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Japan

Perhaps if I had reached New York from the sea the skyscrapers would have struck me more violently. But I had already seen a few in San Francisco (and wondered at and admired the courage which could build so high after the earthquake of 1906), and more in Chicago, all ugly; so that when I came to New York and found that the latest architects were not only building high, but imposing beauty on these mammoth structures, surprise was mingled with delight.

The Ridge at Delhi is a sufficiently moving reminder of the Indian Mutiny; but it is at Lucknow that the most poignant phases are re-enacted. At Delhi may be seen, preserved for ever, the famous buildings which the British succeeded in keeping - Hindu Rao's house, and the Observatory, and Flagstaff Tower, the holding of which gave them victory; while in the walls of the Kashmir Gate our cannon balls are still visibly imbedded. There is also the statue of John Nicholson in the Kudsia Garden, and in the little Museum of the Fort are countless souvenirs.

A whole week of my too short stay was given to Myanoshita, whither I was driven by the impossibility of retaining a room in either Yokohama or Tokio, and where I stayed willingly on, out of delight in the place itself. After being cooped up for so long on ships, and kept inactive under the heat of India, it was like a new existence to take immense walks among these mountains in the keen rarified air, even though there was both rain and snow. Myanoshita stands some four thousand feet high and is situated in a valley in which are many summer cottages and health resorts.

It was a relief to resume my programme by entering that abode of the dumb and detached - the aquarium in Battery Park. For the kerb uproar "the uncommunicating muteness of fishes" was the only panacea. The Bronx Zoo is not, I think, except in the matter of buffalo and deer paddocks, so good as ours in London, but it has this shining advantage - it is free. So also is the Aquarium in Battery Park, and it was pleasing to see how crowded the place can be.

To have the opportunity of hunting a tiger - on an elephant too - which by a stroke of luck fell to me, is to experience the un-English character of India at its fullest. Almost everything else could be reproduced elsewhere - the palaces, the bazaars, the caravans, the mosques and temples with their worshippers - but not the jungle, the Himalayas, the vast swamps through which our elephants waded up to the Plimsoll, the almost too painful ecstasies of the pursuit of an eater of man.

In essentials America is American, but when it comes to inessentials, to trimmings, her dependence on old England was noticeable again and again as I walked about New York. The fashion which, at the moment, the print shops were fostering was for our racing, hunting and coaching coloured prints of a century ago, while in the gallery of the distinguished little Grolier Club I found an exhibition of the work of Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway.

The devout Hindu knows in Benares the height of ecstasy: but, if I am typical, the European experiences there both discomfort and inquietude. Nowhere else in India did I feel so foreign, so alien. To be of cool Christian traditions and an Occidental, an inquisitive sightseer among these fervent pilgrims intent upon their pious duties and rapt in exaltation and unthinking inflexible belief, was in itself disconcerting, almost to the point of shame; while the pilgrims were so remarkably of a different world, a different era, that one felt lost.

My first experience of democracy-in-being followed swiftly upon boarding the steamboat for San Francisco, when "Show this man Number 231" was the American steward's command to a cabin boy. I had no objection to being called a man: far from it; but after years of being called a gentleman it was startling. This happened at Yokohama; and when, in the Customs House at San Francisco, a porter wheeling a truck broke through a queue of us waiting to obtain our quittances, with the careless warning, "Out of the way, fellers!" I knew that here was democracy indeed.

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