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4. We dashed through the bazaars and cocoa groves, then across the golden sands covered with rare shells, and fringed on the one side with the bright blue dancing sea, dotted with many a white sail, and on the other with deep green jungle, in which were sheltered dark lagoons. Once in a while, we would drive out on to a plain, varied by clumps of fig and tulip trees, and, looking to the east, would sight the purple mountains of the central range ; then, dashing again into the thronged bazaars, would see little but the bright palm trees relieved upon an azure sky.
5. The road is one continuous village, for the population is twelve times as dense in the western as in the eastern provinces of Ceylon. All this dense coast population is supported by the cocoanut, for there are in Ceylon 200,000 acres under cocoa palms, which yield from seven to eight hundred million cocoa-nuts a year, and are worth two millions sterling.
6. Our road lay through the cinnamon gardens, which are going out of cultivation, as they no longer pay, although the cinnamon laurel is a spice grove in itself, giving cinnamon from its bark, camphor from the roots, and clove oil from its leaves. The plant grows wild about the island, and is cut and peeled by the natives at no cost, save that of children's labour, which they do not count as cost at all.
7. The scene in the gardens that still remained was charming : the cinnamon-laurel bushes contrasted well with the red soil, and the air was alive with dragon-flies, moths, and winged beetles, while the softness of the evening breeze had tempted out he half-caste Dutch families of the city, who were driving and walking clothed in white, the ladies with their jet hair dressed with natural flowers. The setting sun threw brightness without heat into the gay scene.
8. A friend who had horses ready for us at the hotel where the mail-coach stopped, said that it was not too late for a ride through the fort, or European town inside the walls ; so, cantering along among the officers of the garrison who were enjoying their evening ride, we crossed the moat, and found ourselves in what is perhaps the most graceful street in the world ; a double range of long low houses of bright white stone, with deep piazzas,' buried in masses of bright foliage, in which the fire-flies were beginning to play. In the centre of the fort is an Indian campanile, which serves at once as a belfry, a clock-tower, and a lighthouse.
9. In the morning, before sunrise, we climbed this tower for the view. The central range stood up sharply on the eastern sky, as the sun was still hid behind it, and to the south-east there towered high the peak where for a hundred years Adam is said to have mourned his son. In colour, shape, and height,
· Piazza, a pathway under a roof supported with pillars or arches.
Campanile, a clock- or bell-tower. The word is Italian, and pronounced campaneelay.
the Alps of Ceylon resemble the Central Apennines, and the view from Colombo is singularly like that from Pesaro on the Adriatic. As we looked landwards from the campanile, the native town was mirrored in the lake, and outside the city the whitecoated troops were marching by companies on to the parade-ground, whence we could faintly hear the distant bands.
10. Driving back in a carriage shaped like a street cab, but with fixed venetians instead of sides and windows, we visited the curing establishment of the Ceylon Coffee Company, where the coffee from the hills is dried and sorted. Thousands of native girls are employed in coffee-picking at the various stores ; but it is doubted whether the whole of this labour is not wasted, the berries being sorted according to their shape and size-although these seem in no way to affect the flavour. The Ceylon exporters say that if we choose to pay twice as much for shapely as for ill-shaped berries, it is no business of theirs to refuse to humour us by sorting.
11. Our drive was brought to an end by a visit to the old Dutch quarter-a careful imitation of Amsterdam. Their straight canals and formal lines of trees the Hollanders have carried with them throughout the world; but in Colombo, not content with manufacturing imitation canals, that began and ended in a wall, they dug great artificial lakes to recall their well-loved Hague.
12. The same evening I set off by the new railway for Kandy and the hills. Having no experi
ence of the climate of mountain regions in the tropics, I expected a merely pleasant change, and left Colombo wearing my white kit, which served me well enough as far as the railway terminus, which we reached at ten o'clock at night. We started at once by coach, and had not driven far up the hills in the still moonlight before the cold became extreme, and I was saved from a severe chill only by the kindness of the coffee-planter who shared the back seat with me, and who, being well clad in woollen, lent me his great-coat. Adapted from Sir C. DILKE's Greater Britain, by permission of
Messrs. MACMILLAN and Co.
THE SOLDIER'S DREAM.
1. Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had
lowered, And the sentinel stars set their watch in the
sky; And thousands had sunk on the ground over
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die. 2. When reposing that night on my pallet' of
straw, By the wolf-scaring fagots that guarded the
slain, At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw, And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
· Pallet, bed.
3. Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track; 'Twas autumn-and sunshine arose on the way, To the house of my fathers that welcomed me
4. I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life's morning march, when my bosom was
young; I heard my own mountain goats bleating aloft, And knew the sweet strain that the corn
5. These pledged me the wine-cup, and fondly I
swore From my home and my weeping friends never
to part; My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er, And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of
6. Stay, stay with us-rest, thou art weary and
worn!' And fain was their war-broken soldier to
stay ; But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn, And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.