Trubner's Record"–From "Rangoon
Times"–From Bishop Bigandet–"Burmah, its People and Natural
Productions"–Notice of "Christian Review"–"Watchman and Reflector,"
Boston–"Christian Chronicle," Philadelphia

The man of the age a giant–Extract from Buckle–The eye, its enlarged
powers–Increase of stars–Moon seen one hundred and twenty miles
distant–Stones appear like piles of shells–The blight on a grape
becomes a thick forest–A drop of water a world of living beings–The
ear; power of hearing increased–Speech heard across the ocean–The
feet–Rapid power of locomotion–Years added to business life–The
hand–Wields the lightning–Paints with the sun's rays–Steam, his man of
all work–Oliver Evans and the "Steam Carriage"–Completion of the
Pacific Railroad–Power of the intellect increased–Mind teaches the use
of the objects of nature–Discovery of Neptune–Law of
storms–Improvements in chemistry–Moral progress–Abolition of slavery
and serfdom–Working men changed to employers–All things working
together for good to the working man–Printing most intimately connected
with literary improvement–Printing improved beyond all other trades–One
man can do the work of a hundred–Hoe's press–Anecdote of
Franklin–Statistics of periodicals in the United States–Capitalists
help working men–There are many Peabodies–The Millennium is on
us–God's blessings imparted through the instrumentality of Christians–A
testimony to the power of Christianity–Testimony of Nineveh–Extract
from S. F. Smith–Increasing attention to the conversion of young
children–Progress of missions–Carey and Vanderkemp commenced work the
year I was born, and all modern missions have come into being since–King
of Burmah paying for the building of a church near by where stood
Judson's lion cage–Sending his sons to a Christian school–The prayer of
Christians that China might be opened, is answered by the Chinese pouring
into the Christian world–The tide of emigration; from the "Watchman and
Reflector"–How God has accomplished the work of progress–Not by deeds
of heroism, but by unobtrusive deeds of self-denial–Letter from a
representative character–She conducts a mother's meeting–Brings them to
chapel–Visits the poor–Teaches ragged-school–Teaches singing school to
ragged-school teachers–Visits and prays with the sick–Labors in the
temperance society–Takes for her motto, "Always abounding in the work of
the Lord"–One thing makes no progress; remains immoveable–The
Bible–Its mysteries are ever mysteries–"Life's Mystery," from Harriet
Beecher Stowe

ILLUSTRATIONS A Karen Village School for Burman Girls, Toungoo Karen Normal School, Toungoo School for Karen Girls, Toungo


IT was the outspoken pledge of an English nobleman, who, as a statesman and political reformer, inscribed his name on the history of his nation, that, in case of social convulsion, much as he favored general freedom for all classes, he should "stand by his own order."

The words of Earl Grey would, we doubt not, be adopted by the writer of the present volume; and with a frankness and a tenacity equalling the like traits in the British Peer, this "WORKING MAN," the son of a sturdy English Radical, would account it his duty and glory to "stand by HIS OWN ORDER," the stalwart and the hardy, who contribute so largely to the national prosperity, bear much of the nation's burdens and perils, and deserve their full share of its consideration. Never forgetting, much less disowning, the peasant and artizan class, from which he springs, and with a kindly, earnest word for the wronged and much enduring sailor, his religion has yet taught him that, duly understood, the interests of all the orders and classes in a nation are coincident and inseparable. As a servant of Christ in the field of Foreign Missions, he has laboriously shown, that the needs of a remote and alien race are held by him to have a just claim for the best years of his life, and for the putting forth of his best powers of body and of soul. Apart from caste and from distinctions of race, of hue, and of language, he has consecrated himself, like the great Apostle of the Gentiles, as "debtor to all," to become "the servant of all." Yet even Paul, we may presume, would of all Hebrews greet a man of the tribe of Benjamin with special cordiality; and should an inquirer of the school of the Pharisees approach him, Paul would meet that disciple with an intimate and eager sympathy, derived from the vivid reminiscences of his own youth spent at the feet of Gamaliel.

The life of Francis Mason has been drawn through varied scenes and many lands. Neither a cloistered student, nor a thoughtless, frivolous rambler, his acquaintance with books has been supplemented by free collision with men. And to his free intercourse with mankind in various stages of culture and of barbarism, he has brought the mind stored with reflection, and the eye taught duly to observe and wisely to discriminate and to appreciate.

A native of England, an emigrant in early manhood to America, it was here that he became a convert, received his training for the ministry, and hence was sent by American Baptists to their missions in Burmah to labor among the people of that empire and among the Karens, an aboriginal race found largely in the Burman territory, but more migratory than the Burmans, and with a distinct language, some peculiar traits, and many remarkable traditions. There he has been brought into friendly and intimate relations with British officers, administering the affairs of their government in the outlying provinces of their great Indian Empire.

With a simplicity and directness that remind one of our own Benjamin Franklin, he has told the tale of his own eventful career. And in doing this he has afforded us some striking glimpses of what the United States were when he first reached our shores; whilst the main thread of his narrative bears us to philosophies, faiths, and races which were old and well settled far back as the days of Daniel, and before Greece had, under the conduct of Alexander, hurled herself upon India.

As travel becomes more frequent and more rapid, the various countries of our earth would appear to be compressed inevitably into closer proximity; and they must also become percolated with a fuller, prompter sympathy. To one who spends much of his time in journeying, the modern facilities of locomotion are almost equivalent to a prolongation and expansion of life; for distances that once could be traversed by him only in weeks, may now be surmounted in hours. And lands and continents, in other times so remote as to be beyond the range of any travellers who had not both adventurousness and opulence, and large leisure, seem in our own days, by steam and steel, by the railroad and the wheeled vessel, to be gathered up–and if the image may be allowed–they are puckered into narrower dimensions. They have become accessible to the holiday jaunt of the wayfarer whose leisure is scanty and whose funds are but stinted. The very surface of our globe is, in the phrase of the milliner's dainty art, tucked and plaited into smaller compass. Man, by his Creator set as the master of Earth, finds his domain shrivelled into more manageable dimensions, and finds himself endowed with new powers of survey and subjugation. The field shrinks, and the tiller of the field dilates, as Science enlarges his capacities, and Art multiplies his tools. Prophecy had of old assured him, that, in the latter days, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Running and knowing–crowds traversing a wider region, and taught a riper, larger wisdom–said the oracle. Each highway of modern commerce shows the fleet rushing and the thronging tramp of these many runners; and every living literature of the civilized world is found bearing its witness to the wide diffusion and the rapid multiplication of these learners. Easy transit seems giving ubiquity to the educated races. Cheap Literature would seem threatening to take on a polyglott form and to bring in a Pantheistic creed. Even the village journal must now report the news from the other side of the planet. "Our neighbor"–the old word in the second great commandment–is a phrase that has, in our days, become palpably far more applicable to the heathen, who are our antipodes, than it could have seemed to be in the days of Abraham, David, or Luther. And as the nations long disparted become better known to each other, it will be found that they are mutually needed each by the other. Our very Christianity is developed into a proper disinterestedness and enterprise, into a more heroic firmness and a more divine tenderness, by the wants and guilt of Paganism. Aided by us, these idolators aid, elevate, and enrich us. Neglected by us, they poison us by their misery, ignorance, and vices. Mutual helpfulness becomes the very law of modern Culture and Progress, and is the first condition of Liberty, Order, and Peace. Such mutual helpfulness is but one human and terrestrial side of the great work of Christian Missions. And the results of Western philosophy and science can have no higher honors, and can be put to no nobler uses, than when brought, with a wise compassion, to bear on the relief of the ignorance and wretchedness of the idolators of the old Eastern world. Among the honors, literary and political, that have clustered around the French statesman Guizot, now in the closing stage of an illustrious career, it cannot be among the least gratifying, that the British officer who put down human sacrifices among the Khonds, an aboriginal tribe in the hills of Orissa–the late Major Samuel C. Macpherson–was accustomed to say, "that it was from the study of Guizot that he had learned how to reclaim the Khonds."*

[Footnote: * Mem. by his Brother. London. Murray. 1865. p.351.]

The Missions in which Dr. Mason has been vigorously, and through the blessing of God most successfully employed, have not prevented him from cultivating a keen relish for natural science. In his extended tours to preach the Gospel, his fatigue has been relieved by noting and recording the plants, and birds and fish, the insects and the beasts, brought by his Karen escorts to the place of encampment for the night. In an octavo volume of some nine hundred pages, and printed at Rangoon in 1860, on "Burmah, its People and Natural Productions," he has accumulated a mass of information on the subject of Natural History and of Ethnology and Language, that has received the warm acknowledgments of men of science.

The religious fruits of the Burman and Karen Mission have been memorable. The late Cardinal Wiseman, in a comparison of the results of Romanist and Protestant Missions among the heathen, issued by him from the press, allowed himself to speak disparagingly of Judson and his exertions in Burmah. An American scholar, on quite another side, removed as widely from sympathy with the principles of Judson, as was Wiseman,–the late Theodore Parker,–formed the highest estimate of the merits of that patient and resolute toiler for Burmah, Adoniram Judson. A missionary, who believed and preached Calvinism, must have conquered vast prejudices to have extorted such recognition from Parker. Great as were the attainments of that Romish scholar, and deeply as he graved his name on the religious annals of Britain, we think it will be the verdict of history, that the soul of the Baptist was cast, as compared with Wiseman, in a far more heroic mould: and his work of the finished Burman Bible is likely to leave a more durable and blessed imprint on the history of the world, than the works of the eminent prelate, varied, refined and scholarly as these were.

Dr. Mason entered that Mission field at a later stage in its history: but his, too, has been the high felicity and honor of completing, in the Karen language, a version of the Old and the New Testament. And the power of God's book, on the character of the nation receiving and cherishing it, is one of the settled facts of history. They who open, for the first time, that fountain to tribes long destitute, have a sure and lasting memorial.

An European Christian, resident in Switzerland, Dr. A. Ostertag, of Basle, has in Herzog's great Cyclopedia of Protestant Theology,* devoted some seventy-five spacious pages to the survey of the existing Protestant Missions among the Heathen. It has the breadth and thoroughness of German scholarship. Not in country, in language, or in denominational sympathies, allied to the people of whom he is speaking–the American Baptists, he describes these as finding in Burmah and the Karen people that one of their Missionary fields, which ranks, not only as compared with others of their own Missions, but "well nigh also as amongst all the Missions of the world, as the fairest and the most blessed."+ And returning, on another page,++ to this portion of his subject, he speaks of the Karens, as, since 1829, when Boardman began his visits to their villages, having had developed among them a work "so glorious as the History of Missions scarce anywhere else presents."

[Footnote: * Vol. IX., Stuttgart, 1858, pp.559, etc.]

[Footnote: + Herzog, IX., p.583.]

[Footnote: ++ P. 610.]

Among the Cherokees of our own land, and the Karens of that far Eastern continent, the gospel in its simplicity and directness and spirituality, accompanied by the Divine energy of the Holy Ghost, has proved its power to fix the roving tribe into habits of settled industry and order. Native pastors have been reared, in the American and the Asiatic fields, from the races evangelised, who have been singularly devoted and rarely useful. Dr. Mason has labored with such Karen associates, as Ko-Tha-byu, a remarkable man now gone home, and of whom Dr. Mason has published a memoir, and with others yet living, who reproduce the traits of character, that stand out in the first disciples, as portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles.

The frankness of his utterances, when commenting on the tendency of "strikes" to recoil on the working classes, with whom he so lovingly identifies himself, and when alluding to the complicity of the American churches with slavery as he believes that complicity to have existed, in the years preceding the War of Secession, may startle some of his readers. But true affection is fearless in its candour, and nearing the end of his career, and writing from the Asiatic home of his missionary adoption to men of Europe and of America, whose shores he expects no more to visit, his remarks may be more patiently heeded, sent as across the ocean, and sounding almost as from the other side of the grave.

Whatever were the early delinquencies of the British government in its Indian territories, as to hindrances persistently cast in the path of quiet missionaries, a change has occurred in later years. Among the army officers and civilians in India, Missions have found, in our own times, some of their fastest friends. To Lieut. Col. Phayre,* the British Commissioner for Pegu, Dr. Mason has dedicated his volume on Burmah, imploring in Latin verse, that Burmah might long enjoy his beneficent influence. The Havelocks and the Lawrences of the English Indian service, recall the memory of Cornelius the Centurion: and pages of primeval Church History, traced by inspired evangelists in the first century, receive a fresh light from the campaigns of the nineteenth century, as the gospel is seen at home in the tented field. The work of a patient "dogged" toiler, to use the homely phrase by which Johnson and Chalmers were both wont to describe resolute, unrelaxing application, this autobiography has yet great naturalness and vivacity. It shows how fervid, unstinted toil leads to usefulness and to happiness. Many as have been the privations and the inevitable sorrows of his missionary career, the course of Dr. Mason has been largely blessed. And "they who turn many to righteousness" have the pledge of the Bible and the God of the Bible, that, whatever their lot on earth, "they shall shine as the stars forever and ever."

NEW YORK, March, 1870.

[Footnote: * Since become Col. Sir A. P. Phayre.]


England in the reign of George the Third–The Valley of the Mississippi half a century ago–Massachusetts in the days of Lafayette's Visit–A quarter of a century in the Tenasserim Provinces–Scenes of travel in Europe, Asia, Africa and America–British Burmah as it is to-day.


SO far as my consciousness testifies, my first out-look on the world was through a window, with a bar across it, into the corner of a gentleman's garden, in the middle of winter; and the first sounds I can recollect were the twitterings of a robin, that was hopping about on the leafless shrubs before me.

My thoughts, however, were turned to the bar in the window. I viewed it with no more complacency than Adam did the flaming sword that shut him out of Eden. In some way or other, I had obtained the idea that there was a race above me, who had shut me out of their society, and that the bar in the window indicated a great and impassable gulf between us.

I turned from the window to my mother, in whom all my affections concentrated, and hid my head on her bosom. I felt happy in the love of my mother, and in that all my happiness consisted, and not in my possessions. The ideas connected with mine and thine, had no place in my thoughts. There was not a ripple to disturb the calm of perfect happiness in my soul, but the bar in the window. Had there been a tempter, I should have assuredly tried to get out of the window, because I did not wish to be controlled.

Some writers describe sin as selfishness, making self, instead of God, a centre, and acting only from that. My earliest consciousness leads me to define it, as man making his own will supreme,–an indisposition to obey. This is confirmed by the oft-heard complaints of mothers, that their children "won't mind."

The first prayer, then, to teach children is, not such things as, "Now I lay me down to sleep," in which the child is passive, but our Lord's prayer of, "Not my will, but Thine, be done," where the child both prays and is taught the most important of practical duties–that of controlling his own will.

If "All the world is a stage," then this was my first scene in life; seen when I was between two and three, or between three and four years of age, I am uncertain which.

My father cultivated a few flowers and vegetables in a small garden, into which the door of our house opened; and early in the spring, my attention was arrested by a row of crocuses cropping up out of the snow. It was a mystery to me by what power they lived and pushed themselves up through the snow. They were the daily objects of my thought and admiration. I endeavored to make inquiries of my parents, but got no satisfaction.

Mansel says: "Man learns to pray before he learns to reason; he feels within him the consciousness of a Supreme Being and the instinct of worship, before he can argue from effects to causes." Descartes said the same thing before him, but it is all poetry. He states what ought to be, not what is, and it is diametrically opposed to my experience.

When I saw the crocuses peeping out of the snow, I looked for a cause, and asked, "How can these things be?" There I argued from effects to causes, but I was utterly destitute of any idea of a Supreme Being.

My first consciousness recognized a superior authority. I instinctively obeyed my mother, and believed implicitly everything she said. Here, then, if man has no innate knowledge of God, and I certainly had not, is the appropriate source whence a child should obtain its first ideas of God.

Among the slides to a magic lantern that a society in London furnished for the use of the Karens, is one representing Christ blessing little children; and of all the pictures exhibited, there is no one that has a tithe of the interest with the Karens that this has. Zoological slides, and astronomical slides, and all other slides, fade into nothingness in comparison with this. The old people look on it as something not of this world, the younger ones clap their hands with delight, and the blessing seems to descend upon them while they gaze.

It was interesting to notice a company of red Karens, the wildest of the Karen tribes, who were present at a recent exhibition. They spread themselves down on the floor in front of the assembly, and gazed on the picture as if fascinated.

How often have I regretted that my mother did not exhibit to me that incident in our Saviour's life. Had she explained to me my need of a Saviour, His love and sacrifice for my salvation, I should have leaped off my feet with joy. I should have felt like the little girl who, returning from Sabbath services, exclaimed: "Mother, mother! I'm so happy! The minister preached the child's gospel." It appeared that the preacher had repeated the words of Jesus: "Suffer little children to come unto me," and that was all she had retained of the sermon; but that was enough.

Had my mother preached Christ to me, young as I was, I have not the slightest doubt but, with the blessing of God, I should have been converted as really as I was a quarter of a century afterwards. At that age there was undoubtedly a depraved tendency in the heart to be turned in conversion, but little more. The works of the flesh had not been developed.

How much easier, then, while in the habitual exercise of simple, implicit confidence in our parents, to turn that confidence to God, than after mature age, when our simplicity has been destroyed by contact with the world, and we have ceased to place implicit confidence in any one?

Yet to our original mental position of little children, we must fall back in order to enter into the kingdom of God. How unwise, then, to quietly allow evil passions to be developed and bad habits acquired, when we have the means at hand to prevent their existence altogether!

The example of Count Zinzendorf is decisive proof that it is practicable for very young children to be converted, and become lifelong, devoted Christians.

"While he was still very young, perhaps in his third or fourth year," it is said, "he had a most delightful, abiding sense of the love of Jesus, and felt he could tell Him all his wants in prayer, and speak to Him as freely as he could to any earthly relation."

He himself wrote: "When I was very young, I was told that my Creator had become man from love to me, and it made a deep impression on me. I thought with myself, If my compassionate Lord should have no other person to love Him, at least I will cleave to Him, and live and die with him. Many an hour have I spent in conversing with him, as one speaks to a dear and honored friend. But still at that time I did not know the amount of what I owed Him. Alas! I did not know the merits of a bleeding, dying Saviour, who had made an offering for my sins, till on a certain day, when the whole truth of what my Creator had borne on my account flashed vividly before my mind. At first I burst into tears, and could not contain myself, it was so wondrous good of Him; and then I made a solemn covenant with Him to live to Him, and love Him more than I had ever done. I have now spent upwards of fifty years in daily intercourse with my Saviour, and I feel myself every day happier."

If Zinzendorf could thus hold communion with Christ at three or four years of age, then any other child may; and if any other child may, then it is the duty of the church to labor and pray that every other child shall.

To the question, then, of "What to do with the baby?" I reply, "CONVERT IT." "Suffer little children to come unto me," is a motto for every nursery, an inscription for every cradle, a watchword for every mother.

But the editor of the New York Examiner and Chronicle well remarks: "Christian parents cannot reasonably expect the conversion of their children if this is not their hearts' great desire, nor will their efforts be likely to succeed, if all which makes up family life is not brought into harmony with Christian principles and precepts. The conversion of children is undoubtedly by the special grace of God, but his grace manifests itself in harmony with permanent laws, and the children whose conversion may be most confidently anticipated, are those who live in a perpetual and pervading atmosphere of Christian piety."

A writer in the Christian Review for July, 1857, says: "The simple evidence on which the divine existence rests is this: The human mind, the mysterious mechanism of our bodies, the world which we inhabit, and all the works of creation, reveal unmistakable marks of design, and must have had a great designer superior to themselves. That designer we call God."

This was exactly the view adopted by my parents, and they argued very correctly from the premises, that it was too complicated for a child to understand; and, therefore, taught me nothing on the subject till I was of comparatively mature age, when they made "Paley's Natural Theology" a text-book for my instruction. By that time I had picked up some crude notions of a Divine Being, but when the first idea of God loomed up in my mind I have no recollection. Certainly not in my earliest years.

One evening in the summer following, as I was playing alone in the garden by moonlight, the moon arrested my attention, as the scud galloped over it. My father had gone out, and I thought to myself, "Can father, where he has gone, see the moon as I see it?" This thought recurred to me every time I looked, as I frequently did, for the moon seemed to fascinate me.

The question in my mind was, "Is the moon so placed that it can be seen everywhere, or is it confined to a single locality?" I could at that time have understood a simple lecture on astronomy as readily as I could twenty years afterwards; and one with figures and apparatus would have been more welcome to me than my daily food.

God's works made a stronger impression on my mind than man's. Before I can recollect anything of streets and buildings, I well recollect walking alongside of my father on the banks of the river Ouse, and the delight I felt at looking on the lights and shadows of the green grass, with its daisies and buttercups, and the mirror of the river beyond, and the spring where we stopped to drink, and the crystal pebbles over which it trickled. My heart was first my mother's, and next nature's. The love of nature has been to me like a natural affection. It glowed in me when I was young, and has not abated in old age.

We read of the wrongs of the poor, the wrongs of sailors, the wrongs of women, and of many other wrongs, but the wrongs of young children have not yet been brought on the platform; though their wrongs are second to none, for they are not taught, even by those who love them, from the mistaken impression that they cannot understand.

Before I had the conception of the existence of God, or any notion of religion whatever, a bar in the window of my nursery had been the means of my obtaining the very distinct idea that there were two classes of men in the world, a powerful class and a weak class; and that the powerful class had driven the weak class, to which I belonged, from their presence; and that idea has clung to me throughout life.

A child is more observant than an adult, and asks, as well as it is able, for information concerning everything that attracts its notice; but its inquiries are pooh-poohed as childish, or it meets some such ill-tempered rebuff as, "Hold your tongue," or, "Be still." Whereas everything should be patiently and correctly explained to it; keeping in mind that a child's ideas are much more complete and coherent than he can command language to express. I can distinctly recollect that throughout all my early years, when I went to my parents to ask questions, I could not fully express my thoughts, and often found it difficult to make myself understood.

Children by being left uninstructed do not remain in blank ignorance. They obtain ideas of one kind or another, often erroneous ones, and often, when true, giving distorted prominence to thoughts that ought to have been received in connection with others that would have placed them in a more correct light.

These wrongs of children are shared by the children of the rich quite as much, and often more, than the children of the poor; because they are confided to nursery-maids, who have not the interest in the children that the mothers have. Their object is simply to keep the children quiet, and to do this they draw their attention from thinking to eating, by giving them sweetmeats, or to making a noise by plays and toys. If they are cornered by the children for an answer to some intelligent question, the chances are ten to one against the answer being a correct one. Their teachings are, very generally, the teachings of error and superstition. The condition of a child of poor, but ordinarily intelligent parents, is vastly superior in this respect to the children of the rich. My father and mother neglected to teach me many things they might have done, but they taught me neither errors nor superstition.

If there be nothing else innate, there is an innate desire for knowledge; and if a boy ever needs to be whipped to his lessons, it shows that his education, between infancy and the school, has been neglected. The desire for knowledge in very young children is so repressed instead of being cultivated, that the mental faculties often become callous and unsusceptible to mental impressions from disuse; as we see in old people who have been brought up in ignorance.

The wrongs of very young children in being treated as incapable of learning are generic, being shared in by all classes, but when they grow older and are supposed to be able to acquire knowledge, then the specific wrongs of young children begin. The children of the rich are taught, but the children of the poor are left to vegetate in their ignorance.

The first time that the feeling of envy was aroused in my heart, was in watching a little boy of my own age, who went to a genteel school, showing his admiring parents how the hours were marked by the shadow of a gnomon he had set up before their house. I thought myself his equal in mental capacity, and I was his equal in knowledge when very young; but I had grown up, like a weed, untaught, while he, like a carefully cultivated plant, had been instructed in the select school, from which I was excluded by the bar in the window. I envied him his position, not on account of his food, or clothes, or social standing, but because he had the means to acquire what seemed to me marvelous knowledge.

"All men are born equal," but I was born in the rut of poverty, and cradled in a room barred out from more congenial influences. This boy, I felt, was born on the other side of the bar, and when the time for educating commenced, he went forward because he was taught, and therefore became my mental superior, because I was untaught and stationary. Thus men grow up unequal, and that because of the bar in the window. "The destruction of the poor is their poverty."


LIKE Paul, "A citizen of no mean city," I was born in the city of York; which is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and a series of dissolving views, exhibiting the scenes that have been enacted there, would be as interesting as the pictures of a romance, or one of Walter Scott's novels.

It was founded B.C. 983, by Ebracus, who was contemporary with Solomon. While that monarch was bringing his peace-offerings of oxen to the temple of the Living God, Ebracus was bringing to the Druids his war-offerings of human sacrifices. When Julius Caesar landed in Britain B.C. 55, he described the Druids as forming "images of enormous size, the limbs of which they make of wicker-work, and fill with living men, and setting them on fire, the men are destroyed in the flames."

A few centuries afterwards, the Druidical worship appears to have been supplanted in York by that of their Roman conquerors. A Roman altar has been dug up in one of the principal streets dedicated: "To the great and mighty Jupiter, and to all gods and goddesses, household and peculiar gods." Another has been found dedicated to Hercules, another to the deities of Augustus, another to the departed spirits, and another Roman tablet is inscribed to "the genius or tutelar deity of the city."

In one place, the ruins of a temple have been discovered with a Latin inscription, saying: "This temple, sacred to the god Serapis, was erected solely by Claudius Heronymianus, Lieutenant of the Sixth Conquering Legion."

Serapis was the Egyptian god of medicine, the worship of which the Roman government long proscribed, but which became so popular with the people, that they had at last to tolerate it; and here we see, that in those early days it had obtained footing in York.

If we shift the scene forward a few centuries more, we shall find that the Roman gods have been superseded in turn, and Christianity comes on the stage; but of which we have no monuments till after the country was occupied by the Saxons. Notwithstanding all the laudations to the contrary, I suspect that after the age of miracles had passed away, the early Christians were much like other people. Here, in York, we have abundant evidence of the prevalence of Roman worship, but not a vestige to show that Christianity had been introduced at that time, though at the distance of several centuries into the Christian era.

York was the residence of the Roman emperors when in Britain. The Emperor Severus died in York; his son Caracalla, after killing his brother, succeeded him in York. In A. D. 286 Carausius was proclaimed emperor in York, and was assassinated in York by Alectus, who was killed in turn by the Emperor Constantius, who died in York; and his son, Constantine, who afterwards became the first Christian emperor, was born in York, and proclaimed emperor in York.

The city then must have been famous all over the Roman Empire, and access to it easy, so had there been a little of the Pauline spirit in the church, missionaries would have been there centuries before the days of Paulinus, who is said to have founded the first Christian church in York, in the seventh century.

However, there is reason to believe that there were Jews there before that time. I was born in Walmgate, on the 2d of April, 1799, opposite to the church of St. Denys, or St. Dyonis, remarkable among all the other churches for its peculiar plan and great plainness. It is a church of remote antiquity, and tradition says it was formerly a Jewish synagogue. The lid of a curiously ornamented Saxon coffin has been dug up in the church-yard, so that we know it was a church in the days of the Saxons; and if ever Jewish synagogues existed in the city, and they must have been there to have originated the tradition, they must have been there before the Saxons, and in the time of the Romans. The probability then is, that the Jews came to York in considerable numbers after the destruction of Jerusalem, and before Christian missionaries.

The shifting views of the different religions that have prevailed in York, are exceeded in number by the changing language of the law courts. Had one of Caesar's followers stepped into a Druid court, he would have heard the pleaders and witnesses all speaking Celtic, a language that is regarded as the connecting link between the Sanscrit and the old Egyptian; and which, though once spread all over Europe, has been completely driven into the sea, excepting a few fragments that still cleave to the Welch mountains, the Scotch Highlands, the Irish bogs, and the forests of Brittany.

Three centuries afterwards nothing would have been heard in the courts in York, but the polished Latin, which, as a spoken language, like the Celtic, has passed into oblivion. Three or four centuries more, and Anglo-Saxon would have been heard in the place of Latin, and the Danish would have held a temporary sway, but both to give place to Norman-French. What is now spoken in the courts differs from all, and, though founded on the Anglo-Saxon, were Alfred to rise from the dead, he would not be able to read his own writings in their modern dress.

My father, in the education of his children, acted up to his convictions. He did not believe in teaching religion to very young children, but he believed in teaching them history. From the ancient buildings of our city and its suburbs, he taught me the history of England in our evening walks, long before I could read it in books.

There was the multangular tower, a regular thirteen-sided polygon, at one corner of the old wall of the city, built by the Romans. From that he discoursed to me on the Caesars and the conquests of the Romans in Britain. In the neighborhood of this tower, were the remains of St. Leonard's Hospital, a sort of almshouse, where ninety persons were supported. This was founded A. D. 936, by King Athelstane, so this formed a text for a lecture on the Anglo-Saxons. Near by were the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, the foundation of which was laid by Siward, a Danish prince, and Earl of Northumberland; so that, like a book-mark, served to point to the chapter on the Danish dynasty in England.

On the opposite side of the city is the castle, inclosing a yard, in which forty thousand persons can congregate; and this edifice, having been built by William the Conqueror, it formed a suggestive starting point for a history of the Norman conquest. Clifford's Tower, in ruins, on a mound near the castle, was never passed without calling to mind the fifteen hundred Jews that were massacred in it at the accession of Richard the Crusader, A. D. 1189; and with this was associated the story of the Crusades.

But nothing dwelt in my mind in childhood of the remarkable events connected with the antiquities related to me, like the story of the conversion of the Saxon king, Edwin, who was born in York, with his priests and followers, from heathenism, and their baptism by Paulinus, a companion of the famous Augustin, in the minster he had built, A. D. 625.

It was a fact that could not be forgotten, and probably had much influence in moulding my mind, and turning my thoughts to heathen lands in after years. The conversion of a nation from idolatry was a great idea in my little mind, and seemed worthy of a monument like the cathedral.

The cathedral which King Edwin built was only of wood–a very different affair from the present Gothic pile which has become so famous. A distinguished architect has written: "Architecture, perhaps, has never produced, nor can imagination easily conceive, a vista of greater magnificence and beauty, than that which is seen from the western entrance of the cathedral."

It is more than five hundred feet long, and here, when a child, I used to walk up and down to look at the stained windows, or the rows of statues of old kings before the choir, or the monuments of the dead, or hear my father explain to me that the clustered arches overhead were supposed to have their origin in an avenue of over-arching trees.

The large proportion of the people who visit the cathedral, are drawn to it as a school of architecture, or as a museum of curiosities, rather than as a place to worship God. If God be there, He is lost in the ornaments of the surroundings that are made for Him–ornamental writing that cannot be read from the abundance of the elegant flourishes.

Worship is maintained there twice every day, with a splendid choir of men and boys to do the singing, all dressed in white robes. I have been present on special occasions, but could not forget that some of the white-robed men were known to be tipplers and scoffers at religion.

Laurence Sterne was one of the prebends, or preachers at York Minster, and, though none of his successors have had his wit, a good many have had his morals. A few years ago, the dean was tried and found guilty of simony, or taking bribes for appointments, but he had interest enough to get the judgment reversed.

In a population of some 18,000 inhabitants, York had 23 parish churches and 3 chapels, and had had 40 churches and 15 chapels. There was a dean and chapter of eight or ten clergymen connected with the cathedral; an archbishop and his chaplains within sound of the minster's bells; nearly forty clergymen of the Church of England, besides Dissenters; and yet, although I was born in York, and lived a dozen years there, never one of all the number attempted to explain to me what constitutes a Christian, or to suggest that any change was necessary for me to become one. I thought King Edwin needed conversion, because he was a heathen, but that I was born a Christian and needed no conversion. Yet tens of thousands of pounds were paid to these men annually for preaching the gospel. Were workingmen to act in a similar way, they would be brought up before the courts for obtaining money under false pretences.

On the printed card notifying the death of my grandfather, Francis Mason, A. D. 1801, he is described as "Founder of the Baptist Society in York;" and the first religious meeting I recollect attending, was with this society, in a large upper room on Peaseholme Green, the poor man's square, in an obscure corner of the city. The pulpit was then supplied by two or three different members of the church, of whom my father was one.

It was the only Baptist congregation in the city, but they were not Calvinistic Baptists. They were Unitarian Baptists of various grades. The church, however, had no creed, and every one was left at liberty to choose articles of faith for himself. It was, therefore, made up of men of very discordant views. My father, Thomas Mason, was the oldest child of my grandfather, find the only son, so his house naturally became the resort of persons wishing to join the church, or to discuss its doctrines. Many a motley group came around our fireside, and there was scarcely an article of faith of all the two hundred sects of Christendom, that did not, at one time or another, find an advocate there. Bigotry is confined to no form of faith, Catholic or Protestant; orthodox or heterodox. There were some members of this church who thought no one could be saved out of their pale, and I have repeatedly heard my father discussing with them the possibility of salvation to those who were ignorant of the faith of Peaseholme Green.

It often happens in England that there are very poor people nearly related to very rich ones. In the congregation, if not in the church, were two maiden ladies, so poor, that my mother hired one of them occasionally to do her washing. By what was called "a freak of fortune," an old rich uncle in the city, who would take no notice of them while he lived, died suddenly. One of these ladies proved to be his heir at law, and she entered into the property quite in the style of a romance.

After she was settled with her sister in her new house, she made a feast, and invited to it all her poor friends, my father and mother and family being among the number. I was a little boy then, but I recollect that a large dining-room was filled with visitors, and the furniture and table set were exceedingly magnificent in my little eyes, far beyond anything I had ever seen before.

It sometimes happens, however, that the rightful heir in such cases is kept out of the property for lack of means to pay the law expenses. My grandfather's grandfather, it is said, owned a small landed estate in Westmoreland or Cumberland–I do not recollect which–worth some two hundred pounds per annum, but he had a large family, and my grandfather's father removed to Yorkshire, where he worked as a farmer, and died young. His mother, being unable to do anything better for him, put her eldest son, my grandfather, apprentice to a shoemaker.

In the later years of his life, news was brought him, that the other heirs having died, he was heir to his grandfather's property, but it was in the hands of another party that could not be dispossessed without an expensive law suit. He discussed the matter with his church, but the members were all opposed to his going to law. Going to law they thought unsuitable for a minister; and while they expressed themselves ready to help him as long as he lived, if he continued to discharge his pastoral duties, they would not help him to go to law. So there the matter dropped.

My father being the next heir, often talked of taking measures to obtain this property, but he never had the money to make a commencement, and before he died, the parties in possession must have had quiet possession more than sixty years, which, according to English law, gives a permanent right. Illustrating again the wise man's saying: "The destruction of the poor is their poverty."


MY father was very diligent in teaching me to speak the truth. As soon as I had learned what a lie was, I had learned to regard it as one of the meanest and most dishonorable of all things, and never throughout my whole life have I knowingly told an untruth. He kindly kept me out of temptation by saying, when any difficulty occurred, "Tell the truth, and you shall not be punished." I did tell the truth, and he believed me, and that strengthened me in persisting in the truth. I have seen children greatly grieved when they told the truth and were not believed. It did them a great injury, because they had no character left to sustain, and discouraged them in being scrupulous about the truth.

In the same way stealing was made so abhorrent that I was never on any occasion tempted to steal. And whenever I find children pilfering or telling falsehoods, I always attach great blame to the parents, because I know that parental education alone, without any religious principle, is sufficient to prevent these flagrant breaches of the moral code.

If the children of the poor steal an apple or an orange, they are given to the police, who mark them down as "little thieves," and they become notorious at once. They are entered as children taught to steal, and their sins are not only charged upon them individually, but also against the whole class to which they belong. They are poor, and, therefore, they are thieves. That is the logic served out for the poor. But in the circle in which I have moved, I have known quite as many children of the rich pilfer as the children of the poor, and many more tell falsehoods. They go to the shops or the bazars with their mothers and steal, and bring home what they have stolen. When discovered, the owners laugh, the mothers tell the story as something very funny, and all the world says: They are rich, and, therefore, it is all a joke. That is the logic cooked up for the rich.

Religious people sometimes undervalue mere education in morals, but it is exceedingly valuable as far it goes, and infinitely better than nothing. When I left home, at nineteen years of age, I had no bad habits; neither had I a particle of religion. My good qualities were all negative. I did not tell falsehoods; I did not use profane language; I did not drink; I did not gamble; all very good, but I might have united all these things, and yet have been a Mohammedan or a Buddhist. There is nothing peculiarly Christian in these negative qualities; they require no special Divine influence to originate them; they do not lift a man above the moral stratum of heathenism.

I believed in one God, and so do Mohammedans, but there was no emotion in my belief. It is not mere intellectual faith in God and Christ that makes a Christian, but loving them. I believed there was a God in heaven, just as I believed there was a king in London; but I had no love for either the one or the other. If I happened to observe the laws of either, it was not because I had any personal regard for them, but because I had been educated to observe them. I had regard to the commands of my parents, not to the commands of God or the king.

When I left my father's house and went into the world, I realized the importance of the petition in our Lord's prayer–"Lead us not into temptation." The feebleness of mere education before temptation then became manifest. Of all bad habits, there is the least temptation to use profanity or bad language, yet when I fell into society where its use was common, I soon found myself going with the multitude.

My father had been very strict in requiring me to attend some place of worship twice every Sabbath, and when I went abroad he charged me to keep up the habit. This attendance at meeting had always been very distasteful to me, and when the pressure of his presence was removed, it required very little temptation for me to neglect it altogether; and after I left home, I did not enter a church or a meeting-house for more than two years.

This shows that though a good moral education is of great value when kept out of temptation, it is not worth much in the face of temptation; because there is no living principle within to resist it. Had my good habits been the result of a religious principle implanted in the heart, they would have gone with me, and abided by me; but a mere formal Christian education is nothing but Christianity with Christ left out.

My father bestowed great labor on me to prevent me from imbibing superstitious notions. He taught me early never to be afraid in the dark; and whenever I heard strange sounds, or saw strange sights, not to run away from them, but to go towards them, and try to discover whence they proceeded.

The superstitions of the middle ages held no slight power over the minds of the working classes at the close of the last century and the beginning of the present. My grandfather Hay, my mother's father, was originally from Northumberland. In his early years he had commenced the study of medicine, and always remembered Latin enough to read medical prescriptions. This made him an oracle in the circle in which he moved. He was also skilled in astrology, and although he practiced it only for himself and family, yet he was a strong believer in the system.

Other modes of fortune-telling were believed in. I have heard mother say that their house was robbed of a considerable sum of money on one occasion, and that my grandfather went to a famous "wise man," living some fifty miles distant, to report the theft and seek advice, just as people in these matter-of-fact days go to the police office. The "wise man," for a consideration, undertook to unveil the thief. He had an assistant in a little boy, who looked into a mirror and related what he saw. He described a woman coming from a neighboring house and going into my grandfather's, returning with a bundle in her hands. The dress and features of the woman were so accurately described that my grandfather recognized her as one of his neighbors; so when he returned home he taxed her with the theft, and she restored the money.

Some years ago, the public were mystified by reading, in Lane's description of Egypt, an account of an Arab fortune-teller who pursued precisely the same course, not aware that similar "wise men" might be found much nearer home if looked for.

My mathematical teacher in Hull had a son in command of a ship, who came home sick while I was at school. I found that whenever the doctor left him medicine to take, both father and son pored over a horoscope they had cast, to find out whether the medicine would benefit him or not, and the best time for taking it. Yet the old man was not known to be an astrologer. He kept it secret, because the fact would have injured his credit with the intelligent public.

Nor has the trade of fortune-telling ceased to be remunerative even in enlightened Massachusetts and among Americans. When I lived in Randolph, I heard of an old woman in a neighboring town who practiced fortune-telling with great success, and many went from Randolph to have their fortunes told. So I one night went along with a party for amusement, and found she rested her art on cards. She closeted each one alone, and when my turn came, after various shuffles and cuts with the cards, she made many general statements concerning my future, which might be made to mean anything or nothing, and then ventured to tell me of a love affair in which she said I was engaged, and to predict its results, all of which was false from beginning to end. This I did not fail to show up to my associates, and yet their faith in the old woman was unshaken. Several replied: "She told me many things that were true." My father believed nothing in any system of foretelling future events, or in communications from the spirit world, and I grew up as strong an unbeliever in them as he was, which shows the power of intelligent parental instruction.

Belief in witchcraft and the persecution of witches were not uncommon in England in my early days. Stories of persons being bewitched were constantly related over the kitchen fire; poor old women in the neighborhood were often named as witches; and I recollect, when out one night in Leeds with a number of boys, I had a hard task to prevent them throwing stones through the windows of a poor old woman who lived in a cellar, reputed a witch, and whose dwelling they dared not pass unless on the run, lest she should bewitch them.

The popular belief was that witches had sold themselves to Satan for a consideration, and at the end of an appointed time agreed on by both parties, he came and carried them off. When very young, I recollect a story was told me in all sincerity, that when the time had arrived for a certain witch to be carried away, she sat down to read the Bible, and when the candle was nearly burned out, Satan appeared and reminded her of her engagement. She asked him to wait till the bit of candle was burned out, and he consented. Then quick as lightning she shut up the bit of candle in the Bible, blowing it out at the same time, and as the devil dare not touch a Bible, her soul was saved!

Faith in the existence of ghosts, too, was very prevalent among the uneducated classes in those days, but my father taught me it was groundless, and I never had fear of the spirits of the dead, which my play-fellows usually had. I often crossed graveyards alone at night, when the boys with me would go around by the streets for the fear of ghosts.

Nor is this faith yet without believers even in the United States. In St. Louis, I knew a young man and his wife, both New Yorkers, who lived in a house which they said was haunted by the ghost of a negro who had been cruelly murdered there by his master, a Frenchman. Unaccountable noises and cries, they said, were heard there every night. I proposed to go and sleep there, and did so with a companion, as great an unbeliever as myself. We slept in the house undisturbed all night and heard nothing; but this did not prevent the occupants from leaving it.

We sometimes hear of people being "naturally superstitious" but there is no such thing. Men are educated into the belief of superstition as much as they are educated into the belief of history or the multiplication table. Still, as it was at the beginning, people had rather believe the devil than God. Mysterious knowledge has more attractions than positive knowledge, and the old-fashioned faith in ghosts being about worn out, it has been vamped up, and brought out in the new phase of "spiritualism." So true it is, that "Man is a gaping monster that loves to be deceived."


MY experience shows that while in the earliest years of childhood, the faculties are sharp, like the impress from a new seal, and the desire for knowledge as spontaneous as the breath; yet when this desire is not gratified, and the faculties are allowed to remain in disuse, the love of knowledge dies out, and the mental faculties become obtuse. This goes altogether against the theory of modern times that man has risen from a brute, and rather proves that he was created a man and brutalized himself afterwards.

I know not at what age, but when I had lost my appetite for useful knowledge, I was sent to the school of a young man, who was a strict disciplinarian, and my troubles in life commenced from that date. He succeeded in making everything he taught me, not merely uninteresting, but absolutely hateful. I hated writing, and having to show every two lines, for he was likely to follow his criticisms with a blow of the ferule, and I had to go back to the desk to improve my penmanship, with my hands smarting from the blow of his board. I hated arithmetic through the repelling aspect in which he represented it, and, above all, I hated the teacher himself. He was the first and only human being I ever cordially hated, and I made no secret of my hatred. How often, after the school was out, have I vowed to my school-fellows: "I'll lick him when I get to be a man!"

Reading, writing and arithmetic were the grand trio of working men's schools in those days. That was considered quite enough for a poor man to know. No geography, no history, no philosophy, no anything. Nothing was thought necessary for a working man to know, above ability to read on the warning boards of the grounds of the rich, "Spring-guns and man-traps set in these grounds," that they might not steal their master's rabbits or rob orchards.

A little knowledge of anatomy might, however, have been useful. I knew a boy who got a cherry-stone into his ear, and his school-fellows put him under the pump, and pumped a powerful stream of water into his ear, to drive the cherry-stone through his head and out of the other ear. They succeeded in making it necessary to call in a surgeon, who showed them that the obstruction must come out the way it went in.

Our school was in advance of the times, and we were favored with a little grammar, as a kind of dessert; but I never heard of any one getting beyond naming his tools. I could define a noun or a verb as accurately as Lindley Murray himself, but the words failed to convey any ideas to my mind. The catechism said: "What is your name? Who gave you that name? Our godfathers and godmothers." And I thought that some mythical personages, like "our godfathers and godmothers," had called certain words nouns, adjectives and verbs, and that when those names were committed to memory, there was an end to grammar. I knew that a buttercup, for some reason unknown, was also a ranunculus; and I thought that for some such occult reason, my dog was a noun and his barking a verb.

My emotional nature, like my intellectual faculties, lay dormant and undeveloped. Man has emotional powers within him to pray, praise and exercise adoring gratitude, which can turn a prison into paradise, and make him happy under any circumstances; but they need to be educated out of him, just like his mental powers. They lay curled up in the recesses of his soul like the wings of the butterfly in the chrysalis state, and there they will lie forever, unless something is done to bring them out.

The powers of my moral nature were plastic and impressible at my earliest recollections, but became callous and apathetic, as I grew older. From the time I was four or five years of age, till I passed my eighteenth year, there was rarely a Sunday passed in which I was not taken to meeting twice. I must have heard within that time more than 1500 sermons, 3000 prayers, 4500 hymns, and a distressing number of exhortations; and yet not a single one of the whole ever made the slightest impression on my heart. They were all to me as if I had never heard them, but to sit under the delivery of the sermons was the greatest agony I have ever been called to endure in the three-score years and ten of my existence. Fever and ague were nothing to it.

To keep little children elbowed down on hard seats, bound to keep perfect silence for what appears to them an interminable period, and condemned to listen to moral essays adapted to adults, and theological disquisitions that Gabriel could not understand, is one of the great mistakes of Christian parents. As well might the children be taken to college and set down in the lecture-room to listen to lectures on fluxions, or functions, or the squaring of the circle. The effect produced is exactly the opposite to the one sought. Instead of a good habit of attending church being acquired, no sooner is the compulsory force removed, than there is a rebound, like a bended spring being set free, and the religious assembly is avoided. After fourteen years of intensely wearisome Sabbaths, without a single bright spot on any one of them, I found myself at liberty; and I enjoyed it like the dove that never came back to the ark again, or like a colt freed from the halter, that runs and kicks up its heels. Let children be taught at home something that they can understand, by some one they love; and then it will be a pleasure for them to go to church occasionally.

For many years I was constrained to attend Sabbath-schools, but they were as unprofitable to me as the preaching of the sanctuary. I committed to memory, during those years, an untold amount of Scripture texts; but they were like water poured into a sieve. They all ran away and left nothing behind. My moral nature was untouched.

This seems remarkable, but it is a fact; and a fact that occurs oftener than Christians are willing to believe. Some will dispose of the matter by attributing it to human depravity and original sin, but while believing in the existence of both, I think they had very little to do with the case in hand. At that time I was quite indifferent to religious doctrines, because I did not view them as a personal matter.

I read the Bible much as I read Rollin's Ancient History. Daniel was to me one of the most interesting books in the Bible, because it contained the most stirring and remarkable historical incidents. There was no personal application of the Word of God, and hence, "the Word preached did not profit, not being mixed with faith in them that heard."

We read glowing eulogies on Raikes' Sunday-schools, but nothing could surpass the vapidness and inanity of English Sabbath-schools in the days of my boyhood. One year I attended a Sunday-school in York, taught exclusively by the students of the "Presbyterian Seminary" there–all Unitarians by the way. At the close of the term, prizes were awarded to the most advanced pupils, and the prizes consisted of three books, the two principal of which, were Robinson Crusoe and AEsop's Fables. Had we been examined in Robinson Crusoe, and the prize had been a Bible, I should have borne away the palm; for Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday were familiar acquaintances, and I knew all their history, as well as I knew the streets of my native town. As it was, I was far behind the victors, and the boy at the head of the list chose Robinson Crusoe. It struck me then as being not a little incongruous, to reward boys for their biblical attainments, with such books as Robinson Crusoe and AEsop's Fables.

It may be supposed by some, that the reason the Word of God was so inoperative, was owing to the heterodoxy of the teachers; but when I was several years older, I attended an orthodox Sunday-school connected with the Independents or Congregationalists, in Leeds; and the mode of teaching was precisely the same as in the Unitarian school, and equally barren in results.

The exercises were the same, everlastingly committing the Scriptures to memory, without note or comment, and neither teacher nor superintendent, in either school, ever spoke a word to me personally, so that it was all the same to me whether they were orthodox or heterodox, Christian or heathen. I have never found any divine influences in names, or brick walls, or sermons, or prayers, or texts, without the communication of ideas.


WHEN I had mastered the "Rule of Three," I thought I knew enough of science, and persuaded my parents to allow me to try and do something in the world. I was pretty well read in the old authors, and longed to be a man. For several years both before and after this period, the strongest desire in my heart was the desire to be a man. I was impatient of restraint, and wished to leap over youth into manhood at one spring. Had there been a reform movement to ignore the boy and vote all the boys men, I should have been a leader in it.

It is this desire, more than all other causes combined, which fills our cities with newsboys, shoeblacks, pedlars, porters, and the like. They do not want situations where they will be under control; they have no wish to be apprenticed to anything. They want to be men, and if they cannot be that just now, they are determined to be free, if not like men, at least like the wild ass of the desert. They mean to call no man master. These boys, when they get adrift are the most difficult class in society to deal with, because nothing will subdue them excepting patient kindness, a scarce article in the market.

Knowledge is power, money is power, but kindness is a power more powerful than either, because it can move the human heart; and especially the hearts of children. So long as the love of Christ can prostrate the walls of brass around the hardened sinner's heart, just so long will love and Christian kindness have power to reform the fatherless and motherless and friendless little ones that "infest" the streets of our cities.

But in one view, I never was a boy, the cares of manhood rested so soon on my young shoulders.

My father usually put his earnings into the hands of my mother, and left her to make the best disposition of them she could. His mind was almost always occupied with some literary work or another.

Sometimes he would be turning over a puzzling question about to be discussed in a debating society in which it was arranged he should take part; sometimes he had a poem on hand; sometimes he was preparing a speech for a public meeting, and when Saturday night came and the work of the week was finished, he often had to get a sermon ready to preach the next day.

The commissariat department was left to my mother, and it often required a great knowledge of figures, and something more, to make the appropriations meet the expenditures. As she had no one else with whom to consult, she early acquired the habit of taking counsel with her oldest boy Frank, and Frank as early learned to give it, whether he understood the merits of the case or not.

I furnished my mother with a good deal of information concerning the outside world, of which she must have remained in ignorance but for me. I knew the prices of a given article at twenty different shops; and if a "cheap shop" was opened in town, I as good as telegraphed it to my mother, as soon as the notice was up.

After the wages were paid on Saturday evening, about seven o'clock, I often had one of the hardest day's works in the week to do, running all over town till near midnight. But I always did it readily and cheerfully. I never felt the labor hard, because it was for my mother, whom I intensely loved, which made it a pleasure to do anything to lighten her labors. I went up and down the dark lanes and alleys, and through the midst of crowded thoroughfares where thieves and pickpockets are said to abound, but never lost anything by them. I bought all sorts of things here and there, had all sorts of packages in my pockets, and under my arms, and in my hands, but when I got home I never missed one.

Thus the careless, joyous days of boyhood I never knew. Instead of spinning tops, I was always thinking of how to turn a penny for mother; and instead of playing marbles, I was rambling over the market to see where potatoes were cheapest, and where the largest bunches of radishes could be obtained for a halfpenny.

Since I could not become a man, I concluded to become an errand-boy, and help mother with my wages. That was decidedly preferable to the absolute government to which I was subjected in school. I had read not a little history and not a few novels, but had never met with anything so intensely arbitrary as "our school."

I obtained a situation in an extensive boot and shoe manufactory in the city, and I found the proprietor a kind old man. He never once found fault with me all the time I was with him. Kindness has more power than stripes. Bring flowers to his grave, because he was kind! I think he must have loved the Lord Jesus Christ, because he was kind; but I know not what his creed was, nor whether he had any creed at all. I thought him one of the best of Christians because he was kind. I have since studied theology, and the original Scriptures, and Exegesis, and the German commentators, and learned more of the value of creeds; but I still look for Christianity under the garb of kindness.

My employer had risen from small beginnings till he had become a rich man, and was then a member of the city government. To each of his two sons he had given a classical education, and for the eldest he had succeeded in obtaining a commission in the army. While I was there he returned home temporarily, a captain in charge of a recruiting depot.

His other son had been educated for the law, but fell into intemperate habits, and all the efforts of his father and brother to reform him were unavailing. He finally enlisted in the East Indian artillery, and there was in York the unexampled sight of one brother a captain in Wellington's army, and the other a private in the service of the East India Company.

The old man had married a young wife in his latter days who was a great novel-reader, and, being errand-boy, she constantly sent me backwards and forwards to the circulating library. On one Saturday, I had been sent on several errands, and, among others, to the library, where I was detained an unreasonable time to get my books changed, because many others were there before me.

On my return, I was met by the lady at the door, and she said: "You must not on any account tell Mr. Gill where you have been detained, because he does not like me to read novels, and does not know that I borrow books from the library at all. If he chances to see one about, I tell him I had it from a friend. So you must not tell him you have been to the library." Had he questioned me, I should have assuredly told him the whole truth, but nothing more was said to me by any one on the subject.

This lady had all the aids that money can give to make her happy, and had she, instead of reading novels, read books of another class, she might have been induced to spend her spare time in administering to the happiness of the wives and daughters of the forty workmen her husband employed; and then she would have been made happy by the reflex influences of making others happy. The loss was greater to herself than it was to her neglected sisters. Reading novels, like smoking opium, creates beatific visions, which die away like the colors on soap bubbles, and leave the reader wretched and dissatisfied.

The result of novel-reading in this instance was that she habitually deceived her husband, and had to make a confidant of her errand-boy, who despised her for it, and confessed to him that she told falsehoods, and sought to avoid exposure by tempting him to tell falsehoods for her. Though surrounded by every comfort, she must have been more miserable at heart than the poorest honest shoe-binder that came to her husband's store.

When the time came for me to choose a trade, I wished to be a printer, because I thought I should thereby have free access to books; and books I coveted beyond all other things. A large library of miscellaneous literature, with leisure to read, seemed to me an earthly paradise. I read up everything that came in my way, excepting such books as Milton's "Paradise Lost," Dryden's "Virgil," and Pope's "Homer;" these, when a boy, I could never read; but Shakspeare, Addison, Johnson, Goldsmith, Swift, Sterne, Smollett, Fielding, and a host of other old writers, novelists, essayists and poets, I reveled in.

The printers, however, all demanded a bonus of ten pounds when they took an apprentice, and this was more money than my parents could raise for the purpose. But that was not the whole difficulty. To become a printer's apprentice, I must be bound to serve seven years of what I deemed little better than slavery. The boys of my age had hosts of traditions of bad masters, cruel treatment, and of runaway apprentices being caught and lodged in jail; so I had no little dread of selling my liberty for seven years to any master, and especially to one of whom I knew nothing.

The absurd rule of requiring a boy of fourteen to serve seven years before he can be employed in a trade as a workman, is a relic of the dark ages, which the Americans have wisely thrown aside. A boy in American will work on his father's farm till he is eighteen, and learn thoroughly everything connected with farming, and then, if need be, go and learn a trade three years; and at twenty-one he is as well skilled in his trade as if he had served a seven years' apprenticeship in England.

On full consideration, I concluded to try shoe-making with my father, where there would be no legal bondage to endure, and where I saw the years of my servitude might be shortened.

After the lapse of full half a century, the desire of my heart to become a printer was gratified, and after I was sixty years of age I acquired the art of printing. Many will suppose that my attainments are superficial, but there are abundant witnesses to testify to the contrary. With no workmen but Karens who have learned to print at my hands, without any binding or apprenticeship system, we now do printing equal to work done in the best printing offices in India. We print in English, Burmese, Karen, Old Pali, and Sanscrit.

The fact of my being able to acquire a new trade in old age, has been dwelt upon because it contains a valuable lesson to working-men. In England especially, when a man has acquired a trade, he usually considers himself bound to that trade through life, much as a Hindu is bound to his caste, but this is a great mistake. When a young man has learned a trade, he should feel that, if expedient, he can learn any other.

In the changes produced in the present age by the introduction of new machinery, whole departments of hand-labor are sometimes superseded, and it is of the first importance that the men thrown out of work should be able to turn their hands to something else. If a man has the command of two trades, should he follow one generally, he may find it profitable at particular seasons to work at the other.

When I was in Cincinnati, there was a Yankee in the shop who had a patch of broom-corn in the suburbs that he visited occasionally; and when the corn was ripe, he gave up his shoe-making, reaped his corn, and went to making brooms, from which he realized a handsome sum of money.


IN England, when bread and meat are dear, the poor people break the windows of the bakers' and butchers'-shops; or, what is equally rational, they get up a "strike" against their employers for higher wages. In 1813, the shoemakers in York struck for an advance of wages, and, although my father was opposed to the measure, yet the majority of the society, to which he was necessitated to belong, was against him, and to that authority he had to submit, as much as if the king, lords and commons had been against him although the existence of the society and all action by it was contrary to Act of Parliament, but the statute-books are filled with Acts of Parliament which are never enforced.

As there was no work to be had in York, my father concluded to go to Hull, the principal sea-port in Yorkshire, about forty miles east of York. The removal was intended to be temporary, but my father never saw York again, though he lived twenty years afterwards. I was glad to accompany him, for I wanted to see the world, so the "strike" was quite acceptable to me.

It was the middle of winter, and there had been a considerable fall of snow, but it was a fine, frosty morning, when we turned our faces to the "wolds," which is a name given to the district we had to cross, literally signifying "woods," but is applied in Yorkshire to hills, though Webster says, "Sometimes a lawn or plain;" but whether woods or hills, or lawn or plain, we found the "wolds" about as uninteresting a country as I have ever seen either before or since. There were a few rolling hills, a barren as the fig-tree that Christ cursed, but the most of the way was over a level country occupied by farmers, with now and then a lifeless little village.

We walked thirty miles before dark, and reached Beverley, a neat little town of considerable antiquity with a minster thirteen hundred years old. Its original name was Beverlac, or "Beaver Lake," but there has been neither lake nor beaver there in historic times, though it is known that the beaver formerly inhabited England. In the twelfth century the price of a beaver's skin was fixed at 120 pence. We were hospitably entertained at Beverley for the night by a friend of my father's, and after breakfast next morning we walked into Hull.

Hull is one of the four largest sea-ports in Great Britain, and lies at the junction of the little river Hull with the large river Humber, which is here four miles wide. No river in England receives so many tributaries, and drains so large an extent of country as the Humber. It is, in fact, the Mississippi of England, and Hull is its New Orleans. Its basin extends from the border of Northamptonshire on the south, to the hills of Westmoreland on the north, a distance of nearly half the length of England from north to south.

The country around Hull is as flat as that around New Orleans or Calcutta, and the highest tides come up within a few feet of the level of the streets. The marvel is that it has not been washed away by the sea, which is only twenty miles distant by a wide estuary. Tradition says that the sea did once roll in and so change the face of the country by its ravages, that the river Hull, which then ran into the Humber on the west of the town, had its mouth filled up, and a new outlet was formed on the east where its mouth now is.

The German Ocean, which is separated from the Humber on the east by a narrow, flat peninsula, is making steady inroads on the land. At one place, six or eight hundred yards out to sea, is the "site of the ancient church of Aldborough," and a long series of villages on the coast have been washed into the sea within a few centuries.

Hull is famous for being the headquarters of the whale fishery, and the prosperity of the town used to depend very much on the success of the whale-men. When the ships returned at the close of the season "clean," having caught no fish, the shipowners were out of pocket, the sailors and their families out of bread, and all business suffered.

The foreign ships that frequent the port are principally from the opposite shore of the continent–from Holland, from Hamburg, from Denmark, Sweden and Russia. The Dutch vessels always attracted my attention from their clean and neat appearance, and the Russian for their dirtiness. The Russian sailors would drink the oil out of the street lamps, and eat anything that any living being could eat.

The shop in which we first worked in Hull is immortalized in my memory by the brutality of the journeyman who rented it. His wife was a very quiet, inoffensive woman, but he frequently told a story of striking her once with his fist on the side of the head, and, as she reeled and was about to fall, he struck her another blow on the other side, and she stood erect again, owing to the blows being so nicely balanced that they neutralized each other. This he narrated in a shop of six or eight men as a capital joke.

The truth is, there is no country in the world outside of heathen nations, where woman is more degraded than in the lowest stratum of English society. She holds a far better position in heathen Burmah. It is the constant habit of the men to beat their wives. The women usually speak of their husbands as "our masters," and they are the everlasting drudges of their families. There is no American society, I am happy to say, that can make any approach to the coarseness and brutality of the lowest English society. The children are educated by kicks and cuffs and curses; and there is no place so distasteful to them as home. Neither father, mother, nor child attends any religious assembly, and, so far as I can see, they have not a particle more of Christianity than the Chinese or Burmese, while they are much below them in manners and habits.

There are none whose interest is so much concerned in reclaiming these men as the moral and religious working men, because the public draws no nice distinctions, and is apt to set down the character of the whole class by that of the worst specimens. And low as these men are, they are not hopeless; but they are far more approachable for good by men of their own class than they are by clergymen, whose preaching they regard as an exercise of their trade. Those who are most hopeful should be got away from their bad associates into a better moral atmosphere. When a patient is suffering from a disease that is induced or aggravated by miasmata, the physician orders him out of the region where the miasma prevails. Medicine has little effect while the patient is under the influences which produce and continue the disease. Morals and physics are here governed by the same laws. It is of no use to preach to a drunken man in a ditch. Help him out of the ditch, and then preach to him afterwards.

Working men converted at mature age might be made more useful to their own class than any other instrumentality. They need no more education than they have, to go directly to the angles of opposition in the minds of their shop-mates, and they know from their own experience, the kind of artillery best adapted to batter them down. Then, men who are converted in their midst, who stay in their midst, are perpetual preachers of the grace of God, even when they say nothing.

Deacon Tilden, of Canton, Massachusetts, was a man of considerable talent, and an interesting speaker. He might have been picked up, sent to the schools, and after being duly crammed with the dead languages, made into an indifferent minister; but he remained in Canton an able deacon, and with his equally gifted wife, talked to his fellow-farmers, and did a work among them, that none of the ministers could do, and which he could not have done had he become a minister.

More lay agency is required for working men. We need people to address them who have a great deal of common sense, the sense, knowledge and mode of thought that is common to working men, and little more. It is the more effectual by being free from extraneous matter, or such knowledge and modes of thought as belong to other classes.

The great fault of our preaching to these men is that it is adapted to others, to the best informed in the meeting-house, not to those least informed. The preachers originally from the working classes, as many are, have worked themselves out of those classes by their learning, and bring into their preaching, what indeed they are compelled to do to be tolerated in an enlightened congregation, a vast amount of knowledge and thought which has no response in the minds of working men.

Kg Tha-byu was the most effectual preacher with the untaught Karens we ever had, and he was the most ignorant. He had very few thoughts, but those were grand ones, and everything else he deemed rubbish: The fall of man, his need of a Saviour, the fullness of Christ, and the blessedness of heaven. And he used these thoughts, like an auger, in drilling a rock. It was round, round, round, and round, round, round, until the object was accomplished. The Christian Karens, as they became more fully instructed, could not bear to hear him–they required better educated teachers; but the schools have not turned out his equal, and probably never will, for an untaught assembly.

A church in Westmoreland had written a fraternal letter to the Baptist church in York, and a long elaborate reply was prepared and copied in the best style by a young man connected with the congregation, who was a clerk in a lawyer's office. The letter was adopted by the congregation, but before it was mailed, the committee came to my father privately, and said that the letter was a good one, but did not represent the people who sent it; that they were working men with plain ideas, and all writing a plain hand, but the composition was in a style above them, just as the hand-writing was superior to anything they could write themselves; and they requested my father to write them a letter in his own style and hand, which would better represent the church. He did so; and, unknown to the young lawyer, my father's letter, which was undoubtedly inferior to his as a piece of composition, was sent in its place, because it was nearer the level of working men's thoughts.

My father was a preacher, but he never wore a black coat while preaching, nor did any of the preachers to the churches with which he was connected. To have appeared in the pulpit in a black coat would have been a deadly heresy, and he would have certainly been degraded from the ministry. Black coats were associated with people making a trade of religion, and preaching for money.

My father once tried to introduce written sermons, but they were cried down as "cold pudding." The people had much rather hear a man begin, as one of their exhorters, whom I often suffered under, began when expounding the passage: "And they rolled away the stone." "It was na common stane," he said, "it was na common stane. No, my brethren, it was a marble stane."


OFTEN when a little boy, I had heard of astronomers measuring the distances of the sun, moon and stars, but I did not understand how it could be possible, and with the great mass of the common people, I thought it a much more unlikely story than anything in the Arabian Nights. That the doctors made castor oil out of dead bodies was credible enough, but that the star-gazers could make anything out of the moon was not to be believed.

One day in turning over the books on an old book-stall in Hull, I hit upon a large geography, which in the introduction undertook to explain how the distances of the heavenly bodies were measured. I read enough to become deeply interested, and when I got home, I went to my mother, who was always my sympathizing confidant, told her of the discovery, and begged of her to buy it for me. We were poor, and she had not the money then, but like a true mother, though feeling no interest in the matter herself, in a week or two she contrived to furnish me with the price, and the book was bought.

I purchased the book merely for the introduction, and it was a good bargain, for those few pages made me a mathematician. They taught in the simplest manner possible, how an object off the road varies its position as we move along the road, and that these angles being measured, and the space traveled over known, the distance of the object can be calculated. The application was then made to the moon and planets as seen from the earth, and it became as clear as a sunbeam, that the distances of the heavenly bodies could be measured. I was greatly delighted with the discovery. It was like finding a nugget of gold. And when I read on that the science which taught this art was called "trigonometry," I determined at once, cost what it would, to learn trigonometry.

I had never met the word before, and none of the theologians and politicians who frequented our house knew any more about it than I did, but after many inquiries, I found there was a select night school of six or eight pupils taught by a retired naval officer, who was reported the best mathematician in town; so I persuaded my father to allow me to go to this night school and to pay my school fees.

All having been arranged, one evening without any introduction, I walked into the old gentleman's library where he taught, and asked if he had room for another pupil in trigonometry. He smiled, pulled off his spectacles, and leaning back in his arm-chair, gazed intently on me for a minute or two, as I stood before him. At last he relieved me of his piercing eyes, and said: "Yes, take a chair."

He immediately took down from his book-shelves Simson's Euclid, with the remark: "Do you want to understand principles? I can teach you trigonometry at once, but you will not understand the principles on which the calculations are based. If you study that book, and then take up trigonometry, you will understand the reasons of the rules with which you work. Now which course do you prefer to pursue?" "Geometry then shall be my first study," I replied, "because I want to know, first of all, the reasons of things."

I took up the study of Euclid, which he lent me, and no book before or since, excepting the Bible, have I read with such a deep interest as Euclid. After being started, I went through it with as much zest as a fashionable young lady goes through the last new novel.

Of the thoroughness with which I mastered the book, an incident which occurred at Newton Theological Seminary many years afterwards gave proof. One of the students who had come from Brown University, pointed out to me a theorem in Legendre, which he said none of his class, nor even the professor himself, understood. When they came to it in course, the professor said: "You understand this, you can pass on to the next." All the class assented until my informant ventured to say that he did not, and then it turned out that there was not a man in the class that understood any more of it than himself. The professor looked at it a while, and remarked: "It is not very apparent, we will look at it again to-morrow." On the morrow, the professor said: "Well, gentlemen, I do not exactly understand this theorem, but nothing depends on it, you may pass it over."

When I looked at the theorem, I recognized it at once as one I had met and mastered in Euclid; but it was on solid geometry, and without keeping in mind what had gone before, could not be easily understood. The difficulty lay in not being well grounded in the previous theorems on which this depended. Professors it is believed are generally well qualified for their professorships, but there are now and then some who obtain their appointments from some popular qualifications, or other causes rather than learning. On remarking that a man who had been appointed to a professorship did not understand the branch to which he had been appointed: "Oh, it is supposed," was the reply, "that he will qualify himself for his appointment."

There is a good deal of this pasteboard learning out of college. I knew a school teacher in England, who sent forth an immaculate card, on which he undertook, among other things, to teach Latin and Greek; but on having occasion to test his Latin, I found he knew next to nothing of the language.

When I taught a select school in Randolph, Massachusetts, one of my pupils had taught a town school the winter before in the neighborhood, and he came to me to perfect himself in grammar. I found he could not parse a simple sentence, although he had passed a school committee as qualified to teach grammar, and had taught it in his school the year before. I said to him: "You do not understand anything of grammar, how is it possible you passed the examination of the school committee?" "Easy enough," he coolly replied, "for they did not understand any more of grammar than I did."

The night school is an institution that deserves to be used for the benefit of working boys and girls much more than it is. Were the necessary facilities offered, multitudes might be rescued by it from a vicious life, to enter on the study of useful learning, that will not be attracted by religious institutions; but, "the destruction of the poor is their poverty." Learning cannot be prosecuted even at an evening school without abstracting from the hours of labor. There are also text-books to be purchased, which in the aggregate amount to a formidable sum to a poor youth who has nothing. I never felt so thankful for help in my whole life, as I did for a guinea that my aunt unsolicited and unexpectedly sent me to buy books, when I had not the means to purchase a Euclid.

In three years I mastered geometry, trigonometry, plane and spherical, and algebra with their applications to navigation, astronomy, optics and mechanics. During all that time my studies were to me more than my daily food. I did not heed what I ate, what I wore, or what people thought of me.

Occasionally I returned from school after nine o'clock, and sat down to study again at home, which was continued till the church clock struck two in the morning. Seven o'clock found me on the shoe-bench again, and there I sat drudging and thinking, with brief intervals for my meals, until seven o'clock in the evening came round and I hurried off to school once more, glad as a child let out to play.

During the later part of my studies, one of the newspapers in Hull devoted a corner to curious mathematical questions and answers, and my teacher was the mathematical editor. I soon became a contributor.

One day three questions appeared in the paper, and my teacher meeting father, remarked to him in relation to them: "Your son may do the first, try the second, but let the third alone." When my father came home and told me, I went to work that night on the third question, that I was to "let alone," and did it before I slept. The next night I did the second, but I let the first alone in silent contempt.

The third question was one of those diophantine problems in algebra, which the books say, "are of considerable difficulty, and require more than ordinary skill and judgment for their solution."

My answer to this question was printed in the newspaper in full, and when the teacher met my father the next time, he said: "You ought to give your son an opportunity for study. He has a mind for science." And so have thousands of others who never win the laurel, but are ranked with stupid boors, incapable of intellectual advancement. Poor fellows! I have them on my heart always. They had no mothers to help them up the first step into the temple of science by the purchase of a book, no fathers to lend them a hand by supporting them in high school, no aunts to buy them text-books; and that makes all the difference between an educated man and a dunce.

Would that I were rich! I would establish good night schools for hard working boys and girls in every poor neighborhood, and furnish them liberally with text-books for the pupils, and provide tried teachers, tried in patience and kindness, as well as in scholarship. How much good a man who has wealth may accomplish! He may change with his dollars the whole face of society, dig up the roots of ignorance, and plant the fruit-bearing trees of knowledge in their place; and that, too, in the most unpromising soils. No doubt but my school-master in York regarded me as a dunce, and all my Sabbath-school teachers set me down as incorrigible; but I was no such thing, I was merely uninterested in the studies they set before me.


"PARLIAMENTARY REFORM" were among the first words I recollect hearing from visitors at my father's house. It seemed to hold the place in the mind of every speaker that the gospel ought to hold–the grand panacea for all our woes. Whatever grievance a man might have, whether it were poverty, improvidence, or oppression, parliamentary reform was confidently expected to afford the desired relief.

England has the best government in Europe, and yet it is a government of the few over the many by means of class privileges, bribery and corruption. The amount of bribery at elections was formerly quite incredible. At a contested election in the city of York, in 1807, which I well recollect, and in which my father took an active part, the cost to the candidates, according to published statements, amounted in the aggregate to L226,000, or more than a million of dollars. More money, therefore, was spent in bribery at a single election, than it had cost the United States to pay the salaries of all their presidents from their formation up to that date.

The pounds sterling necessary to get into Parliament, unless in exceptional cases, effectually closes the doors against all but rich men, whatever may be the franchise. The franchise has been much bettered in the sixty years that have elapsed since the York election, but the system of bribery remains unchanged. John Marshman, C. S. S., the founder of the "Friend of India," son of Dr. Marshman, a gentleman of rare talents, was a candidate for Parliament on two different occasions, but he had to retire from the contest in both instances, according to the "Friend of India," because he could not, and would not, pay like his opponents.

Americans cannot appreciate the difficulties that beset all attempts to obtain reform in England. The government has been in the crucible ever since the days of Magna Charta, and progress has been made; but it is like the slow changes of geological epochs. Every proposition for reform is met with mountains of determined resistance; every improvement with an attempt to crush it in the embryo.

Still, the agitation of the people is a power, and the only power that has ever gained them anything. Every concession of the government to them has been made like the first, through fear. The editor of the "Calcutta Review" well remarks: "It is an Englishman's privilege to grumble. And a glorious and dear-bought privilege it is. What would Old England now have been if her sons had not availed themselves of the privilege of grumbling. If those stern old barons at Runnymede had been content to bear in silence the deception and exaction of one of the basest monarchs that ever disgraced the English Crown, the very foundations of English freedom would not have been laid. In the splendid temple that England has since reared to liberty, not a single stone has been fixed from that day to this, but it has been dug out from the quarry and squared and shaped in the midst of grumbling and unuttered or open discontent. Not a single political privilege have the people obtained, but they have won it by the sheer force of grumbling. And woe to the rulers if not listening to the distant thunder they made no effort to avert the storm, but drove the people from words to blows. Oh, for some poet to sing in burning words the power of grumbling! It wrung from reluctant monarchs the house of representation, and when a crafty but short-sighted king refused to listen to its warning, he lost his head. In our own days it has won for the people a reform bill, and now John Bright, that prince of grumblers, is giving us fresh evidence of its power in the influence over the masses which its vigorous and unsparing exercise has given him. And long, long may it be ere the day comes when in any country on the face of the earth Englishmen shall cease to grumble."

From my earliest boyhood, our house was the resort of the radical party in York; and William the Conqueror said in his day, that York was a "nest of sedition," and destroyed the city on that account. When we removed to Hull, the same society gathered around us, for wherever my father was there was always a reform meeting. He was a representative man of the reform class, and was always ready for a discussion, or a speech, or a poem, at the least possible notice.

While in Hull he published a long political poem, which was printed at the expense of the reformers and circulated as a tract. I recollect only the motto, which was: "When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked bear rule the people mourn."

There was a debating society in Hull composed of men a little above the rank of journeymen mechanics, and my father being known as a good speaker, was soon elected an honorary member, and had a free ticket for himself and family. I never failed to attend, and enjoyed the meeting vastly more than I did those I had to attend on the Sabbath.

In subsequent years, after I went to America, and my father took up his abode in Leeds, the home of my mother, public reform meetings became very common both in the town and neighborhood, in which my father took a prominent part, and became a very popular speaker. In a letter to my son Albert, of New York, I gave him some notices of his grandfather, in which I wrote: "I think it was the reporter to the Times, who in reporting a mass meeting in the suburbs of Leeds, said: 'I have for the last twenty years been a reporter in the House of Commons, and have often heard the eloquence of Pitt, Fox, and Sheridan, with tears of admiration glistening in my eyes, but little did I think, on a rude, uncultivated Yorkshire common, that I should have been struck with wonder and astonishment at the superior mind of an unassuming shoemaker, whose name I afterwards learned was 'Mason.'"

"I have just turned up, while on the subject, an old English newspaper, giving an account of the 'Otley Reform Meeting,' of which I see your grandfather was chairman. The editor says: 'The place of meeting was a field about a quarter of a mile from the church, in which a substantial hustings was erected. The number of flags was thirty-three.

"'Mr. Mason, of Leeds, was called to the chair, a little after one o'clock; and he opened the business in a short and judicious address. The reformers, he said, had always manifested the most peaceable disposition, and conducted themselves with perfect good order; and by a continuance in that course they were sure ultimately to prevail in obtaining all they wanted. They did not wish for a visionary liberty, or a licentious freedom, but for that only which the constitution of the country granted. They were oppressed by a more ponderous load of taxation than had ever been borne by any nation, and it was natural that they should meet to consult, in a legal and constitutional manner, on the best means of freeing themselves from it. It had been said that they excited the worst passions of their countrymen, but that they denied; they appealed only to their reasoning powers, and demanded only what the constitution granted. What they wanted was a full, free, and equal representation; and if they proceeded in the same manner as they had begun, not the gates of hell, nor the demons of corruption, could prevail against them.'

"Your grandfather's words have been verified. After forty years more of meetings and speech-making, the workingmen have nearly–not quite all yet–got what they asked and battled for in those days. Your grandfather was a wise man. I see that in this meeting he opposed the passage of a rebellious resolution that the body of the meeting went for.

"'In putting the motion, Mr. Mason stated that he had no doubt of the justice of the principle on which the resolution was founded, but should hesitate in recommending a course so strong as the resolution proposed.'

"At the close of the meeting, the editor states: 'A Cap of Liberty was presented to the chairman by Mary Nicholson, and was hailed with loud acclamations by the meeting.

"'The thanks of the meeting were then voted to the gentlemen who had lent the field and the hustings, to all public men who supported the cause of reform, and to the chairman.

"'Mr. Mason returned thanks in a short speech, and the meeting was dissolved at half-past three o'clock.'

"The crowds your grandfather presided over have now got the franchise, and were he still living they would only be too glad to make him their representative to Parliament.

"Thus, you see, your great grandfather believed in religion, your grandfather in politics, and your father believes in both. 'Seek first the kingdom of heaven,' and secondly, go in for the kingdoms of this world, to see they are managed aright. Politics I regard as second in importance only to religion. Politics is carrying out religion in the second command of the law, performing our duties to our fellow men, while the first pertains to our duties to God."


THE reform required for working men, lies deeper than a mere reform in Parliament; and is of much more difficult attainment, difficult as that may be. Society needs to be reformed, and it must reform itself. Government cannot do it.

The first thing that working men need is leisure for the cultivation of the mind and the affections. This is a necessity. There can be no real progress without it. They must be enabled to supply their physical wants in less time than they can at present, especially in England.

If children are to be taught in infancy and childhood by their mothers, then girls who are to become mothers need to acquire some knowledge of everything children see. Besides "the glorious firmament on high," they should be able to speak of trees, "from the tree of Lebanon to the hyssop that springeth out of the wall–also of beasts and of fowl, and of creeping things and of fishes." And above all, they ought to be taught of God, so that like Philip, they may begin at these things, and "preach Jesus" unto them. But to acquire this knowledge, they must have more leisure given them than is allowed them now.

My own dear mother had been taught the usual routine of a common school, but she had not the knowledge her son craved. The child of a peasant will ask questions which require a philosopher with a liberal education, to answer as intelligently as asked. How few young mothers then there are, among the working classes, who are capable of giving to the inquisitive little children at their knees the mental and moral instruction the birdlings ask for?

Here is a field, too much neglected, for the usefulness of woman which none can cultivate but herself. A man may preach in the pulpit as well as a woman, and may make as good a speech on the political platform, but no one can teach a young child like its mother. Indeed its destinies are almost in her hands. If she neglects the mental and moral culture of her babes, the loss, unless in exceptional cases, can never be supplied.

Let a woman preach as she ought to do in the nursery, and the minister will have only a secondary work to perform in the pulpit, and even now, in a Christian community, I am not sure but the mother does more than the minister. Of all the preachers on this wide earth, there is none I honor like the Christian mother; none that seek with such earnestness, and with such perseverance under the most discouraging circumstances, the salvation of those under her charge. All "reforms" that will curtail a mother's labors for her children are to be deprecated. When the mother has done her duty in the nursery, she may go to the hustings; but not before.

But for a mother among the working classes to perform a fraction of her duties to her children, more leisure is an absolute necessity. From my earliest to my latest recollections, my mother is constantly associated with work. From early morn to latest eve, she never had time to sit down and talk quietly with her children.

When her domestic duties were done, her main employment was binding shoes, diversified with making and mending for herself, her husband, or her children. It was stitch, stitch, stitch, week in and week out, and from one month's end to another for untold years, until she became little more than a living sewing-machine. And all that, was a necessity to sustain herself and children in a mere existence. Not a slave in the Southern States worked harder than she did, sustained only by the love of her children. And there are hundreds of thousands of mothers in wealthy Great Britain and Ireland who are working like her at this day. Not only are their intellectual faculties destroyed by the pressure of their physical wants, but their natural affections are often crushed out with them.

They are like people starved to madness in a besieged city. To eating and drinking every other thought and instinct has to give way. Let those then who are living in comfort drop a tear on the transgressions of the poor, even when they break down the boundaries that the laws have prescribed for them.

The statistics of crime are something fearful in such a place as London, where there are said to be, "140,000 paupers and 100,000 vagrant children, and 80,000 beggars and 50,000 harlots, and 10,000 habitual criminals and 3,000 infanticides per annum." And fearful will they remain until the cause which produces them is removed. All the efforts that the benevolent public are making, will prove as ineffectual as trying to dam up the Mississippi, until the working classes are better paid for their work, are lightened of their labors, and have time given them to cultivate their minds and hearts and teach their children. "The school-master is abroad;" that is well, but it is not enough without the school-mistress, in the mother, at home.

There is another large class, who are not dishonest but are very improvident, and live from hand to mouth. These are led into this course, because they can never hope to get anything beyond an existence. The Americans are careful and provident because they always see they can get a living and a little more, which makes all the difference in the world.

But there is still another body of working men, who demand the unqualified sympathies of society, and who have claims on it for something more than a mere animal existence, which is all they with difficulty obtain now. I have known a poor hard working man sell a favorite author, a book that he had had in his house for many years, for waste paper, to obtain a breakfast for his hungry children. "Eight pence," said the huckster, as he took it out of the scales; "but it is a pity to sell such a book for waste paper." Yes! But the owner thought it would be a greater pity to beg, or even make his wants known to his friends and become dependent on others.

Nor was his a singular case. He was a representative man of his class, and to keep such men in such miserable circumstances, through inadequate remuneration for their labors, is nearly as great a wrong as to hold men in slavery; and since society has aroused itself to the guilt of the latter, on both sides of the Atlantic, there is hope that it will, ere long, see the guilt of the former; and as it has freed the slave abroad at an immense pecuniary cost, so it will be willing to make generous sacrifices for the uplifting of the honest laborer in its midst–"the Greeks at our doors."

The sufferings of the heathen are proverbial, but here in heathen Burmah, the working men are far more comfortable in their temporal circumstances, according to their own ideas of comfort, than are the working men of England; and the working men and the classes above them are much less apart, and the social distinctions less marked than they are in England, which has been Christianized, some say, since the days of St. Paul.

The type of our Christianity needs to be improved in its temporal aspects. There are innumerable societies for the propagation of our numerous special faiths, for both home and abroad, but there is still unoccupied room for an oecumenical society for the propagation of our common code of morals, "to do good, love God, and deal righteously with all men." Here all can unite–Catholic and Protestant, Orthodox and Heterodox, the widest liberal and the narrowest bigot. Such a league to raise up down-trodden, honest working men, would have power to move society from its foundations, and if capital has a disproportionate power, such as labor cannot stand up against, the capitalists will be willing to share the advantages of capital with the working men. This is the society which is needed above all others for the preservation of the social fabric. It will reduce the statistics of crime, change the "dangerous classes" into the safety classes, and prepare the minds of the multitudes for the reception of the spiritual truths offered them by other societies.

I give all men, whatever their creed, great credit for sympathizing with their suffering, honest fellowmen. But men of means, with the best feelings for the poor, are often intensely occupied with their business, and are altogether ignorant of the actual condition of the large proportion of even their own working men; especially in England.

Workingmen have no homes. They have tenements. A room, or at most two, for father, mother and children: the work-shop sometimes included. And this tenement is probably changed every one or two years.

When I think of such "houses of working men" as I have seen, I sometimes shudder, sometimes weep, sometimes feel indignant that those who have homes do not make occasional excursions through the tenements of working men. They may see tragedies there every day for nothing without going to the theatre and paying a dollar; tragedies that will move their sensibilities if anything will, and as none of Shakespeare's tragedies can. A walk through the "homes of the poor" is like walking over a battle-field the day after the battle. The dead and the dying, as well as the hungry and thirsty and exhausted, are seen everywhere.

There is a family with only one room, and a little boy lying on the bed dying, apparently unheeded, but the father and mother are diligently at work to obtain a few luxuries for their sick darling that the doctor had prescribed. When the work was done, and the mother turned to her child again, it was dead!

In the next tenement visited, was another single room, in which was a young man with a young wife and a young child. The father was at work on the shoe-bench; the mother, in the last stage of consumption, was turning from side to side in a bed on the floor, while the child, like a playful kitten, was sporting on the bed with its sick mother, happy as a prince in a palace, proving that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

It was not by vicious habits that they were brought to this abject condition. The young man was the son of a well-to-do tradesman in a neighboring town, but he married, before he was out of his apprenticeship, a servant-girl, very much against the wishes of his parents, who considered themselves disgraced by the connection, and cast him off; so he left the place of his nativity. There he was among strangers, not a very energetic man, and his wife ultimately died. Next his child died for want of proper care, and, last of all, he died also, as the physician said, of consumption contracted from his wife. Such are specimens of working men's "homes" that I have seen when accompanying my father in his visits to pray with the sick.

The wife mentioned above was in every respect the equal of her husband–in education, and in both mental and moral worth; but he was the son of a man in business, of some property, an employer, while she was a servant-girl, and that, by the stupid usages of English society, marked her as his inferior in social standing. This is a remnant of the old spirit of slavery which formerly reigned in England when the work was all done by serfs, as it recently was at the South in the United States by the negroes. But working girls should break up this usage by glorying in their work, and holding it up before the world as their honor, for such it really is. It is the worker, that contributes something to society, who is entitled to an honorable place in it, while the drone, the one that contributes nothing to the public good, is the one that ought to be "out of society."

A slave's duties may be sanctified by imparting to them a Christian motive, as the quaint George Herbert sings:–

"All may of Thee partake;
Nothing can be so mean,
Which, with this tincture, for Thy sake,
Will not grow bright and clean.

"A servant, with this clause,
Makes drudgery divine–
Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws,
Makes that, and the action fine."

Nothing contributes so much to perpetuate the irrational distinction, as the fact that many of the girls are ashamed of domestic work. They succumb to the reproach instead of wiping it out. Just so long as they give way to this morbid feeling, the stigma will remain. But they should imitate the Lowell factory-girls. Let the domestic servants bring out a declaration of independence, with a periodical devoted to economics, and showing how to make the most comfortable home out of the least income; and if they conduct it entirely themselves, as they are well able to do, their emancipation is insured. They need never want an interesting story, if they will visit the homes of the middle classes and compare the households where the lady of the house was familiar with domestic duties before marriage, with those where the mistress was educated to be a "lady." Perhaps it will be found that in nearly every instance, the most comfortable homes are made by the former, and certainly the most economical.

Mrs. Farwell, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, had the right spirit. She had through her own unaided labors, risen from nothing to wealth and social standing. Deacon Farwell was one of the founders of Newton Theological Institution, and watched over all its interests. Mrs. Farwell was a mother to every poor student who came there, found out his needs without being inquisitive, and relieved them without being asked.

When I was at the institution, it was the duty of the students in turn to sweep down the stairs and hall of the building. Some considered this derogatory to their dignity, and the matter was referred to Mrs. Farwell to furnish them with a sweeper. "Tell the dear young men," Mrs. Farwell replied, "if they cannot sweep down their stairs, I will come and do it for them myself. I am not ashamed of the work, if they are."


WERE I skilled in prophecy, like Faber or Cumming, I should certainly be able to find the formation of the United States foretold in either Daniel or the Revelation, for there is not an event in history since the conversion of Constantine and the subversion of idolatry in Europe, that can compare with it in furthering the temporal and spiritual interests of man.

Before the formation of the United States, all the working classes in Europe were mere serfs or slaves, but when the "Star-Spangled Banner" was raised, like the little stone cut out of the mountain without hands, serfdom and slavery began to crumble before it; and the principles enunciated by the Declaration of Independence will as assuredly fill the earth, as the sun now above the horizon will reach the meridian at noon.

All the reforms in Parliament, all the measures for the upraising of the down-trodden classes, and all the liberty given to serfs and slaves, may be safely attributed to the reflex influence of the United States.

"If our Republic be true to herself," says Motley, "the future of the human race is assured by our example. No sweep of overwhelming armies, no ponderous treatises on the rights of man, no hymns to liberty, though set to martial music and resounding with the full diapason of a million human throats, can exert so persuasive an influence as does the spectacle of a great republic, occupying a quarter of the civilized globe, and governed quietly and sagely by the people itself."

Were the United States a small island, like Great Britain, it would be invaluable as a place of safety for the oppressed; but it would then be only like a refuge city in Israel, wholly inadequate for the resort of all the refugees; but God has made them a place of wide wings, with room enough for all. Here at last the workingman may have a home and a homestead. Every workingman in Europe may obtain an estate as the fruit of his labors, if he be industrious; and none others ought to emigrate.

In the best of the nations of Europe, the land is in the hands of a few, from whom the workingman cannot obtain it. William the Norman robbed the English people of their lands, gave them to his soldiers, and made the owners of the lands their serfs. And there they are yet, and there the serfs are yet–the sons of the owners of the land–working to this day for the sons of the soldiers to whom they were given by William the Conqueror.

But the United States are not attractive merely on account of their free government and extensive lands; labor is much more remunerative there than in England, or in any of the European countries. When I left England, a journeyman shoemaker had to work steadily through the week for twenty shillings, one pound sterling; and if he boarded in a family, the charge for board was ten shillings a week. On reaching Philadelphia in 1818, the same man could earn nine dollars a week, and the price of his board there was two dollars and a half a week. Thus, in England, he earned twice the price of his board in a week; but in America, the same labor brought means to pay for his board three and a half times. In 1824, I found the rates of labor and board in Boston, precisely the same as I had found them in Philadelphia six years before. But to be within bounds, we will put the American rate of wages for a week at only three times the board, and there is still a clear gain to the workingman in America of fifty per cent. of his wages above what he receives in England–or was when I was a workingman there.

My father and mother had been married twenty years when I left England, and their labors together during that time must have averaged thirty shillings a week, or L1,560 in the aggregate; but they had saved nothing. They were as poor when I left them, as they were at my earliest remembrance. Had, however, the same work been done by them in America in the same time, they would have been able to save the half of that sum, besides expending what they did on the support of themselves and family, or L780, more than three thousand five hundred dollars–enough to have bought them a good farm in the West. This, too, is based on a very low estimate. When I was in St. Louis, wages were such that by one hard day's work I could pay my board for the week.

My mother had a brother in the United States, and he wrote her that if she would send her son over, he would pay his passage. The offer was finally accepted, and I left home in Leeds, and going to Hull, engaged my passage there for Philadelphia.

I was not to get away, however, without having to contend with the obstructiveness of little English officials. The custom-house officers said there was a law prohibiting any mechanic, in the signification of machinist, from leaving the country, and I must get a certificate, signed by the vicar, testifying that I was not connected in any way with machinery. Being altogether unacquainted with the vicar, here was a difficulty, but one which the officials enjoyed, since to make people trouble and give them annoyance enters largely into their official duties, more especially when they have to deal with workingmen.

Not seeing my way clear to go direct to the vicar, I called on several persons, in business, with whom I was acquainted, and got them to sign a certificate in accordance with the facts; and then I took this certificate to the vicar, as an introduction. He received me very kindly, and told me, what I was persuaded of before, that the custom-house officials had no authority for requiring his signature, and added: "Take this certificate to them, it is quite sufficient; but if they persist in refusing to allow you to go, I will not object to adding my name to the names of these respectable persons you have here." He was the son of the famous church historian Joseph Milner, who was also vicar of Hull when he died.

Whatever the difficulties were in my leaving Hull, they were much less than the difficulties that had to be met in leaving the place two or three centuries ago. Just two hundred and fifteen years before, in 1603, the famous Robinson was hovering in the neighborhood of Hull with his flock, the Pilgrim Fathers, who afterwards went to America in the Mayflower and founded Massachusetts. They assembled furtively with their wives and children in the fens of Lincolnshire, opposite Hull, to be picked up by a Dutch ship; but by untoward circumstances, and the fright of the captain, Robinson and a part of the men only were taken away, the women and children being left on the shore. However, they were afterwards allowed to join their husbands and fathers in Leyden. It was a part of these emigrants that afterwards took passage from Plymouth in the Mayflower.

We had a dull passage from land to land of six weeks. The captain had no chronometer, did not understand how to take or how to calculate a lunar observation, and in accordance with the time-honored rule in the English marine, always took in a reef at sunset, be the weather fair or foul; so that a voyage with such weather as we had, that a Yankee commander would have made in four weeks, was dragged through six.

The latitude we might be said to know, but of the longitude we were all adrift, and the captain landed us in America, according to his dead reckoning, a week before we saw terra firma. When the blunder became known to all the passengers, it was necessary to find a scapegoat; and one was found in the second mate, a poor unfortunate common sailor, who could scarcely write his own name, but who had been written down second mate for the nonce, there being really no second mate on board. He had neglected his duty, in some way not explained, both captain and mate declared, and therefore their reckoning was wrong.

Nevertheless, in due time, one fine evening, a boat was seen in the distance, which proved, to the joy of all, the captain not excepted, a pilot boat. Nearly all the passengers, sixty in number, were on deck till after midnight, to get a sight of "the light" on Cape Henlopen; and after feasting on the sight till I was weary, I lay down to sleep.

When I awoke in the morning we were off Cape Henlopen, with a smooth green sea instead of the indigo deep, a gentle breeze, and a favoring tide. All the elements were in our favor. Everything breathed peace. We seemed to listen to the music of the spheres as we passed into Delaware Bay, with the Delaware forests on our left, and the distant pine-bound shores of Cape May on the right. We were in the land of William Penn, for the country was granted him as far as Cape Henlopen, and he was the personification of peace and equity. We fancied we had left injustice and oppression behind us forever, on entering the precincts of his judgment-seat.

Certainly, his successful rule of equity and peace with the Indians furnishes one of the most remarkable episodes in history. There is nothing like it; and it stands in striking contrast with the fire-and-sword-measures of the other colonists. Had all imitated William Penn, the American Indians might have been as remarkable for their good faith as they now are for their treachery, for people are often what we make them.

As we moved up the river, a boat load of passengers went ashore in Delaware, and when the boat touched the land, an intelligent middle aged man leaped on shore, and falling on his knees kissed the ground and said, "Thank God I am in a free country!" Delaware, though first settled by the Swedes and Finns, and afterwards in possession of the Dutch, showed us nothing but Anglo-Saxons.

Philadelphia well deserves the name of "The Quaker City," for I found it in 1818 in as plain a garb as a Quaker's, and when I went there again in 1856, there was no change in its looks. Like the garb of the Quaker, the material might be new, but the fashion was unchanged, and the colors the same.

The American towns are very uninteresting in their appearance to a European. The same checker-board plan forms the model everywhere. I went all through the country to the other side of the Mississippi and down to New Orleans, without meeting with a single city or town that varied in its plan of rectangular streets, such as I first met in Philadelphia.

There is poetry in the cities of Europe. There are splendid cathedrals, made still more splendid by contrast with the barn-like conventicles that are not allowed to raise a steeple. There are sumptuous palaces, looking still more sumptuous from the abodes of squalid wretchedness close by; and there are streets, here wide, there narrow, here straight, there crooked with all imaginable and unimaginable irregularities. And the whole country is spotted with ivy-covered abbeys, ruined castles, famous battle-fields, and the debris of former conquerors, Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans. But in America I found little to be seen, excepting square-cut buildings with square roofs, square doors, and square windows; everything about the building being as square as the streets on which they stood.

From my earliest walks in childhood to my landing in Philadelphia, I had looked up to gothic arches, gothic spires, and pointed turrets, with all their thousand and one grotesque ornaments that delight the eyes of children to gaze on. Bow windows, bay windows, Gothic porticos, and gable roofs, were familiar sights in every street; and to drop down into a city where everything was flush, seemed like going back to the days of the antediluvians, into the infancy of our race, before man had learned to devise ornament.

The most interesting part of Philadelphia to me, was the outside of it, where nature could be seen on the banks of the Schuylkill, and where is now located "Fairmount Park," of which it is said, "For natural beauty and extent of surface it is scarcely excelled by any on the continent." Then it ought to be called "Franklin Park," for America has scarcely produced a man his equal in every respect. Apart from his scepticism, he was a model citizen of the United States, and his biography should stand next to the Bible and dictionary in every workingman's library. His writings and his history cast an inspiration over my boyhood, as showing what industry, economy, sobriety, and uprightness in a poor workingman might accomplish in America.

A brief sketch of his life, leaving out his religious opinions, if circulated as a tract among working-men, could not fail to do much to correct improvidence, wastefulness, extravagance, idleness, and intemperance, and to promote frugality, thrift, self-reliance, and honesty. Nothing could be better adapted to remove the feeling of discouragement so prevalent among them, and make a poor man hope in himself and not in external aid; stimulating him to personal effort with the confident hope of achieving success.


IF America lacks works of art as compared with Europe, the deficiency is amply supplied in her superior works of nature. Nature exhibits some pretty pictures in England, but they are all on a small scale–miniature editions of what are seen in America.

When I reached Philadelphia, my uncle was preparing to go to Cincinnati, and I readily joined him. The trip across Pennsylvania was worth a voyage across the Atlantic to an untraveled Englishman, when made on foot, as I made it. Traveling by rail, robs traveling of all its poetry. A man goes whizzing along all the way as if astride of a rocket. If anything of interest comes in sight, before he can fairly see it, it is past and gone.

There is no river in England like the Susquehanna, tumbling and rolling, and spouting and foaming among the rocks that battle with it in its progress. I lingered on its banks, gazing on its ever changing beauties, and listening to its music until the sun went down, and then had to travel several miles in the moonlight alone to overtake my company.

And there are no such mountains in England as the Alleghanies–range beyond range, peak above peak. We are now climbing up to the heavens, and anon descending to the depths; one time rounding a ridge with a precipice above and a river below, another time on the mountain's summit with a town spread out at its base looking like a checker-board on which we could leap at a single spring; and yet it had to be reached by a road of four miles.

We met with but one incident by the way, and that was an attack near the top of one of the mountains made by a party of Irishmen, who were at work on the road then being made. Not content with their wages, which were liberal, they made every wagon that passed pay black mail; and so inefficient was the civil power, that although well known in the towns around, no attempt was made to stop these depredations.

There was no place in the journey that interested me so much as the scene of Braddock's defeat, a few miles before we reached Pittsburg; because it was the field where Washington first distinguished himself. Under Providence he saved the United States; and here, where he first brought himself to notice, he saved the remnant of the British army.

Braddock despised his American troops, and went forward with his regulars against the warnings of those acquainted with the country; so he was taken by surprise, and on the 9th of July, 1755, he fell, with sixty-four out of eighty-four officers, and six hundred men, by the hands of the French and Indians. The whole army would have been annihilated had not Washington and his men stood firm, and covered the retreat of the troops on which the English commander vaunted himself. I had a guide who pointed out the field, the position of the troops engaged, the place where Braddock fell, and the forest where Washington and his regiment held the enemy at bay.

I was pleased with Pittsburg. It stands at the angle where the Monongahela and Alleghany Rivers unite and form the Ohio. On the opposite side of the Monongahela was a wild romantic range of hills parallel to the river, and forming the west bank. They were said to be composed entirely of coal, and if, as some writers affirm, coal is the stability of a nation, Pittsburg is booked for a long life. The iron works, for which the town is now so famous, had scarcely commenced operations when I was there; and the population was less than 7,000, while it is now 200,000.

Here I took passage down the Ohio in an "ark," which Webster defines, "A large boat used on American rivers to transfer produce to market;" but this one had several horses on board, many men, women and children passengers, and lots of "plunder," as the people called baggage. Inside it resembled Noah's ark sufficiently to be named after it, but outside it was nothing more than a square box, with upright sides and a flat bottom.

At Marietta, near the mouth of the Muskingum River, I went ashore to see some Indian mounds of which I had read in England. Though a small town, it is the oldest settlement in the State of Ohio, and hence its mounds were more famous than others; and they continue to be in England, for just fifty years after I was looking on the unopened mounds, and marvelling at what they might contain, an English periodical announced the astounding fact that the mounds had been opened, and a stone with the Ten Commandments engraven on it in Hebrew had been found in one of them "There is neither trick nor deception," says the writer, "in the story of the exhumation of the wonderful relic of the Ten Commandments." The thing was too absurd to command belief, and it has since been shown that the whole was nothing but "trick and deception."

A book that would state fully all the facts known concerning the Indian mounds scattered all over the western country, giving figures of the principal articles that have been found in them, and free from the many preposterous theories that have been propounded in connection with them, would be certain of a ready sale in both Europe and America.

Cincinnati I considered a pretty place. Spread out on the first and second banks of the river, with a range of picturesque forest hills behind it, the view from Covington, on the Kentucky side of the river, is very fine; but it then had only 9,000 inhabitants, while it now has more than 200,000, and the wooded hills are probably wooded no longer.

On the second bank, when I was there, the remains of an Indian fortified town were apparent, with raised earthwork walls and gateways, showing that Cincinnati was the site of a town long before the advent of the Anglo-Saxon.

In those days more interest was taken in geology than antiquities. Dr. Drake started a museum and delivered lectures on the geology of the western country, illustrating his statements with many fossils that had been dug up in the neighborhood. I attended some of them, but the audience was small, owing to there being an entrance fee of twenty-five cents.

Such were the beginnings of the extensive efforts that have since been made in the United States to help the working classes to think, and furnish them with useful knowledge, but nothing had then been done to help them meet the social evils with which they had to contend. Had there been an active temperance society then in Cincinnati, I should have joined it; and as a mere dollar and cent affair, I should have saved by it many hundreds of dollars in subsequent years.

I had drank neither beer nor spirits until I reached Cincinnati, and, although nearly twenty years of age, had not felt the need of either the one or the other. But every one used them in Cincinnati, and I went with the multitude. For five or six years afterwards, I regularly partook of both, but was what is called a moderate drinker. What advantages there may be from immoderate drinking, I am unable to testify from experience; but I certainly know there are no advantages to be derived from moderate drinking, though the beverage were furnished gratis.

I often tried experiments on myself to see if drinking beer or spirits helped a man to work, as their advocates said they did; but the results of all my experiments were, that I could do more work in a day or week without beer or spirits than I could with them; and at the same time felt my head to be much clearer; so that whenever I laid myself out to do the greatest possible amount of work in the best style and in the least possible time, I always avoided strong drink altogether. Nor was I singular in this course, I knew many hard drinkers that did just the same thing.

Drinking intoxicating liquors is the most formidable of our social evils, and so formidable an evil that many shrink to meet it, but it must be met, and there is no reason to apprehend defeat; because the whole moral sense of the world is against it. Not only does every sober man know it to be destructive to the temporal interests of those who use it, to say nothing of the spiritual, but the consciences of the drunkards themselves testify the same thing.

Again, there is no natural appetite to be overcome in abstaining from all that intoxicates. Drinking ardent spirits is wholly an acquired habit, and the craving for them, after the habit has been formed, is altogether an unnatural desire. Remove the drink, and the temptations to drink, away from the coming generation, and the generation will be one of tee-totalers without signing any pledge. Three-fourths of the people who drink now, drink because the temptation to do so continually besets them. I should never have drank spirits at all, had not the decanter been in every house.

If some way could be devised to lessen the profits of those who sell intoxicating liquors, the temptations would be greatly reduced. It is the love of money that induces so many to enter into the business. In some way or other, I think the Christian world is to be delivered from the curse of alcoholic drink, as it has been delivered from slavery. There is nothing too hard for God, and it is not too much to hope that Christian nations will become as moral in this respect as heathen nations; of which they are now far behind some.

As a nation the Burmans use no spirituous liquors. Many are beginning to drink them now in large towns, through the introduction of English habits, but they are exceptional cases. It may be safely said that the Burmese are a sober nation; and they are the finest looking people within the tropics. The men are more robust, and the women handsomer. They sing and dance, and joke and make parties, like other nations, but unlike other nations that drink spirits, they seldom fight, although they often talk loud. Ten Burmans who drink nothing but water, will do more work than twenty Karens that drink ardent spirits.

Slavery lived and reigned long after it had been killed by the moral sense of society, through the support it received from the Church; so the use of alcoholic drinks has been powerfully sustained, and its evils greatly extended by the example of Christians. When I was first married, a row of glittering decanters filled with liquid-fire formed a part of our outfit, as a matter of course. Yet my wife never tasted the articles, and I only used them in compliment to visitors. Ministers then, I think, usually drank, though I know Mr. Putnam did not, and was accounted singular. The decanters, however, were seen in all the deacons' houses.

I recollect a young man who was studying at Newton, preached at Canton one Sabbath, and staid at my house. He preached three times, and took "a stiff glass of brandy" every time he preached. In the evening, after he had done drinking, I took the liberty to tell him that I thought it was not quite in place for a minister to drink so much brandy. "Oh," he replied, "it does me good." This was orthodox in those days, but it is encouraging to know that the work of temperance has so far progressed, that it would not be tolerated now.

Although there is a small minority of drinkers, who drink so as to never become drunkards, yet only slow progress can be made against intemperance while moderate drinking is practiced and allowed; because the term is indefinite, and means in the language of one man what would make a sot of another.

I knew a famous comedian in the West, who when conversing on the subject of temperance, seriously observed: "I am in favor of temperance as much as any one, but I do not think that nine drinks a day can hurt any man." At the same time the great tragic actor of the same company would sometimes get so helplessly intoxicated, that he could not perform his part; and yet, he also called himself a moderate drinker!

There is nothing in the way of the hardest drinker becoming a sober man at once, if he has a will.

I knew a major in the army commanding at an out-station, who was said to become intoxicated every day. As an act of kindness to him, the general in command, who knew his habits, had sent him to a place where he would be out of the way, and where, having the command of the station, he would have no superior to censure him. His conduct, however, grew worse and worse, and became quite intolerable to the officers under him, so they reported him privately to headquarters. The result was that his friends in kindness contrived to get him put on the invalid establishment, to save him from a court-martial, that would have been compelled to cashier him.

Immediately on it being reported to the major what had been done, he threw away his bottles, declared he had been wronged–that he ought to have had a court-martial. He left the country a sober man, and went to England with his complaints, where he appeared a tee-totaler; and the authorities decided that he was a much injured man, and restored him to his position in the army.

There was a large population of Quakers in the city of York, but I never so much as heard of a Quaker taking strong drink. They never begged or sought aid beyond the pale of their own church, and I never knew one who seemed to be very poor. Not that all were rich, but all were industrious, honest and "temperate in all things."

Their habits were so correct, that I was surprised when a boy, to find one of them using tobacco, but he was insane. I never knew a Quaker in his right mind to use tobacco. In the suburbs of York is what the Quakers call "the Retreat," an insane asylum, which they have built for the use of their own denomination. One evening while walking near the grounds with my father, a man from the other side of the high, quick-set hedge, where the convalescent were allowed to walk, called out to my father and asked him if he had any tobacco. He was answered in the affirmative, and then he entreated to have a little given him, which he suggested might be done by tying it up with a stone in a bit of paper, and throwing it over the hedge. He ultimately got his tobacco, and then walking away, he said: "Pray for me, for there is not a damned soul in hell so miserable as I am."

My father used tobacco, but he had no wish that his children should imitate his example, and I never had any disposition to do so. Of all the useless ways of spending money, none seemed to me so useless as spending it on tobacco, and of all the bad habits that tempt young men, the use of tobacco had the least power to tempt me. I always characterized it as a stupid and nasty habit, which it was marvellous to me had not been long ago banished from decent society. I have no doubt but it finally will be, for the Church is moving in the matter, and ministers are giving up their pipes, and young ladies are taking the matter in hand, and they have only to "push things" and success is certain.

The young ladies of Dover, Wayne County, Indiana, have formed a society for the redemption of young men from bad habits. Each of the members has pledged herself not to receive the attentions of any young man who uses liquor, tobacco or profane language.

In the Watchman and Reflector of May 20, 1869, are the following appropriate remarks on:


"The Religious Herald, of Richmond, acknowledges a can of smoking-tobacco in the following equivocal style. We don't think the neat wreath will turn aside that blade. At any rate, we would like just to draw its edge across the conscience of men who put prayers for clean hearts through filthy mouths; who spend right along for tobacco more than for the cause of religion; and who, while calling on sinners to give up everything for Christ, are unwilling to give up their disgusting appetite. We are glad to welcome such a 'counter blast' from Virginia:

"'We acknowledge our obligation to E. T. Pilkinton, of this city, for the above-named article. We sincerely advise our readers to avoid the use of tobacco. It is a useless, expensive, nauseous, filthy weed, for which no animal, biped or quadruped, except man, and a small, green, horned-worm, has the slightest relish. A few men may possibly use it with medicinal advantage, others may use it without serious bodily injury, but to all its use is a burden and a bondage, and to many it is a poison and a curse.'"

$40,000,000 are said to be spent annually in the United States for tobacco.

Commissioner Wells reports to Congress that the amount of sales by the retail liquor-dealers of the United States is $1,283,491,865 for the last fiscal year, or six-tenths of the entire amount of our national debt! We notice in a cursory inspection of the table that the sales in the District of Columbia, a mere speck on the map of our country, amount to $10,376,450, or more by $1,119,445 than in the entire State of Maine. This accounts for a good deal of bad law-making. The sales in New York amount to the enormous sum of $246,617,520.


MY uncle had been in America many years, but I found him living in a circle of foreigners. He had married in America, but he had married a foreigner; he had formed friendships, but his friends were foreigners; and he had a large circle of acquaintances, but I could not find an American among them. I had left Europe indeed, but I was still in the midst of Europeans; nearly as much so as on board ship.

I saw little American in Philadelphia but brick walls and cobble-stones; and when we traveled, we traveled with a large company of foreigners; so that, in the matter of society, it differed only from the voyage in that, that was made by water but this by land. I was several months in Cincinnati, but still confined to a foreign atmosphere. Of American institutions, or American character, or American manners, I learned little more than I should had I been still in Yorkshire.

In England it is common for persons of a certain class to gather together in a chosen ale-house on Saturday night to talk politics, religion, and nonsense; and the latter more than the former. In Cincinnati I found the same little Saturday night coteries, in the same obscure drinking-houses, with the same foreign landlords; and when I went to St. Louis, though the emigrants there were much fewer than in Cincinnati, yet these nasty little nests reeking with tobacco had preceded me. I never had any sympathy with them. I always despised them utterly, and never visited them but to see what was going forward.

Here the emigrants commit a radical mistake, by which they lose three-fourths of the benefits of coming to America. By thus congregating by themselves, they gain no advantage over the old country, except better remuneration for their labor; and if by over-crowding, as now they often do, no labor can be had, they lose even this advantage, and had better stay at home.

If foreigners, when they come to America, wish to become Americans, they cannot do it by going before a magistrate and obtaining "naturalization papers;" they should enter at once into American society. That will immediately raise them a step in the social scale. They will find themselves among a people of more refined manners, of more provident habits, with more general information, better acquainted with men and things, particularly those of America, which it is especially desirable for new comers to know, and able to direct them in doubt, and assist them when in difficulties, as no others can.

I speak from what I have seen, and heard, and known, and experienced, and I would urge every European when he lands in America, merely in view of his temporal interests, to shake off antiquated Europe altogether, and walk straight into America, dropping his old customs and habits as he would drop his old clothes.

This is an important matter to both Americans and emigrants, when it is known that 30,000 foreigners have entered the United States in one month; and that the English, Irish, and Germans count their countrymen in America by millions. The Americans are characterized by a spirit of enterprise and go-aheadism above all other nations, but when foreigners come to the country and shut themselves up in their shells, they lose all the improving influences of these characteristics to themselves and their children, and become dead weights on the machinery of progress, unproductive swamps on Uncle Sam's farm, and excrescences on the body politic.

They do not understand what the country requires as a whole; their views are narrow, and they sacrifice the interests of the nation to promote some local advantages that will benefit themselves, or they become the victims of unprincipled demagogues.

With ignorant Europeans on the one hand, and the ignorant negroes and idolatrous Chinese on the other, the United States are in more danger now than they would be were there a coalition against them of all the crowned heads in Europe with their millions of armed soldiers at their heels.

Much is being done now in the way of educating the masses, which is good as far it goes, but the people require something more than mere school-house knowledge. More should be done to mix them up with American families, that they may acquire American thoughts and habits. After all, it must be kept in mind that it is not mere ignorance that needs to be enlightened; there is brought with it a continent of crime and wickedness which requires to be purified; and that nothing can do but the Spirit of God.

While residing in Cincinnati, I met a considerable number of Englishmen from time to time, returning from Illinois, dissatisfied with the country. Many had brought a little money with them, with which they rushed into the Land Office and bought farms. Then they looked up young fruit trees, and bought large numbers which they planted at once on their new lands; for there was a great rage among the settlers for orchards. In every instance I heard, the fruit trees had died, and as all the emigrants had fever and ague, these people were returning discouraged, and complaining of the country; when in fact they had no reason for complaint except against their own ignorance.

Every man who comes from England and goes to settle in a new country, must put in fever and ague when he counts the cost, as certain as the passage money. It is found in the East as much as in the West; it is as common in Burmah as it is in Illinois. I had it every year after I came to Burmah, for four successive years. And when a farmer changes his country and climate, if he be wise, he will study the necessary changes in the modes of cultivation in his new country, before entering on extensive operations.

I subsequently knew an English farmer in Illinois, who brought out some money with him, but the first thing he did was to hire himself out for a year as a common laborer to an American farmer, and in that time he learned, among many useful things pertaining to his business, that the new land requires to be broken up, and a crop raised from it, before orchards can be planted with success. He was also able, while working as a laborer, to look around and select the most eligible site; and then, having learned everything necessary, he bought a farm of his own; and when I left him it prospered under his hands, fever and ague notwithstanding. He succeeded, not because he had more school learning than others, or was wealthier, but because he had more common sense.


I HAD not been many months in Cincinnati before there was a "strike" among the journeymen shoemakers for higher wages. It was a most unreasonable movement, for we had plenty of work furnished us, though done in a very careless style, and were well paid; but on the merits of the case I did not bestow a thought. It was got up by a few old agitators, such as are found in every section of society; and I followed with the thoughtless multitude, pleased with the idea that it would be a good opportunity to descend the "Father of Waters;" for I had made up my mind that I must see the mouths of the Mississippi.

"The Falls of the Ohio" were marked out, however, for the first stage, and although there were steamers plying there frequently, yet steamers move so rapidly and stop so rarely, that, excellent as they are for business men, they are not adapted to the wants of tourists. I wanted to see not only the lands and waters, but the people also that dwelt on them; and not only in their holiday dresses, but at their work, and by their own firesides.

I therefore persuaded a young Englishman of my own age to join me, and we bought a skiff, a small boat with a flat bottom, such as I had never met with before I saw the Ohio; and neither of us had ever been in one until we started in our own craft.

As might be expected, our tub was a rather unmanageable affair in our unskillful hands; and we had not made many miles before we succeeded in knocking a hole in the bottom; but we landed, repaired damages, and pushed on till evening, when we sought and found supper and lodging at a farmhouse, on the north bank of the river.

Our host was a lynx-eyed Western man, and he viewed us and our leaky boat somewhat suspiciously. After supper, he entertained us with stories of men who had "hooked" skiffs, hurried down the river, and been taken without being pursued. He said there were certain bends in the river where the settlers could hear each other when they called across; and if a skiff was stolen, the owner had only to holloa, when the call was passed on by others below, and the delinquents were sure to be intercepted.

He was evidently disposed to think we might exchange our wreck of a boat for his better one, under the cant word "hooking," often substituted in cities for stealing, Boys frequently say they "hook" things, when they would be ashamed to say they stole them, though this is what they have actually done; but they try to disguise the deed, both to themselves and others, under a false name. Such kind of terms, like "white lies," and many similar expressions, where gross evils are concealed under smooth names, ought to be shown up to the young, and to certain classes in society, because they often deceive the unwary.

This was the first farm-house I had been in since I arrived in America, and I was struck with the superior intelligence and knowledge of the world possessed by its inmates, above the stolid, contented ignorance that is everywhere met among the lower class of English farmers.

But our American farmer could see so far, that he saw a little too far. He had the fault of the American character. He was a little too sharp. He could read rogues, but he could not understand honest men. The boats were in no danger from us. We were only boys, and like boys let out from school, we wanted fun. A leaky boat with a little shipwreck, furnished us with pleasant excitement.

The next day we had a great treat at Vevay, a Swiss settlement in Indiana. The people were emigrants from Vevay, a town on the beautiful banks of the Lake of Geneva. They were building a town on the Ohio like the one they had left, and cultivating the vine and making wine, as they did in their own country.

They had handsome refreshment grounds laid out on the shore, with neat little kiosks built in them for the accommodation of visitors.

Here, in one of them, we were served with ripe grapes and new wine. The first were excellent, but the last, to my inexperienced taste of wines, I thought execrable. It would take me a long practice to learn to drink such trash to excess. What the moral effect of this wine-making settlement has been on the neighborhood, I have never heard.

"Falls of the Ohio" is a misnomer. They ought to be called "Rapids of the Ohio." Flat-boats can go over them at all stages of the water, at least on the northern side of the island that divides the river here, for I went over at the lowest water for the amusement of being tossed about in the foaming torrent among the rocks, which a skillful pilot can easily avoid.

Louisville, on the Kentucky side of the river above the falls, was the principal town, but there was a smaller one below the falls on the same side, called Shippingport, a very lawless place, inhabited principally by boatmen; and on the other side of the river, were also two small towns–Jeffersonville above the falls, and New Albany below them.

I went to work at Louisville though the town was very sickly, there being forty persons under medical treatment in one hotel alone; and it was far from giving promise of becoming the important place to which has since risen.

I made occasional excursions into the country around, and one day I walked with a companion from Jeffersonville to New Albany. By the way, we came on a farm-house, which we entered. There were several persons in the room, but my attention was arrested as soon as I went in by the sight of a young girl of seventeen or eighteen, standing near the hearth, and I noticed no one else. Her dress was plain, and she was barefooted, as farmers' girls usually were in summer. She had not bestowed much unnecessary time on her toilet, and wore neither corsets nor crinoline; but she needed nothing but dress to make her look like a princess. Her countenance had the expression of a refined lady. It was such a face as stands only before an intelligent mind. It would be useless to look for ignorance or dullness behind the lineaments of such a physiognomy. Her features were regular, but not positively handsome; the expression of her countenance agreeable, but not particularly attractive; and her eyes were dark, but flashed fire. She looked as if born to command rather than to obey; and her air and mien had more of self-reliance than meekness. I sat down in a chair and gazed long at her without thinking of the breach of good manners I was committing. She returned the gaze, but there was nothing in it assuring. Her eyes said as I read them, "You are a rude fellow." I felt the rebuke, so arose and departed.

For four or five years her form floated on my mind like a sea-bird. Whatever might be the disturbance there, her image crested the topmost wave. It was my full intention to visit her again, so soon as I was in a condition to present myself before her, and make a more favorable impression. I never, however, got quite ready, and finally an incident occurred which dashed the purpose altogether.

One of my employers in St. Louis, a Northern man, fell in love with a girl somewhere in Indiana, and they were engaged to be married; but he pushed on to St. Louis to acquire a little property, that they might make a respectable start in the world. For some reason, that I cannot explain, he did not keep up correspondence with his affianced; yet he never forgot her. He was industrious and diligent in business, and saved a little money every year for five or six years, with the sole object of returning to his beloved with a sufficient sum of money for them to commence life together comfortably.

When he reached that point to his own satisfaction, he dissolved partnership, and purchasing as elegant an outfit as St. Louis could afford, he returned to his betrothed in Indiana. He intended to take her by surprise, but the surprise was on the other side. He found her a wife and a mother! This so preyed on his spirit, that he took to drinking, although he had always been a sober man; and the last report I had of him was: "He has become a sot." Such tragedies in common life are much more thrilling to me than any that Shakespeare wrote. The heroes in poetry fall by the sword, but in real life by the bottle.

I took warning from my employer's failure, and wrote down the object of my attachment in my mind as dead. Nevertheless, she still lives in my thoughts, like a poetic creation, although her influence on me was something more than poetry; for her presence was sufficiently real to prevent the idea once entering my mind of forming any other connection for several years.

Young ladies are little aware of the influence they often exert on unsophisticated young men. There are many others, who "never told" their "love," besides Shakespeare's Ophelia.


THE towns below being reported very sickly, I concluded to delay my descent to the Mississippi, and turning aside from Louisville to the interior of Kentucky, I went to Lexington by way of Frankfort, the capital of the State. I was in Lexington when President Monroe, on one of his tours, visited the place in company with General Jackson and some other notables.

Jackson was a thin, wiry-looking man, with all the air and characteristics of a Westerner. Had I met him on the Ohio or Mississippi, I should have taken him to be the commander of a flat boat or a barge. He was not popular in Kentucky. The Kentuckians never forgave him for his despatch after the battle of New Orleans, in which he said the Kentuckians on the west side of the river "ingloriously fled." He had no braver men in his army than the Kentuckians, and he ought to have explained that they were taken by surprise, for no attack was anticipated on that side of the river, and he might have said they "retired," as commanders often soften a running away; but Jackson was one of those men who always call, "A cat, a cat; a rogue, a rogue."

He was more popular, however, in Missouri. A public meeting was held in St. Louis, a few years after I met him, to nominate a candidate for the presidency. It was a stormy one. Four candidates were proposed–Jackson, Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Crawford; and when no compromise could be reached, it was agreed that the advocates of each of the four individuals should gather together in the four corners of the meeting-house, and the one with the largest number of supporters should have the nomination. I went with the Jackson party, we counted the most, and secured the nomination of our candidate. I stood together on a bench with a major in the United States army, who said to me, after the result was declared: "I thought we should have had a fight. My hand was on my pistol."

Had I known, however, that Jackson would have introduced the practice of rewarding political partisans by appointments to lucrative offices, he would not have had my support. There he stained his laurels. There the administration of the government was rolled back to the practice of the most corrupt governments of Europe, where to this day men are appointed to office without reference to their qualifications, but with reference to their political partisanship, family connections, or personal friendship.

Monroe was the antipodes of Jackson in appearance as he was in mind. Monroe had the manners and appearance of an old English gentleman, and as he stood up with Jackson, they appeared like the representatives of the old and new continents, as they were of the two English wars, for if Jackson was a hero of the second, Monroe had fought in the first under Washington, and was wounded at the battle of Princeton.

They had a grand reception at the university, where a Latin address was made to them–a bit of pedantry worthy of "small Latinists." President Monroe did not appear to be much more profited by the address than the rest of the large assembly. He replied: "I approve of the sentiments expressed on education, so far as I understand them," and he then proceeded to speak of the importance of education. General Jackson was silent.

If Jackson disgraced himself, Monroe covered himself with undying honors by enunciating the "Monroe Doctrine." That was the first advance on the Declaration of Independence. Nothing can be more fitting than that the Old World should be restrained from imposing their effete governments on the New; and this doctrine needed only a leader like Monroe to propound it, to meet with a ready response from every American, without reference to section or party.

While Monroe and Jackson represented widely separated classes in society, Harrison was equally a representative man of another class–the farming community. In 1819 Harrison had nothing in his manners to distinguish him from a common farmer. I recollect selling him a pair of shoes for his daughter in my uncle's shop in Cincinnati, and he brought a stick the length of her foot, just as country people usually do, and she was fitted with shoes by that.

He was a thorough-going politician. He had been recently elected, I think, to the Ohio senate, and he entered into a long defence of himself and his policy, against electioneering charges that had been brought against him, though we had no personal acquaintance. Politicians sow by all waters, and they reap. Would that Christians did this more generally than they do, and they would reap too! Buyers and sellers often pass the conversation from trading to politics, but how seldom to religion!

Henry Clay I never met, but I was well acquainted in Versailles, Kentucky, with his brother, Porter Clay, who was in good practice as a lawyer. He often came into the shop where I worked, and the conversation sometimes turned on his brother becoming President, a question then considerably agitated in Kentucky. He was always very confident that Henry would never reach the presidential chair, fortifying his opinions by various well considered statements of the condition and strength of parties in different sections of the United States. The result showed his good judgment. He did not belong to the Virginia aristocracy, His mother was married a second time to a man in Versailles, who kept a tavern.

When Porter Clay and myself met together in that little shop, he a lawyer, and I a journeyman shoemaker, we little thought that both were destined to be Baptist ministers; but some years afterwards he was converted, relinquished the law, and became a Baptist preacher. He labored hard and successfully many years, and died in the work; perhaps a greater benefactor to society than his more famous brother.

Having often heard of the wonderful effects produced in that American institution, the camp-meeting, I availed myself of the opportunity to see one that was held in the vicinity of Lexington. It was said that hardened opposers were often "struck down," and converted on the spot. I wished to see a few specimens. At one of the services I attended, I saw a young lady "struck down," and I saw her carried out of the assembly and laid on a couch in a state of exhaustion. I was satisfied that there was no imposition, and equally well satisfied that there was no Divine influence in the matter. In all the camp-meetings of those days, this being "struck down" formed a constant part of the exercises. I could not understand the rationale of the thing then, neither do I now.

In St. Louis there was a little Methodist in the shop, who was always falling from grace. In this state he went to a camp-meeting in Illinois, and was absent two weeks. On his return to work, as he tied on his apron, he remarked with much apparent satisfaction: "I have got religion once more, and I guess I do not lose it again." In less than two weeks, he was "as drunk as an Indian," and when he came to his senses again, he said: "The devil deceived me at the camp-meeting. I did not get religion again there."

How much the devil has to do with such things, I am quite unable to say; but while preaching to a Karen congregation in the Mergui district in a grove of trees, many years ago, I was forcibly reminded of the young lady that I saw "struck down" in Kentucky. A young man in the congregation fell down, and was carried off in an insensible state. He was more like a person in an epileptic fit than anything else, yet it was not epilepsy. He muttered, and it was said that a spirit speaking in him forbade the people listening to the religion of Christ.

The next day he was rational again, and a few months after I returned to Tavoy, he walked into the house one day with his wife, professing himself a believer in Christ. I questioned him closely on his former "possession," and he said he felt as if something impelled him to speak and do as he did, but that the impelling power had left him. I noticed, however, that he was always unwilling to converse on the subject; much as many persons who have recovered from insanity are unwilling to converse on the subject of their insanity.

He entered school, learned to read, and was afterwards baptized, but not by me. He appeared like a sincere believer, was intelligent, talented, and became a teacher. In process of time he was sent off with others to a missionary in Mergui, who was so pleased with him, that after employing him for years, he finally ordained him to the ministry.

He did well so long as there were missionaries in Mergui, but soon after the station was abandoned, he completely apostatized, and went back to his old profession of being possessed by a spirit. Yet, it is said, he often expresses his regret that he ever administered the Lord's Supper.

When I recollect the reluctance with which he spoke of his "possession," I am reminded that it often happens that persons who have recovered from insanity and show reluctance to speak of it, are frequently attacked with insanity again; and so whatever this man's "possession" may be, I am persuaded he never was entirely free from it.


SOON after Missouri had been admitted into the Union, in 1821, I went to St. Louis; walking through Indiana by Vincennes, and crossing the wild prairies of Illinois, from the Wabash to the Mississippi. It was rather dull traveling. Vincennes, on the Wabash, was an old French town, in which every day looked like Sunday; and thence to the Mississippi was only one town, and that I failed to see. It had a splendid classical name, I think Palmyra, and I expected to find a flourishing embryo city. After reaching its latitude and longitude, I stopped at a farmhouse, and asked: "How far is it to Palmyra?" "Why, stranger," was the reply, "you passed through it three miles back. Did you not see the posts?" It appeared that the town had been laid out and advertised, but the lots had not been purchased, neither have they to this day. It is still, "Palmyra in the desert."

Some of the prairies were ten or twelve miles across without a shrub, differing from a desert only in being clothed with a luxuriant coat of grass. It was all plain, without a hillock, from New Albany on the Ohio, to the picturesque bluffs that bound the "American bottom," the bed of the Mississippi anterior to historic times.

St. Louis contained about 5,000 inhabitants when I reached there, but more than a third of them were French, or the descendants of the French, who lived isolated in the south part of the town, while the Americans occupied the north. The two parts reminded me of a dead body tied to a living one. While all was life and progress in the north, everything was dead and stagnant in the south.

The French by isolating themselves from the Americans, had none of the American enterprise, none of the American skill, and consequently none of the advantages of their skill and enterprise. They bore the name of American citizens, but might just as well have been French peasants where they came from; for, although in the midst of a country where the price of labor was double what it was in France, and where a laboring man might become rich by the work of his own hands, yet they labored very little, and what they did do was unskilled labor, which is least remunerative.

They cut wood and supplied the town with fire-wood; they poled boats, and were employed by the fur-traders; but anything that required mechanical skill, they were utterly incompetent to perform; and all such work, with the higher wages attached to it, was done by the Americans. They were lazy, improvident and ignorant; and contented to remain so; but America is no place for such people, and American institutions are not adapted to persons with such habits and traits of character. They can derive no benefit from either the one or the other.

The only thing these people could do well was dancing; and in this vocation they were ready to exercise themselves, in season and out of season. I had an American in the circle of my acquaintance who had married a French girl, so he went to live among the French; but instead of lifting them up to his standard, he fell down to theirs; and one day all his furniture and household goods were attached by the sheriff for debt. Although he had not a dollar to pay, he took it as easy as the French usually do, he and his wife both going to a ball the same evening, as if some good luck had befallen them.

The French were never powerful except at elections, and then their power was oftener for evil than for good; because the masses voted just as the leading fur-traders told them to do. They were as fully under their control as the tenants on an estate in England or France are to their landlord. Implicit obedience was the demand. The American soil does not agree with the French. They do not even hold their own there, they deteriorate. In St. Charles and St. Genevieve, as well as in St. Louis, the indigenous French population were lower in the scale of civilization than any other people I saw in America. I consider the Burmese around me here as much their superiors in intelligence.

When St. Louis became a city and the first mayor was chosen, the French pressed the Irish into their cause by community of religion; and, combined, they tried to elect an old French fur-trader, Pierre Chouteau, for mayor; but we succeeded in getting in a Virginian physician, and the French were not heard at the polls much after that.

It may be scarcely known now, that the first mayor of St. Louis, was not a Frenchman and a Roman Catholic, because the Anglo-Saxons and the Protestants made a special effort to elect an American and a Protestant. But what appears to me singular is, that while the city has increased from 5,000 to 200,000 inhabitants, the proportion between the Protestants and Roman Catholics remains unchanged. A writer in the Watchman of May, 1869, says: "The Roman Catholics claim half the city." It was precisely the same claim they put in half a century before, when we showed them at the polls they were a trifle mistaken. By what law has this proportion been maintained? Things do not happen now by chance, as they did in the days of King James' translators. So the great cities of the West, Pittsburg, Cincinnati and St. Louis were nearly equal in population half a century ago, and they are nearly the same now. By what law have they gone on increasing in the same proportion to each other?

When in St. Louis, I occasionally met John M. Peck at the house of one of his deacons with whom I was intimate. This deacon was a respectable man, but he was a Kentucky Baptist, and must have belonged to the genus "hard-shell," for I did not think then, nor now, that he had any more religion than myself. I was often with him for several years, but never heard him utter a sentence that could by any latitude of interpretation be construed as religious. Yet I have watched with him at night, when he was on a sick bed, and was a visitor at his house when his wife's brother died.

One Sabbath evening, after preaching, Mr. Peck remarked that many of the windows in the meeting-house were broken, and the deacons would go round with their hats and take up a contribution to repair them; but no hats went round, and after the congregation had sat with their hands in their pockets till they were weary, Mr. Peck closed the services. After the meeting broke up, this deacon said: "I was not going round begging with my hat. I had rather pay for the repairs myself."

Most farmers who go West commit the mistake of taking up more land than they can well cultivate. John M. Peck made a similar mistake. He erected a large brick meeting-house, which he could not finish, and he had to mortgage the building and lot heavily to make it habitable. He preached once a month in St. Louis, and scattered his labors the rest of his time all over the country. The consequence was, as might have been anticipated, had he first set down to count the cost. He had no growing church, but he had a gnawing mortgage, which finally got the meeting-house and turned it into a hotel.

There was not a Methodist in town when he arrived, but they came in after he had built his meeting-house. They sent down a zealous old man to preach every Sabbath, and hold week-day evening meetings; and within a couple of years, while I was there, they got up a flourishing little church, built a neat little meeting-house of wood, and dedicated it, free of debt.

Had John M. Peck pursued a similar course, he would have obtained similar results, but in a larger measure; for he was the best speaker of all the preachers that came to the place, and drew the largest and most intelligent congregations. I never went to hear him without seeing some of the most prominent lawyers in the State among his audience; and the Baptists instead of being "much spoken against," were the most popular denomination in town. At that time there were large numbers of young men for whose conversion no one made the slightest effort. I have since been astonished at the indifference I met with everywhere, even among Christian people, on the subject of religion. "No one cared for my soul," or I might have been led to the Saviour then.

It would seem as if the Baptists had continued as they begun. A writer in one of the papers says, in 1869, that, "The Baptists of St. Louis are not very strong, not numbering more than fifteen hundred members, exclusive of the colored churches." With the whole field their own in 1820, judicious measures and ordinary zeal, with the blessing of God, ought to have given them nearer fifteen thousand, now the population has increased forty fold.

If John M. Peck erred in one way, the Methodists erred in another. The man who founded their society, formed their church and built their meeting-house, was of very mediocre talents and no education; so that neither the wise nor the noble attended his preaching. His success was owing entirely to the blessing of God on his ministrations to the humbler classes that came within the sphere of his influence. This was not quite satisfactory to the Methodist Conference, so they turned the old man out of the meeting-house he had built by his own efforts, and the church he had gathered by his prayers, and sent a man in his place heralded beforehand as "understanding Hebrew." In those days and in that section, a Methodist minister who understood Hebrew was looked on as a prodigy.

So the man who "understood Hebrew" came, and General Clark opened his house on Wednesday evenings for this remarkable scholar to lecture on the first chapters of Genesis "according to the Hebrew." I went to hear several of his lectures, but brought nothing away, excepting that he was quite a gentlemanly speaker, and much superior to the old man as a preacher. But, alas! the "lectures" did not add to the church as the previous conference-meetings had done, and when the year rolled round, the man who "understood Hebrew" went his way, leaving the church with about the same numbers he found it, and the Conference somewhat less confident in Hebrew as a converting agent.

I was six years in the Western States, and according to their laws I ought to have mustered with the militia every year or pay a fine, but the laws were so administered that I did neither the one nor the other. The captain of the company in which I was enrolled in St. Louis, wished me to become his lieutenant, and appointed me sergeant as the first step, but I never had any military aspirations, and declined receiving any military appointment whatever.

Military training was very much of a farce in those days. I have seen an officer in full uniform going up the ranks, gravely inspecting the arms, and so soon as he had passed a dozen men, those below handed their arms to people placed for the purpose behind them, who immediately ran up the back of the ranks and gave the arms to men in advance of the inspecting officer; so that he examined the same muskets several times over, but in the hands of different men. This he must have known as well as the spectators, but it enabled him to get up a sham report on the efficiency of the regiment, which deceived nobody but people at a distance, and perhaps not them.

The colonel of the regiment lately elected, was a New England lawyer, but the captain of the volunteer company in St. Louis was a Virginian, too proud to obey a northern man. So on the day of parade, when the colonel gave an order for the regiment to move in one direction, the captain's band, the only one on the ground, struck up "Yankee Doodle," and he with his company marched off in the opposite direction. It was supposed a duel would follow, but the colonel took no notice of the insult.

Yet those were the days of dueling. A few months before my arrival, Benton had killed in a duel his political opponent, who, it was said, would have taken his place in Congress had he lived. I saw a leading lawyer in town lying dead in his office from the effects of a duel. The head of one of the principal hotels in St. Louis was killed in one, and I stood by the dying bed of a prominent man fatally wounded in another. One of the practicing physicians of St. Louis said he had been in twelve duels, either as principal, second or surgeon. Nor were these all, there were others while I was there, particularly among military officers.

I was acquainted with a captain in the army who was originally a journeyman shoemaker, but who enlisted in the war of 1812, and rose by his good conduct till he obtained a commission. He got his commission by hard fighting, but he had to fight harder with his brother officers to retain it than he had to fight the enemy. However, after he had fought three or four duels, they let him alone; and the last time I saw his name he was a brigadier-general.

Bates was a young lawyer just coming into notice, with whom I was personally acquainted, and whom I often met during the last two or three years of my residence in St. Louis. I fully endorsed his politics, and when he was a candidate for the legislature, I did some little electioneering for him; for he was never elected without opposition. His opponent on one occasion was a recent importation from Virginia, a very conceited lawyer, and he took to abusing Bates in the papers under an assumed signature. One of his effusions ended, referring to Bates, "This little would-be-great man." This was too much for Bates, and he sent him a challenge; but his opponent backed out, on the ground that he was a married man, and the contest therefore unequal, because Bates was single. I never heard of that man again, but after many years Bates' name turned up as a member of Lincoln's Cabinet. Since writing the above, I regret to see from a recent paper that he is dead. The Watchman says:

"Mr. Bates, who was President Lincoln's first Attorney-General, died on the 26th of March, at St. Louis, aged seventy-six. He had been a member of Congress from Missouri, and was offered the office of Secretary of War by President Fillmore, but would not accept the appointment. He had been a man of much note in the political world, and was a leading Whig in those old times which now have become historical."

I am thankful that I have lived to see the abolition of the slavery of dueling, for it was a tyrannical species of slavery to which the upper classes were subjected, and from which there was no honorable escape. Its abolition is one of the great landmarks of the progress of Christian principles, which characterize the present age; and is as much a part of the advancement of the kingdom of Christ as the conversion of the heathen. It marks the destruction of one great social evil by the power of Christian principles, which will, most assuredly in the end, destroy every other social evil.


THE latest overland news is, that the great Indian Mound at St. Louis has been leveled to the ground to forward some local improvement. The intelligence comes to me at these antipodes, as if I had been told an old acquaintance at the West had been tomahawked and scalped by the Indians. I can liken it to nothing but the Pacha of Egypt pulling down the great pyramid to get stones to make the Suez canal. There are multitudes of mounds left, but they are all pigmies compared with this one. It was the greatest of Indian remains. The evening of many an "Indian summer" day found me musing on the top of that magnificent monument, now no more. There at its base ran the "Father of Waters," 4,000 miles from its source, and still 1,200 from its mouth, draining a million and a half of square miles of territory, with 9,000 miles navigable for steamboats; and like true greatness, so modest withal, that it does not show half the breadth of some of its tributaries. I had occasion to measure its width trigonometrically in two places opposite the city, to decide a bet, and found it only about three-quarters of a mile at the widest parts.

The "American Bottom," an extensive alluvial plain opposite St. Louis, extending from the mouth of the Kaskaskia to the mouth of Wood river, is covered with small Indian mounds, and one day while exploring them, I came on an ordinary log-house; but I was surprised to see when I went in that the sides of the house inside were very neatly fitted up, from top to bottom, with drawers, very like a druggist's store. On inquiry, I found it had been the residence–was, in fact, the monastery of the monks of La Trappe, who never speak, and who were well remembered by the old French inhabitants of St. Louis; but what became of them I never could learn. They passed away as silently as they lived.

St. Louis was a favorable residence, when I was there, to see the different tribes of Indians in the West, because the Indian agent, General Clark, one of the first explorers of the sources of the Missouri, "Lewis and Clark," resided there. Clark was governor of Missouri while it was a territory, and he was a candidate for governor when it became a State, but the people preferred a man more like themselves, and elected a coarse and, I should judge, an illiterate, farmer. General Clark was very much of a gentleman, both in appearance and in fact, and was too stiff in his manners to please the mobility. Nearly the whole of the first legislature was composed of farmers. Every one was ready to make laws for his constituents, but not one of them could draw up an act grammatically, or that would hang together in the form of a law. The few lawyers elected had to do that business, and they complained grievously of being overworked.

President Monroe very wisely appointed General Clark, Indian Agent, and the Indians often came in to hold councils with him. Different tribes differed in appearance, but they all agreed in one thing–the love of whiskey. They encamped outside of the town, but parties would be seen daily parading the streets, and they would stop before any house or shop that took their fancy, and there dance till whiskey was brought them. The men drank lustily, and pushed the bottle round–no teetotalers there–but when it came to the squaws, they took just as much as their wide mouths would hold, and then spit it out into a tin cup they carried with them. This was their invariable course, and all that the squaws had collected in the tin cups was carried to the encampment, and served for a drunken carouse at night.

The Indian is a sot beyond all other people I ever saw or read of. The love of drink is within him an uncontrollable flame, and it is plain enough that traders who go among them with whiskey, can make their own terms. There is no cure but teetotalism. The preliminary step to benefit the Indians, and without which all others are vain, is to deprive them of intoxicating drink. It ought to be made a criminal offence to furnish it to them under any pretense. Had there been an ordinance prohibiting the inhabitants from giving the Indians whiskey under severe penalties, they would not have been demoralized as they were every time they visited St. Louis. There, at least, the Indian agent was not to blame; it was the citizens who were in fault.

Official councils were frequently held with the Indian chiefs at the house of General Clark, and I was often present. I had had the impression that the specimens of Indian eloquence in the school books, owed a good deal of their point to the touching up of the narrators, but I was surprised to find their speeches, when interpreted by an ignorant half Indian, half French interpreter, to abound in strains of eloquence of which no finer examples had ever been put in type. Indian eloquence is entirely unique, and peculiar to themselves. There is nothing like it among the Asiatic nations.

An Indian orator stands up as straight as a pine, wraps his buffalo robe around him like a Roman toga, and stretching out his bared right arm, deals out his eloquence as deliberately as an experienced lawyer, careful not to commit himself Their speeches abound in poetic strains of the Ossianic type. The sun and the moon, the rocks and the streams, the trees and the leaves, the beasts and the birds, furnish them with their principal images. I think it would be quite as easy for a resident among them, acquainted with their language, to get a book of poems out of them, as it was for Macpherson to get Ossian's poems out of the Highlanders.

They had much to say about dying away before the white man, like withered leaves; that they could do nothing in his presence but run, like the deer of their forests; and they solicited, as their only means of salvation, the protection of their "great Father" in Washington. But it often turned out that these poetical and submissive speeches were made by the sly old rascals to gain time and distract attention, when blood and massacre were in their minds and hearts.

The Sioux were among the most eloquent speech-makers, but they proved to be the most treacherous of the tribes with whom General Clark had to deal; and they made a great deal of trouble after I heard them exhaust the English language and their own, to find terms to express their friendship and attachment to the United States government and the white man.

Much has been written of the wrongs of the Indians at the hands of white men. The greatest wrong they have done him has been to give him alcoholic drink; but they have wronged their own race quite as much; so that this Indian wrong is not peculiar to himself.

The Indian may be excused if he complains of his lands being taken from him, but shall we have no Pacific railroad because the land belongs to the Indian, and he will not sell it? I see no absolute wrong in the government taking it under such circumstances. When the government requires a road for the good of the many, if necessary, they drive it straight through my garden, and sweep away the paternal mansion. It is a hardship to me individually, and the market price is no remuneration. Still, it is for the public good, a measure just to society, and I submit. We ask no more of the Indians.

The world cannot be civilized without their lands, and the civilization of the world is a necessity as great as the turning of the earth on its axis.

If they will submit to be civilized, land enough will be left them for civilized people to dwell on, but if they are determined to remain wild, like the bison on their plains, then like their bison, they must move on before the wave of civilization, or be swept away by it.

If the Indian has to complain of individual wrongs, so has the white man who settles near him. I have conversed with a large number of border settlers, and never found one who did not regard the Indians as hopelessly treacherous and utterly untrustworthy. In one of my excursions, I was in Montgomery county, where Daniel Boone, the first settler in the Western wilderness, had recently died, in 1822, at the age of eighty-five years. I put up at the house of one of his grand daughters, who was married to a very intelligent man, who had seen much of Indian life. He was not a savage. He had a large quarto Bible on the shelf in his room, no very common bit of furniture in that region in those days. When I spoke of trusting the Indians, he shook his head, "more in sorrow than in anger," and said: "They can't be trusted."

We hear much of the wrongs done the Indians by the Indian agents. It is the present fashion to speak of them in the periodicals, as about the worst class of men in existence. Perhaps some of them are. I never knew but one Indian agent–General Clark–and I fully believe that he was an honest man, and dealt as equitably with the Indians as one New York merchant deals with another. So I cannot join the hue and cry.

Had all the settlers dealt with the Indians as William Penn did, they might have learned to trust the white man, and been faithful in return; but they did not, and the actual circumstances in which we are required to act, are very different from those hypothetical ones. We have to deal with hordes of savages, who cannot be matched on the face of the whole earth for their cruelty, treachery, perverseness, untractableness, impracticableness, and obstructiveness.


I ALWAYS thought that St. Louis would grow into a large city, and I once came near purchasing a lot of land in the south part of the town, which was offered me on advantageous terms; but I could never reconcile myself to making my home in a Slave State. My education and the influences that had been exerted on me from childhood, had all been in the direction to make me an uncompromising enemy of slavery. My first recollections on the subject were connected with Wilberforce.

I saw Wilberforce "chaired" after the hardest contested election for the county of York on record. He was mounted in a large arm-chair completely covered with rosettes of pink ribbons, and carried round the city in triumph on the shoulders of his victorious constituents. It was the triumph of an idea–the abolition of the slave trade. This was Wilberforce's one idea. People said he was mad. Every man who follows up a great and a good thought is mad in the eyes of his contemporaries, because they have no such thoughts of their own. So Christ was mad; and Wilberforce was mad, when he first proposed the abolition of the slave-trade on the floor of Parliament, but he followed up his proposition amid incessant opposition and discouragement. Finally success crowned his efforts, and the slave-trade was abolished by decree of Parliament in 1807, declaring emphatically that Wilberforce was sane, and it was his opponents who were mad; and proving how much a man may accomplish with one idea, when that idea emanates from the eternal law of right.

For five successive elections he was sent to Parliament from the county of York, by a unanimous vote, but in 1807, the whole wealth of the country was engaged to contest his election; and his opponents spent a million of dollars in opposing him and each other, for two members were to be elected; and spent it in vain. He was re-elected by an overwhelming majority, and at no expense to himself. And this was the triumph of an idea that has gone on further developing itself, till the bonds of every slave in Christendom have been torn asunder.

Thus I was baptized into the anti-slavery spirit in childhood, and when I found myself in the midst of slavery in Kentucky, I was not slow in denouncing it when occasion required. Slavery was too firmly seated then for the slaveholders to heed anything that was said. It was only when slavery began to totter, that they restricted the freedom of speech.

The winter I was in Cincinnati the Ohio was frozen over, and one fine evening a party of Kentuckians went into the principal hotel there, seized the negro barkeeper, and carried him off, dragging him by his heels across the ice to Covington. This was not done in a corner. Multitudes were round about, and yet no one attempted to interfere. He was charged with being a run-away slave, but that was in no wise certain. He was much more likely a free man, for a run-away slave would have been likely to put a wider space than the breadth of the Ohio River between him and slavery.

In those days the slaveholders were allowed to have everything their own way, and nothing aroused my indignation so much as to see the treatment the negroes received from Northern men, when they became slave owners. They were uniformly the hardest task-masters the negroes had. There was a Yankee blacksmith in Versailles, who had bought a negro, and he often came into the shop where I worked to tell of his "'cuteness." He had tried his negro, and found out exactly how much work he could do; and what he could do, that he was determined to make him do all the time.

I have sometimes passed his shop door and seen the negro with his feet tied to the anvil, his wrists tied to a beam above, and his free-soil master belaboring him on the naked back with that Southern insignia of sovereignty, the "cow-hide;" which ought to be engraven on every slaveholder's crest. Southern masters would beat their slaves cruelly when they were angry; but they would not daily and deliberately wring every ounce of strength out of a slave's sinews, like this blacksmith.

Still, the Connecticut man is entitled to the credit of decency above his neighbors; for the Southern people would sometimes strip a negro woman as naked as she was born, tie her to a post and flog her there publicly as if she were a horse or a dog.

Sometimes these hard masters went farther than even negro human nature could endure, and it used to be a marvel to me how they could endure so much. A Frenchman who was next neighbor to where I lived in St. Louis, undertook to flog his slave. I was not present, but my employer was looking on. The slave endured the punishment for awhile, but finally broke his bonds and turned on his master like an unchained tiger. Then they had it together, "rough and tumble," the master getting much the worst of it. Ultimately the master's cries brought him help, and the negro was pulled off. Then the Frenchman's wife, addressing my employer, a Massachusetts man, said: "Mr. Ward, I am astonished that you did not interfere!" "Interfere!" responded Mr. Ward, "I would not have interfered if he had killed him." The finale was amusing. The negro escaped all punishment. The Frenchman was quite taken aback, to be "licked" by his own negro. Such a possibility had never entered his head, and he was quite cowed and afraid of the negro. He thought if he had the fellow punished, the next thing he might kill him. So he wisely made up with his slave, and ever after they were good friends.

The man who was sheriff when I left St. Louis, was afterwards killed by a negro, but under what circumstances, I know not. A lynching party took the negro from jail to the outside of the town, and burnt him to death, tormenting him over a slow fire–all in harmony with the spirit of slavery which is the demon of brutality and cruelty.

If a domestic servant provokes her reputed kind mistress, who happens to have a darning-needle in in her hand, the darning-needle is thrust straight through the flesh of the girl's arm; and should a master be made angry, and have a bottle in his hand, he dashes the bottle against the negro's head, smashing it to pieces on his skull.

I knew an officer in the United States army in St. Louis, General Atkinson, who lost his silver spoons. He had reason to suspect a slave-girl about the house, and wrote her mistress on the subject. The mistress sent the girl to the general with a cow-hide and a note, in which she said: "Beat her till she restores the spoons, but spare her breasts, because she is giving suck to a very small child." General Atkinson after reading the note, handed it back to the girl, and said: "Go tell your mistress she is a BRUTE."

In many instances, however, the negroes were well treated, just as a good farmer takes good care of his stock.

I once knew a young lady, who taught school at the South and lived in the family of a celebrated doctor of divinity. One of the negro servant-girls had a young baby, and every morning the mistress of the house took the child from its mother and washed and "spruced it up," as if it had been her own child. The Northern young lady was quite affected with the kindness thus manifested to slaves, and felt greatly indignant at the misrepresentations of Abolitionists; for there she saw with her own eyes, slave owners treating their slaves as if they were members of their own families. So one morning she complimented the lady of the house on the kindness of heart she exhibited in her attentions to the negro child. The lady drew herself up in offended dignity, and emphatically repelled the idea of being actuated by such sniveling motives, adding: "If one has property one must take care of it."

She cleaned the dirty little nigger, not because it represented a human being, of the same blood and kindred as herself; not even as the nun dressed Corporal Trim's knee, "for Christ's sake;" but because it represented a hundred clean silver dollars! And this was a Christian family, and the head of it a preacher of the Gospel!

There is another feature of the iniquity of slavery to which I shall only allude in the language of Chaplain Quint. He says:

"Their pet system is a mess of abomination. I remember that in the Shenandoah Valley I never saw five persons of real African descent. In Southern Tennessee I think half may have been black. I remember one person of sixteen, whose father and mother were children of the wealthy owner. I remember the person on account of the gashes cut into her back as she had been tied up by the thumbs. That kind of morals is one of the 'rights' of the South."

Some years after I came to Burmah, the impression went abroad at the South that I was a Southern man. One gentleman wrote me: "I knew your father in Virginia." Several valuable articles of clothing were sent me from the South, and as my heart felt like a pent up volcano, when I heard the echoes of the discussions then going on in America on the subject of slavery, they produced an eruption.

"On my return from Pzeekhya," I wrote the slaveholding church that kindly furnished them for me, "the box arrived, and several articles, as shirts and socks, being what I much needed, Mrs. Mason put them up for my use at Maulmain. No sooner, however, did I put on one of the articles, than associations connected with slavery spontaneously arose in my mind; scenes that I witnessed many years ago while living in the Slave States, came up fresh as the scenes of yesterday. I thought of the articles I had on as being the fruits of the blood and sweat of slaves, till the thought was unendurable, and I pulled them off, resolving not to wear them again until I had entreated you to consider the subject of slavery, and let the oppressed go free."

To Lewis Tappan, of New York, I wrote under date of May 2, 1844:

"It is better to suffer than to do wrong; but if it be right to run away from persecution and death, as our Saviour taught, surely it is right to run away from slavery, which to me would be worse than death. I have, therefore, the pleasure to inclose an order for ten dollars on our treasurer, which I will thank you to pay over to the Committee in New York, to assist in the escape of runaway slaves. The money is not sent you out of abundance, but because there seems to be no ground for neutrality now, and I wish to show decidedly that I have no sympathy with slavery, no compromise to make with it whatever. My motto in this work is, "Delenda est Carthago."


IT does not require a voice from heaven to recognize a God in the dispensations of Providence. The Buddhist, who has no faith in an Eternal God, says: "As sure as the cart-wheels follow the footsteps of the ox, so sure punishment follows sin;" which is only another form of "Ye have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." The treatment the negro has received from the white man has recoiled fearfully on the white man himself. He could not reduce the negro to shameless savagism without becoming a shameless savage himself. He could not demoralize the negro without demoralizing himself and his children.

At the North, when people get angry, they sometimes knock each other down, but in Southern and Western slaveholding society, under similar circumstances, I found they stabbed each other; and if one died, it was considered all right, provided he got his wound in a fight or a quarrel. Though I knew several persons killed in this way, I never knew any one punished for it. Indeed, public opinion awarded no punishment, and however the laws might read, they were waste paper in the face of the people who administered them. At the very time men were shooting each other on an island opposite St. Louis, and three or four deaths occurred there to my knowledge in one year, the laws on the statute books of both Missouri and Illinois, made it death to kill a man in a duel.

As it was deemed venial to kill a man in anger, many of the politicians went a degree farther than this, and killed to accomplish their political purposes. Barton, a lawyer in St. Louis, and brother to Barton one of the senators in Congress, made himself obnoxious to the Surveyor-general, exposing his inequitable management in the newspaper. Four or five of this man's brothers pledged themselves to kill off Barton. They would not allow the general to go into the fight, because he might be killed, and the spoils of office would then be lost to the family. So A, B, C, D engage with each other to fight Barton in turn, if necessary. Should Barton kill A, then B was to challenge him; and if B should be killed also, then C would come forward; so that one man had to stand up against four or five, and had, therefore, no chance of his life at all. Barton was killed, however, at the first encounter, and on the evening of the murder, these brothers, with a few others of their party, dined in their apartments in the principal hotel, and got so intoxicated that they were heard to holloa, as they pushed round the wine, "This is Barton's blood!"

The utter disregard of law by all parties in the slave States, astonished me quite as much as any thing I met there. The Roman Catholics were so strong in St. Louis, that at the elevation of the host in the cathedral every man was expected to bow down. On one occasion, two young Virginians stood looking on near the door in an irreverent manner, and did not bow down. An Irish magistrate sitting near by, turned to some Irishmen behind him and said: "If I were a young man, those fellows would be sorry for that." They took the hint and, following out the Virginians, beat them severely in the road. The victory was, however, short lived, for the vanquished party got together a dozen of their friends armed with clubs, and sought out the aggressors. I saw the avengers myself, led by the captain of the volunteer company. One man, it was reported, they beat so that he died the same day; and the others cleared out of town, and were never after found in St. Louis.

The Border Free States had imbibed the same reckless spirit. I saw a specimen of it in Upper Alton. There were two parties in the town, Masons and anti-Masons; and the day the Masons inaugurated their first lodge, the anti-Masons gave a ball in the evening in the lodge-room. As the Masons had their meeting to themselves, the anti-Masons determined to be equally exclusive, and did not invite a single Mason to the ball. This was not to be borne; so the Masons coolly made up a purse to pay all possible law expenses, and, arming themselves with sticks, prepared to drive every man out of the ball-room. However, the anti-Masons got a hint of what was going forward, and the stewards came down with a polite invitation for all the Masons to attend; so the fight was averted.

When such cases come before the courts, and the aggressors are found guilty according to the law, the punishment awarded is usually absurdly light. There was a lawyer in Versailles, Kentucky, who had made himself obnoxious to the inhabitants by his uncommonly quarrelsome disposition. In his various fights he had stabbed six men, all of them prominent citizens, one of them a brother to Henry Clay. So the people being exasperated, they rose up and mobbed him, declaring he should leave the town. But he fortified himself in his house, and threatened certain death to the first man who entered it. He was originally from Tennessee, and the leading men finally entered into a treaty with him, and agreed if he would leave the place quietly, they would buy his property, and pay him a fair price for it. He went away, but he afterwards sued thirty-one of the principal inhabitants for assault and battery. I was present when the trial came off, and heard him plead his own cause, which he did very ably, and all the defendants were found guilty. When they came up for sentence, the whole were fined one cent! Not one cent each, but one cent for the thirty-one transgressors.

Some of the roughest specimens of men, that care for neither law nor order, I met on the Missouri, about two hundred miles west of St. Louis. Many emigrants settled in the western part of Missouri on government lands before they came into market, and had good farms under cultivation before they had the opportunity to purchase them. When I was in Franklin, the then farthest town in the West, the public lands were about to be sold, and some apprehensions were felt by the squatters lest some of the Yankees should bid off their farms.

One morning at the breakfast-table of the hotel, where I was boarding, a member of the legislature, but a notable squatter, after discussing the question warmly, jumped up from his chair, and clapping his hands on his thighs, swore: "I am a ring-tailed painter (i.e., panther). I shall go to the sale holding two dollars in one hand and the lead in the other; and if they will not take the two dollars, then they shall have the lead." The Yankees took the hint, and rather than run the imminent risk of being shot, allowed the "ring-tailed painter" and his coadjutors to have things in their own way.

At the court which was sitting at the same time, I saw a man tried for killing another. He met an acquaintance on the road with whom he had had a quarrel, and after exchanging a few words with him, he took out a pistol and shot the man dead on the spot. The murderer was acquitted as a matter of course.

There can be no stop put to such legalized murders, so long as lawless men are allowed to carry arms. Nearly every man used to carry deadly weapons, and I have reason to believe that it is still so at the South. If a man had not a loaded pistol, then he had a dirk, and if he had not a dirk, then he carried a large pointed case-knife with a spring-back, with which he saluted his enemies whenever he could get up a quarrel with them; and with which under more peaceable circumstances, he cut at everything in his way softer than steel. I have seen a senator to Congress amusing himself by hacking with his knife at a post by the roadside; and after the meeting of the first legislature in Missouri, the owner of the hotel in which they sat, brought in a bill of forty dollars for the injury done to the wainscoting of his room by the knives of the legislators.

I considered the Slave States as an undesirable residence for a mechanic in every point of view. The social state of the poor whites assimilated much nearer to that of the negroes than it did to that of the negro owners. In both Kentucky and Missouri, I had frequent invitations from small farmers to go into the country, which I sometimes accepted. The farm-house was only a single remove above a negro's hut. The bed-room was usually one and indivisible for the whole family and all visitors. At one house where I spent a few days, the bed-room had three beds–one for the old people, one for strangers, and one for two marriageable daughters. Nor did the poor farmers in the neighboring Free States live in any better style. When traveling in Indiana, a farmer overtook me by the way, who asked me to go home with him and spend the night. It was late when we reached his house, which consisted mainly of one large room; but no sooner had we got in than up jumped out of bed a "strapping lass" in her night clothes, to see what father had bought for her in town.

Strangers were hospitably entertained everywhere, and civil people were always treated civilly. If in an exceptional case, a man quarreled with a stranger, there were always others standing by to take up the "stranger's quarrel," and fight for him if necessary. I found good manners a power in society, of which workingmen, especially in England, sadly fail to avail themselves. English gentry and English peasants, stand at the antipodes of each other in the matter of good behaviour. An English lady is one of the finest specimens of humanity, but an English countryman is the superlative of boors. Good manners has a market value, yet costs nothing. If a man has the manners of a gentleman, though penniless, he may get a supper and lodging, when an unmannerly man would be driven from the door with money in his pocket.

There is no reason why workingmen should not acquire good manners. Learning cannot be acquired without time and money, but it requires no capital to obtain the manners of a gentleman. They may be acquired by observation. In the middle ages, if a man could read, he had the benefit of the clergy–that is, he was treated as a clergyman; and now, if a mechanic has the manners of a gentleman, he has the benefit of the gentry; that is, he is treated as a gentleman.

One of my shopmates in St. Louis, a New Englander, had all the manners of a gentleman, and although he had nothing but a common school education, and had no money and very little morals, yet he frequented the best society to an extent that no other mechanic in town did–merely because he was a gentleman in his manners, though in nothing else. He was a frequent visitor at the house of Bates, was on terms of intimacy with one of the Blairs, and was welcomed at the fireside of Judge Tucker, one of the leading men in the State. This became well-known from a little incident that was noised about town. He called one day on the judge, and when conversation lagged, he took down the backgammon board as had been his wont, and proposed a game. "Why, George," replied the old man in astonishment, "to-day is Sunday?" George had forgotten Sunday, and this was considered a capital joke, for the judge was regarded as a religious man.

If learning and moral worth be silver and gold, then good manners is credit at the bank, and is available capital in the business of life. There is no one practicable thing which would do so much to break down the bar that separates workingmen from the classes above them, as for the workingmen to acquire the manners of those classes. It is a thing that every man may obtain for himself, and valuable property which he may leave to his children. Poverty is no hindrance, and lack of book knowledge no disadvantage.


WITH the spirit of the Athenians of old, who "spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing" in the spring of 1824, I took passage in a steamer from St. Louis to New Orleans. We traveled at the rate of three hundred miles a day, so there was not much opportunity to see the country.

Herculaneum, with its natural shot-towers of perpendicular rocks rising hundreds of feet above the bank of the river, was one notable object, and we landed at St. Genevieve, an old French town, among some picturesque piles of limestone, as dead as Herculaneum.

We next dashed into Cairo, a nasty swamp with a famous name, given it on the same principle, I suppose, that negroes are called Cato, Pompey and Caesar.

The steamer wooded at New Madrid, where we had the opportunity of inspecting a place that was nearly destroyed by an earthquake a dozen years before. The earthquake had left nothing but a miserable village, which seemed hardly worth leaving. Below this place, both banks of the river were low and overflowed, and very uninteresting till pleasantly relieved by the Chickasaw Bluffs, high ridges that abut on the east bank at right angles to the river.

We wooded again at the mouth of the Arkansas, and, seated together on a bench at the door of the miserable hotel, two men were pointed out to me, one a judge, who had come down the river to fight a duel, which was to come off so soon as the steamer left. I learned afterwards that the duel was fought, and one of the parties shot dead on the spot.

Vicksburg, pleasantly built on the southern declivities of the Walnut hills, that Grant has since immortalized, was then a disreputable village; and Natchez stood up like a moral monument to the memory of the extinct race of Indians whose name the town bears, and is associated with one of the most heartless chapters in the history of the so-called Christian civilization, in contact with the Indians, on record. The Natchez appear to have been a race superior in civilization to all their Indian neighbors, and they treated the French settlers with as much kindness as the Indians of Pennsylvania treated Penn and his followers; but the French returned their kindness by massacring and exterminating them. Not a Natchez remains to sing the requiem of his race, but their name lives, and the story of their wrongs is emblazoned on the flag that waves over the city of Natchez, and will be read there by the passing traveler every day, so long as the Mississippi is the highway of nations.

Baton Rouge was noted principally because it is the first high land met after entering the mouth of the Mississippi, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles; and this is only thirty feet above high water. From Baton Rouge to New Orleans the river appeared to run on a ridge above the land on both sides, being banked in by the levee, but in one place we saw, it had breached the bank and was running like a mill race.

The last sight recorded in my memory before reaching New Orleans is something that will never be seen again. In the evening, I noticed on the road down the levee a large gang of negroes, men and women, returning from their work in the fields, and behind them, on horseback, came their driver, a white man, with an enormous horse-whip over his shoulder. I pitied the white man more than the negro, for his degradation was more profound.

New Orleans was hardly an American city then. It was more like a town in India, where the dominant race is British, but the body of the people of other nationalities. It could but have a heterogeneous population. It was founded by France only about a century before, and was after that nearly forty years in the possession of the Spaniards; so there was only a thin stratum of Anglo-Saxons resting on strata of Spaniards, French and Creoles, with the whole underlaid by a thick bed of negroes. The population, however, is five or six times greater now than it was when I saw it, for the town had then less than thirty thousand inhabitants, while it now has nearly two hundred thousand.

The only remarkable objects I could find were the street-drains, the cleanest of any city I was ever in. There was some machinery on the levee that let the water on the streets at right angles with the river, and which descended to the swamp on the east, so that there was a rapidly running brook on each side, and in the hottest part of the day negroes were employed throwing the water from these brooks into the middle of the streets, and making the air delightfully cool.

I was in the place one Sabbath, and inquired for Protestant worship, but was told the Presbyterian minister was out of town, and he was the only Protestant preacher of whom my informant had any knowledge. I looked into the Roman Catholic Cathedral, with its four towers, but it seemed to have more towers than men, for the congregation consisted mainly of a thin sprinkling of women. On the levee the ships were lading and unlading as on any other day.

In the afternoon I went out to the "Congo Ground," where the old Congo Negroes practiced their heathen rites. The exhibition was sufficiently ridiculous, if not amusing. What I saw was singing and dancing, with indescribable contortions and indescribable music from numerous indescribable instruments. I was told the actors did not profess to be Christians, but continued to believe in their original heathenism, and I could not see much to be gained by a conversion to New Orleans Christianity. Play-bills were placarded at all the street corners, describing an attractive performance at the theatre in the evening. I had noticed a particularly fine building in one of the most conspicuous positions in town, and on asking to what object it was devoted, I was told gambling; so in the evening I stepped in to read the anxious faces bending over the rouge-et-noir and the whirling ivory-ball. I had no inclination to enter into the play myself, because my father had fully inducted me into the belief that, whatever might be the fate of gamblers in the next world, they always came to grief in this; and his teaching had been confirmed by my own observation. Only a short time before, I had stood by the dying bed of a man who had been mortally wounded in a duel that arose from a quarrel over cards; and I had still in my ears his cries to God in agony, and the screams of his distracted young wife in an adjoining room, to whom he had been recently married. Some people allow themselves to be deluded by talks on "the law of probabilities," but the only law in gambling is that the old hand is sure to beat the green one. Never playing myself, I learned a good deal of the ins-and-outs of gambling, and there was no fact clearer to my mind than that gambling is an art, studied and practiced to deceive the unwary. In one way or an other, an adept will soon learn to almost a certainty what cards are in the hands of his inexperienced victim. Dishonesty waits on gambling in both high and low life, just as murder waits on dueling. New Orleans was emphatically a city without a Sabbath, and the people appeared to me to be as far from Christ as the Hottentot, or the Hindoo, or the Burman, or the Chinaman; and how Christians in the United States could leave them to their own heathenish habits unchecked, has always been a mystery to me.

I saw a beautiful crop of sugar-cane on the field where Jackson won the battle that gave him the Presidency. Subsequently I fell in with a naval officer who was on board the fleet when the English attacked New Orleans. Colonel Rennie, was on board the same ship as he, and was the officer who succeeded with a few of his men in getting over the cotton-bags into a corner of the entrenchment. He was killed on the spot, but General Jackson sent back some trinkets found on his person to his friends, with a highly complimentary letter on his bravery. I learned how he happened to be so brave. He had been wounded in the Peninsula, and often suffered great pain from the effects of his wound. This naval officer told me he was the most profane man he ever met. He habitually blasphemed God for inflicting such pains upon him, and swore that if he ever went into action again, he would never come out alive–that he had rather die than suffer as he did. He kept his word. He appears to have been a skillful officer. He got into Jackson's entrenchments by his foresight. Orders had been issued to the colonel of one of the regiments to see that his men should bring fascines and ladders for the attack, but Colonel Rennie, from his previous experience, thinking the order might be neglected, had the men under his own immediate command gather their own sticks the night before, and when in the morning they rushed up to the works, they piled up their bundles and made a bridge, by which some few men with their commander got over the breastworks; but it was only to die.

As the colonel anticipated, no fascines were forthcoming in the morning for the main body of the army, and when General Packenham found that his orders had been neglected, he rode up to the officer in fault, and said: "If I live to come out of this action, I will hang you." Neither of them came out alive. About a thousand men, I was told, were shot down by Jackson's riflemen in ten minutes, and the fate of the battle was then decided. According to English accounts, the British lost between three and four thousand men, and the Americans only eight. There is not on record so great a victory with so small a loss.

I now find from the papers, that the famous battle-ground where General Jackson gained his laurels in 1812, some nine miles down the river, has been converted into two national cemeteries, each about two acres in front, and eighty deep; one for the bodies of Union soldiers, the other for those of refugees, contrabands, etc. In both are about eighteen thousand bodies. These grounds are laid out very tastefully, with nice walks and shrubbery, and are surrounded by a handsome fence. A neatly formed and sodded mound, with a cypress headboard bearing a certain number, marks the resting-place of each sleeper, and a book, kept in a building attached to the grounds, contains the record of every name against its number.


"THE divinity within us," whatever that may be, goes in blind search for the divinity without, but finds it not. The impress of the Divine likeness seeks its complement in the world, but seeks in vain. "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing." All the years I wandered over the Western country, there was a craving in my heart for an indefinite something that I could not find; there was an uneasiness in my spirit that could find no rest. I was really feeling after God, as Paul recognized the Athenians as doing, but unfortunately met with no Paul, as they did, to guide me "to a state of clear self-consciousness by a revelation of the object to which it thus ignorantly tended."

Under the impulse of this dissatisfied feeling, I made excursions, while at St. Louis, to all the country around–to Belleville, Edwardsville, and Alton, in Illinois; to St. Charles, the Gasconade settlements, Jefferson City, Cote-sans-dessein, Booneville, and the Chariton river, the boundary settlements of Missouri. Without any definite object, influenced by the same spirit, I left St. Louis for New Orleans; but when I got there, I found the truth of what a heathen poet taught nearly two thousand years before, that though the heavens change by traveling, the mind remains unchanged; and my heart said:

    "Naught here I find,
Save an unsatisfied and restless mind,
    With yearnings vain.
Earth's mysteries of knowledge lure me on
To see at last the far off farther gone,
    And find but pain."

So, after a residence of a few days in New Orleans, my attention was arrested in one of my walks on the levee by a board on a ship's side, advertising a speedy departure for Boston. The determination was formed at once to go to Boston; so I went on board and engaged my passage. We had some pretty views of Cuba and the Florida coast, but we saw no more land till we made the Blue Hills of Milton, on approaching Boston bay.

Boston amusements engaged my attention some months, and I was a frequent attendant at the theatre. My father did not approve of the theatre, but he allowed me to go once merely to see what a theatre and its acting was. All that staid in my mind of that visit was that one of the actresses personified a young man, and was dressed in male attire. In St. Louis, I frequently went to the theatre, and on coming round to Boston, the acting and scenery being better than at the West, I was often at the theatre in Federal street. But I little thought as I sat there in the pit in 1824, that in 1855 I should find myself in the same building, changed to the wholesale dry goods store of my brother-in-law!

After considerable experience of theatres, and more experience of theatre-going people, I am decidedly of opinion that the theatre is an unmixed evil, and a nuisance in moral society. Who ever heard of any one being benefited by going to the theatre? Who has not heard of multitudes being injured by going? Were there no other objection, the waste of money involved ought to be a sufficient objection to keep a workingman out of it. Can there be anything more absurd than for a workingman to work hard nearly all day for the pleasure of seeing a little mimicry a couple of hours in the evening?

I knew a play-going man at the West, who thought of buying a farm, and who after he had been at the theatre the evening before, came into the shop one morning, and soliloquizing as he sat down on the bench, said: "There goes an acre of land." I found on inquiry, he was counting up how many acres of land the money he had spent on theatres would purchase; and I need hardly add that the result of the calculation was: "I will throw away no more acres of land on the theatre."

But the waste of money is not the only or the worst evil. The doors of the theatre open directly out on the fields of intemperance and licentiousness, and every man or woman that goes through them walks straight into temptation; so that no one who sincerely prays, "Lead us not into temptation," can possibly cross the threshold. It would be an outrage on female delicacy to describe all that is seen in the theatre and its appendages, and they must be thrown into the shade.

Parents are often greatly deceived in regard to the amusements to which they allow their children to go. In England there are puppet shows, in which Mr. Punch holds a prominent part, but I have never seen them in America. They are probably of Indian origin, for similar exhibitions are common in Burmah. Sometimes the puppets are changed to phantasmagoria, but still with the actors speaking out of sight. These exhibitions are thought to furnish very innocent amusement for children, and yet I have seen in them, when a boy, the grossest and most beastly representations that can be imagined, and that, too, to large audiences of boys and girls.

I was in Boston when Lafayette made his visit to the United States, and stood close to Josiah Quincy, the Mayor, when he addressed him on "the Neck," welcoming him to Boston. He was a fine looking old gentleman, and carried back my mind to the company that signed the Declaration of Independence, with whom he had associated.

Of all the characters in history, there are none that should be honored above these men. Their statues ought to encircle the rotunda at Washington, and have a niche in every place of public resort in the country, from Boston to San Francisco, and from Chicago to New Orleans. Their signatures touched the wires that pronounced the world free, and gave equal rights to all men. They said: "Let there be a workingman's country!" And the prayer entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and there was a workingman's country! There a farmer or rail-splitter, a tailor or a tanner, may rise to supreme power as readily as a descendant of William the Conqueror or a millionaire.

When the existence of the United States was threatened by the basest rebellion since the rebellion of Lucifer, and I heard my son had hastened down from New York to Washington, at the first alarm, to stand at the post of danger, I wrote that if he fell at his post, I would return and take his place. And most gladly would I have done so; for the United States is a country worth dying for. We both still live, and the country has come out of the fight more powerful for good than ever, with a power and a prestige throughout Christendom such as she never had before; but many of the widows and orphans of the men that achieved this mighty conquest require aid, and the nation ought to afford it liberally–not as an alms, but as a debt. If there be any taxes that people can afford to pay cheerfully, it is a tax for the widows and orphans of those who saved the country. Let us have a tax for this object exclusively, and see who will refuse to pay it? For one, if necessary, I would be willing to work one day in the week for them as long as I live; either on the shoe-bench or at the compositor's case.

I spent more than one idle day on and about Bunker Hill. Seated where the monument now stands, I pictured in fancy the armies of one of the most victorious nations in the world spread out at my feet, beyond which lay at anchor the fleets of the greatest maritime power that had ever existed, and I looked with astonishment at the pluck of the New Englanders that dared to contend against such fearful odds–men without drill, without prestige, without tried commanders. But if they entered the battle without a name, they came out of it with a character for skill and bravery that has never been excelled in any battle on the continent.

I liked the Yankee love of liberty and hatred of slavery; I liked their sobriety and thrifty habits; I liked to stumble on their school-houses everywhere, and to find men who could neither read nor write nowhere; so I said to myself: "This is the land of my choice. I was a Yorkshireman by chance, but I will be a New Englander by election. Thus musing I walked up to the top of Commercial Buildings one frosty morning, and, going into the workshop, said laughingly to my fellow workmen: "I will go into the country, marry, become religious, and settle down for life in the Bay State." It was a careless remark, but it proved partly prophetic. Indeed, it was the desire of my heart, which it pleased God in a great measure to grant.

No sooner said than done. I packed up, and that night found myself in Randolph, where after a few changes, I settled down a boarder in the house of the Rev. B. Putnam, the Baptist minister of the village. Here I met society such as I had never before been familiar with, and my dislike to the doctrines of Calvinism, and my contempt for the pharisaical practices of Calvinists, as I deemed them, loomed out occasionally in unmistakable language. It was not till after I met Mr. Putnam that I obtained any definite idea of what was required of a man to become a Christian.

Yes, I was born and educated in the midst of religious controversy, and I landed in the United States in 1818, and wandered nearly all around them, from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, Lexington, and St. Louis, and from New Orleans to Boston, yet I never met with a man to take me by the button and tell me of my personal need of a Saviour, and the necessity of my heart being changed, till I met Mr. Putnam in Randolph in 1825. Blessings on his memory! Flowers to his grave!

Still, I felt anything but thankful for the information at the time. So far as I understood the doctrine of being "born again," as he set it forth, my heart rose in rebellion against it. I recollect telling him that if the members of his church were born again, some of them needed to be born back again, for they now manifested the disposition of the devil. I have nothing to offer from my own experience to encourage Christians to be faithful who seek only immediate results. The first effect was, I hated the doctrine, and was angry with the man that propounded it. I thought his house was no place for me, and concluded I would go and see the Falls of Niagara. When I told Mr. Putnam I was going, he dissuaded me, and kindly persuaded me to delay my excursion for a time; so I remained.

I had heard a vast amount of religious talk which had touched no vital part, but Mr. Putnam came point blank to the heart. It was a decidedly personal attack, I had heard no end of arguments for and against the divinity of Christ, and for and against the eternity of future punishment. I had heard Calvinism ably defended, and Arminianism ably defended, and no end of controversies on pedobaptism, and sprinkling, and immersion; but I had looked on the whole thing like an unconcerned spectator. That I was required to be born again and obtain a new heart, was a radically different affair from deciding whether a certain book taught certain doctrines, which had seemed to me to be the great object about which Christians were always contending.

I sat under Mr. Putnam's preaching about a year, and he was undoubtedly a good preacher in every sense of the word, yet he never said anything in his preaching that affected me in the least, while his conversation with me always told one way or other; and this was my uniform experience with all the preachers I heard; so I think much more highly of informal personal conversation with unconverted people as instrumental converting power, than I do of preaching from the pulpit; and that preaching, to be effective, should be more personal than it usually is.

Delivering a well written essay on a biblical subject is a very good thing, but it has very little to do with converting a congregation.


IN these days of "woman's rights" we often read eloquent pleas for women, that they may go through the same course of education, and be fitted for wives by having the same mental training as their husbands. It is sometimes lamented that such great contrarieties are united as are found in society, and it is proposed to assimilate men and women, and make them like coin that have been cast in the same mould.

These contrarieties are not, however, in multitudes of instances, the result of necessity, but of choice. By some principle that remains to be explained, a man often chooses a companion for life that is as contrary to himself as the antipodes in all her mental characteristics. And it seems to be unnoted that the education of the young does not close when they marry. In many important points it only then begins. They learn to round off the angles in each other's minds and habits, which so notably remain in those who continue single; and it often happens that those who meet as unlike as Venus and Vulcan, end in being as like as twins.

The molding power, moreover, is more usually with the woman, and that it is not the result of the conventionalities of civilized life is clear, from the fact that the Karens have noted the same thing in their wild state, and recorded it in one of their rhyming apothegms, which says:

"Who marries a fish, a fish will be; Who marries a frog, a frog is he."

Lucinda Gill was the daughter of Deacon Gill, a strong Unitarian, and a pillar in the Unitarian church in Canton, the principal church in town.

The daughter, however, had been converted, and joined the little Baptist church in the place, and was a decided Calvinist. I had reached that point in my experience when I cordially hated Calvinism, and yet, embodied in Lucinda, it went for nothing. I thought the religion of converted people was "cant," and yet it was all overlooked in her. She loved to read religious books, while I thought them the most vapid, the most inane, and most puerile compositions in type. She, too, had a great horror of sceptics and irreligious people, and yet, perhaps, because "marriages are made in heaven," we found ourselves engaged in a New England courtship, one of the pleasantest little episodes in New England life, especially when the parties live half a dozen miles apart, as we did.

The miles of woods that I crossed for months late in the dark nights, between Randolph and Canton, were to me like the years that Jacob served for Rachel; "they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her."

The "Blue Hills" of Milton, said to have given name to Massachusetts, were the first New England lands my eyes rested on in entering Boston Bay, in coming up from New Orleans; and Canton was originally a part of Milton, but was subsequently set off as a separate town south of the famous range of hills. It was strictly a village, for there were no streets laid out for a town, but the inhabitants built their houses on the roads or on their own farms. The Unitarian church, a handsome building, stood on one road, and the Baptist meeting-house, a barn-like edifice, stood on the other. These were the only churches then in town.

Lucinda's father was a wealthy farmer, who did not fancy to have his youngest daughter marry a journeyman mechanic, but the old man's opposition made the thing the more interesting, and Mrs. Tilden, the sister of Lucinda, and wife of Deacon Tilden of the Baptist church, took a fancy to me, so she opened her house for us, and we met in her family.

We were married in December, 1825, and rented a part of Deacon Tilden's house, while a spare room in his old house near by served me for a workshop. I was glad to get away from uncongenial company in Randolph to work alone.

That bad men have an enormous power for evil is admitted by all, but adequately appreciated by few. As the woman did not eat till the serpent persuaded her, and the man did not eat till the woman gave to him; so now, few commit gross sins until they have been led to do so by the persuasions of others of more depraved habits than themselves. The massing of many men together in workshops, unless there be a large sprinkling of religious persons bold enough to rebuke sin, is a great evil. The infidel opinions that are continually broached, the profane language constantly uttered, and the licentious conversation forever heard in large assemblies of workmen is something fearful.

A wise man, then, to keep out of temptation will, if possible, work at home, or seek shops where moral and religious people most abound; or, if he can do neither the one nor the other, he will seek places where men and women work together; for the presence of respectable women has great power to restrain men. If man has not a natural, he has an habitual respect for woman, and boys brought up with girls are ever better behaved than those not subjected to female influence. Here is a field of great usefulness for woman of which she is scarcely conscious.

When I was a boy, I worked a year in a card manufactory near London. There were a dozen men, boys and young women in the room where I worked, and I never heard anything but the most decorous language all the time I was there; although the men off work among themselves used the most vulgar language possible.

Since writing the above, I find in one of the papers the following incident strongly corroborating my remarks:

"A 'Press Dinner' in New York, last week, was a unique affair; ladies were there, and fairly divided the honors of speech-making with the gentlemen; among the peculiar features of the evening's entertainment we find recorded: no cigars, little wine, no drunkenness, and an early breaking up; it is a natural inference, then, that these things without the 'no' are the customary concomitants."

Thus it appears that the presence of ladies annihilated tobacco, brandy, intemperance and late hours.

Young men with no better principles to sustain them than a little moral training, and nominally converted Christians, who know nothing of conversion but a few pious impressions in a camp-meeting, are almost sure to fall before a company of wicked men; for the downward tendency to evil in their own hearts, that might have lain comparatively quiet if left alone, is aroused by the temptations to evil. So true is it that even "one sinner destroyeth much good."

Christians have no such power for good, viewed from a natural stand-point, as wicked men have for evil, because they have no material adapted to their purpose to work upon. The Christian can hope for success only through the extraordinary aids of the Holy Spirit, but the unbeliever knows from the operations of his own heart, that he has good ground ready prepared in which to sow his seed.

The ever-recurring theological discussions that I had heard in my father's house from my earliest remembrance, had completely unsettled my mind on religious topics. I believed nothing, doubted everything. I could not bring myself to think that a book from which all kinds of contrary doctrines could be derived and fought for, was a revelation of the will of God.

God's will in regard to lines and angles and numbers as revealed in geometry, arithmetic and algebra, was unmistakable; there was no room for doubt there, and I argued that His will on morals, if revealed, would be equally clear. When God said: "The square of the hypothenuse of the right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the two legs," I failed to note that there was no bias in my mind against the doctrine; but when He said: "The carnal mind is enmity against God," there was a bias in my heart against admitting the truth of the statement. I was not conscious of having a "mind at enmity against God," and therefore I did not believe I had.

Yet, at the same time, I could not put forth claims for the spiritual mind. Here I was in a fog, because I did not see myself in the true light as God saw me, and revealed my character in His Word.

My "understanding," then, was "darkened," but when I became one of the children of light, I saw the truth of the doctrine of the enmity of the carnal mind as clearly as any demonstration in Euclid. Now I know the truth of the doctrines of experimental religion, as taught in the Bible, from my experience, but I ought to have believed them before from testimony; for there is nothing better supported that depends on witnesses than they are. They are found wherever the Bible and the preacher are found.

But when the truth of a thing depends on testimony, it cannot help being weakened in the mind of the hearer by testimony against it, true or false; and hence the evil of educating children in the midst of religious controversies. They will assuredly be made sceptics.

In the history of the Emperor Akbar, lately dug out of unpublished manuscripts, who reigned in Hindustan in the later part of the sixteenth century, we have a remarkable instance of a sincere Mussulman losing his faith by controversy, conducted very much after the fashion that controversies are conducted in Christian countries.

"According to the testimony of his enemies," says Blochmann, "he then possessed a sincere heart, and was anxious to discuss certain tenets of the Islam. For this reason he invited the learned and the lawyers of various sects to meet him every Thursday evening. These meetings, however, produced the very opposite of what Akbar wished. Ulamas, in the beginning, quarreled about precedence and rank; the discussions were carried on in a bitter spirit, and even in violation of all rules of decorum. As both Shiahs and Sunnis were present, every question was made a party-cry, and the difference of their opinions regarding some Islamitic laws was most remarkable. Akbar, instead of profiting by the Ulamas, learned daily more to despise them; and judging the Islam by his conception of the characters of the Ulamas, he ceased to look upon the religion of the prophet as the only true religion, and, shortly after, assigned to it a very inferior rank among the religions of the world. He spent whole nights in conversation with free-thinking Cufis; he called Parsee priests from Gujerat, and Roman Catholic missionaries from Goa, whilst acute Brahmins let him into the mysteries of the Hindu philosophy. After making himself acquainted with the tenets of these religious systems, Akbar came to the conclusion that there were in every sect sensible men, and that it was therefore improbable that truth should be confined to one single religion."

My conclusion was very much like Akbar's, though we started from opposite points; he from Mohammedanism, and I from Christianity. There is some principle in our mental organization which makes it, when pressed in one direction, fly off in the opposite direction. The constant advocacy of Arminian doctrines that I heard in my father's house, instead of leading me to think favorably of them, led me to think that the antagonistic doctrines of Calvinism were more likely the Bible teachings.

I knew a distinguished Baptist preacher, who often preached and talked against the Roman Catholics, and all the children he left, two daughters, are reported as having become Roman Catholics. From all which I infer that preaching the truth from a controversial stand-point is not safe for the hearers. They are in danger of being driven by it into the error preached against.


THE difficulties I had in my mind with Christianity, were precisely those to obviate which Bishop Butler wrote; and his "Analogy" falling into my hands about this time, did more to remove them than all the sermons I had ever heard did put together. It is a book that ought to be circulated extensively among sceptics. I had seen all sorts of tracts in both England and America, but none of them was adapted to my case; while Butler's "Analogy," exactly fitted to meet the objections in my mind, and which are the objections of thousands of others, I had never seen. The only way I came to see it at last was that I had noticed it in an advertisement; and I called on Mr. Putnam, one day, and borrowed the book of him.

At the same time I attended Sabbath preaching at the Baptist meeting-house in Canton; and, to please my wife, I went with her occasionally to Wednesday evening prayer and conference meetings; but I never heard a word in either the one or the other, that produced the slightest effect on my mind.

One day, Mr. George Evans, who was supplying the pulpit in Canton, dined with us, and after dinner we had some conversation on religion. He said nothing striking, but the result was that after he had gone, and I had returned to my work, I thought I would pray, though I am not aware he suggested it to me.

I had never made a regular prayer in my life, and one of my first petitions, in the corner of my workshop, was: "Oh, God, give me religion, if there be any truth in religion." I was at that point just where the man in the gospel was when he came to Christ and said: "If thou canst do anything, have compassion upon us, and help us." Theologians might say God would not hear such unbelieving prayer, but He did hear, and answer, too, and I was soon a praying man.

My first earnest and oft-repeated prayer was: "Lord Jesus, have mercy on my soul." Why should my first prayers be thus directed to Christ? Nothing could be farther from my education. Indeed, I do not think I had ever heard a prayer addressed to Christ alone. I can account for it only as the spontaneous gushing of my soul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It was on Wednesday I began to pray, and on Saturday evening, when I came up from my work, I asked my wife to go into Deacon Tilder's part of the house and borrow his copy of Scott's Commentary on the New Testament. I read in it to myself from the first part of John's gospel. The letters of the text seemed radiant with a divine glory such as I have never witnessed since, but not the less real then. I remarked quietly to my wife: "My views on the subject of religion have very much changed." She replied quickly: "Say that again!" This was the first indication she had of the struggle going forward in my heart, and the intelligence almost overcame her. What a blessing it is to have pious people earnestly interested in our salvation! I look upon them with the satisfaction that the worldling looks on his rich relatives. There were a few pious people in Canton and Randolph who were praying for me, and it was their prayers which brought down upon me, as at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit. Without them I might have been left to die like a withered branch.

The following Sunday night, I was standing up in the South school-house in Canton, where there was a conference meeting, telling the people what God had done for my soul; that a great change had come over me; but I could not make the matter much clearer to them than they had it before in the third chapter of John: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit."

I could tell them, however, that "Once I was blind but now I see," and that my eyes had been opened in prayer. I had been moving through the world with an aching want at my heart. I felt a craving for something, I knew not what; but when I believed in Jesus, I entered into rest. I felt that in Him I had obtained all I wanted. In the new birth I found the complement of my nature.

I had wandered over the world like a lost child yearning for its mother, but when I found God, I felt that I had got home; that a divine life had been imparted to me which made me a child of God. I felt that I had the nature of my heavenly Father. My heart gushed over with love to God and love to Christians.

I had been living all my days without an object, but now there loomed up a great object before me–to induce others to seek and to find the same blessed Saviour that I had found. I wanted to say to all the world, "COME!"

It seemed to me that all teaching and preaching to the unconverted, should center in the new birth; that this should be heard over everything else, like the great bell in a peal. The small bells run rapidly through the gamut, but they are constantly brought up at the close, by the deep solemn tone of the principal one in the peal. And this persuasion has gone on increasing in strength with increasing years.

A man needs to be born again to fully develope the capabilities of his intellectual and moral nature. Until he becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus, the better part of him is in chains. Henry Ward Beecher says: "Until a man has received the divine life, his remarks thereon, even if he be an archbishop, go for nothing. He knows nothing about it, according to his own testimony; then why should he go on to try to beat down with sneers and sarcasms those who solemnly avow that they have such a life, and that this life has become real to them, so real that the mental life is made to sink into a subordinate condition compared with the spiritual life which reigns within the soul?

"This life brings with it the exercise of renewed faculties. The man who begins to live unto God has powers now which he never had before–the power really to pray; the power heartily to praise; the power actually to commune with God; the power to see God, to talk with God; the power to receive tidings from the invisible world, and the power to send messages through the veil which hides the unseen up to the very throne of God. Now the man, instead of saying, 'Is there a God?' feels that there is not a place where God is not, sees God in everything, hears him in the wind, discerns him in every creature that surrounds him."

Let any man look around the circle in which he moves, and he cannot fail to see individuals who stood in society like the men in the market-place, doing nothing, till they were converted, when they all at once developed talents that no one before supposed them to possess, and a moral nature that entitled them to the character of being new creatures. They come up to the top of the society in which they move as cream rises from the milk; and all through their conversion to Christ. It is Christ working in them to will and to do, through the power of His Spirit. Let the census be taken of all the men engaged in noble undertakings for upraising fallen human nature and making it wiser and better; men who are making the largest sacrifices, whether of time or money, to diffuse knowledge and practical goodness, and it will be found that the large proportion of these men commenced their deeds through the influence that came upon them by being born again; when Christ, in the dark chaos of their souls, said: "Let there be light, and there was light."

When I was converted, I felt that all who were born again, all who loved the Saviour, all who loved the brethren in Christ Jesus, were my brethren and sisters; and I wanted no test of fellowship but love. Converted men divided into sects and parties appeared to me to be an unaccountable inconsistency. Had I fallen on a church then that asked no test of membership but conversion to God, I should certainly have joined it, because that is certainly the church of Christ.

But I found all the churches demanded something more, so I had to make my choice of the one whose demands most harmonized with the New Testament, and I hit on the Baptists. It took me, however, six months to get over close-communion. I wished to commune with every one who loved the Lord Jesus Christ, but the logic of the case was against me, and I had finally to succumb to logic, and be baptized into a close-communion Baptist church, where the logic still keeps me.

I became intensely desirous to read the words of our Saviour in the very language the sacred writers used, and not in a translation. From the Rev. S. Adlam, who came to Canton to preach one Sunday soon after my conversion, I obtained a knowledge of the Greek letters, and a list of the necessary books for the study, which I walked into Boston and purchased immediately. I was soon able to read the Greek Testament, and I then pushed my researches into Hebrew by the help also of Mr. Adlam, in like manner; and I found no special difficulty in the language.

The extracts from the Greek classics that I found in Jacob's Greek reader, were not, however, so easily disposed of, and I went to the Rev. Mr. Huntoon, the Unitarian minister in Canton, and asked him to give me lessons in the Greek classics, which he kindly did twice a week.

I found, in talking with him on the subject of conversion, that he believed as strongly, he said, in the necessity of a change of heart as I did, and professed to have experienced it himself. He regarded Christ, he said, as "The mysterious Son of God."


A FRIEND in Canton who owned a hundred acres of land in an eligible situation, told me, if I would build a house, and I could command the means then, I might select a site anywhere on his farm, and he would give me with it just as much land as I wished with a title deed. This was altogether according to my taste. I had found rest in Christ for my spirit, and I craved rest for my body among Christian friends and free American citizens. I had no wish to travel any more, and had no ambition beyond being an intelligent workingman. Still, if I desired a wider field of usefulness, there was the town school, where I was assured I could have an appointment at any time.

When out West, I might have had employment in the Land Surveying Department of the Public Lands, but I found that to make the appointment remunerative, the surveys were made in a very hurried and careless manner. A township of six miles square, would often be out half a mile on one of the sides, making confusion and inaccurate divisions for the sections and fractions of sections; so I preferred to keep clear of such unsatisfactory work.

On another occasion, a physician, who was going into practice at Natchez, offered to take me into his office as a student. He said he would engage to get me a school which should produce me at least five hundred dollars a year for three years; the fourth year I might give myself wholly to the profession with him, and then I could go East with his certificate, and, after attending three courses of lectures, would be entitled to a medical degree. He said that one of his students who had pursued this course, was now in successful practice; and he added: "You know enough of anatomy now till you get a body." Not fancying, however, to push my studies in anatomy further, I declined the kind offer.

These proposals were entertained and dismissed, and my mind was at rest; but now when I had to consider the subject of becoming a preacher, though I had no wish to be one, I could not dismiss the idea so easily. There was no profession that I was more heartily unwilling to take on myself than that of a minister of the gospel. Jonah was not more unwilling to go to Nineveh than I was to ascend the pulpit; and my peace of mind was destroyed for several months in contending against what was evidently the will of God, for my mind was at rest again so soon as I decided to leave the matter to the decisions of the church.

Rev. Theron Brown, the historian of the church, writes in the "Canton Baptist Memorial" in 1814: "In the house of Brother Ezra Tilden (the old one), then standing near the northeast shore of Reservoir Pond, was planted the germ of the Canton Baptist church;" and there, in the same house, a dozen years afterwards, I first bowed the knee in prayer, and found a Bethel: "None other but the house of God," and "the gate of heaven."

A Baptist church was formed on the 22d June, 1814, and "Dr. Sharp presented the fellowship of the churches, Brother Oliver Houghton, the oldest member in the newly adopted flock, standing up to receive the right hand of fellowship." And it was interesting to me to note that in one of the old magazines, this representative of the church contributed as largely to foreign missions in the year 1817, as any other contributor. Though comparatively a poor man, he gave five dollars, and that was as much as rich men like Deacon Farwell gave in those days, and there are only two other men who gave as largely as that. The population of Canton is small, and the membership of the church has always been small and the members usually poor, but perhaps no church in Massachusetts, in proportion to its means, has done more for the institutions of the gospel than the church in Canton.

The church asked me to speak before them on some passage of Scripture; so I took for my text Paul's prayer to Christ: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The church replied by a unanimous vote that I ought to become a minister of the gospel, and presented me with a license to that effect, dated Oct. 1, 1827. Thus my life-work was determined, and I was again adrift in the world, like Abraham, not knowing whither he went.

I was very anxious, as a preliminary to entering the ministry, to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the signification of the original Scriptures, and for this I required help. Mere English studies, such as doctrinal theology and Church history, I could manage alone, but for the interpretation of the Greek Testament and Hebrew Bible, I wanted the instructions of some well qualified teacher.

Mr. Putnam brought to my notice Newton Theological Institution, and, soon after I received my license, I went to Newton, in November, 1827, before the first class that had completed their studies at the institution had graduated.

Here I found all I asked, and more than I expected. Professor Chase took the class I entered through the whole of the Greek Testament, discussing, as far as practicable, all the difficult passages, from "The genealogy of Jesus Christ to the New Jerusalem." Such a course of instruction, alone, for a young minister, is beyond all price, and I consider it as vastly more valuable for a pastor than the modern course of keeping the student an interminable period on a small portion, on the ground of being more thorough. This may be well for persons who are to become tutors or professors, but the man who has to go into the field to preach, will never have more leisure to go deliberately over the whole Greek New Testament than he has at the theological seminary.

Professor Ripley led the van in Hebrew, and though he took us over considerable ground, I sometimes complained because he did not walk fast enough. He took us also through some English studies, but what I valued at Newton next to the study of the original scriptures, was Professor Ripley's criticisms on our written sermons. It was a peculiar excellence in these criticisms, that he always saw at a glance a redundancy, the besetting sin of sermons, and always pointed out, in the fewest possible words, the way to express a given idea. What was obscure he showed to be obscure, and suggested words to make it clear. On many matters we differed from the professors, and often discussed our differences; but I never knew a student to complain of Professor Ripley's erasures and corrections of his sermons. There the professor was always admitted to be in the right.

Professor Ripley has immortalized his "wonderful perspicuity, simplicity, and comprehensiveness" of style in his "Notes on the New Testament." They are unequalled in their department in English literature. For saying all that is necessary to be said, and that in the choicest English, there is nothing like them. Compared with the continents of mud that the English student had to wade through in my early days, they are gems, precious stones, "apples of gold in pictures of silver."


I HAD thoughts of the missionary work in connection with my first thought of preaching the Gospel, but I concluded to leave the matter in abeyance until near the close of my studies. But during the second year of my course at Newton, my dear wife was attacked with pulmonary consumption, and, after a protracted illness, departed, and left me alone; but not as she found me, for she had been instrumental in leading me to Christ.

To ascertain the will of God in relation to my future life, I soon after offered myself for a missionary to the American Baptist Missionary Convention, and the result of the application was my appointment as a missionary of the Convention under date of the 7th of December, 1829.

It was not my intention to leave the United States till after my class graduated in the autumn of 1830; but reports of Mr. Boardman's failing health reached the Board, and they thought the exigencies of the mission required me to relinquish the last term at Newton, which, in deference to them, I did, although against my own wishes and the wishes of the professors.

I was ordained, and married again May 23, 1830. My second wife was Miss Helen Maria Griggs, of the large Griggs family in Brookline, Massachusetts, which has offshoots in Illinois, and is of English descent. And wherever they are found, the name is constantly connected with every good word and work for the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the circle in which they move.

Another missionary family sailed with us–the Rev. E. Kincaid, with Mrs. Kincaid; and we had our last view of the "Blue Hills" on the 26th of May. Shut out to the unbroken ocean for one hundred and twenty successive days, elbowed by a small society not of our own selecting, compelled to breathe bad air between decks three-fourths of the time, and to eat bad or disagreeable food at every meal, is not pleasant at the best, but in our case it was aggravated by the captain and supercargo making everything as vexatious as possible.

I noted on one occasion, when in what the sailors call "the swamp," from the rains and calms and heat, near the equator, there was just then only a slight sprinkling of rain, and the mate had thrown off the tarpaulin that covered the half-open hatchway to give Mrs. Mason and Mrs. Kincaid the air below; the supercargo came along and told the mate to cover the hatch up again. The mate remonstrated: "That makes it very uncomfortable for the women folks." "Well," he replied, "they must expect some inconveniences at sea;" and at the same time, as the mate would not obey his orders, he threw the tarpaulin over the hatch himself.

The mate, the officer in command of the deck, thought this an unnecessary act, yet it was done by the supercargo, who had no authority in the matter, but who could not restrain his unkind feelings, and the incident is mentioned as a fair specimen of the treatment we received from him throughout the voyage.

The captain would have been kind had he not put himself entirely into the hands of the supercargo, a rich young man, in the shipping business, able to help the old man's sons to the command of vessels. Near the close of the voyage, the two were heard in conversation together behind the wheel, when referring to Mr. Kincaid, the supercargo said: "I am afraid that fellow will give us a bad name." "Well," replied the captain, "you know we deserve it." The negro steward treated us kindly, and when he happened to call on us in Calcutta, while we were dining out with a large company of gentlemen and ladies, the head of the house made him sit down and dine with the company, as a public acknowledgement of his services.

Of all men that have reason to complain of society, sailors have the most. Any honest living on shore is preferable to being a common sailor. I had rather be a shoe-black, or a lamp-lighter, or a rag-picker, than be a man before the mast. I had rather cry potatoes, "three pounds two pence," through the streets of London, or "buy a paper," in the New York cars, or do any other earthly thing, except steal, and I should be strongly tempted to do that, rather than be an "able-bodied sea man."

The poor working man on land has one day in seven given him to rest from his labors, but there is no Sabbath, as a usual thing, for the sailor. When we first anchored in Tavoy River, the captain of the vessel proposed to get up my boxes and send them up to town. I told him I would prefer to have them let alone, as it was Sunday. "Sunday, is it?" he replied, "I had forgotten that it was Sunday." This is a specimen of the Sunday the sailor has.

Then they are compelled to lead an unnatural life–to turn night into day and day into night; and are liable to be called out to meet the storm at any hour of either night or day. This wears on the constitution, and shortens their lives; and then the frequent shipwrecks, in which so many lives are lost, makes the mortality among sailors something awful.

But worse than all this, a sailor is under the most arbitrary government in existence. No Parliamentary reform can give freedom to the sailor; no power to exercise the franchise can release him from his slavery. Every captain is an absolute monarch on board his ship, and every man before the mast is liable to be knocked down and kicked by every officer on board. I recollect seeing a man that the mate struck with his fist or foot daily, and when he came aft to complain, the captain drove him back, and would not listen to a word he said; that is the redress a sailor gets when abused by the under officers.

On my first trip from Calcutta to Maulmain, one of the men accidentally broke a pane of glass in a sky-light. He was a native, and the mate had the head native officer tied up on the quarter-deck; then he made the man who had broken the pane of glass, flog his officer severely, because the mate said, the officer was responsible for the acts of his men. When the officer had been flogged satisfactorily, he was released, and the man who had sinned against the pane of glass was tied up in turn; and the native officer was then told to flog the man as much as he liked. As a matter of course, he flogged him most unmercifully, and had to be stopped by superior authority. The loss was a pane of glass, unintentionally broken, worth a shilling or twenty-five cents; and the price exacted for it was the blood of two sailors!

All this was done under the eye of the captain, who was a lieutenant in the navy on half pay. The mate laughed heartily while it was going on, and seemed to enjoy it as much as if he had been looking on at a farce; but it was no laughing matter to the men who were flogged.

Commanders of vessels and their officers are often a severely vindictive class of men. If a man does wrong, he must be punished; and if he does wrong again, he must be punished still more. With God "there is forgiveness that thou mayest be feared," but most captains of ships have no conception of being feared in this way. The power of forgiveness is something they do not understand. They are as ignorant of forgiveness, as a power to move men, as they were a few years ago of steam to move their ships.

I knew the captain of a merchantman in Hull, who was a member of a Baptist church, and, being a professed Christian, we should expect him to treat his men with more than ordinary consideration. He was taken prisoner by the French, but through the interest of his friends he got himself and crew speedily exchanged. When he was taken prisoner, he and his men were taken away from his vessel in the same boat, and as they were pulled to the enemy's ship, one of the crew, said; "Now Jack is as good as his master." For this unwise expression, probably pressed out of him from harsh treatment, when the captain got permission to return home with his men, this plain-spoken "Jack" was left by his "master" to rot in a French prison; and that "master" a professor of religion! The captain told the story himself, to show that his crew must treat him with all deference, or certainly be punished in one way or an other.

These remarks have been all confined to the physical condition of the sailors, but their moral condition is equally bad. If I wanted a picture of Pandemonium, I would draw an exact likeness of a ship's forecastle. Curses, oaths, imprecations, blasphemy and obscenity ring from beam to beam, day and night; as if in demoniacal imitation of the angels, when "one cried out unto another, and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.'"

If ever my heart ached over the miseries of my fellow-men, it has been on board ship. The men are wicked and weak, the officers wicked and strong. When I last left America, a part of the crew was brought on board in a state of intoxication, an engagement having been made with an agent to furnish a certain number of men, and the tale of heads was thus furnished. The sailors themselves had little more to do in the matter than if they had been as many cattle. One or two when they were bundled on the deck complained that they did not wish to go, but they were driven forward, and the ship put to sea.

After we had been long enough out to try them, it was found that a number of men who were shipped as "able-bodied seamen," were no seamen at all. We had not capable men enough on board to manage the ship in a storm. On one occasion, when a sailor was making considerable talk, the captain said to me: "I have to bear with that fellow's jaw, for he is the only man I have that I can depend upon to take in a reef in a dark night."

Here is a matter that calls urgently for immediate remedy. No man should be allowed to present himself for an able-bodied seaman, unless he has a certificate from a captain with whom he has sailed, that he is such. A drunken sailor in the hands of a "land-shark," will offer himself for anything that will bring him the highest advance of wages; and vessels are in imminent danger of being lost, and of having their voyages lengthened by having incapable crews.

With such men, officers have reason to be annoyed, but the difficulty is, there are not able seamen enough in existence to supply the demand; and the difficulty can only be obviated by so ameliorating the condition of seamen, that men will be willing to enter the service, which they will not do at present. The men must be paid generously, treated kindly, and have good homes furnished them on shore; and if the cost of freight and passage is thereby doubled, let it be doubled.

It is gratifying to know that there are great movements in this direction in many parts of the world, and that there are some kind, pious captains on the seas, with whom I never sailed, who do all for their men that can be done; but "what are these among so many?"


I FOUND the mouths of the Ganges very similar to the mouths of the Mississippi, a low, flat country, everywhere raised very little above high water. There was this difference–there is nothing but grass to be seen at the mouths of the Mississippi, so that it is not so remarkable that the Spaniards sailed about in the Gulf of Mexico two hundred years before they found out that there was any river there at all; but the lands at the mouths of the Ganges are covered with a gloomy looking tree, called Soondree, Heritera minor. The numerous islands at the mouth are denominated Sunderbunds, which may be rendered, "soondree forest," or "beautiful forest," or "sea forest," and are now utterly desolate, and so thick with tigers, that they sometimes swim out to sea and pick off a man from a ship's boat, when it approaches too near the shore.

There is a mystery, however, about this region, usually overlooked by travelers. It was thickly inhabited since the Portuguese came to India, and yet the English have no historical notices of the country. According to Portuguese maps, more than two hundred years old, this was then a cultivated district with five cities on it, and one map has three towns on it near the sea. One author, Bernier, writing in 1655, attributes the desolation to Portuguese pirates. He says: "They made women slaves, great and small, with strange cruelty; and burnt all they could not carry away. And hence it is that there are seen in the mouths of the Ganges so many fine cities quite deserted."

That branch of the Burmese nation called Mugs, who inhabit Arracan, seem to have been powerful pirates in those days. The depopulation of the country has been attributed in part to their depredations, which they sometimes extended up to the vicinity of Calcutta.

Others think the country has been sunk by an earthquake; and still others attribute the work of destruction to cyclones. Native authors state that there was a cyclone, with a high storm-wave, which swept across the whole country, destroying two hundred thousand lives. That did not, however, lead to the abandonment of the islands, because the native government records show that there were four towns on them ten years afterwards, which paid a revenue of rs. 180,000 annually, and were liable to be called on to furnish 320 elephants and 15,000 troops. A few remains of Hindu temples are still seen, one, of the "Buddhist type," of considerable antiquity. But how a populous and cultivated country could be thrown back into primeval forest, and become the undisputed habitation of tigers within two hundred years, is quite as remarkable as the reverse process of the wilderness becoming a fruitful field, that was going on in America at the same time.

The principal outlet of the Ganges, on which Calcutta stands, is the Hoogly, so called from a Portuguese town, which derives its name from Hugla, the Bengalli for "bulrush," bulrushes abounding on the banks, so that Hoogly River signifies "Bulrush River." The plants, however, belong to two species of Typha, and are not the American bulrushes, which belong to the genus Juncus, a different natural family, and called simply rushes in England.

Our progress up the river was very slow, and we had not proceeded far, before native boats came alongside offering to take passengers up to town at moderate rates. Mrs. Mason and myself embarked in one of them, and when night came on they pulled up under the bulrushes, where we had to spend the night with the musquitoes and several native boat-men, of whom we knew nothing, and whose language we could not speak.

It is hardly safe for strangers to trust themselves with such people. After reaching Calcutta, we learned that a few months before Mr. and Mrs. Pearce had taken a small barge with six or eight men, and gone down to the mouth of the river to breathe the sea air a few days. On turning to come back, they heard their boatmen, whose language they perfectly understood, taking council together about throwing the missionary and his wife overboard. After some discussion, it was unanimously voted to do it. They were probably annoyed with Mr. Pearce's preaching, in part, and in part coveted the little money and few things he had with him. They did not apprehend any danger of discovery, because there would be no identifying a boat's crew among the thousands of boatmen constantly plying on the river. Mr. Pearce had no arms with him, and he did not think it to any purpose to try to reason with them, for he was quite helpless in their hands. He concluded with Mrs. Pearce that there was no help but in God, and to God they went in prayer, and did not pray in vain. One night passed over, and another, and another; and no one dared to lay hands on them, because the angel of the Lord was round about them. The conspirators appeared spell-bound, and had no power to execute their murderous designs, because "sudden fear had come upon them."

Before reaching Calcutta we were picked up by a steam pilot brig, and kindly entertained by the commander, who possessed a fund of anecdote. He related that some years before, he had orders to take the bishop, I think Bishop Heber, to another port on visitation, and that the bishop came on board to look at the accommodations sometime before sailing. The bishop complained that the vessel was too heavily laden, and no representations to the contrary would convince him. The brig was painted with longitudinal stripes on her sides, alternately black and white; and he insisted that the vessel should be lightened, till a black band on the edge of the water should be lifted up, and a white band appear in its place. The captain finally agreed that it should be done, but no sooner had the bishop left, than he set his men to repainting the sides of the ship and changing the order of the stripes, so that there was a white band above the water where the bishop required it. When the bishop came and inspected the vessel again, he was quite satisfied.

After they got out to sea, they experienced a violent storm, and the bishop said the vessel was still too heavily laden, and must be lightened. The captain remonstrated, but the bishop insisted. "So," said the captain, "I tipped the wink to my first officer, and he soon had the whole of the bishop's boxes bundled upon deck." "Oh," said the bishop, "those things must not be thrown overboard. You must throw over something else." "It is a rule," replied the captain, "from which sailors never deviate, that when a ship has to be lightened, the things first brought on deck are the first thrown overboard." The bishop would not consent to lose his baggage, nor the captain depart from his rule; so they concluded to delay lightening the ship, and in the interval the storm abated.

Calcutta never appears so well as it does when approaching it in the distance. There is a bend in the river with a reach four miles long below the city, called "Garden Reach," because the Government Botanical Gardens are located on the west bank, a beautiful resort from Calcutta. All along the east bank is a succession of villas, each vieing with the other in beauty, and cultivated down to the water's edge. The view on both sides, when steaming up the river, with Calcutta, its fort and church spires straight ahead, is splendid, made doubly so from the contrast with the tigers' lair of the gloomy Sunderbunds just left behind.

Passengers land on the Maidan, which, with the Esplanade, forms a sort of Boston Common on an enlarged scale, with many of the most magnificent buildings in Calcutta located around it. The fort is at one end and the government house at the other, so the name, "City of Palaces," seems to be realized at first sight; but this is only the city of the conquerors. The city of the conquered is behind this, and a more wretched sight than it exhibits, I never looked upon. Little narrow streets, teeming with human beings nearly stark naked, and reveling in dirt, between stagnant gutters, full of filth, emitting odors that white men cannot breathe and live. One of the eight Buddhist hells is described as being full of all abominable smells, but I do not think it can smell worse than the black town of Calcutta, the reverse side of the "City of Palaces." I had read, when I was a boy, of the sufferings of the Europeans in the "Black Hole" of Calcutta for the lack of fresh air in their prison, but I had never read of the unceasing sufferings of the black inhabitants of Calcutta for the want of pure air in their streets. The whole district is a "Black Hole" on a large scale. No marvel that the cholera holds court there, and that the annual mortality from all sorts of infectious diseases is something awful.

We found two English Baptist churches in Calcutta, in both of which I preached, and one native Baptist church, over which we saw William Pearce, son of the celebrated Samuel Pearce, ordained pastor.

Mr. Yates, who was engaged on the translation of the Bengalli Bible, was pastor of the leading English church; and Mr. Robinson was pastor of the other, which had a majority of East Indians among its members, who, in New Orleans, would be called Creoles. I think he worked independently of missionary societies, but he was doing a good work. He had a son, who was afterwards engaged in preaching, and has been a very useful man. Some years ago, he was appointed by government translator of the laws into Bengalli, on a salary of two hundred rupees a month; and when the appointment was known, some one wrote the Governor-General that Mr. Robinson was a missionary, and ought not to have the place.

Lord Dalhousie wrote immediately to Mr. Marshman, the editor of the Friend of India, to know if the allegation was true. Mr. Marshman replied, that he preached the Gospel as he had opportunity, but that he was not in the employ of any missionary society. The Governor-General answered: "Very well, only tell Mr. Robinson that he must pay more attention to the law than to the Gospel."

Howrah is a large town on the west side of the river, related to Calcutta as Southwark is to London, and Brooklyn to New York. Bridging the Hoogly at this point, a mile wide, has long been under discussion. Twenty-five thousand passengers now cross the river daily. We went over once to call on Mr. and Mrs. Hough, the first missionaries sent to Burmah by the Baptist Board, Mr. and Mrs. Judson having been sent by the American Board. We found them living at Howrah, in charge of a boarding-school, but some years afterwards he was appointed teacher of the government school in Maulmain, where he is now living on a pension that the government awarded him for twenty years' service.

We saw his son, then a young man in his studies, who died two years ago, Director of Public Instruction in British Burmah, on a salary of one thousand rupees a month; and at his death, the government appointed his oldest son an Assistant Commissioner, whose present salary is seven hundred rupees a month; and, as he is a capable youth, he may yet become Chief Commissioner. Thus the Yankee blood becomes infused into the British government.

One day was devoted to Serampore. We went up in a native hack, a regular Calcutta–Black Town–institution. The carriage was a wreck, the traces ropes, the pony a skeleton. We had enough of that kind of conveyance in going up, so we returned by boat.

We saw Serampore College and its great buildings, and its still greater men who built them. Dr. Marshman was eloquent on Chinese, and furnished us with Chinese books for distribution in Burmah. He had translated the whole Bible into Chinese, and written a large Chinese grammar. A gentleman of Calcutta remarked to me of the grammar sarcastically: "It is a book that seems to have been written to show how much Dr. Marshman knew of grammar. There is very little of Chinese grammar in it." The criticism was unjust. I afterwards studied the book myself, and found there was very little grammar in the Chinese language, but that Dr. Marshman compared its imperfect forms with the more finished declensions and conjugations of the Western tongues, making the work a sort of comparative grammar, and, therefore, the more useful to the student.

We dined with Dr. Carey, and left him in his study, hale and hearty, at work on his Forty Versions. He never pretended to say he translated the whole himself. He made one version with his own hand, and this was given to a native who understood the language of this version and another language, and to this other language the version was transferred by the native; Dr. Carey at the same time making himself acquainted with the other language more or less, and revising the translation before publication. As most of those forty versions were dialects of one language, the Sanskrit, the task, though a great one, was in no wise impracticable.

One of the most interesting institutions in Calcutta is the Monthly Missionary Conference, where the missionaries of all denominations in town meet together once a month, take breakfast together, and talk over the things that pertain to the extension of the kingdom of God. There I first met Dr. Duff, who had arrived a few months before us. He was then proposing his plans for English education, but they met with very little acceptance from the other missionaries. His schools, however, have been eminently successful, and many have since gone over to his views.

There, too, I met Mr. Lang, a church missionary, whose labors in the vernacular have been no less successful and distinguished; and who, in his efforts to right the oppressed natives in their temporal affairs, was caught in the meshes of the law of libel, and was honored with fines and imprisonment for his reward.

My farewell to Calcutta was rather amusing. I was going on board ship, but as I was about to step into the boat, I was warned by a native official not to move, for I had contraband articles on board. Before I could ask what, down came an Englishman like a steam engine, more than six feet high, and portly enough for a likeness of John Bull. Had I not stepped out of the way, he would have run me down certainly. "I understand," he said, addressing me, "you have tea on board. You can't go." Turning, I looked up at him; and was about to mitigate his wrath, by explaining that I was only taking tea enough to last myself and wife a few months, to a country where I did not know that tea could be bought; but he suddenly interrupted me, saying: "Oh, this is Mr. Mason. I heard you preach last evening. I dare say it is all right," and extending his hand, which I shook very cordially, he added: "I wish you a pleasant passage."


AFTER leaving the dull, flat regions of Bengal, and the marshes at the mouths of the Ganges, it was refreshing to look on the bold coast near Amherst and the blue mountains in the distance; and then to find ourselves in a town like Maulmain built on the side of a hill.

The Maulmain province is a very picturesque country. In the far east are mountains four or five thousand feet high, and on the west side of the Salwen, near Maulmain, is a belt of three thousand feet in altitude, while on an immense alluvial plain between these two ranges are grotesque piles of limestone with precipices of two thousand feet at a single leap, and ragged pointed summits that look like the pinnacles of Gothic cathedrals. The northern point of the town looks upon the mouths of three rivers, the Atran, the Gyne and the Salwen; and no sooner have their united waters rushed by, than they are divided on the left into two rivers by the island of Beloo-gyron, one going to the sea westward, and the other, the Maulmain river, descending to the south by Amherst. Maulmain is finely located for a large town, though there was only a small village here when it was first occupied by the English in 1824, but tradition says it is the site of an ancient city.

We reached Maulmain on Saturday night, and I was surprised on attending Burmese worship on Sunday to find no singing. It appeared that the worship was introduced by the preacher clasping his hands together, and saying solemnly: "I worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three persons in one God." Dr. Judson was no singer, had at first no congregation to sing, and had he had a congregation, he had no hymns to sing. Then again singing in religious worship was an outrage on Burmese ideas of propriety. To sing the most sacred hymn in the worship of God, would be regarded by a religious Burman with as much horror, as a Roman Catholic would regard the singing of Yankee Doodle at the elevation of the host.

When a Burmese priest conducts worship, he begins by saying, "I worship the Buddha, I worship the Law, I worship the Priesthood; the three objects of worship." Dr. Judson adapted his Invocation to the Burmese form, and being so much like their own, it was suited to make a favorable impression in the beginning. Still, I doubt if anything is gained, in the end, by doing battle with heathenism on the points of similarity with the Christian system. I have often been met by learned Buddhists with the objection: "Our laws are the same as yours, only a little different. They were one and the same originally." When I point out that there is forgiveness of sins through Christ in the Christian system, and no forgiveness of sin in Buddhism, they will only reply, "Yes, that is one of the points of difference."

In the early years of Buddhism, several heretical sects arose, and many think that Christianity is one of them. They are great admirers of their law. "The law" is in fact their god. It is one thing in Buddhism which is eternal, and lives and operates continually, and this law they say was preached by Gaudama long before Christ appeared with his law, which they persistently contend was derived from the Buddhists.

Dr. Judson's mode of conducting religious services was continued by succeeding missionaries, and by native preachers till two or three years after my arrival. In the interval, Dr. Judson had written one Burmese hymn, Mrs. Judson a second, and I added a third. Then, with the help of the Karens, that I had found to be a musical people, I introduced singing at native worship; and my example was soon followed by the other missionaries. Thus I was instrumental in adding an important element to public worship in both Burmese and Karen congregations.

Subsequently I compiled the first Karen hymn-book, and when the edition of 3,000 copies was exhausted, I gave up the hymn-book to Mr. and Mrs. Vinton, who published an improved collection; and that has been improved again more recently by the lamented Mr. Thomas, who edited the one now in use.


TAVOY was the station to which I was appointed, and I proceeded there by the first opportunity, arriving in Jan., 1831. Tavoy is an old town of from ten to fifteen thousand inhabitants, situated on a river of the same name, thirty-four miles from its mouth. It is shut out from the pathways of commerce, and will never probably be much larger than it is now. The province affords some fine picturesque scenery, and is more fully described, with its history and productions, in the Memoir of Mrs. H. M. Mason.*

[Footnote: * Memoir by her Husband. New York, Colby, 1850. Pp. 187.]

Within the limits of Tavoy province are about fifty Burmese villages, and as I could do nothing in the way of preaching myself at first, but could labor at tract distribution, the first work I laid out for myself was to place a tract and a portion of the Scriptures in every house in the province, as a foundation for further efforts. This work I was enabled to accomplish on foot within the first two years of my residence in Tavoy, walking into every nook and corner of the district with a native assistant, and dropping a word of exhortation and a tract and an extract from the Bible in the midst of every Burmese family in Tavoy, so that none of the inhabitants of that generation can rise up in judgment and charge me with not having pointed out to them the way of salvation.

I subsequently baptized a few Burmans, who were all faithful unto death. One of them had been a revenue officer under the Burmese government, he was afterwards employed many years by the Mission as a preacher, and some of his children to the third generation have joined the church.

My only Burmese assistants in those days were pupils from Mrs. Boardman's school; among them was Moung Bwah, a young man Mr. Boardman had baptized. He made a capital preacher, and I was very sorry to learn that after his removal to Maulmain, he went into government employ. I had lost sight of him, until I found from a letter written at Prome by Mr. Simonds, and printed in the Missionary Magazine for Aug. 1863, that he was still living, a useful member of the church, and that he and his family were all on the Lord's side. Speaking of the death of his brother-in-law, Mr. Simonds wrote: "His brother-in-law, Ko Bwah, being revenue officer and tax collector, his acquaintance with the inhabitants of the town is very general; and a member of his family having died, a large assembly of the most respectable of the Burmese, merchants and others, attended the funeral. The usual services were held at the house and at the grave.

"Ko Bwah and family are from Tavoy. Himself, wife, daughter and son are members of the church. He was a pupil of Mrs. Boardman, and afterwards attended the government school at Maulmain under Mr. Bennett, and was baptized at Tavoy. His wife and daughter were baptized by Mr. Crawley, and his son by Mr. Stevens, at Rangoon. Ko Bwah's brother-in-law, Ko Shway Gyah, was baptized in Prome, Oct. 26, 1860. At the grave the following information was given by his sister: 'That he was sixty-seven years old; had no fears of death when he was told his end was near, for his trust was in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; had been a believer in the truths of the Christian religion ever since he heard them first from teacher Boardman, and that he was, in fact, one of teacher Boardman's disciples.'"

The brother-in-law while in Tavoy, gave not the slightest indication that he was a believer, and yet, after Mr. Boardman has been dead more than thirty years, he comes forward and confesses that he believed the gospel when he first heard it from his lips! Can anything be more encouraging to Christians to labor on, whether they see the fruit of their labors or not?

God has put great vitality in seeds. Nothing is more common in Burmah than, when a virgin forest has been cleared of its large trees, for a thick crop of young plants to spring up of a widely different species, such as had never been seen on the ground before. The seeds had been sown there in past ages, and they had been lying and living in the ground unknown, waiting till circumstances favorable to their development occurred, and then up they all sprung, as if the husbandman had sown them there the week before.

Now Christ says the seed is the Word. Then why not wait in confident hope for the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear? When God clears away the obstacles, and the favorable circumstances for the development of the seeds occur, though buried long in dust, we may anticipate the appearance of the plants by thousands, as in the natural world, and converts coming to the church like flocks of doves to their dovecotes. Wait and work, then, till He comes down, "like dew on the mown grass."

This Moung Bwah was a son of the head native judicial officer in Tavoy; it was a great grief to him when his son was baptized, and he became very hostile to Christianity.

We had a Hindu cook who was a "moderate drinker," and like most moderate drinkers, he occasionally got into squabbles at night after he had done his work. I extricated him from one or two of his troubles, but as he did not amend his ways, I left him the third time to be punished. The police locked him up, and the next morning he was brought before Moung Bwah's father, who began to adjudge his case by abusing him for professing Christianity. "See," he remarked, "what your God does for you. Yeshu Chrest makes you a culprit, and puts you in confinement. My god makes me a ruler, and puts me on the judgment-seat."

Now mark the end: this ruler committed forgery some years afterwards, and served out seven years in jail. That is what his god did for him in the end. But his son, who stood firm to his profession of Christ amid such abuse from his father as was launched on the unfortunate Hindu, is now revenue officer in Prome, respected by all, both Christian and heathen, and enjoying a handsome salary. That is what his God, the much abused "Yeshu Chrest," has done for him.

During the second year of my residence in Tavoy, some of the English residents purchased a small wooden building and fitted it up for worship, in which I preached in English every Sunday evening. I baptized a few members of the congregation, all of whom held out to the end, excepting one, who has not yet reached his end; but he has been doing good ever since he was baptized, and is now the principal deacon of the Baptist Church in Madras, which owes its origin and means to support a minister mainly to his efforts.

In March, 1833, we formed in this little chapel in Tavoy, the first missionary society ever formed east of the Ganges. The contributions taken up the first year amounted to rs. 484:10:2. There were twenty-one English names on the subscription list, fourteen Burmese, and two Karen, besides two collections taken up among the Karens on the hills.

I also married two Europeans to their Burmese wives, it being a very common thing in this country for Europeans to live with Burmese women without being married to them. When this wrong living is pointed out to a man, he will sometimes say: "I consider that woman the same as my wife," but after all will refuse to make her so in law. Some will say that the woman "considered herself his wife to all intents and purposes. And her friends consider her to be married to him bona fide;" and yet, according to the statute book, to deceive a woman in this way, subjects a man to ten years imprisonment and a fine of one thousand rupees.

In the early years of my residence in Tavoy, two successive commissioners of the Tenasserim Provinces, the principal assistant commissioner in Maulmain, and the assistant commissioner of Tavoy and Mergui, were all living in the irregular manner referred to above; and when all the heads of the government set such examples, what could be expected of clerks and subordinates, merchants and timber traders?

Twenty years later, Mr. Marshall, writing in Maulmain A. D. 1854, says in his "Four Years in Burmah": "Some Europeans here are married to Burmese women, and some who are not married have Burmese women at the head of their respective households. Several whom I know have large families by such connections, and no one here objects to their society on the score of immoral living."

Some do object; I knew a lady married to an officer in the Commission who objected, and a storm was raised against her husband, which drove him out of the country; but the end was nevertheless encouraging for people to do right. He obtained a better appointment in another province than he had here, so that his leaving resulted in an addition to his salary of several hundred rupees.

Half a dozen years after Mr. Marshall published his book, the editor of the "Friend of India" wrote under date of July 17, 1860: "The trial of Captain Grant, formerly Deputy Commissioner of Rangoon, for criminal intercourse with the daughter of one of his own subordinate officers, reveals a state of things in Pegu most disgraceful to our administration and to our name. It discloses an amount of immorality on the part of some British officers and Christian clerks in the province, for which we were not prepared.

"We honor Colonel Phayre for the stand he has taken, and the odium he has incurred in an attempt to stem the tide of immorality which seemed likely to flood the Pegu commission. At this moment more than one class of society in Burmah seems to be as bad as the English in India were a century ago, to be worse than communities so notorious as the people of Hong-Kong and Macao. Concubinage is the rule, decency the exception."

In 1868, when Colonel Fytche, a new chief commissioner, took the reins of government, he still found these immoralities so rife, that he issued a confidential circular to the heads of departments, asking reports on the course of life pursued by their subordinates, and declaring that all who did not put away their "strange wives," to use the language of Nehemiah, should not be eligible to promotion. But such is the low state of morality in Rangoon, that the newspapers there condemned the chief commissioner, and threw their influence against him.


ALTHOUGH we had traveled six thousand miles from Boston, we found ourselves, among the natives of Bengal, in the same family as that to which the inhabitants of the United States and all Europe belong. There was the same oval face, the same aspect of countenance, and often the same Roman nose that characterize the most civilized nations; but, strange to say, all accompanied by a skin as black as a Negro's. This shows that the color of the skin proves nothing as to the natural family to which a man belongs. The fact is indisputable, but how the fair Parisian and the black Hindoo can be children of the same parents, is one of the things that remain to be explained. The fact does not rest on physical traits alone, but is more fully established by community of language, for the parent languages of these Hindoos, the Sanskrit and the Pali, are found to be also the parent languages of the Greeks, the Romans, the Germans and the Anglo-Saxons.

But on landing in Burmah, we found ourselves in the midst of an entirely new family. The black men and the white men had been left behind, and we were among red men passing into yellow, bearing a very considerable resemblance, particularly in color, to the American Indians. There were several different nations, but all with a family resemblance, like the different tribes of the American aborigines. Not only was the color different from the nations we had left, but the features and the form of the head were also changed. The face, instead of being oval, was shaped, like the pagodas they worshiped, to a pyramidal form. It was wide across the mouth, narrow across the eyes, with the cheek bones high, the bridge of the nose low, and the mouth large. All were remarkable for having very little beard, which is characteristic of the Northern Asiatic nations, and also of the American Indians.

When I looked on the faces of the various tribes of Farther India, I was very desirous to know something of their affinities and origin. The Burmese were the best known among them, and yet all knowledge on those points, concerning them, was a blank. I early obtained the perusal of a copy on palm-leaf of the history of the Burmans, that Colonel Burney had procured at Ava, from which I found that they traced their origin to the north; and the next step was to test the lingual affinities of the Burmese language with the languages spoken on the north, and especially in Tibet. When a grammar and dictionary of the Tibetan language were published in Calcutta, I purchased copies at considerable expense, and sat down to study the strange character, and still stranger language. I was well repaid, by finding that both in the grammar and lexicon, there were numerous points of identity, and that the languages must have been originally of common origin. The numerals are almost identical, as are the names of many common things; and the order of words in a sentence, which in Burmese differs from all the other languages of Eastern India, coincides exactly with the Tibetan; the order in both these languages being the opposite of the English, but like the Latin, as for instance in Secrete amicos admone, "admonish friends secretly," where the order of the words in Latin is just the reverse of what it is in English, but the same as it would be in Burmese. It is quite as clear then that the Burmans came originally from the Eastern Himalayas, as that the Europeans descended somewhere from the west of the Himalayas; and both from the same great centre. The evidence is of the same character in both instances.

The Burmese are a people in many respects with a higher civilization than the nations around them, and this is especially manifested in their treatment of women. According to the Burmese law, a married woman can hold property as independently of her husband as if she was not married. If a girl has property when she marries, it remains her property; and if she acquires property after marriage, that also is her own. This is manifestly just, the English laws to the contrary notwithstanding. Nothing can be more inequitable than to take a woman's property from her when she marries, and give it to her husband; and to take from her her hard earnings after marriage and give them also to her husband. The laws concerning husband and wife on the English statute-books are the relics of a dark age, the same age that legalized serfdom; and as the latter have been wiped out of the books, so will be the former ere long.

A beginning has been made in the United States, but the Americans, with all their ideas of progress, are still far behind the Burmans in this matter, and yet the Burmans are looked upon as barbarians! Whatever family jars there may be in Burmese households, there are none of those so often seen in Christian lands, of men marrying women for their money and then wasting it; nor of women working hard to support themselves and children, and intemperate husbands robbing them of what they have earned. Such things can only occur under Christian governments!

Since woman can enjoy her own earnings in Burmah, it is found she has a great aptitude for business; and at least half the trading done in Burmah is done by women. When a woman is the wife of one of the governing class, she usually does about as much of the governing as her husband, if not more, and often sits with him on the bench of justice–so called. The wife of the seek-kai, the highest officer in Tavoy, sat constantly in court with her husband; she allowed the suitors to crowd around her, and when she put her hands behind her, if any one slipped a roll of rupees into them, she immediately began to advocate the cause of that party; and it was noted that she gained every cause she supported. Of course the husband knew nothing about it, and could not be charged with taking bribes! When the thing was shown up to the commissioner, he suspended the seek-kai from office for a few days, but soon restored him again, because as he remarked to me himself, "He is an ahie man, and we cannot do without him."

Although the Burmans are much in advance of the Hindoos, still they do not usually educate their women. A few learn to read. When I arrived at Tavoy, the widow of a former governor of Mergui taught a girls' school, and had many pupils. She received no remuneration, but did it as performing a good work, which public opinion unanimously admitted it was. Women would be educated more than they are, were it not that their school teachers are forbidden to touch women, and cannot receive females to their schools. A priest who often calls on us, and has been sufficiently Anglicized to shake hands on coming and going, can never be persuaded to shake hands with Mrs. Mason, because, he says: "According to my law, I am forbidden to touch a woman."


The form of marriage among the Burmese is the most simple possible. In most nations marriage has a religious or civil ceremony, but there is neither among the Burmans. The parties eat together out of the same dish, and they are married. No further ceremony is necessary to constitute a legal marriage.

In Burmah, the property at a man's death is divided equally among the children. This has a great tendency to maintain the people on an equality, to keep them from being very poor, and to prevent the growth of an aristocracy. In England, on the contrary, the landed property goes to the oldest son, and with it the "heirship movables," which "consist of the best of everything, furniture, horses, cows, oxen, farming utensils, etc." This law creates a landed aristocracy in itself, and condemns the younger children to poverty, so far as the family property is concerned.

The Americans with their accustomed regard to right and equity, wiped out, when they became a nation, the English laws of inheritance from the statute books, and directed the equal distribution of property among all the children, which was a remarkable advance on enlightened England; and yet they then only placed themselves abreast of the Buddhists in Burmah.

It is most extraordinary that idolatrous Burmah should have a code of laws so equitable that it has no equal in any of the old Christian nations of Europe, and can be only matched by a comparison with the United States. As a consequence of such laws, property being equalized, there is perhaps no country in the world, where there are so many independent landholders in proportion to the population as in Burmah, so few beggars, and so little distress arising from poverty.

The Burmans have the regular drama and the game of chess, which alone lift them above uncivilized tribes. Their chess differs slightly from the European game, but only where the Europeans have altered it since they received it from the East, for it was brought into Western Europe by the Crusaders, who appear to have altered the Burmese "horses" to "knights," and "chariots" to "castles," as now found in the European game. The Burmese name checturen, has been defined, "the chief ruler or leader of an army," which is not quite correct. The name is derived from the Pali, or Sanskrit, chatu, "four," and enga, "a member," i.e., "the four members" (of an army), elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry; and it is the same name dragged through Persian and Arabic which appears in the English word "chess," which Webster refers to the French. The "rook" of the English game is the same word as the ratha of the Burmese, being the Pali or Sanskrit name for chariot.

The Burmans show a good deal of what would in civilized lands be called public spirit. They build zayats or caravansaries for travelers, all over the country, so that whenever a man travels among the Burmese villages, he is sure of a comfortable resting-place and shelter by day, and lodging at night, free of all charge, which is more than he would be certain of in London or New York. If people are living near zayats, the traveler will be supplied with a jar of the best drinking water in the neighborhood, and a drinking-cup; and in every village will be found a little shed under a tree, with drinking water constantly on hand for the passing pedestrian.

Then they often dig tanks, make roads, and build bridges across small streams to facilitate traveling. If a European digs a well in his compound, and shuts out the natives from the water, as he sometimes does, it is considered very "hoggish," and the religion that can sanction such selfishness, they deem vastly inferior to their own in meta "love."

Of the Burmese religion Malcom well remarks: "Its doctrines and practical piety bear a strong resemblance to those of Holy Scripture. In almost every respect, it seems to be the best religion which man ever invented."


MIXED up with the Burmans, I found there was another tribe, the Talaings, who in their dress, habits, and general appearance could not be distinguished from the Burmans. On close examination, however, they are found, as a people, to be a shade darker than the Burmese, to have less of the Tartar in their countenances, and to have a widely different language.

Tradition says that Tavoy was settled originally by Burmans from Aracan, but I found there were some half a dozen villages of Talaings in the province, where Talaing was taught in the Kyoungs, and Talaing books read. I visited those villages, and as no white man had at that time ever studied the Talaing language or could tell the least thing about it, I determined to study it myself enough to understand its grammatical principles, and be able to compare its vocabulary with other languages; so I hired an intelligent Talaing scholar, who understood Burmese, at one of those villages, and bringing him to town, I studied Talaing with him till I obtained a good general idea of the language, and took down from him a small vocabulary of the most common words in use.

Subsequently, as my knowledge of the languages increased, I compared the Talaing with the languages of all the nations around, and found that it differed widely from them all. In the end, the investigation was most thorough, and it became manifest that Talaing stands isolated among all the languages east of the Ganges. The roots of its words are radically different. I compared them with the vocabularies of the Burmese, the various dialects of the Karen, the Siamese, the Shan, the Ahom, the Khamti, the Laos, the Paloung, the Toungthu, the Khyen, the Kemee, the Singpu, the Naga, the Manipuri, the Tibetan, and the Chinese, and they were indisputably different from them all. I next pushed my inquiries westward, and found that Talaing was not cognate with the languages of Northern India, derived from the Sanskrit and Hindee, nor with the cultivated tongues of Southern India and Ceylon, as the Teluga, Tamil, Canarese, Malayalam, and Singalese.

There are, however, in Hindustan many wild tribes, like the Karens, who have no written language. They are supposed to be the aboriginal inhabitants of the country. These wild tribes go by several names, like the Karens, but like different Karen tribes, too, they are all of common origin, apparently the fragments of a single nation. The principal tribe among them is the Koles, a people among whom the German missionaries have had as much success as the American missionaries have had among the Karens.

I finally turned to the published vocabularies of these wild tribes, and was surprised to find that the Talaing language appeared to be of common origin with the languages of these wild mountaineers. This was a very interesting discovery, and I wrote an article on the subject, which was printed in the fourth volume of the American Oriental Society. Nothing has occurred since to invalidate the results there reached, nor has any one proposed any other theory of their origin. The results were unexpected to myself, but they are natural enough. When the aboriginal inhabitants of Hindustan were driven eastward by their conquerors, while many took to the mountains, it seems quite probable that others would take to the sea, and flee to the other side of the Bay of Bengal, where the Talaings are now found. The Hindu origin of the tribe is confirmed by the darker skin, for they are the blackest people in Burmah, and by their more Indu-European cast of countenance.

A strong confirmation is found in the Hindu traditions that are wrapped up in some of the names of places, to which nothing parallel is met in Burmese. Tavoy signifies in Burmese, "to buy a knife," and Nwa labo, the name of a mountain, "ox's hump;" but Maulmain is from a Talaing word signifying "one eye destroyed," and is connected with a myth of having been founded by a Cyclops, who had one eye in his head that was put out. Had we such a name with such a tradition in Europe, it would be referred at once to Vulcan's men, who helped him to make thunder, but occurring near Hindustan, it must necessarily be referred to the Hindu tradition of Vishnu, who had an eye in his forehead which was put out.

So a mountain with a pointed summit, above Maulmain, is called in Talaing, Zwa-ga-ben, "the tying up of the ship," because tradition says that here, when the whole world was covered with water, and the only survivors were a good man and his family in a ship, he moored his vessel to this point, which was just above water. In the west such a tradition would be referred to the Bible, but here in the East it is more natural to refer it to the Hindu mythology, where we find the same story.

The connection of the Talaings with the Hindus is further seen from the ancient Pali or Sanskrit inscriptions that have been found in Malacca, not two hundred miles south of the Tenesserim provinces. I have shown that the character in which these inscriptions are written, is the parent of the present Talaing alphabet on the one hand, and that it is derived from an old Hindu alphabet on the other, and had nothing to do with Ceylon, as has been usually supposed. This is made clear by four lithographed plates accompanying my paper in the journal of the American Oriental Society.

The remains of Burmese architecture found at Pegau and other places, show a people highly advanced in the arts. But the native histories state that all the buildings at Pegau were exact copies of structures previously existing at Thatung, the old Talaing city to which Gaudama's missionaries are said to have come; so that the origin of the architecture must be sought among the Talaings, an important fact of which Yule was ignorant. He says: "All, or nearly all, the details of the work at Pegau must have had an Indian origin;" which contributes another proof to the Indian origin of the Talaings.

It is remarkable, however, that while the Hindus were skilled in ornamental work, never, before they were conquered by the Mohammedans, were they acquainted with the arch. Not a single arch has been found in any old Hindu building: while the temples in Pegau, built in the eleventh or twelfth century, and their prototypes, built many centuries before at Tha-tung, abound in the pointed arch, like the Gothic. Indeed, those ancient edifices bear a striking resemblance to Gothic buildings. Yule says: "They all suggest strange memories of the temples of southern Catholic Europe. The Ananda is in plan a square of nearly two hundred feet to the side, and broken at each side by the projection of large gabled vestibules, which convert the plan into a perfect Greek cross."

There was a small pagoda temple built in this form at Toungoo, when we first arrived, and at one end of the nave, where the altar would stand in a Christian church, there was a large alabaster or white marble image of Gaudama, with one of its hands broken off by some Goth of an English soldier. This image we took with us to America, and left it at Hartford, Connecticut. There is probably no other idol in America brought from such a peculiar cruciform temple; for it is believed there are no such temples in the southern districts, neither in Rangoon, Bassein, Maulmain, or Tavoy.

Who were the original architects of these temples? This is an interesting question, but one to which no satisfactory answer has yet been proposed. Mr. Oldham wrote in the midst of the thousand temples of Pegau: "So strongly unlike all other Burman buildings, can these have owed their origin to the skill of a western Christian or missionary, who may have adopted largely the ornamentation of the Burmese, and ingrafted much of their detail and arrangements on his own idea of a temple? May not the true cross-like plan of the Ananda be thus symbolic, and may he not in the long trusting hope of a zealous worshiper of Christ, have looked forward to the time when this noble pile might be turned from the worship of an unknown god to the service of the Most High?"


MY attention was early drawn to the Karens. When I left America, nothing was known of them beyond the fact that Mr. Boardman had baptized a few individuals belonging to a wild people called Karens; and when I landed in Burmah, there had been then only fifteen baptized in all; but these have increased more than a thousand-fold in the present sixteen thousand church members, besides a thousand-fold more that have been baptized, but now sleep in Jesus.

I was anxious to ascertain the origin of the Karens. They might, for aught that was known to the contrary, be a branch of some one of the large tribes around them, but I soon found that their language was radically different from either the Burmese or Talaing. The next nation with whom to seek their affinities were the Siamese or Shans, and I corresponded with Dr. Jones, of Bangkok, on the subject. When he printed his grammar of the Siamese language, he kindly sent me a copy; and I subsequently obtained a more elaborate work on the Siamese language, written in Latin by the Roman Catholic Bishop, Pallegoix. I learned the character and studied the language sufficiently to find that Siamese and Karen were two distinct languages, and that Shan, Ahom, Khamti, and Laos, were, with the Siamese, dialects of one language as Sgau, Pwo, and Bghai, are dialects of Karen.

As it was possible the Karen might be a dialect of Chinese, I corresponded with Chinese missionaries, and procured from them some elementary works in Chinese. These I also studied sufficiently to be able to compare the grammar of the language, and many of the most common words, with the Karen. I think this is the right track, though the results did not warrant the conclusion that the Karen is a dialect of the Chinese. I look for the affinities of the Karen in that direction, but it is not possible to make a thorough comparison of the Karen and Chinese languages until we know how Chinese is pronounced in the interior of the south of China, the region most contiguous to the Karens; and that still remains an unexplored land.

The Chinese written language is a language of symbols, which may be compared with the numeral figures.

All the tribes of Burmah use the same numeral figures, differing but slightly from the English. I write the figure 1, and it is understood at sight by all, as if they spoke one language; but when they begin to read, a Burman says teet, a Talaing mua, a Sgau teu, and a Pwo léu. Every written Chinese word is liable to like changes, when read in different parts of the Empire, so that the language is not one, but several. What the language is in the region from which we may suppose the Karens to have come, is at present wholly unknown.

[Transcriber's Note: latin small letter e with caron in "teu"]

There are some general traits, however, in which the languages are known to agree. On the east of the Bay of Bengal, a new constituent of language is met in intonation. The signification of the same vowels and consonants are changed by a change of tone. Thus myan in Burmese is "to be swift," but with a heavy falling inflection it signifies "to ask." In Karen, nee signifies "a day," but with a circumflex inflection it signifies "a year." This feature is least developed in Burmese, and most in Chinese; and the Karen has as many intonations as the Chinese, which makes a strong probability of the languages being cognate.

The Karen has the guttural ch of the Greek, German, Scotch, and Irish languages, which is not found in English, Burmese, Talaing, or Shan, but which is found in Chinese. The soft u sound of the French, German, and Greek, and the ou of the French or ü of the German, are both found in Karen and Chinese, though neither exists in English.

Again, the Chinese spoken dialects are divided into two classes. In the one are found final consonants, but in the other all the words end in vowels. This is precisely the case in the Karen dialects. In the Pwo, the Mopgha, the Padoung, the Taru, and some others, the final consonants abound; but in Sgau, Bghai, and Red Karen, all the words end in vowels.

The Toungoo Mountain Karens have a musical instrument called htwai in one dialect, and nai in another. It is exactly like the Chinese "gong" or "organ," used by the Chinese mountaineers or Mianti. There is a figure of one in "The Sunday at Home," Vol. I., page 328, precisely like the Karen instrument. As constructed by the Karens, several reeds or bamboos of different lengths, with stops, are inserted in the gourd, and another reed is inserted on the opposite side for a mouth-piece, through which the performer blows, modulating the tones by his fingers, which are applied to the stops like a clarionet, the music of which it resembles, but with a touch of the Highland bagpipe, though much softer.

Mr. Knowlton, in the "Missionary Magazine" for September, 1857, wrote: "Like most missionaries, I am prone to regard my own particular field as of primary importance, and entitled to a lion's share of attention; and it is not contrary to, but in accordance with, that feeling, that I rejoice in every accession of strength to the Karen Mission. For there is reason to believe that those people are intimately connected with some of the hill tribes of China, and, in short, that there are perhaps as many Karens in this country as in Burmah. If so, the evangelization of those in the latter country cannot fail to be the means of extending Christianity into the provinces of Sz'chuen and Yunan, or even into Kweichau, Kwangsi and Hunan.

"The hill tribes of China are generically termed Miauty, children of the soil, or aborigines. Our knowledge of them is very imperfect, being derived from the lowlanders, with whom they have been more or less at variance from the dawn of Chinese history. Glimpses of them, as they now exist, are afforded occasionally in the documents known as the 'Peking Gazette.' In a recent number of that publication there was an appeal to the emperor from the hereditary chieftain of several aboriginal villages in the district of Lushan Yachau prefecture, bordering on Thibet, against the laird of another group of villages. To a foreigner the main point of interest in the litigation is the charge of heresy and rebellion, brought by one party against the other. What they mean by heresy we have, unfortunately, no means of knowing. We know that Buddhism has made little or no progress among these simple worshippers of nature. They are not idolators, and it was probably owing to the iconoclastic character of the Taiping insurgents that so many Miauty joined them in Hunan."

For several years after I went to Tavoy, there was no missionary in Mergui, and I traveled among the Karens in both districts every dry season. There was scarcely a Karen village in either province in which I did not preach the gospel. In the prosecution of these labors, I often went out to sea in open boats, and was repeatedly stranded, and had some "hair-breadth escapes."

On one occasion, I was with others on board of a small schooner at anchor off Tavoy Point, when a severe squall of wind and rain, accompanied by much thunder and lightning, came on. After the storm began to abate, we were aroused by a cry on deck: "There is a ball of fire at the masthead!" We went up and saw, what is very rarely seen, "the fire of St. Elmo," or "the fire of St. Elmo and St. Anne;" and it exhibited an appearance quite different from all the descriptions I have read. Phipson says: "Lord Napier observed the fire of St. Elmo in the Mediterranean during a fearful thunderstorm. As he was retiring to rest, a cry from those aloft, 'St. Elmo and St. Anne!' induced him to go on deck. The maintop-gallant masthead was completely enveloped in a blaze of pale, phosphoric light, and the other mastheads presented a similar appearance.

"The phenomenon lasted for eight or ten minutes, and then became gradually fainter. All other descriptions of this electrical spectacle coincide perfectly with the above."

The St. Elmo I saw did not envelope the masthead in a blaze at all, but took the form of a perfect globe of phosphoric fire, perhaps a foot in diameter, and was not on the summit of the mast, but touched it on one side, playing about it, when the vessel rolled, as a large soap bubble, a trifle lighter than the air, is sometimes seen to oscillate from side to side. After remaining some ten minutes the light grew fainter, and it died out like a soap bubble.

Electricity is no doubt the cause of the fire of St. Elmo, yet the light is not electric, but phosphoric. The fire of St. Elmo seems to be an illustration of the general law, if there be such a law, that when a current of electricity impinges on a bad conductor, it sometimes leaves a phosphorescence behind it; so that electric light and phosphorescent light are nearly related to each other.

An unbroken range of mountains east of Tavoy runs north and south from Maulmain to Mergui. On the east side of this water-shed, I found a large river running southward, but no one could tell where it emptied. It is formed by two considerable streams, one coming from the north and another from the south, uniting a few miles north of the latitude of Tavoy. Here at their junction were the remains of an old fortified town but when built or by whom inhabited, the Karens had no traditions to relate. The locality being high and healthful, and access to the country in every direction, by water, being easy, I induced a large number of the Christian Karens to come and form a village here, which we named Meta, "love." It is still a considerable village, with rows of fruit-bearing cocoa-nut trees, the seeds of which I planted with my own hands.

It was of this village that Dr. Malcom wrote in 1838: "Two days journey from Tavoy, a considerable number of Karens, converted in different places, have been brought together, and formed into a Christian village; the heads of every family being members of the church. These Christians now amount to about two hundred, and conduct themselves with exemplary rectitude. By the aid of missionaries, they have obtained goats, bullocks, oil mills, seeds, etc.; and with these, and still more by the increased industry they have been taught to practice, they have been enabled to cease their wanderings and acquire many comforts to which their countrymen are strangers. Cleanliness, in which Karens are universally deficient, has been attained in no small degree. But it is the spiritual change visible at Matah which is most delightful. In this respect they present a most attractive spectacle. Punctual in all public services, they fill a large zayat on the Sabbath, and manifest a decorum and devotion far superior to anything ordinarily seen in America. Being a musical people, and having a book of over a hundred hymns composed by Mr. Mason, they almost without exception unite in the singing, and to my ear their psalmody was correct and sweet."

The river descending from Matah, which I found to be the Tenasserim, I traced from near its source in the highest mountain of Tavoy, some five thousand feet high, to its mouth, where it falls into the sea south of Mergui. The latitude of the head waters is south of the mouth of Tavoy river, but it runs northerly for forty miles to Matah, and thereafter being joined by its branch from the north, turns round to the southeast, and descending southerly, it reaches the old city of Tenasserim, where it turns westward, and falls into the sea by several mouths south of Mergui, and one north of the town, forming Mergui island.

I went down it all the way on bamboo rafts, and the descent occupied three weeks. I sat on the raft with a pocket-compass, that some kind friend had given me, whose name I have forgotten–but the deed is immortal–and marked on paper every bend of the river, from its source to its mouth; and it is almost as crooked as the Jordan.

When a gentleman was about to publish a map of the Tenasserim provinces, I furnished him, at his request, with a copy of the course of the river, and also a sketch map of all the interior of the provinces of Tavoy and Mergui, of which he availed himself, but gave me no credit. Nor is this the only instance in which my labors have been thus appropriated. The Indian Review, noticing a book on Burmah, in two volumes, a few years ago, wrote it contained, "Copious plagiarisms from Mason's Natural History." It is gratifying to have one's labors acknowledged by others, when they avail themselves of them; but if they cannot do that, the next best thing is to have them take them without acknowledgment, because their usefulness is thus increased, though the author be ignored; and it is some satisfaction to a writer to know that he has written anything worth stealing.

The Tenasserim is a beautiful river, with numerous rapids, on descending some of which, we took our baggage off the rafts and carried it down to the foot of the falls by land, sending the rafts over empty. Weary of this slow process, I tried the experiment once, of going over without unloading, but I did not try it twice. When we got among the rocks and foaming waters, the raft rolled over upside down, and threw us all off. However, we contrived to seize the bamboos and were all carried down safely to the deep eddies below, from which having extricated ourselves, we reached shallow water and righted the raft, and having taken the precaution to tie all the baggage on, nothing was lost.

We found Karen villages on or near it, throughout its whole length, though sometimes at long intervals. The sites of two or three old towns were seen on its banks, and the country was evidently much more populous formerly, than it is at present. Several communities that we found in heathenism, became afterwards flourishing Christian villages; but Tavoy and Mergui of late years have been neglected fields, and like all other neglected fields, are now overcome with weeds. Still, it is believed there are some trees of the Lord's planting there, and they are worth all the labor.

From one of the villages that I found in heathenism, the Rev. Mr. Benjamin wrote in 1850: "The next day, the 14th March, I visited Kabin. The people were not aware of my coming, and as soon I was seen walking up from my boat to the zayat several women ran hastily and gladly to prepare the 'Teacher's room' for my reception. The village wore an appearance of thrift and prosperity that I had not anticipated. The jungle was cleared away from the space around the zayat, and the ground under and before it swept clean. Good wide paths were cut from the seven or eight houses adjacent to the zayat, and from one house to another. And several fine areca groves, interspersed with jack, dorian, and plantain trees, showed that there were some here who expected to occupy permanently their present homes."

Six years afterwards the Rev. Mr. Cross wrote of the same village: "In the church at Kabin, which is a day's journey distant from Therapin, there has been a steady improvement for many years past. They have an excellent young man for their pastor, besides one or two young men who studied in the school for assistants, but who, finally being in doubt whether they had a call to preach or not, have turned their attention to secular pursuits. Through the efforts of one of these young brethren the church has a fine chapel in a beautifully cleared plain; and a spirit of enterprise and desire for improvement seems to have arisen."

Another village that I visited in my annual tours, and where it was my privilege to be first to preach the gospel and first to administer the ordinances, was Pyeekhya. The Annual Report of the Board for 1857 states on the authority of Mr. Cross: "The Pyeekhya church, more especially appeared like a well organized Christian body, ordered with intelligence and the fear of the Lord."

In the January number of the "Missionary Magazine" for the year 1860, Mr. Cross wrote:

"The church in this place were nearly all present at the meetings. Last year I could not but say, 'beautiful!' when I saw all the members together in the chapel, and heard a full and free expression of their Christian feelings and walk during the year. I may still say 'beautiful!' for not a case for rebuke or discipline has appeared, and all seem striving together for the faith of the gospel and for peace with all men. I never felt more inspired in attempting to preach under any circumstances, than in attempting to say to them, 'Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.' Phil. 4:4. Four persons were baptized. These were two middle aged men, with their wives–all from among the heathen–a new thing for us in this region. Conversions directly from among the heathen have been at a standstill for many years in Tavoy and Mergui. In the evening, the communion of the Lord's Supper. Blessed Sabbath! and blessed privilege, in these far off regions, so recently the undisturbed kingdom of Satan, now to meet with a large body of Christians 'rooted and grounded in the faith,' and so, apparently, 'lively stones' in the temple of God."

Ko Thabyu was a Sgau, and he naturally went preaching among his own tribe, and it was some time before we discovered that there was another tribe of Karens in the jungles, speaking a language so different that the two tribes did not understand each other. After I had mastered the language of the Sgaus, I took up the study of the Pwo, and pursued that, though widely different in pronunciation, the Pwo having final consonants, and the Sgaus ending all their words in vowels, yet the roots of both dialects being substantially the same. Subsequently I wrote and printed a grammar in quarto of the two dialects, Sgau and Pwo, for the use of missionaries.

Many years afterwards Dr. Wade wrote a Sgau vernacular grammar for the natives in the Karen language, and in the preface he says: "In calling this work 'a first attempt,' I by no means intend to ignore Dr. Mason's Anglo-Karen Grammar. That is a work of great labor and merit. The foreign student of the Karen language will find it very useful in enabling him to put Karen sentences into good English."

While the dry seasons were employed in traveling and preaching, the rainy ones were usually occupied in translating; but for a few years I taught a theological school for Karen preachers, and the Report of the Board for 1846 states: "The seminary in charge of Mr. Mason for native preachers is eminently prosperous."

As I wished to give my pupils a little scientific knowledge as well as theological, I wrote an original treatise on "Trigonometry, with its applications to Land Measuring: The Mensuration of heights and distances, and the parallax of the heavenly bodies; with a Table of Natural Sines." An edition in Sgau and Karen and another in Burmese, were printed in Tavoy, and several years afterwards the government paid for the printing of an edition I prepared in Bghai Karen.

In 1842, I started a Karen periodical in Tavoy, the first native paper ever published east of the Ganges, and it has been kept up regularly ever since, having gone with the press from Tavoy to Maulmain, and from Maulmain to Rangoon. The next year a similar monthly was commenced in Burmese in Maulmain, and in 1849 one was begun in Assam.

The Karens had no books, but I found they had an abundance of traditions, and I went to work collecting all I could find of every description. I pretty well exhausted the Tavoy Karens from one end of the province to the other, for whenever I found a man who knew something that others did not, I had it written down on the spot. In this way, besides many more of less value, I collected and published their remarkable Scriptural traditions, which have made the Karens so famous above all other nations in India for their Biblical knowledge.

Since some of these traditions are so definite and truthful, they must have been derived directly from the Bible, and as they contain nothing peculiarly Christian, they could not have come from persons acquainted with the New Testament. They are all Old Testament traditions, so we are shut up to the conclusion that they came from the Jews. Their Jewish origin was doubted when I first propounded the theory, but I think it is very generally accepted now. The Chinese missionaries, who are best situated to judge of the probabilities in the case, very generally adopt my views, and by their own researches concerning the existence of Jews in China have added to the evidence. Mr. Knowlton remarks in the "Missionary Magazine" for September, 1857: "We have discovered evidence of the existence of a Jewish colony in Chingtu, not far from Lushan, nor yet from the original seat of the Karens, a century before our era. Now as the Jews of Chingtu seem to have disappeared about the period when the Huns were expelled from China, we are of opinion that they fled to the mountains, and if they were not the progenitors of the Karens, the latter at least are indebted to them for their remarkable Scriptural traditions. Our brethren in Burmah will be able at no distant day, we hope, to explore that least known, and, in many respects, most interesting portion of Central Asia. Perhaps even now Karen preachers might be able to traverse the mountains of Yunan and Sz'chuen, and, like Dr. Mason and some of their other teachers, be able, while promoting the cause of missions, to make contributions to the science of ethnography, in which all Christians are interested."

In my early travels among the Karens of Tavoy, I was often accompanied by Ko Thabyu, the first Karen convert, and being well acquainted with his history and his preaching, after his death one of my associates suggested that I should write a memoir of his life, which I did, as a means of creating a deeper interest in the Karen Mission; and I appended to it the Scriptural traditions referred to above.

The book had a considerable sale. One edition was exhausted in India, another in America, and it was translated into German. The London Tract Society brought it out in their series of small volumes, and it had a considerable sale in that form in England, India, and wherever the Tract Society's publications were carried. Some one, however, told the committee of the Tract Society privately, that the statements in the book could not be depended upon; and they adopted the idea that it was a Robinson Crusoe kind of a book, "very remarkable if true;" so they ceased to issue it. But every statement of facts is unquestionable. I never heard one doubted. Most of the work was read in manuscript by my associates in Tavoy, and approved before it was put to press.

It is to be regretted for the sake of the Karen Mission that the circulation was stopped, because it was well adapted to create and keep up a lasting interest in the Karens. What motive could influence a man to manufacture and send abroad such an unfounded report, it is difficult to understand. If it was intended to injure the author, it was a signal failure; because the book was a decided success, and if not true, then it establishes my character as a writer of fiction; and a successful writer of fiction usually stands higher in the republic of letters than a writer of truth.


YOUNG ladies all the world over try to make their faces look as pretty as possible. A Burmese girl does not use rouge, but her dressing-room is adorned with a coarse, circular sandstone slab of about a foot in diameter, near which are seen laid some bits of dry yellow fragrant wood, and before she retires at night, peeping Tom of Coventry might see her grinding up the yellow wood with water on the stone; and when a composition like yellow clay is obtained in sufficient quantity, she plasters it all over her face, and sleeps with it on. In the morning she washes the plaster from her face, and it is, or she thinks it is, a good deal whiter or yellower for the operation.

But we have an exceptional tribe in Burmah, where the young girls just reaching womanhood try to make their faces look as ugly as possible. They are called Khyens, and they tattoo the faces of their girls so as to give them a most demoniacal appearance, especially when they grow old.

The reason the people offer for the practice is, that anciently their young women were so handsome that they were all carried away to the king's harem, and they resorted to this expedient that their girls might be left at home. However, I very much doubt the truth of the tradition, because it indicates a Roman spirit, which the people show in nothing else; and because the Burmese girls are much handsomer, cleaner and more attractive than the Khyen girls ever were. I do not think they could ever have been in more danger of being taken to court than the Karen girls are, whom they much resemble, and his majesty never gives them any trouble. How such a strange custom could have originated, it is difficult to imagine.

The home of the tribe seems to be in the northern part of Arracan, and they have been referred by some to the Nagas, a tribe among whom the Assam missionaries have labored, and a Paloung from a region one hundred miles north of Ava, told me that the Ka-khyens near Bahmo, with whom he was acquainted, were called Khyens by his people. Possibly they are of the same tribe.

Considerable numbers are settled north of Prome, and a small church has been formed among them; a few are occasionally seen in Toungoo, and one of the women with a tattooed face lived in Tavoy when I went there. Through the efforts of a Burman woman, a member of the church, she was brought to the knowledge of the truth. I had the pleasure to baptize her February 1, 1837, the first of the Khyen nation that ever received the ordinance. She lived several years a consistent Christian life, and died in the faith.

The Khyens are not Buddhists, "yet the Arracanese missionaries who have seen most of them," as I wrote in the Missionary Magazine for December, 1856, "have not found them very ready to receive the Gospel. In 1852, one of the Arracan missionaries baptized a Khyen woman among the Demmees. 'She is the first of the Khyen tribe,' he wrote, 'ever baptized,' and the announcement was introduced with: 'First fruit among the Khyens.' In 1855, one of the Prome missionaries baptized another of the tribe under the name of 'Chun.' He wrote: 'Several have been baptized within a few weeks, and among them, one Chun, the first Christian of his race.'"

The difference of writing this name illustrates the difference of ear in different individuals when the same word is heard. To Symes, it appeared to be "kayn," to Judson "k'heen," to Malcolm "kyen," to Phayre "khyen," and now we have "chun."


AFTER the Christian villages were established, I found it most convenient to visit several of them by boat; going out to sea and then turning into some of the small rivers that descend from the mountain. When on these excursions, I sometimes found encamped on the sands at the mouths of the streams parties of Selungs.

These Selungs are the Karens of the sea. They have no houses but their boats, and cultivate no fields but the coral strands and the depths of the ocean. They belong to an entirely different race from any people north of them. They are not allied to the Indu-European nations, and are quite distinct from the Burmese, Talaings, Shans, Karens and others of the Mongolian phases of countenance. They are, in fact, allied to the Sandwich Islanders, whose habits they possess, but through the Malays. They have the dark skins and sleepy countenances of the Malays, and their language is a dialect of the Malay; but their Malay is of the same family as the language spoken by the Malayo-Polynesians, so we might call the Selungs, "the Burmah-Sandwich Islanders."

The Selungs make nothing but boats, and they are made without nails or ropes, and are yet able to ride out the storms and run swifter than any other craft on the waters. This is certainly creditable to them, and we can only wish that they would try their skill in making clothes, for they go as nearly naked as it is possible to suppose human beings to go.

We may usually form a pretty accurate judgment of a people by the condition of their women; and the Selung women wear no clothing but a little strip of cloth a few inches wide bound around them in the place of fig-leaves, which it only imperfectly supplies. Had I not seen them, I could never have believed that women would be willing to go in such a state of nudity. And as the women are at the zero point of civilization, so is the nation the most degraded in Burmah.

Their boats show great ingenuity in their construction, and they avail themselves of all the advantages that nature has put in their way. On a keel of wood they build up high spreading sides, made of the stems of the edible zalacca, an inch or two in diameter, which are spongy and light as cork. These they contrive to unite together for planks, and hence the buoyancy of their craft. Their ropes are long rattans, and their sails are made by the women from the leaves of a species of screw-pine. People to whom God has given brain enough to make such boats, could, if placed in favorable circumstances, make anything else. But what God has done for the Selungs, man labors to undo and to reduce him to a level with the beasts.

The Selungs collect sea-slugs and the bodies of some large shell fish, which they dry for sale; and they also deal in wood-aloes, a fragrant gum produced by a tree on the Mergui Islands, which commands a high price. To purchase these articles, the Selungs are "pursued, dogged and waylaid" by Chinamen, Malays, and an occasional Englishman, who pay for them in alcohol and opium. It is a new edition of the old story of getting the furs out of the American Indians, by making them intoxicated.

There is not a shell-strewed beach, a cove, or a cave in all the labyrinths of the Mergui Islands, where a Selung can hide himself from his pursuers. The devil sometimes departs for a season, but these harpies never.

And they have done their work. The Selungs are the most hopeless nation of drunkards and opium-smokers in all India. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin did everything for them that could be done, when they were in Mergui. They sought them up in town, and frequently visited them in their coves and on their sandy beaches at the imminent risk of their lives, in open boats and blowing weather. Yet they were so besotted with their love of alcohol and opium, that Mr. Benjamin could induce no one to stay with him and be shut out from alcohol and opium for more than a very few days, though paid good wages for teaching him their language. It was not because their minds were unsusceptible to religious impressions, for at the same time, when Mr. Benjamin was in danger from the lawless Malays and he escaped unhurt, the people casually told his cook, they "pray every day that the Malays not kill him."

Alcohol and opium are doing a great work in Burmah, such as it is. During the last ten years, the government revenue from their sales has nearly doubled, and is still increasing. There is considerable truth in the remarks of one of the local papers: "True to his instincts and traditions, the Anglo-Saxon, in conquering any Asiatic kingdom and annexing it for the general advantage of all concerned, first begins his government by opening his inviting arrack and opium shops, for the public good. He next goes to work and constructs jails, and after long years of scheming and planning, finally announces a system of public schools. This seems to be the natural order of things in the policy adopted in these Eastern dependencies of Great Britain."


IN 1846, after sixteen years of happy united labors for the various tribes of Tavoy, Mrs. Mason was not, for "the Lord took her." The details are found in a little memoir of her life and labors, which I subsequently prepared, and which was published in New York, with several beautiful steel engravings delineating Mrs. Mason in Boston, at her home in Tavoy, the country in which she labored, and her last resting-place beneath the rock-rose-like Mesua, the tree of which Sir William Jones wrote: "This tree is one of the most delightful on earth, and the delicious odor of the blossoms justly gives them a place in the quiver of Camadeva, or the god of love."

It was fully my intention to remain at my post and labor on till my work should be done; so, when Mr. and Mrs. Brayton kindly offered to take my two little girls with them on their return to America, I gladly availed myself of the offer for their good, although heart-rending to myself. I wrote at the time: "What it costs parents to give up children to come to heathen shores, I know not; but if it costs them a tenth of what I have suffered for the last two days, in prospect of sending mine to Christian lands, they deserve a measure of sympathy I never awarded them. The parting of the mother and son, bound for America, before, was nothing to it. I did not suppose the human heart could suffer so much as I have suffered for the last two or three days. But after all the anguish of heart the children occasion, after all the pains of separation, who would choose to be childless? Not I, certainly."

After the mother and children were gone, I was left in an empty house, where I could hear nothing but the echoes of my own footsteps as I walked to and fro–alone! alone in rooms that had rung for a dozen years with the voices of love and gladness! I felt like a man suddenly driven from a happy home to end his existence in a lonely cell. My physical frame broke down under it, and my kind brethren brought me a note of the Mission, recommending me to return to America for a year or two by the overland route. As I felt utterly incapable of further labor, I finally complied with the recommendation, and left Tavoy.

I lingered awhile in Maulmain, where I was nursed and watched like a brother by Dr. and Mrs. Stevens, and I then proceeded to Calcutta. The voyage did me good, and as I found every one hard at work in Calcutta, and every one hard at work in Serampore, where I spent a week or two, I hesitated about going further. I felt as if there was still work in me that wanted to get out, and as there was the Old Testament untranslated in Karen, a work that especially devolved upon me, I concluded to return to Burmah.

As the New Testament had been translated in Tavoy, it seemed desirable that the Old Testament should be translated in Maulmain, where I could obtain the personal advice of missionaries that I could not meet in Tavoy, more especially Dr. Binney, while with the views of the Tavoy missionaries I was already acquainted.

On my return, therefore, I joined the Maulmain Mission, and as there was no Pwo missionary there, Mr. Bullard having recently died, beside the translation, the Pwo Mission was put into my charge as a temporary measure until another Pwo missionary should be sent out from America; for I spoke and preached in Pwo as well as Sgau, which no other missionary did at that time.

It being well known that I had given considerable attention to the natural productions of the country, while I was in Maulmain, some of the English residents requested me to prepare and publish a work on the subject, promising a subscription sufficient to meet all the expenses. I, therefore, collected my notes and printed them. The book was reviewed in the "Friend of India" for June 5, 1852, in which the editor wrote:

By the Rev. F. Mason, M. A.

"This is one of those works which, had it been printed in Europe, with a broad margin, hot-pressed and illustrated, and had its author been anything but a missionary, would have obtained for him a favorable review in half the scientific journals of Europe, and perhaps an alphabet of small capitals at the end of his name. As it is, we fear Mr. Mason must rest satisfied with the consciousness of having done a great work, and of having smoothed the path of any explorer of nature who may follow his footsteps under happier circumstances, and whose official report may issue, some ten years hence, under the auspices of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Ava Presidency. The present work is a volume of seven hundred octavo pages, containing a very full and, as far as we have the means of judging, complete sketch of every natural object pertaining to the botany mineralogy, ichthyology, and every other department of animate and inanimate nature in British Burmah and Pegu. The whole is compiled in the form of a scientific dictionary, written in a terse condensed style, and with every facility for reference. It is preceded by a preface explanatory of the author's motives and design, and accompanied by a sketch of the races which inhabit the country. Mr. Mason was led to undertake the task by observing the extreme difficulty under which the translators of the Bible into Oriental languages have labored in rendering the exact botanical phrases employed in Scripture, and which very frequently suffer from misinterpretation. Thus the condemnation of the Pharisees that 'they gave tithe of mint, anise, and cummin,' is rendered in one translation by transferring the words, a process which makes the whole sentence utterly unintelligible to a native; yet the words admit of easy translation. Many other instances are also cited in which the rendering has become obscure or absurd, by the translator's ignorance of the household words, by which Orientals, like the English peasantry, designate every separate plant. In this compilation, therefore, every variety of plant, mineral, fish, reptile, and shell, has its peculiar name put down in Burmese, a task of which the difficulty can only be estimated by those who have endeavored to extract similar information out of a native. These data were collected while bivouacking in the jungles, where, while 'the Karens have been seeking fuel for their night fires, or angling for their suppers in the streams, I have occupied myself with examining the flowers that were blooming around my couch, or examining the fish that were caught, or any occasional reptile, bird, or insect that attracted my attention. Such occupations have brightened many a solitary hour, and often has the most unpromising situation proved most fruitful in interest, for 'the barren heath, with its mosses, lichens and insects, its stunted shrubs and pale flowers, becomes a paradise under the eye of observation, and to the genuine thinker the sandy beach and the arid wild are full of wonders.'

"We have no space for even a slight sketch of the mass of information collected by Mr. Mason, but we would recommend his work to every student of the Burmese language, and every officer who may be employed in that country. It is one of the most valuable works of the kind which has ever appeared in this country, not merely for the complete originality of its information, but also for the talent which has been exhibited in collecting and arranging it."

In 1847, I was married by Dr. Judson to Mrs. Ellen Huntly Bullard, widow of Rev. E. Bullard, who died in Maulmain, daughter of Rev. S. Huntly, then pastor of the Baptist church in Sanburton, New Hampshire. She was my amanuensis in preparing the above named work for the press. Indeed, I should have hardly undertaken the work had she not engaged to do all the drudgery of getting the manuscript ready for the printer and seeing it through the press. Two of the steel engravings also in the memoir of Mrs. H. M. Mason were engraved from drawings made by her pencil.

When the translation of the Karen Old Testament was ready for the press, I went down to Tavoy again to print there the entire Bible.


WHEN I reached Calcutta, I observed that there was a great tendency among the missionaries to multiply versions of the Scriptures. Dr. Carey's Bengallee version was being superseded by an improved translation by Mr. Yates, a member of his own denomination; and while at the Missionary Conference, an Episcopalian missionary was pointed out to me, who proposed to make a version, that should be an improvement on Mr. Yates' translation, before that was finished.

Dr. Marshman translated the whole Bible into Chinese, and I have heard it spoken well of by Chinese missionaries, but it was not quite satisfactory to some, so Dr. Morrison made another entire version. This not pleasing others, a third translation was made by Gutzlaff; but neither of the three giving full satisfaction, Medhurst made a fourth complete and independent translation. After these four had been printed off, there was still something wanting, and Bridgeman undertook to make a fifth, and Goddard a sixth.

Now there must be something wrong here. It cannot be necessary to make six different translations of the Bible into one language within the life of one man. It appears to me a great waste of time and money, and must occasion much perplexity to the young Chinese converts. I attribute the cause in a great measure to the individuality of the authors of the versions. Could all the members of a mission be engaged in the making of a translation, so that it should not be the work of one man, but the work of the mission, it seemed to me that the multiplicity of versions would be avoided.

When I commenced the translation of the Scriptures into Karen, I therefore urged each of the Karen missionaries, then on the ground, to make himself responsible for a part of the work, and, although they all refused to do so, yet at my urgent request, each furnished a translation of a portion of the New Testament, but declined to assume any responsibility for the translations, leaving me to make any use of the manuscripts I pleased, or to lay them aside altogether.

When I came to examine them, I found that the translations–though very valuable helps to me–were made under the pressure of other work in a hurried manner, and that there was no uniformity in the use of theological terms, an indispensable requisite to any version. I was, therefore, reluctantly compelled to re-write the manuscripts in whole or in part; yet on printing the first edition of the New Testament, I said in the preface: "The two Epistles to the Corinthians were translated by Mr. Wade, the two to Timothy by Mr. Abbot, and Hebrews, Peter, Jude and the last two Epistles of John by Mr. Vinton." This left it optional for them to take up those portions of the translation and make them their own at any future time.

Having failed in my plan for the New Testament, I asked no aid for the Old Testament, but wrote out the whole of it with my own hand. Still, though the Karen translation bears the name of only one man, yet it embodies the principles of many, for I made myself thoroughly acquainted with the views of my associates, both on the principles of translation and on the rendering of particular passages, and pursued the course that, in accordance with the originals, would, I thought, give the most general satisfaction.

In 1837, I published the translation of Matthew's Gospel in Karen; in 1843, the whole New Testament; in 1847, I commenced the translation of the Old Testament; and in 1853, printed the whole Bible. Under date of September, 1853, I wrote Dr. Peck: "I have just put up and sent to press the last fasciculus of copy for the entire Bible in Karen, a work which, to say nothing of earlier labor upon it, has for the last six years absorbed my whole time and strength, both of body and mind. It has been the first thing in the morning, my constant companion through the day, the last thing at night; and often have I risen during the night-watches and sat at my table to translate, revise, or read proof-sheets a couple of hours, when all the world around me was lost in sleep. Sickness has repeatedly brought me to the borders of the grave, when I have carried on the work every moment of rest on my couch; so that every five minutes, sick or well, that could be pressed into the work, has been seized upon.

"While in Maulmain, it was my rule to refuse all invitations to go out to dinner or tea, to husband my precious time for my translation, and I visited with my friends so little, that I was spoken of as unsociable. My rule was, not every day a line, but a line in season and out of season, whenever it was possible to write one.

"Through the blessing of God, the work is done, and into His hands I commit it. It is His blessing alone which makes effectual and useful every work, and that blessing, for which I look in faith and hope, can make useful even mine, be its deficiencies what they may."

The Report of the Board for 1854 says:

"Dr. Mason, though in great physical weakness, was enabled to complete the revision of the Sgau Karen Scriptures, and to see the whole printed. The accomplishment of this work is a matter of congratulation and profound thankfulness. A portion of the Bible has been already written in Pwo, from the Sgau version, by one of his assistants competent to the task, which, when revised, will furnish Burmah with the entire Word of God in both dialects of the Karen. The amount of labor bestowed upon this version justifies the belief that, whatever revision in detail it may hereafter receive, it will be in its main features the standard Karen Bible."

At the Annual Meeting of the "Burmah Bible and Tract Society," in 1862, Dr. Binney said, as printed in the Report:

"With regard to the Sgau Karen Bible, the republication of which was so very desirable, he said that after an experience of many years, he did not know of any other translation of the Bible that approached, in all respects, so near perfection as this one. He had taken classes of Karens through the Old Testament three times, and eight times through the New Testament, and considering it with reference to its adaptation to the people of the country, and to the purity and accuracy of the translation, it was a perfect marvel to him how the work could have been done with the means, and in the time used for its accomplishment. He could only account for it by believing that God gave peculiar wisdom to the translator for this work."

I consider myself happy in having with the blessing of God in any measure succeeded; but were the Karen Mission to undertake a revision, it might be rendered far more valuable; and the time for revision seems now to have arrived.

Dr. Warren writing me on the subject, under date of December 4, 1867, said: "It appears to us that the true way would be for you and Mrs. Mason to remove to Rangoon, and spend there three or five years, as the case might require. Then you would be near the press, and there, also, you could in case of doubt and difficulty, secure the advice of Dr. Binney, who would be glad to cooperate with you in so great and good a work. Mr. Brayton, I understand, expects soon to return to the United States, and you might take that house, or have some other fitted up for you."

To me, it seems, that a better plan would be for the Executive Committee to appoint a committee of missionaries to revise the translation for a new edition, and thus make it a translation of the Mission in name, as it now is in fact.


AFTER I had completed the printing of the Karen Bible, I made another attempt to go home for rest. I was so low that Mrs. Mason had me brought from Monagon on the seacoast in a litter, and I was lifted up the side of the steamer in it, and lay on deck all the passage to Maulmain. This proved to be my final departure from Tavoy. Mr. Thomas communicated my departure to the Board in the following language, printed in the "Missionary Magazine" for April, 1854:

"To-day or to-morrow we expect to part with our dear Bro. Mason, who returns to England and America. He came to Tavoy a little more than twenty-two years ago–just soon enough to see Boardman laid to his rest. From that time to the present, he has labored faithfully and very successfully for the salvation of the Karens. There are few regions in these provinces which have not been pressed by his feet. There are but few of the older Karens who have not listened to the gospel from his lips. He has a large place in the affections of the Karens here. For, besides listening to the messages of mercy from his lips, they have received the entire word of God, translated into their own tongue by his hand. We earnestly hope it will please God to spare his life to see once more his aged mother in England and his five children in America; and that his wasted energies may be recruited, and he be permitted to do yet more for this people."

His hopes concerning me have been realized, but our hopes concerning him, when he in turn went home to recruit his wasted energies, have, alas! been disappointed, and he has "gone before." When about to leave Rangoon, he wrote me under date of Feb. 12, 1868: "I have been struggling between work and sickness. The latter has overcome me, and we are on our way to America. I need not tell you what a struggle I have had to comply with the indications of Providence, but I have submitted now, and hence I feel happy.

"I have just had a very good letter from your very loving daughter in Prome.* She is expecting to meet you next November in Bassein. If you and she are really to be in Bassein, I should so like to have you both in our house! But, alas! we shall be far away.

[Footnote: * Mrs. Stevens, wife of Rev. E. O. Stevens.]

"I rather expect to find you nicely housed and busy at your great life-work, the Sgau Karen Bible, here in Rangoon, on my return, in some eighteen months or two years from this."

His return will be at the "resurrection of the just;" but his works still remain with us. We have only to go up to Henthada and look around on more than sixty Christian churches, with their more than sixty native preachers, raised up by him in the midst of unbroken heathenism, to be convinced that he was no common man, and received no common blessing from God. It is doing injustice to no one to say that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas came as near the beau ideal of what a missionary couple ought to be, as any we ever met. May his mantle descend upon his son!

On reaching Maulmain, the trip by sea had benefitted my health, and, sympathizing with Paul, when he desired to preach the gospel where Christ had not been named, Mrs. Mason and myself pushed off in a canoe from Maulmain one sunny day in September, 1853, for the old city of Toungoo, then a terra incognita, of which the English troops had possessed themselves a few months previous.

It was a journey of two hundred and fifty miles

[Transcriber's Note: Page 304 missing]


Although my health continued poor, yet the work was so urgent that I felt unwilling to leave it, and concluded to remain another year in the country. Accordingly, Mrs. Mason started off by boat to bring up the children from Maulmain. On the second or third day, she overtook a boat that had left Toungoo with a sick physician on board whom I had frequently visited in Toungoo. He was suffering from the same disease as myself, and she found that he had just died, having remained in the country one year too long–just as Mr. Thomas did. So she turned back, and insisted on my leaving Burmah at once, to which I readily consented, for I had had a severe return of sickness during her absence.

I therefore arranged with the assistants we had, that one should go to the Sgaus on the west, one to the Pakus on the south, and one to the Bghais on the north; while the general direction of the mission should be in the hands of Quala. So, after we had seen him baptize two Toungoo Karens, as the first fruits, we left Toungoo in January, 1854, and, proceeding to Calcutta, we there took passage in a screw steamer that was going round the Cape, and had to touch at numerous intermediate ports to coal and pick up the mails.


THE first place at which our vessel touched was Madras, and a more unfavorable location for a city cannot well be imagined. It stands on the open coast, with nothing to shelter shipping, and passengers had to land in the surf on a catamaran, a hybrid between a raft and a boat, from which they were often thrown into the water when they touched the shore.

The country is a dead level up and down the coast as far as the eye can see, but a few miles in the interior are low hills, with one higher and more conspicuous than the rest, which is called "St. Thomas' Mount," and where, tradition says, the Apostle Thomas suffered martyrdom. This is not an invention of the Roman Catholics. It is the tradition of the Syrian Christians, who had churches in India as early as the fifth or sixth century; and, although there is no evidence to establish the point, it is still an object of interest for the eye of the Christian voyager to rest upon, because it is an unquestioned fact that here, or in the neighboring districts through to the Malabar Coast, numerous Syrian churches were found by the Portuguese when they reached India, and the Roman Catholics will have to answer for destroying them and burning their books. A small fragment of these people still remain in Malabar, who continue to use the Syrian Scriptures.

After a few hour's stay at Madras, we steamed down to Galle on the southern point of Ceylon, which Levant says, "is by far the most venerable emporium of foreign trade now existing in the universe; it was the resort of merchant ships at the earliest dawn of commerce." He goes on to show that it was the Tarshish of Solomon, and remarks: "Gallee was the Kalah at which the Arabians, in the reign of Haroun al Raschid, met the junks of the Chinese. Abou-zeyd in the ninth century called it 'Kalah.' All foreigners that come by sea are called by the Burmese 'Kalahs,' probably because they all came originally from Kalah or Ceylon. It is singular that Ceylon occurs in Karen tradition under the name of 'Sale,' a name unknown to the Burmese, but Ptolemy says this island was subsequently known as Simundus, or Palae Simundus, and later Salae, whence Ceylon, though some think it to be Sumatra." The existence of the name among the Karens is decisive evidence that Ceylon is intended.

Here we went on shore with the children, and took a drive to the cinnamon-groves, and came back laden with cinnamon-canes and green nutmegs plucked from the trees, as mementoes to our friends in America of our visit to Tarshish.

Ceylon is remarkable for being the last resting place of Buddhism in India, and it was very nearly exterminated there within the last six centuries. It is recorded that the Buddhist books were piled up in heaps as high as cocoa-nut trees, and burnt, until there was scarcely a Buddhist book on the island, but Buddhism afterwards recovered itself, and obtained copies of its books from Burmah and Siam.

The first place at which we stopped in Africa was Port Louis, on the Isle of France, a volcanic island that has been thrown up in the midst of the ocean. It is about forty miles long, and is surrounded by coral reefs. It has been in the possession of the Portuguese, the Spaniards, the French and the English, and has had nearly as many names as owners. It was first called Cerne, a name taken from Pliny, but which he applied to Madagascar; then Mauritius, and next Isle de France, which has been anglicized into Isle of France by its present British rulers.

The island had been immortalized in my memory by the stories of "Whittington and his cat," and "Paul and Virginia," that I had read in my earliest childhood. Although the stories have no better foundation than Robinson Crusoe, yet the graves of Paul and Virginia are shown in the neighborhood of Port Louis; and, were Barnum here, he would, no doubt, be able to add that of Whittington's cat.

The island is still famous for its rats, and tradition says that the poor boy Whittington sent his cat out to the East as a venture, and that, being sold here for a fabulous sum, he started business as a merchant, and subsequently became Lord Mayor of London.

The most interesting object seen on the island is the Pieter-booth, or Peter Botte Mountain, a precipitous pile of rocks twenty-five hundred feet high, capped with an inverted pyramid.

The history of this little island shows, on a small scale, the demand there is for working men in the world, and the difficulty that exists to supply the demand. Sugar is the great staple of the island, and to produce it no laborers were to be obtained but slaves. When slavery was abolished, it was found free men did not choose to work as hard as they did when they were slaves, and resort has been had to India for coolies. The coolies have been treated like slaves, and disease has carried them off by thousands. The problem of how we are to have our sugar made and do justice to the producer, is as far from solution as ever it was. I solve the question on the Bible basis of "the laborer is worthy of his hire."

Pay the man who works, black or white, remunerative wages, and the laborers will be forthcoming. The price of sugar will be higher, but is that any reason why we should rob the laborer of the wages that are equitably his due? There has been more iniquity done in furnishing Christendom with sugar than figures can show. The Christian world has robbed the workmen on the sugar plantations of more than it has contributed for almshouses, hospitals, asylums, soup-kitchens, and cheap lodging houses, or is likely to contribute to the end of the century. And for what has all this injustice been perpetrated? Merely to save us some sixpence a pound on the sugar we use.

From Mauritius we passed on to the Cape of Good Hope, but not without encountering a storm on approaching it. "Cape of Storms," its earlier name, was much more appropriate, for the ocean round it seems to be always in a storm. Whenever I have passed it, I have had to pass through a storm, and most voyagers relate a similar experience.

Cape Town has few objects of interest that man has given it; but two miles behind it rises Table Mountain, a singular object, which has no parallel out of Africa. It rises precipitously behind the town to a height of about 3,000 feet, and has a summit so flat and even, that it looks as if the top had been hewn off by the hand of man, where it spreads out into a level plain of ten acres.

There are also isolated hills or spurs on each side, which add greatly to the picturesqueness of the view; and, since the town is built at the base of the mountain, with a good descent to the sea, it is finely located for drainage; and its natural position and temperate climate give promise of its being the most healthy place I was ever in. Its sweet Constantia grapes are unsurpassed in the world, and its wild flowers are not exceeded in beauty and variety on either continent.

It looked, however, much more like a quiet inland English town than an American seaport. There seemed to be very little business doing, and I could not help thinking that were the Cape in the hands of the Americans they would make more of it than the English do.

In the vegetable kingdom, the Cape of Good Hope is remarkable for being the headquarters of the Heaths; and we saw collections of great beauty in some of the gardens. The Compositae, or daisy-like flowers, are also found here in uncommon numbers. De Candolle refers 1540 species to the Cape, while there are only 678 species of the family in all the United States and Canada.

The native languages furnish another peculiarity of the Cape country. They are spoken with clicks, that must be heard to be fully understood; but they differ but little from the language of a white man to his horse. A syllable is pronounced and then it is followed by a click, and there are two or three different kinds of click, by which the signification of the word is varied. This seems to bear considerable analogy to the Chinese expedient of changing the signification of the same word by adding different intonations; the Kaffer being the ruder, and the Chinese the more polished mode.

The natives of the Cape appear to die off before the white man, just as the American Indians do. There must be something wrong in our civilization. It ought to save those it meets, but it destroys. "The Pilgrim Fathers" killed the natives before they converted any of them, and that seems to have been typical of our civilization in other regions besides New England.

The Hottentots who pastured their flocks where Cape Town now stands, and were a numerous people, do not now number more than 20,000 or 30,000 souls. The Bosjesmans, or Bushmen, supposed to be the aborigines of Southern Africa, have fared still worse at the hands of the progressive party than the Hottentots, and are likely to be found in the end where the readers of Elliot's Bible are–nowhere.

Perhaps the most remarkable object we saw at the Cape was "The Right Reverend S. W. Colenso, D.D., Bishop of Natal." He joined us from Natal, returning to England on a visit. He made quite a sensation among the passengers when he came on board. To have a live "Lord Bishop" walking the quarter-deck among us was an honor none had anticipated.

He always wore an apron when in full dress, exactly such as a shoemaker wears, but why, none of the passengers could tell. So, after we became acquainted, I ventured to ask his lordship why he wore that apron. "It is not an apron," he indignantly replied, "but a–." The name escaped me, and I did not dare to ask him again; but undoubtedly it may be found among the vestments of the ritualists. Perhaps it represents our Lord's apron when he worked at the carpenter's bench.

He was very liberal towards Dissenters of all denominations; but he told me once, "If I were you, I should not be quite satisfied with my ordination." So, if he did not believe in "Moses and the prophets," he evidently believed in the power of the pope and cardinals to transmit the Holy Ghost. Besides preaching on Sundays, he conducted a brief religious service every forenoon, and near the close of the voyage he administered the communion. Mrs. Mason and myself, who always attended his services, remained away, which gave the bishop great annoyance, and he rebuked me for my bigotry. Nothing, however, could show up the practical evils of open communion more than this communion of the bishop's. The larger part of the communicants had no more correct ideas of religion than the Hottentots and Kaffers we had left behind. To administer the communion to such people is like giving "that which is holy to the dogs," and is a profanation of the most sacred institution of Christianity. It is not only sacrilege towards God, but it is destruction to the souls of many who partake, for they are led to believe that by so doing they are all that Christ requires them to be–Christians–and that their salvation is secure, while, as Paul says, they are yet in their sins.

When Colenso was made a bishop it was a great lift to him as an author. He had written several elementary books, principally on arithmetic, which had had a remunerative sale. After he was consecrated bishop, his publisher called on him and asked to purchase the copyrights. "What will you give?" asked the bishop; and "I was never so surprised in my life," the bishop said to me, "as when he replied, 'Ten thousand pounds.' I did not value them at a fifth of the money."

Both were right. The book rose five hundred per cent in market value when the author became a bishop. The publisher expected to get his pay out of the word "bishop" on the title-page. Greenleaf's Arithmetic is much superior to Colenso's, but then Greenleaf is not an English bishop.

I heard a prominent publisher in Boston say that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe came to him first with her manuscript of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and he refused to publish it. She had not a name then. She went to another firm, who undertook the publication, but on such terms that their profits were four times what they allowed her. In the end they made $120,000 on the book to her $30,000. She has now a name, and can command her own terms with publishers.

After leaving the Cape, the next place where we dropped anchor was at St. Helena, but by some absurd freak of the authorities we were put in quarantine. Our letters were received in a boat alongside, and the post-office agents fumigated them at arm's length on something like a gridiron, beneath which were burning certain magical disinfectants. It was all nonsense, however, for the ship was perfectly healthy, and we had visited no unhealthy ports. No representations availed anything. Facts go for nothing against the omnipotency of a bad name. The powers that be voted us a nuisance, so we had to say amen, and hoist the yellow flag. Innocence is nothing against authority.

We lay a few hours in front of the town stretching up the narrow gorge between the perpendicular igneous rocks, but could not go on shore there to see the grave of one who had been a beloved member of my own family for more than three years, while Mrs. Boardman, but I sat down and read, pinned into the fly-leaf of my Bible by Mrs. H. M. Mason when on her dying bed, Washburn's lines on the "Burial of Mrs. Judson at St. Helena, Sept. 1, 1845:"

"Mournfully, tenderly,
Bear onward the dead,
Where the warrior has lain
Let the Christian be laid:
No place more befitting–
O rock of the sea!
Never such treasure
Was hidden in thee."


WHEN we neared the coast of Europe it was discovered that we had not coal enough to carry us to England, so to obtain a supply the captain ran up the Tagus, nine miles, to Lisbon. Here we were put into quarantine again, for we had brought our bad name with us from St. Helena; so we were condemned out of our own mouths, and examination in the face of such evidence was quite unnecessary. We were kept below the city, but allowed to go on shore and promenade on the quarantine ground.

It has been said that, "he who has not seen Lisbon, has seen nothing," and the views of the coast between the sea and the city are very pretty. On the heights towards Cintra, is seen Belem Castle, and stretching down south are the plains and orange groves of Estremadura. But, as we walked on the banks of the river, we could not help picturing to ourselves that awful day of 1755, when 60,000 persons perished by the earthquake in six minutes; and 100,000 lost their lives before the calamity was over. The water rolled in up the river fifty feet above the ground on which we stood, and overflowed the lower part of the city. The earthquake was felt up to Loch Lomond, where the waters of the lake suddenly rose two feet and fell again.

It was in Lisbon where Columbus first laid his plans to go out in search of the New World, not quite four hundred years before our arrival. What wonderful changes have come over the earth in those four hundred years! How astonished Columbus would be could he awake from his grave and look around him on the Old and New Worlds he left! Not the least surprise to him would be the degradation of Portugal, which, from being the first maritime nation in Europe, has dwindled into nothing. This is to be attributed mainly to Portugal being too weak in both men and money to maintain her position, when the more powerful nations of Europe were aroused and entered the arena. The country is too small on which to erect such a superstructure. Had the zeal and enterprise of her kings and citizens never flagged, she must still have kept only a small shop in comparison with such competitors as England and America. She could be great only while she had the field alone.

The first land we saw in England was Plymouth, and we passed into its spacious harbor by a narrow channel, the Cat-water, and under the shadow of its citadel, one of the strongest forts in England. It is "a regular fortification, with bastions and ravelins, curtains and bomb-works, ditches and counterscarps, covered ways and palisades, parapets and ramparts," and mounts one hundred and twenty guns.

Should France ever invade England, she will have sense enough to walk around these fortifications, and leave them alone in their glory. Generals do not go knocking their heads against stone walls now when they can avoid them. When General Scott came in front of Cerro Gordo and its fortifications, he did not throw away his ammunition on what he saw was impracticable to take, but led his army around them; and this is just the way an invading army will dispose of Plymouth.

After a few hours detention at Plymouth, we pushed out to sea again, and the next land we made was The Needles, the western extremity of the Isle of Wight. As we went up the Solent, between the island and the main land, both shores appeared like gardens, cultivated down to the water's edge, in striking contrast with the wild picturesque shores of Burmah, which we had so recently left. The flagstaff towering above Osborne, the Queen's residence, was pointed out to us nearly in the centre of the island, among the highest of its chalk hills, and that is about the nearest approach to royalty I ever made.

The Queen of England is the most liberal monarch in Europe. She heads progress, does not obstruct it. Whenever the will of the people is unmistakably made known through the House of Commons, she never sets herself against it, as the Lords often do, but, whatever may be her private opinion, acquiesces in it more readily than half the American Presidents. We never hear of measures of great public good being vetoed by the Queen, as we often do of their being vetoed by the President.

The workingmen of England owe more to Queen Victoria than to all the previous monarchs that have sat on the throne since the days of Alfred. Her name will go down to posterity on more acts for doing justice and loving mercy to the wronged, oppressed, and suffering, than can elsewhere be found in the statute books all put together. The acts for household suffrage and the disendowment of the Irish Church, alone place her name at the head of English reformers, I deprecate any change at the head of the British Government, and join heartily in the universal cry of "Long live Queen Victoria! God save the Queen!"

It is not new for the Isle of Wight to be a royal residence. It is recorded that there was a heathen king of the Isle of Wight as late as the seventh century, who was conquered by a Christian Saxon monarch. Two sons of the heathen king were condemned to death, but a pious abbot sought and obtained permission to baptize them before they were executed, to save their souls. And great as has been the progress of thought in the thousand years that have since elapsed, we had a chaplain on board, a graduate of one of the universities, who attached as much importance to baptism as did Cynibert, the Abbot of Brentford, in A. D. 686, both believing that it possesses power to save the soul and make a heathen a Christian! A Roman Catholic goes a step further, and says the rite, to be efficacious, must be administered by a member of his own church. I recollect hearing a Roman Catholic, who had been residing in a Protestant community, remark to one of his own persuasion: "I did not see a Christian for three years."

We closed our voyage at Southampton, which is well located on a rising ground between two little streams, but the streets are narrow, and the appearance of the town uninteresting. Tradition says that Canute had his palace here, and Canute's Point is still to be seen, where it is said his majesty sat in state and commanded the waves to obey him. Here for the first time I saw a railway, and we took passage in the cars for London.

I intended to make a little stay in London, as I had authority from the Bengal Asiatic Society to print my Pali grammar there at their expense; and I had a respectable subscription list for a new edition of "Burmah and its Natural Productions." The first thing, then, to be done, was to find a cheap boarding-house, and after being tossed about from one place to another, we finally anchored in the family of a city missionary, who, to eke out his miserable pittance, took a few boarders. It is with preaching as with every other labor, the men who do the most laborious work and the most of it, are paid the least.

I hope God gives such men a large measure of subjective blessings, for they have few objective ones.

He had two respectable looking servant girls in his family, both of whom he said had been reformed from the streets. Such poor girls are often almost worked to death. It is work incessantly early and late–constant drudgery where there is no exercise for the mind. I do not wonder that so many of this class go back to their old habits, because the reforming process is almost unendurable to them. Most of them have never known such a thing as hard work before, and very few can endure such a treadmill existence.

If Christians really mean to reform such characters, they must make the reformatory treatment as attractive as practicable, and not, as now, as repulsive as it well can be. Poor degraded human nature is degraded in most instances because it is poor, and Bibles and tracts and preaching do not alone provide the antidote. The reformers, if they are in earnest, must put their hands in their pockets and furnish light labor, and pay well for it; and then, and not till then, there will be a rational hope of success. The idea of raising up the lowest of our race by mere spiritual influences alone, is like moving the world without a fulcrum. God can do it, but when man goes to the friendless and houseless and penniless, he had better show his faith by his works.

Nothing attracts the attention of a stranger on a first sight of London, so much as its enormous number of church towers and church steeples. Were a man to drop down from the moon among them, he would certainly suppose he had fallen into the midst of the millennium, where the people's principal business was to worship God; but when he wandered out of the great thoroughfares into the by-ways of poverty and wretchedness, he would think he had fallen into Pandemonium; and it would be about as difficult for him to reconcile the two as it is to reconcile election and free will.

London was not new to me. I lived in its suburbs in the years 1809 and 1810. The London of 1854, however, I found quite different from the London I left in 1810. The Monument and St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey, loomed up unchanged, but the three old bridges over the Thames had been increased to seven, and the Houses of Parliament were so changed that they could not be recognized. The old churches were lost in a multitude of new ones, and the fields in which I had made hay when a boy, were covered with close packed streets and dwelling-houses. I left it with one million of inhabitants, but when I returned I found nearly two millions. I noted, however, that the city did not spread over nearly twice as much ground as it formerly did, and that the inhabitants must, therefore, be much more crowded together, to their great disadvantage, both physically and morally.

Churches and chapels and religious and benevolent societies had multiplied amazingly, almshouses had increased, model lodging-houses had been inaugurated, and numerous plans were being devised to aid the poor and the suffering, but the laws seemed to be administered with the same cast-iron hand as ever.

I noticed in one of the guide-books that a man had been sent to the Queen's Prison in 1812, just two years after I had left London; and while I had been growing into manhood, done a life-work, and roamed all over the world, this man had been confined all these years in a room nine feet square with the use of a yard surrounded by a brick wall fifty feet high. And what heinous offence had this man committed? Why he was guilty of a contempt of court! The case has been published all over London, with its two millions inhabitants, and the Queen, Lords, and Commons in their midst, and yet there are no individuals among all those myriads, with power and inclination to say that forty-two years of imprisonment in such a place is punishment enough for a contempt of court! No, England says in the middle of the nineteenth century that he must be punished still more; for "during all these weary years he has vainly sought to obtain freedom, and yet we call ours a land of liberty, and proudly boast of our humane laws."*

[Footnote: * See "London as it is To-day–1853," page 376.]

Persons who cannot travel much should come to London and "do" its ten miles square of town and suburbs, and they will see nearly everything in the world that can be crowded on board ship, from a mummy to a mammoth, and from a nummulite to a Nineveh bull.

"There are 2,800 streets in London, which if they were placed in a straight line, would extend 3,000 miles, or twice the distance from Calais to Constantinople. If a person should undertake to walk through all these streets, and should walk ten miles a day each working day, it would require a whole year; and meanwhile a new city, with from 60,000 to 70,000 inhabitants, would be built. There are more Scottish descendants in London than in Edinburgh, more Irish than in Dublin, 100,000 more Romanists than in Rome, more Jews than in Palestine; 60,000 Germans, or more than the population of Leipsic, and twice as many as of Potsdam; 30,000 French, as many as in Boulogne or Havre; 6,000 Italians, and a large number of Asiatics, and many who still worship idols."

Representatives of nearly all the nations of the earth, that live on the seaboard, may be seen in the streets of London without going to the museums. In the Zoological Gardens are met all the remarkable beasts in the world, and, as far as possible, in a state of nature–a wonderful improvement on the old boxes of caravan menageries that were shown about when I was young.

There I saw the rhinoceros, enjoying himself in the water just as I had seen him dashing through the streams of Burmah; the gloomy vulture; the dazzling python; and the deadly cobra, which I have repeatedly met and killed, but which is quite harmless in Regent's Park.

Some of the botanical gardens I visited have conservatories which are regular duplicates of Burmese forests. In one I found myself with the broad-leafed plantain bending over my head, such as I have often sought cover under from a perpendicular sun, and numerous plants of the ginger family flowering at my feet, such as I had frequently bent over on the Karen mountains; interspersed with rocks on which were growing the familiar ferns of India; while dependent from the branches of trees above were the fragrant orchids that I had so often gathered in my travels.

Every department of nature is well represented in London. In one place may be found the shells of every shore on which the human foot has trodden, from every river that man has ascended, and from every land that civilized man has explored. In another place are exhibited thousands of insects from every quarter of the globe, and of every tribe and family.

Then there are all known minerals for the study of the mineralogist, and fossils of every description for the geologist, so that a naturalist, whatever branch he may choose, could not be placed in more favorable circumstances for study than in London.

And the facilities are equally great for every branch of human study. Antiquarians have warrior-headed bulls from Nineveh that, could they speak, would probably tell us they heard Jonah proclaiming in the streets: "Thirty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed;" and there are hieroglyphics older than all alphabetical writings, and monuments inscribed with all the various alphabets known to antiquity.

Mechanics and artisans have their advantages in London, because the best work in the kingdom, in every department, is done there; but, as a matter of course, as we descend in the social scale, we find greater necessity for employment, while there are fewer facilities for obtaining it.

The Crystal Palace, alone, is a living library of knowledge, and is of inestimable value to all classes, but especially to the poor who have not other advantages, and must contribute largely to the intellectual improvement of the masses. It is a school in which, though no voice is heard, everything speaks eloquently to the eye. When I was a boy, I had to obtain my knowledge mainly from descriptions. The eye saw nothing but the sixteen scrawls of Cadmus, with their so-called improvements and additions; but boys now see the objects themselves, and obtain at a glance tenfold clearer ideas than they could from the most glowing descriptions. It is as much more rapid a way to obtain knowledge, as the telegraph is a more rapid way of communicating a message than the old way by coach.


I AM never an idler. Never happy without work. When I cannot do one thing, I always try to do something else. My health not improving in London, as I had hoped, and finding myself utterly incapable of preparing my manuscripts for the press, I thought I would make a trip to Berlin, to pick up ideas to improve my Karen translation. I studied German in Burmah in order to be able to read De Wette's Version, and I was well repaid for the labor. I have had occasion to refer to many versions, but never to one that is so near a picture of the original as the one by "Dr. W. M. L. de Wette."

With most American students of the Bible, all my Biblical knowledge comes from Germany. Germans have been my teachers nearly as much as if I had never been out of Germany. The first Greek Testament I read at Newton was an edition prepared by a German, and three others that I have since purchased, Vater, Scholz, and Tischendorf, are all German. The first Hebrew Bible I owned was one with notes edited by Michaelis, and two others that I have since added, by Jahn and Thiele, are also German. The lexicons of both the Old and New Testament originals that I first used were from the German, and Jahn's Archaeology and Jahn's Introduction to the Old Testament, were among my earliest text-books. The teachings of Professor Chase and the Commentaries of Moses Stuart, contained mainly German ideas. When I came on the stage, no student's library was deemed complete without Rosenmüller's Commentary, and if that has been superseded by Hengstenberg, and Olshausen, and Meyer, and Tholuck, and Lange, they are all Germans.

It is a remarkable fact, that while American general literature is as British as the English itself, American exegesis is as intensely German as it is in Prussia.

Mrs. Mason and myself, therefore, took passage in a small steamer for Rotterdam, and to save money took a second-class passage. The cabin in which I was put was sufficiently comfortable, with berths ranged on three sides; and I soon discovered that all my fellow-passengers, ten or a dozen in number, were Jews. They carried cattle over from Holland in sailing vessels, and, having sold them, they returned by steamer to save time.

I had made a few remarks to them after tea, which was apparently taken by them in good part, but soon after I retired for the night, the Jews being all in their berths, one of their shoes came flying in upon me. I thought it best to let it pass unnoticed, but it was soon after followed by another. Then I remonstrated, and spoke kindly to them, and some appeared to take my part. So I threw out the shoes, and composed myself to sleep again; but it was not long before I was attacked in a similar manner, and the easier I took it, the more violent the onset. I then got out of my berth into the cabin, and preached them a lecture on better manners. One or two voices having given me assurance of better treatment, I went into my berth again; but so soon as I had fallen into a doze, the attack was renewed with more violence than ever.

Finding all my expostulations powerless, I went on deck, and told the officer of the watch the treatment I had received, and that it was impossible for me to sleep below. He replied, "Come down with me, and I will put a stop to this nonsense in short order." When we got into the cabin, he said: "If any of you disturb this gentleman again, I will come down and turn up every one of you on deck and on deck you shall remain all night."

This was enough. I was disturbed no more. Of all my experience among the heathen, I never met with such bitter hostility to Christianity as I met in that little company of Jews. When their shoes came battering in upon me, I thought of the stoning of Stephen, and, had they dared, I should have fared no better at their hands.

We found Rotterdam a quaint looking place, unlike any town we had ever seen in England or America; but it was characteristically Dutch. Everything the eye rested upon was unnatural, intensely artificial, and dating back before the birth of beauty or the origin of taste. The town seemed to be made up of three-fourths canals and one-fourth bridges. The canals are painfully straight to look upon, the streets painfully narrow, the houses painfully high, and the whole painfully regular. Were I a convict, I would prefer being sent to Australia or the Andamans, or any other place where the works of God can be seen, to a free residence in Rotterdam.

On one of the bridges is a bronze statue, said to represent Erasmus; and in one of the streets is shown the house where he was born, now turned into a gin-shop. Rotterdam is a gin city. At Schiedam, a village in the neighborhood, so much gin is made that 30,000 hogs are fed annually on the refuse of the distilleries. Would that they drank the gin also; but it goes abroad to make men something more brutal than hogs.

The fate of Erasmus is the fate of every man who makes the first translation of the Bible into a foreign tongue. Erasmus printed the Greek Testament for the first time from a collection of manuscripts; and Michaelis says, "Perhaps there never existed a more able editor of the New Testament." Still, owing to the onward progress of Biblical criticism, and better acquaintance with Greek manuscripts, his edition has been quite superseded; just as first translations are superseded by subsequent editions.

Erasmus has been superseded as the dawn is superseded by the full blaze of day. I can sympathize with him in his perplexing labors to get an accurate copy of the New Testament in the fog of manuscripts in which he had to feel his way, from the work in which I am engaged at present, having undertaken to print the text of Kachehayano's Pali grammar, a work which dates back to the days of Gaudama, as through the ignorance and carelessness of copyists no two manuscripts agree.

Whenever a Dutchman appears in a novel, he is the "honest Dutchman." After half a dozen derogatory epithets, his character closes with, "but he is honest." I regret to say that, on the ground, in real life, we did not come upon even that saving trait. When we landed at Rotterdam, we found half a dozen carriages, each ready to take us to the best hotel in town. Mrs. Mason selected the one whose owner offered to furnish us with supper, lodging, and breakfast next morning at the lowest rates. When we reached the hotel, we found the front a little wider than the carriage we rode in, but a century or two older in appearance. The accommodations were in proportion to the size of the house, and the age in which it was built; but they answered our purpose. After breakfast I walked up to the bar to pay the bill, where I found a Dutchman among the gin bottles, as polite as a Frenchman, and he presented a bill fifty per cent above what had been agreed for. When we attempted to refer him to the man we had dealt with the evening before, no such man was to be found, and he assured us he knew nothing of any such person. We paid the charges to his advantage, and record his conduct for the advantage of other travelers, that they may not be too confident in the "honest Dutchman."

From Rotterdam we passed up the Rhine to Dusseldorf, which is said to be "one of the nicest and most regular towns on the Rhine;" but it appeared to me a very common-place town, with about 30,000 inhabitants. It is famous for a gallery of paintings no longer in its possession; but there is a celebrated school of painting here, and a new but inferior gallery of paintings has been collected.

I observed here and at other places in Germany, a capital way of utilizing paintings, which might be advantageously introduced into England and America. At one hotel I looked from my seat at the table d'hote on a picturesque view of cliffs and castles, forests and mountains, as if on the Rhine, painted in part on the side of the room, and thence continued on the sides of the buildings in the yard, into which the window looked, so that dead walls, stables, and outhouses lost their unseemliness in the scenes of beauty depicted on their sides.

At Dusseldorf we left the Rhine, and proceeded to the north of Germany by rail. We made a brief stay at Hanover, which was famous for its little kingdom and large intolerance. The king had a dominion not larger than a good sized county, but bigotry enough for the whole universe. Some years after we were there, it was recorded in the periodicals: "In Hanover, br. Haupt, (of Bremen,) while attending the funeral of an aged member of the church at Fisherhude, has been arrested, and immediately sent over the borders, as the laws lately passed by the Hanoverian government, securing some measure of liberty to the Baptists, have reference only to natives, and it is still contrary to law for a Baptist from any of the neighboring States to enter Hanover."

The battle of Sadowa has, however, wiped this little obstruction to the progress of the gospel out of existence. We have reached a point in the world's history, where it is not safe for rulers to attempt to stop the car of progress. If they do, God switches them out of the way.

The town of Hanover is a dead level, with a level plain all around it as far as the eye can reach; and though it has some good buildings, and some immaculately straight rows of trees, and a fountain that throws up water 120 feet high, yet it is still a very uninteresting place to look upon.

There is a statue to Leibnitz, but none of Herschel that I could discover, though a Hanoverian, which Leibnitz was not. Perhaps because he was not one of the nobility, having been originally a musician in one of the regimental bands, and therefore his statue, like himself, would not be "in society."

The most notable thing in the town is the Markt-kirche, or "market church," which has a tower capped with what resembles in form an old-fashioned garret window. It has a triangular face, in which a circle is inscribed touching each side, and within the circle is a double triangle, Pythagoraischen Funfecks. Immediately below the triangular-shaped turret is a Roman cross in one corner, and a Templar cross, a three-legged figure, in the other, while in the triangular space above the circle and double triangle is a large Greek cross, which seems to mark it out for a Constantine church. A second similar but smaller turret rises above the first, and a spire above that. The windows of the church are rounded, like the Roman Gothic. It is said to have been built A. D. 1238.

We passed on through Potsdam, famous for its fortifications, and took up our temporary abode at the Prussian capital. We were disappointed in Berlin. It is not an attractive place. The river Spree that runs through it is a nastier stream than the Thames, which is saying a great deal. Its famous Unter den Linden, the walk under the linden trees, is certainly a fine promenade, but it is little more than the Boston "Elm Walk," without the Common, the pond, and the hill; and the bronze Minerva, driving four in hand, over the Brandenburg gate, is chiefly remarkable for Napoleon carrying her off to Paris, and the allied sovereigns bringing her back again.

There seemed to me very little liberty for the lower classes. My passport was carried off, and when I went to the police office to make inquiries, though I could talk sufficient German for my purpose, they would do no business till I called a "Commissionaire." These commissionaires are interpreters, messengers, and, in fact, upper servants. They are ready to do any business for you, but are, also the spies of the police.

I called on Professor Hengstenberg, with whose writings I had been familiar from a student. His commentary on the Psalms was of great use to me while translating that book into Karen. He seemed to be very much interested in the Karen mission, and was engaged, he said, just then in translating my memoir of Ko Thabyu into German. We took tea with him and a select company, and found Mrs. Hengstenberg quite at home in English, with uncommon conversational powers, and well posted in American and missionary affairs.

I attended a few of the professor's lectures in the University. He was then lecturing on Matthew, however, in which there is not much new to be learned. A lecture-room in the University of Berlin is a very different affair from a lecture-room in an American institution. The professor ascends a slightly raised rostrum and reads his lecture from a pulpit, like a clergyman. It would be as much out of the way for a student to ask a question of the lecturer as it would be for a member of a congregation to get up and interrogate the minister. The students sit around on benches, with desks before them, encircling the pulpit, and usually take notes. When the professor's paper is out, he descends from his eminence, walks through the room in dignified silence, without speaking to any one, and disappears in a private room.

The American method of teaching, where the professor questions and is questioned, is beyond all comparison more advantageous to the student than the German. The man who introduced it is deserving of a statue; for I believe that teaching in the English universities is conducted in the same humdrum way as in Germany. I learned far more of what I wanted to know by asking questions, while studying at Newton, than I learned from the didactic teachings of the professors.

My indifferent health prevented me from visiting, or I should have looked up Professor Weber, a distinguished Pali scholar. The Germans are certainly remarkable for their taste for philology. I do not know a single Englishman in Burmah who has made himself thoroughly acquainted with the Pali language, although there are multitudes who understand Burman, and who, when they read Burmese books, have to read Pali, or skip it, in almost every other line; while in Germany we find men, in no wise connected with the country or people, that have dug out the language from books, and have made themselves apparently good Pali scholars.

Dr. Hoffman called on us, then I believe a Court preacher, but formerly in charge of the Basle Institution for the education of missionaries. He appeared to be a very pious as well as able man, and more liberal towards dissenters than most church dignitaries. I learned from Mr. Lehmann that very many of the pious clergymen and professors were in deadly opposition to his and Oncken's labors for the lower classes. They hold precisely the position that was held by pious men of their class in and out of the Slave States who sympathized with slavery; and by their influence they perpetuate religious persecutions, and strengthen the hands of the oppressor tenfold more than irreligious men can do.

Although we were treated with great deference and kindness by leading churchmen, yet two months afterwards, when the Kirchentag, a sort of general association of the churches, met, our Baptist brethren were refused permission to speak, and that because the government did not recognize the Baptists as a Christian denomination! The government refused to recognize them not so much on account of their religious opinions as because nearly all belonged to the lower strata of society, whom it delighted to treat as if they had no civil rights.

I was too sick to go myself, but Mrs. Mason went and heard Lehmann preach, and she thought him a powerful preacher. He has certainly done a powerful work in Germany, second only to Oncken. We saw his son, who is coming forward to take his father's place, in the dress of a private soldier of the Prussian army, though a member of the University. Every citizen is compelled to take a turn in the army for three years. I suggested that he might perhaps obtain a commission. He shook his head, and said: "It is very difficult for any one to obtain a commission who is not noble-born." But this thing of being "noble-born" touches the burlesque in Germany.

We rented two small upper rooms in an obscure street for a very paltry sum, yet the previous occupant was a "countess!" Notwithstanding their aristocratic ideas, however, I found the Americans were decidedly more popular in Berlin than the English. When I went to the post-office with a letter addressed to the United States, and had to do a little matter of business about prepaying it, I was supposed to be an American, and every one else was pushed aside until I had been served; but when I presented a letter for England, and was taken for an Englishman, I was elbowed about in a free and easy style, and had to wait until my turn came.

My health grew worse in Berlin, so we concluded to return to England, and we went by the way of Hamburg. Hamburg is the most important seaport in Germany, and is second in size only to Berlin. It was founded by Charlemagne, at the angle of the Alster and the Elbe, seventy-five miles from the sea. It has now a territory connected with it of 150 square miles, surrounded by Denmark, and constitutes a semi-independent State. It has often been oppressed by stronger powers, which it has resented by oppressing in turn its own weaker citizens.

The streets are narrow and irregular, and many of the houses have bow windows or bay windows, with the upper rooms often protruding into the streets above the lower ones. The Danish and German peasant girls that come to market make a picturesque assemblage, for their costumes are most peculiar and very varied. We were in the place only one day, but found time to visit a pretty walk with a pretty name, overlooking a fine sheet of water, called Jungfernsteig, or "the maidens' footpath."

Oncken was absent in America when we reached Hamburg, but Mrs. Mason went to his house. We met some of his people, and saw his excellent daughter, who, although she does not figure in the papers, holds a noble figure in the movement for the upraising of the lower classes by means of the gospel, of which her father is the recognized head. She seemed to know everything about her father's plans and work, and to act as his agent during his absence. The people evidently loved and respected her. She did everything to make our visit pleasant, accompanied Mrs. Mason to the steamer, and was the last to bid us adieu.

No measures for the benefit of the neglected laboring poor have been inaugurated, during the present century, equal in success to those begun by Oncken and his co-laborers; and reformers are taught by them, that to ensure the greatest measure of success, they must exalt Christ. What Oncken and his associates have done, they have done "in the name of the Lord."

Oncken was baptized after I went to Burmah, and yet there were more than four hundred and fifty stations connected with the Hamburg church when we were there, scattered over Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland; to which numerous churches have since been added in Poland and Russia, and the stations in 1867 had increased to more than a thousand. The opposition which these laborers have met from intolerant governments, great and small, is no less remarkable than the success that has attended their efforts, because these governments call themselves Protestant; but it is not remarkable that success has brought with it toleration. "Scores of times" has Oncken been called up before the police court in Hamburg for preaching, and scores of times he has gone back from his imprisonment and preached again. Scores of his converts have imitated his example, till the governments have been morally compelled to acknowledge of each as they did of their Master–"I find no fault in this man." And they have had to succumb to the march of progress.

In a recent letter, Mr. Oncken says: "What calls for our loudest thanksgivings to our exalted Lord Christ is the fact, that He has given us rest from the hands of all our oppressors and persecutors. The change is overwhelming. For upwards of twenty years I made all my missionary tours under the cover of the night; and in our little republic at Hamburg I had to preach during this time behind locked doors, for fear, not of the Jews, but of Protestant Lutherans. Now we can move freely in every direction. The tables have been turned. Those who attempted to bind the Lord's people, as the king of Hanover, the prince of Hesse Cassel, etc., have been bound, as it is written: 'To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute upon them the judgment written. Praise ye the Lord!'"


SOON after my arrival in London, I took a run down to Leeds to see my mother and brothers and sister. When I met my mother and kissed her, she pushed me away to look at me, and said, very doubtfully: "Is this my Frank?" In the grave man of nearly sixty, she could see very little of her laughing boy of nineteen. And, in truth, there was very little to see. I was a different man in body, mind and spirit from what I was when I left her, nearly in the same spot, thirty-six years before. The body had the same old frame-work, but the filling up was new, and the soul had been "born again."

Up to that moment, I had lived in her memory a picture of youth, and to find the young stripling changed to a gray-headed man of fifty-five, was rather more than pleasant to one of seventy-six. We read in story-books of mothers losing their children in infancy and then recognizing them in adult age by an innate instinct; but there is no such instinct in real life, and nothing corresponding to it in nature. It would have taken my mother and myself a long time to recognize each other by mere natural or filial affection.

When I left her she was just forty years of age, and when we next met she was seventy-six, with nothing left of her former self to be recognized, but a few general lineaments. She died two years afterwards, and her daughter-in-law, with whom she resided, wrote concerning our dear mother: "If her life and death were not in accordance with our Saviour's example, I greatly fear we shall many of us be found wanting."

I left three brothers and one sister, all children younger than myself. The eldest one died, and the other three were so young that none of them remembered me. On the other hand, I did not find a single person in Leeds that I recognized, though I met a very few with whom, as a historical fact, I knew I had been acquainted.

While in Leeds, I wrote: "Great material changes have taken place. There are the same streets, and yet they are not the same. Many of them are wider, all in better condition, and their houses more elegant. I have grown old, but the town has grown young; I have lost the vigor of youth, but the town walks forth in its strength. The great material changes are all for the better. There have been great spiritual and moral changes, and they are all for the better too. If Leeds be a specimen of the world, and I think it is, the world is not growing worse, but is in every view growing better."

The population of Leeds, like London, had about doubled during my absence, and with the suburbs is now about two hundred thousand. The town is mainly located on a rising ground on the north bank of the river Aire. It is the centre of the clothing district, and the people are mostly employed in the manufacture of woolen cloth, to which the town owes its existence; it was originally an inconsiderable village, with one hundred and thirty-five householders in the days of William the Conqueror. The first brick house was built in the reign of Charles the First, and was long known as the "Red House."

Under Cromwell the town sent one member to Parliament, but at the Restoration, this privilege was taken from it. On the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832, for which my father labored so many years, it was authorized to send two members to Parliament, and by the Reform Bill of 1868, a third member was granted it.

Leeds is the antipodes of York, having no old buildings in it, no antiquities of any kind. Two or three miles up the river are the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, which I visited when a boy, and clambered up its rickety towers. This is the only pile of antiquity in the neighborhood. It was built, tradition says, in the eleventh century, through the piety of a shepherd called Seleth, who came from the south of England in obedience to a vision and command from the Virgin Mary. In those days, the Virgin Mary seemed to be the presiding deity, and visions and dreams the mode of communication as in the days of the patriarchs. The Bible as the Word of God appears to have been ignored altogether.

Leeds boasts a room in its great flax factory that is perhaps the largest in the world. It covers nearly two acres, and is four hundred feet long by two hundred broad. About a thousand persons are occupied in this room alone, principally females, but I regretted to see the degraded appearance the factory girls generally made in the streets when dismissed from their labors. In America they are neatly dressed, and cannot be distinguished from other girls, but I found them here walking the streets bare-footed and bare-legged, without head-dress, and with a gown coarse enough for sack-cloth, and dirty enough to have come from the ash-heap. This wretched appearance was owing quite as much to bad taste as to poverty. Factory girls in England are regarded as a degraded class, and they succumb to public opinion; but factory girls in America assert their equality with other girls, give proof of it by their literary productions, and roll back and reverse public opinion, which in the early days of factories was the same in America as in England.


THE working men and women in both England and America are a great power in society, but their acquaintance is more avoided than cultivated, and they are more feared than respected; while were they to pay more attention to self-culture and be more reasonable in their demands, their acquaintance would be more sought than avoided, and they would be morel respected than feared. The days when working men were regarded as serfs have passed away, and it will be their own fault if they do not take a position in the world second to none but their superiors in mental and moral worth.

There is nothing by which working men injure themselves, both pecuniarily and socially, so much as by their favorite institution the "strike," and their organization to enforce it, the "Trades-Union." Believing that workmen generally are insufficiently paid, particularly in England, I go heart and hand for any righteous and feasible means to raise their wages.

But I have taken part in these strikes in both England and America, and have read with much attention the history of more modern strikes and the proceedings of Trades-Unions; and I am of opinion that strikes as usually conducted are not righteous; and, as a matter of fact, they are usually unsuccessful.

It is wise to sit down and count the cost, and the workmen must then see, that if the employers, as a class, are aroused to contend with the men, they will certainly succeed; for money is power, and the money is all with the employers. It is the lack of money that keeps the men in their present subordinate position. The employers in England are the most powerful class in society. The hereditary nobility are nothing before them.

Hence we find, that no great strike, in which the employers have put forth their strength, has ever succeeded. The greatest strike on record occurred at Preston in 1854, the year I was in Leeds. The workmen made extraordinary efforts to obtain help at other places where there was no strike, and were thus enabled to spend on the fight about one hundred thousand pounds, or nearly five hundred thousand dollars; but when that was expended their resources were exhausted, and they had to succumb. Not so with the employers. They still had money, and would have had, had the workmen doubled their costs. The workmen were vanquished, with the additional loss in wages, while they were lying idle, of a quarter of a million of pounds, or more than a million of dollars.

The thing, then, should be written down as impracticable. Centuries ago, the English Government tried to regulate wages, and after the numerous attempts of successive generations, and exhausting all the wisdom of the upper classes, they confessed that they only made things worse–that wages could not be regulated by force.

Ever since I can remember, the lower classes have been trying to regulate wages by force in their way, and they have succeeded no better than the upper classes. This the workman had better confess, as the government has done, and cease to attempt what well-tried experiments have proven to be impracticable. Downward pressure from the powers above, and upward pressure from the powers below, have signally failed to regulate the wages of working men.

The Trades-Unions are taking formidable proportions in society, and, if persisted in, the employers will be compelled to combine in self-defence, and the result will be a fratricidal war, in which the employer must prevail, and the workmen will find themselves completely in their power. Money has a fearful power in society, and those who have none should be cautious how they provoke those who have, to develop that power against them.

Such are the consequences when the strikes are conducted in the most peaceable manner, but they are often accompanied with illegal and atrocious acts, with deeds of violence, bloodshed and homicide. Recently at a strike not fifty miles from Leeds, two parties of workmen with their families met in their walks, and to say nothing of the men, one woman was shot dead, and another awfully mangled. Nor is there anything to be hoped from the societies that organize these strikes. There is no selection in their formation. All the working men are members if they choose, and hence the immoral, the intemperate, the improvident, the thoughtless, the lazy, the inefficient and the lawless–every man who has nothing to lose, but every thing to gain, is there. And these classes often constitute the majorities of the societies. The men who counsel moderate measures, men of comparative education, morality or religion, are ever in the minority, and have to submit to a noisy majority led by the most violent of the number as president, secretary and committee.

These majorities, I know by experience, often act on very unjust principles. The question with them is not what in equity ought to be demanded, but what under the circumstances can be obtained. A man's character is not safe in their hands. If he give offence by being on the side of law and order and fair dealing with the employers, he is liable to be denounced, and all sorts of falsehoods and misrepresentations may be circulated to his disadvantage; and when the society to which a man belongs, brings the charges, lookers on do not stand to inquire into the right and wrong of the matter, but join with the multitude to condemn the individual.

Could the elements of these societies be improved there might be hope of them, but as they are now constituted they cannot be, because, as the materials improve, by a natural process the improved materials leave them. A large proportion of the people that have invented useful machinery have been working men, but just so soon as they distinguish themselves, they necessarily rise above their associates, and leave the societies. Again, a considerable number of the employers were originally working men, but by their thrift, business talents and good conduct they have risen above their fellow-workmen, and have left the ranks that constitute these societies.

Thus the best part of the people are constantly going up and leaving them by a law as certain as that the cream ascends from the milk, while the inferior part, the dregs, remain. There is no outlet for them, and hence, these lawless and atrocious acts committed are not accidental, but inherent in these societies; for they embrace within their pale nearly all the classes which commit such acts.

Again, societies have no souls, and they are worse than their individual members. If this be not a self-evident truth, it is a fact that looks every man in the face. Even in Christian societies unjustifiable measures are often resorted to, that individually the members would be ashamed to defend.

From the Examiner and Chronicle of May 27, 1869 I take the following:


"A meeting was held in Boston not long since, at which an important religious movement was 'unanimously' approved, with a recommendation to raise one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the same. The Congregationalist and Recorder tells its readers how this conclusion was reached:

"'It was an unfortunate circumstance that the meeting was assembled by a circular which studiously avoided all reference to its real object; and one still more unfortunate, that by obvious previous arrangement, the time was entirely occupied by speakers prepared beforehand to advocate the measures before determined upon, with no opportunity given for so much as a single word of that general discussion, in regard to the wisdom of the plan proposed, for which the meeting purported to be holden. To invite gentlemen to a discussion from which they were foreclosed by the impossibility of getting a word in edge-wise, and then to represent their enforced silence as an unanimous endorsement of the pre-determined plan, is not the wisest way of promoting a good work, and we regret that it was adopted on this occasion.'

"A Society whose Anniversary came off in this city last week, passed a vote expressing full confidence in its Board of Directors in respect to a matter on which they had been subjected to severe public animadversion. The same paper gives an interesting account of the modus operandi in that instance:

"'The meeting had now dwindled to about a dozen persons, of whom all but two were either members or employés of the Board of Directors. The mover of the resolution expressed his misgivings lest captious persons, knowing who were present, might say that the Directors had given themselves a vote of confidence, and he asked leave to withdraw it. But this was vehemently objected to by the rest of the Directors, on the ground that it was in their capacity as members of the Society, that they were expressing approval of their acts and character as members of the Board. The resolution passed by an overwhelming majority, there being only two negative votes; one of them by one of the two members of the Society outside of the Board. The member of the Society who had voted in favor of the resolution of confidence was then promptly elected into the Board, and the meeting adjourned.'"

Now if such unrighteous things are done by leading Christian educated men and ministers in societies, what are we to expect from societies with a large majority of professedly irreligious men?

From the New York Examiner and Chronicle of May 27, 1869, we have a specimen of their actual doings:

"Frederick Douglass, Jr., who served the country during the war under the colors of Massachusetts, his native State, is by trade a printer; but in consequence of some combinations entered into by the Printers' Unions throughout the country, is unable to obtain employment, and has been appointed a clerk in the office of the Register of Deeds."

Was there anything in Slavery, that the Union put down at such an immense cost, more iniquitous than this? Was there anything more arbitrary or unjust in the measures of Great Britain which provoked the war of Independence than this? It is a specimen of the evils of societies. There are multitudes of printers who would repudiate such acts individually, that accede to them as the doings of the societies; shifting the responsibility on to a name.

If Trades-Unions be necessary, let them reform themselves by repudiating strikes, and becoming select in their membership, that the turbulent and worthless shall not have place in their ranks. Working men are coming up to the surface, and are destined to constitute a new estate in society, but they must weed out the heterogeneous elements of evil before they reach their destiny. Till they do that, their power is only the power of a lawless, irrational mob.

To raise wages to the highest practicable point, my plan is to execute the law of mutual kindness. "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." Let workmen and employers cultivate the kindest possible relations with each other, and repudiate forcible measures altogether. This to begin with would give the workmen the sympathies of all classes, which would in itself be worth more than a rise in wages. It would raise the moral character of the class a high step in the estimation of the world.

I think highly of employers as a class. They are frequently men who have been journeymen themselves, and they sympathize with their workmen, desire to see them contented and happy, and endeavor to deal equitably with them. I have had many employers, both in England and America, but not one of them can I set down as a hard man. So far as I know, every one endeavored to deal justly with journeymen.

When I first commenced shoe-making, I made boys' shoes for the man in whose store I had been errand boy. For men's shoes there was a fixed price, but for boys' shoes, varying in size, no fixed price was given. Every Saturday night he paid off his workmen, each with the foreman's ticket of what he had done. I always left the price of every job to my employer without any suggestion from myself, and in no instance, did he ever pay me less than I thought my work worth, but often, very often, he paid me more than I thought the job deserved, as the rates of work stood. I made up my mind that the old man strove to deal equitably with me, and whenever he was in doubt, he gave me the benefit of the doubt against himself.

My employer was not singular. Among my correspondents a few years ago, was an employer in New York, who mentioned incidentally in one of his letters, that he had just been raising the wages of the men in his employ, although he was not certain that the profits of his business would warrant him in it; but added: "I would rather suffer myself than that they should suffer." If he is a fair specimen of the employers in New York, I do not think that the workmen will benefit their condition by "strikes."

There ought to be mutual explanations. The men are often in great error in regard to the amount of profit their employers are making. One year, when I was in America, a large wholesale establishment with which I was acquainted, did not make a single dollar over their expenses, but their men were paid the same. They saw no difference between that year and any other year, and thought, no doubt, that their employers were counting their annual profits by the thousands.

During the four years that I was in St. Louis, I was well acquainted with all the boot and shoe making establishments in town, and, apart from the interest of the capital employed, there was not an employer who made more money at the end of the year, clear of bad debts, than an industrious journeyman might have made. I knew one workman who was offered a share in a concern as a partner, but he refused, because he thought, considering the risk of bad debts, that he was doing better as a journeyman.

That my peace-plans are feasible is placed beyond all contradiction by the fact that they are already in partial operation in Cornwall, where the "tin and lead mines are worked; and strikes, trade combinations and disputes are there unknown. The employers and the employed are both benefited, where their interests are the same, and they are no longer natural enemies."

Working men suffer from ignorance of what pertains to their own business. They do not know accurately what departments of labor are overstocked, and what departments invite new laborers. They are not acquainted with the distribution of laborers–where they are numerous and where they are few. They do not know the rates of labor and the prices of provisions in different sections, so as to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different localities. Some of them know more of the statistics of Timbuctoo and Turkistan than they do of the statistics of their trades.

The working men should have a paper devoted to their own interests and conducted by themselves–not for poetry or stories, for politics or religion, but for facts, showing up by "figures that cannot lie," their actual condition. Such a paper they are well able to sustain themselves, and it would be welcome to many outside of themselves.

The population of England, when I was born, was only eight millions, but it is now more than sixteen millions, having doubled in seventy years. Since there are no waste lands to cultivate, nearly all the working men, of this one hundred per cent increase, have gone into trades, and hence they are overstocked. The English workmen seek to relieve themselves by sending a part of their number to the United States; but this is like Atlas shifting the world from one shoulder to the other. The burden remains undiminished. The trades in America are already overstocked by immigration, and the only way that America can afford relief is through her waste lands. Many of the workmen must turn farmers. They will then not only reduce the number of hands, but will also contribute to make provisions cheaper, and thus the working classes will be benefited in two ways.


ON my return from Germany we landed at Hull, but I was too sick while there to look around me, or even to make the circuit to Leeds by way of York; so I did not revisit my native place. My dear sister who had tenderly cared for our three children during our trip to the Continent, now set her heart on my recovery by Homoeopathy, in which she had great faith. Though I had no confidence in the system myself, yet I consented to her wishes, and she called her favorite Homoeopathic physician. After following his prescriptions for two weeks and growing worse and worse under his management, my brother, who had no more confidence in Homoeopathy than myself, insisted on a change of treatment, and sent me his Allopathic doctor. Under the changed course of medicine I was well enough to travel in a few weeks; but seeing no hope of recovering strength sufficient to return to London and carry my works through the press, we concluded to go to the United States before the winter set in.

Hearing that one of the missionaries had shortly before returned home by way of Glasgow considerably cheaper than by Liverpool, we concluded to go on to Glasgow and take passage thence to America.

On the way, we stopped to look at the "Brimham Rocks," some forty miles from Leeds, which are reputed "celebrated Druidical monuments." They are singularly weather-worn rocks, scattered over forty acres of moorland, near the banks of the river Nidd; and the books say: "The scenery which opens to the river on approaching these rocks, is so awfully magnificent and rudely picturesque, as to astonish every beholder."

There are rocking stones more than two hundred tons in weight, which can be moved by the hand, and there are "cannon rocks" with cylindrical perforations, through which the Druids are supposed to have uttered their oracles. The Druids may have worshipped here–it would be a very suitable locality for them; but there is no evidence that they ever did.

We stopped one day at Ripon, twenty-three miles from York, an old town which was incorporated A. D. 886, by Alfred. It has a famous cathedral, and what is more noteworthy, has a mound near the town resembling the Indian mounds in the valley of the Mississippi, which is nine hundred feet round at the base, with an ascent of two hundred and twenty feet, and which was found covered with trees.

History is silent concerning it, but excavations have shown that the mound is composed of alternate layers of earth and human bones; and it is supposed that a great battle was one day fought there and the dead were thus buried. After battles in modern times, they dig pits to bury the dead, but in all antiquity they raised mounds over the slain.

We turned aside three miles from Ripon, to see the ruins of Fountains Abbey, one of the most extensive and picturesque ruins in England. I cannot help thinking, however, when I look at the numerous ruins of abbeys in England, that it was a great piece of barbarism to allow them to go to ruin. If they were not required for churches, how much better it would have been to utilize them, and turn them into school-houses and dwelling-houses for the poor. Villages might have been gathered around them, and workers dwelt where drones formerly lived.

The interior of the church at Fountains Abbey had marble pillars all around it supporting clove-leaf arches, and the floor was of variegated marble. What a splendid "model lodging-house" it would have made! This abbey, with its numerous appendages, could have furnished rooms free for a considerable village. The buildings are said to have originally covered ten acres of ground. Besides the large abbey, there are still shown the remains of a chapter house, cloisters, dormitories, kitchen, and refectory, or eating-room. Not the least interesting is a flight of steps from the middle of the eating-room up to a gallery where, it is said, a monk read from the Scriptures while the others were eating. There is no Bible left in the ruins, but there is a stone cut in the form of a large expanded lily, on which the book or manuscript was laid while reading.

There are ruins also of a mill that belonged to the abbey, a porter's lodge, and an eleemosynary, where alms where distributed, and there were probably other buildings of which no remains are left. The ruins have been plundered to erect new buildings, not, however, for the poor, but for the rich. There is a gentleman's seat in the neighborhood called "Fountain Hall," which was built by "Sir Steven Proctor out of the ruins."

The location of the abbey is in a valley in the midst of springs of water, and hence some of the buildings have been erected on arches with running streams under them. The monks who founded the abbey were originally from St. Mary's Abbey in York, but came here A. D. 1132. They spent their first winter under a large elm tree, and then moved to the shade of seven yew trees, and the fame of their self-denial was so noised abroad that the abbey was built, and it ultimately became the richest and most powerful in England, all owing to what these monks suffered for the two or three first years under the trees.

There are ten thousand poor people in London and New York, who suffer more every winter than these monks did. And, after all, the feat was no great affair. I have learned to make myself pretty comfortable under a tree, in a forest where there is plenty of fire-wood.

After leaving Ripon, our next stopping place was Newcastle, of world-wide celebrity for its coals; but I found it more famous now for its manufactories of glass, locomotives, and steam engines. While looking on the business and bustle, for it is a wide-awake place, I remembered the world of men out of sight, at work in the bowels of the earth, excavating coal for us–a class of men that demand our sympathies and efforts to ameliorate their condition in both England and America.

Nothing can well be more cruel than the confinement of little boys in the dark dungeons of the coal-pits. One pit is 1,752 feet deep, or about a third of a mile. There ought to be a law prohibiting the employment of very young boys, and never till they have obtained the elements of an education. It is significant of the education the Newcastle colliers receive, that of the bonds which they all make with their employers it is said, "The coal owners affix their signatures, and the pitmen more usually their marks."

The religious advantages of these people are no better than their literary ones, and Christians should bear in mind that the coal-pits of Newcastle and Pennsylvania are as much mission ground as New Guinea and Japan; and that while the one should be cultivated, the other ought not to be neglected.


EDINBURGH has in and around it, the most picturesque views of any town I was ever in. There are seen wide waters coursing down to the boundless ocean, extensive plains dotted with populous villages, mountains beyond mountains in the far distance; while close to the spectator are precipices capped with castles as old as history, ruined abbeys, desolate palaces, and monuments that thrust themselves up to be seen in whatever direction the eye rests, built in every order of architecture–Grecian, Gothic, Roman and Norman, in glorious confusion, with a tall chimney here and there towering above them all, and pouring out to the skies volumes of smoke, like an active volcano.

The monuments do not differ more in style than do the characters of the persons to whose memory they were erected. Here is a statue to a prime minister, Pitt, and there one to the poet Burns; here one to a sailor, Nelson; and there one to philosopher, Dugald Stewart; here one to a mathematician, Playfair; and there one to a novelist, Scott.

The city and its suburbs is spread over five hills and as many valleys, and almost every street has a sensational story attached to it. In one we are shown the palace of a queen who labored for the establishment of the Roman Catholic religion, and in another we see an old fashioned laborer's dwelling, where John Knox lived and fought that queen with the Bible, and conquered. The legends of battles and sieges, murders and treasons, are about as numerous as Walter Scott's novels; and the inhabitants only paid him what they owed him, when they gave L15,000 for his monument. The place owes no little of its present fame to him. Not merely Edinburgh, but Scotland was comparatively unknown in England till he wrote it up by his poetical descriptions in prose and verse–mixtures of the true and beautiful with a large sprinkling of the poet's fancy. Had there been a little of the holy as well as the beautiful in his compositions, his writings might have drawn people to Christ as they now draw them to Scotland.

But there are other monuments in Edinburgh besides those that are figured in stone and depicted on canvas. I saw some of them in the cellars, and others in the closes and lanes of the dark valleys between the picturesque hills–the monuments of poverty. We cannot make a city where the inhabitants shall no more say they are sick; but we can make one where they shall no more say they are hungry. Why cannot a place with all the wealth, and science, and skill, and talent, and taste of Edinburgh, that boasts itself of being the modern Athens, be able to boast of not having a workingman in it that cannot support comfortably himself and family by the labor of his hands, without having to go to soup-kitchens or to the parish? This would be something worth boasting of; this would be ennobling the city, and making it not only "unequalled by any capital in Europe in panoramic splendor," but unequalled also in its self-reliant citizens, its least possible amount of pauperism, and its largest measure of practical religion.

We took the evening train to Glasgow, and lost the view of the country between that town and Edinburgh. There we found a small iron screw-steamer bound to New York, in which we took passage at rates twenty-five per cent less than the charge from Liverpool–the accommodations and table being inferior, of course, but both sufficiently good for people who are not over particular.

Glasgow is a fine foil to Edinburgh, for there is nothing picturesque about it. It looks like a town built for making money, and is true to its appearance. They claim an antiquity, in the cathedral, which is said to have been built near a Druid altar; and the bishop's palace was once taken by William Wallace when in possession of Earl Percy, who was killed in the battle. The most remarkable thing I saw in Glasgow, however, was a "Washington Street," the first I had seen in Europe. It is a very important street, too, for it contains the "Vulcan Foundry, one of the most extensive and important engineering establishments in the world."

The greatness of Glasgow dates from the introduction of steam. They claim to have had a steamer on the Clyde in 1812, and that this was "the first vessel propelled by steam power which ever plied on any European water." The first iron steamers were also built on the Clyde.

The steamer in which we had engaged passage delayed her appointed time for sailing, so we concluded to remove into the country, where board is much cheaper than in the hotels in Glasgow. We took up our temporary abode in the cottage of a Scotch peasant near the mouth of Loch Lomond, and had the opportunity of seeing phases of human life that can never be seen in cities. The cottage consisted of a single story, two rooms in front, with a kitchen behind. One of the front rooms was allotted us, and our board was charged at a very moderate rate. We were furnished with plates to eat on, but the family themselves eat from wooden platters, which shows how slow improvements are made in Scotland. During the last century wooden trenchers might have been seen in almost every poor farmer's family in England, but I think they have now universally given way to crockery. I never saw people eat from wooden plates in America. The Burmese usually eat from lacquered wooden dishes, that are as glossy and impervious to liquids as crockery.

There is a small steamer on Loch Lomond, for which we are indebted no doubt to Walter Scott's "Rob Roy," and as it runs up and down daily at a small fare, we made an excursion up the Loch during our stay. Loch Lomond is said to be the most picturesque, as well as the largest lake, in Britain, but is only thirty miles long by seven broad in its widest parts. The scenery is pretty, but wanting in grandeur. The water is remarkably deep, reaching, in some places, to six hundred feet, and is dotted with islets. The shores are sometimes precipitous hills, the largest of which, Ben Lomond, is called a "lofty mountain," but it is only a little more than two thousand feet high. We have mountains in Toungoo as high as three or four Ben Lomonds piled one on top of the other.

The place of Rob Roy's refuge, and the precipice from which he threw down his victims into the lake, were pointed out. He was goaded into being an outlaw by bad treatment. Some of the islands are full of deer, but they are kept there for the gentry to shoot at their leisure.

A poor man who shot one of them would be sent beyond the seas, to see more romantic scenery than Loch Lomond can furnish.

We left Glasgow in the new brig-built iron screw-steamer "Petrel," on the 5th of September. The space between decks was partitioned off at the head of the vessel for the forecastle, and again at the stern for the cabin passengers, while the large room between was the steerage, where there were a large number of passengers; but there were only one or two cabin passengers besides ourselves.

One day was spent in a small bay, where, under the directions of a man deputed for the purpose, the vessel was made to go through various evolutions, while bearings were taken of objects on shore to ascertain the effects of the iron vessel on the compass. The result to my mind was, that in a dark night near the shore, where everything depends on an accurate course by the compass, I should much prefer being in a wooden ship to being in an iron one. Several years afterwards, a report on the subject to the British Association said at the close: "Thus far their investigations had but shown them how little reliance could be placed on the compass at all. It required constant watching, and they might always suspect that it was affected by the magnetism of the iron of which the vessel was constructed. One result of the introduction of iron into shipbuilding operations, must be the employment of masters and mates of superior education."

But this result, so far as my experience goes, has not yet been reached. With many ship-owners the lives of passengers go for nothing, and the ship and cargo for very little, so long as they can get them well insured. If it be necessary to have more scientific officers to iron ships, it is a matter for the insurance companies to see that it is done. They have the power to enforce it by raising the insurance till they are furnished.

There is a great deal of iniquity practiced by insuring vessels up to their value. I knew a shipmaster in Burmah who had a small vessel built for him to trade to certain ports, but when the vessel was done, he found, as he said, that she would not carry cargo enough to make the trade profitable. He had her insured to her full value, and went down in charge of her himself to Singapore. It was not long before the report came that the vessel was a total wreck, but all hands saved. "His wife," remarked a friend to me, "can hardly speak of the wreck without laughing."

In going out of the Clyde we passed the Castle of Dumbarton, a most remarkable object. It stands in an alluvial plain upon a basaltic rock, which presents perpendicular sides to the spectator more than four hundred feet high, and accessible only from the side that is not seen from the river. The rock is divided into two conical summits, on the top of one of which are the remains of a Roman signal tower. What could a people, who eat on wooden trenchers in the nineteenth century, have had in the second or third, worth acquiring, by a nation so highly civilized as the Romans? They must have come out to these barbarous countries through a sheer love of conquest; but it still remains a marvel how they paid their armies.

So soon as we got out of the Firth of Clyde, had cleared the Scottish islands, and left Ireland out of sight, we were met by a strong breeze from the southwest, which ere long increased into a gale; and before we had been out a week our vessel was little better than a floating wreck. There was nothing left of the masts but the stumps. The wheel and companion-way were washed overboard, the bulwarks were carried away forward, and the vessel sprung a leak. One of the compartments, of which there are several in an iron ship, filled with water; and the steerage and cabins were nearly a foot deep in water that had washed in from the hatchways.

To add to our trouble the cholera broke out among the passengers. Five died in a very short time, and many more were taken dangerously sick. I was too sick myself to move from my berth, the ship's servants were all drunk, but Mrs. Mason, by making a bridge of boxes, succeeded in getting out on deck, and obtained for me a boiled egg. She also visited the sick in the steerage, and did what she could to aid and comfort them. The vessel was too much disabled to sail, and the captain said that with the contrary wind, his coals would run out before he could make any port. So under all the circumstances, he determined to return to Glasgow. No sooner had the vessel turned round, and the passengers knew they were going home, than all the cholera patients improved, and not one more death occurred. Every one was quite well, when we got back to Glasgow.

This shows what a powerful influence the mind exerts on the body, for there was not the slightest change in their physical circumstances. They were shut up in the same steerage, breathed the same air, and had the same food and medicine; but their fear of being drowned was changed to a confident hope of reaching land again. On shore, had a like company of people with cholera among them been removed to another locality, and such a favorable change occurred, the improvement would have been attributed to the air, water or food, while none of these had any influence in the present instance to produce the favorable result.

From what I have seen of cholera among the Karens, I think that fear has a great influence in many cases to produce a fatal result. When they scatter abroad, as they usually do, and the cholera stops, it is more owing to the belief that they have got away from it, than all other causes put together. When it prevails, the men and women who trust in God, do good, and work over the sick and dying constantly, are rarely taken; while the fearful are sure to be seized by the disease. There can be no doubt but it is a fearfully fatal malady in all circumstances, but the fatal effects are greatly augmented by the apprehensions of the people exposed to it.

The captain steamed back close in with the Giant's Causeway, "the greatest natural curiosity in Ireland, and one of the most remarkable of the kind in the world." It seems to be appropriately named, for it might have formed a highway for the Cyclops. Some of the basaltic columns rise more than three hundred feet–the highest columns of this singularly prismatic rock known; and each column is formed of separately jointed stones, fitted into each other as by art. In England I have seen joints of rocks brought from this locality, and they are as regular as if hewn by a mason. One end, however, is convex and the other concave, while a mason would make both ends straight. But if columns two or three hundred feet high, only a few feet in diameter, can be raised, as here, by stones alternately convex and concave, so as to resist the waves of the Atlantic forever dashing against their bases, and the fierce winds of winter howling around their summits, may not the architect learn a lesson from nature in building high pillars, that shall be permanent like the Giant's Causeway.

When we got back to Glasgow, the company that owned the "Petrel" were in expectation of the return of one of their vessels from New York, in which they promised us another passage. When the vessel came in, however, she also had met with disaster, she could not use her steam, and had returned under canvas.

The difficulty with those Glasgow steamers was, that they were built too slightly. Like Peter Pindar's razors, they were "made to sell." The "Petrel" was a vessel weak at every point. Had she been stronger, she would have walked laughingly through the winds that prostrated her.

The passage money was finally paid back to us, and there being no other vessel at Glasgow bound soon for the United States, we engaged our passage on the 26th of September for Liverpool, in a small steamer leaving the next day. That night I had an attack of cholera (it was then prevailing in Glasgow), and the physician who was called in the next morning, said I must not leave my couch. However, I took his medicine, but not his advice, and left at the hour appointed. I had no more cholera, and reached Liverpool just in time for the "Europa," that was to leave the following day for Boston, and in which we took passage.

I saw very little of Liverpool, but it is a place like Glasgow, that has been erected in modern times by trade. There seemed to be no cessation, while we were there, to the steamers coming and going, and nearly half the foreign trade is with the United States. When I first left England, it was a town less than the present size of New Orleans, but when I left it the second time, it was larger than the present size of Philadelphia.


WHEN I reached America, I found my children no longer children. They had grown out of the narrow realms of childhood into the wide domain of youth. And this seemed emblematical of the country. The changes that a quarter of a century had wrought in my absence, were much like the changes from childhood to youth. Every great and good thing was greater and better and more vigorous than when I left it. There was much to occupy the thoughts, and many things to arrest the eye. One of the first of the latter to take my attention, was the granite monument on Bunker Hill, looming up to the skies–an appropriate memento of the never-to-be-forgotten event.

When I first went to Boston in 1824, I heard Dr. Baldwin preach in the meeting-house of the First Baptist Church, a barn-like building in one of the most obscure corners in Boston; but when I preached one Sabbath to the First Baptist Church in 1856, I found myself in a fashionable building, in a fashionable neighborhood, with a spire overtopping every other spire in Boston and the dome of the State-House.

I was an invalid nearly all the time I was in America. I had lived so long in the tropics, that I could not endure the northern winters. So was able to go about the country very little. I attended, however, one meeting of the Oriental Society, and enjoyed the hospitalities of that distinguished Orientalist, Professor Salisbury, to whom the Society owes its existence. There I made the acquaintance of Dr. Robinson, the famous lexicographer and explorer of Palestine; of Professor Gibbs, who published the first Hebrew and English Lexicon in America; of Professor Whitney, the Sanskrit Professor in Yale College, who had just returned from Germany; of Dr. Pickering, of the American Exploring Expedition, and several other distinguished savans.

I preached one Sabbath evening in Hartford, and was engaged to deliver an address before the American and Foreign Bible Society, at the Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1855, but just as I was about to start for the place of meeting, the physician said I had scarlet fever, so I was confined to my room.

On the 2d of July, 1856, we turned our faces again towards Burmah, and took a last look of the Blue Hills, the Bunker Hill Monument, Dorchester Heights and Nahant; and I parted with my dear son and daughters in Boston Bay, never to meet again till "we meet to part no more."

There is a vast amount of learning in the treatises on navigation thrown away on sailors. The commanders of ordinary merchantmen with whom I have sailed, rarely took any observations beyond taking the sun at noon for the latitude. When I came round from New Orleans to Boston, the captain of the vessel I sailed in, followed up the Gulf Stream to a certain latitude, where he turned suddenly west, and kept dipping up water and putting a thermometer into it to ascertain the longitude. On getting out of the Gulf Stream there was a sudden and very marked fall in the temperature of the water, and as he knew his latitude, and had the Gulf Stream marked on his chart, he got his longitude at once quite accurate enough for all practical purposes.

Our voyage was a protracted one. We had exceeded the usual average, seeing nothing but sea and water for four months, and were sounding constantly for the "Sand-heads;" for the captain said he depended on making the mouth of the Hoogly by his soundings more than anything else. We rejoiced not a little when we got a strip of lowland in sight, and came within speaking distance of the pilot vessel; but our hopes were cruelly crushed when we received a peremptory order to proceed to sea again, for there were indications of a cyclone approaching. There are certain peculiar oscillations of the mercury on the approach of a cyclone, which enable experienced eyes to predict one, when in the vicinity, with considerable accuracy. To remain at the mouth of the river when one comes up, endangers a vessel, not only from the fierce winds that may blow her on shore, but also from the storm-wave, a wall of water that accompanies the moving centre of the cyclone, when the waters it drives before it are hemmed in by the shore. Very near the spot where we turned back, the Rangoon mail steamer, eight years afterwards, was overtaken by one of these storm-waves, thirty or forty feet high. It came down on the deck like an avalanche, and sank the vessel at a single plunge. Every European on board was lost, and only one or two natives were saved on floating spars to tell the tale.

Our captain knew the nature of cyclones very well, and the theory of keeping out of them by sailing to the right; but when he got out to sea he was between the land and the cyclone, and to avoid the land, which was certain destruction, he had to take his chance with the cyclone.

The wind soon blew so furiously that he could not carry sail, but had to lay to and drift before the wind. The consequence was, that we were soon brought up in the very centre of the cyclone. It was a glorious sight. The tearing winds all at once ceased to blow and the rains to fall, as if at the bidding of a magician's wand, and we found ourselves in the centre of a magnificent dome, based on the sea around us. The sea on which we rode was a seething caldron, while the waves were not extraordinarily high. My eyes were fascinated by the indescribably grand appearance of the clouds, which completely encircled us at no great distance down to the water's edge, but there was light let in from an aperture above, which was reflected from side to side in all the varied colors of the rainbow, and it seemed to be a suitable temple built by nature in which to worship the God of nature. All the cathedrals and churches that I had seen of man's work, sank into the veriest insignificance in comparison with this.

The pageant did not last long. To some remark about the calm, the captain, who knew very well where he was, replied, with a sigh: "It will blow hard enough again before long." And so it did; but a kind Providence carried us out of the cyclone in safety, though we had a hard shaking. All honor to Boston builders! The vessel was new and strong, and not like the miserable, fragile iron-vessel in which we left Glasgow, or the cyclone would assuredly have been our shroud.

On the morning of the third day, the weather was pleasant, and the captain remarked to me without inquiry, that we were about sixty miles east of the mouth of the Hoogly. In about half an hour afterwards we came in sight of land, and found ourselves at the mouth of the Hoogly, just where we left before the storm. "Well," said the captain, "I know where we are, but I am sure I cannot tell how we got here." It was the bodily progression of the cyclone that got us there.

It had carried us quite round a circle. We went off south, and described a circle in the Bay of Bengal round to the east, north, and back west again, contrary to the hands of a watch, which is the course all the cyclones in the bay run. I have full confidence in the practicability of keeping out of them where there is plenty of sea room, but in the Bay of Bengal the land often interferes, as it did with us, and renders it impossible to do so. No skill or science can avail anything when once fairly within the whirl of a cyclone. It becomes then a fight for a bare existence, and the marvel is that a captain, when he gets out of one of them, has any idea approaching accuracy of his whereabouts, and not that he is sixty miles out of his reckoning. There is not only the being tossed about one knows not how within the cyclone, but the cyclone itself is moving bodily in a certain but unknown direction, just as we are moving in space with the earth. Without observations, which cannot be taken in such weather, the captain can form no more idea of the direction or rate of its traveling, than we can form an idea of the motion of the earth without astronomical observations.

While I am writing, the mail steamer from Calcutta to Rangoon has been lost in a cyclone that occurred on May 16, 1869, in exactly the same part of the bay that we met ours. No one appears to have survived to tell the story of their disaster. Dead bodies, however, have been washed ashore, which is a sad evidence of their fate. Very likely the vessel was lost through mismanagement.

It is of far more importance that the commander of a ship should be a very careful, sober man, than that he should be a very scientific man. It is safe to set down half the shipwrecks to sheer carelessness. When I first came down from Calcutta to Maulmain, as we were nearing Sunken Island, one dark night, the captain went on deck in the first-officer's watch, and found the vessel heading for that dangerous rock. This was owing to the carelessness of the mate, and his carelessness arose from his "temperate drinking." He was never drunk, neither was he ever sober. Thousands and thousands of sailors and passengers lose their lives through the influence of this "moderate drinking."

The captain and mate who carried us through the cyclone were sober men, and it was due to their skill and seamanship that we escaped without damage to person or property. The mate was hard-hearted to his men, but he was a fine sailor. I should not fear to trust any ship of mine in his hands. On the last night we were out, the storm had abated, but the wind was still strong and the sea high. I was on deck with both captain and mate, when a ship was seen through the darkness coming tearing down upon us. Our captain did all he could with our vessel to avoid a collision, but it seemed inevitable. The mate leaning over the bulwarks, saw that were the other ship to change the position of her helm, the collision might be avoided; and he called out to her commander with a stentorian voice, as calmly and as deliberately as if he were speaking to his own men on a fine day: "Put your helm down." The order was obeyed as instantly as it was given, and the ship shot by us without a graze, and was soon lost in the darkness.


THE return of Mrs. Mason and myself from the United States to Toungoo, was noted in my journal as follows:–

"I entered Toungoo with the new year, January 2d, 1857, and truly it has been a happy new year to me. The contrast between last winter and the present could hardly, in the whole class of possibilities, be made more striking. Then I was shut up in a snow-bank, doing nothing but watching over a little cylinder stove, to see that the fire did not go out, on the one hand, and that it did not burn too much coal, on the other. Whichever way I looked from my little room–not larger than a criminal's cell–and my whole library piled up on the floor around it, nothing was to be seen but snow, snow, snow, from December to April, excepting here and there a few frozen branches peeping from the snow-drifts, barren as the fig-tree that Christ cursed. Now I gaze on eternal verdure. Trees budding, trees blossoming, trees fruiting, meet the eye in every direction; and my habitation is the wide, wide forest, and the cloud-capped mountain's summit. Mountains are piled on mountains, like masses of gigantic crystals. On the very edges of these crystals, turned up to the horizon, are situated most of our Christian villages, with an even descent often on each side, at an angle of forty-five degrees, smooth as the side of a piece of spar when seen in the distance; and on these crests, or across them, the paths are trodden, up and down, every hundred yards. You who saw me last winter in my den, should see me this, on the back of an elephant, seven cubits high, ascending or descending these perpendicular mountain sides, with the Karens around me, by twenties and thirties and fifties, cutting a path for my elephants through the bamboo-thickets, or digging a footing for them in the steep descent.

"But the Karens soon growing weary of seeing me move so slowly, made a kind of bamboo palankeen, in which they placed me, on the top of my bedding, bearing me on their shoulders from village to village, through the Mauniepgha hamlets, to the Paku settlements, and now from the Paku to the Bghai country.

"My course has been like a triumphal procession. 'Thou blessed of the Lord,' as one of the Bghais addressed me, explains all. It has been an expression of gratitude to God, exhibited to his servant, for sending them the Gospel. When I noticed that they built better houses for the teachers than for themselves, some of which are as good as I should desire for myself, a chief replied: 'If you will come to live here, we will give you a better house than this.' At more than one village they brought me money; but I told them I should not retain any money they brought me for my own use, but pay it into their own society, to aid in the support of their teachers and schools. 'How blessed on the mountains,' as Quala wrote me, 'are the feet of those who go preaching glad tidings.'

"Among the leading men of the churches, several have come forward to tell of the days they spent in the mission-house in the city, when they first heard the Gospel; but nothing interested me more than to see perched on the deacon's seat at Kauthe, the Karen who of all gave me most trouble by his endless interruptions and contradictions. It is the Lord's work, and is wonderful in our eyes.

"When I stand on these mountain tops in Christian villages, and see now two, anon three, and then five other clusters of Christian habitations, I feel like the Queen of Sheba, 'the half was not told.' I could not convey to a congregation in America an adequate conception of the magnitude of the work effected. Were the Union to become bankrupt, and all the missionaries to return home, it would go on without our aid, as certainly as the dawn increases to the perfect day."

The mission to Toungoo made us acquainted with an entirely new class of Karen tribes. The northern boundary of the Pwo is a little above the town of Sittang, and the Sgau tribes, including the Paku and Maunepgha, do not extend farther north on the east side of the Sittang than the Thoukyakhat Creek, which falls into the Sittang from the east half a dozen miles south of Toungoo City.

The first and most important tribe north of this line is the Bghai, with the sub-tribe the Shokho, or Saukho, or Tsaukoo, on the west side of the watershed, and the Prai, or Bree, on the east side. They extend east and west from the Burmese villages on the plains of the Sittang to the boundary of the Red Karen country. These people are much more lawless than the Sgaus or Pwos, and before we came were ever in a chronic state of warfare.

The Bghais and Pakus have maintained, from time immemorial, a relation to each other, much like that of the French and English of past centuries; regarding each other as natural enemies. The Bghais being the most addicted to war, were usually the attacking party; while the Red Karens in the distance, more powerful than either, looked impartially on both contending parties, and plundered each as convenient opportunities offered. While these wars were going on in the east, the Bghais had another enemy to contend with in the Gaikho, on the north, with whom a petty warfare has ever been maintained. Besides the wars of nations and tribes, each village being an independent community, had always an old feud to settle with nearly every other village among their own people. But the common danger from more powerful enemies, or having common injuries to requite, often led to several villages uniting together for defence or attack.

The Bghai dialect is allied to the Sgau in all its words ending in vowels. After I had made myself acquainted with the language, I prepared, with the help of the natives, several books in it, and translated and printed Matthew, Genesis, the Psalms, and a few of the small Epistles.

In the Missionary Magazine Mr. Cross makes the following remarks on the Bghai language:

"Dr. Mason speaks the Bghai, for aught I see, as well as he does the Sgau, which he has been in the habit of speaking for thirty years. As a written language, the Bghai seems the most unlikely, chopped up, unlawful attempt at language which ever came to my notice; but when spoken with earnestness, it has much of the flow and consistency of sound and cadence which the other Karen dialects have, and is by no means an unpleasant language or unsuited to eloquence itself. The native preachers seem quite as earnest, and speak with quite as much effect as any other Karens.

"Sabbath.–Dr. Mason preached in the morning in the Bghai language. I think he speaks all the varieties of the Karen, unless it may be the Red Karen or Eastern Bghai, which, however, he has already begun to print in. This shows his marvellous facility in acquiring language."


THE Red Karens are the largest tribe of Karens known, the most independent, and the farthest advanced in the arts of civilized life. I visited them in 1859, the first missionary that was ever in their country, and was favorably received; we had assistants and schools among them for several years. I translated and printed the catechism in their language, which is allied to the Bghai. They are called "Eastern Bghai" by the Toungoo tribes, which indicates their original affinities.

The universal prevalence of slavery and the slave-trade in the nation is a serious difficulty in the reception of a religion that forbids such iniquities. The Red Karens do a large business in plundering the weaker tribes in their vicinity, and carrying off their women and children to sell them into captivity. They have no regard for nation. Any town or village too weak to protect themselves is considered lawful prey. Sgaus, Bghais, Toungthus, and Shans, are from time to time among their captives. Perhaps a third of the inhabitants are slaves.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. O'Riley, who was in the Red Karen country in 1864, says: "About 1,200 souls are annually captured by the Karennees," and gives the following illustration of the kind of slave-trade that is practiced almost at our doors, as represented, not by a missionary, but by an officer of government: "To the more depraved of the Shans and Toungthus of the neighboring States, their country affords a means of selling into slavery any member of their own community who may have incurred their enmity, and acts of the most inhuman kind are constantly enacted. While at Nyoung Belai a poor woman with two children, came to me with a very pitiful story. She said her husband, a Toungthu, residing at Nyoung Ywai had fallen into difficulties and had induced her to accompany him to Karennee, where he had sold her and their children to one of the chiefs then present for the sum of sixty rupees. She appealed to me to liberate her, which I endeavored to effect by the offer of Rs. 100 to the man, but he declined the offer, and in reply to my remonstrance on the heartless cruelty of the transaction on the part of both the husband and himself, he remarked that these were considerations he had nothing to do with; that he had purchased the family on a speculation, and unless he got Rs. 250 for the woman, and separate prices for the children, he would not part with them."

The English government ought to put a stop to this trade. They did not hesitate to send their ships to the coast of Africa to stop the slave-trade, and here it is carried on with no less atrocity under the very eyes of their own officers, and in a State under their protection.

Dr. Dean of the Chinese Mission, considers the Red Karens as a branch of the Chinese family. I cut the following from the "Macedonian" of Jan. 1860:

"Dr. Mason's Red Karens appear to be a fragment of the Chinese family, by their name, yen liang, yen being the Chinese for men. The poetry, in the measure, thought and entire mold, is Chinese. The advanced state of the arts among them, the dress, the whole picture shows that they may belong to that great brotherhood, and furnishes interesting matter for our encouragement to prosecute the work till the laborers from the western frontiers of China shall meet those who entered by the south and east, to shake hands on the interior plains or western mountains of the empire, and mingle their song of triumph to our Emanuel. The great lump of humanity in China has been leavened, and ere long we shall see the rising–sure as the pledge is divine and the power is almighty. If my youth were renewed, I would like again to gird on the harness twenty years more, or till the judgment day."


THE Bghais and Red Karens, originally one tribe, are by far the most populous tribes in Toungoo and the neighborhood, but there are numerous small tribes that have, all in common, final consonants in their dialects, which the Bghais and Red Karens have not, and which I therefore class together as the Toungoo Pwo tribes. Among them are the Mopgha, Shoung or Saunkie, Teedee, Paupelong, Banpa, Kaiden, Gaikho or Gayho or Geckho or Gekkhoo, Padoung or Hashwie, and Turu or Lahta.

Some years ago, a government officer had occasion to report on a route between two towns, and he laid down a plan with some eight or ten villages on one curved line, and then eight or ten other villages on another line, both ending at the same place; reporting that there were two roads and two sets of villages as marked on his map. In the end it appeared that he had never traveled road himself, and that there was only one road and one set of villages. He had been deceived by the different pronunciation of his informants, and, what he supposed to be two places, was one and the same, its name pronounced in two different ways.

Similar mistakes have been made in relation to the tribes northeast of Toungoo. When I was Karennee in 1859, I met with a party of a new tribe of Karens that I described under the name of Taru. I added, however: "They call themselves Kha-hta, but the Gayhos call them La-hta, and Taru is the name by which they are known to the Red Karens."

Five years afterwards, Mr. O'Riley, then Deputy Commissioner of Shwaygyeen, was in Karennee, and he described them under another name, as "an interesting ethnological discovery." He called them Le-thta, which is a variation of La-hta, one of the names I gave them.

He wrote: "Their language in sound is more guttural than either Shan or Toungthu or Karennee, and quite distinct from either." I spent the greater part of two days with them, working over their language, and found it remarkably near the Pwo Karen, some of their words almost identical.

While the Khyens have the oddest looking women, the Tarus have the oddest looking men, for the men shave the whole of the head, except two long locks, one over each temple, in the place of horns, which give them a very hideous appearance. The Chinese have a single lock, and that on the top of the head, which does not look so unnatural, but how the idea of leaving two could have originated, I cannot fancy, unless it was to make themselves look like horned cattle. They could give no account of the origin of the custom themselves.

Both the Saubwa and his sons gave the people an excellent moral character. This was confirmed by Mr. O'Riley. He wrote: "In talking with the Karen chief, Koon Tee, about the people, he said that they were the most inoffensive of all Karens; they had no rulers or laws by which they were guided, nor did they require any, as they never committed evil among themselves, or against other people. They do not permit an indiscriminate mixture of the sexes; the youth of both being domiciled separately; and they said that the unmarried youth of both sexes, when passing each other, averted their gaze so that they might not see each other's faces."

One thing Mr. O'Riley mentions which I did not hear. He continues: "One of the oldest of the party told me, that their sense of shame was so acute, that on being accused of any evil act by several of the community, the person so accused retired to some desolate spot, there dug his grave, and strangled himself."

If this be correct, the custom indicates a connection with China, where officials charged with crime are sometimes allowed to be their own executioners; and it is the only country so far as I know, where such a custom exists.

"I asked," continues Mr. O'Riley, "Whether this was of frequent occurrence. He said 'No;' and that to avoid all cause for the commission of evil, they abstained from indulging in 'Koung-yai' [intoxicating drink] to excess, under the influence of which bad acts were perpetrated."

Thus it appears that these "savages" as we call them, shut out from the world in their mountain fastnesses, know that drinking alcohol causes bad acts, and that is as much as civilized people know; but knowing this they abstain from it, which is more than civilized people do.


MAN is rich or poor, according as his wants are or are not supplied; and since the wants of people vary, no fixed line can be drawn between the rich and the poor. "Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content," says the apostle, and the man who has food and raiment and contentment is a rich man.

All these I have, and I consider myself rich, but some of my neighbors get these for less than half the money it costs me, and others expend for them ten times my expenditure; and that because food and raiment is not a fixed quantity. I want shoes, and am poor without them; but a Karen feels no need for shoes, and is contented with bare feet. On the other hand, another cannot be comfortable without a pony or carriage, but I want neither pony nor carriage, as I prefer to walk.

Keeping, then, in view the few wants of the people, the lower classes in Burmah are in much more comfortable circumstances than the lower classes in Great Britain, or in any other part of Europe that I have seen. Their wants are better supplied, and there is much less of that suffering for the necessaries of life which is so often witnessed in civilized lands.

The regular daily wages of a Burman laborer in Toungoo is eight annas, equal to a shilling, or twenty-five cents; and with less than two days' labor, he can board himself for a week comfortably. A laborer cannot do better than that in the United States. Work, too, is more abundant than laborers, in every town and village in the country. But skilled mechanics are in still better circumstances. The regular wages of a Burman carpenter are fifty per cent more than the wages of a laborer, and a Chinese carpenter one hundred per cent more; and all skilled labor is paid at the same rate. In Rangoon wages are still higher. There a Burman carpenter earns from one to one rupee and a half per day; a Chinese carpenter, one and a half to two rupees a day; blacksmiths, sawyers, bricklayers, from one to two rupees a day; compositors, from one to three rupees a day; pressmen, one rupee a day; inkmen, half a rupee a day, or twelve to fifteen rupees a month.

The local papers often cry out against the high taxation in Burmah. No doubt the taxes are high, but I see no evidence that they are so high that the poor people suffer from them, or even pay a tithe of what the good government and equal laws are worth to them, in comparison with the tyranny and injustice they had to suffer under their own rulers.

I think the taxes press heaviest on the moneyed men–the merchants and traders at the seaports, the people best able to pay them, and best able to make themselves heard when they are hurt; for they usually have a newspaper in their interests to speak to the public, and a "Chamber of Commerce" to speak to the government.

The scale of taxation was laid down by Sir A. P. Phayre, who was laudably anxious to make the country independent, by making it at once pay its own expenses, and then to get a little surplus, that the government might be induced to do something to develop its resources; but at the same time he was emphatically the friend of the natives, and was scrupulously cautious that the poor should never suffer from either taxation or injustice where his long arm could reach them. I have stood with him in the villages when, looking around, he asked: "Now do you think that these people are too highly taxed?" And I replied, "No."

The most unsatisfactory part of the government is the administration of justice, but that is in no wise peculiar to Burmah. If a man does not wish to take the chances of the mal-administration of justice, however righteous his cause may be, let him, "if it be possible," keep out of the courts in India. The editor of the "Friend of India," who is a government man, gives, in the last number of his paper, the history of an Indian lawsuit, where the plaintiff had undoubtedly the right on his side; and it is well worth being reproduced:

"Hurrochunder Mookerjee sued in 1864 for possession of a permanently settled zemindary, paying a Government revenue of Rs. 500; this being valued at Rs. 1,500, the stamp upon the plaint was Rs. 50. The suit was dismissed on a preliminary objection, whereupon he appealed to the Zillah Judge, upon a stamp of Rs. 50, and the decision of the principal Sudder Ameen was confirmed. On this the plaintiff, again paying Rs. 50 of stamp duty, appealed specially to the High Court, where the suit was dismissed, as, in the opinion of the Divisional Bench that heard the appeal, Hurrochunder's right to the zemindary would not accrue till the death of Mattungunny Dabea. Rs. 150 was the amount of stamp duty then payable through all the stages of such a suit. Shortly after the decision of the High Court, Mattungunny Dabea died, and Hurrochunder had to commence again, but now under very different circumstances. Act XXVI. of 1867 had passed. The valuation of the second suit was now ten times the Government revenue, or Rs. 5,000, and on the plaint the new rate of duty, namely, Rs. 300, was paid. There at the outset was six times the former stamp duty for permission to claim in a civil court, as alone it was possible to claim it, the right to the same land which was precisely of the same value as on the former occasion. Again were technical difficulties raised, and owing to the blundering of those who conducted the suit, it was dismissed by the subordinate judge; but not upon the merits, for these, though not entered upon, were unquestionably with the plaintiff. An appeal to the judge was the only resource, and it was resorted to on a stamp of Rs. 300, for the dose must be repeated each time a suit is brought, or a new court entered, at a further stage of its progress. Again the judge upheld the principal Sudder Ameen's decision, and again was the duty of Rs. 300 paid on a special appeal to the High Court. So the High Court was reached only on payment of Rs. 900 stamp duty as against Rs. 150 under the old law.

"That the new law is prohibitive is now a universal complaint. In small matters, perhaps, it will not work more evil than leaving poor people at the mercy of oppressors with long purses and of litigious pursuits. But where the amounts above given are multiplied five or ten or twenty fold, it will be found cheaper to revert to club retainers than to enter the civil courts. Even already have representations to this effect been made to Government by district officials. But to return to Hurrochunder's case. The High Court remanded it to be tried on the merits, the preliminary objection on which it had come up having been overruled. In this new trial in the court of the subordinate judge the decree was for the plaintiff, but this was reversed by the judge, and a third time Hurrochunder appealed to the High Court, where he got a decision in his favor. That decision included the land, mesne profits, and costs of suit with interest upon them. But after all this time, anxiety and expense, the matter is not at rest; for to the valuation of the suit may be added the amount of mesne profits and of costs and interest, which swell the sum now at stake to more than Rs. 10,000, and there is an appeal, of right, to the Privy Council. Of this right the wealthy defendant will avail himself. Now mark the contrast. On this appeal there is no stamp. After some years the appeal will come on in its turn when, in all probability, the judgment of the High Court will be reversed and Hurrochunder's suit will be dismissed, this time finally, because he was barred by limitation at the time when he filed his plaint in the second suit, inasmuch as his cause of action having been of long standing when he first sued, he should in that suit have succeeded on the merits, but the prescribed period of limitation had elapsed when his second plaint was filed. And so the wretched suitor is relegated to utter ruin, the High Court notwithstanding. He must pay all his own and all his adversary's costs, and relinquish all hope of recovering the land which was his ancestral estate, and of which he was beyond question the rightful owner."

That all the European government officers intend to do justice, does not admit of a doubt, but they have in practice a very difficult task to discover what justice is, between the parties that often come before them, because the people are utterly regardless of truth. They will say anything and swear to anything, which brings before the judge the most conflicting evidence; and it often requires a Solomon to discover where the truth lies. The amount of perjury in the courts is something frightful. Whenever a native gets into a quarrel or a lawsuit, or has a point to gain, I never believe a word he says on the matter.

Conversing with an officer on this subject, he referred to one of his associates, who said he had as much confidence in throwing up a penny and deciding by "heads or tails," as he had on any decision he could reach from native evidence.

An officer who had held the post of magistrate in one of the seaports, and who had a first-rate reputation, said: "My rule was to fine the first party that appeared before me, because I found that the guilty party was always the first to complain." "But," observed one of his hearers, "sometimes both parties would come together; how did you do then?" "Ah," he replied, "then I fined both!"

In such a state of society the weak and the artless must necessarily suffer. Now the Burmese are vastly the superiors of the Karens in skill and cunning, and while nearly every government officer understands Burmese, probably not a single one understands Karen thoroughly, and the Karens do not understand Burmese at all, or understand it imperfectly. A Karen, then, has no chance whatever against a Burman in the courts. A common Burman coolie can be as eloquent as a lawyer on nothing, while a Karen with the best of causes has nothing to say, because he does not know how to say it, or is afraid to speak in a Burmese court.

A Burman appears in a clean white jacket with a clean white turban, has the manners of a gentleman, and is as plausible as the old serpent; but a Karen is proverbially dirty, looks like the prodigal son fresh from tending pigs and eating acorns, is a boor in all his movements, and anything he says is better adapted to injure than advance his cause. If asked three questions he will probably contradict himself twice through sheer fright or misunderstanding, and his case is half lost before it is begun.

When Burmese officials are placed over Karens, they habitually wrong them, and missionaries who would willingly be silent, and let the machinery of Government go on without their interference, are, sometimes, when the injustice is intolerable, compelled to interfere.

On one occasion, a large Karen village had been charged by the Burmese revenue officer with dues for taxes that had been paid. The villagers tried themselves to have the account corrected, but in vain. I then addressed the European officer in charge of the district on the subject, and the result of the investigation he made was, as he wrote me, he took off two years taxes that they had been falsely charged with; but he added: "I fear that I have done so at the expense of others who have not a white man to defend them."

This seemed to me to reveal a very bad state in his government. He acknowledged by his decision that his subordinate had charged those Karens for two years that they had paid; but while relieving them of the overcharge, he expresses a fear that the charge will be put on some other innocent parties, who have no white man to help them to expose the fraud. Surely it was his duty to see that such dishonest proceedings were stopped in his office.

The fault is that the European officers place too much confidence in their Burmese underlings, who form a wall of brass around the bench of justice, which a poor ignorant Karen cannot get through without the help of a white man; and what white man is there, to help a dirty, artless Karen, except a missionary?

The Karens have often suffered by having their fields measured by Burmese surveyors, and being taxed for more land than they had. Having borne this injustice in one district till it became unendurable, they got one of the Rangoon missionaries to interfere for their help; and the result was printed in the following form; "In the Enzayah district near Yangdong, one hundred and thirty-five cultivators, mostly Karens, demanded a re-survey of their paddy lands, which was done, and over two thousand and three hundred rupees (2,300) was returned by government for the year 1862-63."

Another and a similar case of oppression is recorded in the "Missionary Magazine" for October, 1859, by Mr. Watrous. He says:

"The present village Paupeder is very difficult of access. On our way we passed by the old village, built in a kind of circle, with the chapel standing in the centre. The people abandoned this village on account of excessive taxation, and went over to the Toungoo side, where they might be free from oppression.

"The troubles of the Karens on account of oppression from officials, have caused us much anxiety. We hoped when these villages were taken out of the hands of the former Burman oppressors and put under the charge of a Karen, that justice would be done them. But we have been sadly disappointed. This man, who had been long with the teachers at Maulmain, and knew well the better way, soon became a Burman in his habits. He abandoned his Karen wife and children, and took a Burman woman. He lived with the Burmans, and seldom visited the Karens. A Burman was appointed over each village to measure their cultivated land, collect their taxes, and, of course, to oppress them. These subordinate Burmans evidently knew nothing of surveying, and in some instances the tax amounted to about half the value of the paddy raised. These false measurements were sent to the Commissioner, and he, not knowing whether they were true or false, issued receipts, which were to be given to the owners of the fields when the taxes were paid. In some cases these receipts were altered and a larger sum substituted, the difference being pocketed by the collector.

"Besides this, a tax was demanded for boat-racing, which the Commissioner does not authorize. Thus by falsely measuring the land, by altering the receipts, and by imposing new taxes, these poor Karens are plundered. We hope soon to see a worthy man in the place of this apostate, and these dishonest Burman subordinates altogether dispensed with."

A few years ago, a Karen was robbed, when he seized the thief and took him bound before the magistrate. The result showed the capital tact of the Burmese, and how hopeless it is for Karens to contend with them. The Burmans got ahead of the Karen, and charged him with having deprived a British subject of his liberty contrary to law, and the Karen was sentenced to fine and imprisonment, while the man that robbed him went free. A writer in the "Rangoon Times" of July 8, 1863, took a right view of the case. He said: "We believe that the Karen, who is represented to have been victimized, for having done what he did under the impression that his conduct would be justified by common sense and the law of self-defence, suffered from want of proper investigation, or the want of sufficient acquaintance with the character of Burmese and Karens on the part of the Court. The judge ranks second to none in the latter respect, but we fear there were some parties mixed up in the matter–some Chinamen and Burmans, who unfortunately, at the time the case was going on, carried away his confidence and good judgment. We shall find that much of such effects originates from the undue influence exercised in that way."

The Burmese and Shans are often too cunning for Europeans. They are ever and anon deceiving the officers of government when in their employ, practicing one iniquity or another, and going unpunished. Here is a case that came under my notice a few years ago.

Some of the Shans in the police corps had been timber cutters, and while on detachment duty in Karennee, they resolved to avenge themselves on certain Sgau Karens living near the Salwen, who had made them pay for the timber they cut, as the custom is. They further stated that they had left some things behind them, and they asked leave of the Saubwa Kephogyee to go and demand remuneration for them, and in the event of refusal, to make reprisals. To this the Saubwa would not consent, but soon after a considerable number of the police went off privately without his knowledge.

They went and attacked the village, shot one woman, and brought away a man and a girl, together with two elephants and a gong. These plunderers, be it noted, were receiving ten rupees each a month from government as conservators of the peace. They are called "police constables." The man got away, but the girl, eight or nine years of age, with the other property, was brought to the Saubwa's village. The gong was presented to the Saubwa, but he refused to receive it, and the whole of the plunder was taken possession of by the Burmese agent of the English government, employed on a salary of eighty rupees a month to see justice done, and to report all wrong doings to the Deputy Commissioner in Toungoo.

The girl was first brought by the government agent to our Karen assistant, who was then teaching school in Karennee, but after a few days he took her out of school and sold her to a Shan.

The two elephants were brought to town in the hands of a Burman. One had splendid tusks, and sold for a thousand rupees. The price of both was paid into the hands of a relative of the government agent living in town. Nothing, however, could be legally brought against him.

He did not sell the elephants, and he did not take the money, yet the iniquity of the transaction was transparent to all the natives. Nevertheless, his character stands high with European officials, and he is deemed a trustworthy man. His relative who aided him in his dishonest transactions, has been promoted to a lucrative post for good conduct!

It will be observed that all my illustrations are of old date. Were they not so, I should not be allowed by the laws of the land in which I live to publish them. The law of libel is so stringent that almost any three words may be construed into a breach of it. Mr. Long, a church missionary whom I met in Calcutta in 1830, had seen the injustice to which the natives were subjected by the indigo planters, and he was concerned in the publication of a book which showed up the facts.

He was sued for a libel, convicted, fined, and confined in jail for a month; and it is a serious matter to be thrust into a jail in this country. When the annual death-rate where I live has been three per cent, it has been officially reported at nineteen in the jail.

Then, if a man writes to the newspapers condemning the decision of a judge, it is not necessary to sue him for a libel. The judge himself has power to fine and imprison both author and printer under the pretext that it is a contempt of court; and the law has been recently executed on a writer in Calcutta. The judge also ruled that it was a contempt of court to advertise for subscriptions to pay the fine of the sufferer. This is what a recent writer in the "Rangoon Times" calls: "The great and only palladium of Britain's greatest glory, a free and unshackled press!"

We have just been favored with an improved penal code, and one of the clauses reads: "Uttering any word or making any sound in the hearing, or making any gesture or placing any object in the sight of any person with the intention to wound his religious feelings. Punishment: imprisonment of either description for one year, or fine, or both." This illustrates the liberty of speech we enjoy. Every time a missionary addresses a congregation of idolaters, he renders himself liable to a vexatious suit at law based on this clause, and if the magistrate who tries him is unfriendly, he may find himself in jail before he suspects he has done any wrong.

It is simply impossible to convert a sincere idolater from heathenism to Christianity, without wounding his religious feelings. I cannot read to him the 115th Psalm or the Pentateuch, nor speak of "dumb idols" with Paul, nor of "abominable idolatries" with Peter, without wounding his religious feelings.

It is only in the United States, where "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." There alone of all the earth a man may put in type what he sees and hears and knows–the truth and the whole truth, without the fear of rotting in jail before his eyes. I sometimes want to get on a stump and cry out about the space of two hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!"

The extract given above from the Penal Code, reveals the weakest point of the British government in India, and shows its mistaken policy. It stands aghast at the propagation of Christianity, in which, above all things, it ought to rejoice; and frowns at efforts for its extension, which, above all things, it ought to encourage. It drove Carey out of British territory, and compelled him in order to obtain freedom to preach to the natives, to take refuge under a foreign flag; and though it has slowly moved with the times, the promulgation of such laws clearly shows that it is not yet converted.

The stability of the government depends entirely on the people becoming Christians. The fearful scenes of the mutiny revealed the state of feeling that exists in the hearts of the idolaters and Mohammedans towards their British rulers. The mutiny was put down by brute force, not by a change of heart for which missionaries are laboring, and whenever that force is removed, a renewal of the same scenes may be rationally expected. The government lives only on its English bayonets. Let some European war occur in which India shall be denuded of British troops, and it will be unchaining the tiger; and fearful will be its devastations unless it has been tamed.

It is not the army of soldiers in India that is rendering permanent the British rule, but the army of missionaries and their native converts. They are now working like the coral insects, too insignificant to obtain much attention, but by and by they will be up to the surface and above it, with a foundation on which a permanent structure may be erected. Then, but not till then, the government will be safe, and the soldiers may go home, or turn their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks.

The government recognizes the principle that some change must come over the minds of the people before it can feel safe, and it furnishes them a few secular schools and patronizes secular education. But it does not go far enough. It is the heart, not the head, which stands fortified in antagonism to the government; and it is the proclamation of God's word, accompanied by his blessing, that can alone bring down those walls; and this is what 500 or 600 missionaries, with their 2,000 native preachers and 50,000 native Christians, are doing at 3,000 stations.

Were the government wise, it would take the funds it has to give for education, and distribute them among the missionaries, to use according to their best judgment, and then they would, in most cases, tell to the best advantage of the objects in view–the good of the natives and the stability of government.

Not a little of the influence which induces government to frame such laws as that noted above, is due to the natural dislike to true religion which rules in the human heart until it is changed by the grace of God. One of our rulers said to a missionary: "I respect a religious Burman, but a Christian Burman I despise." "A Christian Burman" should be honored as a hero. Besides having to contend and overcome all the prejudices against Christianity in his own heart; besides having rejected the faith of his ancestors, which he had sincerely honored above all others, he has, perhaps, had to contend with a heathen wife, who may have left him on account of his Christianity, or who may be still in his house to make it a pandemonium; or he may have parents to make him miserable with kicks and cuffs and abuse; and he is certain to be in the midst of a heathen population that hate and abuse him for being a disciple of Yay-shu Kreet. Then, to cap the climax, when he turns for sympathy to his Christian rulers, that he has, perhaps, seen standing in the house of worship, and bowing reverently when the clergyman uttered the name of Christ, these same men turn to him, and say bitterly: "I despise you because the name of Christ is on you!" A Burman that can stand up erect under all this, and still remain firm to his profession, I regard as a hero, or as something more–a new man in Christ Jesus. And these new men are increasing slowly, but surely, to pillar on their shoulders the government that despises them.

There is a small but an increasing minority in the ruling class, also, whose hearts and hands and purses go fully for the conversion of the people. Three military officers in India very recently gave up the service, and are devoting themselves to the preaching of the gospel to the natives at their own charges; and many give substantial aid to missionaries that are not allowed by government to take any part in the work personally.

For instance, even at this far off corner in the world, within the year, I printed a tract for a major in the army, at his own expense, which he had translated from the French of Monod; and he next, with the aid of a few friends, paid me to translate and print an edition in Karen.

Some of the officers of government, moreover, appear more unfavorable to missionary efforts in their official acts, than they really feel. Lord Canning seemed to look with no favor on missionary labors, and yet Mrs. Mason found Lady Canning in private society much interested in female education, and it was at Lady Canning's recommendation that she asked and obtained the first grant-in-aid for the Toungoo Karen Institute.


UNDER date of March 6, 1861, Dr. Warren, Secretary of the American Baptist Missionary Union, communicated to me the following resolution of the Executive Committee:

"Resolved, That a circular be at once addressed to all the missions, inviting them to reduce their expenditures for the remainder of the current year as much as they shall find practicable below the appropriations for the same period; also, apprising them of the present apprehensions of the Executive Committee that they may find it necessary to fix the scale of appropriations for 1861 and 1862 at a point considerably below that of the current year."

This resolution produced the following letter. I wrote: "Dr. F. Wayland, the Ex-President of Brown University, recently wrote me: 'I bless God for the great and effectual door opened to you in the opportunity to place the Gospel and all its blessings among such multitudes of souls, whom the Holy Spirit has made willing to receive it. I am not aware that the Apostle to the Gentiles had ever a door so widely opened. It is amazing, and we all look upon it with joy and gratitude. May God long spare you to gather the harvest which has been sown with many tears.'

"It has pleased God to bless the Toungoo Mission in a remarkable manner. To me as to Dr. Wayland, 'it is amazing.' Still, he has not done it without the use of means, and in missions, as in war, money is a most important instrumentality. Indeed, neither the one nor the other can be conducted without it; and, other things being equal, those missions are the most efficient and successful that have the most money.


"Large sums have been expended on the Toungoo Mission, though very small appropriations have been made to it by the American Baptist Missionary Union. Much has been furnished by the natives themselves, and more from kind friends of different denominations in India, England and Scotland. Of fifteen hundred rupees (Rs. 1500) expended on the Female Institute last year, seven hundred rupees (Rs. 700) were from Karen funds on hand, five hundred rupees (Rs. 500) from new Karen contributions, and three hundred rupees (Rs. 300) were given by the British officers at the station. Of seven hundred rupees (Rs. 700) expended on the Young Men's Normal School, five hundred rupees (Rs. 500) were contributed by Karens, and two hundred rupees (Rs. 200) came from Calcutta. Of two thousand five hundred and eighty-nine rupees (Rs. 2,589) that I paid out last year for printing, one hundred and two rupees (Rs. 102) were contributed by the Karens, and two thousand four hundred and eighty-seven rupees (Rs. 2,487) by parties in India and England not connected with the Baptist denomination. Of one thousand seven hundred rupees (Rs. 1,700) paid last year for an astronomical telescope, compound microscope, sextant, large globes, mathematical instruments and other school apparatus, one thousand two hundred rupees (Rs. 1,200) were furnished by government, at the recommendation of Colonel Phayre, and five hundred rupees (Rs. 500) came to us through Judge Wylie. Nearly two thousand rupees (Rs. 2,000) more were sent us to aid assistants, schools, Red Karens, and the general purposes of the mission, mainly through Judge Wylie, from persons who carry out the Scriptural injunction, 'Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.'

"Thus it appears that 8,489 rupees have been expended on the mission in 1860, from outsiders, while the appropriation from America was only 2,886 rupees, a little more than one-fourth of the money expended."

The large expenditure for books in 1860, the year under review, of 2,589 rupees, all of which was sent to Rangoon, suggested to me that it would be economy to establish a press in Toungoo that should be worked by the Karens themselves. So a few months after the above correspondence in 1862, I wrote to Boston, ordering a small press with which to make a beginning.

The press is as popular an institution with the natives of this country as it is with Europeans.

Byron wrote:

"It is pleasant to see one's name in print,
And a book's a book, if there's nothing in 't."

It is no less pleasant for a Karen to see his name in print, and I have ever been overwhelmed with communications of every description to be printed. It seems to be generally so. The King of Tahiti struck off the first sheet printed at his press; and a few years ago the King of Burmah purchased a press from Mr. Bennett, "costing him 4,000 rupees, and when he got it, he ordered books to be printed on palm-leaf, which I fancy did not benefit the leaf or the type. Then he tried card-board, etc., and it has long since been laid aside with other toys he does not know the use of."

The Karen press has proved something more successful than that of the King of Burmah, although we began with an expenditure of less than a fourth of what he paid, and have only gone up to three-fourths now. We had no printer to teach us, but I had lived next door to Mr. Bennett's printing-office in Tavoy many years, and had not been an unmindful looker on; so I was soon able to make the thing go; and, although the first work was not much to be admired, yet by attention and practice, we have been able to produce printing that has received commendation from all parties.

The Deputy Commissioner in his official report to Government, dated Oct. 23, 1867, wrote: "The Printing Department of the Institute I consider a great success. Dr. Mason has learned the printer's art, and taught three Karens to print. The Pali Grammar, a copy of which I shall send you with a separate letter, has been printed by these men, and I think reflects great credit on Dr. Mason and his pupils."

The Rev. E. B. Cross writes: "I wrote you a hasty note on Saturday, which did not fully answer my purpose. I ought first of all to have expressed my admiration of your printing in all the characters and languages which it represents, for it is certainly very neatly and beautifully done."

An officer of Government writes: "The preface to your 'Burmese Hand-Book of Medicine' is a complete success in the art of printing, and is highly creditable to yourself and your Karen pupils.

"The printing is quite equal to that of the Bengal Asiatic Society, with which I have compared it, and if your paper were better than it is, I am not sure whether it would not excel it.

"Success in teaching the Karens any of the useful arts, and thereby making them more useful members of society, will always be a matter of congratulation to every one who has their advancement at heart, and I heartily congratulate you on the results you have been able to show."

A letter comes in from our late Chief Commissioner, Colonel Sir A. P. Phayre, who, under date of December 23, 1868, writes: "I had the great pleasure to receive two copies of your 'Burmese Hand-Book of Medicine.' I need hardly say how delighted I am to see this, knowing that if properly used, it is calculated to do a vast deal of good. It is beautifully printed, and I am really astonished that you have been able to bring the art to such perfection in Toungoo. This, of itself, is evidence of the great advance made by the Karens under your care."

The Rev. Mr. Norris, writing under date of April 20, 1869, says: "The printing is finely executed, and will compare favorably with anybody's printing anywhere."

Besides philology and the natural sciences, I have had to study medicine since I came to Burmah. The book here noticed was a small work on "Materia Medica and Pathology," in three languages, Sgau, Bghai and Burmese.

In the preface to the Burmese edition, it is stated "The present little work could not have been published had it not been for the liberal patronage of the late Chief Commissioner, Colonel Sir Arthur P. Phayre, who, with the application for a grant-in-aid, wrote Government, in a printed report:

"'Accompanying this letter is a copy each of two previous editions of the work, printed in the Bghai and Sgau Karen dialects. Dr. Mason proposes making the Burmese edition more than twice the size of the Bghai and Sgau Karen editions. Accompanying the application is also a manuscript specimen of the book with an English translation, from which it will be seen that the work is likely to be of great value to the Burmese people, with whom, medicine, as an art, is mixed up with astrology and the practice of charms. The introduction therefore of such a book in general circulation in this province seems very desirable.

"'The Chief Commissioner further recommends, that if His Excellency sanctions 1,000 rupees as assistance to Dr. Mason, in publishing a 'Materia Medica' in the Burmese language, Government should have the right to purchase half the edition–namely, 1,000 copies, at 8 annas a copy, for distribution.'"

After the book was published, the Rev. Dr. Stevens reviewed it favorably in the Burmese language in the "Burman Messenger," and recommended it as a work well adapted to be of "great benefit to the Burmese people."

Under date of May 27, 1869, the Editor of the "Rangoon Times," Dr. L. Dawson, M.D., in his notice of the book, wrote: "It is due to the Rev. Dr. Mason to say, that he has conferred a great boon on the native population of this country; and if he could print an edition of twenty thousand copies, and extemporize an agency for its sale, he might dispose of the whole number within the next eighteen months or two years."

But the principal work that has been printed at the Karen press, is the Pali Grammar. At the beginning of this century, Pali was less known and less understood than the Egyptian hieroglyphics; yet it is the language of the sacred books of the Buddhists, numbering, it is estimated, three hundred and fifteen millions of inhabitants, or nearly a third of the population of the whole globe, and is also the language of the oldest monuments in India, dating in the third century of the Christian era.

Mine is the only grammar of the language conformed to European models that has ever been written for this ancient and widely diffused tongue; and it is based on an ancient native work written by Kachchayano, the Aristotle of the Buddhists, whose work I first brought to light.

Nearly half a century ago, the Rev. Mr. Clough published a translation of a native grammar in Ceylon, but that differed widely from the present work, and has never been reprinted. Trübner in his "Literary Record" has the following notice:

"A PALI GRAMMAR, on the Basis of Kachchayano. With Chrestomathy and Vocabulary. By FRANCIS MASON, D.D., M.R.A.S. and American Oriental Society. Toungoo, 1868.

"The publication of this Grammar must be considered as an event by all who take an interest in the Pali language–of Buddhism in general. Clough's book, however incomplete it may be, has become such a rarity, that it is nearly worth its weight in gold in Ceylon; and since its publication so much progress has been made, that the Rev. F. Mason was enabled to put forth a book at once more systematic and far more perfect. Moreover, as became apparent afterwards, Clough's grammar was not a translation of Kachchayano, as it purported to be, but that of Mogallano, an author of comparatively modern period, and it therefore differs essentially from the present work. The circumstance of the Pali being printed not in the original but in the Burmese character, need not trouble European scholars, as the transliteration of every word into the Roman character is added. It may even be looked upon as an advantage, considering that, as may be read in the appendix, in spite of the careful superintendence of the printing by very learned gentlemen, one-half of a motto out of an old Pali inscription, consisting of eight words, had been printed off with errors changing totally the signification."

Under date of May 17, 1869, the editor of the "Rangoon Times" says:

"Pali Grammar.–This great work prepared by that indefatigable philologist, scholar and missionary, the Rev. Dr. Mason, of Toungoo, was completed some months ago.

"In previous issues of the 'Times' we kept the public informed of the intended publication of the Pali Grammar, and its progress from time to time, by the courtesy of the learned author, with whom we were in communication. Happily by the good care of a gracious Providence, the author has been spared, to bring this portion of his valuable labors to a close."

The Right Reverend Bishop Bigandet, one of the most distinguished writers on Buddhism in Burmah, and author of the "Life of Gaudama," wrote me under date of June 16, 1868: "Allow me to offer you my congratulations on the publication of a work, which was most truly a desideratum to all those who desire to study the Pali language. I look upon it, too, as a necessary complement of the Burmese grammar. No one, indeed, can master thoroughly the Burmese language, unless he possesses a fair knowledge of the Pali. The books on religion and metaphysics are almost unintelligible to one who is ignorant of the sacred language of Buddhism. The appearance of your book will be hailed with delight by scholars, either here or elsewhere."

I am now engaged in the preparation of the original Pali text of Kachchayano's grammar, to be printed at this press; for which Government has shown its appreciation by subscribing for fifty copies at twenty rupees a copy.

A new and enlarged edition of my work on Burmah, was published in Rangoon in 1860, and it was noticed as follows in the "Christian Review" of April, 1863:

on the Natives, Fauna, Flora and Minerals of Tenasserim,
Pegu and Burmah, with Systematic Catalogues of the
known Mammals, Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Insects, Mollusks,
Crustaceans, Annelids, Radiates, Plants and Minerals, with
Vernacular names. By REV. F. MASON, D.D., M.R.A.S.,
Corresponding Member of the American Oriental Society,
etc. Rangoon: T. S. Ranney. 1860. London: Trübner
& Co.; New York: Phinney, Blakeman & Mason. 913 pp.

"This work will naturally have but a limited circulation, but within its limited range of readers ii will be deemed of great value. It is one of the numberless proofs which the last half century has furnished of the great dependence of science, in many of its most important branches, upon the spirit of Christianity, and the labors of Christian missionaries. Christianity has taken science under her fostering care, and while infidel savants have been sneering at her claims, and seeking to undermine her doctrines, she, with Godlike benevolence, has been ministering primarily to the great moral interests of humanity, and then regarding with benignant eye, and promoting with kindly hand, every separate interest of culture and of knowledge. Missionaries, penetrating every corner of the globe on their high errand of benevolence, have laid open the languages, the customs and the productions of every section of the earth to the scrutinizing gaze of science. Rev. F. Mason has long been well known, not only as an active and successful missionary, but also as a careful and scholary observer and student of the various objects and problems which, within the sphere of his labors, would demand the attention of an educated man. The results of the researches of years are embodied in this goodly volume. After a slight geographical and topographical sketch, he then devotes nearly a hundred and fifty pages to ethnological and linguistic inquiries regarding the various tribes within the limits of Burmah. This part of his work will, of course, be of special interest to the student of general linguistics and ethnology. The remainder of the work comprises a full exhibition of the zoological, vegetable and mineral productions and treasures of the vast and interesting regions of which the author treats. With every lover of true science the book will find a hearty welcome."

The editor of the "Watchman and Reflector" wrote:

"This work, as the preface to the first edition stated, owes its origin to the wants experienced by a translator of the Scriptures. The Bible contains the names of between seven hundred and eight hundred natural productions. Some oriental versions, made by men ignorant of the botany and zoology of those countries, are defaced by barbarous terms manufactured out of Hebrew and Greek to indicate objects familiar to the people by established vernacular names. The translator of the Karen Scriptures, happily, is a naturalist as well as a Hebraist. The work must be of great value in Burmah, and to scientific investigators everywhere, and is an interesting example of the incidental benefits of Christian missions."

The "Philadelphia Christian Chronicle" of February 20, 1863, contained the following editorial notice:

"This book will be a worthy and a perpetual monument in all coming time of the patient and scientific labors of its venerable author, of the invaluable contributions of the missionary cause to the literature of science and to civilization generally.

"Dr. Mason is now, excepting Dr. Wade, the senior missionary of our Board, and we think there is no other representative of Christian missions of any denomination who has been longer in the field than he. Not only is he a ripe scholar in many languages, but he is equally at home in its earliest history as he is in its present condition, while the ethnology, mythology and social structure of this ancient empire, have been completely mastered by him in all the details of their strange and constant changes. The book before us is eminently scientific, and by the literati of both continents–the scholars in every branch of social and natural philosophy–it will be received with marked and respectful favor. Within the compass of Dr. Mason's plan, as developed in this book, he has made himself acquainted with even the smallest details of the botany, geology and zoology of Burmah. His catalogues of new specimens in each of these departments are exceedingly valuable. How a missionary who has worked as hard, as faithfully and as successfully as Dr. Mason has, in all the routine life of a foreign missionary, should have accomplished so much that is so valuable in the cause of science, can only be accounted for by the fact which the author himself indirectly states, that it was by turning to good account the odd moments of leisure and relaxation, with hours and days of partial sickness, which could not be devoted to the severe and exhausting labors of the missionary."


"THERE were giants on earth in those days," and the days of giants have returned to us. God has so opened out science since 1799, that the progress in science and art has been equivalent to increasing the faculties of man to giant dimensions. "Man," says Buckle, "has really succeeded in turning the energies of nature and bending them to his own will, turning them aside from their own course, and compelling them to subserve the general purposes of human life. All around us are the traces of this glorious and successful struggle. Indeed, it seems as if there were nothing man feared to attempt. The invasions of the sea are repelled, and whole provinces rescued from its grasp; mountains are cut through and turned into level roads. The course of trade, the extent of commerce, and many similar circumstances determined of old by the existence of rivers, or the facility of navigation, now find their determining cause not so much in these physical peculiarities, as in the skill and energy of man. Formerly, the richest countries were those in which nature was most bountiful; now the richest countries are those in which man is most active. For in our age of the world, if nature is parsimonious, we know how to compensate her deficiencies; and if a country is difficult to traverse, our engineers can remedy the evil."

The eye looks through space millions of miles further than it could see when I was born, and notes down the new objects it has seen. A hundred little planets are now in the field of vision that were formerly hidden from human eyes, and one nearer the sun than Mercury, has just come in sight.

The three or four thousand fixed stars that Anaxagoras saw, and thought to be stones thrown up by the earth, and set on fire by the ether, are now seen by our improved eyes to consist of five or six millions. Where the ancient saw only the "seven stars," and one of them with difficulty, we now see fifty or sixty. The little nebulous bright spots here and there in the heavens, are now seen as congeries of distinct stars, and other nebulae come in sight that were before invisible.

Shakespeare saw the moon at the distance of 237,000 miles, and he makes Othello terrified at a nearer approach:

"She comes more near the earth than she was wont, And makes men mad."

But what would he think if he lived in the latter half of the nineteenth century, when, according to Mitchel, we have got within one hundred and twenty miles of the moon? A distance that could be run by a railway train in three hours. We see the moon so near us that we can measure the height of her mountains with as much accuracy as we can measure the height of a tree, or Bunker Hill Monument by the length of its shadows. Supposing the full moon some clear night were let down on Block Island. There she would stand a mountain 2,160 miles high, stretching out to sea 1,100 miles on the one hand, and overshadowing the land eleven hundred miles on the other; and just the appearance she would then make to the inhabitants of New York with the naked eye, is the appearance she now makes with our improved eye through the telescope.

The man of the age has his vision as much improved when he looks down as when he looks up; things near are increased under his eye as things afar off. The hone on which he sharpens his razor is transformed from a stone to a pile of shells; and the blight on his grapes to a forest of flourishing plants. Petersburg, which Grant found so hard to batter down, is founded on nothing but congeries of minute shells. Our massive limestone rocks, the sand that covers the boundless deserts, and the soil of many of our wide extended plains, are principally composed of portions of invisible animalcules, but now visible to our improved eyes through the microscope. A drop of water is no longer seen as a homogeneous fluid, but as a world of living beings that seem like a new creation–some changing their shape at pleasure, others resembling globes, eels, trumpets, boats, pitchers, wheels, flasks, cups, funnels, fans, and fruits.

The powers of the ear have been increased even more than the eye. I put my ear down to this side of the ocean, and I hear instantaneously what is said to me on the other side, three thousand miles distant. What the telegraph has done for the ear, while the mode of operation is not understood, appears as miraculous as raising one from the dead.

Man's feet, or his powers of locomotion, have also taken giant dimensions. In the early part of the century, with all the aids of the feet of the horse, the elephant, and the "swift dromedary," man could not travel more than ten miles an hour, but now he sits at ease, and, without the least inconvenience to himself, goes forty miles an hour day and night. Only half a century ago, this would have been regarded as utterly impossible. Practically, it adds years to a man's business life. If he had to travel twelve years in his life then, he now does it in three, and thus saves nine years of active life for work, that he had not before, and, as time is money, he thereby adds to his wealth.

But, perhaps, the most wonderful extension of power has been given to man's hand. It wields a power allied to the Divinity. It directs the lightning and paints with the sun's rays. Steam, which at the beginning of the century was nearly confined to mining operations, has become in it his slave to do all his hard work; and it has formed also an infinite variety of machinery, to the effect of making one hand do the work of a hundred.

When Oliver Evans applied to the Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1786 for the exclusive use of "steam wagons," "his ideas respecting steam locomotion appeared so strange that he was considered insane," and no notice was taken of his "steam wagons." Subsequently, Maryland gave him a grant for fourteen years, on the ground that "it could injure no one, and might lead to the production of something useful." Then he could not find a capitalist who would advance him money enough to build a "steam wagon," and he had to die, expressing the belief that "the time would come when carriages propelled by steam would be in general use, as well for the transport of passengers as goods;" and he was buried as a man mad on "steam wagons"–another illustration of the saying, "The destruction of the poor is their poverty."

But while I am writing only a lifetime after Evans, the New York Tribune comes in announcing the last triumph of human skill in the completion of the Pacific Railway, concerning which the editor says: "At noon on Monday, the last rail was laid on the great national railway that unites the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, and marks the crowning triumph over the continent that the Puritan and the Cavalier entered three centuries ago. We remember how long and how vainly we looked for men to undertake this work. We remember how science demonstrated its perils. Experience maintained its impracticability, capital shrank from its gigantic cost and uncertain returns. At last the gentlemen who subsequently became the corporators of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads, stepped forward. When Congress hesitated, they begged, argued, lobbied, till they secured charters. When Wall street sneered, and preferred copper mines and corners in Erie, they furnished the capital. When the great money centres of the world, and the great governments of the world, believed that this nation was drifting helplessly into disruption and anarchy, their sublime faith in its future enabled them to prosecute, in the midst of war, an undertaking mightier than any other country, in its peaceful prime, had essayed. Through embarrassment and distrust at home as to the national future, through natural obstacles that had hitherto been regarded almost or quite insuperable, through frontier hostilities and the barrenness of the great plains and the desolations of the mountains, they have steadily held their way. Monday witnessed their final triumph, achieved years before the limit granted by their charters. We would not take one leaflet from their manfully won laurels. What we have said in the past of their conduct, we have said. Now we recall only their services, their bravery in the midst of danger, their confidence in the midst of discouragement, the wonderful energy they have displayed, the risks they took, and the great triumph they have won. An event not merely in the annals of our own growth to national greatness, but in the history of progress in human civilization."*

[Footnote: * New York Weekly Tribune, May 12, 1869.]

But this increase of power is not merely a mechanical increase, for it has been by God working through the intellect, that these mechanical powers have been attained. It was the mind that taught how to apply steam to ships and to railway cars; that taught how to transmit electricity through the telegraph wires, and sketch the photograph with the sun's rays. Through the powers of the intellect being increased, astronomers decided, from the irregularities in the movements of Uranus, that there was an undiscovered planet beyond him. Mitchel says: "The discovery of Neptune is undoubtedly the most remarkable event in the history of astronomical science–an event without a parallel, and rising in grandeur pre-eminently above all other efforts of human genius ever put forth in the examination of the physical universe."

Wonderful attainments have been made in meteorology. The discovery of the law of storms, and the way to sail out and away from a cyclone and a typhoon, is not a less proof of the advancement of the human intellect than any other. It would take a volume to enumerate the discoveries of chemistry in the present generation. As a specimen, I clip the following from a periodical: "Such is the precise character of science, that those who are most familiar with chemistry have no difficulty in imitating nature exactly in the production of odors, colors, and in some other equally curious exhibitions of what were once supposed to be beyond the ingenuity of man. There is not a fruit grown, the rich juices of which are not imitated in manufacturing establishments, so as to be more desirable than the original article copied, on the score of economy,–apple, plum, cherry, peach, raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, etc., prized in confectionery, and used in confectionery houses instead of the real natural juice. Why are they not equally good and wholesome? They are as really the same thing as the juice of two pineapples are intrinsically the same. Nature makes by one process, and science teaches how the component elements may be mixed and instantly produce precisely the same fluid, with its characteristic flavor. Our ice creams, when apparently charged with the fresh juices of fruits, as they formerly were, are now dependent on these artificial productions for their excellent flavor of some favorite fruit. Colors, beautiful as the rainbow, of every imaginable hue, and brilliant as the tints of a rose-leaf or a violet, are extensively produced from coal dug out of the bowels of the earth."

But it is not the intellect alone that has advanced; through a Divine influence, the moral character has improved no less than the mental powers. More has been done for down-trodden humanity, more has been effected to relieve the poor and afflicted during the last seventy years, than had been attempted in all the previous centuries put together since the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount. The slave-trade in the British colonies, American slavery, Spanish slavery, and serfdom in Russia, have been abolished. Societies to help workingmen to live more comfortably, and to aid those that are unable to work, have been originated without number. Savings banks have been erected for their use, to help them save their earnings; temperance societies have been formed to deliver them from the degradation of intemperance, and laws have been passed making most of them eligible, both to vote for their own government and to take part in the government itself. Practically, the workingman has been changed to an employer. He employs machinery to plow the land, plant the fields, reap the harvest, and beat out the grain. In connection with steam, it also weaves the cloth for him, which is made into garments by the sewing-machine. The labor no longer comes out of his bones and sinews, but out of steam and iron.

As the workman is thus relieved of the hardest part of his work, he has more time for the cultivation of his mind, and in unison therewith the present generation is the most remarkable since the days of Adam, for the various means and appliances for the mental improvement of the working classes. Free schools, free libraries, cheap books, and cheap newspapers, and the consequent general diffusion of knowledge are among the wonders of the age.

No mechanical trade is so directly connected with the diffusion of knowledge as printing, and in God's providences, no trade has made such rapid progress in the last few years as printing. When I was a boy, and wanted to become a printer, it was not possible to throw off more than two hundred and fifty impressions in an hour. This was altogether inadequate to the demands for knowledge and the advancement of journalism; so Hoe was raised up, who has invented a press that increases the rapidity of printing a hundredfold, and enables "the publishers of the grand dailies to print an edition of 50,000 copies on both sides, in four hours." When Franklin proposed for his wife, his mother-in-law objected to her daughter marrying him because there were already two presses in America, and she did not think there was room for a third. There are now more than six thousand printing-offices in the United States, and a periodical before me says: "In the United States there are 542 daily papers, 4,425 weekly, 277 monthly; total, 5,244. In addition there are 56 tri-weekly papers, 63 semi-weekly, 46 semi-monthly publications, 297 monthly, 4 bi-monthly, and 24 quarterly, making the total number of all American publications 5,734, or, of newspapers proper, a total of 5,353."

While God in his providences has been moving all creation animate, and inanimate, to aid the working classes, He has also blessed employers and capitalists to an unprecedented extent, and, apparently, that they, with their increased capital, might help workingmen; for in no previous age have they evinced such liberality, and put forth such willing hands to raise up those below them, mentally, morally, and physically, as they are doing now. Peabody is not a solitary instance. He is only a representative man of an increasing class that are scattered abroad in society wherever a practical gospel is found. When I look beyond man to the hand that moves the world, I am lost in astonishment and admiration at God's goodness. Dr. Cumming tells about the millennium being near–why we are now living in the millennium! It is here now, in the sense that day is here when the dawn brightens the eastern sky.

God's beneficence does not stop at the temporal and intellectual benefits He is ceaselessly conferring on the present generation. These blessings are usually imparted through Christians, as means to lead men to Christ. They are made to come up before the world as the practical effects of the doctrines that the Saviour taught, and they preach to the unbeliever, in good deeds, the most effective of all logic. The unconverted ask for the testimony of Christian lives, and, whatever may be the shortcomings, here we have it in the benevolent deeds of the nineteenth century, far beyond anything that has heretofore been witnessed.

To make it still more easy to believe the gospel, God is revealing, by researches into antiquities, irrefragable evidence of the truth of the Bible. This is especially seen in the discoveries at Nineveh and Babylon. "How wonderful," says the Rev. S. F. Smith,* "is the wisdom of God, displayed in these striking testimonies to the Holy Scriptures. Most ruins of deserted cities are left on the surface of the earth, exposed to the destructive hand of hostile men, or to the wasting influence of the elements. And, after a few centuries, even the spot they occupied can no longer be discerned. It might have been the same with Babylon and Nineveh. But God reserved them for a further use. It is as if he foresaw the infidelity of the present age, and covered these cities deep under the earth, that he might disinter them at the necessary emergency, to give their testimony in behalf of the Old Testament. With storms of sweeping sand he buried them out of the sight of man, away from the hand of the destroyer, beyond the corrosions of the elements, that he might keep their witness in store, and in its integrity, to confound the skeptic. And now, when the day of need has come, the day when his truth is assailed and a witness is called for, lo, He uncovers the earth to bring forth voices! He opens the grave of a city, buried for ages, that He may present to the nations a confirmation of His word. He who watched over the fate of the Scriptures on the surface of the earth, and saved them from the malice of his enemies, has watched over these inimitable vouchers of them under the earth, and, in due time, ushered them into light. The discoveries in Nineveh and Babylon are among the most wonderful events of the age; and wonderful, especially, for their bearing on the word of God. The unbeliever may reason against doctrine. He may array logic against the positions of revelation; not, it is true, a genuine logic; but such as satisfies his own mind. But when from the bosom of the earth, from the tombs of distant centuries, are drawn out the bricks of a palace, marked on the back, as they were made and laid in courses, with the name of Nebuchadnezzar, and decorations and sculptures, carving the exploits and engraving the very name of Sennacherib, according to the narrations of the Old Testament, what has infidelity to do but to hide its head? What is left for the skeptic, but to confess that the Scripture is true, and that he is conquered."

[Footnote: * Christian Review, Jan., 1854.]

Again, children, who are half the world, have been to a great extent overlooked and neglected. They have not had the instruction they required, and hence they have grown up in immorality and unbelief; but God is now stirring up Christians to do their duty to little children.

According to the New York Observer, a distinguished American preacher, now laid aside from pulpit labor, has recently said: "I think of nothing, in my own ministry with so much regret and so little respect, as I do of my omissions here. We get occupied with great and high subjects that require a handling too heavy and deep for children, and become so fooled in our estimate of what we do, that we call it coming down when we undertake the preaching to children; whereas, it is coming up, rather, out of subterranean hells, darkness, intricacies, dungeon-life, profundities of old, grown-up sin, to speak to the bright, daylight creatures of trust, and sweet affinities, and easy convictions. And to speak to these fitly, so as not to thrust in Jesus on them as by force, but have Him win His own dear way, by His childhood, waiting for His cross, tenderly, purely, and without art–O how fine, how very precious the soul equipment it will require of us! I think I see it now clearly; we do not preach well to adults, because we do not preach, or learn how to preach to children."

It has been written that, "perhaps previous to the year 1800, though the seed of God's word had been sown in many places, hardly a soul was known to be converted to Christ, or but very few, as a result of missionary effort." In the year 1799, the year I was born, Dr. Carey took up his abode at Serampore, and this may be dated as the commencement of Indian missions. In the same year Dr. Vanderkemp reached the Cape of Good Hope, and began missions in Africa. Now look on the mission maps, and see all the churches and stations in Africa, and India, and Burmah, and Siam, and China, and Japan; in Turkey, in Asia Minor, in Armenia, and in Persia; and consider that they are the work of the church within the lifetime of one man! History shows no such extensive dissemination of Christianity in one generation, since the days of Paul.

More than a thousand evangelical missionaries are in the heathen field; more than ten thousand native preachers and teachers have been raised up through their instrumentality; the Bible has been translated into more than one hundred languages, and the native church members are counted by hundreds of thousands. Egypt, Turkey, China, and Burmah, are opened–they were all closed within my remembrance. God has opened their iron-clad doors as they were never opened before, and is beckoning Christians to enter in.

Near by where stood Judson's lion cage, in which he was confined and treated like a wild beast, is now building a Christian church at the expense of the King of Burmah, who has already built a parsonage and a Christian school-house; and he sends some of his sons and nephews to the school, notwithstanding "all the boys receive Christian instruction daily, and take home with them the New Testament in Burmese." Compared with the days when "Jesus Christ men," stole stealthily through the streets of Ava, no greater outward change has occurred during the century.

The foundation of a Christian church has just been laid by Major Sladen, the British resident, with imposing ceremonies, to be called "The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ Mandalay." One of the King of Burmah's ministers, deputed by the king for the purpose, read:

"MAJOR E. B. SLADEN: "SIR,–I beg to assure you that the spot on which we are now assembled, is part of the land which has been publicly given by His Majesty, the King of Burmah, for the purpose of religion and education in connection with the Church of England. And also, that His Majesty has promised to defray all the expenses of the erection of this church, as he has already paid for the building of the English Christian schools and Clergy House."

The new building intended for the accommodation of the assistant master and boarders is rapidly approaching completion. There are now forty-five boys in the school, of whom three are the king's sons; three others are of the royal family, and fourteen sons of officers of the Burmese government. The average age of boys in the school is over sixteen.

As late as when I first came to Burmah, the whole Christian world was still down on its knees praying that China might be opened to the gospel; and as late as 1837, Dr. Malcom wrote from China: "I am not only persuaded that at this moment China is not open to the settlement of Christian teachers, but satisfied that Protestants are far from being ready to have it open." Now mark the unexpected way in which God has answered the prayers of his people within the few years that have since elapsed. Not only have more than one hundred missionaries settled in China, but its pent up millions have breached the walls that contained them, and are pouring into the Christian world like overflowing waters; and they are not only our artisans in the United States, but they are becoming our cooks, our washermen, and our nurses. And these are from "the land of Sinim" of whom the prophet spoke: "Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, and bind them on thee as a bride doeth."

"Centuries ago," says the editor of the Watchman and Reflector, "the plains of Europe were peopled by immigrants from Asia; now a similar exodus is going on from Europe to America. Its skirmishers meet in the West the advance guard of an exodus from Asia. China is our last source of supply, and events indicate that its immigrants will soon equal in numbers those that flock to us from Europe.

"Figures seem to indicate that in this land will be realized the grand idea of Paul, and that we are to became a nation "where there is neither Greek nor Jew, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free;" a people whose bond of unity is neither blood nor race, but a common humanity. Within thirteen years 2,565,644 immigrants have landed on our shores, a number which is about one-twentieth of our present population. The nationalities of a part are shown by the following figures: Germany, 845,479; Ireland, 560,831; England, 194,166; Scotland, 25,829; Wales, 5,756; Great Britain, not specified, 429,018; Prussia, 64,355; Sweden and Norway, 58,289; France, 49,383; Switzerland, 24,539; Denmark, 13,043; Spain, 10,340; Italy, 11,691; British America, 108,531; China, 65,943.

"The Puritans thought to establish in New England a State and a church which should represent only their political and religious views. They warned off all trespassers, closed their eyes to 'new light,' and simply asked to be left alone with their peculiar notions. The Almighty had a better and a greater work for them to do than that which they proposed to themselves. The walls of their Jericho went down before the cries of Quakers and Baptists; immigrants, with broader ideas of religion and politics settled upon their territory, and mixed their blood and brains with that of the old stock; new views, new policies were adopted.

"There were thousands who thought that the movement which has resulted so gloriously would bring infidelity and ruin upon the church and the State. Their descendants smile at the fears of Endicott and Winthrop and the clergy. Many of our people stand in relation to immigration as the Puritans stood towards the 'new lights,' the 'free-thinkers' the Quakers and the Baptists. The descendants of these doubters will smile at their fathers' fears. The race force is powerful, but it cannot resist the decrees of God; the prejudices of caste are mighty, but they will be eradicated by the teachings of Jesus Christ, who stands before the world not as the child of a race, or the citizen of a nation, but as a man."

And how has God accomplished this wonderful work of progress in the last seventy years? Not by miracles, not by what the world deems heroic deeds, but by the hard self-denial and unobtrusive efforts of his people. A letter has just fallen in my way which exemplifies the manner of its accomplishment, for the writer is a representative character of her class. It was written with no thought of publication, by the wife of Captain–, in England, to her mother. The following are a few extracts from the letter: "We have just had another mothers' tea-meeting; they are joyful ones. The mothers support it themselves by weekly contributions of a halfpenny each which they do not miss, and so have a tea once a quarter. The result of this mothers' meeting is, our young pastor is about to start a fathers' or husbands' meeting, to read to the men, and give them a social, happy and instructive home on Friday evenings; and then at our next meeting the husbands will unite with their wives and come to tea. Another result of our mothers' tea-meeting is, that it has already been the means of attracting some ungodly women to our house of worship, who never regarded the Sabbath or worshiped anywhere, but who, since joining this meeting, have attended regularly all the means of grace, and live, outwardly at least, new lives. We number now sixty.

"I also started among our ladies a visiting plan, by which all the poor in our congregation should be visited once a month by some of us, in routine. I make out lists (fourteen of them) from our pastor's books. About half a dozen ladies kindly take each a list and visit, and it is my work to see and change these lists every month, and so look after our poor.

"Then I still keep to my class at the ragged school, which numbers eight big girls, whom I love to meet. They, too, seem very much attached to me. In these three departments of home missionary work, I might find enough to do to employ my whole time, though besides, I have the care of two tract districts and the female prayer-meeting.

"Lately, too, do you believe, I have turned singing-school teacher. About half a dozen of the ragged school teachers expressed a strong desire to learn how to sing by note, and asked me if I could meet them once a week and help them in the study, which I do.

"I have been for some time past visiting a poor old sick man, a happy dying Christian. Every visit to him was a blessing to myself. His was a small cheerless room, and all around showed poverty, yet he was always thankful and happy. At last, a short time ago, I had not been able to visit him for some time, so I staid at home one Sunday morning from chapel, and visited him instead. I found him dying. He could scarcely speak. I said: 'You will soon reach your home.' 'Yes,' he gasped, 'and you will meet me there.' I replied I hoped so. He said, gaspingly: 'You ought to be beyond that.' Then he asked me to pray, which I did with tears, for I loved the dear old man as a Christian. Soon after he gasped our pastor's name, and I asked: 'Shall I go and send him to you?' He nodded slightly as I bid him a long farewell, and I hastened to the chapel, and sent the pastor there. He died that Sabbath afternoon.

"The Lord's work is accumulating on my hands, and whenever I wonder how I shall find time for all, Pa's text, written in several languages in my little text-book, always comes to my mind: 'Always abounding in the work of the Lord.' Pa's charge to always abound in work, spurs me on. In addition to all the other mentioned work, I have just taken up, with others, the temperance cause, and for the first time have signed the pledge in connection with the 'Band of Hope,' just started in our ragged school, in which I am appointed to the office of registrar and singing-teacher, to teach the children temperance hymns. They have also placed me on the committee, and these labors will occupy me two evenings in the week; but there is great need of this work. Where in all God's universe are there to be found such a drunken race as the English and Irish in England and India? Worse than the heathen for this.

"Now I have not enumerated my feeble efforts to work boastfully, even if it does sound so, for after all I can do it is but little; yet I thought you might like to know what I am about, and why I do not write oftener."

When Christ has an untold number of such soldiers in the field, it is little marvel that he goes forth "conquering and to conquer."

But amid all this onward progress, one thing remains immovable–the Bible. Its mysteries remain mysteries still. The things that were hard and difficult to be understood in the first century, are no less so in the nineteenth. On my first out-look on the world, I saw things "too deep for me," and they have been deepening upon me with each successive year; but I must leave them, as others have done, just where I found them, exercising child-like trust, as I did at the knees of my mother:

"Life's mystery–deep, restless as the ocean–
    Hath surged and wailed for ages to and fro;
Earth's generations watch in ceaseless motion
    As in and out its hollow moanings flow;
Shivering and yearning by that unknown sea,
Let my soul calm itself, O Christ, in Thee!

"Life's sorrows, with inexorable power,
    Sweep desolation over this mortal plain;
And human loves and hopes fly as the chaff
    Borne by the whirlwind from the ripened grain;
Ah, when before that blast my hopes all flee,
Let my soul calm itself, O Christ, in Thee!

"Between the mysteries of death and life
    Thou standest, loving, guiding–not explaining;
We ask, and Thou art silent–yet we gaze,
    And our charmed hearts forget their drear complaining!
No crushing fate, no stony destiny!
Thou Lamb that hast been slain, we rest in Thee!

"The many waves of thought, the mighty tides,
    The ground-swell that rolls up from other lands,
From far-off worlds, from dim eternal shores,
    Whose echo dashes on life's wave-worn strands;
This vague, dark tumult of the inner sea
Grows calm, grows bright, O risen Lord, in Thee!

"Thy pierced hand guides the mysterious wheels;
    Thy thorn-crowned brow now wears the crown of power;
And when the dark enigma presseth sore,
    Thy patient voice saith, 'Watch with ME one hour!'
As sinks the moaning river in the sea
In silver peace, so sinks my soul in Thee!"



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