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speed realizing the flight of their living
namesakes across the great Australian prairies.
It was this delightful region which enchanted
the earliest English and French navigators:
it was here the adventurous Cook spent
many weeks of his ocean life: and it was
from this part of the Pacific that the author
of Typee and Omoo drew the materials for
his interesting tales.

For the return voyage, winds, nearly as
favourable, are to be found by steering well
to the southward for a short time after
leaving the Australian continent. In these
latitudes westerly breezes blow for a great
part of the year, which will not fail to carry
a vessel to the South American coast in fair
weather. A screw vessel need not make the
American coast; but, by steering towards the
north, when within a certain distance of land,
the Isthmus of Panama will be easily made.
It should be borne in mind that, during the
whole voyage, there is one continuous summer
breeze and summer sky; not a cloud dims the
bright blue of the tropical horizon; the unruly
wave seldom troubles the face of the
well-named Pacific. By this route the passengers
need fear no storms; no heavy squalls of wind
or rain; no unpleasant motion of the ship.
The terrors of the much dreaded "Cape of
Storms" are escaped equally with the piercing
cold of Cape Horn in a voyage which the
most delicate and nervous may undertake
without fear or inconvenience.

Whether the great ship-canal which is
promised to connect the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans will be realised, or whether the Panama
railway continue to be the means of transit
across the Isthmus, will not affect the certain
and speedy success of the "great screw"
question in a region which, of all others,
appears to be the best adapted to a mode
of propelling ships, which is at once
economical, rapid, and agreeable.


         A LOCUST HUNT.

I WAS quietly at work at Capri one day
last August in my study, labouring to
breathe as well as the great heat would let
me, when a wild-looking youth rushed in to
me from Anacapri, with news that the locusts
were come. The disease of the vines had
already caused great loss, and now there were
the locusts eating up the harvest. A great
part of Anacapri, said the youth, is as bare as
if a fire had swept across it. The invaders
had already got over the brow of the mountain,
and were in the woods below. Would
I go out and see them? Certainly I would.

As we approached their advanced guard
under cover of a low wood, we could hear the
incessant click-click of the enemy, and every
now and then we were fallen upon by locust
scouts, that dashed against our faces or clung
to our pantaloons. As we proceeded we found
them frolicking in legions, like imps let loose
for mischief. As the atmosphere was already
thicker than I liked, I did not that morning
go up to see how things looked at the worst.
I went back to pay a visit to the Syndic,
and ascertain what could be done to mend

Trouble of this kind comes upon Capri
once in every three or four years; but there
has been no swarm so great as the present
since the great plague of locusts twenty years
ago. "That, indeed," my informant said, "was
awful. They climbed our walls, got into our
houses and churches, crawled over the altars,
ate up the entire harvest; and who can say
what else might have happened if it had not
been for Saint Antonio? Some missionary
priests were then among us, and they ordained
a solemn procession of women; they were all
to walk with their hair loose about their
shoulders, and the priests in front carrying
the image of the saint. Before the procession
was over, a strong east wind came and
blew all the locusts into the sea, just over the
Blue Grotto. Ah, Signor, Saint Antonio is
very powerful!"

Report having been formally made to the
Syndic, his excellency, in true official style,
ordered a bag of the devastators to be
collected and sent off to the sub-intendant, who
resides at Castellamare, in order that he
might ascertain whether indeed they were
really locusts. Until that point was officially
decided, the Syndic could disburse none of
the public money to arrest the plague; which
was of course spreading meantime with the
steadiness of a prairie-fire over the woods
and fields. The grain was being bitten off
under the ear as cleanly as though cut by
scissors; fig-trees were stripped and barked.
Our messenger reached Castellamare after
business hours. The deputy was enjoying his
evening leisure, and could speak with nobody.

On the next day, however, the Syndic of
Anacapri, having obtained the requisite
permission, attached a placard to the walls of his
house, offering a reward for the capture of
locusts at the rate of about a penny for a
pound. All the idle population of the district
instantly became busy, and went out
locust-hunting in parties of five or six, with sacks
and sheets. A sheet held by a man at each
corner being lifted up like a wall across the
path of the invaders, one or two people with
brooms beat the bushes and swept the earth,
causing the disturbed locusts to fly on until
the sheet was black with them. Then it was
quickly doubled up, the insects were scraped
from it into a sack, and preparations were
made for the taking, in the same way, of
another batch. A locust-hunter tells me that
he is earning at his work sixteenpence a-day;
sixpence a-day beyond his usual wages. I am
told also, by the parish priest of Anacapri,
that in a few days the whole body of hunters
in that small district has taken upward of
twenty hundredweights; but he remembers

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