TUESDAY, January 14.

We left Singapore to-day at three P.M. by the English mail steamer Teheran, parting with very sincere regret from Major and Miss Studer, to whom we had been so much indebted for our week's happiness. These partings from kind friends on our way round the world are the sad incidents of the trip. People are so kind, and they do so much to render our stay agreeable, that we become warmly attached, and have many excursions planned, when some morning up goes the flag, boom goes the signal gun, "Mail steamer arrived!" all aboard at sunset! and farewell, friends! We see them linger on the pier as we sail away, good-byes are waved, and we fade from each other's sight; but it will be long ere many faces vanish from our memory.

While still gazing Singaporeward I am recalled to the stern duties of life. These two baby orang-outangs I told you of are going to a naturalist in Madras. What a present! and Vandy and I have promised to do what we can in the way of attendance upon them. The butcher comes to ask me when they are to be fed, and how, and what. This is a poser. I am not up in the management of orang- outangs, but Vandy has skill in almost everything of this kind; at least he is safer than I, there being a good deal of the incipient doctor about Vandy, and I search for him in this emergency. The fact is, while I have had varied experiences in the matter of delicate charges of many kinds, these have generally been of our own species - a youngster to be taken home to his parents, a dowager lady afraid of the cars - even a blushing damsel to be transported across the Atlantic to the arms of her fiance has been entrusted to me before this, but this charge is decidedly out of my line. These fearfully human-looking, human-acting brutes furnish much amusement to the passengers; but at first every lady whom we took forward to watch them was compelled to run away laughing and exclaiming, "Oh, they are so much like babies! It's just horrid to see these nasty, hairy things carry on so!" Confirmation strong, I suppose, of our kinship, so do riot let us neglect our poor relations even if the connection be somewhat remote. Bananas are their favorite delicacy, but this morning not even that fruit could tempt them. I gave one to the smaller of the two, but it would not take it. Then I tried the larger one. He took it in his paw, peeled it at one end and put it to his lips, then looking up at me with a sad, puzzled expression, dropped his prize, and resting his head on his paw laid slowly down on the straw, telling us all as plainly as could be that he was sea-sick. Such was indeed the case; but in a few hours the sea fell and he was as sprightly as ever. Monkeys move spasmodically, by jerks as it were; not so these dignified, stately creatures: they are as deliberate in all their actions as staid, sober people. One day a passenger had offered a banana to the little one, but as it put forth its paw, withdrew it. The wee thing stood this several times, and at last laid down on its face and cried like a child - a wicked cry; nor would it be comforted, the banana when offered being petulantly rejected. They are much too human.

We called at Penang, an island on the western shore of the Peninsula, also belonging to Great Britain, and had time to drive around the settlement. The place is not to be compared to Singapore in size, but vegetation is even more luxuriant. It was very hot, and we envied the governor his residence on a mountain peak eighteen hundred feet above the sea, where, it was reported, fires are actually required at some seasons night and morning. Penang exports large quantities of tin, and we took on a lot for New York. This valuable production seems about the only metal America has now to import, but some lucky explorer is no doubt destined to find it in immense quantities by and by. Having got everything else, it doesn't stand to reason that America should not be favored with this also. Nothing unusual occurred upon our run across the Bay of Bengal. Even Vandy enjoyed the sea voyage this time; something he had never before done in his life, nor ever done since. It was smooth and quiet steaming all the way to Ceylon. I had been humming "Greenland's Icy Mountains" for several days previously, about all that I knew of Ceylon's isle being contained in one of the verses of that hymn, which I used to sing at missionary meetings, when a minister who had seen the heathen was stared at as a prodigy.

And indeed the "spicy breezes blew soft o'er Ceylon's isle" as we approached it in the moonlight. We found Galle quite a pretty, quaint little port, and remained there one night, taking the coach next morning for Colombo, the capital. The drive of sixty miles to the railway which extends to Colombo, seventeen miles beyond, is one of the best treats we have yet had. The road is equal to one of our best park avenues, as indeed are all the roads we saw in Ceylon; from end to end it skirts the rocky shores, passing through groves of cocoa and betel-nut trees, and dotted on each side by the huts of natives at work at some branch of the cocoanut business. Every part of the nut is utilized; ropes and mats are made from the covering of the shell, oil from the kernel, and the milk is drank fresh at every meal. These trees do not thrive except near the coast, the salt air laden with moisture being essential for their growth, but they grow quite down to the edge of the sea. The natives have been attracted to this main road, and from Galle to Colombo it is almost one continuous village; there is no prettier sea-shore in the world, nor a more beautiful surf. Every few miles we come upon large numbers of fishermen drawing in their nets, which are excessively long and take in several acres of sea in their sweep. An artist who would come to Ceylon and devote himself to depicting "the fishers of Ceylon's isle" (how well that sounds! and a good title is half the battle) would make a reputation and a fortune. I am quite sure there is no more picturesque sight than the drawing of their nets, several hundred men being engaged in the labor, while the beach is alive with women and children in bright colors anxiously watching the result.

The dress of the Ceylonese women is really pretty: a skirt closely fitting the figure, and a tight jacket over the shoulders - all of fine, pure white cotton cloth or muslin and quite plain, with neither frill, tuck, flounce, nor anything of the kind. Necklaces and ear-rings are worn, but I am glad to say the nose in Ceylon seems to be preserved from the indignity of rings. The men's dress is rather scanty, their weakness being a large tortoise-shell comb, which every one wears; it reaches from ear to ear, and the hair is combed straight back and confined by it. Women are denied this crowning ornament, and must content themselves with a pin in the hair, the head of which, however, is highly ornamented. The Buddhist priests form a strange contrast in their dress, which consists of a yellow plaid, generally of silk, wrapped around the body and over the shoulders.

I asked our Ceylonese guide to-day whether he had ever heard of our most popular missionary hymn. "Here is the verse," I said, "about your beautiful isle ":

  "What though the spicy breezes 
   Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle, 
   Though every prospect pleases, 
   And only man is vile! 
   In vain with lavish kindness, 
   The gifts of God are strewn; 
   The heathen, in his blindness, 
   Bows down to wood and stone."

"What do you think of that description?" I asked. He said he thought "the writer was a fool," and asked if any one in my country believed that there was a man, woman, or child in Ceylon who did not know better than to bow down to any power but God. "Yes," I said, "I once believed it myself, and millions believe it to-day, and good boys and girls with us save their pennies to send missionaries to tell these heathen who worship idols how very wrong and foolish it is to do so, and how very angry the true God is to have anything worshipped but himself." He said ours must be a very curious country, and he should like to visit it and see such queer people. I gave him my address and promised, if he would come to see me, to take him to a great missionary meeting where he would see the best and most religious people, all greatly concerned about the idolaters of Ceylon.

The truth is there is scarcely in all the world a human being so low in the scale as not to know that the object he sees is only the symbol of the invisible power. What the cross is to the Christian the idol is to the other, and it is nothing more. The worship of both is to the Unknown beyond. I did my best to soothe the wounded spirit of our guide by explaining the necessities of poetic license. Still he would have it that Bishop Heber had wronged his beloved Ceylon and did not know what he was writing about.

The religion of Ceylon is Buddhism; indeed it is now the most strictly Buddhist country in the world. One condition of the cession of the sovereignty to Great Britain was that this religion should be held inviolable with its rights and privileges, its monasteries and temples and all pertaining thereto. In the language of the greatest European authority, "although government support is no longer given to it, its pure and simple doctrines live in the hearts of the people and are the noblest monument to its founder Gautama Buddha. The taking of the meanest life is strictly forbidden, and falsehood, intemperance, dishonesty, anger, pride, and covetousness are denounced as incompatible with Buddhism, which enjoins the practice of chastity, gratitude, contentment, moderation, forgiveness of injuries, patience, and cheerfulness." The priests of Buddha are regularly ordained and sworn to celibacy, and they are required to meet each other every fourteen days for purposes of mutual confession. The lowest caste is eligible to the priesthood, as with the Christian religion.

Ceylon is somewhat smaller than Ireland, and the population is a little less than three millions, but it is rapidly increasing, as are its exports and imports. Of all the places we visited it seems to have suffered least from the wave of depression which has recently swept over the world. This is undoubtedly owing to the fact that the spicy isle enjoys somewhat of a monopoly in coffee and some of the spices, cinnamon especially. Java coffee is generally used, I think, in America, but in Ceylon it is deemed an inferior article; Mocha, in Arabia, furnishes the best, but much called Mocha is really grown here. In the coffee plantations men are paid eighteen cents per day; women, fourteen cents. A disease akin to that which attacked the vines in France some years ago has raged among the plants for two years past; it promises this year to be less destructive, although no effectual cure has yet been discovered. We met several coffee planters, generally young, pushing Englishmen who either own the estates, or are related to those who do. They lead a pleasant life in Ceylon, the climate being good most of the year, and those who are contented declare that a European can live there and enjoy as good health as at home. If the weather prove too warm in the summer there are the mountains to run to. Scientific cultivation of coffee began in Ceylon as late as 1824, and public attention was not directed to it until 1834 - only fifty years ago - yet to-day there are more than twelve hundred coffee plantations, and the amount of coffee exported exceeds twenty millions of dollars per annum. Tea cultivation has been introduced recently, and the quality is said to be excellent. There cannot be any doubt of this, because it finds a ready market here. None has been exported. If it were not a remarkably good article the foreign would be preferred, as we all know a domestic article has a world of prejudice to overcome at first. I shall watch the Ceylon tea question with interest, and hope that at some not distant day the production of tea leaf may rival that of the coffee bean.

I have no intention to enter into any political question - certainly not into the merits of Free Trade vs. Protection; but I must own I was surprised to find that one-fifth of the total revenue of the island is derived from taxes upon the daily food of the people, two-thirds of this from a tax upon imported rice, and the other third from native grain.

Ceylon teaches many lessons. The liquor traffic, for instance, is managed throughout the entire island as a governmental monopoly. Distillation is restricted to a few specified distillers who can sell their product at wholesale in open market, but the right to retail is restricted to certain taverns, which are rented year by year to the highest bidders, subject to stringent conditions. Pure arrack only can be sold at fixed prices, and lessees are held to strict account for drunkenness and disturbances. The liquor monopoly yields L170,000, or about one-seventh of the whole revenue, which in 1873 was L1,241,558 ($6,200,000); about ten shillings per head, as against England's two pounds and more.

The main roads of Ceylon are equal to those of Central Park; so they should be, for their cost has exceeded L2,000 per mile. Ten thousand dollars! - we could almost build a railway in the West for this. However, it is not as much as it costs in Britain to get the right to begin to spend money on a railway; so we must congratulate the Ceylonese upon getting a splendid return for their investment. During our brief sojourn in the island (alas! all too short as I write these pages) we travelled over every mile of railway there. This sounds large to one who judges of a railway system by that of the United States - a hundred and twenty thousand miles; there were then only about a hundred miles in all Ceylon - two short lines. To-day there are doubtless a hundred and Fifty miles in operation, as the line under construction between Colombo and Galle was expected to be opened in two years more. This brings Japan and Ceylon about even upon the railway question, though the population of Ceylon is only about one-twelfth that of Japan.

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