HARBOR OF SAN FRANCISCO, Thursday, October 24.

At last! noon, 24th, and there she lies - the Belgic at her dock! What a crowd! but not of us; eight hundred Chinamen are to return to the Flowery Land. One looks like another; but how quiet they are! Are they happy? overjoyed at being homeward bound? We cannot judge. Those sphinx-like, copper-colored faces tell us no tales. We had asked a question last night by telegraph, and here is the reply brought to us on the deck. It ends with a tender good-bye. How near and yet how far! but even if the message had sought us out at the Antipodes, its power to warm the heart with the sense of the near presence and companionship of those we love would only have been enhanced. In this we seem almost to have reached the dream of the Swedish seer, who tells us that thought brings presence, annihilating space in heaven.

We start promptly at noon. Our ship is deeply laden with flour, which China needs in consequence of the famine prevailing in its northern provinces, not owing to a failure of the rice, as I had understood, but of the millet, which is used by the poor instead of rice. Some writers estimate that five millions of people must die from starvation before the next crop can be gathered; but this seems incredible. And now America comes to the rescue, so that at this moment, while from its Eastern shores it pours forth its inexhaustible stores to feed Europe, it sends from the West of its surplus to the older races of the far East. Thus from all sides, fabled Ceres as she is, she scatters to all peoples from the horn of plenty. Favored land, may you prove worthy of all your blessings and show to the world that after ages of wars and conquests there comes at last to the troubled earth the glorious reign of peace. But no new steel cruisers, no standing army. These are the devil's tools in monarchies; the Republic's weapons are the ploughshare and the pruning hook.

For three hundred miles the Pacific is never pacific. Coast winds create a swell, and our first two nights at sea were trying to bad sailors, but the motion was to me so soft after our long railway ride that I seemed to be resting on air cushions. It was more delightful to be awake and enjoy the sense of perfect rest than to sleep, tired as we were; so we lay literally

  "Rocked in the cradle of the rude imperious surge,"

and enjoyed it.

To some of my talented New York friends who are touched with Buddhism just now and much puzzled to describe, and I judge even to imagine, their heaven, I confidently recommend a week's continuous jar upon a rough railway as the surest preparation for attaining a just conception of Nirvana, where perfect rest is held the greatest possible bliss. Lying, as I did apparently, upon air cushions, and rocked so softly on the waves, I had not a wish; desire was gone; I was content; every particle of my weary body seemed bathed in delight. Here was the delicious sense of rest we are promised in Nirvana. The third day out we are beyond the influence of the coast, and begin our first experience of the Pacific Ocean. So far it is simply perfect; we are on the ideal summer sea. What hours for lovers, these superb nights! they would develop rapidly, I'm sure, under such skyey influences. The temperature is genial, balmy breezes blow, there is no feeling of chilliness; the sea, bathed in silver, glistens in the moonlight; we sit under awnings and glide through the water. The loneliness of this great ocean I find very impressive - so different from the Atlantic pathway - we are so terribly alone, a speck in the universe; the sky seems to enclose us in a huge inverted bowl, and we are only groping about, as it were, to find a way out; it is equidistant all around us; nothing but clouds and water. But as we sail westward we have every night a magnificent picture. I have never seen such resplendent sunsets as these: we seem nightly to be just approaching the gates of Enchanted Land; through the clouds, in beautiful perspective, shine the gardens of the Hesperides, and imagination readily creates fairy lands beyond, peopled with spirits and fays. It is not so much the gorgeousness of the colors as their variety which gives these sunsets a character of their own; one can find anything he chooses in their infinite depths. Turner must have seen such in his mind's eye. "I never saw such sunsets as these you paint," said the critic of his style. "No; don't you wish you could?" was the reply. But I think even a prosaic critic would feel that these Pacific pictures have a spiritual sense beyond the letter, unless, indeed, he were Wordsworth's friend, to whom

  "A primrose by a river's brim 
   A yellow primrose was to him, 
   And it was nothing more."

He, of course, is hopeless.

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