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and Marignolli had even told of pepper wars between Jews and Christians. Through the Chinese port of Amoy, so Polo thought, there passed a hundred times as much pepper as came to all Christendom. But somehow the Moluccas, whence came cloves, nutmegs, and mace—the husks of nutmegs—seemed to be the kingdom of spicery.
They had won this distinction centuries before the first western ship entered those seas. Although the islands have an area of only twenty-five thousand square miles and a population of less than four hundred thousand persons, their two sultanates of Tidor and Ternate achieved dominion at about the same time as the Italian republics of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, which in power they paralleled; and the one group of states, no less than the other, lived on the spice trade. The colonial empire of the Moluccas extended over the neighboring archipelagoes and penetrated the continent; their trading settlements dotted the wide spaces of Malaysia. Java was their export market, and there Polo saw the testimonials of their power in a spice trade that seemed to him to account for the greater part of the world's supply of aromatic and pungent vegetable substances. They had already entered into a political decline when the Europeans came, and this eastern venture of the Portuguese executed for them the same decree of fate that it was to do for the maritime states of the Mediterranean.
When Serrano reached the Moluccas he wrote to his friend, Magellan: “I have discovered yet another new world, larger and richer than that found by Vasco da Gama.” The caravels of Portugal went no farther, and the nation took such pains as it could that none others should go so far. It was Portuguese policy in the spice trade, as it had been Arab policy in the incense trade, that the sources of supply should remain unknown. Always the unknown is magnified. Robert Thorne, writing from the Spanish court in 1527, declared that the islands abounded not only in cloves, nutmegs, mace, and cinnamon, but in “Golde, Rubies, Diamondes, Balasses, Garnates, Jacincts, and other stones and pearles.” The precious commodities he thought the simple natives would part with on equal terms for the lead, tin, and iron of the north; and, measure for measure, they would traffic their spices for corn, their diamonds for pieces of glass. In these islands fable found another home. Here, it was said, were men having spurs on their ankles like cocks, horned hogs, hens that laid their eggs several feet under ground, oysters so large that the shells were used as baptismal fonts for children, crabs with claws so strong that they could break the iron of a pick-ax, stones which grew like fish and out of which men made lime, and a river well stored with finny creatures and yet so hot that it scalded the unwary bather. Drake, refitting here in his voyage around the world, saw "an infinite swarme of fiery wormes flying at night making such a shew and light as if every twigge or tree had been a burning candle.” Also he saw bats as big as hens and crayfish that dug holes like conies, and one of which was a meal for four hungry men.
These decorations of fancy can add but little to the great theme of forgotten islands once the goal of the world's desire.
There was another curious chapter written when Dutch succeeded Portuguese. It was such a chapter as monopoly writes, and it comes down into the nineteenth century. The ships of Holland cruised in the surrounding seas, cutting down spice groves wherever they found them. Before they were exported, all nutmegs were treated with fire and lime, so that no plantations could be started elsewhere—but pigeons carried them to other islands and mother cloves were taken away in hollow bamboos, and the produce of home orchards multiplied, and the world spice trade dwindled in relative importance as the food of mankind became more varied.
Dampier tells of an island where the ground under the trees was carpeted with cloves several inches thick, left there to decay. Another traveler tells of seeing three heaps of nutmegs burning at one time, each of which would have filled a church. So the Dutch East India Company reduced supplies in striving to maintain prices. The spicy odors that floated over the seas surrounding the Araby of fable became, on occasion, a fact of the Molucca group. It was the incense neither of nature nor of religion, but of a dying commerce.
The nutmegs of to-day are grown mainly in the island of Penang in the British East Indies and in the island of Grenada in the British West Indies, while cloves come from the African island of Zanzibar.
Arcadia is at once a country and a province of the imagination.
The real Arcadia is a mountainous plateau some forty miles square in the central part of the Peloponnessus of Greece. Its chief exports
in the old time were asses. Its inhabitants were and are-gruff-spoken herdsmen and peasants, equally scornful of letters and politics. They seldom went outside their own val. leys, and few strangers came among them. They had no central government and no relations with the other states of Greece, and they wanted to be let alone. Yet they were willing to fight -for pay; and sometimes they had to fight because Sparta was their neighbor and they were on a war track. When Arcadia took the field in force as the ally of another state, almost always it espoused the wrong side. In the quarrels of the Greek republics, and in the series of wars in which Pompey, Julius Cæsar, Mark Antony, and Augustus figured, it shared the hard lot of the vanquished. Although it lay remote and its spirit was aloof, the plateau had at least its share of the troubles of the world.
The Arcadia of poetry occupies the same boundaries, but has had a different history. All that the poets have done has been to stress certain facts and forget the others. This land, as it seemed to them, stood like a fortress of rustic innocence above the turmoil of politics and the bustle of maritime trade that was ancient Greece. At each of the corners of the plateau, like bastions, rose a group of mountain peaks, from which, on a fair morning, one might see the whole of Arcadia, the neighbor states of the coastal plains, and beyond them the Mediterranean. Great groves of gnarled oaks grew upon the mountain sides, there were pine forests, and in the open fields stood the graceful plane tree, beloved of the classic world. Though the Arcadians were unlettered, pastoral song had its birth among them, before the inspiration of Theocritus gave it a home in Sicily. Pan was their tutelar deity, and it seemed to the rustics sometimes that they could heer the plaintive music of his pipes as the goat-god reclined under the plane tree. In this artless land, myth has it, Hermes strung cords across the shell of a giant tortoise and made the harp.
Arcadia was equally skilled at the harp and the flute, and to these the shepherds sang their simple lays. Aside from their love of music, they seemed to the Greeks of the towns men of ignorant rusticity, and they figure as simpletons—“acorn eaters” -in the Middle Comedy. The Romans copied this as they did everything else in Greek drama, and the dull Arcadian of the stage moved Latin audiences to laughter; “Arcades ambo,” both sweet innocents, is a phrase of the period. But the Romans caught also the spirit of their rustic song, and the Arkady of poetry was born in the Virgilian bucolics. Its outlines are disclosed in the Tenth Eclogue, in passages which tell of browsing goats, and clover-rifling bees, and bubbling springs where darkblue violets blow, and, animating the scene, the vintagers of mellow grapes and Pan himself, red with elderberries and with cinnabar. “Arcadians, none but ye can sing!” exclaims the poet.
On this delicate outline the Renaissance laid the rich color. ings of its fancy. The rugged, troubled mountain land became the one land in all the world of simple peace and rustic innocence and wistful charm of things ideal. Sanazzaro's Arcadian pastoral went through sixty editions in a century. France, Spain, England, and Holland, following Italy, all made their excursions into Arkady. There was a succession of romantic sketches wherein lyrics declaring the loves of swains and bewailing the death of virgins are interspersed with dialogues that tell in prose the poetry of pastoral life. The classic work of this school is the Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney. There, and not in the Morea, the Arkady that is a province of the imagination may best be explored.
It is a tale of knightly youths and dainty maidens and one sentence will declare its quality. When Pamela disrobed for the bath and set foot in a stream "the touch of cold water made a pretty kind of shrugging come over her body, like the twinkling of the fairest of the fixed stars.'
Here, says Sidney, the very shepherds have their fancies lifted to so high conceits as the learned of other nations are content both to borrow their names and imitate their cunning. The hills garnish their proud delights with stately trees, the humble estate of valleys is comforted with the refreshing of rivers, and the thickets declare the cheerful disposition of welltuned birds. Sheep pasture with sober security and by them are pretty lambs whose bleating oratory craves the dam's comfort. The herd girls sing their lays, while on the uplands pipes the shepherd boy “as though he shall never be old.”
This is vision, all of it, sunshine and haze working their spell upon a rocky hillside. There are wolves in the sheepfolds of life.
Bohemia is a subtler Arcadia, another province of youth and love and dreams; but youth passes thence, and love is a brief madness, and the dream may fail of fulfillment. Like Arcadia, the Bohemia that is a state of mind has its reality in a mountaingirdled land, but, unlike Arcadia, it has shifted on the map, refusing to be confined by any boundaries known to geography.
Now even the name of it, with its music and implications of poetry, is lost to geography, and in its stead is the harshly named Czecho-Slovakia. Wherefore the Bohemians of art and literature, and unregulated impulse and fantasy, have no homeland they can call their own. This is a fitting thing. In a sense there never was a Bohemia, although there was always the fortress land which nature placed at the headwaters of the Elbe on the borders of Germany. The Celtic tribe whence it was named is only a shadow in history, and the Bohemians who fought with Poles and Germans, who wanted to be Protestant, who started the Thirty Years' War, who were a dukedom, and a kingdom, and a part of the Holy Roman Empire, were Slavs who called themselves Czechs.
Their literature is older than the German, their university at Prague was one of the earliest centers of European culture, their capital is the westernmost outpost of the east in Europe, their patriotism is a proverb, and their glass fabrics, their beer, and their beet sugar are staples of world commerce. Upon this people and their hill-walled home the name of Bohemia and the traditions of “the gayest and most melancholy country of the world” fit but loosely. Whence the Bohemia that is a haunting word on the lips of youth?
Shakespeare builded it, and the gypsies, and Frenchmen who