SINGAPORE, Saturday, January 4.

We reached Singapore at dusk. The drive through the town was a curious one. Nowhere else can such a mixture of races be seen, and each nationality was enjoying itself in its own peculiar fashion - all except the Chinese, who were, as usual, hard at work in their little dens. No recreation for this people. Work, work, work! They never play, never smile, but plod away, from early morning until late at night. The Chinaman's objection to giving his creditor in New York a note was because it "walkee, walkee alle timee; walkee, walkee, no sleepee." They seem to me to emulate these objectionable obligations.

We saw in Singapore our first lot of Hindoos, moving about the streets like ghosts, wrapped in webs of thin white cotton cloth, which scissors, needle, or thread have never defiled. The cloth must remain just as it came from the loom; no hat, no shoes, their foreheads chalked, or painted in red with the stamp of the god they worship and the caste to which they belong. They are a small, slight race, with fine, delicate features.

I went out for a stroll before retiring, and hearing a great noise up the street, followed and came up with a Hindoo procession. The god was being paraded through the Hindoo portion of the town amid the beating of drums and blowing of squeaking trumpets. The idol was seated in a finely decorated temple upon wheels, drawn by devotees, many of whom danced wildly around, while others bore torches aloft, making altogether a very gorgeous display. Priests stood at each side performing mysterious rites as the cortege proceeded. It was my first sight of an idolatrous procession, and it made a deep impression upon me, carrying me back to Sunday- school days, and the terrible car of Juggernaut and all its horrors.

I have had many experiences in beds, from the generous feather cover of the Germans to the canopy of state couch of England, but to-night my couch was minus covering of any kind. Calling to Vandy, I found he was in the same predicament. Each had instead a long, stiff bolster lying lengthwise in the middle of the mattress, the use of which neither of us could make out. We soon discovered that there was no need of covering at the Equator; but this bolster must have some use, if we could only find it. Upon inquiring next day we ascertained that it is composed of a kind of pith which has the property of keeping cool in the hottest weather, and that it is the greatest relief at night to cultivate the closest possible acquaintance with this strange bed-fellow; in fact, in Singapore, "no family should be without it."

The island of Singapore, which is included in the British Straits Settlements, is nearly seventy miles in circumference, with a population of about one hundred thousand, one-half of which is Chinese, the remainder Malays, Klings, Javanese, Hindoos, and every other Eastern race under the sun, I believe, and a few Europeans. Here the "survival of the fittest" is being fought out under the protection of the British flag, which insures peace and order wherever it floats. In this struggle we have no hesitation in backing the Heathen Chinee against the field. Permanent occupation by any Western race is of course out of the question. An Englishman would inevitably cease to be an Englishman in a few, a very few, generations, and it is therefore only a question of time when the Chinese will drive every other race to the wall. No race can possibly stand against them anywhere in the East.

On Sunday, Major Studer, United States Consul, and his accomplished daughter, drove us to the house and gardens of the leading Chinese merchant of this region, Mr. Wampoo, who received and entertained us with great cordiality. His residence is extensive and filled in every part with curios; but his gardens are most celebrated, and far surpass anything of the kind we have yet seen. His collection of Victoria Regia plants is said to be the best in the world. Unfortunately none were in bloom, but a flower was due, I understood, in about ten years! The kind old gentleman invited us back to see it, and we accepted; but since writing this we have heard, alas! that he has ceased to play his part upon earth.

The newspapers here sometimes give strange local items. Here is one from yesterday's Times:

"Tigers must be increasing on the island; a fine big male one was caught in a pit on Christmas eve at the water-works." The fellow was probably on the track of a Christmas dinner, and ventured to the very suburbs of the town.

We were driven one day, by the major and Miss Studer, some ten or twelve miles in the interior, passing through groves of cocoa and betel-nut trees, both in full bearing, to a tapioca plantation, where we saw many trees and plants new to us - the fan and sago palms and many other varieties, bananas, nutmeg trees, bread fruit, durion, gutta-percha trees and others. We also saw the indigo plant under cultivation, and passed through fields of the sensitive plant as we walked about, while pine-apples were everywhere. We are in a new world of vegetation here, within a degree of the Equator; but, rich as it is, there is still a feeling of disappointment because it is all green - no bright hues, no coloring, such as gives Florida its charm, or lends to an American forest in autumn its unrivalled glory! It is always summer, and the moisture of the tropics keeps everything green. There is another cause of disappointment to one accustomed to the primeval forest and its majestic trees. These monarchs cannot develop themselves in the tropics, and in their stead we have only underbrush, the "jungle" of the tiger, which does not at all come up to one's expectations.

About one thousand men and women are employed upon this tapioca plantation. Married Hindoos get twenty cents per day, but the greater number are Javanese unmarried men, who get only sixteen cents; both find themselves. The Javanese are Mohammedans from Java en route to Mecca as a religious duty. They come here and work and save for two years to get sufficient to pay their passage and return to this point, when they work a year more for funds to carry them home. How vital is the creed which brings its adherents to such sacrifice! This drive gave us an excellent opportunity of seeing just how the people live in the country. Dress is confined to the rag worn about the loins, except that the women wear in addition a small cloth over their shoulders. The children wear nothing whatever, but we saw none that were not ornamented by cheap jewelry in the most extraordinary manner.

The subject of clothes, as we all know from the days of "Sartor Resartus," lies very closely at the roots of civilization. I think every thoughtful person must admit that here the Heathen Chinee shows that he has reached the best solution of that annoying question. The every-day dress of the Chinaman is to-day just what it was thousands of years ago. As there is no going out or coming in of fashion, he wears his clothes till they can be worn no longer. The heavy-overcoats which distress Americans and are a weight even to the Englishman, our celestial friend escapes by having three or four light coats all of one pattern and weight. It is a one, two, or a three-coat day, according to temperature. Again and above all he escapes the horrid starch entirely, neither shirts nor collars nor cuffs, sometimes like thin sheets of iron, irritating his skin.

Vandy and I seriously resolved to-day that we would never again tolerate a starched thing about us; no matter what others did, we would discard the vile custom and be free. In revising this I am bound to admit our weakness: neither Vandy nor I have been strong enough to contend against our mothers. I don't know exactly what Vandy's experience was, but I know he fell soon after our return. For my part I fought it out awhile and tried many ways to win; but my flannel and frieze underwear which I brought from China soon became unwearable, I was informed, from shrinkage, then they had broken into holes, and so on. They were finally missed from my wardrobe, and I compromised by stipulating that I should return to the shirt and collars and cuffs, and agreed they might be all pure white - provided that little or no starch should be used - this is an improvement, but linen is the most uncomfortable material known, used as we use it.

Vandy and I when in the East reduced the time for bathing and dressing in the morning to seven minutes. Of course, we have long since given up the folly of shaving. How one envies the man of the East who has but four articles to slip on, and no pins required: socks and low shoes (no lacing), one; breeches, two; undershirt, three; coat, four; and there he is, ready for breakfast. The coat buttons close to the chin, and has a small upright collar, and a watch-pocket outside; no cuffs, collars or neckties. Why does not some born reformer of our sex devote his life to giving his fellow man such additional happiness in life? Hundreds waste their energies upon objects which, if accomplished, would not be half as fruitful.

Here is a description of a woman's jewelry, as taken from life by Vandy: lobes of ears pierced with holes large enough to allow one's thumb to be inserted; above these holes two small gold-color rivets in each ear; in each nostril two gold pendants, inserted by screwing in; through the centre of the nose a large silver ring; on each wrist four bracelets; higher up the arm more rings; around her neck a necklace; around each ankle a large silver ring; and around her big toe and the next, on both feet, were rings. The smallest children wore many similar jewels. Upon these every penny they can save is squandered, and to secure them they are content to live on a little boiled rice and fish - a bamboo hut of one apartment their only home, and a piece of cotton cloth their wardrobe.

We had the pleasure of meeting, at Major Studer's, Mr. Hornaday, a young gentleman who travels for Professor Ward, of Rochester, New York, whose museum is well known the world over. Mr. Hornaday's department is to keep the Professor's collections complete, and if there be a rare bird, beast, or reptile on the globe, he is bound to capture specimens. He had just returned from spending four months among the savages of Borneo, where alone a supply of orang-outangs could be obtained. He returned with forty-two of these links, shot mostly by himself. He came one day upon two very young ones, and these he has brought here alive. They are suggestively human in their ways, and two better-behaved, more affectionate babies are rarely to be met with. Let no anti-Darwinian study young orang-outangs if he wishes to retain his present notions. The museum, Mr. Hornaday is advised, is now short of dugongs, and he is off for Australia next steamer to lay in a supply. The recital of his adventures is extremely interesting, and I predict that some day a book from him will have a great run.

What an interest is awakened by one who is able to tell stories of his own experience! No wonder that Othello won Desdemona with the recital of his adventures. He was the hero who had been the actor in all the scenes he depicted. Listening to Mr. Hornaday was a source of rare pleasure to-night. His chief regret is that he missed, during his visit to Borneo, the largest mias ever seen on the island. The natives discovered a troop, all of which made off except the leader. He showed fight, but soon ran up a high tree, from which the native weapons were unable to dislodge him. He was beyond their reach and there he sat. It was resolved to cut down the tree and capture him as he fell; but as soon as they came to close quarters with the monster, he proved so powerful, fierce, and courageous that the natives ran away and he got off.

Mr. Hornaday reached the spot just too late. "Why didn't you send for me? Didn't you know my rifle would have reached him?" he asked. They gave him no reason for their conduct, but he suspected that they feared he would not have paid them had he made the capture. Mr. Hornaday is confident this mias exceeded the height stated by Wallace as the maximum.

Mr. Hornaday was more successful with the largest tiger shot in India for years. He was out after cheetahs, and having no more expectation of meeting with the nobler game than of encountering a lion, had not his tiger rifle with him. On coming to the banks of a small stream he was greatly surprised to see a tiger's fresh footmarks - a big foot, too. Making a sign to his attendants to stand motionless, he glanced up the stream, then down, and saw, not far from him, leisurely strolling along the edge of the creek, seeking a convenient ford, the largest tiger he had ever laid eyes upon, although he had shot many. "Shall I shoot with this gun?" he thought. "If I miss he will certainly be upon us. He will attack one of my colored attendants first, anyhow, and I'll get a chance to reload. I'll do it!" A moment after, the monster, having found a ford to his liking, turned his head and looked cautiously down stream before entering the water. Finding all quiet in that direction, he turned to glance up stream. For this moment Mr. Hornaday had waited. There is one spot only to hit a tiger - right between the eyes. He fired and the beast fell. No other shot was fired, for holes spoil a skin. The animal writhed for several hours, no one daring to approach him, until he finally sank exhausted upon the sand. I think it was fifteen pounds Mr. Hornaday received from Government for this exploit. I have secured the skin of this very beast, properly preserved, full head, open mouth, glaring eyeballs, and all, and I am ready to match tiger skins with any one.

In the absence of other commercial intelligence, I may quote the market in Mr. Hornaday's line: Tigers are still reported "lively;" orang-outangs "looking up;" pythons show but little animation at this season of the year; proboscis monkeys, on the other hand, continue scarce; there is quite a run on lions, and kangaroos are jumped at with avidity; elephants heavy; birds of paradise drooping; crocodiles are snapped up as offered, while dugongs bring large prices. What is pig metal to this?

The climate of Singapore, as of all places so near the Equator, would be intolerable but for the dense clouds which obscure the sun and save us from its fierce rays; but occasionally it breaks through for a few minutes, and we are in a bath of perspiration before we know it. No one can estimate the difference in the power of the sun here as compared with it in New York. Straw hats afford no protection whatever; we are compelled to wear thick white helmets of pith, and use a white umbrella lined with green cloth, and yet can walk only a few steps when the sun is not hid without feeling that we must seek the shade. The horses are unable to go more than ten miles in twenty-four hours, and our carriage and pair are hired with the understanding that this is not to be exceeded. Nothing could exist near the line if the intense heat did not cause evaporation upon a gigantic scale. The clouds so formed are driven upward by the streams of colder air from both sides, condensation then takes place, and showers fall every few hours in the region of Singapore.

One is not only in a new earth here, but he has a new sky as well. As the tropics have nothing to compare with our more brilliant colors in the vegetable world, so the southern sky has no stars to equal ours. Indeed, with the exception of the four in the Southern Cross, two in the Centaur, and two or three others, there is no star of the first magnitude to be seen, and the constellations are poor compared with those of our splendid northern skies. Shakespeare's

  ". . . inlaid with patines of bright gold,"

must seem hyperbole to the Australian. I saw the Southern Cross many nights while at sea, and it is certainly very fine, as far as four stars can make a cross; for, as usual, much is left to the imagination. It is really not a cross at all. These long ocean trips furnish the best opportunity for observing the stars, and I have rubbed up my early knowledge on the subject so far as to be able to point out all the constellations and many of the principal stars; but away down here the North Star even is not to be seen, and we have to steer by Orion's belt if the compass varies.

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