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FOLLOWING THE
EQUATOR




Protecting the Ladies



AUTHORIZED EDITION

The Complete Works of

MARK
TWAIN



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FOLLOWING THE
EQ^UATOR




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HARPER AND BROTHERS
NEW YORK



Following the Equator. Vol. I



Copyright, 1897 and 1899, by Olivia L. Clemens
Copyright, 1925, by Clara Gabrilowitsch



Printed in the United States of America

ID



CONTENTS



CHAP PACK

I. We Sail with a Sweet Captain i

II. What Did Poor Brown Do? 12

III. Honolulu the Beautiful 27

IV. I Lose at "Horse Billiards" 44

V. "Recruiting" Laborers — or Slavery? .... 56

VI. How Queensland Exterminates Kanakas . . 63

VII. We Pity the Exploited Fijians 72

VIII. Great Speed of the Moa Bird 80

IX. Weird, New, Startling Australia 89

X. Some Barbarous English Laws loi

XL Sydney — English with American Trimmings . 107

XIL Hanuman Stronger than Samson 114

XIII. What Cecil Rhodes Found in a Shark . . . 118

XIV. Astounding Intercolonial Jealousy . . . . 131

XV. Wagga-Wagga and the Tichborne Claimant . 137

XVI. Melbourne Cup Day, Greatest of the Year 143

XVII. Australia's Enormous Trade 151

XVIII. Where All Religions Flourish 158

XIX. What the Laughing Jackass is Good For . . 167

XX. An Intermezzo in a Fox-hunt 175

XXI. Arsenic Pudding for Savages 183

XXII. Magic of the Aboriginals 193

XXIII. The Driest Country in the World .... 203

XXIV. Ballarat English Undefiled 211

XXV. The Amazing Mark Twain Club 220

XXVI. What New Zealand Really Is 232

XXVII. Robinson the Conciliator 238



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

XXVIII. The Joke that Made Ed's Fortune .... 250

XXIX. HoBART IS the Neatest Town 260

XXX. Nature's Cruelty to the Wooden Caterpillar 268

XXXI. "A Hell of a Hotel at Maryborough" . . 274

XXXII. How Women Help Rule New Zealand . . . 282

XXXIII. The Carlsbad of Australasia 291

XXXIV. I Send an Error by Telepathy ..... 298

XXXV. The Maoris, Patriots and Warriors .... 303

XXXVI. The Poetry of Native Names 310



FOLLOWING
THE EQUATOR

CHAPTER I,

WE SAIL WITH A SWEET CAPTAIN

A man may have no bad habits and have worse.

— Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calender.

THE starting-point of this lecturing-trip around
the world was Paris, where we had been living
a year or two.

We sailed for America, and there made certain
preparations. This took but Httle time. Two mem-
bers of my family elected to go with me. Also a
carbimcle. The. dictionary says a carbuncle is a
kind of jewel. Humor is out of place in a dic-
tionary.

We started westward from New York in mid-
summer, with Major Pond to manage the platform-
business as far as the Pacific. It was warm work,
all the way, and the last fortnight of it was suffo-
catingly smoky, for in Oregon and British Columbia
the forest fires were raging. We had an added
week of smoke at the seaboard, where we were
obliged to wait awhile for our ship. She had been
getting herself ashore in the smoke, and she had to



MARK TWAIN

be docked and repaired. We sailed at last; and so
ended a snail-paced march across the continent,
which had lasted forty days.

We moved westward about mid-afternoon over a
rippled and sparkling summer sea; an enticing sea,
a clean and cool sea, and apparently a welcome sea
to all on board; it certainly was to me, after the
distressful dustings and smokings and swelterings of
the past weeks. The voyage would furnish a three-
weeks holiday, with hardly a break in it. We had
the whole Pacific Ocean in front of us, with nothing
to do but do nothing and be comfortable. The city
of Victoria was twinkling dim in the deep heart of
her smoke-cloud, and getting ready to vanish; and
now we closed the field-glasses and sat down on our
steamer-chairs contented and at peace. But they
went to wreck and ruin under us and brought us to
shame before all the passengers. They had been
furnished by the largest furniture-dealing house in
Victoria, and were worth a couple of farthings a
dozen, though they had cost us the price of honest
chairs. In the Pacific and Indian Oceans one must
still bring his own deck-chair on board or go with-
out, just as in the old forgotten Atlantic times —
those Dark Ages of sea travel.

Ours was a reasonably comfortable ship, with the
customary sea-going fare — plenty of good food
furnished by the Deity and cooked by the devil.
The discipline observable on board was perhaps as
good as it is anywhere in the Pacific and Indian
Oceans. The ship was not very well arranged for
tropical service; but that is nothing, for this is the



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

rule for ships which ply in the tropics. She had an
over-supply of cockroaches, but this is also the rule
with ships doing business in the summer seas — at
least such as have been long in service.

Our young captain was a very handsome man,
tall and perfectly formed, the very figure to show
up a smart uniform's finest effects. He was a man
of the best intentions, and was. polite and courteous
even to courtliness. There was a soft grace and fin-
ish about his manners which made whatever place
he happened to be in seem for the moment a
drawing-room. He avoided the smoking-room. He
had no vices. He did not smoke or chew tobacco
or take snuff; he did not swear, or use slang, or
rude, or coarse, or indelicate language, or make
pims, or tell anecdotes, or laugh intemperately, or
raise his voice above the moderate pitch enjoined by
the canons of good form. When he gave an order,
his manner modified it into a request. After dinner
he and his officers joined the ladies and gentlemen
in the ladies* saloon, and shared in the singing and
piano-playing, and helped turn the music. He had
a sweet and sympathetic tenor voice, and used it
with taste and effect. After the music he played
whist there, always with the same partner and op-
ponents, until the ladies' bedtime. The electric
lights burned there as late as the ladies and their
friends might desire, but they were not allowed to
bum in the smoking-room after eleven. There were
many laws on the ship's statute-book, of course;
but, so far as I could see, this and one other were
the only ones that were rigidly enforced. The cap-

3



MARK TWAIN

tain explained that he enforced this one because his
own cabin adjoined the smoking-room, and the
smell of tobacco smoke made him sick. I did not
see how our smoke could reach him, for the smoking-
room and his cabin were on the upper deck, targets
for all the winds that blew; and besides there was
no crack of communication between them, no open-
ing of any sort in the soHd intervening bulkhead.
Still, to a delicate stomach even imaginary smoke
can convey damage.

The captain, with his gentle nature, his polish,
his sweetness, his moral and verbal purity, seemed
pathetically out of place in his rude and autocratic
vocation. It seemed another instance of the irony
of fate.

He was going home imder a cloud. The passen-
gers knew about his trouble, and were sorry for
him. Approaching Vancouver through a narrow
and difficult passage densely befogged with smoke
from the forest fires, he had had the ill luck to lose
his bearings and get his ship on the rocks. A mat-
ter Hke this would rank merely as an error with
you and me; it ranks as a crime with the directors
of steamship companies. The captain had been
tried by the Admiralty Court at Vancouver, and its
verdict had acquitted him of blame. But that was
insufficient comfort. A sterner court would examine
the case in Sydney — the Court of Directors, the
lords of a company in whose ships the captain had
served as mate a number of years. This was his
first voyage as captain.

The officers of our ship were hearty and com-

4



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

pardonable young men, and they entered into the
general amusements and helped the passengers pass
the time. Voyages in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
are but pleasure excursions for all hands. Our piu*-
ser was a young Scotchman who was equipped with
a grit that was remarkable. He was an invalid,
and looked it, as far as his body was concerned,
but illness could not subdue his spirit. He was full
of life, and had a gay and capable tongue. To all
appearances he was a sick man without being aware
of it, for he did not talk about his ailments, and his
bearing and conduct were those of a person in robust
health; yet he was the prey, at intervals, of ghastly
sieges of pain in his heart. These lasted many
hours, and while the attack continued he could
neither sit nor lie. In one instance he stood on his
feet twenty-four hours fighting for his life with
these sharp agonies, and yet was as full of life
and cheer and activity the next day as if nothing
had happened.

The brightest passenger in the ship, and the most
interesting and felicitous talker, was a young Ca-
nadian who was not able to let the whisky bottle
alone. He was of a rich and powerful family, and
could have had a distinguished career and abundance
of effective help toward it if he could have con-
quered his appetite for drink; but he could not do
it, so his great equipment of talent was of no use to
him. He had often taken the pledge to drink no
more, and was a good example of what that sort of
imwisdom can do for a man — for a man with any-
thing short of an iron will. The system is wrong in

5



MARK TWAIN

two ways: it does not strike at the root of the
trouble, for one thing, and to make a pledge of any
kind is to declare war against nature; for a pledge
is a chain that is always clanking and reminding the
wearer of it that he is not a free man.

I have said that the system does not strike at the
root of the trouble, and I venture to repeat that.
The root is not the drinking, but the desire to
drink. These are very different things. The one
merely requires will — and a great deal of it, both
as to bulk and staying capacity — the other merely
requires watchfulness — and for no long time. The
desire of course precedes the act, and should have
one's first attention; it can do but little good to
refuse the act over and over again, always leaving
the desire unmolested, unconquered; the desire will
continue to assert itself, and will be almost sure to
win in the long nm. When the desire intrudes, it
should be at once banished out of the mind. One
should be on the watch for it all the time — other-
wise it will get in. It must be taken in time and
not allowed to get a lodgment. A desire constantly
repulsed for a fortnight should die, then. That
should cure the drinking-habit. The system of re-
fusing the mere act of drinking, and leaving the
desire in full force, is imintelligent war tactics, it
seems to me.

I used to take pledges — and soon violate them.
My will was not strong, and I could not help it.
And then, to be tied in any way naturally irks an
otherwise free person and makes him chafe in his
bonds and want to get his Hberty. But when I

6



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

finally ceased from taking definite pledges, and
merely resolved that I would kill an injurious desire,
but leave myself free to resume the desire and the
habit whenever I should choose to do so, I had no
more trouble. In five days I drove out the desire
to smoke and was not obliged to keep watch after
that; and I never experienced any strong desire to
smoke again. At the end of a year and a quarter
of idleness I began to write a book, and presently
found that the pen was strangely reluctant to go. I
tried a smoke to see if that would help me out of
the difficulty. It did. I smoked eight or ten cigars
and as many pipes a day for five months; finished
the book, and did not smoke again until a year had
gone by and another book had to be begun.

I can quit any of my nineteen injurious habits at
any time, and without discomfort or inconvenience.
I think that the Dr. Tanners and those others who
go forty days without eating do it by resolutely
keeping out the desire to eat, in the beginning; and
that after a few hours the desire is discouraged and
comes no more.

Once I tried my scheme in a large medical way.
I had been confined to my bed several days with
lumbago. My case refused to improve. Finally the
doctor said :

"My remedies have no fair chance. Consider
what they have to fight, besides the lumbago. You
smoke extravagantly, don't you?"

"Yes."

"You take coffee immoderately?"

"Yes."

7



MARK TWAIN

"And some tea?"

"Yes."

"You eat all kinds of things that are dissatisfied
with each other's company?"

"Yes."

"You drink two hot Scotches every night?"

"Yes."

* * Very well, there you can see what I have to con-
tend against. We can't make progress the way the
matter stands. You must make a reduction in
these things; you must cut down your consumption
of them considerably for some days."

"I can't, doctor."

"Why can't you?"

"I lack the will-power. I can cut them off en-
tirely, but I can't merely moderate them."

He said that that would answer, and said he would
come around in twenty-four hours and begin work
again. He was taken ill himself and could not
come; but I did not need him. I cut off all those
things for two days and nights ; in fact, I cut off all
kinds of food, too, and all drinks except water, and
at the end of the forty-eight hours the lumbago was
discouraged and left me. I was a well man; so I
gave thanks and took to those delicacies again.

It seemed a valuable medical course, and I recom-
mended it to a lady. She had run down and down
and down, and had at last reached a point where
medicines no longer had any helpful effect upon
her. I said I knew I could put her upon her feet in
a week. It brightened her up, it filled her with
hope, and she said she would do everything I told

8



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

her to do. So I said she must stop swearing and
drinking and smoking and eating for four days, and
then she would be all right again. And it would
have happened just so, I know it; but she said she
could not stop swearing and smoking and drinking,
because she had never done these things. So there
it was. She had neglected her habits, and hadn't
any. Now that they would have come good, there
were none in stock. She had nothing to fall back
on. She was a sinking vessel, with no freight in
her to throw overboard and lighten ship withal.
Why, even one or two little bad habits could have
saved her, but she was just a moral pauper. When
she could have acquired them she was dissuaded by
her parents, who were ignorant people though
reared in the best society, and it was too late to
begin now. It seemed such a pity; but there was
no help for it. These things ought to be attended
to while a person is young; otherwise, when age
and disease come, there is nothing effectual to fight
them with.

When I was a youth I used to take all kinds of
pledges, and do my best to keep them, but I never
could, because I didn't strike at the root of the
habit — the desire; I generally broke down within
the month. Once I tried limiting a habit. That
worked tolerably well for a while. I pledged myself
to smoke but one cigar a day. I kept the cigar
waiting until bedtime, then I had a luxurious time
with it. But desire persecuted me every day and
all day long; so, within the week I found myself
hunting for larger cigars than I had been used to

9



MARK TWAIN

smoke; then larger ones still, and still larger ones.
Within the fortnight I was getting cigars made for
me — on a yet larger pattern. They still grew and
grew in size. Within the month my cigar had
grown to such proportions that I could have used it
as a crutch. It now seemed to me that a one-cigar
limit was no real protection to a person, so I knocked
my pledge on the head and resumed my liberty.

To go back to that young Canadian. He was a
** remittance-man," the first one I had ever seen or
heard of. Passengers explained the term to me.
They said that dissipated ne'er-do-weels belonging
to important families in England and Canada were
not cast off by their people while there was any
hope of reforming them, but when that last hope
perished at last, the ne'er-do-weel was sent abroad
to get him out of the way. He was shipped off with
just enough money in his pocket — no, in the pur-
ser's pocket — for the needs of the voyage — and
when he reached his destined port he would find a
remittance awaiting him there. Not a large one,
but just enough to keep him a month. A similar
remittance would come monthly thereafter. It was
the remittance-man's custom to pay his month's
board and lodging straightway — a duty which his
landlord did not allow him to forget — then spree
away the rest of his money in a single night, then
brood and mope and grieve in idleness till the next
remittance came. It is a pathetic life.

We had other remittance-men on board, it was
said. At least they said they were R. M.'s. There
were two. But they did not resemble the Canadian;

lO



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

they lacked his tidiness, and his brains, and his
gentlemanly ways, and his resolute spirit, and his
humanities and generosities. One of them was a
lad of nineteen or twenty, and he was a good deal
of a ruin, as to clothes, and morals, and general
aspect. He said he was a scion of a ducal house
in England, and had been shipped to Canada for
the house's relief, that he had fallen into trouble
there, and was now being shipped to Australia. He
said he had no title. Beyond this remark he was
economical of the truth. The first thing he did in
Australia was to get into the lockup, and the next
thing he did was to proclaim himself an earl in the
police court in the morning and fail to prove it.



CHAPTER II

WHAT DID POOR BROWN DO?

When in doubt, tell the truth. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.

A BOUT four days out from Victoria we plunged
i\ into hot weather, and all the male passengers
put on white linen clothes. One or two days later
we crossed the 25th parallel of north latitude, and
then, by order, the officers of the ship laid away
their blue uniforms and came out in white linen
ones. All the ladies were in white by this time.
This prevalence of snowy costumes gave the prom-
enade deck an invitingly cool and cheerful and
picknicky aspect.

From my diary:

There are several sorts of ills in the world from
which a person can never escape altogether, let him
journey as far as he will. One escapes from one
breed of an ill only to encoimter another breed of
it. We have come far from the snake liar and the
fish liar, and there was rest and peace in the thought ;
but now we have reached the realm of the boomerang
liar, and sorrow is with us once more. The first
officer has seen a man try to escape from his enemy
by getting behind a tree; but the enemy sent his
boomerang sailing into the sky far above and beyond
the tree; then it turned, descended, and killed the
man. The Australian passenger has seen this thing

12



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

done to two men, behind two trees — and by the one
arrow. This being received with a large silence that
suggested doubt, he buttressed it with the statement
that his brother once saw the boomerang kill a bird
away off a hundred yards and bring it to the thrower.
But these are ills which must be borne. There is
no other way.

The talk passed from the boomerang to dreams —
usually a fruitful subject, afloat or ashore — ^but this
time the output was poor. Then it passed to in-
stances of extraordinary memory — with better re-
sults. BHnd Tom, the negro pianist, was spoken of,
and it was said that he could accurately play any
piece of music, howsoever long and difficult, after
hearing it- once ; and that six months later he could
accurately play it again, without having touched it
in the interval. One of the most striking of the
stories told was furnished by a gentleman who had
served on the staff of the Viceroy of India. He
read the details from his note-book, and explained
that he had written them down, right after the con-
summation of the incident which they described,
because he thought that if he did not put them down
in black and white he might presently come to think
he had dreamed them or invented them.

The Viceroy was making a progress, and among
the shows offered by the Maharajah of Mysore for
his entertainment was a memory-exhibition. The
Viceroy and thirty gentlemen of his suite sat in a
row, and the memory-expert, a high-caste Brahmin,
was brought in and seated on the floor in front of
them. He said he knew but two languages, the

13



MARK TWAIN

English and his own, but would not exclude any
foreign tongue from the tests to be applied to his
memory. Then he laid before the assemblage his
program — a sufficiently extraordinary one. He pro-
posed that one gentleman should give him one word
of a foreign sentence, and tell him its place in the
sentence. He was furnished with the French word
est, and was told it was second in a sentence of three
words. The next gentleman gave him the German
word verloren and said it was the third in a sentence
of four words. He asked the next gentleman for
one detail in a sum in addition; another for one
detail in a sum of subtraction; others for single
details in mathematical problems of various kinds;
he got them. Intermediates gave him single words
from sentences in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese,
Italian, and other languages, and told him their
places in the sentences. When at last everybody
had furnished him a single rag from a foreign sen-
tence or a figure from a problem, he went over the
ground again, and got a second word and a second
figure and was told their places in the sentences
and the simis; and so on and so on. He went over
the groimd again and again until he had collected
all the parts of the sums and all the parts of the
sentences — and all in disorder, of course, not in
their proper rotation. This had occupied two hours.
The Brahmin now sat silent and thinking, awhile,
then began and repeated all the sentences, placing
the words in their proper order, and untangled the
disordered arithmetical problems and gave accurate
answers to them all.

14



FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR

In the beginning he had asked the company to
throw almonds at him during the two hours, he to
remember how many each gentleman had thrown;
but none were thrown, for the Viceroy said that the
test would be a sufficiently severe strain without
adding that burden to it.

General Grant had a fine memory for all kinds of
things, including even names and faces, and I could
have furnished an instance of it if I had thought of
it. The first time I ever saw him was early in his
first term as President. I had just arrived in
Washington from the Pacific coast, a stranger and
wholly unknown to the public, and was passing the
White House one morning when I met a friend, a
Senator from Nevada. He asked me if I would
like to see the President. I said I should be very
glad; so we entered. I supposed that the President
would be in the midst of a crowd, and that I could
look at him in peace and security from a distance,
as another stray cat might look at another king.
But it was in the morning, and the Senator was
using a privilege of his office which I had not heard
of — the privilege of intruding upon the Chief Magis-
trate's working-hours. Before I knew it, the Senator
and I were in the presence, and there was none
there but we three. General Grant got slowly up
from his table, put his pen down, and stood before
me with the iron expression of a man who had
not smiled for seven years, and was not intending
to smile for another seven. He looked me steadily
in the eyes — mine lost confidence and fell. I had
never confronted a great man before, and was in

IS



MARK TWAIN

a miserable state of funk and inefficiency. The
Senator said :

"Mr. President, may I have the privilege of
introducing Mr. Clemens?"

The President gave my hand an imsympathetic
wag and dropped it. He did not say a word, but
just stood. In my trouble I could not think of any-
thing to say, I merely wanted to resign. There was
an awkward pause, a dreary pause, a horrible pause.
Then I thought of something, and looked up into
that imyielding face, and said timidly:

*'Mr. President, I — I am embarrassed. Are you?"

His face broke — just a little — a wee glimmer, the
momentary flicker of a simimer-lightning smile, sev-
en years ahead of time — and I was out and gone as
soon as it was.

Ten years passed away before I saw him the sec-
ond time. Meantime I was become better known;
and was one of the people appointed to respond to



Online LibraryMark TwainThe complete works of Mark Twain [pseud.] Following the Equator Vol. 13 (Volume THIRTEEN (13)) → online text (page 1 of 44)