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seen how far they have themselves been morally conquered. This is, of course, but a part of a part of an extraordinary problem now in the course of being solved in the various States of the American Union. I am reminded of an anecdote. Some years ago, at a great sale of wine, all the odd lots were purchased by a grocer in a small way in the old town of Edinburgh. The agent had the curiosity to visit him some time after and inquire what possible use he could have for such material. He was shown, by way of answer, a huge vat where all the liquors, from humble Gladstone to imperial Tokay, were fermenting together. And what,' he asked, do you propose to call this?' 'I'm no very sure,' replied the grocer, but I think it's going to turn out port.' In the older Eastern States, I think we may say that this hotch-potch of races is going to turn out English, or thereabout. But the problem is indefinitely varied in other zones. The elements are differently mingled in the south, in what we may call the Territorial belt, and in the group of States on the Pacific coast. Above all, in these last, we may look to see some monstrous hybrid-whether good or evil, who shall forecast? but certainly original and all its own. In my little restaurant at Monterey, we have sat down to table day after day, a Frenchman, two Portuguese, an Italian, a Mexican, and a Scotchman: we had for common visitors an American from Illinois, a nearly pure blood Indian woman, and naturalised Chinese; and from time to time a Switzer and a German came down from country ranches for the night. No wonder that the Pacific coast is a foreign land to visitors from the Eastern States, for each race contributes something of its own. Even the despised Chinese have taught the youth of California, none indeed of their virtues, but the debasing use of opium. And chief among these influences is that of the Mexicans.
The Mexicans, although in the state, are out of it. They still preserve a sort of international independence, and keep their affairs snug and to themselves. Only four or five years ago Vasquez, the bandit, his troop being dispersed and the hunt too hot for him in other parts of California, returned to his native Monterey, and was seen publicly in her streets and saloons, fearing no man. The year that I was there there occurred two reputed murders. As the Montereyans are exceptionally vile speakers of each other and of everyone behind his back, it is not possible for me to judge how much truth there may have been in these reports; but in the one case everyone believed, and in the other some suspected, that there had been foul play; and nobody dreamed for an instant of taking the authorities into their counsel. Now this is, of course, characteristic enough of the Mexicans; but it is a noteworthy feature that all the Americans in Monterey acquiesced without a word in this inaction. Even when I spoke to them upon the subject, they seemed not to understand my surprise: they had forgotten the traditions of their own race and upbringing, and become, in a word, wholly Mexicanised.
Again, the Mexicans, having no ready money to speak of, rely
almost entirely in their business transactions upon each other's worthless paper. Pedro the penniless pays you with an IO U from the equally penniless Miguel. It is a sort of local currency by courtesy. Credit in these parts has passed into a superstition. I have seen a strong, violent man struggling for months to recover a debt, and getting nothing but an exchange of waste paper. The very storekeepers are averse to asking for cash payments, and are more surprised than pleased when they are offered. They fear there must be something under it, and that you mean to withdraw from them your custom. I have seen the enterprising chemist and stationer begging me with fervour to let my account run on, although I had my purse open in my hand; and partly from the commonness of the case, partly from some remains of that generous old Mexican tradition which made all men welcome to their tables, a person may be notoriously both unwilling and unable to pay, and still find credit for the necessaries of life in the stores of Monterey. Now this villainous habit of living upon tick' has grown into Californian nature. I do not only mean that the American and European storekeepers of Monterey are as lax as Mexicans; I mean that American farmers in many parts of the state expect unlimited credit, and profit by it in the meanwhile, without a thought for consequences. Jew storekeepers have already learned the advantage to be gained from this ; they lead on the farmer into irretrievable indebtedness, and keep him ever after as their bond-slave, hopelessly grinding in the mill. So the whirligig of time brings in its revenges, and except that the Jew knows better than to foreclose, you may see Americans bound in the same chains with which they themselves had formerly bound the Mexican. It seems as if certain sorts of follies, like certain sorts of grain, were natural to the soil rather than to the race that holds and tills it for the moment.
In the meantime, however, the Americans rule in Monterey County. The new county seat, Salinas City, in the bald, cornbearing plain under the Gabelano Peak, is a town of a purely American character. The land is held, for the most part, in those enormous tracts which are another legacy of Mexican days, and form the present chief danger and disgrace of California; and the holders are mostly of American or British birth. We have here in England no idea of the troubles and inconveniences which flow from the existence of these large landholders-land thieves, land sharks, or landgrabbers, they are more commonly and plainly called. Thus the townlands of Monterey are all in the hands of a single man. How they came there is an obscure, vexatious question, and, rightly or wrongly, the man is hated with a great hatred. His life has been repeatedly in danger. Not very long ago, I was told, the stage was stopped and examined three evenings in succession by disguised horsemen thirsting for his blood. A certain house on the Salinas road, they say, he always passes in his buggy at full speed, for the squatter sent him warning long ago. But a year since he was
publicly pointed out for death by no less a man than Mr. Dennis Kearney. Kearney is a man too well known in California, but a word of explanation is required for English readers. Originally an Irish drayman, he rose, by his command of bad language, to almost dictatorial authority in the State; throned it there for six months or so, his mouth full of oaths, gallowses, and conflagrations; was first snuffed out last winter by Mr. Coleman, backed by his San Francisco Vigilantes and three Gatling guns; completed his own ruin by throwing in his lot with the grotesque Greenbacker party; and had at last to be rescued by his old enemies, the police, out of the hands of his rebellious followers. It was while he was at the top of his fortune that Kearney visited Monterey with his battle-cry against Chinese labour, the railroad monopolists, and the land thieves; and his one articulate counsel to the Montereyans was to hang David Jacks.' Had the town been American, in my private opinion this would have been done years ago. Land is a subject on which there is no jesting in the West, and I have seen my friend the lawyer drive out of Monterey to adjust a competition of titles with the face of a captain going into battle and his Smith-and-Wesson convenient to his hand.
On the ranche of another of these landholders you may find our old friend, the truck system, in full operation. Men live there, year in year out, to cut timber for a nominal wage, which is all consumed in supplies. The longer they remain in this desirable service the deeper they will fall in debt-a burlesque injustice in a new country, where labour should be precious, and one of those typical instances which explains the prevailing discontent and the success of the demagogue Kearney.
In a comparison between what was and what is in California, the praisers of times past will fix upon the Indians of Carmello. The day of the Jesuit has gone by, the day of the Yankee has succeeded, and there is no one left to care for the converted savage. The mission church is roofless and ruinous; sea breezes and sea fogs, and the alternation of the rain and sunshine, daily widening the breaches and casting the crockets from the wall. As an antiquity in this new land, a quaint specimen of missionary architecture, and a memorial of good deeds, it had a triple claim to preservation from all thinking people; but neglect and abuse have been its portion. There is no sign of American interference, save where a headboard has been torn from a grave to be a mark for pistol bullets. So it is with the Indians for whom it was erected. Their lands, I was told, are being yearly encroached upon by the neighbouring American proprietor, and with that exception no man troubles his head for the Indians of Carmel. Only one day in the year, the day before our Guy Faux, the padre drives over the hill from Monterey; the little sacristy, which is the only covered portion of the church, is filled with seats and decorated for the service; the Indians troop together, their bright dresses contrasting with their dark and melancholy faces; and
there, among a crowd of somewhat unsympathetic holiday makers, you may hear God served with perhaps more touching circumstances than in any other temple under heaven. An Indian, stone blind and about eighty years of age, conducts the singing; other Indians compose the choir; yet they have the Gregorian music at their finger ends, and pronounce the Latin so correctly that I could follow the meaning as they sang. The pronunciation was odd and nasal, the singing hurried and staccato. In sæcula sæculo-ho-horum,' they went, with a vigorous aspirate to every additional syllable. I have never seen faces more vividly lit up with joy than the faces of these Indian singers. It was to them not only the worship of God, nor an act by which they recalled and commemorated better days, but was besides an exercise of culture, where all they knew of art and letters was united and expressed. And it made a man's heart sorry for the good fathers of yore, who had taught them to dig and to reap, to read and to sing, who had given them European mass-books which they still preserve and study in their cottages, and who had now passed away from all authority and influence in that land-to be succeeded by greedy land thieves and sacrilegious pistol-shots. So ugly a thing our Anglo-Saxon Protestantism may appear beside the doings of the Society of Jesus.
But revolution in this world succeeds to revolution. All that I say in this paper is in a paulo-past tense. The Monterey of last year exists no longer. A huge hotel has sprung up in the desert by the railway. Three sets of diners sit down successively to table. Invaluable toilettes figure along the beach and between the live oaks ; and Monterey is advertised in the newspapers, and posted in the waiting-rooms at railway stations, as a resort for wealth and fashion. Alas for the little town! it is not strong enough to resist the influence of the flaunting caravanserai, and the poor, quaint, penniless native gentlemen of Monterey must perish, like a lower race, before the millionaire vulgarians of the Big Bonanza.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
No. 611 (No. CXXXI. N. S.,
A RELIGIOUS POEM OF THE NINTH CENTURY.
HE old Saxon poem on the Life of Christ, Heliand,' is a fragment of their ancient literature in which Germans feel much pride. Scholars who read it in the original language, as well as those who know it only through modern versions, agree in describing it as one of the chief glories of the old literature of Germany. National feeling has something to do with this estimate of the Heliand.' The Saxon poet wrote the Life of Christ in the form of a German epic, and his countrymen feel partial to a writer who thus early asserted the literary independence of Germany, and did not follow Roman or ecclesiastical models, even in the treatment of an ecclesiastical subject. But the Heliand' has intrinsic merits which make it deserving of the attention of all students of literature. It is an example of a really successful religious poem-full of quaint beauties of expression which are heightened by the archaic form, and animated throughout by a tender and reverent religious spirit. Its historical interest is, however, even greater than its literary, and can be appreciated even by those who have not made a special study of German literature. It is an authentic glimpse of the religious faith of North Germany at a period of which we know little from other sources, but which is of a great importance, for it was the period during which the foundations were laid for the great system of medieval Christendom.
According to the most probable conjecture, the Heliand' was written in the reign of Lewis the Pious, the son of Charles the Great. Tradition adds that it was written at the request of that monarch, who was devoted to the Church, and took no pleasure in the national songs of Germany, which were so loved by his father Charles, zealous churchman as the latter was. The writer is said to have been a Saxon peasant, and a Saxon he certainly was-probably a dweller in the Münsterland. It is a striking illustration of the irony of history that the first poem in the German tongue on a Christian subject was the work of a Saxon. Of all the peoples against whom Charles the Great warred, the Saxons showed themselves most resolutely opposed to his rule, and to Christianity. But the Emperor succeeded in subduing them, and he compelled them to embrace Christianity. The soldier accompanied the baptizing priest, and death or baptism was the alternative offered to the vanquished people. Most of the clergy approved of the procedure of Charles, on whom they bestowed the title of 'Apostle by the sword,' for these services to the faith. But the approval was not unanimous. Alcuin counselled his 'sweetest David' to show more gentleness to the 'misdoing people,' as he termed the Saxons, and on one occasion he even wrote to him that conversions effected by force were without value.