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A WELSHMAN AFLOAT.
A WELSHMAN AFLOAT. MEN AND THINGS ON BOARD A GERMAN LINER. RECORD OF A MEDITERRANEAN TRIP. ————— GENOA. For the last week I have been on board a German liner on the way to the Far East, and perhaps readers of the CELT will not dislike to have the experiences of a Welsh- man aOoat. The first thing that attracted one's attention at Southampton was the number of Castle Line steamers lying idle in Southampton waters. There was the a Tantallon Castle," the Pembroke Castle," the Scot" (from which Barney Barnato jumped into the sea), and five other fine vessels. On board the German liner (which is due for Kobe in Japan), I found half-a- dozen or more mining engineers due for the Far East. They were bitter in their comments. That's the result of the war," they said. "South Africa has been spoilt since poor old Kruger's days." Some of them had fought for England. I fought," said one of them, because I thought the Transvaal would become British. It now belongs to six men, and five of them are German Jews." The company on board were cosmopolitan. In all, fifteen national- ities were represented. There were Nor- wegian and Danish sea captains due for Shanghai, German officials on the way to Kian Chow, a Russian strong man about to give exhibitions in the Far East, half-a- dozen Japs, several Chinamen, Belgian mountain- climbers going out to ascend the Lower Alps, Dutchmen on the way to Batavia, the four nationalities of the British Islands, some American globe-trotters, a New Zealander returning home, and one Frenchman. It did not take us long to dis- cover that we had shipped the world in miniature on board. GREATER BRITAIN. Radicals are dubbed "Little Englanders by their opponents. We are accused of failing to appreciate the Imperial mission' of England. Nevertheless, I take leave to question whether the most exuberant Jingo in the land would have taken a juster pride than I did in the evidences I saw of the real grandeur of England's achievements. In the first place, English was the lingua franca, the common tongue, of all on board. Jap and Chinaman discussed their hopes and fears—in English. Irish priest and Welsh Nonconformist exchanged views on the national movements and ideals of their fellow Celts-in English. Frenchman salu- ted Norwegian, Dutchman, Dane-in Eng- lish. Even the menu and the concert pro- gramme were given in German-and Eng- lish. A small fact, may be, but a living and tangible evidence of the real greatness of Britain. This was a far prouder conquest, in my view, than bloody victories on stricken fields; a much finer achievement than the grabbing of neighbours' vineyards. For this was a moral conquest, a concession granted, not out of fear, but out of the necessity of social intercourse and sheer convenience. Another startling proof of the same suprem- acy was the predominance of the English flag on sea. We sighted two score or more vessels between Southampton and Genoa. Only three of them flew a foreign flag. Over ninety per cent of them were English. And this," quoth one of the Norwegian captains to me when I drew his attention to the fact,' is what England will sacrifice for Protection.' THE YELLOW RACES. Naturally, one paid a good deal of atten- tion to the yellow men on board. One of the Japs had been learning the shipping business in London for the last four years. 4' Our business men are sent to London," he told me in excellent English. There are 500 of us there now. Our teachers and Army officers are sent to Germany, and our artists to France." I talked with him about the religion of Japan. He informed me that there is no such thing as a national system of religion in the country, that the popular religion consists of ancestor-worship, but that the ruling and educated classes are either Free Thinkers or Christians. He himself was a Presbyterian Another Jap— who had been a student in a German uni- versity-was an American Congregationalist. I asked the Irish priest, who told me this, how he accounted for the fact that a man who knew hardly any English could be an American Congregationalist ? Sure," he said with delightful naivete, and was he not educated in Germany?" I found the American Congregationalist a pronounced admirer of Mr. Chamberlain. He is the biggest man in the world I" he said en- thusiastically one night in the smoking room. It was curious to notice with what icy silence the remark was received by all the Englishmen present. The awkwardness of the moment was broken by a Chinaman, who is returning with an English qualifica- tion to practice medicine at Signapore. "Pity he's a Jew," he said. A Jew ?" we all exclaimed. Yes," replied Dr. Yin, a his name is Joseph I" Nothing we could say could convince him that he was wrong. I tried to explain that the Jews retained their national characteristics with extreme ten- acity, and that Mr. Chamberlain's nose was not exactly Jewish in shape. Ah," retorted the Chinee, <' I know you are an enemy of Mr. Chamberlain." Why?" said I, aston- ished and conscience-stricken. Oh, you are a follower of Lloyd-George GIBRALTAR. When we called at Gibraltar and saw the rock hanging over the straits like a couchant lion ready for his spring, one came sharply face to face with another side of England's greatness. Here was the embodiment of her greed of territory, and of her utterly unscrupulous determination to follow out her own policy at all and every cost. The great rock fortress was grabbed by us in August, 1704, and it has been held by us ever since. It is as if France had seized Dover and retained it by force of arms for two centuries. At present we are building a great dock to the west side of the rock — right in front of the houses. Mr. Gibson Bowles pointed out in Parliament last year that the new dock was open to the enemy's direct fire from the I Qaeen of Spain's chair,' a hill not two miles distant, and to masked batteries from a circle of hills. Even the uninstructed eye can see that the criticism is well-founded, and I confess I could see no justification for spending five millions of the nation's money on such an undertaking. Some Gibraltar officials who were on board, however, were enthusiastic supporters of the scheme. "No doubt," they sail, "the dock will be unsafe if ever we are at war with Spain: but better an unsafe dock than none at all." I asked why the dock was not built on the other, the east side, of the Rock. They agree that such a dock would be far safer, but would entail the expenditure of a large some of money. However," they added, hopefully, "that may come some day." The Rock itself looks what its history has proved it to be—an impregnable fQrt- ress. It is honeycombed with batteries, and man has added his mechanical aids to Nature's handiwork. In the Straits we came across half-a-dozen low-lying, snake-like craft. They were British torpedo boats, part of the police of the sea, emblems and illustrations of the best work which Britain's armed might is doing for civilisation. KING BABY. On board there was a young wife with a girl baby six months old. The mother was barely eighteen years of age, and was on her way to rejoin her husband at Hong-Kong. The baby was the happiest little creature in the ship. In spite of a heavy ground swell in the Bay of Biscay and a pitching saa in the Mediterranean, the little lady never lost her smile or her appetite. She was quite cosmo- politan in her favours. She smiled with impartial affection on Catholic priest and Baptist minister. She slept as contentedly in the arms of her Chinese Amah as on her mother's lap. It was a pretty sight to see all sorts and conditions of men crowding round the little mite to do her homage. The little bit of humanity, in its helplessness, made the whole wosld kin. She was petted and spoilt b/ all. All languages were the same to her, and she made no colour or caste distinctions. When her mother be- came sick for a time every man and woman was concerned to help and befriend the orphaned child. She taught us that there is some feeling deeper than tradition, more catholic than religion, more ineradicable than colour, more binding than language, which proclaims and enforces the brother- hood of man and makes one feel less pes- simistic than one sometimes does of the ultimate federation of humanity. Dear little Letitia-may she prove as lasting a joy to her parents as she has been to the fifteen nations on board the German liner THE CREW. It is strange that a German line should run a service from the Fatherland to the Far East, where-with the exception of Kian Chow-there are no Germ in possessions at all. And yet they do so—and at a fine profit. The reason for it is, I am told, that they are content with smaller fares than the great English companies, and that they cater better than the Japanese Nippon line. I must confess I have been pleasantly sur- prised at the politeness and real kindness of the stewards and the officials generally. They were as unlike what is supposed to be the typical Prussian as possible. On Satur- day we had a charming scene on board. The sailors had a sing-song and a dance in the steerage. Both first-class and second- class passengers, as well as some of the officers, joined in. The band was an im- promptu one, composed of the stewards and passengers. Everybody danced with every- body, and the most amusing sight of all was to see the Russian strong man waltzing with a pig-tailed Chinaman. Some of us were shocked to find a formal dance organised by the captain on Sunday night. We hai forgotten the Lutheran view of Sunday. Some of the Sabbatarians on board even, went so far as to make representations to the captain. But the captain remained firm and would not alter his national custom. Oar Baptist minister was rather staggered to discover that his most vocal and ener- getic supporter of the sacredness of the Sabbath was Dr. Yin, the Chinaman LLEWELYN WILLIAMS.
New Work by the Rev. H. Elvet Lewis. "Bythe River Chebar." (Some Applications of Ezekiel's Visions). Christian Commonwealth: "Almost every page bears distinct evidence of Mr. Lewis's literary skill and poetic temprament. There is nothing that is commonplace about either the thought or the style. Illuminating sen- tences, glowing with intuitional insight, come upon the reader with a frequency and, often an unexpectedness which is most refreshing." LONDON HODDER & STOUGHTON. 3/6.