from free intercourse and facility of interbreeding with their European and Asiatic congeners.

Nor is it only among the old settled American animals and plants that one notices these greater or less differences of aspect and habit: something of the same sort even shows itself already in the animals and plants which owe their introduction to the hand of man since the sixteenth century. One expects of course that the American marsh-marigolds and spearworts, which have been separated from all intermixture with others of their kind elsewhere, ever since the date of the great glacial extension, should exhibit distinct and nameable points of difference from their congeners that grow beside the English watercourses; one is perhaps a trifle more surprised to find that American specimens of henbit, chickweed, sandwort, and purslane, introduced by European settlers since the foundation of the colonies, should also present minor (though doubtless growing) differences from their recent French and British ancestors. Yet such is in almost every instance actually the case. Just as European man, domiciled in those young and vigorous countries, has evolved for himself, in barely three centuries, a new type of figure and feature, a new intonation and inflection of the voice, a new political, social, and domestic organization; so the plants and animals, in a thousand minute points of habit and appearance, have begun to evolve for themselves a distinct aspect, differing already more or less markedly from the average run of their European contemporaries. Often it would be hard to say to oneself in definite language wherein the felt difference exactly consisted the points of unlikeness seem too subtle and too vague to admit of formulation in the harsh and rigidly accurate terminology of zoological and botanical science; but I have seldom picked an imported plant anywhere in America which did not strike me as in some degree unfamiliar, and more so in proportion as I knew its form and features intimately in our English meadows. Sometimes it is possible to spot the precise points of difference, or some among them the purple dead-nettle, for example, a British colonist over all the

Northern States, grows usually more luxuriant than with us; it has longer leaf-stalks, deeper crenations, more procumbent branches than its English cousins. But oftener still, the differences elude one, viewed separately; a naturalist can only say that the plant or animal as a whole impresses him as somewhat altered or unfamiliar. It bears pretty much the same relation to the original stock as the New York trotting-horse bears to the English hunter, or as the common young lady of the Saratoga hotels bears to her prototype in Belgravian drawing-rooms. Here we catch the process of species-making in its initial stage. Every intermediate step is well represented for us in one organism or another, till at last we reach the most diverse forms which have thoroughly established their full right to bear Latin specific names of their own, marking them off in Linnæan phrase as Canadense, Virginicum, Occidentale, or Americanum.

And this leads me on to the last point of primary importance in a first view of Northeastern America to a European tourist-I mean the extraordinary and unexpected extent to which the commonest European weeds and wild flowers have overrun and occupied the habitable and agricultural portions of New England, the Middle States, the Western grain district, and the Dominion of Canada. A European botanist in America who confined himself exclusively to the cultivated fields, the roadsides and commons, the neighborhood of great towns, and the outskirts of villages in the alluvial valleys, would hardly ever light upon an unfamiliar or local form among the thousands of plants that he saw competing eagerly for life in the meadows and pastures around him. Thistles and burdocks, mayweed and dead-nettle, common buttercup and oxeye daisies, English grasses and English clover, with the familiar weeds of our cornfields and our gardens, would seem to him to compose the main mass and central phalanx of American vegetation. Where the flora is not the common weedy assemblage of Sussex or of Normandy, it is the common weedy assemblage of the Mediterranean and the Lombard plains. Once get well away from the purlieus of civilization, to be sure, into

the woods and forests, or on to the intervening watersheds, and the whole character of the flora changes abruptly. But in civilized, cultivated, and inhabited New England, and as far inland at least as the Mississippi, the vegetation is the vegetation of settled Europe, and that at its weediest. The daisy, the primrose, the cowslip, and the daffodil have stopped at home: the weeds have gone to colonize the New World. For thistles and groundsel, for catmint and mullein, for houndstongue and stick seed, for dandelion and cocklebur, America easily licks creation. All the dusty and noisome and malodorous pests of all the world seem here to revel in one grand congenial democratic orgy.

The reason is not far to seek, and it suggests unpleasant and disquieting suspicions as to the future which our scratch civilization holds in store for us all the world over. These vigorous and obtrusive weeds, which have taken possession of America and Australia and New Zealand and the Cape, side by side with the deluge of white colonization, are for the most part of western Asiatic or Mediterranean origin, and have accompanied the seeds of wheat and fodder crops from land to land wherever the white man's foot is planted. Dr. Asa Gray (from whose great and just authority I am here tempted to differ widely) thinks that the common European weeds spread so rapidly and so effectively over America, not through any inherent vigor of constitution evolved during the fierce struggle against aggressive man, but merely because there was then and there a vacancy created for them. I wish I could agree with him. It would remove from my mind a pressing nightmare for the future of nature and of the world's scenery. "This was a region of forest," says the Harvard botanist, upon which the aborigines, although they here and there opened patches of land for cultivation, had made no permanent encroachment. Not very much of the herbaceous or other low undergrowth of this forest could bear exposure to the fervid summer sun; and the change was too abrupt for adaptive modification. The plains and prairies of the great Mississippi Valley were then too remote for their vegetation to compete for the vacancy which

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was made here when forest was changed to grain-fields, and then to meadow and pasture. pasture. And so the vacancy came to be filled in a notable measure by agrestial plants from Europe" [horrid word, agrestial !], "the seeds of which came in seed-grain, in the coats and fleeces, and in the imported fodder, of cattle and sheep..... While an agricultural people displaced the aborigines whom the forest sheltered and nourished, the herbs purposely or accidentally brought with them took possession of the clearings, and prevailed more or less over the native and rightful heirs to the soil.

In spring-time you would have seen the fields of this district yellow with European buttercups and dandelions, then whitened with the ox-eye daisy, and at midsummer brightened by the cerulean blue of chicory. I can hardly name any native herbs which in the fields and at the season can vie with these intruders in floral show."

But Dr. Gray does not think the weeds have conquered by virtue of their inherent vigor of constitution. There, I fear, pessimistic as my conclusion may be in its final implications, I must venture to differ from him. The common_agricultural nuisances of Western Europe, which alone have flooded America and Australia, and threaten to flood the cosmopolitanized world, to the destruction of all picturesque diversity and variety of local flora, are not truly European by origin at all, but are the offscourings and refuse of civilization in all countries, ages, and conditions. These pertinacious plants, most of them marked by two sets of alternative peculiarities, came to us first from farther east, and took in on their way most of the like-minded scrubby weeds. of intervening regions. They are usually either ill-scented to the nose or acrid and disagreeable to the taste; and they have usually either adherent fruits, like burrs and cleavers, houndstongue and teasel, or winged and flying seeds, like thistle and dandelion, groundsel and fleabane. Often, too, they sting like nettles, or prick like cocklebur, or tear the skin like brambles and rest-harrow. In short, they are the champaign types of dusty weeds, which resist by their nastiness or their thorns the attacks of herbivores, love the garish heat of the

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In America the same process is now being continued under our very eyes. Such hateful native species as nearly resembled in type the European weeds have alone survived, in the cultivable valleys, this vast influx of the tolerated pests of civilization. The ugly and malodorous European houndstongue holds every dusty roadside in the States; but, cheek by jowl with it, the native beggar's-lice-" a common and vile weed," says Asa Gray, with righteous indignation-flourishes exceedingly in squalid spots under the selfsame conditions. Because its habit is just as coarse, its smell just as rank and disgusting, its horrid little nutlets just as prickly, barbed, and adherent as those of its successful Old World competitor. The seeds of both get carried about and dispersed indiscriminately together in the fleeces of sheep and the hair of sheep-dogs. So, too, the continental European stickseed (Echinospermum lappula), equally vile and equally nauseous in smell, occupies every waste patch of building-ground in the towns and villages east of the Mississippi, while in Minnesota and westward its place is filled by Redowski's stickseed, an allied native American prairie plant, with the same prickly adhesive nuts, and the same abominable clinging perfume. Once more; our South European cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium), a degraded and degenerate composite weed, with hooked prickly fruits and a disagreeable scrofulous smell, like mayweed and chrysanthemum, common along the roadsides of Provence and Italy, has probably been indigenous in Eastern America ever since the Pliocene times, and has there also developed southward a still more noxious and prickly variety, called from its intense

thorniness, echinatum. But farther south yet its place in tropical latitudes is taken by a peculiarly American form, the spiny clotbur (Xanthium spinosum), which adds to the already offensive parent type the further atrocity of a long tripartite prickle, deftly inserted at the base of each leaf. This most terrible development of the cocklebur kind belongs by origin to tropical Mexico, where it pushes its way stoutly among the prickly aloes, cactuses, and pinguins of that very defensive and strongly armed desert flora.

Now, the terror for the future suggested by these native American weeds is just this: that in the cosmopolitan world of the next century the cosmopolitan weed will have things all its own way. Western Asia and Europe have long since furnished each its quotum to the world's weedy vegetation; America. and Australia, China and Japan, have their own quota still to come. Already a few pushing American scrub-plants have invaded the older quarters of the globe. The Canadian butterweed (Erigeron Canadensis) has spread boldly over the whole Mediterranean shore, as well as into India, South Africa, and perhaps Australia. I find it now well established among the Surrey hills, and beginning to feel its way thence in an acclimatized form over all the rest of


Southern England. The improved American variety of the cocklebur has long since made good its foothold over every warmer region of the world. pretty little white claytonia of the Northwestern States has of late years become a common weed in many parts of Lancashire and Oxfordshire, and occurs also in some corners of Surrey. Southern Europe has now many of these stray American denizens, the firstfruits of a future abundant crop, all of them thoroughly weedy in type, and all dispersed in the true weedy fashion by feathery seeds or adhesive nutlets.

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propriate the scanty interstices of European field crops. Many true weeds, with all the genuine weedy peculiarities, have already developed themselves on the spot out of American native plants. Some of them belong by origin to the Eastern States, like the Massachusetts nettle, the richweed, the smaller American spurges, and the three-seeded mercury. All these have now acquired a thoroughly weedy habit and aspect; they compete successfully in certain places even with the old and sophisticated European or West Asiatic immigrants, such as shepherd's purse, mallow, vetches, and chickweed. Others are of Southern, or even tropical, American antecedents, like the Mexican prickly poppy and the apple of Peru. Prickly pears, with their broad leaf-like cactus stems and troublesome hairs, cover sandy patches as far north as Nantucket Island; the common sunflower sows itself as a weed in Pennsylvania; the Peruvian galinsoga (now also escaping in England from Kew Gardens) has long established itself on waste places in the Eastern States, and is rapidly spreading from year to year as a pest of the roadsides. These per tinacious tropical species, accommodating themselves by degrees to northern climates, grow side by side in New England fields with the South fields with the South European caltrops, the Indian abutilon, the African sida, and the native burmarigold, whose barbed arrows cling so tightly to the fleece of animals and the nether garments of wayfaring humanity. Hindoo importations, like the Indian heliotrope, the cypress-vine, the thornapple, and the opium-poppy, are likewise everywhere frequent in the States; and mixed with them we see such cosmopolitan nondescript outcasts as the goose-foots, the pig-weeds, and the thorny amaranths, which at present invade every portion of our cultivable soil all the world over, in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates.


Nor is this all. The Western prairie region, an open plain country, admirably adapted by nature for the evolution of weeds of cultivation, is just beginning to send eastward its own rich contingent to compete with the European and Asiatic and Atlantic types for the waste places of cosmopolitan civili

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zation. A bristly cone-flower (Rudbeckia hirta), unknown till lately east of the Mississippi Valley, has been introduced of recent years with Western clover seed into the Atlantic States, and now brightens profusely with its unwelcome golden flowers the farmers' meadows from Canada to Maryland. Almost every year, says Asa Gray, gives new examples of the immigration of campestrine Western plants into the Eastern States. They are well up to the spirit of the age: they travel by railway. The seeds are transported, some in the coats of cattle and sheep on the way to market, others in the food which supports them on the journey, and many in a way which you might not suspect, until you consider that these great roads run east and west, that the prevalent winds are from westward, . . . . and that the bared and unkempt borders of the railways form capital seed-beds and nurseries for such plants.'

The invasion, then, with which the world is now threatened is an invasion of the cosmopolitanized weed from everywhere, to the utter extinction (in tilled soil at least) of all the beautiful local plants which to-day give interest. and variety and novelty to each fresh quarter of the world we visit. The loss would be-perhaps we must say, will be -incalculable. A weed has been defined, on the false analogy of the famous definition of dirt, as merely a plant in the wrong place. But it is far more than that it has positive as well as negative qualities. The word weed implies something further than mere abstract hostility to the agricultural interest; it implies a certain ingrained coarseness, scrubbiness, squalor, and sordidness, besides connoting, in nine cases out of ten, some stringiness of fibre, hairiness of surface, or prickly defensive character as well. Such noxious and dusty roadside plants, of which thistles, nettles, henbane, and mullein may be taken as fair average types, are beginning to turn the whole world in our own day into one vast weed-bed of universal sameness. We are getting cosmopolitanized too fast, to the detriment of all picturesque diversity and individuality of country or nation. The Empress of Japan has ordered a complete wardrobe from Parisian milliners. King Kala


kaua of Hawaii dresses in the full uniform of an American major-general. Sitting Bull and Big Bear accept with effusion the inevitable chimney-pot. Zulu and Kanaka take to Sniders in the place of their aboriginal assegais or boomerangs. Ah Sing washes clothes in Boston and Chicago. Wampum and calumets, bead kirtles and flower girdles, fezzes and turbans, flowing robes and nude brown busts, are all unhappily doomed to proximate extinction. The coolie, the potato-beetle, and the Canada thistle will pervade the world.

In a few generations, the whole earth will be one big dead-level America, as like as two peas from end to end, dressed in the same stereotyped black coat and round felt hat, enjoying a single uniform civilization, and looking out upon a single uniform landscape of assorted European, Asiatic, American, African, and Australian weeds, diversified here and there by the congenial architecture of railway arches, crematoriums, gasometers, Board schools, Salvation Army barracks, and main drainage works. Fortnightly Review.


BY R. D.

thus kept himself afloat in a current which carried him rapidly to the shores of Mumin. There he lived, as the following narrative describes, for twelve years; and though driven from the island at a moment's notice, while it was in the throes of a revolution, he yet eventually secured from his mercantile venture among the islanders a sufficient fortune to enable him to live the remainder of his days at Dover in comfort, if not in luxury.

[IN an oak chest which has stood time out of mind in a garret of the house which has been the home of my fathers for many generations, I lately found a packet of papers endorsed with the name of my great-uncle, William Douglas. Hidden beneath a heterogeneous mass of antique silk hangings, damask chair-covers and curtains, the timestained parcel had either escaped the observation of less keen-eyed searchers, or had been thrown aside as being too uninviting in appearance to justify fur- Though aware of this general outline, ther investigation. But to me the en- I had never been made acquainted with dorsement at once invested it with in- the details of the wreck, and his subseterest, for the name of this great-uncle quent residence on Mumin, and I was had from my earliest years been asso- therefore delighted to find among the ciated in my mind with weird tales of papers spoken of a full, and I have no travel and adventure. He had been in doubt true and accurate, account of it his day a free-lance in commerce with all, in his own handwriting. As the India, or an Interloper, as all those narrative is too long to appear in who competed with "The Company" " were then called, and had undergone numberless vicissitudes both by land and sea. The most notable event in his his tory was his escape from a shipwrecked vessel off Polo Mumin, an island on the south-east coast of Sumatra, in the year 1775- The ship, the "James Young" of London, struck in a gale of wind on a coral-reef, and went to pieces in a few minutes. A furious sea, which swept over the vessel just before she settled down, carrying all the remaining hands with her, washed my great-uncle overboard and beyond the reef. Fortunately for him he was a good swimmer, and


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Maga' in extenso, I will condense in a few words the geographical particulars given of the island, leaving my greatuncle to speak for himself as to his adventures on it. The only liberty I have taken with his MS. in making a transcript has been to modernize the spelling, and to substitute for some now obsolete expressions their equivalents in use at the present time.

Polo Mumin, or "Happy Island," as the name means, is situated off the southeast coast of Sumatra, which I imagine to be the mainland spoken of in the following pages, at a distance of about 20 miles. The island itself is 60 miles in.

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