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say, is the best country in the world for an
active, enterprising, steady young man,
provided he can keep his health, as the climate,
without due precaution, is not a healthy one.
In the summer season, the weather is
pleasantly warm from morning till noon, then it is
windy till evening, and dusty, and then becomes
so cold as to require an over-coat. This weather
lasts to October, when the wind gets round to
the south-west. It is dry, warm, and pleasant
now (April). This and the rainy season are
the pleasantest and warmest here. Thousands,
on arriving, fall victims to the prevailing
disease of dysentery. On the latter account,
therefore, I should not advise, or be the
indirect means of inducing, any one to make the
adventure here, because it is impossible to
foresee or calculate whether or not he can
stand the climate and inconveniences of this
country; and, if so, he is sure to be exposed
to a miserable and too often neglected
sickness, and ending in a miserable death. I have
not been ill myself so far, as my general health
has been extremely good, and I never looked
so well as now. The climate seems to operate
injuriously on bilious habits; but to those who
can stand it, it is decidedly pleasanter than
England. Fires are never necessary. Out of
doors, at night, a great-coat is required, but in
the house it is always warm. The whole and
only question, with a man making up his mind
to locate in California, should be in regard to
his health. Business of all descriptions is
better here than in any other part of the world,
and he who perseveres is sure to succeed.

"There are various opinions afloat, in regard
to the fertility of the soil, some holding that
there are productive valleys in the interior
which would supply sufficient sustenance for
home consumption: others assert the reverse.
Certain it is, however, that in many parts in
the interior, the climate is delightful, but
owing to the long continued dry season, I
have doubts as to her ever raising a sufficient
supply of vegetable necessaries of life: our
market now is supplied from the Sandwich
Islands and Oregon.

"As to gold mining, it is altogether a
lottery; one man may make a large amount
daily, another will but just live. There is an
inexhaustible quantity of gold, however, but
with many it is inconceivably hard to get,
as the operations are so many, and health
so very precarious, that it is a mere chance
matter if you succeed in getting a large sum
speedily. It seems a question, whether it
would not be advisable for the American
Government to work the mines ultimately:

"California must ' go-a-head: ' the east will
pour through the country her immense
commerce into the States, and the mines will last
for ages. Finally, I would now say to my
friends, that, if you are inclined to come to this
country, upon this my report of it, you must,
to succeed, attend to my warnings as to
drinking and gambling, and to my precautions
against climate."



HOWEVER interesting it might prove to the
noble relatives of Ensign Spoonbill to learn
his progress, step by step, we mustfor
reasons of our ownpass over the first few
weeks of his new career with only a brief
mention of the leading facts.

His brother-officers had instructed him in
the art of tying on his sash, wearing his forage
cap on one side, the secret of distinguishing
his right hand from his left, and the mysteries
of marching and counter-marching. The art
of holding up his head and throwing out his
chest, had been carefully imparted by the
drill-serjeant of his company, and he had,
accordingly, been pronounced " fit for duty."

"What this was may best be shown, by
giving an outline of " a subaltern's day," as
he and the majority of his military friends
were in the habit of passing it. It may serve
to explain how it happens that British officers
are so far in advance of their continental
brethren in arms in the science of their
profession, and by what process they have arrived
at that intellectual superiority, which renders
it a matter of regret that more serious interests
than the mere discipline and well-being of only
a hundred and twenty thousand men have not
been confided to their charge.

The scene opens in a square room of
tolerable size which, if simply adorned with
"barrack furniture," (to wit, a deal table, two
windsor-chairs, a coal scuttle, and a set of
fire-irons,) would give an idea of a British
subaltern's " interior," of rather more Spartan-like
simplicity than is altogether true. But to
these were added certain elegant " extras,"
obtained not out of the surplus of five and
three-pence a dayafter mess and band
subscriptions, cost of uniform, servant's wages,
&c., had been deductedbut on credit, which
it was easier to get than to avoid incurring
expense. A noble youth, like Ensign Spoonbill,
had only to give the word of command to be
obeyed by Messrs Rosewood and Mildew, with
the alacrity shown by the slaves of the lamp,
and in an incredibly short space of time, the
bare walls and floor of his apartment were
covered with the gayest articles their establishment
afforded. They included those
indispensable adjuncts to a young officer's toilette,
a full length cheval, and a particularly lofty
pier-glass. A green-baize screen converted
the apartment into as many separate rooms
as its occupant desired, cutting it up, perhaps,
a little here and there, but adding, on the
whole, a great deal to its comfort and privacy.
What was out of the line of Messrs Rosewood
and Mildewand that, as Othello says, was
"not much"—the taste of Ensign Spoonbill
himself supplied. To his high artistic taste
were due the presence of a couple of dozen
gilt-framed and highly-coloured prints,