Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 139.pdf/73

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stances which help self-appreciation. Most people overrate themselves in certain directions, but in the jostling of the world, most of us are taught our place. The atmosphere of the sick-room, on the other hand, quite shuts out the possibility of the small checks which make us feel that we have thought too much of ourselves. It is quite evident that Miss Martineau suffered in this way, though perhaps her deafness had as much to do with the result as her ill-health. At any rate, she is a memorable example of the disadvantages of being cut off from the discipline which teaches modesty. No doubt a great deal of the deference which fed her vanity was both deserved and sincere, but probably not quite all. And with ordinary invalids, there is and cannot but be much illusion as to the interest they inspire, for nothing is so like deference as well-bred compassion. But indeed it has been a truth insufficiently considered, although its causes are obvious, that all influences which isolate the soul tend to give it an undue idea of its own importance. It is hard — we believe almost impossible — for a solitary being to attain humility. What, we may be asked, in conclusion, is our remedy for all these disadvantages? Or what is the use of dwelling on disadvantages for which there is no remedy? Is it not better to forget incurable ills, till they are forced on the mind by the pressure of experience? No, emphatically no. The ordinary misfortunes of the world would lose much of their pain if they were distinctly recognized. And although it is true that we do not remove misunderstanding in accounting for it — that we cannot make it otherwise than painful — yet the difference between a pain which we trace to unkindness or selfishness and that which we trace to inevitable mistake, is as great as the difference between the pain of a sprained ankle when we try to stand on it, and when we let it rest on a cushion. The mind loses the bitterness of its sufferings in discerning their necessity, and is sometimes surprised in this acquiescence to find them almost disappear.

The treaty between Japan and Corea of February 26, 1876, gave the Japanese the right to settle and trade on certain points of the Corean coasts. The first of these settlements was formed in Fusan, not far from Torai, and a correspondent thence to the Japanese journal Sakigake Shinbun says: —

It was very cold in January at Fusan: the thermometer stood between –2° and –22° F. (–19° and –30° C.). Our settlement numbers about a hundred houses, with about eight hundred Japanese inhabitants of both sexes. A school for teaching the Corean language was lately opened in the newly-built temple of Honganji. The populous city of Torai, which is about three ri (seven miles) from our settlement, is frequently infested by tigers, and on that account every door is closed early in the evening, after which no one ventures into the streets. An animal called "tonpi" by the Coreans, and which resembles a cat, attacks the tiger, which seems to fear it greatly. Noticing this, the Coreans, when they go into the hills, put on a cap of tonpi-skin. Very few of the lower class of Coreans sleep in beds; most of them have only a sheet of Corean paper for a couch, and keep up a fire beside them for warmth. The articles of import are chiefly muslin, silk, dyes, tin, copper, and various small wares. The Coreans, on the other hand, bring golden and other valuable manufactured goods for export. No customs are paid in trading.

The Rev. W. G. Lawes, the well-known New Guinea traveller and missionary, has communicated to the Colonies an interesting account of a visit which he paid, towards the close of last year, to the previously unknown village of Kalo, on the western bank of the Uanekela (or Kemp-Welch) River, which empties into Hood Bay, New Guinea, not far from Kerefunu. Mr. Lawes says that the village is laid out in streets and squares, all of which are kept scrupulously clean, being swept every day by the women. He induced one of the chiefs to accompany him some three miles up the river, which he found takes a sharp curve a little way above Kalo, and becomes narrower, but after about a mile it widens out again into a fine broad stream. It is said to be navigable for a long distance, and, according to native accounts, runs to Manumanu, in Redscar Bay. On the Kalo side of the river groves of cocoanut trees abound, and betel-palms are also plentiful, while on the east bank numerous and extensive plantations of bananas and sugarcane were seen. Mr. Lawes states that the villages round and near Hood Bay are inhabited by a fine race of men, who are industrious and kindly-disposed, though at first shy and suspicious. They have a warlike character, but their hostility to each other would probably be soon removed if more constant intercourse were established among them. Cocoanuts are at present the only article of any commercial value which the natives possess, and it is probable that some day large quantities of copra will be exported from this part of New Guinea; no doubt, too, the country has other resources which are as yet undeveloped.