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colors the whole length and breadth of our land. These beauties are all common. They are characteristic of the country and climate; they have not to be sought for, but they gladden the eye at every step. In the regions of the equator, on the other hand, whether it be forest or savanna, a sombre green clothes universal nature. You may journey for hours and even for days, and meet with nothing to break the monotony. Flowers are everywhere rare, and any thing at all striking is only to be met with at very distant intervals.
The idea that nature exhibits gay colors in the tropics, and that the general aspect of nature is there more bright and varied in hue than with us, has even been made the foundation of theories of art, and we have been forbidden to use bright colors in our garments, and in the decorations of our dwellings, because it was supposed that we should be thereby acting in opposition to the teachings of nature. The argument itself is a very poor one, since it might with equal justice be maintained, that as we possess faculties for the appreciation of colors, we should make up for the deficiencies of nature and use the gayest tints in those regions where the landscape is most monotonous. But the assumption on which the argument is founded is totally false, so that even if the reasoning were valid, we need not be afraid of outraging nature, by decorating our houses and our persons with all those gay hues which are so lavishly spread over our fields mountains, our hedges, woods, and meadows.
It is very easy to see what has led to this erroneous view of the nature of tropical vegetation. In our hothouses and at our flower-shows we gather together the finest flowering plants from the most distant regions of the earth, and exhibit them in a proximity to each other which never occurs in nature. A hundred distinct plants, all with bright, or strange, or gorgeous flowers, make a wonderful show when brought together; but perhaps no two of these plants could ever be seen together in a state of nature, each inhabiting a distant region or a different station. Again, all moderately warm extra-European countries are mixed up with the tropics in general estimation, and a vague idea is formed that whatever is pre-eminently beautiful must come from the hottest parts of the earth. But the fact is quite the contrary.
ASPECTS OF NATURE.
Rhododenrons and azaleas are plants of temperate regions, the grandest lilies are from temperate Japan, and a large proportion of our most showy flowering plants are natives of the Himalayas, of the Cape, of the United States, of Chili, or of China and Japan, all temperate regions. True, there are a great number of grand and gorgeous flowers in the tropics, but the proportion they bear to the mass of the vegetation is exceedingly small; so that what appears an anomaly is. nevertheless a fact, and the effect of flowers on the general aspect of nature is far less in the equatorial than in the tem perate regions of the earth.
GUINEA. DORE Y.
MARCH TO JUly, 1858.
AFTER my return from Gilolo to Ternate, in March, 1858, I made arrangements for my long-wished-for voyage to the main-land of New Guinea, where I anticipated that my collections would surpass those which I had formed at the Aru Islands. The poverty of Ternate in articles used by Europeans was shown, by my searching in vain through all the stores for such common things as flour, metal spoons, wide-mouthed phials, beeswax, a penknife, and a stone or metal pestle and mortar. I took with me four servants: my head man Ali, and a Ternate lad named Jumaat (Friday), to shoot; Lahagi, a steady, middle-aged man to cut timber and assist me in insectcollecting; and Loisa, a Javanese cook. As I knew I should have to build a house at Dorey, where I was going, I took with me eighty cadjans, or waterproof mats, made of pandanus leaves, to cover over my baggage on first landing, and to help to roof my house afterward.
We started on the 25th of March in the schooner Hester Helena, belonging to my friend Mr. Duivenboden, and bound on a trading voyage along the north coast of New Guinea. Having calms and light airs, we were three days reaching Gané, near the south end of Gilolo, where we staid to fill up our water-casks and buy a few provisions. We obtained fowls, eggs, sago, plantains, sweet potatoes, yellow pumpkins, chilies, fish, and dried deer's meat; and on the afternoon of the 29th proceeded on our voyage to Dorey harbor. We found it, however, by no means easy to get along; for so near to the equator the monsoons entirely fail of their regularity, and after passing the southern point of Gilolo we had calms, light puffs of wind, and contrary currents, which kept us for five days in sight of the same islands between it and Poppa. A squall then brought us on to the entrance of Dampier's Straits,
VOYAGE TO DOREY.
where we were again becalmed, and were three more days creeping through them. Several native canoes now came off to us from Waigiou on one side, and Batanta on the other, bringing a few common shells, palm-leaf mats, cocoa-nuts, and pumpkins. They were very extravagant in their demands, being accustomed to sell their trifles to whalers and China ships, whose crews will purchase any thing at ten times its value. My only purchases were a float belonging to a turtle-spear, carved to resemble a bird, and a very well made palm-leaf box, for which articles I gave a copper ring and a yard of calico. The canoes were very narrow and furnished with an outrigger, and in some of them there was only one man, who seemed to think nothing of coming out alone eight or ten miles from shore. The people were Papuans, much resembling the natives of Aru.
When we had got out of the Straits, and were fairly in the great Pacific Ocean, we had a steady wind for the first time since leaving Ternate, but unfortunately it was dead ahead, and we had to beat against it, tacking on and off the coast of New Guinea. I looked with intense interest on those rugged mountains, retreating ridge behind ridge into the interior, where the foot of civilized man had never trod. There was the country of the cassowary and the tree-kangaroo, and those dark forests produced the most extraordinary and the most beautiful of the feathered inhabitants of the earth-the varied species of birds of paradise. A few days more and I hoped to be in pursuit of these, and of the scarcely less beautiful insects which accompany them. We had still, however, for several days only calms and light head-winds, and it was not till the 10th of April that a fine westerly breeze set in, followed by a squally night, which kept us off the entrance of Dorey harbor. The next morning we entered, and came to anchor off the small island of Mansinam, on which dwelt two German missionaries, Messrs. Otto and Geisler. The former immediately came on board to give us welcome, and invited us to go on shore and breakfast with him. We were then introduced to his companion-who was suffering dreadfully from an abscess on the heel, which had confined him to the house for six months-and to his wife, a young German woman, who had been out only three months. Unfortunately she could
speak no Malay or English, and had to guess at our compliments on her excellent breakfast by the justice we did to it.
These missionaries were working men, and had been sent out, as being more useful among savages than persons of a higher class. They had been here about two years, and Mr. Otto had already learned to speak the Papuan language with fluency, and had begun translating some portions of the Bible. The language, however, is so poor that a considerable number of Malay words have to be used; and it is very questionable whether it is possible to convey any idea of such a book to a people in so low a state of civilization. The only nominal converts yet made are a few of the women; and some few of the children attend school, and are being taught to read, but they make little progress. There is one feature of this mission which I believe will materially interfere with its moral effect. The missionaries are allowed to trade to eke out the very small salaries granted them from Europe, and of course are obliged to carry out the trade principle of buying cheap and selling dear, in order to make a profit. Like all savages the natives are quite careless of the future, and when their small rice crops are gathered they bring a large portion of it to the missionaries, and sell it for knives, beads, axes, tobacco, or any other articles they may require. A few months later, in the wet season, when food is scarce, they come to buy it back again, and give in exchange tortoise-shell, tripang, wild nutmegs, or other produce. Of course the rice is sold at a much higher rate than it was bought, as is perfectly fair and just-and the operation is on the whole thoroughly beneficial to the natives, who would otherwise consume and waste their food when it was abundant, and then starve-yet I can not imagine that the natives see it in this light. They must look upon the trading missionaries with some suspicion, and can not feel so sure of their teachings being disinterested, as would be the case if they acted like the Jesuits in Singapore. The first thing to be done by the missionary in attempting to improve savages, is to convince them by his actions that he comes among them for their benefit only, and not for any private ends of his own. To do this he must act in a different way from other men, not trading and taking advantage of the necessities of those who want to sell, but rather giving to those who are in