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San Francisco.)

LETTERS AND ART.

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of these. The Mechanics' Institute has a library of 30,000 volumes, which is continually enriched from the money made at the great Industrial Exhibitions. The Odd Fellows also have a collection of 25,000 volumes ; and several other societies are provided with large and growing libraries.

The historian of the Pacific Coast, “the Cæsar Augustus of Américanistes," is Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft, formerly a San Francisco publisher, who has ransacked the world for books and MSS. pertaining to this region, and now possesses a library of 20,000 volumes of Californiana, besides myriads of documents and papers. With a large corps of assistants, he has been engaged for years in the preparation of a huge many-volumed book on the native races of the Pacific Coast, and a systematic history of the territory and State of California. In the quest for original papers, Mr. Bancroft has made repeated visits to London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Vienna ; and he secured 3,000 volumes from the Biblioteca Imperial de Mejico of the Emperor Maximilian.

The Overland Monthly, which ran a short career, from 1868 to 1875, was the medium through which many literary citizens reflected the wild, free sentiment of the Pacific slope. Bret Harte was the editor, and among the local contributors were whose fame is now world-wide-Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, Charles W. Stoddard, and others -working in similar veins of sentiment, but with widely different manners. Boston and New York soon perceived the rare merit of these Pacific Coast authors, and lured them away from this sweet Laodicean climate; and London, in its turn, admired and received them. They are better known now in Paternoster Row than in Kearney Street; and the Californian, the successor of the Overland Monthly, is fostering a new brood of geniuses.

There certainly have been but few communities of such brief existence which could point to so many eminent authors as their own, or show native schools of literature so original, piquant, and powerful. Poetry grows on this soil as freely and luxuriantly as among the hills of Scotland ; history has found devoted students and annalists; and philology has made some of its most interesting discoveries in this cosmopolitan community. The newspapers of the city are vigorous and fearless, and continually report the tidings of the round world, and all that dwell therein. A keen observer remarks that the journalists of San Francisco include “graduates of all universities from Aberdeen to Rome, and graduates of those famous foundations, the School of Adversity, the Academy of Audacity.” There is, indeed, a wide range between the dignified conservatism of the Alta, the Bulletin, and the E.caminer, and the enterprising sensationalism of the Chronicle, the Call, and the Post-between the dull solemnity of the sectarian weeklies and the stinging quips of the News-Letter, the Parisian sparkle of the Courrier Français.

In the broad field of art, this community has made a really notable progress; and its chief painters, Hill, Keith, Rosenthal, and Virgil Williams, are held in high esteem among American artists.

The grand scenery of the Sierras and the coast, the brilliancy of the Western skies and landscapes, have afforded abundant resources for the development of a new school of painting, which may produce notable results in the next century. The San Francisco Art Association has several hundred members, and often gives exhibitions of paintings. It also maintains a school of design, and a growing collection of casts from antique statuary. Such enlightening agencies may render impossible repetitions of the droll

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incident reported in one of the local newspapers, and gleefully re-published in the Eastern journals. It is said that a rich mining speculator sent to Florence for a copy of the Venus de Milo, and when it arrived he sued the Central Pacific Railway for mutilating a work of art, and the jury awarded him heavy damages !

The theology which has prevailed in San Francisco (and may be destined to remain yet longer) is illustrated in a scrap from one of the local dialect-stories, representing a dialogue between a learned divine and a rugged old teamster :-"Mr. Small, do not you believe in the overruling providence of God?' · Which god ?'

« There is but one God.' ' I don't see it, parson. On this yere Pacific Coast gods is numerous—Chinee gods, Mormon gods, Injin gods, Christian gods, an' The Bank of Californy."" There are hopeful indica

' ions, however, that the careless indifferentism, the intense secularism, of the early days is passing away, to be replaced by a well-ordered condition of Christian civilisation, vigorous in growth, and blossoming in charities and philanthropies. The Methodists, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians, each have about a dozen churches here; the Lutherans, Baptists, and Independents each have half as many; and several smaller sects also have their places of worship. Chief in interest among these buildings are the Unitarian church, the scene of the famous Starr King's ministry; the Catholic Cathedral, a stately (but not large) Gothic building; Grace Church, the chief Anglican shrine; the Mission Dolores, the ancient church of the Franciscan Fathers, erected in 1776 of adobes, or sun-dried bricks; and the Synagogue of Emanuel, whose quaint Oriental towers are conspicuous in all views of the city. Connected with these churches, or the outgrowth of the same spirit, are numerous hospitals and asylums for various classes of needy and unfortunate persons, the orphans, the widows, the sick. The exact number of the fixed sittings in the San Francisco churches is close upon 45,000, which are thus divided : Roman Catholic, 9,300; Presbyterian, 7,700; Methodists, 5,200; Episcopalian, 5,000; Hebrew, 4,500; Baptist, 4,000; Independent, 3,800; and miscellaneous, 5,500. The vicinity of

The vicinity of Union Square, in the older part of the city, contains several of the most important churches, and has therefore been likened to the Leonine quarter of Rome. The rapid extension of the cable-tramways, however, draws the people more and more towards the outskirts of the city, and the modern churches are built in the new wards. There is also a Young Men's Christian Association, owning a handsome stone building down town, with the customary comforts of library and reading-room, gymnasium, and halls. The Masons and Odd Fellows possess commodious buildings in the heart of the city, from which ceaseless benefactions pour forth.

The religion of the Spanish settlers was of the Roman variety in its most pronounced form, but the priest at the Mission, Padre Santillan, departed as soon as the American flag was raised, and the first regular non-Catholic services were those of the Mormons, who used to assemble upon the ringing of a hand-bell in the public square. In 1819, however, the Independents founded a church ; and a year later, within the grey old walls of Rome, Alemany was consecrated as first bishop of the remote diocese of California. About the same time the Episcopalians of the East ordained a bishop of their own faith, and sent him to the Pacific, not without hopes of a cathedral in the new vineyards of civilisation.

The ancient buildings of Mission Dolores are still in existence, about two miles from the centre of the city, and serve a useful purpose as a Roman Catholic chapel. Whatever

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San Francisco.)

CALIFORNIAN CHARITY.

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they might have shown of symmetry and beauty has vanished, and the gloomy old church now presents a mouldy and weedy aspect, while around it are the overgrown and forgotten graves and fantastic monuments of many of the caballeros who died before the American conquest. The Roman clergy of the present day claim half of the population of San Francisco as adherents of their Church, and support fourteen parishes and a large system of schools and charities. A new cathedral of imposing dimensions will no doubt at some future date replace the present St. Mary's Cathedral. The adobe buildings about the Mission, once the home of converts and students, are now in the last stages of dilapidation, and occupied by a few shopkeepers. Opposite the venerable church, and within

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sound of its cracked silver bells, is the modern convent of Notre Dame, in the midst of odorous gardens.

The beauty of charity finds nowhere more loving hearts and open purses than those of the mercurial and free-handed Californians; and although sectarian lines and ecclesiastical dogmatism are perhaps held lightly, the foremost of the Christian graces is held as very dear among the descendants of the Argonauts. Within the limits of the city there are upwards of 20,000 members of secret charitable fraternities, and more than a score of benevolent societies for different nationalities. The fires, floods, pestilences, and Indian wars of the adjacent States and territories call forth large sums of money for the alleviation of distress; and similar disasters in the remotest nations are relieved from the same bountiful source.

When the Civil War was raging, San Francisco sent nearly £200,000 to the East, to minister to the comfort of the troops in the field or hospital ; and when France was quivering under the iron heel of Germany, £60,000 were raised here for the benefit of

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the French Republic. The starving Jews in North Africa, the sufferers by the earthquakes in Peru, the hard-pressed Garibaldians in Italy, the half-drowned people of flooded cities of Hungary, of Switzerland, of France, have successively received large charitable funds raised here, and sent forth with kindly sympathy. It was a harsh English critic who said that the pursuit of money was, in the eyes of Californians, “not so much the chief as the only end for which man was created.” There are about 20,000 Jews in San Francisco; and the larger part of the clothing, jewellery, and dry-goods trades, the woollen mills, and the fur trade to the northward, are in their hands. They are industrious and law-abiding than any other race, and also more prolific. There are two large synagogues of German and English Jews, and three of Russians and Poles.

In climate, as in many other things, San Francisco reverses the order of the cities along the North Atlantic. The winter is the rainy season, and brilliant sunny days often follow nights of storm, with air which is full of tonic and bracing properties. In summer, however, the trade winds prevail, and sweep the entire peninsula from ocean to Bay, with raw blasts, so that overcoats are indispensable. The citizens who seek summer rest take journeys inland, where the air is more genial; and the country people, exhausted by the parching heats of the valleys, delight in the invigorating sea-winds which whirl through the streets of the city. The yearly temperature is the same as those of Bordeaux and Constantinople, but far more equable. The mean annual temperature is 55° Fahrenheit. The climate has often been likened to that of Italy, as the topography of the State bas been ingeniously compared with that of the great Mediterranean peninsula, with the Coast Range duplicating the Apennines, and the sea of mountains on the cast replacing the Adriatic. For six months rain is unknown—the unirrigated fields resemble faded carpets, the inland soil hardens into iron-like firmness, and the roads are covered with drifting banks of dust. As Hepworth Dixon said : “From month to month the seasons come and go in one soft round of spring. In winter it is May; in summer it is only June.” That is the English way of stating it; the local form is thus given by Hubert Bancroft: “That there is something indescribably fascinating about California, a peculiar play of light and shadow on the hills and in the heart, an atmosphere aërially alcoholic, we who have felt its subtle influence well know. Said one of the expatriated by the Vigilance Committee to the captain of the steamer, on reaching Panama : ‘Captain, this is no place for me ; you must take me back to San Francisco.' But they will hang you higher than Haman if I do.' 'Captain,' whined the evil-doer, I would rather hang in Californian air than

. be lord of the soil of another country.”

The Golden Gate has been called the keyhole of California, and through it continually draw the cool Pacific winds, spreading out like a fan over the heated inland counties, and reaching even to the Sierras. There is rarely a day too hot or too cold for comfortable out-door labour. The winters are showery, like those of England, and sometimes, in a rainy year, become disagreeable. In summer the intense heat of the mornings is modified before noon by a steady sea-breeze, which makes a great-coat comfortable, and fills the streets with clouds of dust from the suburban sand-hills. This general equability of climate insures the continued pre-eminence of San Francisco, since its abundant human energy is unfettered by extremes of temperature, and labour can be rendered more efficient and continuous.

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San Francisco.)

CLIMATE.

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The exhilarating atmosphere—a sun of Italy, with an air as crisp as that of the Tyrol-has enabled the citizens to convert the sandy desert of thirty years ago, with its clouds of dust in summer, its abysses of mud in winter, into a kingdom of flowers. Many of the houses have broad lawns, dense shrubberies, and a profusion of flowers growing on enormous bushes.

The scarlet geraniums and lemon verbenas attain a height of ten and fifteen feet; and scarcely less ambitious are the fuchsias, the roses, the superb calla lilies. There are many exotics-evergreens from Japan, eucalypti from Australia, pines from Norfolk Island, cacti from Mexico, and the transplanted flora of the Sierrasgrowing securely in the open air all the year round, and requiring only a copious supply of the water which has been brought to the city by aqueducts from the distant southern mountains. There are but few large trees as yet, but the noble art of arboriculture has many followers. What California can do in the way of trees is shown at Mariposa and Calaveras, where the monarchs of the forest attain a height exceeding 300 feet, and are from forty to ninety-four feet in circumference of trunk.

California has often been termed the American Palestine-not, certainly, with reference to the apostolic life of its people, or the theocratic character of its government, but rather in respect to many coincidences in nature. Here are plains covered with wild mustard, hedges of cactus, vanishing brooks, artificial irrigation, groves of mulberries, bare and burnt mountains, dead seas, siroccos, precious wells, disastrous droughts, the wine-presses, the almond-trees of Alameda, the grapes of San Diego, the olives of Los Angeles. Ethnologists recognise that a new race will be developed by these climatic conditions, and wonder how far the Anglo-Saxon disposition may become modified by centuries of these Asiatic surroundings. Already it has assumed a stronger type than appears in the Eastern States; and the spare and nervous Yankee immigrant is transformed into a ruddy and sturdy fellow, with a pronounced English aspect.

One of the monks attached to the ancient Mission Dolores is said to have predicted the rise of a great city on this site, and that, in the end, it and the entire peninsula should be engulfed by the sea. If this doleful Jeremiad is to be realised, it will doubtless be the result of an earthquake, for the soil of California has often been shaken up by these terrible agencies. There are fifteen shocks a year in San Francisco, for the most part hardly perceptible, but sometimes attaining portentous power, and bringing the panic-stricken inhabitants into the streets and on to their knees, sometimes in the scanty habiliments of the night, amid reeling walls and falling cornices. Strangers are always appalled by this wavering of the solid earth, but the citizens have grown so accustomed to insecurity that it has no fears for them.

The worst earthquake of recent years occurred in 1868, when many large buildings were thrown down, and more than sixty persons were wounded or killed. It lasted for forty-two seconds; and there never were so many prayers offered up in San Francisco in a calendar month as arose in that brief space of time, when God and eternity seemed so close upon each soul.

Oakland, a city of 35,000 inhabitants, is across the Bay, just far enough from the Pacific to escape the rigour of its gales, and thus enjoying the dry and equable climate in perfection, embowered in groves of live oaks, and famous for its beautiful scenery. Many of the city merchants and professional men live in this favourite suburb, crossing the

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