« VorigeDoorgaan »
Between dawn and sunrise next day commiserating fleas and worse ran nowe cast anchor in a fairy cove, beneath bly to my succor, in generous emulaa lordly fort of antiquity, bigger than tion, and the night before approaching our biggest castle. Now all crumbles the shrine of St. Francis Xavier was fast to decay, with creepers rampant on one of as strict vigil as any poor penithe bastions, and giant figs crowning tent need wish to keep. The heat was the ancient keep.
stifling—not a breath of air, no punkah, After touching at several other na- and right pleasant the Angelus sounded tive settlements—last and prettiest of in my ear, heralding the break of day. which was Angria-with precious islets My vigil done, I rose with the sun, set like emeralds on a sapphire sea, we slew beasts of darkness, now in hot reskirted a coast of beetling crags and treat to crannies of the scantling, had plains of palm, and came to Panjim, chota hazri, and scrambling into a preand anchored there. Panjim is, indeed, historic vehicle, started for the famous neither more nor less than Nova Goa, chapel two leagues out. Old Goa, and the nearest place to where all the where this chapel with the cathedral great churches lie. Thus, though our and the convents and churches ali are, steamer was bound for Marmugäo, a was decimated by fever and cholera in little farther on, I came out of her at (I think) 1695. After that visitation Panjim, with my bag, and my pillow, the survivors shifted their quarters, and all that was mine. The douaniers, and built this city of Nova Goa, which though twirling their moustachios its very self looks old to-day, and shows with an air of high authority, were signs of collapse. magnificently kind, laying hand on
The six-mile drive out to old Goa is heart with bows of obeisance, and let the prettiest far I have ever taken in ting my bag pass in unsearched. Now
the lowlands of India. Deep arms of that bag contained a bottle of improper bluest
sea, church-crowned islets, spirits, which had kept me in a little frontage of palm and mango, plumes of simmer of fidget all along.
waving cane, with many a wayside Our Scotch steward, told to empty
cross and station. These are the things three parts out and then fill up with
which catch the eye, as you move along water, had emptied only about one part
And they are all backed by out, so that, for purpose of temperate most noble views of the Great Western draught, his mixture useless.
Ghât of Hindoostan. Nevertheless, the bottle itself had come
Crossing a bridge of quaint device, in handy. For, as the saint of old
the traveller comes on a causeway nine made his pillow of stone, so made ]
thousand feet long, bordering the slugthe bygone night, my pillow of that
gish Mandovi. A broad lagoon and whiskey bottle. Well corked, and
paddy fields lie to his right, with waterwrapped in trousers, it had raised my buffaloes wallowing in the fætid mud. head and given me rest.
These things (with divers stenches) The inn at Panjim is the most
safely passed, comes a gentle ascent wretched place of entertainment on the
into the village of Ribandar: a village face of this habitable globe: a cow
of which a pretty account may be had house and goat-shed below, a den of thieves and vermin above.
From So black
in Dryden's life of our Saint. was the look of all about that, tired as
Ribandar onward to Goa, the “Rome I was, I concluded at once there must of the East,” our traveller's way is be no sleep. All bolts and locks had cast in twilight groves, with glorious been cut adrift from both pair of the peeps to seaward. Very pleasant birds folding-doors which gave access to my cheer him with song, as he wends his crib, while in the roof above was a trap pious way. Hard by the woods which door, with chinks of light, and “mean fringe that road, stands a pillar of whites" affecting to snore. Oppressed stone, black with age. In cruel days by fear that I might, peradventure, be of savagedom gone by, they amputated lulled to rest, and drop off unawares, the hands of such as wrote false news,
and laid them on this pillar. Blest are and visible signs as your curious globethe penny-a-liners of this nineteenth trotter or Cook-conducted tourist. Sufcentury, that the days of that bloodyfice it to say, the splendid propriety of pillar are past.
all around was far in excess of what I I don't quite see my way to write had been led to look for. The priest, lucidly of Goa, and be perspicuous; it to whose guidance I committed myself, is none so easy to describe a city which had neither French nor English. is houseless. I find a shrewd fore. Hence, Latin (not quite sterling) was cast of its present estate, in an old au- the currency of our exchange. He was thor: “Wild beasts of the desert shall a gracious father, and seeing me come lie there; and their houses shall be full so far, had the miraculous relic exof doleful creatures; and owls shall posed for my veneration and homage. dwell there, and satyrs shall dance In their treasure-house (which is itself there. And the wild beasts of the a church), they brought forth, from islands shall cry in their desolate carved chests of camphor wood and houses, and dragons in their pleasant coffers of dressed cedar, the priceless palaces: and her time is near to come,
vessels and vestments with which the and her days shall not be prolonged.” piety of Catholic kings and queens has A fair account of Goa, as far as it goes:
enriched this famous shrine. I wish it had gone further, and saved me After that which had brought me pains. But, take York; you, who know there was accomplished, I came away York. Thrust yourselves back into out of this church and explored: going the sixteenth century. Conceive "bluff first to a convent, in front of which King Hal” (as you love to call that im- stands the finest frangipani tree I ever pious monster of lust) to have razed, saw. The ground beneath was white not convents and abbeys, but the city as driven snow with fallen flowers, and wall, and every house of lay habita- the air, for roods, luscious. That vast tion. So best, perhaps, may you catch conventual pile seemed full of echoes some faint glimpse of old Goa. For, of the past and present emptiness. of that ancient metropolis, there is Cells had their doors broken off, or nothing now left but its grand cathe swinging loose and ant-eaten on dral, with a remnant of churches, broken hinge. The chapel, though chapels, convents and monasteries. Of rich in altars and ancient treasures, the two which stand last in my list, was disheartening for want of care. most are fast falling into roofless dis- The refectory had fallen tiles and rubrepair; and the remainder are all but bish crumbling on its inlaid floor. Just untenanted. I went over one-a build- three spiritless black nuns giggled ing grander than Magdalen or New-a faintly through a grille at the simplicity magnificent solitude, with tapestries of a white, who had come all that way frayed and tattered, and the very to buy a rosary. saints looking sorrowful, and nodding Near this convent is the palace of the to their fall. The sight of them filled Inquisition: once of surpassing splenme with profound pity. I suppose the dor, now a tree-grown labyrinth of Age of Faith really is gone for- ruins. All about are other religious ever. I suppose the goddess of reason houses, now suppressed and dismantled. (with her twin of trade) reigns supreme The good people of Bombay will tell to-day.
you that, in the autos-da-fé of Goa, one At the great western gate of Bom hundred and twenty-one persons were Jesus, alighting from my bone-shaker, burned alive between the years 1600 I stepped quickly into the dim religious and 1773. As a matter of fact, out of light within doors. What I there saw those one hundred and twenty-one perit is not in me to say.
I trusted all to sons, sixty-four were burned in effigy; photographs, and the photographs while, of the rest, most were mercifully are not forthcoming. Besides, the strangled before coming to the fire. man who goes on an errand of pilgrim- James the First, during his not long age, is not so wide awake to outward reign, burned more hapless wretches
for impossible witchcrafts and sor- "Lusiad,” and extolling the fancy of ceries, than ever the Holy Office burned his countrymen. for apostasy. But then, our British Strolling leisurely at eventide on the Solomon was a popular Protestant, sea wall of Goa, and thus discoursing while the grand Inquisitors were un- of poetry, pictures, and the blessed popular papists. However, two blacks saints, the great Angelus bell, once the don't make a white: nor have I one
bell of their Pharos, boomed single wish to whitewash the Spanish solemnly through the twilight. AU Inquisition. I merely wish to remark who were sitting, rose; all who were (in a spirit of utter meekness) that what walking, stood still: and, for the space is sauce for the goose is sauce for the of an Ave, perfect hush reigned around gander also.
Then we resumed our walk, saluting It was well to high noon ere I got the first we met with a Buona Notte and back from my round of church-going.
Such is invariably their All the citizens of Nova Goa were civil mode and the strict etiquette of asleep when I re-entered their silent the hour. city. Protected by daylight, I, too, fell Nova Goa might at all times stand on my bed, and slept. The previous for Irving's "Sleepy Hollow." It has night, when sitting in the garden of neither gas nor ice, nor telegraph nor King Domingo, a youth of Quillimane train; nor yet any disturbing element had accosted me; and his acquaintance of trade whatsoever. During the mon. enhanced the great joy of this, my too soon no steamer comes nigh band it: brief, stay in Goa. He had been sent, the rage of waters sets full upon its by his father on the Zambesi, for a bar, and dams communication back. year's schooling to St. Joseph's College The amusements of the place are few. at Bangalore, and had got a smattering A military band plays on Sundays and of English there. Not unnaturally, he Thursdays, and the people dance exwas glad of a chance to air his accom- cessively; but you will search in vain plishment; and most naturally, I was for café, theatre, or restaurant. Pil. glad of a body to speak my mother grimages and splendid pomps of Cathotongue with.
lic ritual make the sum total of Goa's In the cool of this Friday evening, mild dissipation. To-day, indeed, my gentle guide led me to the statue of weddings and balls are superadded, that famous lord and conqueror, Don with a great show of masks; for the Alfonso Albuquerque, and to whatever carnival is close at band, and Lent else seemed best worth the showing. looms dark behind.
He would gladly have been my cice- My Mozambique guide conveyed me rone throughout the day but had had to a balustrade giving on the lagoon; his lessons to mind in the Lycée. He and there sat, smoking cigarspoke highly and gratefully of his mas- ettes in the starlight, and watchters there; and, on my addressing him ing the merry revels within doors. in my best Frenchified Latin (where A ball at Goa lasts two nights: English failed), informed me that, with the first is for dancing, the last every scholar both at the Lycée and in for supper. A dinner to beggars is its the church seminaries, Latin is compul- prelude; for fear the beggars should sory; a piece of information which made turn saucy, and throw stones. Food the unscientific heart within me to leap lubricates their insides, and mollifies for joy. He was a devout youth and a their manners. Every lower window of pure, this young man of Quillimane; Goa is, without exception, of laminated receiving as truths (for he was of a shells; an extraordinary fact, and one generous mind and no coward) the which it demands implicit faith in the sweet tales and legends he had learned narrator to credit. Each pane is about at his mother's knee. Moreover, per- three inches square, set in stout framehaps consequently, he was of singular work of native wood, the windows refinement and a dainty intelligence; themselves being bigger than ordinary speaking lovingly of Camoens and his house doors. All within, of course, 18
twilight gloom; nor may any outsider sleep had to be given up, and I passed guess what goes on there. But the the time as best I could, pacing up and windows of this house of revelry were down, smoking, and watching the lightout, for coolness sake; and also, per- ning. If I could once have come to haps, that the youth of Goa might de- close quarters with that young person, light itself in the nimble action of the she should have had handsome reason dai cers.
for her squalls. As it was, she had Shortly before midnight I left Pan
It was neither pain nor grief jim by the Shastri: going on board her which bade her moan, but simply that in good time, to get things made she was (like Kirke White) "all alone." straight on the upper deck for a much- Restless in a novel situation and vexed needed sleep, when she should have cast at the inattention of her slumbering off and stood out to sea. But those family, this pernicious imp had evievil beasts, which had found me such dently said, in its desperately wicked good eating ashore, must surely have heart, “If I can't sleep myself, I'll take sent out cards to all the élite of their devilish good care nobody else shall." Goan friends for a final banquet in my And nobly it kept its word; fulfilling a honor. When nobody seemed looking bad intention to the letter! I got pretty I stole aft, stripped all my things off, close up once, but bodies packed so tight and turning them inside out, banged that could find no interstice of deck, them frantically against the taffrail. defrauded me of my revenge, when all Even so, however, some few of the but within reach. Thus, though I saw diners-out clung manfully to those fut- the little fiend well enough-stark tering rags; and, with appetites whetted naked, but for a woman's poke bonnet by danger, and spirits unimpaired by on; and squirming like an eel above her loss of friends, returned lustily to the prostrate kith and kin-I might by no feast, when I had returned to my means come at her, not even with the clothes. Thanks to the polité atten- sharp ferule of my stick. tion of these unbidden guests I was Making fast at the Carnac Bunder, kept awake till after six bells in the just as the great glory of the day middle watch (3 A. M.): and a strong- sprang from behind a lofty Ghat, I minded steward sbaking me up for hailed a boat, and went aboard our own coffee at sunrise, I can scarcely be ac- steamer. But for the feas of Goa and cused of having overslept myself. the squalling brat of Shastri, I would Surely my visit to the shrine of St. have made a push for Baroda at once. Francis bad not been without its mani. As it was, want of sleep was turning fest miracle of grace; for never once to insomnia; and though I stayed did I curse those accursed beasts, not quietly on board for two whole day even in my heart!
not one wink of sleep could I get by. All next day we kept putting into hook or by crook. lovely creeks and inlets, each with its
J. LAWSON. enormous fort of crumbling ruin. Those famous forts and Genoese towers in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus are mere pigmies set side by side with these
From Chambers' Journal. of the Malabar coast of India. At DECLINE OF THE MALAGA RAISIN TRADE, night the stars were unspeakably bril- These are sad times for Malaga. liant. From all the greater of such as Twenty years ago, five million boxes of rode low, came rays of steady light dessert raisins were produced and across the oily sea to kiss our vessel's shipped. Nowadays scarcely a tenth side.
part of that quantity is grown, while From 9 P.M. I slept till nearly 11 the difficulty of sale is increasing P.M., when the cries of a lusty child yearly. The falling-off is due to two woke me up.
This abominable black causes. First, the phylloxera, which roared the night away with such an- wrought terrible havoc in the vineflagging zeal that all hope of further yards, and left the luxuriant hillsides bare. Possibly the trade might have these boxes in a day. From the farms recovered from this blow with the re- they are transported on donkeys to the planting of the vines, had not the Mala- town, and there stored in warehouses, gueños themselves chosen a delightfully whence they are sold to the merchants characteristic way of fatally injuring for shipment abroad. Perhaps the most it. Finding they received larger or- curious fact connected with them is ders than they could cope with, they in- that, beyond the shippers, nobody apgenuously commenced shipping short pears to make a penny out of the fruit. weight, and exported eighteen pounds The farmer grows his crop at a steady of raisins in boxes which, by rights, deficit, the warehouseman in town has should contain twenty-two, and eigh- generally advanced more money to the teen pounds of more or less rubbish at farmer than he ever gets back; while that. Naturally, this state of things the dealer, be it in England, America, could not last. Malaga fruit got a bad or on the Continent, simply buys rainame in the world's markets, and simi- sins because his customers for more lar raisins began to be grown else- profitable articles expect him to keep where. Denia (near Valencia), which them in stock against an occasional orpreviously only produced the common der. pudding raisin, took to growing the As may be imagined, many farmers dessert fruit. Australia also started, have already abandoned raisins in deand finally California became the worst spair. A worthy Colonial, who came competitor of all. So that, by the time to Malaga with a view to learning the Malagueños came to the conclusion something about their cultivation, and -based on experience, not on innate applying his knowledge in Australia, morality—that honesty is the best was thereby led to write a pamphlet, policy, they found that it was too late. showing how fine an opening was The second reason for the decrease is offered to English farmers in Spain. the competition caused by the canning Land and vines were to be had for a of fresh fruit in Canada and the United song. All they had to do was to go States. Raisins used to be nearly the south, apply their knowledge and suonly dessert obtainable in England in perior intelligence to raisin growing, the early months of the year; now there and after a few years return to England are so many kinds of preserved fruit with their fortunes made. that they are all but forgotten.
phlet was cordially received by Foreign For all that, the Malaga district is Office officials as wise as its author, and busy enough in autumn. Without de- was immediately published by governscribing the production of raisins too ment. Fortunately, it attracted but minutely, we may say that when the little attention. Still, the writer is acgrapes—white, not black, as many peo- quainted with one young Englishman ple imagine—are ripe at the end of Au- who eagerly embraced the scheme, only gust or the beginning of September, to discover, on his arrival in Malaga, they are spread out in the sun on the what every one there already knewdrying grounds (paseros) attached to namely, that Spanish farmers undereach farm. The great question then is stood more about raisins than he, the for them to get suficient sunshine; if, Englishman, would learn in a lifetime, as occasionally happens at that time of and secondly, that wheat-growing in year, the sky is overcast, they have to England meant a gold-mine compared be dried by means of ovens, to their to fruit-farming in Spain. So, wisely very great detriment. Once sufficiently desisting from his projecth he took to cured, they are packed in boxes, the growing vegetables for the English loose raisins by themselves, the others market instead, and was rewarded by according to the beauty and size of the dropping scarcely half the money he bunches and the fruit. The finest are would have lost bad he gone in for ralarranged in artificial bunches with the sins. This, considering the present most exquisite skill, and a clever la- state of agriculture in Spain, may be borer can only prepare one or two of called a highly creditable result.