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wood, lying in the Calistoga Hotel, attracted our attention to them.

A ride of four miles from Calistoga, up among the lower wooded slopes of the hills, takes us to a solitary ranch standing in a sheltered hollow. Here we find a boy, who undertakes to show us the trees. Going through some scanty wood along the course of a nearly dry stream, we pass, nearly two miles from the ranch, under a high cliff of tufa rock, the lower half of which is strongly water-marked, and contains several water-worn caves.

A few hundred yards beyond this is a low knoll, not so high as the hill of which the cliff forms a part, and separated from it by a small ravine. This knoll is covered with manzanita and madroña bushes, and among the bushes, half-buried in the ground, lie the petrified trunks. There are at least a dozen distinct trees, and doubtless more would be disclosed if the knoll were cleared of bushes and the soil removed to the depth of a few feet: scattered pieces of petrified wood lie about in all directions. Only the trunks of the trees are visible, the

. branches being either buried in the ground, or too much broken up to be distinguishable.

One tree, almost the first we see, appears to have been a fir of large size, for he is six feet in diameter, to the best of our measurement, at his lower end : his trunk lies above ground for the length of about forty feet, the rest is buried beneath the soil. From the sharp clean fractures in this and other of the trunks, it would seem right to infer that the trees were petrified standing, and broke as they fell. The petrifaction is very perfect, for the rings in the trunks are clearly visible, and the drops of resin in the various interstices have been transformed into distinct bits of dull crystal. How the petrifaction occurred some scientific head must determine or conjecture. Pieces of

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petrified wood are found all over a belt of country, a mile in width, and six or eight in length, in which this knoll is included ; sea-shells are also found among the neighbouring hills, and volcanic traces abound, both in this district and on Mount St. Helena, on the east side of the Napa Valley.

Crossing from the head of the Napa Valley over the western shoulder of this Mount St. Helena at an altitude of 2,700 feet, and then descending rapidly for 1,400 feet by a steep and narrow road which winds along the edge of precipitous slopes, and round corners so sharp that the celebrated driver of the Calistoga four-in-hand coach loses sight of his leaders as he turns them at a canter, we reach another natural celebrity of the neighbourhood, the Geyser Springs.

The Geyser Hotel, where we 'pull off,' stands on the south side of a narrow cañon, full of wood ; on the opposite side is a branch cañon, which, as we look across to it in the cold early morning, is full of hissing, rolling steam. Crossing over into it, we soon are threading our way over patches of sulphur, soda, alum, and other chemical substances, and passing among jets of steam and sulphurous vapour; while on every side burst out of the soil springs of boiling liquid of various colours, smells, and temperatures. Some of the deposits round these springs are very beautiful, especially the sulphur crystals. Here and there are cold springs, the waters of which taste of iron, alum, or sulphur, as the case may be.

The variety of the springs, all within an area of a few acres, may be judged of from the fact that alum, magnesia, tartaric acid, Epsom salts, ammonia, nitre, iron, and sulphur, are all deposited by them, and that the temperature of the different springs ranges from 56° up to the boiling-point. One throws out a liquid said to be identical in composition with Epsom salts; the produce of another is said to possess great curative properties for sore eyes; a third throws up a liquid which can be used as ink; another—which boils furiously up into a cavity in the rock, eight or ten feet in diameter and five feet deep, filling it with a black and strong-smelling liquid-is not unaptly termed . The Witches' Cauldron.'

There are pleasant places within easy reach of San Francisco, by train or steamer, in all directions; and the bankers, merchants, lawyers, and other money-makers of that money-making city, are showing every year their increasing preference for these spots as dwelling-places. Substantial villas, standing in the midst of gardens, which, in this magic climate and soil, make as much progress in one year as an English garden does in three, spring up in all directions, and the traveller will not have been long in San Francisco before he has met with a kindly reception into the unstilted and pleasant society which reigns within them. If he is fresh from the insular manners and customs of Great Britain, he


be a little surprised at meeting, in the house of a common acquaintance, some bewitching San Franciscan, who, before the evening is over, will ask him to call upon her at her father's house in the town, or at the school from which she is not yet emancipated. And if the customs of the family surprise him, so will also those that reign in the lower department of the household. When he leaves his friend's house, he finds that he has to carry his own bag to the railway station, and depart with boots unblacked. Every man bears his own burden in California, and as to blacking boots, that is left to the established shoeblack, or to the barber, who has his shop in every street of San Francisco. In a Californian house there is no such person as a 'servant;' a 'help' is the nearest approach to such a relic of the feudal system.


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Going southwards, beyond the suburban villas of San Francisco, a railway ride of fifty miles brings us to San José, a town older by fifty years than San Francisco, with a population of some 20,000. As we enter it we have a good instance of the economical way in which railways are laid down in America ; for the train rolls slowly through the town on the same level with the streets, several of which it crosses at right angles, with no bridging, no embankment, no gates even-merely a loud whistle to give notice of its approach, and warn lesser vehicles out

of its way.

Close to San José are some large and well-managed vineyards, where can be seen a good sample of the winegrowing which has become such an extensive interest in the State. We enter one vineyard belonging to an exgeneral of the United States army, who came to California with the army of conquest twenty years ago. He has not been engaged in vine-growing more than six or eight years, and two years ago he had almost to begin over again, owing to all his stock of wine and brandy, just ready for the market, being burnt by a mob of Irishmen, whose sole grudge against him was that he employed Chinamen to work his vineyards. But he still holds to his Chinamen, has not been disturbed since the time of that outrage, and is sanguine of producing good red wines and brandy within a very short time. Certainly the samples already in his storehouse are such as to give him good grounds for his expectations. His opinion tends to confirm our own limited experience, that the red wines of California are better than her other kinds; her champagnes and white wines are of a very moderate excellence, and probably only hold their own by means of the enormous prohibitive duty on foreign wines ; perhaps longer experience is wanted in order to ensure their successful manufacture.


Fifteen miles beyond San José, at a slight elevation among the hills to the southward, is the quicksilver mine of New Almaden, famous as having been till recently the richest mine of the kind in the world, the old Almaden mine in Spain alone excepted. Now, according to the account of one of the managers, its yield of ore is scarcely sufficient to pay the working expenses. The ore is dug out in the form of a dark-red stone, termed cinnabar,' from which the quicksilver is extracted by means of heat. The cinnabar is placed in furnaces, and the metal, under the influence of great heat, leaves the ore in the form of fumes; these fumes, after passing through several cooling chambers, are condensed gradually, and flow out at the end of the process as pure quicksilver. The miners are nearly all either Cornishmen or Mexicans. Near the works is a spring of water, which tastes slightly of iron, is very refreshing, and is said to be of exactly the same composition as the French Vichy water; it is bottled, and sold in San Francisco as California Vichy water' at three dollars and a half the dozen.

We retrace our steps to San Francisco, and it is not long before we are again at sea, making this time a southerly course. If we left Japan with much prospective wondering as to what the next twenty years will bring to that country, we leave California with much retrospective wonder at what the last twenty years has wrought there. The impression first received on landing in San Francisco is also the most lasting, and the most often repeated, as we travel through the country. Rapid development of immense resources—such has been the history in brief of California, since the gold-fever began, and such must continue to be her history for many years to come. Gold-mining, indeed, has reached and passed its fullest development, but the other industries of California are

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