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never have it very hot there. It would be a truer statement to make of the place that they never have it very cool there, for though the thermometer is said never to go above 95°, on the other hand it seldom goes below 75o. Cholera, dysentery, and sunstroke—the scourges of most oriental climates—are said to be almost unknown; but, instead of these sharp and sudden ailments, there seems to be substituted a generally debilitating effect on European constitutions exposed to it for more then a very few years.

Like Penang, Singapore has made a remarkable rise in importance and in population since it fell into British hands. In 1819, when permission was first given to erect a factory on the island, the whole population did not number more than 150, chiefly fishermen; in 1866 the population was estimated at rather over 100,000, of whom half were Chinamen, a quarter Malays, 1,000 Europeans, and the rest most miscellaneous and nondescript.

A narrow creek runs down through the settlement of Singapore from the hills in the background, dividing it into two parts, of which the eastern contains the bungalows of the Europeans and the Malay quarter, while on the western stands the commercial part of the town, and the larger portion of the Chinese quarter. Many of the dwellings of the Malays are mere sheds, built below highwater mark, and raised above the water on wooden frameworks. The Chinese are, next to the Europeans, the most enterprising and wealthy class in the settlement. Ten thousand of these industrious emigrants are said to come down from their native country every year; and after a few years spent in amassing a few hundred dollars, most of them return home, where they can live in what they consider comfort on their slender fortunes. Singapore being the point where a dozen lines of trade,

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from China, India, Australia, the rarious Straits Islands, and Europe, converge, the number of articles of commerce which go in and out of it are probably as numerous as those of any port in the world, and include everything that Asia sells to Europe, that Europe sells to Asia, and that the different nations of Asia barter with each other.

One of the most interesting sights in or near Singapore is the garden of a distinguished Chinese citizen of the place, by name Wampoo, whose father came to Singapore, along with 10,000 other Chinamen, as an ordinary coolie, but raised himself in time to rank and wealth, and never returned to his native country. The garden is situated three or four miles to the east of the settlement, and does much credit to its Celestial owner. It contains a fine collection of orchids and tropical creepers; but perhaps its chief glory is the variety and beauty of the water-lilies, which have been successfully reared in its artificial ponds. Conspicuous among the lilies is the Victoria Regia, which here finds a genial climate, and spreads out its giant leaves to their full extent. In one part of the garden there is a curious collection of plants dwarfed and trained after the most approved Chinese fashion. The plants are of a species not unlike the box-shrub, and by careful manipulation have been induced to grow in the most fantastic shapes—dragons, dolphins, stags, junks, pagodas, being all well represented in this combination of art and nature.

Nearer the settlement are some public Botanical Gardens, which are also worth a visit, containing, as they do, some very handsome tropical shrubs, and some noble specimens of the Araucaria excelsa, or Norfolk Island pine.

Thirty hours in Singapore are enough for us to see its objects of interest, and for our ship to unlade and lade her cargo for and from the port; and, accordingly, on the afternoon of March 29 we are again under weigh. Four

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hours after starting we pass close by the Horsburgh Lighthouse, placed upon a rock at the eastern entrance to the straits, and we are now fairly in the China seas.

The China seas seem to associate themselves in one's mind with typhoons and pirates, but at this season of the year we are sure not to fall in with any of the former, nor would any of the latter trouble themselves to run after a steamer. Our voyage of nearly seven days, from Singapore to Hongkong, is both rougher and cooler than that from Calcutta to Singapore. Once out of the Bay of Bengal, we seem to fall in with really fresh ocean breezes, and the change is by no means an unpleasant one.

Early on the morning after leaving Singapore we sight the Anamba Islands, and during the forenoon we pass within three or four miles of them : picturesque islands, with their coasts broken into many bays and headlands, and their surface dotted with low trees, and rising up by gentle undulations to points 600 or 800 feet above the sea.

After leaving them, dim and indistinct, astern, we see no more land till the morning of April 5, when land in sight ahead' is reported from the bridge, and through a light haze we catch our first glimpse of China, in the dim outline of the Ladrone Islands. Before mid-day we are in sight of the high hills which compose the island of Hong-kong

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CHAPTER X.

HONG KONG AND MACAO.

Our first sight of China is a disappointing one. Having been accustomed to picture Chinese scenery as always fresh and green, with an abundance of rich vegetation clothing every hill in it, we are disappointed to see a coast composed of brown-looking hills, with here and there a covering of grass, and in other places great bare patches, like disused gravel-pits, marking where the granite, of which the hills are composed, has disintegrated and rendered vegetation impossible. We shall find afterwards that the coast of China, for 1,000 miles north of this, has, with the exception of a few isolated spots, a similar appearance.

We round the western end of Hongkong Island, and enter the spacious harbour-eight miles in length, with a width of from one to five miles—which lies between the island and the mainland. We come in sight of the crowded shipping covering the waters of the harbour on the side nearest the island, and then of the town of Hongkong, with its white mass of European houses and its darker suburbs inhabited by the Chinese. Immediately above the town rise the steep hills of which the island is composed, the highest of them being the Peak, whose summit is some 1,800 feet above the water.

So steeply do the hills descend to the shore that the town tries to find room for itself by creeping up the

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hill-sides, and stretching out along their bases for a distance of three miles or more, reminding one rather forcibly of the appearance of Gibraltar. The shipping in front of the town is of the most miscellaneous description, from an English ironclad or a great American steamer to a Swatow junk or the little sampan’ which is ready to take us ashore. This sampan’ is shaped like a broad canoe, with an arched erection like a gipsy tent over the stern, and is 'manned’ by a couple of Chinese women, one of whom has a child of a year old strapped to her back, whom, whether steering at the stern or rowing, she never removes from this trying position.

We land on the granite quay which runs along the shore for two miles in front of the settlement, and walk up into the streets of the European quarter, which, in the style of the houses on either side of them, may remind us much of Genoa.

We are struck at once by the almost total absence from the streets of animals used either for driving, riding, or carrying merchandise. With the exception of a stray pony-carriage, or one or two larger carriages kept by a very few of the European residents, not a vehicle rolls along the macadamised surface. But this is the case in all Southern China, wheeled vehicles of any descriptionif we except the wheelbarrows which do duty as hackneycarriages in Shanghae—being unknown and unused by the natives. In one of the temples of Canton may be seen a specimen of the rough cart of Northern China, kept there as a great curiosity. The universal mode of progression in Southern China, when not on foot or by boat, is in a chair fixed between two parallel poles, and carried along at a good round pace by two sturdy coolies, who are clad in broad hats, loose blouses, and wide trousers cut short at the knee.

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