BEAUTY AND FERTILITY
Monsieur de Guignes says : " Of the numerous colonies belonging to the Spaniards, as one of the most important must indisputably be reckoned the Philippines. Their position, their great fertility, and the nature of their productions, render them admirably adapted for active commerce, and if the Spaniards have not derived much benefit from them, to themselves and to their manner of training is the fault to be ascribed."
Herr Jagor, speaking of the Province of Bulacan, says the roads were good and were continuously shaded by fruit trees, cocoa and areca palms, and the aspect of this fruitful province reminded him of the richest districts in Java, but he found the pueblos here exhibited more comfort than the desas there.
Mr. Gifford Paigrave says: "Not the iEgean, not the West Indian, not the Samoan, not any other of the fair island clusters by which our terraqueous planet half atones for her dreary expanses of grey ocean and monotonous desert elsewhere, can rival in manifold beauties of earth, sea, sky, the Philippine Archipelago ; nor in all that Archipelago, lovely as it is through its entire extent, can any island vie with the glories of Luzon."
Variety of Landscape.
If I may without presumption add my testimony to that of these illustrious travellers, I would say that, having been over a great part of South America, from Olinda Point to the Straits of Magellan, from Tierra del Fuego to Panama, not only on the coasts but in the interior, from the Pampas of the Argentine and the swamps of the Gran Chaco to where
" The roots of the Andes strike deep in the earth As their summits to heaven shoot soaringly forth;"
having traversed the fairest gems of the Antilles and seen some of the loveliest landscapes in Japan, I know of no land more beautiful than Luzon, certainly of none possessing more varied features or offering more striking contrasts.
Limestone cliffs and pinnacles, cracked and hollowed into labyrinthine caves, sharp basalt peaks, great ranges of mountains, isolated volcanic cones, cool crystalline springs, jets of boiling water, cascades, rivers, lakes, swamps, narrow
A 2A 2