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of iron frame-works, filled in with plaster. In many of the streets the pavements are either of planks or bare soil, while the roadways are often of planks also, or of round cobble-stones. Some large and handsome banks, hotels, and business houses, help to give a good appearance to Montgomery and California Street; but even in these best streets the shop-buildings are by no ineans imposing outwardly, and the city generally cannot claim to much beauty or solidity.

In Montgomery Street nearly one shop in four on an average is a money-changer and assayer's, where a miner may sell his ' findings,' or have his nugget valued, and a traveller change his notes and coin for Californian currency, or buy some of the glittering specimens of auriferous quartz which lie in the shop-window. The city is well supplied with tramways, which run up and down all the principal streets; but there are also very roomy and comfortable hackney-carriages ready to convey anyone rich enough (or foolish enough) to pay at the authorised rate of one dollar and a quarter (five shillings) per mile, for one person, and double that amount for two persons! Therefore let the unwary visitor in the · Californian Paris' count a little loss of dignity better than a greater loss of cash or temper, or both, and condescend to avail himself of the “tram busses,' or 'street cars,' as the natives have it, and pay cheerfully his six cents for a sinooth ride over the rails instead of a rough jolt over the neighbouring cobble-stones or planks. Unfortunately, carriage-riding is not the only item on which San Francisco sets her prices so high. Two sovereigns for a plain pair of buttoned boots, and twelve for a tweed suit, will go rather to the heart of a Britisher; and, if he is an upholder of the time-honoured proverb of 'taking care of the pence,' he will be quite “non

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plussed,' for he will find in San Francisco no copper coinage in existence, and the nearest approach to a penny he will discover to be a bit,' of the value of fivepence. This latter liberal sum he must pay for a morning paper, or for having his boots “shone,' and the same probably for an inch of sticking-plaister, or a reel of cotton. He may as well buy new collars as have thein washed, for he will pay two dollars a dozen for having them passed through the laundry. For all this he must console himself in his hotel bill, which he will find an exception to the rule, and really moderate : or he must reflect that twenty years ago he would have had to pay much more. He will meet old “diggers' who will tell him of the times when the price of fowls in San Francisco was six dollars each, when washing was twelve dollars a dozen, when passengers by steamer to Sacramento, en route for the diggings,' paid thirtyfive dollars for the voyage of ninety miles, and when the charge for a couple of 'cock-tails' at a bar was a pinch of gold-dust, and the man with the biggest fingers paid, therefore, most for his drink.

Scarcity and dearness of manual labour is of course the origin of the high prices here, and already the influx of Chinamen from the West and Germans from the East has had its natural lowering effect on these. The Chinamen, who live on very little, and work very steadily, have already proved sharp competitors with emigrants from other nations; and it seems odd, when we land in San Francisco, and think we have reached the land of the free,' to find a considerable agitation going on with reference to these intruding Chinamen,' whom the emigrants from other countries, and especially those from the Emerald Isle, wish expelled from the State. Of course the wish is not shared by intelligent and respect

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able Californians, who speak well of the China coolie, and often the reverse of the Irish emigrant.

One of the good points in San Francisco, which strikes us more particularly on coming from the remoteness of Japan, is the proximity of the city to Europe as regards the receipt of news. As our steamer draws alongside the wharf, a man thereon calls out to our incredulous ears that a war is imminent between France and Prussia. Two days afterwards we see posted up in the forenoon in front of a telegraph-office : — The Emperor

. Napoleon will declare war to-day.' The city of San Francisco is eight hours behind London in the matter of time, and she turns this to good advantage. When her corn-merchants go down to their offices in the morning, they find on their desks a report of the Liverpool market of that morning; each morning paper has two or three columns filled with telegrams of the preceding evening from all parts of Europe ; and not unfrequently there appears among these telegrams a notice of the following kind :* The “Times” of to-day has an article in which it says,' &c., &c., giving the substance of that morning's leader.'

The population of San Francisco is evidently of a miscellaneous kind. Natives of the States preponderate, as may be known by the number of black suits and sallow complexions to be met with in every street, as well as by the accents that fall constantly upon the ear; but if we go into any place of general resort, such as one of the numerous luncheon-rooms of the city, we shall see, along with the native luncher who is consuming, standing, his three courses of soup, fish, and meat, in about as many minutes, others of a less expeditious turn of mind or digestion, who hail from the chief commercial countries of Europe. In many of the shops of the city, more especially in those of the barbers and tobacconists, we find the irrepressible 'black,' grown more irrepressible than ever since he was emancipated; and there is one quarter of the city, called ' Little China,' occupied entirely by emigrants from the • Central Flowery Land.'

One great encouragement to the settlement of people from other countries in San Francisco, is the moderate and equable nature of its climate. Though the temperature often changes rapidly, it never reaches an extreme either of heat or cold : residents wear the same clothes in summer as in winter; and it is said that the mean register of the thermometer in December is only six degrees less than the mean in June. Sea-fogs from the Pacific sweep over the coast regularly during the summer months, and moderate the effect of the sun; they extend, however, only to a certain distance inland, so that places twenty miles from San Francisco have a climate as different from that of the latter place as if they were separated from it by many degrees of latitude. This is even the case at Oakland, only a few miles from the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay, where fogs are rare, and hot summers and cool winters are regularly experienced.

Oakland has become a favourite suburb of the Golden City: a park, dotted with good houses, and traversed by broad roads and avenues, is there springing up, as everything does in California, at an astonishing rate, and large ferry-steamers cross the bay thither, so constructed that carriages can be driven on board of them on one side of the bay, and driven off on the other, without delay of

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any kind.

THE MAMMOTH TREES OF CALIFORNIA.

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CHAPTER XX.

THE MAMMOTH TREES OF CALIFORNIA.

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*And over-head up-grew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir-a sylvan scene.' – Paradise Lost.

A RAILWAY ride of ninety miles, followed by a hundredand-thirty miles of driving and riding, will take anyone from San Francisco to two of the grandest and most unique natural scenes on earth—a primeval grove of Sequoias, and a valley walled in by giant precipices. People living in London would hesitate before driving and riding, along a bad road, as far as Stafford or Bristol, even to see such sights as these; but in California distances, as well as cucumbers, are on a large scale, and a traveller who arrives at San Francisco is supposed to be going to take a 'run up' to these now world-famous spots as a matter of course.

Accordingly, we leave San Francisco one afternoon, together with one or two of our fellow-passengers of the * China,' and crossing the Bay to Oakland, take the train for Stockton. Arriving there after dark, we start again almost at daylight next morning, wishing to have as many cool hours as possible in our drive up the San Joaquin Valley. This valley, which we might more correctly term a river-threaded plain, is over a hundred miles in length, and in breadth measures, at most points, between thirty and forty miles.

Throughout this vast extent its soil, a deep alluvial de

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