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BC Historical Books

Journal of a lady's travels round the world : with illustrations from sketches by the author Bridges, F. D. 1883

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Athens—Marathon—Mykense—Riding in the Morea—A brigand
' scare'—Walking over Mount Taygetos—Convent of Megas-
pelion—Rhodes—Egyptian sailors    ......        1
The Pyramids—The Red Sea—Hyderabad—The Moharram—The
Nahl Sahib—The Brahmin—A Musalman lady—The Amazon
guard 19
Karli—Caves of Ellora—Sleeping in a tomb—Rock-cut sanctuaries
of Ajanta—Runaway bullocks—The Begum of Bhopal—Great
Tope at Sanchi .........     35
Allahabad—The power-worshipping Hindoo—Great Moguls and
their architecture—Delhi—Lahore—Peshawar—The Khyber   .     53
On the march to Kashmir — The unhappy valley — Srinagar—
Amongst the snow-peaks—Snow-blindness—A Tartar village—
Lamayuru—The Indus valley  .......  m*mm
On the voyage to Burmah—Rangoon—Elephants in a saw-mill-
The pagoda—A Burmese lady at church—Life in a kioung-
The Poonghees—A prosperous province   ....
Straits of Malacca—The lost tribes—The Durian—Singapore—
Chinese citizens—Tapioca plantation—Voyage to Java—Mynheer Van Dunk—Dutch rule in Java       .....
Christmas day in Java—Driving through the island—A thriving
country—A Dutch lady and the brigands—Brambanani—Native
Rajahs—A difficult drive—Boro Bodor—The labour question .
Seeing Canton—New Year's gifts—Reverence for parents—Confucius—Competitive examinations—The holy pigs—A Chinese
mansion—Etiquette .       .        .       .       .       .        ...       .
First impressions of Japan—Japanese housemaids—Out in the
country—An earthquake—In a tea-house—Japanese statesmen
—The forty-seven ronins ........   272
A Japanese dinner-party—A Japanese steamer—The inland sea—
Kobe—H. starts for Pekin—The parish church—The ' valley of
the blazing torch'.........    288
Old and New Japan—Paper lanterns at fires—Festival of Jimmu
Tenno—The party of progress — The ark — Japanese Royal
Academy—H. returns from Pekin—His visit to the Great Wall   300  CONTENTS.
Sn route to Salt Lake City—Sunday afternoon in Zion—A fighting
apostle — Interviewing a Mormon lady editor — 'Marrying
single'—Zion's co-operative stores    ......    387
Humanity, old and new, in Colorado—A ' red-hot' mining town
—The canons—Wild flowers and stone flowers—Chicago—
' Silence is golden ' •....,        .    400  ILLTJ STRATION S.
Evening under the Old Palace, Leh
Is the Himalayas	
Rajah's House and Chokies', Ladakh
Chortens, near Leh      .
The Lamasary, Hemyss
Devotional Exercises at Hemyss .
Evening on the River, Sblnagar
Japanese Schoolmaster and Scholars
Lake Tahoe   	
to face     46
„   92
„   122
„   134
„   182
Tartar Tailor and Boy Lama  Ill
Tartar Peasant Woman  116
Leap erom a Lama's Prater-book  140
Buddhist Shrine and Lama's House  163
Wayside Shrine, Japan  275
The Heavenly Bamboo  326
Indian Papoose  403
In the Garden oe the Gods  409  A  LADY'S   TEAVELS
'Le MONDE est un livre dont celui qui n'a pas voyage n'a
lu que la premiere page'—so my husband thought, and we
started on our journey round the world, to read with our
own eyes some of the marvels written in that great world-
book, hoping nob only to glance over its pictures, but to try,
though perhaps in simple fashion, to learn something of its
deeper meaning, and see not alone the things new and old,
but the men and women who make up the story of life told
in its wonderful pages.
Our time was at our own disposal; but how to economise
cool weather, and see all we wished to see, was a difficult matter. However, at length our plans were made,
and we found ourselves, one hot night towards the end
of August, lying under an awning on the deck of the
* Principe Amadeo' watching the white cliffs of the island
of Kephalonia fade away in the distance, and wondering A  LADY'S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD.      chap. i.
whether, now that it is again governed by the Greeks,
the shade of Ulysses ever haunts his old rock kingdom. It
is impossible on first approaching Greece, even in a noisy,
puffing little' steamer (and with one's classical sympathies
disturber!, as ours were, by a long and arduous conflict with
custom-house officials, all through Europe, respecting my
new side-saddle), not to feel that a dream is being accomplished, that one is about to look into the face of a friend of
whom one has heard much, but never seen—for is not Greek
art and Greek thought almost our earliest and best-beloved
of instructors ?
I woke up about midnight and shall never forget the
beauty of the scene. A long line of mountain coast, above
which the planet Venus shone like a silver lamp hung
in the still night air, our ship moving almost noiselessly
across the velvety-looking- sea, leaving a silver ribbon of
phosphorus track behind it;—and then later the sun-rise
over the Peloponnesian mountains, first a few streaks of
lemon-coloured light gilding the pale blue hills, and then
Phoebus driving his golden chariot; the great sun-god driving us very effectually to take shelter from his burning rays,
and lie panting on deck, while our German fellow-passenger
drank deep draughts of the beer of his fatherland, and called
the gods to witness that he was none the cooler for doing so.
About noon we passed over the spot near the island of Cerigo
where a shipload of the Elgin marbles went down. In these
days of speculation why does not some enterprising American
try to fish them up ? But, afterwards, who do they legally
belong to ?   And, alas! other ' treasures of the deep' lie CHAP. I.
down below. Our captain lost his ship on this very spot, on
this very day a few years ago. It came into collision with an
English collier, and all on board, with the exception of himself and a few other men, went down within sight of land.
August 30, 1878.—Landing to-night at the Piraeus was
no easy matter. The sons of Greece swarmed over the ship
and fell upon us, each man striving to secure us for his own
boat; but H. addressed them in forcible English ; I took up
a defensive position in front of our baggage, and they fell
back in confusion, letting us make our way through the
thronging multitude—'the crews of ships crowding and
clamouring, the porches choked with people, and wineskins,
and firkins, leeks, and onions,' as Aristophanes describes
this seaport in old days. There is a railway to Athens;
however, we preferred to drive along the classic road—the
promenade of the ancients—\ made for conversation'; but
I doubt that even that inveterate talker Socrates could have
made himself heard as we rattled over the rough dusty road
in a landau drawn by a pair of rather miserable horses. The
night was fine, but unluckily there was no moon, and our
driver, inheriting the sociable instincts of his ancestors,
deemed it frequently necessary to refresh himself with conversation, a glass of water, and a piece of Turkish Delight on
the way. We peered anxiously into the darkness to catch a
first glimpse of the great city, the ' mother of arts and eloquence.' At length our guide exclaimed, ' Here is Athens !'
adding with enthusiasm,' Behold the new gasworks !' We felt
disappointed, for we thought the tall chimney which loomed
through the darkness was some monument of antiquity. m
Athens, August 31.—I dreamed of sunrise on the Akro-
polis, but looking out of the window at 4 a.m. could only see
a long dusty street, down which boys, some of whom might
have been Greek statues in bronze, were leading donkeys
laden with grapes and tomatoes. So we tried to sleep again,
but the Greek statues made far too much noise extolling
their wares to allow of our doing so. ' See, 0 Athenians!
ean there be more beautiful grapes than those I offer
you ?' ' Behold my figs, and say whether those of any other
garden can compare with their beauty!' The Hymettos
honey, tasting strongly of wild thyme, and the thick cream
slightly beaten up and used as butter, were excellent at
breakfast; and afterwards we found Angellos Mellisinos, a
dragoman recommended by a friend to be our guide through
Greece, waiting for us. A fine-looking fellow, speaking good
English, who we trust will not cheat us more than the traditions of his profession compel him to. We sent another telegram concerning that unlucky side-saddle, and then started
for the Akropolis. The heat was trying, but we forgot it on
our way to the most glorious temple in the world. Like
most ancient European cities, Athens is trying to embellish
herself with imitation boulevards, and wide, ill-kept' places.'
Still some of the narrow streets we went by must have the
same character (mean private houses and noble public buildings) as when the golden-haired boy Alkibiades played in
them, or Plato and his pupils passed through on their way
to the academic groves.
This is quite the wrong time of year for seeing Greece.
Pentelicus and Hymettos are burnt up by the fierce heat, till CHAP. I.
they look like gigantic cinder-heaps, and a white haze dims the
distant outline of the picture. Still, as we mount the Akropolis,
climbing the great white marble steps, almost rocky in their
ruin, making our way over fallen capitals, and the Parthenon
stands out like an ivory carving against the intensely blue sky,
we feel awestruck by its wonderful beauty. Utterly ruined
and ransacked as it and the surrounding temples are, we have
seen no Gothic cathedral that produces the same effect of
noble beauty and entire perfection on the mind. And yet
by its very perfection a saddened feeling, that here art had
reached its limit—that there is nothing left to long for;
unlike the hopeful suggestiveness of Gothic architecture,
which always seems to admit of further development of its
beauty. But why attempt to describe the Parthenon ; has
not every detail of its sculpture served as a model to civilised
humanity for the last twenty-three centuries ? So we mused,
reading 'Murray - under the porch of the Erechtheum at the
feet of the stately marble women and their mean, muddy-
coloured sister—the wretched plaster cast England presented
to Greece in place of the original appropriated by Lord
Elgin. Strangers are now no longer permitted to pocket
bits of shattered (livinities, or scribble their stupid names
on the monuments ; and, under the superintendence of Dr.
Schliemann, more Turkish rubbish has lately been removed
by the Greek Government.
This afternoon we sat under an old olive tree on the site
of the classic groves of the Academia, where Plato once taught.
A pleasant place enough to talk metaphysics in, with ' those
immortal men who spoke the language of eloquence and
truth,' and many a select company of Athenian scholars and
gentlemen must have met here. An old-established institution, too; for until Justinian closed the schools of Athens,
thirteen centuries ago, it had been' a holy place to those who
aspired to look on the face of eternal truth' for 900 years. . .
Athens, September 7.—To-morrow we start for a ride
round .the Peloponnesus, having had a pleasant glimpse of
Athens new and old; the latter, perhaps, not the least
interesting of the two. Last night one of the leading states-
men here, the most patriotic of Greeks, and withal a cultivated English scholar, took us to see a play acted by
torch-light, under the Corinthian pillars of the Temple of
Jupiter. Political feeling runs high in Athens, and, rightly
or wrongly, the Greeks feel that they must fight for the freedom of their race and to consolidate their little kingdom.
Greeks complain, perhaps not without reason, that some of
the Great Powers of Europe show them small sympathy. If
Greece be, as a distinguished statesman has said, ' in the
position of a young man of great expectations,' it might be
well to encourage the heir-apparent to such a splendid property to prepare for his responsibilities; for Greece is, in a
very true sense of the word, the youngest country in Europe.
It is difficult to remember, when looking at the marble
palaces and stately public buildings here, that half-a-century
ago Greece did not exist—had not existed for ages. Athens
was a collection of wooden huts, huddled round a Turkish
fortress, and Hellas itself only an insignificant province of
the Turkish Empire. Greek statesmen, though full of hope
and ambition for their country, fully recognise its sore need CHAP. I.
of organisation and internal development, and only wait for
the scientific-frontier question to be satisfactorily settled to
turn their attention to the making of roads and the encouragement of agriculture.
We walked about outside the large tent where ' Babagas'
was being performed in Greek for the first time. There was
some prospect of the Athenian citizens not being able to
control their political passions, in fact, every likelihood of a
row—but we saw nothing of the kind—only a merry, good-
natured, handsome crowd, apparently not under police supervision. We do not see much beauty amongst the women,
they strike us as being singularly unelassical in form and
feature—pleasant faces but clumsy figures—decidedly archaic
in style.    .    .    .
The wind fell as we sailed across the Saronic Gulf to the
island of jEgina; the sun blazed down on us, and our crew did
not do much with their oars, but chiefly talked ; at length we
drew up our * hollow boat' upon the ' loud-resounding shore'
(it is well to be Homeric here) and climbed over the rocks
to the only pine tree within sight, which, like every other we
had yet seen, was tapped for resin to mix with the wine of
the country—as yet we do not care for diluted turpentine as
a drink, but we may get to like it,—then up through the
vineyards and what must be in spring a carpet of wild thyme,
to the Temple of Jupiter, to cast ourselves down under the
shadow of its mighty columns and admire the glorious view,
and the twinkling green lizards running over the sacred
stones on which traces of crimson stucco can still be seen.
On our way back a shepherd boy, very like a living statue
Wales, the representative of progress and what we Westerns
call civilisation in this part of the world.    .    .
Sparta, September 13.—Biding through Greece on the
poor horses of the country is rather tedious work. Some day,
when the Greeks take to making roads instead of talking
politics and indulging in ' Demosthenic artillery practice,' it
will be a delightful country to travel in; but at present, sleep-,
ing in the peasants' huts, or endeavouring to do so after a long
day's march, is trying. Still, when standing on the Akropolis
of Mykense, looking down into the graves of men who, if not
the actual Homeric heroes, must have been of the race that
inspired the splendid conceptions of the Greek poets; one is
inclined to forget the discomforts of travel, and rather thank
the kind fate which has kept away tourists and monster
hotels and what we are pleased to call the ' requirements '
of modern life. We agreed, as we sat eating water-melon in
the hut occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Schliemann during
their excavations here, that no more interesting occupation
than theirs could be imagined: that of reading back into
the history of mankind and making the dead past live again.
But, perhaps, even the lion Gateway we stood under, ' the
oldest example of Greek sculpture in existence,' is traceable
to something in a still more distant past. A counterpart
of it is said to exist on a rock tomb of Phrygia and to be
Hittite in origin. ' The depths of antiquity are full of light;
we are as infants born at midnight, when we see the sun rise
we say that yesterday never was,' says an old Buddhist poet.
Can we of to-day claim originality in anything that pertains*
to art?
Sometimes we rest in a wayside khan, while Angellos
cuts up a quarter of lean lamb into ' kabobs,' ■which, fixed
on the wooden spits of heroie days and roasted over a fire of
dry thistles, do not seem tough after a long ride and only
a eup of Mack coffee for breakfast- 3ionntain shepherds—
wild-looking men, with still wilder-looking dogs—came in
for their mid-day glass of resinata. Picturesque fellows they
are, with long guns slung over their shoulders and graceful
eloaks folded in classic fashion, and belts fnU of quaint
weapons—perhaps somewhat too warlike in appearance for
Arcadian shepherds (we were in Arcadia, not far from Megalopolis, the town built by the advice of Epaminondas) ; but
the other day one of them, called ' Athanasius,' laid aside Ms
weapons of war and assisted Adonis, my squire—quite the
ugliest boy of twelve years old we ever saw—to load the
baggage in a very handy and peaceful manner.
the Grreek peasant, poor as he is; the frank, independent
kindliness of manner we meet with is very striking.
Often when passing through a village a peasant girl
conies up, and, with a shy, graceful salutation, laying* one
hand on her heart, offers me a bunch of grapes or a few
flowers; or young Greece, in the shape of a well-educated
handsome youth, sits down beside us, and, offering a cigar,
enters into conversation on things in general. To get a
university education in Athens appears to be the ambition of
our village friends; but conversation was difficult with the
young Greek who joined us in the moonlight last night (a
picturesque travelling companion in snow-white kflt, gaily CHAP. I.
embroidered jacket, and long-tasselled cap, mounted on a
prancing steed), bis share of it being limited chiefly to a
few sentences of scanty and somewhat ungrammatical French.
' Belle Greece,', and ' bon nuit,' he would say, pointing to
the beautiful view over the hills of Arcadia, and the moonlit
forest we were passing through.
Very little is left of ancient Sparta; the walls of the
citadel and the so-called ' Tomb of Leonidas' are both in
an entirely ruinous condition. High art was not greatly
appreciated by the Spartans, who, apart from the noble
example of high moral virtues, have not left much to
posterity, beyond the receipt for their execrable black broth.
Some curious bas-reliefs in the little museum interested
us, and it was pleasant to see something like an air of
prosperity—a silk-factory and actually a shop where Col-
man's mustard and Brooks' sewing cotton were sold—but
the glorious mountain range and beautiful position of the
ancient town of Lykurgus we thought more interesting than
its antiquities.
Kutzava, September 14.—We crossed Mount Taygetos
(8,000 feet above the sea) to-day, by a beautiful pass, rather
too rough for riding; so, having packed our baggage on four
mules, secured after much difficulty, we started with an
escort of four soldiers, and walked all the way. It is a wild
part of the country, the home of the Mainotes, an ancient
nation of Highlanders and Vikings who, claiming descent
from the old Spartans, did not embrace Christianity till
500 years after the rest of their countrymen, and still
worship Leonidas and Lykurgus as orthodox saints.    But, 12
indeed, except to bring us nice green figs and cool draughts
of water, our soldiers were not needed.
Only once, while riding through a valley the other day,
have we ever thought of brigands. I was a little in advance of
the rest of the party when a soldier jumped out of the brushwood, and seizing my horse's bridle, began gesticulating
violently, and pointing with his gun to the rocks overhead.
H. and Angellos soon came up, and then the soldier's tale, that
seven brigands were in ambush a short way on, waiting to
seize us, and had already fired on him, was told. It was
unpleasant news. However, we saw that Angellos, who carries
the money-bag, was not much alarmed; and just then the
mayor of the village, a splendid Greek, who might have
stood for a model of Hercules, came striding through the
tall Indian corn, accompanied by some of the elders of the
people to reassure us and declare that the soldier's tale was
untrue. We were won by his honest appearance, and for
once felt inclined not to practise ' the despicable virtue
of prudence,' so finally, in spite of the soldier's protestations
that we should be taken captive, and worse than all, he
himself would certainly be hanged by the authorities in
Athens for having allowed strangers to fall into the hands
of brigands, we proceeded—the mayor walking at my horse's
head. I confess to feeling a little frightened, as, for all we
knew, the villagers might have been playing us false, and
the narrow valley, with patches of high Indian corn, looked
just the place for brigands to lurk in. But we reached the
village safely, and there, under a spreading plane-tree, we
and the villagers  sat down  and took counsel, while the CHAP. I.
soldier fired his gun to bring the garrison together and
explain his story, the truth of which most likely was that
he had tried to bag a lamb on the hills and the shepherds
had resisted by firing on him! It was really a striking
scene—Hercules, the mayor, standing up amongst his people,
indignantly and eloquently denied all knowledge of brigands,
while we, having ordered a skin of wine to facilitate the
deliberations, showed our letter from the Minister of the
Interior, and explained through Angellos that we as strangers
entirely trusted ourselves to the people of the country, and
did not believe they would harm us. Finally, escorted by
some of the villagers and the soldiers, we crossed the low
Pass, a charming ride through thickets of arbutus and oak.
The scenery to-day, crossing Taygetos, was wild and
magnificent, reminding us sometimes of the Caucasus; but
clouds obscured the fine view we ought to have had from
the summit of the Pass, and we reached this wretched little
village very tired, and wet through. At length at the top of
a rickety ladder we found two rooms, in a kind of barn, and
the good woman of the house, after she had lighted the
lamp which hung before a smoke-begrimed picture of the
Virgin in the corner of the room, proceeded to dry our
clothes, while Angellos and the servants drew up our iron
bedsteads from below.    .    .    .
Convent of Megaspelion, September 19.—We are living
with 200 monks in a sort of swallow's-nest monastery,
perched half-way up the face of a cliff. Father Ambrogio
has given up to us his newly-decorated cell; the decorations
consist  of a boarded floor, and  a window  with  glass in 14
it. The fraternity, who consider themselves one of the
earliest established Christian institutions in this country,
founded by one of the Greek Emperors, form a sort
of little republic, elect their own Abbot, furnish their
own food, except the daily allowance of bread and wine
from the refectory, and arrange their own cells as they
please. They cultivate diligently the large convent farms,
and seem to lead peaceful, industrious lives. We rode
here from Vostizza (twenty miles) yesterday, and for the
first time passed through ' groves of cypress and myrtle' on
the hill-side. A steep zigzag path up the valley brought us
to the face of the cliff, 300 feet high, against which the con-
'vent is built. As we passed under the gateway, decorated
with rough frescoes, into the little courtyard where the
fathers, clad in long black cassocks and high round hats, were
sitting taking the evening air, Angellos threw himself at the
feet and kissed the hand of one of the monks, who in return
gave him the kiss of peace on one cheek. We presented our
letter, and in a few moments some of the monks, lighting
long tapers (the interior of the building is in a cavern),
led the way up rock staircases, short ladders and vaulted
passages, where in the dim light black-robed monks flitted
about, to a very cheerful cell, not encumbered with furniture—a table, a chair, a large bottle of leeches, and some
Greek service-books was all that it contained ; but of course
we had our own travelling equipage with us. A young monk
brought in a classically-shaped brass lamp and more church
tapers, and then,tucking up his long garments,filled our india-
rubber bath in an adjoining cell from a stream of water brought CHAP. I.
down the face of the cliff. Angellos prepared dinner, at which
Father Ambrogio joined us, and some convent wine was produced, but too highly flavoured with turpentine for us.
Afterwards we went to evening service in the cavern
chapel, where, before a much esteemed picture of the Virgin
painted by St. Luke—who really was not much of an artist—
a monk was intoning prayers, while the brethren stood about
and made their devotions in a cheerful and somewhat informal manner. As we passed out a young peasant and his
wife were making their way up under the great gateway,
bringing their child to be baptized. A pretty Byzantine
picture, lit up by the slanting rays of the setting sun streaming down the valley; the young woman sitting on the gaily
caparisoned mule with her baby in her arms, made a charming foreground, with quaint frescoes and black-robed monks
behind; it was as if one of the wall paintings from San
Clemente in Borne had suddenly come to life—even the
baby was in the ' Early Christian Art' style.
At 4 A.M. this morning a semicircular piece of wood was
rattled on with a wooden mallet which sounded rather like
an unecclesiastical musical instrument called ' the bones,' to
call the brethren to prayers, and at intervals during the day
the clashing of an iron hoop with small bells attached to it
was heard; but only twice were the bells in the belfry kiosk
close to my window struck, in the same manner as we had observed in Russian monasteries. We asked for the library, but
were not shown anything of interest in that' Sanatorium of
the Soul,' save the elaborately-decorated firman of the Sultan,
for which a large .sum was paid by the monks, forbidding i6
Turks to set foot inside the monastery. In the afternoon
the Proeuonimus Porphorius Angellopolis, a grand-looking old
man, paid us a visit, and let me make a sketch of him. He
is a brave soldier, too. His benevolent face lighted up with
quite mihtary ardour as he described how, when a boy of
twelve years old, he and a handful of monks defended the
convent in 1826; and now an old abbot, he is justly proud of
the certificate for bravery won on that occasion. We went
to his cell, and saw his few books and silver relic-case
containing some sacred bones, which he kissed reverently.
Conversation through an interpreter is unsatisfactory, but we
longed to ask him. concerning his old companion in arms,
4 the patriot bishop Germanos,' who went out from here in
1821, a sort of ecclesiastical Garibaldi, to raise the standard
of freedom.
In truth, we scarcely give the modern Greeks sufficient
credit for their * War of Independence.' The half-starved
Hollanders—the ' Beggars ' of the Netherlands—fighting
for their liberty against the most Catholic monarch and
his well-trained bigots, did not maintain a more desperate
struggle or win a harder-fought victory than did the handful
of Greek mountaineers, led by heroic priests, over the Grand
Turk and his pashas. Let us hope that some day they too
may find a Motley to record their patriotic deeds.    ,    .    .
September 29.—We are anchored for a few hours off
Rhodes on our voyage from Syra to Alexandria. H. has
gone on shore, but the heat is too great to allow of my doing
so, or exploring satisfactorily the ancient fortress of the
Knights of St. John, rising grandly before us through the CHAP. L
hot haze. It is the Musalman Feast of Bairam; modern
Rhodes is en fete', close under its mediaeval walls, and not
very far iom where the great Colossus once stood, a merry-
go-round has been erected, on which small Moslems, much
to their own satisfaction, are whirled aloft. Truly, in Rhodes
the wheel of time has elevated many and various races and
creeds, each in their turn to be crushed by its relentless progress. Is the race to which these young Turks belong
destined to hold permanent possession of this beautiful
island, or will it ever again be ruled by those whose forefathers sailed from here to take part in the siege of Troy ?
We are in a large English-built steamer belonging to the
Khedivieh Company, commanded by two captains—one for
ornamental purposes, an Egyptian—the other for useful, a
Greek—three English engineers, and one hundred Arab
sailors, who apparently do as much work as twenty-five
English seamen, form the crew. The Arab boatswain has a
singular method of getting his orders obeyed; when he
wants anything done, or a rope twisted the right way, he
performs for about five minutes on a curious musical instrument—a sort of tin trumpet. At last one of the crew comes,
and having called Hassam and Achmet to his aid, proceeds to
examine the rope; then five or six other true believers join
the group, and having patted down the rope and consulted
together, they agree that it is all right, and the boatswain in
error, and return to eat water-melon and say their prayers.
An English clergyman and his sister are the only Euro-
pean passengers beside ourselves; the greater part of the ship
is taken up by a Turkish pasha, whose harem occupies two
Cairo, November 29.—Antiquity is decidedly a relative
term; or, rather, Egypt entirely upsets one's ideas on the
subject. Ever since leaving Greece we have been trying
to ' think back' far enough to put the Pharaohs in their
proper historical niches with respect to our late friends
the Greek heroes. But it is difficult to do so. Egypt as
a nation had grown old; its grandest works were already
venerable; its mightiest kings laid away in their temple
tombs, before the dawn of the historic period in Greece.
To trace the possible connection between the two civilisations (that of Greece and Egypt) would be an interesting
study—at least Herodotus appears to have found it so;
but to us unscientific' travellers there' seems as little
sympathy between the majestic, but somewhat monotonous,
character of the gods and men of ancient Egypt and the
graceful humanity of Greek art, as between the finely-
featured modern Greek, and the depressed-looking baksheesh-
imploring modern Egyptian, who, alas! has had too special
facilities for learning that great art of life, ' How to enjoy
little and suffer much.'
c 2 20
We made a rapid voyage to the first cataract; our Daha-
bieh flew along on the wings of the north wind against the
muddy torrent of the Nile, which is especially high this
year. An attack of fever in Cairo was not a good preparation for seeing the monuments, and the bats were very
alarming, still I managed to accompany H. in most of the
expeditions, and would like some day to make them all
over again. Indeed, the study of ancient Egypt is so
attractive that we have begun an elementary course of
hieroglyphics, and know just enough to listen with envious
admiration to a friend, an English author and traveller,
able to decipher the history of this wonderful country
written and engraven on its stones. Only those who can
do so ought to write books on Egypt.
We climbed up and into the Great Pyramid, but before
making the ascent, having heard much of the bad manners of
those ' pestilential nuisances ' the Pyramid Arabs, we called
the sons of the desert round us and explained that, unless they
agreed to our conditions, which were that two of their number
only were to accompany us, and that they were not to give
their assistance except when asked for, we would not go. The
Sheik threw his arms up, and declared that ' el Sitt,' unless
supported by three of his men, would certainly and speedily
be killed, and then, ' by the Prophet! what would be done to
him ?' But I answered him,' 0 Sheik ! we have often climbed
mountains six times as high as your Pyramid, and willjiot
be pushed up like " the daughter of an ass "' (they accelerate the speed of the donkeys in this country by pushing
tbem on behind), 'let me go my own way.'    So after some CHAP. II.
discussion, the old Sheik chose out two of his best men, and
we started with them up what has been described as ' a
succession of broken dinner-tables.' Most travellers are
hurried up, and arrive panting and breathless at the top,
where they are plagued by a crowd of Arabs for baksheesh ;
but we went at our own pace and enjoyed the glorious view
'—the waters were out and the day was clear—and then came
down by ourselves, the Arab even complimenting us on our
cHmbing powers, adding that without shoes and stockings he
thought I could go ' like one Arab.' But he evidently con-
siders boots and stockings ridiculous and cumbersome things
at any time.
One begins to see some meaning in the massive grandeur
of Egyptian sepulchres—and the Pyramids were only royal
mausoleums—when one remembers how firmly these realistic
people believed in the resurrection of the body. It was
necessary to preserve the garment of flesh which the soul
for a time had left, while it went on its long journey through
Hades to the j udgment-seat of Osiris; but so entirely was
death to the ancient Egyptians only the passing from one
state to another, that the coffin, in an old inscription, is called
' the chest of the living.' . . . ' Le secret de la grandeur
des sepultures Egyptiennes est dans ses croyaaces. En ce
sens les pyramides ne sont pas des monuments de la vaine
ostentation des rois, elles sont les preuves gigantesques d'un
dogme consolant.' We paid a farewell visit to the Sphinx,
and tried to sketch the effect of the sun setting behind the
great creature ; but night fell too quickly, and a voyage on
rafts had to be made to reach Cairo, the carriage-road being mmm
A lady's TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. ii.
cut by the high Nile. Indeed the sun-god Ra was playing
strange tricks with the ' father of terrors,' for, as we turned
back for a last look, the slanting shadows across the rugged
face produced the effect of a solemn but decided wink.
Conduct scarcely to be expected of a Sphinx!    .    .    .
On the Red Sea, December 9.—After our rough travelling
in Greece (the last days on the slopes of Parnassos were trying), and the mosquitoes of the Nile, the moonlight nights
on the Red Sea on board this P. & 0. steamer are very delightful ; and for the study of human nature, particularly if
one were desirous of writing a chapter on flirtation, this life
offers enormous advantages. Not wishing to overhear the
conversation of a lady who • is enlarging on the ' unsympathetic ' nature of her absent husband to one of the young
veterinary surgeons who is going out to look after the
6,000 camels in the ' Khyber' (I would rather not be one
of the camels), I moved my position, but unluckily have
chosen a spot where a young gentleman aged sixteen is
taking early lessons in the 'whole art of flirtation' from
a lady of maturer years. Beethoven is delightfully played
on deck by a German gentleman, and a pleasant American
is talking over big-game shooting with H., and invites us to
shoot on his cattle ranche in Wyoming. He has also a farm
in Texas, but says the summer there is fearfully hot. The
story goes that a gentleman from that part of the world sent
back after death for his blankets, finding even the place he
had gone to cooler than his native Texas. It was interesting
to watch the various races of mankind as they paraded
for   the   Sunday inspection   this   morning;   the   negroes chap. II. PILGRIM PRAYERS* 23
from Central Africa (who alone can bear the heat of the
stoke-hole during hot weather on the Red Sea) representing the sons of Ham ; the Arabs, of whom there are only a
few, the sons of Shem; and the European officers, the descendants of Japheth. After the brown feet had filed off, the
deck was cleared for prayers, well read by the Captain; we,
who had not been at church for three months, fully appreciated hearing again our beautiful English service. The
Scotch engineer meanwhile stood by, with one eye on his
men below in the engine-room and the other ' keeping the
We are opposite Jeddah, the port at which the Musal-
man pilgrims disembark for Mecca; poor things! they
flock on board the steamers we saw at Suez, and suffer incredible discomforts and dangers on their pilgrimage to the
tomb of the Prophet. Their prayer while crossing this sea is
very beautiful. ' 0 Allah, 0 Exalted, 0 all powerful! Thou
art my God, and sufficient to me is the knowledge of it. W6
pray Thee for safety in our goings forth, and in our comings
in, our works and designs, our dangers and doubts. Subject unto us this sea as Thou didst subject the deep unto
Moses, and subject to us all the seas in earth and heaven,
the sea of Life and the sea of Futurity, 0 Thou who
reignest over everything, and unto whom all things return,'
• ••••••• •
Hyderabad (Deccari), January 2,1879.—The Moharram
festival is going on, and the kind friends with whom we are
staying seemed determined that we should see it to the greatest
advantage. This morning we were driven in one of the Nizam's 24
carriages through the streets crowded with native chiefs and
their retainers, some in palanquins, some on splendid elephants, some on gaily-draped camels or prancing Arabs, to
Sir Salar Jung's palace.
This town of Hyderabad, ' The City,' as it is called, consists of long streets of small mud and tile houses; a large
neatly-built modem bazaar and the walled-in palaces and
gardens of the ' noblemen,' the feudal chiefs, descendants of
the conquering Arabs. A few mosques and gateways with the
horseshoe arch are the only buildings of importance. The
white ant is destructive of all woodwork, so that floors and
joists do not last long, and timbers under the roof-tiles have
to be constantly renewed. Almost eveiything is whitewashed,
and there are no trees to relieve the glare, so there is a
lack of picturesque effect; but the interesting variety of race
and costume amongst the inhabitants makes up for it. We
drove on in the yellow coach, two running' footmen clearing
the way holding fly-flaps made of horses' tails in their hands,
under a gateway into the wide dusty courtyard, where Sir
Salar was standing to receive his guests. He is Prime Minister and co-Regent for the young Nizam, a boy of twelve
years old, and kept not only this State, but, indeed, the whole
of Southern India, faithful to England during the mutiny; a
man of great intelligence and activity, anxious to introduce
progress and civilisation into what was a few years ago
the most backward and bigoted Musalman State in India.
Plainly dressed in a long dark cloth tunic and small white
turban, bis appearance struck us as particularly pleasing—
a contrast to the stout Khedive and his family, with whom chap. II.
we sat the other day in Cairo to inspect some holy carpets,
which later on will be sent to Mecca.
But now we were looking down from the balcony
on quite the strangest pageant we had ever seen. First
came the native police, then the irregular troops led by
their chiefs: a few years ago they constituted the only
army under native control in this State. I fairly rubbed my
eyes and wondered whether we had got back to the days of
Saladin, as these bands of Arab horsemen on their prancing
white horses with generally the tail and legs stained
purple, covered with gaudy trappings, rode by. Their
riders some in chain armour, some in English uniforms of the
last century, some in Arab burnous, and some in Zouave
dress; some with scimitars, some with guns, others with
blunderbusses or long bamboo lances, every man in military
costume ' a discretion,' preceded by a band of musicians, resembling the. Christy Minstrels in war-paint and feathers.
Then came the infantry, chiefly in prodigious turbans, armed
with very long guns, some in the old French uniform of the
first Empire, and helmets of the middle ages. After them
were led the stud of the Chieftain, Arab and Australian horses
(great numbers of the latter are imported* into this country),
and, lastly, the Chief himself, generally mounted on a splendid
elephant, covered with trappings and silver ornaments, whose
solemn face and huge ears had been gaily gilded and decorated for the occasion. One of these grand animals had
jewels on his head worth 20,000^., and his owner, sitting on
the crimson velvet howdah, was a blaze of gold and precious
.stones.    One has to visit the East to realise how unspeak- $6
A LADY'S travels ROUND THE WORLD,   chap, ii*
ably significant decoration is to man; what real delight and
happiness, what' prestige' he acquires by clothing himself in
Kashmir shawls and big emeralds. At least fifty noblemen
went by, each accompanied by his retinue of picturesque
ruffians singing, and dancing a sort of Highland fling, and
each as he passed looked even more delighted with himself
and his surroundings than his predecessor had done. One
old chief, however, who, availing himself of the resources of
Art to hide the ravages of Time, had painted his eyebrows
and dyed his beard bright crimson, and much resembled a
glorified turkey-cock, just as he rode past us making a graceful
salaam, was sent flying over his horse's head into the dust,
his turban rolling off at one side and he at the other.
The reformed troops, who it is hoped will one day take
the place of these irregulars, commanded by an Englishman and officered by East Indians, a fine-looking body of
men, then went by;—but the grotesque magnificence of the
whole pageant was indescribable.
It is very interesting seeing something of the higher-class
native element, and hearing the interests of the country
cleverly discussed by our host, who is a distinguished linguist.
A high-caste Brahmin and his little daughter paid a visit
this afternoon ; a fat man with a red spot painted on his
forehead, clad in white garments, and wearing a turban like
a cart-wheel in size and shape. He spoke fair English and
seemed quite at home in the drawing-room, having left his
shoes at the door. A representative of, perhaps, the oldest
aristocracy in the world, for the social and religious barrier
which marks off the ' twice born' from the rest of humanity, CHAP. lit
and which outlived even the triumph of Buddhism in India,
has never been relaxed, and still seems, though education
is spreading and the educated Brahmin is often a man of
great intellectual capacity, to remain unmoved.
Sometimes the result of modern culture engrafted on the
ancient stock—the Brahmin of the Calcutta University, a
sort of Oriental Mrs. Malaprop—is extremely comical. The
native teacher of history in a higher-grade English school
has lately published a memoir of his friend, a Brarimin of the
first class, whose elevation to the bench ' created a Catholic
ravishment throughout the domain under the benign and
fostering sceptre of great Albion.' 'He was an eloquent
speaker, but made no raree-show of it. He never made his
sentences periphrastic when he could do it in an easy way.
In defeating or conducting a case his temper, was never
incalescent or hazy. He was never seen to illude or
trespass upon the time of the Court with fiddle-faddle
arguments to prove his wits going a wool-gathering,
but what he said was much truth, based upon "jus civile
lex non scripta lex scripta," and relative to his case and in
homogeneity to the subject matter he discussed.' But, alas !
this ' Hyperion of his house' died a few years ago—' and
his body was consumed according to our Hindoo rites and
ceremonies.' The house on the occasion presented ' a second
Babel, or a pretty kettle of fish; his wife shrieked bitterly,
weltering on the ground and tearing her hair in frenzy, and
his children did " fondre en larmes." ' After many quotations from Shakespeare and Shelley, the author of ' Effects
of English Education on the Native Mind,' proceeds in his 58
second edition, from which the above is quoted, to demolish
his European critics, and evidently looks forward with modest
satisfaction to his work being recognised by discerning and
unprejudiced minds as a model of elegant English.
But our Brahmin this afternoon did not quote Shakespeare.
His little daughters were adorned with a vast amount of
gold and silver ornaments and bangles on their small brown
legs; the eldest, aged eight, is just going to be married. The
father's face looked sad as he told us that he must part with
his child. ' It is our custom; I cannot help it; my father
is alive, and I have no control over my children,' he said,
sadly, repeating, ' It is our custom; I cannot break it.'
He has never tasted meat, or fish, or even eggs, or anything that has life in it. The little bride sat on my knee.
Poor child! to be sent away to, perhaps, an unkind mother-
in-law to-morrow!
But our most interesting visitor has been a Musal-
man lady—the one solitary example of an educated native
woman in this country. Her husband, who holds high
office under the Nizam, allows her to have a governess,
learn English, and visit our hostess, who, being a person of
high culture herself, is interested in the studies of her
Musalman friend. At the time appointed for the visit all
the men were ordered away from the house—even the
sentries on duty fled round the corner out of sight as Noor-
Jehan's brougham, with all the blinds drawn down, and an
ayah on the box, drove up to the door. A nice-looking little
woman, with pathetic eyes and such black lashes, clothed in
'black silk and flowing gold-spangled veil, came in, and sat CHAP. II.
with us talking pretty child-like English very, slowly. I
enquired as to the progress of her studies. ' I do read the fifth
Royal Reader, and I do make Berlin wool work, and I do make
the ' Return Galop' on the piano for two hours every day,' she
rephed; but added,' Our people are ignorant; we do know
nothing ; but I try to learn.' ' Your Minister,' I remarked,
' is a very clever man, and has read much.' ' He is one man
in our nation, we have no other,' she answered, meaning
that Sir Salar was the sole example of intelligence in
Hyderabad. ' Your Koran does not say that women are
never to leave their house except in a palanquin, and never
to enter the mosques,' I said; to which she replied,' No, no;
but our people are so stupid; they follow Hindoo customs
and make women prisoners.' She looks forward to the time
when her husband shall have finished his term of service
here and can take her to Europe, 'to see with my eyes,
which I am not allowed to do here,' she said. I was quite
captivated by the ' Light of the universe,' her gentle pretty
manners and evident longing for something higher than
putting on jewels and eating sweetmeats all day long, the
usual occupation one finds Eastern ladies engaged in.
The Moharram still goes on, nominally a festival in honour
of the martyrdom of two notable saints, Hossein and Hassan.
It has become in the course of time a carnival, during which the
Musalman population seem to go mad with religious excitement. For the crowning ceremony of the festival we again
went to Sir Salar's palace, this time at night, to see the' Tar-
boos '—much-decorated erections, twenty feet high, supposed
to represent the tombs of the martyrs—carried by; a strange 30
wild sight. As far as one could see by the glare of
thousands of torches, a crowd of upturned faces met one
everywhere, while beyond a row of elephants loomed in the
background. Now and then men dressed up as tigers or
camels, or jugglers cutting off each other's heads in a ghastly
manner, performed antics under the window, where each
Tarboo stopped till the Minister waved it on. Sometimes
bands of Arabs rushed by, screaming ' Allah, Allah!' Our
two friends and ourselves were the only infidels present
—but looking from the wild tumult below to Sir Salar's
quiet face was reassuring. Formerly there were scenes of
violence on this occasion, but he has put a stop to them.
We were invited to go on to another palace to see what few
Europeans wait for—the ' Nahl Sahib' carried by at midnight. It was rather alarming, being borne aloft in a
palanquin through the surging, shouting crowd—on this
night Musalman religious feeling is excited to its highest
pitch—preceded by an armed escort, and surrounded by the
guards of the harem with drawn swords. The late Resident,
speaking of the animosity of the Mohammedan mob of
Hyderabad, says he can give no adequate description ' of
such a seething, fermenting mass of fanaticism.' However, we
safely reached the palace, where every possible arrangement for
our comfort had been made, and watched the strange scene,
refreshed occasionally by cups of spiced milk, pistachio nuts,
salted almonds and betel nut, till midnight—when the crowd,
if possible, grew more excited. The holy standards were
carried by, one of them decorated with ornaments of the
value of 10,000£. by the late Nizam, and a little later the OHM
CHAP. n.
Nahl Sahib (Hterally,' Sir Horseshoe') appeared. A much-
decorated standard, on the top of which was a small bolster,
containing the horseshoe representing that worn by the
martyr's horse. When this holy thing appeared the excitement was tremendous; the people flung themselves on it
to touch the relic, and threw ornaments and embroidered
clothes and clouds of incense before it, or waved fans on long
bamboo poles over it; yet we saw no act of violence. We
hear a rumour that three people have been killed or crushed
to death in the wild excitement of to-night, but are not sure
of the truth of the story.
The native Princes are indeed very hospitable (or rather,
our host is very popular); one of them took us in state
the other day through his part of the city. The cortege
consisted of fourteen splendid elephants—the great man
has forty for his personal use,—and the streets were
fined by his retainers, of whom a thousand were under
arms that day. He himself, gorgeous in purple velvet and
strings of uncut diamonds, accompanied us, preceded by
thirty of his Shikaris carrying his English rifles and guns.
He was very affable, and anxious that we should realise that
all we saw was his, evidently delighted when the people
saluted him as ' Padishah,' and thronged round to receive the
largesse distributed by some of bis suite. Little birds were
let loose from cages, and wild music clashed out as our procession, quite half-a-mile long, passed through the city.
Hyderabad is the most cosmopolitan city in India, every race
is represented; dark Pathans and warlike Sikhs from the
north, Arabs from Central Arabia, and grinning negroes from A LADY S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. ii.
Africa, solemn Musalman gentlemen, and the small dark
Dravidian races from Southern India, all perfectly distinct in
feature and costume. Women, except of the lowest caste, or
dancing girls, are seldom seen; now and then a kind of
veiled hencoop or a bullock cart, through the curtains of
which one catches a glimpse of nose-rings and dark eyes,
creaked by, but, as a role, the women of the higher class
never leave their walled-in gardens.
The other day we breakfasted with the Ameer-i-Kabyr
— an Oriental of the old school, conservative in his love of
ancient abuses—a bundle of sky-blue moire and diamonds,
with a pink turban on the top. He led us into the verandah
overlooking a garden full of beautiful birds, to see bis
ostriehes trotted round, ridden by small hoys, their legs
tueked behind the great bird's wings ;#sometimes the strange
steeds half flying, half walking, succeeded in dismounting
their riders, but generally they stepped out well, and one
could see how good their pace across the desert must be.
Our host's jewels were then brought m, we having
expressed a wish to see them. A tray heaped with parures
of uncut diamonds and rubies, not clear set, but of great
size, strings of pearls, and emeralds as large as pigeon's eggs
—one bunch I took up was valued at 8,000?-.; the aggregate
value of the jewels we saw being about a hundred thousand
pounds. It is not etiquette to admire anything loo much,
you may give the evil eye by so doing. So the treasure was
shovelled up into boxes and taken off to be interred again
in vaults under the zenana department, and the Amazon
guard, the only corps now existing in this country, paraded. chap. n.
About forty of the women warriors, of whom there are over one
hundred in the employ of our host, the Ameer, were called off
duty (they were on zenana guard), and formed up with
drums and fifes close to our carriages; sturdy looking little
women they were, dressed as soldiers, some in brown holland
turned up with scarlet, and others in native police uniform.
At the shrill word of command from the fat girl officer the
band struck up ' God save the Queen,' the neat-looking
little drummer working away vigorously at her large drum,
and the fine presented arms and then marched round the
ground in a very soldier-like manner.
We paid the' Light of the universe' a visit this afternoon,
and were received by her husband. In spite of Musalman
custom she is the only wife, and he seemed quite proud of
his accomplished spouse, who played the ' Return Galop' for
us in school-girl fashion, conscientiously repeating the passage when she made a mistake or her Eastern costume got in
the way. We were astonished at the advanced opinions held
by her husband with regard to female education. He said
(in Hindustanee),' We Musalmans keep our wives in prison;
they are prisoners who have committed no crime. Your
English dogs are better treated than many of our women.
See my wife's little world, which she cannot leave to see the
real world.' And he led us into two other small rooms, and
into her garden, which, as the gardeners had left off work
for the day, she was able to enter. Her husband is looked
upon as a ' dangerous innovator' by the orthodox Musalman
party here, and gets called an Atheist, and other hard names
for openly saying that he thinks the Musalman world can
D 34
make no real advance till the social and intellectual state of
women is raised, and the baneful influence of the Zenana
on the rising generation is counteracted.
We "English are accused of keeping native society too
much at
?ngth in D.
very im-
»*■- element in social life-
portant element in social me—the women ot a country—
are in such a state of utter degradation as both the Mohammedan and Hindoo female population are here, it is
difficult to imagine that anything like friendly social intercourse between the two races can exist. . . . . ' Dans les
contrees Asiatiques la femme n'existe pas, an moms telle
que nous la connaissons et telle que la civilisation chretienne
nous l'a faite,—prisonniere volontiere du maiiage, mais fibre
sur parole.'
The large tracts of uncultivated country we pass through
during our pleasant evening drives, and the various villages
whose poverty-stricken inhabitants form a painful contrast
to the barbarous magnificence of our friends tile nawabs of
the city—are sad to see. The agricultural population are
perhaps no worse or no better off than their neighbours
under direct British rule, but one cannot help thinking that
they have two masters to keep—the native ruler with his
army and crowd of idle dependents, as well as the large
garrison the imperial power thinks it necessary to maintain.
j-l ,-■   - *.    • J-1...J-    4-X. ^   *.»■#- -J- £   -i-T. ' *
Une tiling seems certain: tnat tne interests 01 tne patient
cultivator of the soil—the real people of India—ought to be
considered before those of any of the so-called native Princes
—often descendants of foreign despots as alien in race
to the people over whom they ruled as their more recent
English conquerors. ... CHAP. III.
January 23.—We left modern India, Hyderabad, and our
kind friends there, some days ago, and are now seeing
ancient India and its rock-cut temples. As compared with
those ' houses built for eternity'—the tombs and temples of
Egypt we have lately seen—no monuments in India are
ancient. But the religious art of our Aryan kinsfolk is perhaps more interesting than the sepulchral ostentation of
the Pharaohs. One could worship in the beautiful Buddhist
basilica of Karli, carved out of the mountain side, where
we stood the other day. Nave and pillared aisle, and apse
— even the altar-shrine or relic-case—every feature of
Christian architecture was there; nothing but the pulpit
and pews wanting to make it fit for a London congregation:
and yet the Buddhist architects who designed this cathedral
cave 1,800 years ago could have been but very slightly influenced by foreign art, when carving graceful designs on
the living rock in the far-off jungles of India.
It was rather a rough journey; a day and night in a
tonga (two-wheeled dog-cart) drawn by stout ponies, to the
caves of Ellora.    Turning off the high road we drove down A LADY S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. hi.
dried-up watercourses, their banks covered with lovely foliage
and festooned with creepers, past Hindoo temples, and small
tanks shaded by ancient tamarind trees, till we reached the
mountain amphitheatre, round which, for more than a mile,
the temple caves extend. We were reminded of explorations amongst the rock-villages and churches at Inkermann
and Tchufut Kale; but the monks who lived in these
mountain-monasteries of Ellora must have had harder work
to carve out their shrines, and certainly a keener sense of
heauty, than the dwellers in the crypt towns of the Crimea,
chiefly cut out of chalk cliffs. We sat on the stone bedsteads or wandered through the pillared verandahs, and
climbed the rock staircases once used by the yellow-robed
monks who, when their mission tour was over, retired to
these rock monasteries for the rainy season of the year.
Safe and pleasant abodes enough in a country where smoky
chimneys are unknown, and a well-ventilated cave is a cool
and convenient dwelling-place. But it was getting dark,
we were still sixteen miles from a ' dak station,' and having
travelled for" thirty-three hours we were tired and hungry*
so we gladly accepted the ever-ready hospitality shown to
travellers in this country—of an officer on a shooting expedition—and dined on the peahen, green pigeons, and quails he
had shot in the jungle that morning. We could not reach
Aurungabad with our tired ponies that night, but slept very
comfortably, undisturbed by the ghosts of the great Moguls,
one of whose mosque tombs we occupied.
It was the usual thing for a Musalman of note to build
himself a splendid mausoleum, under the graceful Persian- ■■
chap, iil
tiled dome of which stood the sarcophagus, roomy enough
to allow the corpse when laid in the grave to sit up and
answer the examining angels,. Moukir and Nakir, who question it concerning the orthodoxy of its faith. But frequently, as was the case in our sepulchre-lodging of" last
night, the body of the great man was hurriedly buried away
in some remote place where it might sleep safely till—
according to the Koran—the Angel of Death himself is
dead, and the trumpet of the Resurrection Angel calls ' the
souls of men thronging forth like bees at the command of
(rod to join their bodies, now springing up as flowers from
the dust of death.'    .    .    .
Ajanta, January 26.—It has taken us two long da;ys
to drive here—almost across country, sometimes through
jungle, and sometimes over park-like plains dotted with fine
groups of mango trees; or through deserted towns, their
graceful kiosks and gardens falling to ruin—remains of the
once flourishing kingdom of that fanatical ruler, the great
Mogul, Aurungzebe. The English conquerors under Colonel
Wellesley (the great Duke) had some hard" fighting round
here; and, still more recently, this part of the country
became the haunt of Thugs and hill robbers ; the former no
longer exist, but the latter are sometimes troublesome and
the native officials—we are now in the Nizam's country, and
Sir Salar Jung kindly wrote to his people to look after u&—
insist on sending an escort. The Colonel of the Hyderabad
contingent at Aurungabad has also sent two of his troopers
mounted on camels, who take our servant and travelling
bags en croupe, so we are quite a formidable party as we 33
continue our journey far into the cool night, till the southern
cross fades out of the sky, and the crimson dawn rises in
the east, and we meet groups of dusky natives pacing slowly
along beside their bullock carts, with every available article
of clothing wrapped round their heads, which they seem to
protect as carefully from the chill morning air as from the
noonday sun. A young native from each village goes with us
as guide, and frightens away by his wild songs the demons
and evil spirits said to infest the jungle; but the rats,
against whom we had to barricade the door last night (we
are in the old bungalow formerly occupied by Major Grill),
are the only evil things of any kind that we meet.
A hot walk of four miles brought us to a picturesque
glen, where, on crossing the river and turning round a
shoulder of the wooded crag, we spied the wonderful semicircle of twenty-nine rock-cut sanctuaries. Half-way up
the face of an almost perpendicular cliff, with apparently no
path leading to them, and nearly hidden by tall grass and
shrubs, we came on these interesting, but seldom visited,
monuments of Buddhism—once the national faith of India,
now overwhelmed by Hindooism and stupid Brahminical
superstition. The shrines at Ellora, particularly the later
ones of Hindoo deities, are much visited—tokens of ' pooja,'
marigold and jessamine blossoms, were lying before their
altars—but here everything was lonely and deserted. The
birds built round the head of the great calm Buddha, seated
on the lotus in the pillared halls of the monasteries, and
the wild bees hung their nests from the beautifully-decorated
ceilings, and the jungle plants crept in, forming festoons I  ■■
over the  fresco  paintings of Buddhist legend above the
Within a circuit of half a mile at Ajanta, not only the
architectural progress, but the doctrinal development of
Buddhism during 1,000 years can be traced.  How reverential
love for the * Teacher,' at first symbolised by a few simple
emblems—the tree under which he taught or meditated, the
wheel typical of the unceasing progress of his law, the stupa
commemorating those of his disciples who had lived holy
lives—gradually developed   into  the   deification  of  'the
Master,' the sacramental efficacy of signs and symbols, the
wdrship of the stupa-shrine containing the relics of early
saints, and the growth of dogma traceable in the creeds
and litanies sculptured or painted on the walls of the cave-
churches and monasteries.    It would simplify the labours of
European archaeologists, could they, in a like small area,
study a millennium of early Christian architecture—from the
crypt-church of the catacombs decorated only with the few
simple emblems of primitive Christianity—the dove, the fish,
and the vine—through succeeding developments of ecclesiastical art to the splendour of mediaeval cathedrals.
I sat down at the entrance to one beautiful Chaitya,
afraid to encounter the cloud of bats, which, disturbed by
our presence, whirled round inside. The sunlight streaming in
through the great window-opening in the face of the rock
iUurninated the still vivid colours of the paintings—executed
probably at a later date than the sculptural decorations
of the caves—and fell on the relic-shrine at the further
end of the church, round which our party of soldiers and 40
villagers, forming a picturesque mass of colour, were grouped,
producing, perhaps, something of the same effect as when
Buddhist priests chanted their litanies, and rajahs made
their offerings here eighteen centuries ago. Overhead the
long-visaged saints in doleful garments might have been
painted by Cimabue or Giotto; some of the same faces we
had seen on the cathedral walls at Moscow looked down upon
us here, their Byzantine stateliness strangely unlike the
capering ' incarnations ' of Hindooism ; but one had to allow
that early Christian artists were far behind Buddhist monks
in graceful delineation of the human form. In the earliest
monuments of Buddhism, no image of Buddha, elevated to
the rank of deity, is found; in the later he is represented
as crowned with an aureole and surrounded by hovering
cherubs. Some of the paintings we examined were full of
grace and artistic feeling, and we left Ajanta wondering
why students of early fresco painting, who diligently study
Pompeii and the Catacombs, do not more often turn their
attention to the works of Indian artists of perhaps as early
a date.
The cvcle of religious art at Ajanta begins long years
before Galilean shepherds had worshipped in that first
of Christian sanctuaries—the stable at Bethlehem—and
closes when the light of Christianity was only breaking
over Northern Europe, and our ancestors were even yet
building cairns and cromlechs, and bowing down before
' Woden,' whose name, as well as that of the Welsh * Budd-
wass,' some archaeologists consider to be ' only a slightly
altered form of Buddha,' a survival of that * ancient form of CHAP. III.
Buddhism, which prevailed, not only in India, but in all
countries populated by the Aryan race.' . . . The caves of
Ajanta are alone well worth a journey to India to see, and
yet few of our country-people take the trouble of turning a
few miles out of the beaten track to visit them.    .    .
Bis-un-kerah, January 29.—Reading ' Tree and Serpent Worship' before leaving England determined us to see
the Buddhist Tope at Sanchi, to which we are now making
our way; but as roads in her Highness the Begum of
Bhopal's country are as yet in a somewhat unsatisfactory
condition, our progress is difficult. The scene crossing the
river Nerbudda was amusing and picturesque: the banks
crowded by natives with their merchandise waiting for the
ferry ; others bathing in the sacred stream or cooking their
breakfast on the strand; bullock carts containing zenanas;
native aristocrats, gorgeous in tinsel and tarlatan, mounted
on great elephants—everyone screaming at the top of their
voice, and scrambling into the clumsy, gaily-painted ferry
boats. Twenty shouting coolies, clothed chiefly in turbans
and earrings, took hold of our cart and lifted it and the
bullocks bodily in, while two stately elephants, after much
persuasion on the part of their drivers, waded after the boat,
and the same scene of picturesque eonfusion took place on
reaching the other side. The road, through a forest of
mango trees festooned with orchids, got worse and worse,
and our old bullocks slower and slower in bumping us over
the boulders, till at length they gave in altogether and
would go no further. A zenana cart behind us was even in
a worse plight; one of the bullocks drawing it lay down, mm*
and the poor ladies inside could only scramble out and call
on all the gods and various saints to make their bullock
get up.
However, at the next bungalow we found a fresh pair of
fine white bullocks, who, as soon as we got into the cart, set
off down hill at a lumbering gallop, and bolted over a bank
and some rice-fields till brought a steep embankment.
We managed to get them back to the road and again
started; but the next steep incline at the side of the road
we came to our bullocks took us down—nothing seemed
capable of upsetting the cart—and over sundry fences. The
night fell, and we were by ourselves, as our servant and
baggage could not keep up with our rapid pace. Our driver
lost his way, and took us some miles into the jungle before
we, not understanding his language, could stop him. At
length both driver and bullocks refused to proceed, and it
was not till H. had used the strong argument of pointing
his gun at the head of the former that he thought it better
to obey orders and drive on in the right direction. After
another canter down a bank, and a furious charge into a
camp of ''—gipsy grain carriers, who, with their
beasts, were quietly asleep around their camp fire, but good-
naturedly got up and lifted our cart into the right road—we
reached the next rest-house a little before midnight; but
had only iust alighted when our lively bullocks bolted again
—and the last thing we saw of them was careering wildly
round the compound, having carried off one side of the gate
and sent my dressing-bag flying into space.
BhopbU, January 30.—We are the Begum's guests while Chap. hi.
in her dominions, and are lodged in a large cool bungalow in
a pleasant garden.    The rough walls and badly fitting woodwork, crimson satin furniture, and gilt mirrors, a mixture
of  disorder and magnificence, are characteristic of India.
Soon after our arrival, Gholam Khan was announced.  A gentleman with very fierce black whiskers and very large white
turban and long curved sword; who took off his shoes and
sat down chewing betel-nut, placing himself at our disposal on
the part of the Begum to show us the beauties of BhopaM.
So this morning we were taken to some charming gardens
and saw well-kept flower beds and lovely flowering shrubs; a
blaze of the orange-coloured trumpet-shaped blossoms of a
bignonia, climbing amongst the dark green leaves and waxy-
white flowers of a datura tree.     The native gardener, educated at Calcutta, was proud of his roses, especially of one
blossom of our old friend ' John Hopper' (turned into ' Juggernaut ' by native pronunciation), which measured fourteen
inches in circumference.  We returned laden with flowers, and
fruit, and cauliflowers, a triumph of gardening skill in this
country.    The stewed guavas and poppoi fruit made into a
pudding were nice, but we have not tasked any very good
Indian fruit as yet.
Later in the day we were escorted to the Palace, somewhat of the wedding-cake style of architecture, all over stucco
ornaments and whitewash, and gaudy colours ; a line of very
irregular cavalry was drawn up, and the usual crowd of
servants and retainers thronged the narrow vestibule through
which we passed, feeling a little nervous at finding ourselves
without any European at a native court, the Resident, who 44
most kindly has made all arrangements to enable us to see
Sanchi, not being here.    The Nawab Sahib, a gentleman of
unprepossessing' appearance clad in a red dressing-gown—
the former Minister, now second husband of the Begum—
received us, and the crowd shouted ' Bahut salaam' ('much
greeting') as we were led into a long room, furnished in
European fashion, at the end of which was a screen.    H.
remained talking to the Prince Consort and the Begum's son-
in-law, while I, at the other side of the screen, found ' her
Highness,' a comely little woman, dressed in extremely tight-
fitting sillr trousers and short gauze tunic, over which somewhat
scanty costume a Paisley shawl was pinned.  She was seated in
a large armchair, her little feet scarcely touching the ground,
and after we had salaamed much to each other I took a seat
near her.    The situation was sufficiently embarrassing; her
Highness did not speak a word of English and there was no
interpreter.    However, to use the Begum's own expression,
I ' girded up the loins of resolution,' and commenced in the
three or four Hindustani phrases we have learnt, to say, that
we admired Bhopal, and the garden, and roses (I happened
to have one of the latter on and, besides, knew the Hindustani for ' rose'), and mentioned where we had been and
where we were going.    But her attention was directed to a
cunning little hole in the screen, through which she could see
and hear what was passing between her husband and H. at
the other side.    I had nearly exhausted my stock of Hindustani phrases, when, providentially, a nurse entered with a
dear little girl of four years old, all silver spangles and bangles,
who sat on my knee and let me admire her jet-black hair, and CHAP. III.
eyes painted underneath the lashes. Soon after, Sultan
Jehan Begum, mother of the child and daughter of the
Begum, a nice-looking young woman, as fair as a European,
but with teeth spoiled by constant betel chewing, came in; and
as she speaks a little English the conversation became more
lively. I said we understood her Highness had written a
book, and complimented her on doing so. She replied that
she had written the history of Bhopal, which she would send
me, and that ' her sainted mother, now in paradise,' had
written an account of her visit to holy Mecca, and that she
herself had travelled much and seen the world.
She has made official visits to Delhi and Calcutta, on which
occasions, in accordance with Musalman etiquette, she is
' purdah,' that is, enveloped from head to foot in a large sheet,
with small holes cut out for the eyes; and thus takes her part
in political councils as effectually screened from public view
as an Englishwoman in the Ladies' Gallery of the House of
Commons. Her mother, the late Begum, was really an
enlightened ruler of this little State, and was much com-
mended by the Governor-General for her good government,
and loyalty to the ' paramount power.' The present Begum
seems also full of enthusiasm for that ' Protector of the
universe,' Bestower of crowns, the Fearless monarch, Her
Majesty, the Empress of India and Great Britain,—
* may she prosper!' Should occasion arise, no doubt the
little lady with whom I was conversing would gird herself up to great deeds on the side of order, as valorous,
perhaps, as that Indian Princess, the Rhani of Jhansi,
who, dressed as a cavalry officer, fell fighting sword in hand 45
vrhDe leading a charge against .our troops during the mutiny.
Her adversary, Sir H. Rose, stated in his general order, that
* ifihe laest -mam on the enemy's fide was the woman found dead
—&he Rhani of JhansaJ'
Having requested the Prineefis Royal to express our
flba-nks to her royal mother far tfhe kindness and hospa-
itaiity "we -were receiving, I took any leave; a woman senant
faronght in a tray <of scent hottles, one of which the
Begum took and sprixitled me, first with eau-de-Cologne and
ithen attar iof roses, and, vrith a great effort to reach my
tfeall shoulders, threw a garland of jessamine hlosBom with
tassels -of crimson roses, <over them, and presented me with a
preparation of hetel-jxnt and spaces, wrapped in gold leaf.
This is ^called the .ceremonv of Pan and Attar: a graceful
«nsiorn and a very ancient one, far in the Museum at Cairo
we saw a monument of a ifBgintaTy <af the Church, under the
Pharaohs, 3,D0D years ago, which sets forth * my meek vras
hung ^with garlands of flowers :as one whom the king de-
JBghteth to honour."' The same ceremony had been observed
•with B-, and it "was (difficult to prevent laughing when
■we met, garlanded with flowers and sprinkled with attar,
The attendant* again shouted their salaam as the Prince
Consort ;{the Begum bestowed fifteen hundred titles on him
jat their marriage, but I do not remember any of them) took
leave (of tub, and we idrove away, followed hy •our * rosebud,*
iGholam of the "black heard, who on this festive occasion had
attired himself in f ull court-dress of pink tarlatan and silver
spangles. Trays of spiees were put into the carriage, and
•every «day9 at breakfast and dinner time, a messenger comes o
0)  CHAP. HI.
to announce that a 'Hindustani dinner' has been sent us
by the Begum : but as her cook at this bungalow gives us
excellent food cooked in European fashion, we have not yet
ventured on the fare from the palace kitchen.
In Gamp at Sancki.— Our first experience of tent fife
we think delightful. We did the journey of thirty miles
from Bhopal this morning, in one of the Begum's carriages,
changing horses five times. They were very good animals,
especially one pair of chestnuts, and except that occasionally a horse would get his legs over the traces in the deep
ruts and then kick the harness to pieces, went well. We
passed through a cultivated country, green with young crops
of various kinds. The Hindoo succeeds in growing one
grain of corn where two ought to grow ; scientific principles
are unknown, and no artificial means for enriching the land
used. Such as his fathers did (scratch up the soil and throw
in a handful of seed) so he does, and his requirements being
limited to a little rice or grain, a potful of water, and a great
deal of sunshine, all easily procurable in this country, why
should he ' fash himself' further ? He neither requires
clothes, firing, nor shoeleather, under this eternal sunshine.
So the Hindoo cf to-day, content not to take thought for
the morrow, or look for aught beyond his daily bread, is
the Hindoo of the Vedas, relying on 'the most fatherly
of fathers,' who watches with a thousand eyes over his
At noon we came in sight of our long-looked-for ' tope,'
or, more properly, ' stupa,' probably one of the oldest existing monuments in India.    A conical mound on the top of 48
an isolated rock platform, rising out of the green plain and
group of spreading trees under which our tents were pitched.
A picturesque scene as we drove up; our escort had dismounted and had tethered their horses under the trees;
two elephants, which had brought out the tents, were standing fanning themselves with branches (flies teaze the big
creatures dreadfully), and coolies, tents, bullock-carts, and
camp-fires, formed a background of brilliant colour. After
luncheon we ordered an elephant and went up to the tope
—but that elephant had no howdah on, and was very tall,
and there was no ladder. The driver is lifted into his position behind the great ears by the trunk, with which the
sagacious animal hoists him up. I could not well manage
that, so chinbed up by the back of a chair, and clung by the
ropes to the table-land of mattresses covered with crimson
cloth, on which one is supposed to sit gracefully;—but it
feels like being on the top of a four-post bedstead during
an earthquake when the animal gets up.    .    .    .
Sanchi.—It was quite cold (the thermometer goes down
to about 47° on the grass) when I awoke this morning, and
heard the little squirrels scampering over the outer roof of our
tent. H. had already started on an elephant, with a hundred
coolies and a 'tom-tom,' to beat for game in the jungle, so,
attended by a warrior with a long sword, I made my way up
to the tope and sketched for two hours. The models at
South Kensington can give one little idea of the general
character of Sanchi and the beauty of its situation. Rising
from the rock platform, studded with smaller topes and
ruined shrines, the great central stupa looks almost like the CHAP. III.
dome of some stately temple, and the simplicity of its mass,
standing out against the sky, gives value to the elaborate
carving of the gateways. The date of its erection is somewhat uncertain; most probably the tope itself dates from
about 300 B.C., the gateways from the first century a.d. ; the
records of their stone carvings representing scenes from the
life of Sakya Muni, and the early Sanskrit writings on the
same subject, agree. I fancied one could still trace remains
of colour in the bas-reliefs. Some of the details recalled
early Greek art, while some of the ornaments represented are
still to be seen in the bazaars. We bought a silver pendant
at Hyderabad very similar to a necklace ornament carved on
one of the gateway figures. Two of the gateways remain,
one almost perfect, covered with scenes chiefly relating to
the worship of sacred trees, decorated with ornaments tied
on to it, like the bushes near holy wells in Ireland.
But it is a relief, after the never-ending battle scenes of
the Egyptian temples, where Pharaoh is unceasingly represented, armed with the kingly scourge, seizing a few thousand captives by the hair of their heads, or treading down
his foes with a truly Hebrew comprehensiveness of slaughter,
to find these Aryan holy places adorned almost entirely with
scenes and legends from the peaceful life of 'Sakya Muni.
Buddhism has inspired martyrs, but never produced persecutors. It has never tortured the bodies of men for the
salvation of their souls and for the ' greater glory of God,' or
exterminated infidels ' in the name of God the most merciful,
the most compassionate.'
The Naga (five-headed  serpent) is worshipped in two ■;o
of the bas-reliefs. All the animals represented, elephants,
lions, horses, and bullocks, are well sculptured, and there is
an absence of religious conventionalism, and a natural artistic
feeling in their treatment, which we have not met with
since leaving Greece. One only laments that the remains
of the southern and western portals should he prostrate and
not be preserved in some museum. Four figures of Buddhas
(one prone on its face) are carved on slabs inside each gateway. The heads have been destroyed, no doubt, by Musalman conquerors, who like Cromwell's soldiers overturned
idols and religious art generally. The wild peacocks
screamed, and the pretty green parrots—said to contain the
souls of Moslem martyrs—hopped over the faces of the tree-
worshippers sculptured on the gateways as I sketched (and
found while doing so a cartwheel in one bas-relief carved in
good perspective; early sculpture does not generally attempt
such difficulties), seated on one of the smaller ruined topes,
near the central stupa, in which some years ago General
Cunningham discovered the relics of Sariputra, the ' right-
hand' disciple of Gautama Buddha.
Legend relates that Sariputra, overwhelmed by sorrow
on finding that his beloved master was soon to pass into
Nirvana, obtained permission to depart into that blessed
state before him. ' All the inhabitants of the town and
neighbourhood, as soon as they were apprised of the Nirvana
of Sariputra, came bearing much oil, perfumes, flowers, and
other things appropriate for sacrifice. They wept loudly,
with accents of woe and sorrow, placing upon the ground
the objects fit for sacrifice.     Khourmousda, the prince of mm
the gods, commanded Vishvamitra to prepare a car of various
precious materials for the body of Sariputra. When the car
was finished the corpse was placed thereon in a sitting position and taken forth to a beautiful plain. There they raised
a pile of sandal-wood. After moistening it with oil and
butter, they placed upon it the body of Sariputra and applied
fire. Then all bowed down and each went to his home.
When the fire was completely extinguished, the priest Youti
collected from the ashes the " sarira " of his master and conveyed them, as well as his pot and ecclesiastical dress, to
Buddha.' In the relic-casket found in this tope were one
small fragment of bone and two bits of sandal-wood, probably from the funeral pyre. Sariputra's death took place
shortly before that of his master, in the fifth century B.C.
H. had no sport, only saw some deer a long way off. In the
evening, when the sun went down, we again strolled over
the hill, among the many deserted hermitages and cairns;
round one of the latter we thought we could trace a circle
of standing stones, probably a ruined stone railing. The
great tope itself is a glorified cairn, and its beautiful railing
suggests a so-called ' Druidical circle.' Perhaps in these
stupas we see a survival of the earliest form of monument—
pyramid, cairn, or tope—by which men sought to commemorate the memory of their great ones, or record their belief in
a greater than all human greatness, by ' gathering stones
together for a heap of witness,' and calling ' on the name
of the Lord.'
The moon rose grandly over the deserted Buddhist
shrines as we descended the hill, tracing in the  smaller  CHAP. IV.
Allahabad.—Before leaving our pleasant camp at Sanchi
we made an excursion on an elephant to the town of Bhilsa;
surveying Eastern life from our elevated position as we
rode through the bazaar, where women were purchasing
silver toe-rings, seated on the ground trying various' effects'
on their toes thrust out to be decked by the jeweller—as we
would try on gloves—and the scribes and story-tellers were
sitting in the market-place surrounded by circles of attentive
listeners. Next morning we began our return journey, easily
made with the aid of eleven pairs of horses and two splendid white oxen, whose coats shone like satin, stationed along
our route by the hospitable Begum. But perhaps railway
travelling, though less romantic, is preferable to being conveyed either by royal elephants or sacred oxen, and we were
glad to meet the ' Fire-demon ' at Etarse. The railway platforms are crowded with white turbans and brown legs running
about in every direction but the right one, till bundled into
third and fourth-class carriages, in which they travel at very
low rates, by the impatient pale-faced guard. When the
train stops, a fringe of long brown arms is to be seen thrust 54
through the windows, holding out brass pots for the water
supplied by the railway authorities and dealt out by a native
from a skin bag carried on his back, which arrangement is
doing something towards breaking down caste prejudices,
for the thirsty Brahman cannot sacrifice his railway ticket
by going to the river himself, and must needs accept water
from the station fountain.
This afternoon we drove to the Fort, in the centre
of which is one of the ' Lats,' the earliest existing monuments in this country, set up to record edicts in favour
of Buddhism by King Asoka about 250 B.C. A noble monolith of red stone inscribed with moral injunctions, overthrown
by Musalman and English invaders in turn—the ancient
inscription, partly obliterated, and Persian sentences introduced by the former, and finally set up again by the latter,
whose board of works are busily following the example of
Asoka, who, as recorded on the pillar, ' was zealous for the
digging of wells and planting of trees by the roadside' 2000
years ago. Close to this monument of early Buddhism we
went down into an underground, very dirty and sacred Hindoo
temple, and were shown a whole Pantheon of gods, the
guide lifting up his torch to let us see each hideous figure,
in many cases only large black stones taken out of the sacred
Ganges. He, full of religious ardour, explained the names
and merits of each divinity, but puzzled us when he called
one god ' Crick.' On looking closely at the head lying in a
small niche in the wall, one saw that the style of the features
was Greek, one of the many examples of Greek influence on
Indian art, the result of Alexander's conquests, turned into CHAP. IV.
a divinity by the power-worshipping Hindoo. One shrine we
passed the other day had in it an image of a British soldier
of the last century set up for veneration. A friend tells us
that he has frequently seen the tiger he shot, perhaps the
man-eating scourge of the village, done homage to by the
villagers, the women standing round lifting the great paws
of the dead beast in respectful salutation to their foreheads.
Perhaps this reverence for ' force' makes it possible for the
handful of Europeans, 'whose native land was marsh and
forest, and their forefathers clothed in skins, when India
already possessed a rich language, great epic poems, and a
social order based on religion,' to rule two hundred and forty
millions of natives out here.
The junction of the rivers Ganges and Jumna is very
sacred. On one day. in the year whoever steps in first
goes straight to Paradise. An old woman was usually
chosen for this high honour, but somehow the highly-
favoured one did not always appreciate going to heaven
even in this direct and satisfactory manner; and now police
boats are stationed on the river to prevent compulsory
canonisation. Coming from native states, into British
territory, the condition here of the population does not
alas !.strike us as more prosperous or cheerful. The 'wealth
of the Indies' is certainly not conspicuous, and the impression produced on a traveller is rather that of a dull level of
monotonous poverty, a nation with its head just above water,
an empire where ' that eternal problem, the steady increase
of population in a poor country, which meets all peaceful
governments,' whether in India or Ireland, must be solved. 56
The crops are now sadly in want of rain. We are told the
gaol here is chiefly full of women imprisoned for the crime
of infanticide. Poor things! they imagine they can do
nothing better for their female children, when prices are
rising and ' there are many to keep,' than entrust them to
the sacred Ganges, sure of a safe voyage on its bosom to
the ocean of eternity.
It was difficult to realise that the gentlemanlike-looking old Hindoos, working at various trades in the cool
verandahs of the gaol at Jubbulpore, were ancient Thugs,
with, in some instances, a terrible list of crimes against
their names, now spending an industrious old age making
' Indian carpets' for English drawing-rooms. We bought some
excellent stuff for hard work in the jungle, recommended
highly by the placid-looking manacled murderer who sold it,
clanking his chains cheerfully as he handed us down piece
after piece to choose from.    .    .    .
Delhi.—Cawnpore and its sad memories, admirably commemorated by the beautiful white marble angel who, with
folded wings and palm-laden hands, looks down on the well—
now covered in—where, as the inscription records, 'a great
company of Christian people, chiefly women and children,
were, by order of the rebel Nana Sahib, cast down dead and
dying;'—and the world-famous Taj at Agra—we saw on our
way here. Eastern magnificence, Italian art, and English
roses, combine to make the latter the most delightful' place
of sepulture' in the world. Less graceful, but perhaps not
less stately, is the tomb of the greatest of all the Moguls,
Akbar, a five-storied palace with halls and verandahs, built CHAP. IV.
of red sandstone and white marble. ' It required Eastern
ingenuity to blend two such dissimilar materials, but the
descendants of Tamerlane and Jenghis Khan were wont to
succeed in whatever they undertook, whether feats of arts or
arms;' ' they built bike giants, and finished their work like
jewellers.' The great Mogul, who lies buried at Agra, had
nearly subdued the whole of India, and though a Musalman,
was not a fanatic, but set himself to try to bring peace and
goodwill between bis own conquering race and the native
Hindoos. No doubt he inherited the very cautious and impartial religious views of his ancestor Kublai Khan, who
declared, ' There are four Prophets worshipped and revered
by all the world. The Christians say their God is Jesus
Christ; the Saracens, Mahomet; the Jews, Moses; the
idolaters, Sakya Muni.' . . . ' I worship and pay respect to
all four, and pray that he among them who is greatest in
heaven in very truth may aid me.' Indeed, Akbar (in this
respect followed too often by more modern reformers),
not content with holding very liberal views, set himself to
invent a religion which might succeed in adjusting itself
to the spiritual need of all; but governments, whether
ancient or modern, have failed to rule the religious instincts
of a people, and Akbar died a broken-hearted penitent and
orthodox Musalman.
Stately as Musalman buildings are, and expressive by
their massive grandeur of the leading idea of Islam—the
unity and perfection of the one God—still the absence of
the higher forms of sculpture or of the likeness of anything
in heaven above or in the earth beneath, gives a want of life 58
and humanity to Musalman art; noble proportion and
elaborate detail are not enough, the artist as well as the
decorator is needed, 'to make these dead walls live;' and
sometimes one almost wishes for some of the 'thirty-two
million' Hindoo gods to give animation and human interest
to its monotonous grandeur.
Government House, Lahore.—We spent some days in
the palaces of Delhi, trying in imagination to restore their
former magnificence and re-people them with the splendid
despots who sat on the peacock throne when it blazed with
jewels to the value of one million sterling. Here, where the
great Moguls dispensed justice, or witnessed many cruel and
bloody scenes—the last in 1857, when their descendant, a
tool in the hands of the mutineers, sat in this high place
consenting to the murder of our poor country-people—we
found a jolly British sergeant superintending the unpacking
of the beer and soda-water provision for the officers' mess,
in one of the marble kiosks close by. Another day we
wandered among the interesting ruins of the most ancient
mosque in India, built out of twenty-seven still older Hindoo
temples; the carvings covered with the puritan whitewash
of the idol-destroying Moslem. But verily the Puritan
was an artist when he designed the beautiful' Kutab Miliar,'
an architectural triumph of strength and gracefulness combined.
It was pleasant to see by the fresh flowers laid on the
grave of Khusree that a poet's memory was still green
in the hearts of his countrymen, though 500 years have
passed away since, lyre in hand, he sung his still popular CHAP. IV.
songs. The poor poet is remembered, while the Prince (who
died of drinking cherry-brandy, in spite of having on temperance principles limited himself to one glass an hour),
lying hard by in the white marble tomb, exquisitely carved
with lilies—is forgotten.
But at Delhi it is not art, Musalman or Hindoo, or
the splendour of Mogul courts, that most strongly appeals
to the feelings; it is the memory of the latest—and, let
us hope, the last—great conflict which its blood-stained
walls have seen, that awakens an almost painfully keen
interest in the imperial city. Standing as we did on ' the
ridge' one sunset evening looking over the town, whose
mosques and forts and minarets stood out in the clear
soft air like a delicate carving, while beyond, the silver band
of the Jumna wound its way through a plain now green
with spring crops—one could trace every incident, and too
vividly picture every detail of the hard-fought siege of 1857,
when day after day during the terrible heat of an Indian
summer our handful of troops held their position, from
which the mutinous regiments pouring into the city vainly
tried to dislodge them. We traced the progress of the
batteries, as, when reinforcements came up, they gradually
advanced on the rebels, till standing near the Kashmir gate
we reached the spot where the final assault was made, and
two great breaches were made in the fortifications. ' The
firing suddenly ceased, the 60th Rifles sprang out with a
cheer, and 150 brave men (English and native troopers)
dashed up to the Kashmir gate ; Lieutenant Salkeld laid
his powder bags, but fell back shot through the arm and leg, 6o
handing the portfire to Sergeant Burgess, bidding him light
the fuse; Burgess was instantly shot dead in the • attempt.
Sergeant Carmichael then advanced, took up the portfire,
and succeeded in the attempt; but immediately fell mortally
wounded. Sergeant Smith, seeing him fall, advanced at a
run, but finding that the fuse was still burning, threw himself into the ditch.' In another moment a terrific explosion
shattered the massive gate; ' the storming party poured in,
and Delhi was in our hands.' It is satisfactory to remember
(what is too often forgotten) that though the rebellion in
India was' a Sepoy, mutiny,' the proportion of native soldiers
fighting on our side at the siege of Delhi was so large. The
unlovely monument on the highest point of the ridge,
' erected in memory of the officers and soldiers; British and
native, killed in action before Delhi, by the comrades who
lament their loss, and the country they served so well,' gives the
' English loss' as 1,982, and the ' native loss' as 1,623 men.
Here at Lahore our hospitable hosts send us out driving
in a picturesque, and, to our Western eyes, a strange equipage—a * char-a-banc,'' drawn by four camels, ridden by
four postilions in scarlet and gold lace tunics and dark blue
turbans. The camels trot at a good pace on the excellent
roads round this town, but one of them the other day slipped
up (rain had just fallen), and had to be killed at once; by
doing so in the orthodox manner its flesh could be used
as food, and its place was quickly supplied. The people's
' faces shine' to-day. There has been some rain to refresh
the thirsty spring crops.
It is difficult to connect the Norfolk squire of covert- ■»
shooting celebrity with his father, Eunjeet Singh, the great
Rajah who, with the four wives and seven slave girls
sacrificed on his funeral pyre, lies under the marble lotus
blossoms in the old fort here. A copy of the Sikh Scriptures, written by their Prophet about 200 years ago, was
lying beside the grave; and the usual Hindoo divinities,
which it was one of the aims of the Sikh sect to abolish r
decorated the walls. There was no fighting at Lahore
during the mutiny (the sepoys were disarmed), or as the
English soldier who took us round the fort expressed it,
' these here natives did not mutinise.' It is an unhealthy
town ; our rosy-cheeked warrior said that fifteen of his com^
rades .* were down with fever,' and the terrible mortality
among the prisoners in the well-kept gaol, where all the
sanitary arrangements are on the best principles, is just
now exciting much anxiety.
The museum is filled with most interesting and really
beautiful specimens of the so-called Graeco-Baetrian art,
Greek influence brought in by Alexander's Eastern con-
quests; Corinthian capitals with Buddha sitting cross-legged
amongst the acanthus leaves, and groups of Afghans clad
in togas.    We find Athene, the blue-eyed goddess we left
O 3 *f Cj
in her own city of Athens, out here in India; her broken
image smiling with a sort of stern pity on the monstrous
Hindoo idols round her. Lahore might well spare some of
these interesting specimens to the British Museum.
Peshawar.—At Jhelum we finished our 1,663 miles of
railway travelling from Bombay, and followed the war track,
too sadly marked out by the bleaching skeletons of camels 62
and hideous hovering vultures and troops of fierce dogs fighting over their prey. The new railway bridge will be of iron
and stone; but we, like Alexander, crossed the Indus at
Attock by a bridge of boats. Sometimes the ice barriers
high up in the mountains give way, and a flood comes down
sweeping all before it. In 1841, 500 soldiers of the Sikh
army were caught by the muddy torrent, and as a native eyewitness described it, ' Like a woman with a wet towel sweeps
away a legion of ants, so the river blotted out the army of
the Rajah.' We travelled night and day in our dak carriage,
sometimes being brought up by collision with the long lines
of bullock-carts marked ' Khyber,' laden with grain for the
troops. Our driver had a brass horn on which he made unearthly music and gave notice of our approach to the convoys,
the sound causing the camels (we passed hundreds of them
stalking along in single file like strange great birds on the
horizon), to crane their long necks and lurch from side to
side of the road in every direction but the right one. The
bullocks get persistently in the way, or bolt down a bank,
their drivers scream at our coachman and he screams at
them, and there is much bad language all round. But we
are amongst quite another race of men to the ' mild Hindoo'
type. If our running footman attempts to strike the Pathan
drivers of the refractory bullocks they at once return the
blow. A cavalry regiment we passed encamped some miles
from here looked rather like an army of colonists, so many
followers, grass cutters, and servants of all kinds, are required
in this country. At length the mud battlements of Peshawar
rose into sight, standing up out of the apricot and peach CHAP. IV.
gardens, just coming into blossom. Last night the rain
came down through the roof of the only room we could get in
Peshawar. Soldiers and war material occupy every nook,
and more troops are arriving. The Affridis are troublesome and come down under cover of the darkness close to
the cantonment to lay hands on anything or anybody they
can find. A poor Syce was killed by them not far from here
yesterday evening.
The military authorities have kindly given H. leave
to go up to Jellalabad, but seem determined to prevent
my advance into the Khyber. However, having secured
a dog-cart drawn by a long-necked one-eared old horse,
whose owner seems unwilling to trust anything more valu-
able into the dreaded Khyber, we started this morning
for the camp at Jumrood; once there the General' accepted
accomplished facts,' and kindly allowed me to accompany
H. as far as Ah Musjid, but would not hear of my
going any farther, and stipulated that I must be back in
Jumrood by 6 P.M., as the Pass is unsafe after sunset. The
road which is being constructed by English pioneers and
native navvies winds through rugged cliffs and steep glens,
getting wilder and grander as we got further into the Pass,
and caught sight of the snow peaks. We were somewhat
reminded of a strategic movement we executed to get out of
o o
Spain some years ago through the Carlist fines, in a railway
truck drawn by an armed engine ; but far more picturesque
was the beautiful Pyrenean valley, the heights, occupied by
Spanish troops guarding the line, than the bleak desolation
of the Khyber to-day.    Now  and then we  passed a few A LADY S TRAVELS  ROUND  THE WORLD,    chap. ivs.
graves on the hill-side, of people murdered by the hill robbers, and once a long train of sick and wounded coming
down from the front. We threaded our way along the rock-
cut ledae of road through files of laden camels and droves of
cattle going up to Jellalabad, guarded by a strong escort and
accompanied by Affridi ' police,' wearing a bit of scarlet on
their arm or turban, to distinguish them from their cousins
the ' hill men,' for whose good behaviour they are virtually
hostages. Small signal-stations crowned the heights, and
over the barricade of stones appeared the brown face and
rifle of a Sepoy. We soon descended into the valley—passing
a lately excavated tope—in which Ali Musjid is situated.
The camp was a busy scene, an active trade was being
carried on at the booths, where oranges, bootlaces, gilt
mirrors, and other useful articles were sold at an enormous
rofit, to the British soldier, who here on active service, in a
working dress of brown holland, is not the gorgeous creature
we are familiar with in England. I had only one hour to
remain at Ali Musjid, so we crossed the river and made
our way into the fort, where a Ghoorka regiment, cheery,
plucky little fellows, almost Japanese in feature and size,
were on guard, and had a splendid view over the endless
mountain panorama backed up by snow peaks. ' Some of
our dead are up there still,' said a soldier who had been
engaged in the taking of this fort the other day, pointing to
the almost perpendicular cliffs over which vultures were
hovering; how men could have got there was astonishing,
but they say the active Ghoorkas will go anywhere. At
our feet lay the valley with the camp,  and its life and CHAP. IV.
colour; here a party of natives making a road for the ' forty-
pounders, the elephant battery,' and there a group of
Sepoys at their midday meal. Below us lay the ruined
mosque which gives its name to the valley, and further
on, through a chasm in the rock wall, the only practicable
road to Jellalabad. One could see at a glance how im-
portant the position was, and how fortunate our troops were
to have secured it. ' We corned at them from behind,' our
soldier explained. But it was time to get back; H.'s second
pony and baggage had arrived, and I prepared to return to
Peshawar with our servant John and the troopers who had
accompanied us, not waiting for the further escort ordered
for the return journey. A dead coolie was carried by to his
grave on the hill-side. The severe weather tells on the
large number of natives employed in making the road, as
well as on the camels, of whom we hear three hundred
were buried yesterday. Going down the Pass the views
were very fine, but there was not much time to admii
them. One of my ' Sowars' laughingly pointed to a cave
in the cliff overhead from whence Affridis were wont to fire
down on passing travellers, and said, ' Bungalow Affridi.'
But no brigands were at home on this occasion, and after
five-o'clock tea out of a tin cup, seated on a packing-case in
a hospitable officer's tent at Jumrood, I returned safely to
Peshawar.—Amidst the noise and hurry of warlike
preparation it was pleasant to turn into a modest building,
over whose door ' Branch Mission School' was written.
Instead of the hats and coats of England, rows of various
F 66
sized little slippers with peaked toes were ranged at the entrance to the four rooms where eighty-seven boys from five to
ten years old were being instructed in Hindustani and English.
The master (a native) spoke very fair English, and the pupils
lifted their turbaned heads to exhibit excellent copies of
' Evil   communications corrupt good  manners,' and  other
moral sentences.    One small Asiatic of five years old put up
his little fat brown hands, holding a book almost as large as
himself, and,  eager to display his learning, began singing
out a lesson in Hindustani, to Which I listened, not understanding a word, but the round black eyes sparkled-when I
said' Achcha' (' very good'). The school belongs to the Church
Missionary Society, and the children read the Bible, but are
not  obliged to become Christians.    Every Englishman  in
India is, whether he wishes it or not, a missionary, preaching
by his life and actions a very practical sermon to a congregation numbering some 240 millions of souls.   And the
lesson he teaches will tell; for as surely as in the case of the
child we educate there comes a time when fear ceases to be
the only incentive to duty, and moral influence must take
the place of coercion, so certainly will a day come in the
history of India when force will no longer suffice to maintain our influence, and when, let us hope, the lessons of
wisdom taught by a strong but  righteous power may take
effect, and assure to England, better than weapons of war
could, the allegiance of our fellow-subjects in Asia.
Peshawar, March 12.—Yesterday H. returned safely
from his interesting but rather hazardous expedition through
the Khyber to Jellalabad, where   he   spent   some   days CHAP. IV.
pleasantly with soldier friends, and visited ' the city' and
the curious underground water-conduits near it with Major
We spent this afternoon, by the desire of the latter,
looking at the carvings found in the mounds, one of which
H. saw opened the other day near Jellalabad. Alexander's
warriors must have been artists as well as soldiers, and
found apt pupils on the banks of the Indus. It would seem
that whatever Greek civilisation touched it inspired with
beauty. The Greek philosopher made no vain boast when
he said that' the scholars of Athens were the teachers of
mankind.' We felt he was right as we gazed at the bas-
reliefs just dug up (the dust of how many centuries still
clinging to them ?) of Buddha, with the mouth of Apollo
and a certain grace and flexibility distinctly Greek in the
features. ■68
Murree Pass, March 25.—We are on our way to Kashmir, but finding our Kitmuggar and John and the Syce
-afraid to face the journey (the weather is stormy and our
route lies through a country depopulated by famine), we let
them go: discontented servants are worse than useless.
Ageeza, a fat youth who can do a little cooking, and Ahmed
the Bheesty, are now our only domestics. Neither of them
understands a word of English, and our Hindustani is
limited to some half-dozen phrases; but being determined
to go on, we started, with our baggage packed on five mules,
this morning to walk by easy stages into Kashmir. The
snow was still lying in patches on the tufts of maidenhair
fern in the sheltered nooks, and storms of cold rain swept
occasionally down the hills ; but it was a pleasant walk of ten
miles to-day, with a glorious view over the snowy range,
and down the steep valleys. Spring flowers have scarcely
appeared as yet; only a few blossoms of Alpine violets, and
a hardy yellow jessamine, make the banks gay. Yesterday,
not far from Murree, a group of crimson rhododendrons just
bursting into bloom was a gorgeous sight: one stem was five CHAP. V.
feet in circumference. But we shall see no more of these
beautiful trees; they are not found in the Himalayan valleys
we are to traverse.    .
Ghakoti, April 1.—It is difficult to find anything or
anybody to carry our baggage on this route, usually so well
supplied with means of transport; and having no one to interpret for us increases the difficulty ; however, the language
of signs is quickly acquired and easily understood, and having to do everything for ourselves—a contrast to our late
luxurious march in Central India—gives us opportunities of
becoming acquainted with the character and feelings of the
people, which we should not have if accompanied by the
usual Indian retinue of servants. The first thing to be
done on arriving at the tumble-down ' rest-house ' after our
daily march, is to pitch one of the small tents (the beasts of
prey indoors being too much for me), and get a room swept
out by a low-caste native, representing the early non-Aryan
races of the country, or, as is pretty often the case, get a few
twigs and do it oneself; while Ageeza, who could not pollute
himself by cleansing anything, calls loudly for the ' lum-
bardar,' head-man of the village, to bring milk, eggs and
firewood. Alas ! often the only answer he gets is the echo
of bis own voice through the mountains ; there is little to be
had in this desolate and almost deserted country, where it is
believed that 150,000 people have perished by famine within
the last two years. Sometimes we get a lean fowl, which at last
I have made the fat youth understand we like.killed the day
before eating it; this he considers ridiculous ; however, he
hands me the frying-pan and sits in the doorway with his ■o
turban awry, and his beloved pipe not far off, proceeding in
a leisurely manner to take the feathers off the ' murghi,'
which I afterwards grill with some slices of bacon, Ageeza
looking on at the cooking of the unholy food. It is curious
how local customs work their way even in spite of religious
distinctions; he is a Musalman, to whom the Hindoo superstition of caste ought to be nothing, but the genius of the
country proves too strong even for its conquerors, and does
not allow him to eat a potato peeled by a Christian knife,
or wash even a dish-rubber. So I put the family washing
into a large pot this afternoon and left it to boil—the result
was cleanliness : but somehow, when dried, the things had a
queer look- perhaps I gave them a turn too long in the pot.
Ghakoti, April 1.—To-day we met a party of Hindoos
coming down the pass from Kashmir on their way to the
sacred city of Benares—to bathe in the Ganges. One of
them spoke fair English, and told us ' that the famine has
abated in Kashmir;' good news, if true. The Maharajah is a
pious Hindoo, and his courtiers are truly religious. We left
them to continue their devotions, as, borne aloft on palanquins resembling four-post bedsteads, they pursued their
pilgrimage—and we went our way, pondering on the advantages these Hindoo gentlemen possessed in being able to
forward their spiritual interests and make a pleasant tour
at the same time; whereas we were doing nothing towards
the making of our poor souls on this our globe-trotting
Rampoor, April 3.—To-day our walk was through lovely
scenery.     Forests of deodars (one of the  mighty cedars chap: v.
measured twenty feet in circumference) and pine trees, under
which were banks of all sorts of hardy and half-hardy ferns
fringing the edges of delightful little mountain torrents,
and out into glades where a pretty ixia, and wood anemones,
and yellow jonquils, overshadowed by blooms of wild apple
and plum trees, were just coming into blossom; crowns of
orange fritillary lilies hung on the grey rocks, and green
parroquets with yellow tails flitted about under the cedars.
Almost hidden by their great branches, it was startling to
%J CD * CD
come suddenly on a ruined temple of graceful design and
proportions surrounded by a cloistered courtyard of trefoil
arches and Grecian pillars, so entirely unlike anything
we have seen in India. Ageeza informs us that the place
is rendered intolerable by the multitude of evil spirits
infesting it—no doubt the ghosts of the ancient serpent-
worshippers by whom it probably was erected.
Baramula, April 4.—At last we have reached the
famous 'Vale of Kashmir,' and must confess that our first
impression was that of disappointment. A pretty march of
thirteen miles, partly through what ought to be a fertile
plain, but is now only sprinkled with broken-down farmsteads,
brought us to the foot of a short steep pass, from the top of
which the valley lay like a map at our feet, completely
encircled by snow-topped mountains. But everything looks
brown and desolate—no life anywhere. The spring is late,
the tall poplars and magnificent plane-trees are still leafless.
Adam is said to have come here after leaving Paradise, and
given it as his opinion that he had found another Eden,
which, no doubt, when  the spring is further advanced it 72
may resemble. One thing is quite certain, the inhabitants
of this Paradise very much resemble fallen angels—nothing
can surpass their capacity for dirt, lying, and cheating.
April 5.—We embarked this morning, but our Kashmiri
boatmen, having got us on board, became very violent, and
wanted to force us to take a third boat. This was merely a
piece of imposition; but it was not till H. had raised a stout
walking-stick over the heads of the boatmen, and I had
' assumed an offensive attitude' in the rear with a large umbrella, that they consented to proceed. Once they saw we
were firm they gave in, and were very civil. We wound our
way slowly up the long curves of the river—two men rowing
and a young woman and boy punting, while the old lady,
the grandmother of the party, steered cleverly with a heart-
shaped paddle, keeping one eye on the family dinner being
cooked in a large pot over a charcoal stove at one end of
the boat. It was pleasant and peaceful, after our march
of 170 miles, to lie on our rugs under the thatched roof
of the boat, gliding by the grassy banks fringed with
willows and splendid plane trees, sometimes by farmhouses
two or three stories high, standing in orchards, recalling,
except for the unfamiliar background of snow-topped mountains, an English landscape. Flocks of wild ducks now
and then flew across, H. shot one; it was too coarse for
us, but went into the steering grandmother's pot-au-feu.
We moored for a short time under an old bridge, built in
sugar-stick fashion of trunks of deodar trees, and then
passed into the Wular lake, and made fast to a sedgy bank
for the  night.    Very lovely it was when the  moon rose chap.
over the wide sheet of water and its frame of snow peaks,
behind which the summer lightning flashed every now and
Srinagar, April 7.—Our crew worked diligently with
their little knave-of-spades paddles, but we did not reach our
landing-place, after threading our way through this carious
city of wide-eaved houses overhanging the river—a Venice
built of wood—till two o'clock this morning. Our bungalow
is close to the river, in an orchard, the fruit-trees now in
* full bloom; on each side long avenues of poplar-trees, and
behind us the hill called the ' throne of Solomon' crowned
with a small ancient temple. We have engaged a Kashmiri
servant, Suddick, much, recommended by bis former master
'—a fine-looking Musalman, who speaks excellent English
and seems intelligent; and this afternoon, accompanied by
him, and followed by a fleet of boats containing ' merchants '
of all descriptions, waiting to pounce on unfortunate strangers like ourselves, we proceeded in a gondola to the bazaar.
The town of Srinagar is picturesque, seen from the water;
temples,  bridges,  and  tumbledown   houses   built   of   un-
' painted wood, which takes lovely rich tints from age, and
great plane trees and old pear trees white with blossom,
hanging over the river, here covered with boats full of sedate-
looking Hindoos—the favoured race, though the Musah*
mans form  more than two-thirds of the population.    We
' thought the shawls quite as expensive as in Paris, and saw
nothing very tempting to-day. Dining with the hospitable
Resident, or, as he is called, in deference to the feelings
of the Maharajah, who imagines  himself an independent 74
sovereign,' the officer on special duty in Kashmir,' we met
the two excellent missionaries who are doing so much good
here—in fact, saving the lives of thousands of the population.
They employ 1,400 coolies at a very small sum, just enough
to sustain life on, in useful works, such as repairing the
tracks—there are no roads in Kashmir, the native Government consider such things ridiculous and unnecessary—in
spite of much secret opposition on the part of native officials.
Of course, conversion is not attempted; to do so would be
worse than useless; but civilising influences, together with
soap and water, are brought to bear on the 400 orphan or
neglected children in the mission school, rescued by the
missionaries from starvation.
Srinagar, April, 12,-r-A pleasant walk this morning
along the river to an ancient shrine, still standing in its
sacred tank, supposed to have been dedicated to snake worship. Since leaving Northumberland, where, not far from its
rocky shore and island sanctuaries, we had frequently visited
the traditional abode of the great dragon, ' the worm,' that
legend relates desolated the neighbourhood and was only propitiated by daily offerings of milk, the mythological serpent
has looked out on us from many shrines. Under the shadow of
the Parthenon we stood on the spot where Greek legend relates the hero Erechtheus appeared in serpent form; in Egypt
we traced the scaly dragon coiling in massive folds through the
wall-paintings in the tombs of the kings, or guarding the
source of the sacred Nile itself; at Ajanta and Sanchi, either
in natural snake form, decorating the head-dress of worshippers, or as the powerful ' naga,' spreading its protecting- chap. v.
hood over Buddha himself or attendant Rajahs—the much-
reverenced serpent was constantly appearing. Now, in Kash-
mir, we are on the spot which, according to local history and
tradition, was once a sea inhabited by a race of ' nagas' (perhaps representing aboriginal tribes of the Himalayan valleys),
creatures half human, half serpent, who were amongst the
earliest and most enthusiastic converts to Buddhism. We
passed over the site of Pandritan, once the capital of this
country, where King Asoka (b.c. 250) is said to have built a
shrine for a tooth of Buddha; but the graceful little temple
we went to see, with a ceiling decorated somewhat in the
style of the later monasteries at Ajanta, is not supposed to
date further back than the 10th century of our era.
This is a festival day with the "Hindoos. All who are
religiously minded among them go to bathe in a sacred pool
near the Dal Lake, whither we went also, our six Kashmiris
paddling the boat swiftly through crowded canals and curious
' floating gardens,' made of the matted roots of water-plants
cut close to the bottom of the lake and formed into long
narrow beds resting on the water. On this a thick coating
of mud is laid and melon seeds sown, which during the hot
summer produce large crops of fruit. The Kashmiri women
are very good-looking, their dark eyes and hair and bright
complexion are set off by the fillet of scarlet cloth worn round
the head; but men and women alike muffle themselves in
shapeless white garments, and have not the independent
bearing of our late friends the Pathans. Unlike the Musalman, the Hindoo brings his womenkind with him; each
group we passed had a large brass pot of rice boiling on the 76
fire, which when cooked will be eaten mixed with butter of a
fine rancid flavour and much saffron.
Noorburg, April 16.—We left Srinagar some days ago,
and are now making way to the Himalayan valleys on the
further side of K^hmir, to look for ibex. We have six servants,
and twenty-eight coolies to carry provisions, two tents for
ourselves, and one for the servants. Three stones put together
form a cooking-place, and camp fife in a pretty country
in fine weather is very enjoyable. A sheep-dog joined us
yesterday, and seems so companionable that we have invited
him to remain and guard our camp.    .    .
Wurdwan Valley, April 18.—We slept as close to the
snow as possible last night, and started soon after 5 a.m. to
cross the pass (11,600 feet). The sun had scarcely risen
over the white peaks, and the black pine-forests below were
still lying deep in shadow, as we followed our coolies, who,
like a line of ants, threaded their way over the snow up
through great boulders left by the avalanches. In about two
hours we had reached the summit of the pass, and found ourselves on a far-stretching snow plateau; we put on snow
spectacles, the servants also doing so, for, as Suddick says,
'the snow burn him eyes,' and had a pleafcant walk over
the crisp dazzling snow, which was in good condition. We
followed the course of a river, heard but not seen, rushing down with a hollow roar from the glacier near the
summit, till, a few miles further on, it burst its icy barrier,
and led the way for us over tumbled masses of rock and
sloping ledges of snow to the Wurdwan Valley. Sometimes
it was difficult enough to prevent slipping down a snow slope.   CHAP. V.
but the grass shoes we all wear are safe things for snow
walking. The Shikari makes them—we have two cooly loads
of rice-straw with us for the purpose—and straps them on
our feet over leather socks; sometimes they have to be
renewed during the day's march; but our toes, not being
accustomed to having a hay-rope passed between them, often
felt rather sore after going downhill for long. We trudged
on till we found ourselves again amongst birch-trees and
scanty junipers, under which the lovely blue gentian peeped
out; once we heard a sound like a train coming into a
station, and on looking round saw a rock and cloud of loose
stones bounding off the path we had just passed, detached
from the cliff overhead.
Wurdwan Valley, April 22.—We looked out on a white
world this morning; the snow was falling thickly, the tall
pine trees round us looking like black spectres waving their
arms against the white peaks above. A snowy Sunday in a
tent is not cheerful, but the Bible and Shakespeare are good
companions; and the society of our faithful and valued
friends, 'Homer,' 'Herodotus,' 'The Spectator,' and.'Pickwick,' who are travelling in a game-bag round the world with
us, is always delightful. Sport in Kashmir is disappointing;
day after day, as soon as it is light, H. and his two Shikaris
set out over the glacier ridges and up the mountain sides,
too steep for snow to lie on, in search of ibex, but find none.
The bears, wise animals, are still enjoying their winter sleep.
Scarcely a sign of fife is to be seen anywhere. Now and then
a hawk or raven soars over the few tumble-down chalets
and huts below us, to which their owners, after the long and •*wr&
unusually severe winter, are returning to cultivate their little
stony fields in their simple fashion; a crooked stick fastened
to the end of a straight one being still their idea of that most
ancient implement, the plough. Two musk-deer, shot by
H., have enabled our people to give a dinner-party; the
throat of the animal having been cut in orthodox fashion
(after death) with the usual invocation, pious Musalmans
can eat the flesh. We thought the meat rather good, resembling roe deer in flavour, but in this keen air one is
perhaps not fastidious. There is some difficulty in finding
coolies to carry the baggage ; Suddick, putting his head into
J OO     O       y "   ST O
the tent, announces, ' I send one man jumping to catch him
cooly.'    So we hope they may be forthcoming to-morrow.
Bhuikhul Pass (14,580 feet).—We are climbing by slow
degrees to the ' roof of the world,' as the inhabitants of the
high table-land of central Asia call their country; a very
steep roof it is. Kashmir, 5,000 feet above the sea, was the
first step towards it from the plains of India; the Wurdwan
Valley, 7,000 feet, the next; and now we are on the way to
the Sooroo Valley, 10,000 feet. Leh, where we hope to be
in about three weeks, will be nearly 12,000 feet up on the
We left our camp this morning in a cold sleet shower,
with an occasional burst of sunshine to brighten the rugged
sides of the glen up which we wound our way, crossing
the glacier stream by snow bridges. The gorge narrowed,
and, after a few hours' walking, the steep banks became snow-
slopes, which we had to traverse in single file, Kamala, the
first Shikari, an excellent mountaineer, in front, cutting steps CHAP. V,
with a kind of hoe. As the snow was in bad condition, it
was difficult walking, and needed care to avoid falling into
the glacier river, which roared and tumbled over its rocky
bed about 200 feet below us. Suddenly the loose snow gave
way; I lost my foothold, and, accompanied by Suddick, who
just behind had clutched hold of my shoulder, and who with
his spiked staff tried vainly to stop our downward course, I
proceeded to slide very quickly on hands and face down the
snow slope. I remember hearing the roar of the water, and
feeling that in a few moments we should be dashed amongst
the rocks, and how funny we must look slipping down
together, but had not time to be frightened, for just then
we were luckily stopped by a narrow ledge—a fallen birch-
tree under the snow—and picked ourselves up unhurt. One
of our coolies passing over the same place later in the day
was not so fortunate. He and the tent he was carrying
rolled together down the slope into the river, but happily he
fell on the large soft bundle, and was not seriously hurt.
Bhutkhul, Bhuikhul Pass, May 1.—This is a long pass;
it will take us three days to get through it.    We have had
«/ o o
a hard march to-day ploughing through deep snow—the rain
of last week fell as snow up here. Sometimes we sank up
to our waists in drifts of new-fallen snow. ' Take plenty
care, Mem Sahib,' Suddick would call out, and then down he
would go himself, and his turban and stick be seen struggling
out of a hole. After crossing a long plateau, we came again on
a glacier-river rushing out of a great ice-cave hung with
giant icicles. That horrid river kept getting in our way,
and we had to wade across the awfully cold water several 8o
times. Once it was above our knees, and I had to hold on
tightly to the man in front to prevent being carried away by
the strong current. My feet, though I had three pairs of
worsted socks on, pained me dreadfully from the intense
cold ;—but anything is better than being carried-
' «/ o o
At length we reached a spot below the steepest part of
the pass, where on a spur of the mountain a few bushes
were growing, and the snow had been blown away. It was
getting dark, the coolies were far behind, and a snowstorm
was coining on, so H. and I, with two of the servants, took
refuge close to a rock, shivering from cold and wet.   Luckily,
O * O J 7
under a few stunted bushes covered with snow, we found
some dead branches, with which Kamala made a large fire
beneath the shelter of a boulder; we sat round and warmed
our feet while the snow fell thickly on our shoulders, till, as
the night fell, the long line of coolies—reminding us of the
o o o
pictures of arctic travels—made their way across the glistening slopes up to us. Our sleeping tent was soon pitched,
and the coolies sent in every direction to pull wood from
under the snow for the fires. Suddick in a miraculous
manner soon gave us an excellent supper from his kitchen
behind the boulder (at least the omelette and hot tea tasted
better than anything we had ever eaten), and all troubles
were forgotten while reading home letters, brought 170 miles
over the snow passes by our messenger from Srinagar.
Below the Bhutkhul Pass.—Whether it was the effect of
yesterday's cold-water cure, wading through the snow-rivers,
or the astonishing quantity of tea we drank (we used to
laugh at the Russian Tartars we met on the banks of the CHAP. V.
Volga for drinking numberless cups of very hot tea, but now
we know from experience how refreshing it is), I do not
know, but we did not get much sleep last night, and broke
up our camp at 8 a.m. this morning, the coolies with some
of the baggage in charge of the second Shikari—a cheery
young fellow who skips over the snow slopes with H.'s
largest rifle slung over his shoulder, having preceded us.
First over a rock and snow-staircase, jumping from point
to point as best we could, and then over a long rising plateau
of deep soft snow. The morning light was just catching the
top of the wonderful peaks, sometimes too sharp and jagged
for the snow to lie on; very grim and awful looked the backbone of black rocks, like the edge of a gigantic saw piercing
through the smooth white covering of snow and thrusting its
o o o
rugged points into the clear blue sky above. But we get no
very grand views as we climb up the pass, the steep sides
shut one in, though we know that a giant peak, over
26,000 feet high, is to be seen towards the north, and his
smaller companions, 20,000 and 17,000, crowd all round.
After some hours' weary walking through the deep snow, we
came to the stiffest part of our climb—a wall of snow-
slope 700 feet high, which had to be surmounted. I was
feeling rather tired, pains in my limbs and utter weariness,
but H. having administered some brandy mixed with snow,
I was able with help to climb the zigzag path made by
Kamala up what seemed to be the never-ending snow-covered
roof of a house. At last we reached the summit, only
about 1,500 feet below the top of Mont Blanc. The wind
was   strong and keen, with now and then a sleet shower. 82
However, we found a patch of rock where for the moment
the sun was shining; on the warmest corner of which, after
Kamala had taken off my grass-shoes and wrapped my feet
up in his shawl, I was hung out to dry and eat roast chicken,
and soon felt all right.
After a short rest, we plunged again into the snow.
Going down is easy work, but as the usual cainping-ground
was covered by snow, it was not till we had walked altogether
%j 7 o
eighteen miles that we found a place where it was possible
to pitch a tent. Unluckily to-day no wood was to be found ;
we were forced to pull up the scanty roots of wild sage and
grass between the crevices of the rocks to make a fire—
difficult work in a blinding snow-storm. I really do not quite
know what happened, I was so cold and tired, but eventually
Suddick brought us hot tea, and, putting everything we had
in the way of clothing on, we lay down to rest. Perhaps
■we shall never be nearer heaven, in this world, than we were
to-day, and—under the circumstances, I have no wish to be.
Sooroo Valley (10,000 feet).—H. woke up last night
with great pain in his eyes.   He had neglected to wear snow
OX *f o
spectacles or veil during our march yesterday, consequently
an attack of snow-blindness—intense pain in the eyes for
some hours—came on. Fortunately, a little milk which we
had brought over the Pass in bottles, was found, with which,
when diluted with warm water, he bathed his eyes, and felt
less pain; but we are both suffering from the skin of our
faces being much blistered.    Our difficulties in the way of
O v
climbing are over for the present, and after a few hours'
march dOwn the nullah we descended into the Sooroo Valley. CHAP. V.
We are now in Little Thibet, and have left our Aryan
kinsfolk at the other side of the mountain barrier. Our
coolies sat round in a circle to receive the well-earned rupees
which H. gave them before returning to their native valley.
Poor fellows, many of them were shading their eyes (snow-
blindness) while blinking happily at the silver portrait of the
Empress of India. Now we are amongst a different race, and
our coolies for to-morrow are skin-clad, flat-capped, high-
cheek-boned Mongols—not quite the pure type yet, till we
get to Leh, but still the difference of feature strikes one
at once. They are an ugly, cheery lot—no famine last year
in these valleys—talking a strange uncouth jargon which
Suddick understands a little. However, as the head-man
of each village sends an escort of one trusty follower with
us, we get what we want. I am not a good judge of sheep,
but that uncanny-looking animal brought up for inspection
to-day with a view to mutton to-morrow, does not look
Except a few willow-trees carefully grown near the
villages, there is not a tree or shrub, or anything green to
be seen. The rocky sides of the valley rise up perfectly
bare of verdure, with cascades of loose stones rushing down
into the river below. What the goats and ponies find to
eat it is difficult to say,—perhaps they really feed on stones,
and only pretend to eat grass when strangers are looking
on. In a month's time all will be different; the villagers
are ploughing with their yaks the patches of ground their
forefathers during long generations have won from the stony
soil by bringing earth  in baskets and clearing off stones.
G  2 84
In summer the streams rushing down from the snow-mountains are conducted by irrigation-channels over the fields
sown with barley (there is scarcely any rain in this country),
and the hot sun during the short summer ripens the crop.
The women seem friendly and bright, bringing their funny
little babies, covered with charms of various kinds, to be
looked at. Industrious, too, for one carried her basket of
earth to the field all the morning—a heavy load—with her
baby on the top of it—to say nothing of the weight of her
chatelaine, a sort of Tara-brooch ornament, fastened to the
waist, from which hangs some pounds' weight of cowries,
together with charms, and keys, and spoons. The keys are
strange things, as there are no locks on the houses; they
are scarcely useful—in fact purely ornamental. After all,
the ornaments on European chatelaines are not always
strictly useful. (?)...
Itchoo, May 11.—We are still wandering in these high^
up valleys in search of game, and at length, to our great
delight, H. saw and shot an ibex to-day. We are perched
on a triangular piece of ground about three acres in extent
—a spur
running out from the mountain-wall which seems
to hem us in all round—bounded on two sides by glacier-
streams. To descend from our elevated position we must
scramble down stony banks about 500 feet high, across
which a little track has been made for the yaks. Our aneroid marks 14,000 feet above the sea, but we can scarcely be
as high as this ; the mercury must have got out of the way
of going down, we have been over so many high passes lately.
This is capital ibex ground; we think of remaining here some CHAP. V.
days in the hope of-finding game. Yesterday we crossed
for the first time one of the rope-bridges of Thibet; rather
nervous work if you happen to look down on the rushing
water while balancing yourself on the single rope of twisted
twigs of birch, holding on with all your might to the guiding
ropes at each side. We could only do eight miles, the people
of the last village declaring it was dangerous to traverse the
nullah leading up here during the middle of the day on
account of the frequent avalanches; a yak had been kilted
the day before, and his owner narrowly escaped the same
fate while leading the animal up the glen.
I am sitting in our tent with the curtain drawn up,
wrapped in a sheepskin coat, which our kind friend the
Resident at Srinagar provided us with, and a ' kangri'
(basket with a pot of glowing charcoal inside it) at my feet
trying to keep warm, watching the ways of the villagers,
who, now that the snow is not too deep to allow them to do
so, are ploughing up this little plot of level ground. The
village, which at first sight can scarcely be distinguished from
the great boulders round it, is a group of stone huts without
windows or chimneys (the chief house > has a wicker-work
erection on the flat roof, through which the smoke escapes),
inhabited by the four families that form the population of
Itchoo, and in which they and their yaks spend the long winter
months, frequently not getting fresh air or light except by
climbing through a hole in their roof, kept clear of snow for
the purpose. The children lead the yaks by a cord passed
through the animal's nostrils, and the men guide the rough
plough, while the women, with their hair plaited into numfr- 86
rous long tails with black wool, reaching down to their feet
and decorated with tassels and blinkers, harrow the ground
with small wooden hoes. A sheepskin of barley, with its
legs in the air, lies a few yards from me which the inquisitive
little goats—like small curly retrievers—sniff at covetously,
while the Tartar boy who ought to be guarding it lies asleep
on his face—the usual attitude these people sleep in.
I am instructing Mahmoud (one of the servants) in the
art of darning. He looks up pleased with his performance,
sticking his darning-needle into his turban, when, after
great labour, he has accomplished a rather clumsy patch.
We have been to the marmot colony near here, but the
marmots—much larger than those found in Europe—with
a chirping whistle disappeared into their burrows when we
came in sight. We found a patch of wild rhubarb, the only
green thing we have seen for some time.
Sorgool, May 19.—We have now struck the road to Leh,
having come across country yesterday by a seldom-traversed
pass. The view from the summit (nearly 15,000 feet), and
the fantastic shapes of the rocks, were very striking, one
almost imagined that fairies or demons had twisted them
into strange contortions. Sometimes a row of gigantic
ninepins would be ranged on a ridge, or the profile of an
enormous 6tone face would appear through a cloud-rift, or
one saw the fingers of a great hand lifted against the horizon.
o o o
We have left the thirty-two million Hindoo deities, and are
now in an entirely Buddhist region. The young fellow with
my pony to-day (ou this road we find ponies and coolies) had
a little pigtail reaching nearly to his waist, and large silver CHAP. V.
ear-rings on.    He whistled gaily, and now and then burst
O CD *f   7
forth into a wild song as he guided the pony up a very steep
bank. ' Hold him on by bis tail, Mem Sahib,' Suddick called
out behind me, a rather bewildering piece of advice when
one is riding up what much resembled a railway embankment, but on consideration I understood him to mean me to
hold on by the pony's mane. We passed for the first time
a ' mani,' a long bank of stones carefully built up, the top
covered with small slabs inscribed with the Buddhist invocation :—
Om,1 Mani Padmi, han.
O 1 the jewel within the Lotas! or,
Hail! to the sweetness of the Lotus.
Various meanings are given for these mystic words, but
the most intelligible is that they express the excellency of
the law of Buddha as typified by the lotus,—the symbol of
the universe and perfection. And truly the councils -of perfection given by Prince Gautama, who, twenty-four centuries
ago left his father's court to seek a cure for the ills of
humanity, were often full of sweetness. ' Buddha,' meaning
the Enlightened One, is only one of the many titles given
by bis followers to the teacher, whose life of purity and
precepts of universal benevolence still influence nearly one-
third of mankind.
Lamayuru, May 21.—We are now in the old Thibetan
province of Ladakh, where Buddhism was preached by the
1 It is difficult to define the significance of the ancient monosyllable
c om,' ' the divine affirmative ;' or, according to another interpretation, the
word is 'AUM.'and typical of the Hindu Trinity of divine persons, 'the
Eternal Essence.' 88
missionaries sent beyond the mountains of India by King
Asoka upwards of two thousand years ago. This morning
we rode through a fertile valley—a rare and pleasant sight—
passing villages surmounted by convent-crowned cliffs, and
approached through long lines of ' chortens,' pagodas of
mud, bricks, and stones, containing the relics of a Lama
saint, to whom offerings may be made; or they may be
erected in honour of ' Adi Buddha,' the ' Supreme Buddha,'
' the concealed lord who is without beginning or end,'
and from whom the four Buddhas—Gautama Buddha being
the last—who have appeared in these lower worlds have
originated. Our path is often lined with mounds of slabs
bearing 'the holy  six-syllabled  charm,' inscribed by the
O J J 7 J
Lamas, and procured from them by pious natives, who,
depositing the prayer on a ' mani,' go on their way rejoicing,
leaving the stones to cry aloud for them to Heaven. The
prayer is an invocation of its author ' Padmapani,' the ' Lord
of Mercy,' the ' Protector,' the ' Manifested One,' but this
divinely-inspired petition would seem to have almost lost its
original meaning, and degenerated into an incantation or
magic formula, amongst the charm-loving Thibetans, who,
like the Jews of old, believe in the efficacy of binding holy
sentences on their garments. Yesterday I saw one of our
Tartars pick up and carefully preserve a scrap of ' Saturday
Review,' of ancient date, which we had thrown aside; no
doubt to-morrow, enshrined in a bit of coloured cloth, it will
take its place amongst the other talismans, ' golden razors to
take away sin,' worn on his cap.
Our tents are pitched at the foot of the cliff on which CHAP,
the large and ancient Lamasary of Lamayuru stands—a
rambling erection, built on and under the turret-shaped
rocks, sometimes on galleries thrown across flying bridges
from one peak to another, sometimes scooped out into rock
shrines, where the monks can retire for religious contemplation, or perhaps with equal profit contemplate the view over
the valley of the high ranges of snow-topped Himalayas.
Buddha commanded his disciples to live apart from the
world, so the Lamas compromise matters by building their
Gounpas, ' solitary places,' on some almost inaccessible peak
in the close vicinity of a village.
It was an easy ride over the Fotula Pass; not a sign of
anything living did we see, animal or vegetable, till just as
we reached the summit ' Cardinal Wolsey' appeared against
the horizon on the little ridge above us. A red-clothed, red-
capped, shaven-headed Lama, mounted on a fat white pony,
rosary in hand, quite startling in his likeness to a jolly friar
of mediaeval days. He was in charge of a herd of ponies belonging to the convent, and was taking them to where a few
blades of grass are beginning to spring up beside the glacier
streams. He looked quite as much surprised at our appearance as we were at the sight of his strange figure. My pony
to-day was extremely orthodox, and would insist on keeping
to the right—which happened to be the sunny side—of the
' manis ;' to pass on the left turns the prayer into the reverse
of a blessing. Verily, if these prayer-stones be all paid for,
the devotions of the Tartars must cost them something.
Riding over a tolerably smooth track after our long walks
in the snow-valleys seems easy work, and having finished our 90
sixteen miles' march we were ready after luncheon to see the
Lamasary. Half-a-dozen fat Lamas conducted us into their
church, whilst the others, some old men and some mere
children (where there are more than three sons in a family
one is always dedicated to a religious life) crowded round
the doorway, turning their prayer-wheels and gazing at the
strangers. The church, a square room, was divided into
aisles and chancel by rough wooden pillars. The place where
the Christian altar would stand was occupied by an enormous
highly-coloured image of Avalokiteswara or Padmapani, one
of the incarnations of the Divine Essence worshipped by
'the later Buddhists, typical of all-embracing mercy. It
flung out its great arms on every side, had eleven heads, and
seemed to be highly esteemed by the brethren. But the
walls of the building interested us most, being lately
decorated in the highest style of religious art by artists from
Lhassa. They were entirely covered with frescoes representing, as far as we could make out, the various transmigrations
of the soul on its way to ' Nirvana'—the final emancipation
from the burden of existence—the attainment, according to
Buddhist belief, of that 'Rest which is the end of Righteousness.' One was reminded of the ' Campo Santo' at Pisa,
or the ' Ritual of the Dead ' on an Egyptian papyrus, while
tracing the progress of souls through the eight cold and
sixteen hot hells of Lama legend. Unlike European
mediaeval tradition, however, eternal punishment does not
form part of a Buddhist's creed; indeed the early Buddhists
seem to have imagined that' the pain of living,' and the
manifold miseries of existence, sufficiently expiated the sins CHAP. V.
and shortcomings of man in this fife, and that divine justice
did not require to be appeased by his further endurance of
elaborate and eternal torments. Good souls were being
ferried across calm rivers to very green pastures—greenness
in this arid country is a symbol of life—on the other side in
comfortable four*post bedsteads, while the bad ones were
pursued by our friend the fiery dragon of Chinese teapots.
It is pleasant to find a much greater sense of fun and
humour amongst these people than amongst the Musalman s
and stately old Egyptians we have left. Various other
divine personages, seated cross-legged round the room, had
little saucers of burning ghee or offerings of rice and barley
CD    CD O v
placed before them. We were then taken up to a much
holier and dirtier shrine, where the head Lama put forth his
fingers (but they were not clean fingers) to give us his
"benediction, and suggest the propriety of pious offerings.
These red Lamas are an older order than their yellow-coated
brethren of Lhassa; a certain number marry and live in
the small houses decorated with holy flags and prayer-wheels
and yaks' tails, which we occasionally ride by. A great gong
was sounding for evening service, but the holy men seemed
in   no   hurry.   However,   we  soon had  enough  of   their
•J * CD
company, and left, after admiring their splendid dogs,
Thibetan mastiffs, who bark persistently all night long—but
the race must have degenerated since Marco Polo's time, for
we saw none ' as big as donkeys.'
Saspool, May 23.—Yesterday part of our seventeen
miles' ride was through a fine gorge, violet-tinted rocks on
each side rising out of the emerald-coloured glacier-river, A  LADY S  TRAVELS  ROUND  THE WORLD.     CHAP. V.
till we descended suddenly on the Indus—not the mighty
river we had left down in India, but a wide deep mountain
torrent which we crossed by a bridge between two high
■J O O
rocks, whose upper waters have never been explored by
Europeans. We did not see the golden sands which Pliny
speaks of; higher up the natives do still wash a few grains
of gold out of its deposits, and ' gold mines' are marked on
the map. But better than gold was the smiling village we
soon reached. In this sheltered nook of the Indus valley,
apricots, apples, and even a small kind of grape ripens, and
two crops of barley are sometimes grown in the year. One
certainly appreciates the force of the expression 'living
waters ' here, where outside the cleverly-managed irrigation
works of the village, all is death and desolation.
We followed the Indus sometimes up its steep rocky banks,
round which the path was carried in a precarious fashion on
beams of poplar wood, and found our tents pitched in the
garden of a large deserted old Raiah's house—once the local
magnate of this valley. He has passed away, and nothing
remains to tell of his former splendour but the elaborate
' Chorten' (Pagoda shrine) built by his piety, its gaily-
painted frieze, and the picturesque old palace hard by falling
to pieces. I sat down to sketch while an old woman and a
little child, the only descendants of the great family looked
down at me with wonder from one of its balconies, and a
nun, a Lama girl, came to peep over my shoulder. The
eldest daughter of the house,is generally dedicated to a
religious life, her head is shaved and she wears a red habit
like the Lamas, and never marries.     We came on three   CHAP. V,
nuns to-day in a cornfield, their red dresses amongst the
bright green barley under the apricot blossoms, lit up by the
setting sun, had quite a pre-Raphaelite effect.
Two women minstrels, with large tambourines, have just
sat down before our tent. I never saw such ugly women,
their existence would be a crime anywhere out of Tartary,
and their music is decidedly unmusical; still there is a kind
of tune in what they sing. 94
Leh, May 24.—Yesterday we felt so fresh on arriving at
our halting place that we determined to push on twenty
miles further ; a long hot ride it was, over sandy hills and
desert, the Indus like a silver thread in the distance, till,
turning round a rocky point, Leh rose before us, backed by
the great snow-barrier beyond which lies Yarkand. We
turned into the bazaar, passing through groups of Tartars
taking the evening air, and grave Kashmiri merchants, and
Yarkandi traders in flowing silk robes, to our camp pitched
under some tall poplar trees just beyond the town. After
shaking off the dust of our thirty miles' ride, we dined and
spent a pleasant evening with the Political Commissioner,
and felt as if we had returned to civilisation, for there
were books on the shelves and actually glass in the windows.
Some years ago the miraculous Indian Government
resolved to open up trade with the Ameer of Yarkand
and Kashgar. Sir Douglas Forsyth was sent there with an
expedition, and various people wrote nice books on the ■H
subject, all at the expense of the Indian taxpayer.  The result
was that an English officer was appointed to reside here for
some months in each year to look after British interests, and
the Central Asian Trading Company was established; but
after a vast amount of expense had been gone to (the official
report, a huge volume illustrated with photographs, is lying
before me) and the Queen and Ameer had exchanged civilities, it was found that  trade did not circulate with the expected  ease  and rapidity over   the  frightful   forty days'
march, crossing passes  18,000 feet high, between Leh and
Yarkand.     Sir  D.  Forsyth found  the  Kashgar Valley  a
flourishing Musalman  kingdom, but about two years ago
the Chinese marched in and took possession of their old
province.    Fighting has been going on, as far as we know,
ever since, and of course trade is utterly at an end, the hill
robbers are out and the passes closed.  Ladakh, where we now
are, once formed part of the independent kingdom of Thibet,
ruled by native Rajahs, owing spiritual allegiance to   the
Grand Lama at Lhassa.    It was sometimes conquered by
the Musalman invaders of India,  and sometimes by the
Chinese, till about forty years ago, when native rule was en-
tirely suppressed, and the Maharajah of 'Kashmir is now in
One of the few wise things the present ruler ever did
was to make an able Anglo Indian, a distinguished scientific •
explorer, Governor, or, to use the proper title ' Wuzeer,' of
Ladakh. The province, though large in extent (its frontier
not far from here on the Chinese side being in a somewhat
unscientific state), contains less than twenty-three thousand 96
inhabitants, of whom about a fourth are Lamas; but the
people are lightly taxed and look happy and contented,
different in this respect to their unfortunate neighbours,
the dwellers in the ' Happy Valley * of Kashmir. So these
' Bhotas,' as they are called, are happy and dirty and comfortable, each man growing his patch of barley, which he
year after year ploughs up with the help of his yaks, and
clothing himself comfortably with the homespun wool of
his lanky mountain-sheep, not troubled by ' progress' or
moral advance of any sort. He drinks his ' chung,' a rough
spirit prepared from barley, and marries as many or as few
wives as he chooses; but being of a prudent turn of mind he
generally only takes shares in one along with his brothers,
regulating the size of his family to that of his barley field,
and investing his spare cash in large silver earrings or a gay
silk cap to surmount his pigtail. We went into the bazaar
this morning, but found little to buy ; the people do not care
to make things for strangers.   With some difficulty we got a
little sugar-candy imported from the Punjaub, and samples
of tea in bricks (we had bought the same thing at the fair of
Nijni Novgorod on the Volga) from Lhassa.
This afternoon we have been looking at a ' kyang,' or wild
ass, sometimes called a wild horse, belonging to the Wuzeer—
large herds of this animal are found near the Pangong Lake,
a few days' march from here, but it is rarely taken alive, and
has never been domesticated. A glorified donkey with a
fine Roman nose, not suggesting any resemblance to a horse
except its habit of neighing. It stands 14 hands high, and
is a strong well-shaped animal.    Then we seated ourselves CHAP. VI.
in a sort of verandah and a game of polo began below. A
dash down the street of twenty-five natives mounted on
shaggy ponies covered with gay trappings and their riders'
long skirts, their heads well up in the air and their long
tails almost sweeping the ground. The players were principally Musalmans, but some were undeniable Mongols in
pigtails and flat caps. It was a very warm afternoon ; but
all were clothed in thick felt or flannel tunics, the aristocrats
wearing two such garments to show their wealth and fashion,
and boots of the same material. ■ A wild scene truly, as they
dashed past us, almost bending to the ground over their
ponies' heads in their eagerness to strike the ball. The
native saddle has a high pommel in front, but not the wide
Turkish stirrup. Some very good hits were made and the
riding was very fair ; but we thought the game, owing to the
confined space it was played in, much easier than with us,
the ball simply going up and down, never turning off at right
angles. Once or twice it was hit up into .the air and
alighted amidst a family group on the housetops—and frequently it had to be fished out of the watercourse at the side
of the street. The surroundings were certainly different to
polo at Hurlingham. In front, instead of the Guards' band,
were half-a-dozen native musicians sitting on their heels,
making music on 'tom-toms,' and large trumpet-shaped
flutes, and Chinese cymbals. The flutes, one of them 200
years old, were beautiful pieces of workmanship wreathed
round with turquoise and silver-encrusted dragons, made in
that mysterious city of Lhassa; but no inducement would
persuade the owners to part with their instruments, which,
H 9&
together with the gift of song, are supposed to be handed
down in certain families.
Below us, in front of their shop, sat on a gaily-coloured
carpet, a tea-merchant and his family from Lhassa. His
wife was really a pretty woman, and looked as if she had
just walked off a Chinese teapot. A little further on
were a party of Yarkandi merchants in gorgeously flowered
and wadded dressing-gowns, of Bokhara silk, and high
Russian leather boots; and beyond, a group of Kashmiri
shopkeepers with Persian cast of feature and cunning look.
A few red-clothed Lamas turning their prayer-cylinders
wandered about amongst the crowd, and the housetops
were fringed with Tartar women loaded with beads and orna-
ments. Two balls were broken during the game, and two
riders unseated much to the delight of the populace, and an
old woman with her pot of milk overturned, but no one was
hurt.; and'now that the game was over the people formed a
semicircle under the balcony where we sat with the Wuzeer,
and dancing began. Ten women much bedecked, wearing
scarlet cloaks lined with sheepskin over one shoulder, moved
round and round, apparently absorbed in counting their toes
and their fingers, as slowly as possible in a sort of hop-and-
go-one measure. The position the fingers are held in has a
mystical meaning in this country, where the ancient superstitions and the devil-worship which preceded Buddhism
still hold sway. A most dreary performance the dancing
was, only relieved by the pas seal of an old lady who
stepped out on her own account, and whirled round and round
with many airs and graces; poor thing ! she had seen better CHAP. VI.
days, but too much indulgence in ' chung' had made her an
imbecile beggar. Then some Balti men, from a province
north of Ladakh, wild-looking fellows with flowing locks,
were dragged out of the crowd and made to dance ; but still
it was the same melancholy pacing round and round, twisting the fingers with eyes fixed on the ground.
Hemyss Lamasary, May 29.—This strange place is a
huge pile of whitewashed buildings, grotesquely irregular in
plan, studded all over with balconies and verandahs and gables
and windows, and rows of praying-wheels, of which latter
there were said to be 300,000 within the walls when the
monastery was erected in a.d. 1644. Praying-flags (pieces
of cloth on which magical invocations are printed), Buddhist emblems, the trident-like symbol of Dharma, and high
poles festooned with yaks' tails, decorate the sacred building,
backed up by a rugged cliff, on the pinnacles of which are
perched, like dolls' houses, hermitages and pagoda-shrines.
Turning up a steep and narrow glen, one approaches the
convent through and under avenues of manis and chortens.
We are camped below the main building close to the stream
rushing from what is now a miniature glacier, a large lump
of frozen snow close by. The monks have made themselves
as green as possible in this rocky wilderness, and, wherever a
few feet of level space is to be found, planted willow and
poplar-trees. About noon a solemn -looking Lama, who smiled
grimly when I showed him a sketch of his abode, conducted
us into the courtyard of the Lamasary, round which ran a sort
of cloister fined with prayer-wheels; on one side opened the
church-porch, on the other stood an enormous prayer-cylinder,
H  2 IOO
capable of being turned by water-power, near which we took
the seats prepared for us. The choir, all Lamas, with their
instruments, drums beaten with a curiously shaped ladle,
flutes, cymbals, trumpets, and bells, conducted by a Lama
choir-master wielding a sacred thunderbolt or sceptre, sat
under the cloister, and round the courtyard stood rows of
young bare-headed Lamas, one of whom kept the praying-
wheels in motion, touching them with his fingers as he passed
by to set the stream of devotion going.
But now the miracle-play began. Out from the gloom of
the deeply-recessed porch of the church and down the steps
came five or six Lamas or rather figures off old playing-cards,
clad in gorgeous Chinese satins, with large witches' hats on
their heads, and religious emblems in their hands, slowly
moving round in mystic dance, displaying to the greatest advantage the really lovely satin brocades, stiff with gold and
silver dragon s, of their quaint garments. Then they gradually
twirled their way back into the church to emerge again, it
seemed to us, in a few moments, wearing entirely different
costumes, more gorgeous and beautiful, if possible, than the
former. I never saw such ' harmonious magnificence' as one
mouse-coloured satin tunic, with a gleaming dragon in rainbow colours tangled in clouds of silver and meshes of pale-
green seaweed : it was ' a poem in tissue,' and would have
delighted the souls of our aesthetic friends in Europe. And
how well the strange picture was set off by the background of
swarthy red-clothed Lamas (the red of their flannel robe is
almost chocolate colour), and the rich tones of the dark
wooden balconies lit up by the glorious sunshine pouring CHAP. VI.
down over all. The choir clashed out again in wild music,
and a group of grinning masks—mask painting is an ancient
art and brought to great perfection in China—lions' heads and
harlequins' bodies came down the church steps, and whirling
slowly round, retreated again into the gloom, and came out
dragon-headed. Then lastly, strangest sight of all, a band of
skeletons, the skulls (masks) admirably painted, gnashing
their hideous jaws and shaking their lanky limbs, rushed out
into the sunshine and executed a real ' Dance of Death'
before us. This was the last act in what might be cbnsidef ed
a grim allegory of fife; the various influences that sway
man therein being represented by the masks,—the good and
evil spirits who struggle for mastery over the human soul.
Whatever character each mask assumed, or however splendid
his gorgeous apparel, he always wore on his breast a skull,
wonderfully well executed in white felt. It was just a middle-
age ' mystery ' performed by ' church mummers.'
As the skeletons danced their way back into the church,
we, with the head Lama, rose and followed them up the steps
and into the gloom, where, among great images of Sakya
Muni and other Buddhas, the young Lamas were passing
through a series of ' transmigrations' out of their skeleton
shapes and dragon-masks back to earthly, and very dirty,
Lamahood. We felt much inclined to negotiate for a fine
brass censer, in which incense is swung during the invoca-
tions, but the monks do not care to part with their things.
The splendid vestments had all been stowed away into
their chests, where some of them we were told had been
preserved for more than 100 "years.     We were taken to 102
various shrines and chapels in the convent; in one was a
stack of the religious books of the brotherhood (every
Lamasary prints its own invocations and sacred writings),
roughly stamped on separate sheets of paper and tied up
between boards. Below some of the images a small light
was kept perpetually burning, fed by the ' clarified butter'
dear to the ancient gods of the Vedas. Everything seemed
to come from Lhassa, the spiritual Rome of this country.
' Lamaism is to Buddhism what Romanism is to primitive
Christianity, priestcraft usurping temporal power; the Grand
Lama the Pope, and Lhassa the Rome of its organisation.'
But perhaps Lamaism would be more correctly described
as Buddhism saturated with the wild and dark creeds
of ancient demon-worship, and the fascination that local
superstitions—the gods of the hills and valleys, the deified
powers of nature, exercise over the mind of a simple and
realistic race not capable of finding religious consolations
in the philosophic abstractions of Buddhism. It would be
difficult to imagine a religious ceremonial consisting, as that
we had just seen did, of gorgeous ritual and magical incantations, more entirely out of harmony with the contempt for
externals, the reliance not on supernatural aid, but on the
power of a purified will, to guide through the endless perplexities of existence, which characterised the teaching of
Gautama Buddha.
Leh, May 20. — What between the mastiffs of the
monastery barking all night and the cats running over our
heads, and the melancholy wail of the great trumpets calling
the monks to prayers, we did not get much sleep, and started chap.- vi.
early in the morning (a Lama having first presented me with a
small bundle of incense-sticks), H. and bis Shikaris and
some of the servants to spend a few days up in the mountains
looking for ' Ovis Ammon,' the wild sheep of Thibet, and 1
to return to our camp at Leh with Suddick and the other
domestics. The fatigue and heat of our twenty-two miles'
march to Hemyss the other day had been trying, and after
riding a short way an attack of fever came on, making it im-
possible to sit up, so I was laid on the sand till a litter
was made of one of our camp bedsteads, and Tartars found to
carry it. I do not remember much of the long hot day, and
weary journey of twenty miles across the valley of the Indus,
without any shelter from the fierce heat of the sun, borne
aloft by four Tartars who chanted in lugubrious cadence the
mysterious prayer,' Om, mani padmi, han,' and assured the
passers-by who came to look, that they were not carrying a
corpse, while Suddick riding behind, enjoined caution, as they
carried the litter over the rough ground and across the river,
in various languages—none of which the Mongols under-
stood. I could see.nothing but the great white mountains
that bound the valley (Kunneri is nearly 21,000 feet high),
towering up into the blue, hot, cloudless sky, round which
the strange sights of yesterday and the mystical letters
* 0. M.' seemed to whirl in letters of fire. Once when the
bearers put me down to refresh themselves with a pot of
chung, two holy men came by, one with a bundle of prayer-
leaves under his arm, both spinning prayer-wheels vigorously.
They stopped to look at me and ask for alms (the first beggars we have met in Thibet).    I offered to buy one of their 104
prayer-cylinders. ' Not for fifty rupees,' was the pious answer
as they passed on to exorcise some evil spirits who had taken
possession of a house in the neighbouring village.    .
Leh, June 5.—A tiresome attack of fever has made me
unfit for anything during the past week. It seems strange
that such a malady should exist up here, 11,500 feet above
the sea, where only about three inches of rain fall in the
year. It is sometimes not easy to sleep in such a bracing
climate, but we have never experienced the slightest difficulty
in breathing, even whilst crossing the high passes. One day
I saw the cook with a string of sliced onions round his neck,
and on asking the meaning of his decoration, was told it was
to counteract the effects of the ' poison-flower,' which grew
on that Pass. We asked for some of it, and were brought
a bunch of aconite, the plant to which the natives attribute the oppression and want of breath much felt by some
of them when at a high elevation.    Most likely the head-
CD */
ache that came on after I had bent over the flowers while
drawing them was not caused by their poisonous qualities, but our servant threw them away immediately I had
finished, declaring they were ' bahut kharab' (very bad).
Our pleasant friends, the Wuzeer and his wife and the
Political Commissioner, have been most kind, and the
Tartars quite friendly while I was ill. The ladies of Leb,
dressed in their bravery, come to see me, and stand round
clanking their shell bracelets together—their mode of
' making salaam.' Funny figures they are, in tunics made
of coloured strips of cloth, and trousers, a long red mantle
lined  with  sheepskin   over  one  shoulder,  and very large ■"
blinkers at each side of the face, surmounted, or, rather,
roofed in by a headdress of stiff pasteboard covered with
cloth, and decorated with lumps of rough turquoise, which
reaches from the back of the head to the waist—the most
uncomfortable and unserviceable headgear that even female
ingenuity has ever invented.    They bring vessels of their
o *J tJ CD
favourite chung, which, as I cannot drink, they have to-day
changed for a large pot of ' buttered tea,' a fearful preparation of * brick' tea, soda, salt, and strong-tasting melted
butter, churned up together, and then boiled; but even this
highly-nutritious delicacy I cannot appreciate, so they sit
round and stare while I doctor myself with quinine .and
weak tea, which latter they have very little opinion of,
calling it ' water-tea;' but they would willingly swallow—
having first repeated some magical invocations over it—as
much castor-oil as we could give them.
The dogs, ferocious animals acting as scavengers in the
villages, are troublesome. Yesterday they extracted our
only piece of bacon from a basket. Last night, when half
asleep, I woke up feeling there was something moving in
the tent, and by the uncertain light could just distinguish
one of these gaunt, wolfish creatures standing beside the
bed. He snatched at the unlighted candle (made of native
tallow—delicious food!), and rushed through the tent curtain, carrying it off, candlestick and all. The feeling that
we had only two candlesticks, and that such articles were
not to be replaced in Thibet, armed me with courage, so,
slipping on a cloak and pair of Tartar felt boots, I gave
chase, out into the moonlight and across country.    Luckily 106       A LADY'S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. vi.
the dog dropped the candlestick at the first fence, and I
returned with it in triumph.
H. has returned, having had very little sport: the few
' Ovis Ammon' he found at an elevation of 17,000 feet would
not let him get within shot of them. We have sad accounts
from Kashmir. Two years ago the rice crop, an unusually
fine one, when ready for harvesting, was not allowed to be
touched till the Maharajah's officers had divided the standing
crop, taking a third for the Government, and as much as
they could rob the peasants of for themselves. Meanwhile,
the autumn rains set in, and the entire rice harvest was
lost. From all that we hear and see, there is no Government in this world needs disestablishing as much as that of
the ruler we English set over one of the fairest provinces in
it—the Vale of Kashmir.
The Lhassa tea merchant gave us a glowing description
this afternoon of his native city and the Grand Lama, who,
according to our friend's account, never leaves the walls of
O 7
his palace. A thousand Lamas reign with him, and tea and
chung for ever flow in this abode of bliss! three months'
caravan journey from here. Lhassa is almost the only place
which is still forbidden ground to the traveller; only one
Englishman, a Mr, Manning, has ever been inside its walls.
O * CD*
He got there by great good luck in 1774, and left a short
O J     CD CD
diary of his journey.
Last night, after dinner with the Political Commissioner, a
curious individual, half Lama, half Fakir, was brought in. He
belongs to a tribe of Mongols east of Lhassa, is supposed to be
gifted with second sight and has travelled all over the north of CHAP. VI.
India. The Abbe Hue, who saw something of these wander-
ing Lamas, says: ' Dieu semble avoir mele au sang qui coule
dans leurs veines quelque chose de cette force motrice qui
pousse les mondes chacun dans leur route, sans jamais les
permettre de s'arreter.' These travelling sorcerers, of whom
our friend was one, are allowed to exercise their magic (for
which they can produce elaborate rules and astrological calculations) in the Lamasaries, and are encouraged by the
regular Lamas. One end of the room was cleared, the door
opened, and a wild-looking figure, with bushy hair and gleaming eyes, a cloth wrapped round him, and a rosary, consisting of 108 large beads, in his hand, groped his way in, and
sitting down at the furthest corner of the room, looked sharply
round on us all. His strange language was scarcely understood by the Moonshees, who stood by to interpret for us.
The Wuzeer asked (the newspaper with the account of peace
having been signed with Afghanistan had iust been brought
in) ' What is going on at Kabul ?' The Lama threw one end
of his cotton garment over his head, fumbled with his beads,
and then replied quickly, ' All right there.' We then asked,
' What news from Yarkand ?' (no one knows what is taking
place in that territory) ; again he closed his eyes and veiled
his face, and having muttered something, said, 'You will
hear in seven or eight days'; then suddenly—he was sitting
cross-legged in the position of Buddha—he sprang up into the
air with a wild cry, but did not float or touch the ceiling in
the fashion of modern magicians. Being able to spring from
a sitting position three or four feet into the air, alighting
again in the same cross-legged attitude, is a curious faculty. io8
The great and holy Rishis of Buddhism had the power,
according to early legends, of floating in the air—indeed,
usually travelled in this manner, accompanied by millions of
The Lama magician then made some bad guesses at
how many brothers we had, and prophesied that the company then present would meet again in two years, a prediction which is scarcely likely to be fulfilled. He will not
keep any money given him for himself, always bestows it
on the nearest Lamasary, and is altogether a very singular
personage, whose powers of locomotion—and there is no doubt
he has travelled half over Asia—are remarkable.    .    .    .
'Among this people, too, you find the best enchanters
and astrologers that exist in all that quarter of the world ;
they perform such extraordinary marvels and sorceries by
diabolic art that it astounds one to see or even hear of
them. So I will relate none of them in this book of ours ;
people would be amazed if they heard them ; but it would
serve no good purpose.'—Yule's Marco Polo. CHAP. VII.
Leh, June 12.—H. has decided on accepting the Com
missioner's  offer
Englishman, since the last Government mission made its
official visit, has been there; and since that time the Musalman regime has ceased, and the victorious Chinese are now
in possession. It is a long and difficult journey across
passes 18,000 feet above the sea, and over table-lands where
everything for man and beast has to be carried, not even fuel
being found there; and as this is an entirely unofficial expe-r
dition the travellers would go at their own risk. But as the
opportunity is a rare and fortunate one of seeing a remote
part of the world, I have at length consented to part with
H., so we are hard at work making preparations for his
journey. Two native tailors are sitting outside the tent
stitching away at a ' pushtin,' a long coat made of puttoo
(homespun frieze), and lined with sheepskin, such as the
Tartars wear; a very comfortable garment. The old tailors
are working well; but as Tartar tailoring is strange to me
it required our united intellects to cut out the coat. A boy
Lama has brought some  English  sewing-cotton  from the 110
bazaar, which, as is too often the case with British goods
exported to out-of-the-way places, is high in price and inferior
in quality. Russian importations via Yarkand are much
superior. I am now working on a piece of linen brought
from there over passes 3,000 feet higher than the top of
Mont Blanc, which appears to be a really satisfactory articled
We have been holding consultations with some Yarkandi
merchants and the wise heads of Leh, as to preparations for
the journey. Tartar ponies are being brought up for inspection, to Suddick's great delight. He is never so happy as
when mounted on a steed (' all same like English Sahib'
then) perched on a European saddle with very short stirrups,
his knees nearly touching his chin.
Leh, June 13.—All the town, Buddhist and Musalman,
prayed for seasonable weather—that is, great heat to bring
down the snow-streams—last week. The crops were beginning
to wither on the little terraces down the valley, and as they
entirely depend on irrigation for their growth, it was getting
serious ; so the Lamas, and pious people, with prayer-wheels,
praying-bells, cymbals, and ponderous prayer-books, came
in from the neighbouring villages and were fed, to the
number of 500, at the expense of the Government. They
did ' a vast' of praying, and behold to-day hot weather has
set in, and the stream of the Bungalow is a roaring torrent
filling the little tank hard by, where small Tartars are dis-
porting themselves in the mud. It is well they should have
even a mud-bath sometimes, for the Thibetans never wash,
—not even their hands and faces, like the Musahnans: it
would be considered a most singular and unhealthy thin/ CHAP. VII.
to do. The babies are kept in a bag of dried manure, supposed to be warm and healthy for them, but some parents
run the risk of washing the child's face when it is two years
old, so their really almost fair complexions are tanned by
dirt.    Yet in spite of their uncivilised habits, we like the
cheery good-natured  Tartars  far better than the cunning
The tailors have completed a most satisfactory garment for
H., and are now constructing him a pair of snow-boots made
of felt, ten pieces of which quilted together form the soles, 112
and stockings of the same material. We are also manufacturing his sleeping-bag of felt, lined with thick blanket from
Lhassa; it is quite the best thing for sleeping in on a march,
and we hope he may not feel the stony ground very hard
through it. One of the tailors came up to me and, touching
his ears, made a mute but pathetic appeal for a bit of the
strong English 'housewife' thread with which I was working,
o o o'
to string his bead ear-rings on.    His countenance gleamed
o o o
(through the dirt) with satisfaction when we gave it to
We have watched day by day the building of a shrine,
perched on a rock opposite our camp. It contains three
little pagodas in honour of the ' three precious things'—
Buddha, the Law, and the Church; and is intended to propitiate the wrath of some evil spirits who hurl down rocks
and stones to the great annoyance of the people living below.
From here it looks exactly like an omnibus with three fat
passengers sitting inside.
This afternoon we met a party of coolies come over
the passes from Simla, making their way home to Skardo.
They said they were going to Thibet—pronounced like a
lady's ' tippet'—and had escaped frostbites, which three
poor patients in the little hospital here are suffering from.
Not an imposing, but a useful and truly benevolent establishment is the hospital, consisting of a few sheds enclosed
by a mud wall. The doctor, who unites in himself the offices
of postmaster, meteorological observer, and physician, is a
Musalman, educated in Calcutta, and attached to the political commissionership here of the Indian Government.    He CHAP. VII.
comes to prescribe for me. It seemed strange at first to
have one's pulse felt by a man in a turban, who could not
speak any known tongue.
Leh, June 14.—H. and the Political Commissioner have
started for Yarkand,—God grant they may return safely from
the hazardous expedition. I am to occupy the Commissioner's
bungalow during their absence, and have just taken posses^
sion of its cheerful living-room, commanding a glorious view
over the valley of the Indus; and, better than all, containing
a varied selection of pleasant books and good maps. The
bungalow is a short distance from the town of Leh, but some
of the Maharajah's Sepoys are to be on guard at the door,
night and day. There is nothing to be afraid of, except
the horrid dogs, who sometimes come even up the staircase. However, in a house they cannot awake me as they
did in the tent, by trying to push their way through the
canvas wall against which my bed was placed. They are
strong creatures, and sometimes I felt the bed shake, and
heard them panting and growling in their efforts to force
their way in. Yesterday a traveller, one of the few Europeans
who have this year passed through Leh, had his whole stock
of fresh provisions and sack of flour carried off by the dogs
Suddick is getting some ' kulchas,' native biscuits, composed of flour—with a large proportion of chopped straw"
and mud worked up together—baked in the town to-day;
these, with the tinned provisions not devoured by the dogs,
are about all that the unlucky young man will have to
eat till he gets over the passes. The other day one of the
most persistent of our canine enemies was given a biscuit
I 114      A LADY'S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. vn.
with a large lump of strychnine in it,—I see he is now come
for more, and is running about gaily.    .    .    .
7 O O V
Leh, June 18.—This morning, accompanied by one of
the Sepoys, who always follow my footsteps, I climbed up
to the old palace on the cliff overhanging the town, once the
fortress of the Chinese and native rulers of this country; it
still belongs to the ' queens,' as the three old ladies, the only
survivors of the domestic circle of the last Rajah, are called.
Frowning down on Leh, like a mediaeval fortress, it is imposing enough outside, but once inside the curiously carved and
painted doorway, over which Chinese lions grin down at you
even in their decay, one finds nothing but rough rock and
stone staircases and passages, or where they have fallen
away, still rougher wooden ladders, up which we mounted to
the family chapel, and found a Lama celebrating matins
before a large Buddha, with the aid of the usual devotional
A sort of revival has been going on in Lamaism during
the last few years, and a devout sect of mission Lamas have
travelled through Thibet stirring up the religious zeal of
their brethren and inculcating stricter modes of fife. They
will not allow any woman to enter the Lamasaries after 4 p.m.,
in this matter following out the commands of Buddha when
he, with some reluctance, admitted women into the * order.'
For Buddhism, like most religions (one owns it sorrowfully),
' se mene des femmes,' and attributes much of the inherent
evil of things to their influence. However, as men since the
days of Adam have tried to shift their shortcomings on to
feminine shoulders, one must not expect to find Sakya Muni CHAP. VII.
entirely free from the prevailing unwarrantable prejudices on
this subject.
As we descended the hill another Lama, going up to the
Lamasary on its summit, let fall a leaf out of his bundle
of devotional books, which I picked up, and find is a description and picture of ' Lungta, the horse of the winds.'—
' When the King of the Golden Wheel, the governor of four
continents, mounts the animal' (who in the picture is certainly the wild ass of this country) ' to traverse the universe,
he sets out in the morning and returns at night without feel-
ing any fatigue.' Lungta has the faculty of depriving the
constellations, hostile to men, of their evil influence. ' Lungta
is also the symbol of harmony, uniting the three conditions
of human existence, upon the union of which happiness depends.' The sacred picture is printed from a wooden block.
The art of printing was introduced from China, where it is
said to have been practised long before known in Europe.
H. has sent to say that they have crossed the first pass
(over 17,000 feet) on their way to Yarkand. He was lucky
enough to procure two snow-leopard skins from a Lama in
those high regions.
o o
Living in a house, and not having to fold one's tent and
pass away every morning, seems strange after our long sojourn
under canvas. This afternoon I have had a Tartar woman, a
real country peasant, basket on back, to draw; very difficult
to persuade her to stand quietly; however, some pictures
from the ' Graphic,' which she studied intently upside down,
had at last a soothing effect. Sometimes I have a fashionable lady from Leh as a model.    One much-married person
I 2 Il6      A LADY'S  TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. vh.
consented to sit this afternoon, a rather good-looking woman,
loaded with silver ornaments, turquoises, cowries, and beads,
chiefly wedding presents, of which—as she has been married
fifteen times, and is now looking out for another husband—
she ought to have a fair amount.  The models will turn round
_ o- ^-< _
and stare at me and the mysterious operation of mixing
colours; when they have satisfied their curiosity on this
point they usually fall asleep. One Tartar boy tumbled over,
pigtail, praying-wheel, and all, the other day, while I was
endeavouring to portray his peculiar style of ugliness. . . . CHAP. VII.
Leh, June 19.—To-day I sat with the Wuzeer's wife in one
verandah, while the Governor held 'Durbar' (court of justice
or reception) in the other; he was hearing what may turn out
to be a murder case against the old queen, the chief widow of
the native Rajah, who is now, while the trial goes on, a sort
of state prisoner in her tumble-down palace on the cliff. A
man was ' missing' from one of her villages (the Maharajah
allows her certain districts) two years ago, and about the
same time a body was found, hands and feet tied, in the
Indus. Evidence is forthcoming that she owed this man
a spite, and had punished him unjustly, and that he
was on his way here to complain. The head-man of the
village was being examined (of course all in Thibetan), but
his pigtail nearly stood on end with fright during the examination. Next came a post-bag case. Last week some native,
fond of sweets, sent by post for a packet of them together
with some pearls; one pound of the sweets had been purloined, but the jewels were not touched—the Tartars cannot
resist bonbons. Then came on a divorce case; a pretty young
Tartar woman was being divorced from her second husband
for misconduct. Poor thing! as she leant against the wall,
with drooping eyelids and quivering lips, I thought she
might have stood for a model of the woman guilty of the
same crime brought before our Blessed Lord. But alas! for my
romantic notions, this pretty young person's grief was for the
eleven rupees belonging to her husband, which he is suing
her for, and which most likely she will have to refund.
Two Tartar women servants sat at our feet spinning, and
the  little girls devoured currants and  dried apricots  out
——— 118      A LADY'S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. VH.
of two large sacks on the floor, bought in preparation for
the fair festivities at Hemyss. Various natives walked in
during the afternoon, generally bringing some small present
with them, a lump of butter, half-a-dozen barley cakes, or
a bowl of' chung,' or a brick of tea from Lhassa. And last of
all came the ' sweeper,' the lowest servant in the establishment, and his delicate child of four years old whose life the
Wuzeer's wife saved by her wise doctoring, to inform us that
the lvnx had eaten one of the guinea-fowl. His pale little
daughter, with the Chinese eves, clanked her shell bracelets
O J 7
together (the mode of salutation here) and cast very wistful
glances at a bunch of white roses, brought that morning from
fifty miles off. We gladdened the child's heart with a white
rose and handful of currants. It is quite astonishing how
fond these people are of flowers. When there is nothing
else to be had the women wear bunches of grass and leaves
behind their ears and over their forehead, which, with the
large blinkers, give them a very grotesque appearance.
But one cannot help liking these ' square-faced, skew-
eyed, flat-nosed Kalmucks, with cheek-bones as high as
their shoulders,' notwithstanding their extraordinary matrimonial arrangements. The rule is, that when the elder
brother marries a wife she becomes the wife of all the
brothers, and is further at liberty to take yet another husband
outside the family circle. What becomes of the surplus
women it is difficult to say; there are few old maids, and certainly more monks than nuns. Some think that by a beautiful adaptation of means to ends, nature has provided that
more men than women should be born up here. CHAP. VII,
Our travellers have got over the first pass on yaKt,
their ponies and baggage following up the steep snow-slope
with great difficulty. Now they are in the valley of the
Shyok river, which, being much swollen by snow water,
they vainly tried to ford, and at last had to cross in boats.
Pulgis and the native doctor had been indulging in
too much ' chung,' and the whole party were lying under
an apricot tree (the last they will see for a long time) restr
ing after the pass, when H. wrote. They must now have
left the fertile valley of Nubra, where H. says the wild
roses were magnificent, reminding him of the oleanders of
Greece.    .    .    .
Leh, June 25.—I have nothing to tell of the last week,
having been laid up with another attack of the tiresome ague
fever. A cold and hot fit lasting about six hours comes on,
leaving one quite prostrate afterwards ; however, it is muci
more comfortable having fever in a house than in a tent, and
as this is the third attack, I know how to treat myself, which
is lucky, considering there is no doctor in Thibet—the only
individual with any claim to that name (my late medical
attendant in turban and slippers) being away with our travellers. No doubt there are some Lamas of high repute as
' medicine men' up in the Lamasary on the top of the rock,
but I understand their favourite prescription to be the bones
of a defunct Lama of special sanctity, ground up and drank
as a decoction; indeed, we have been presented with little
tablets made of this valuable preparation, but do not feel
inclined to try it. We are promised a family of the much-
prized beads or pills manufactured by the Lamas, said to 120      A LADY S TRAVELS ROUND THE  WORLD,    chap. vh.
possess the faculty of reproduction if kept concealed for a
certain time. It would be convenient if the Lama alchemists
could multiply pearls in this fashion.
It seems quite a long time since my last morning walk,
following two pretty little'shawl' goats, to reach alovely white
flower that looked like a silver star up on the barren rocks;
while the Sepoy, having luckily left his long sword (but still
girded about with its wooden scabbard), scrambled after me,
murmuring something about the ' Mem Sahib' and the rough
walking. ' However, I got the flower and came down again,
and for the rest of the day had fever, and listened to
that Sepoy saying his prayers sitting under the window.
The 'Dogras,' of whom the Maharajah's army is composed, are, like their master, devout Hindoos; but at
last, getting tired of the monotonous chanting, I sent to
beg that the devotions of the Sepoy might be made a little
further off, or that one of his less religious comrades might
relieve guard.
The orthodox soul of our Musalman servant is vexed
by these idolatrous Hindoos. ' He make him gods no good
at all,' says Suddick, pointing contemptuously out of the
window—but still more bitter is he against the unorthodox followers of the Prophet, the ' Shias,' of whom there are
many in Leh. A religious riot broke out between them and
the 'Sonnees' (orthodox believers) here a few years ago,
and was quelled with difficulty by the Governor, after the
faithful had killed each other freely for the glory of God and
the Prophet. But, according to Mohammed, ' the sword is
the key of Paradise;' whoso falls in battle is at once admitted CHAP. VII.
therein, and has the comfort of beholding the eternal vexation of all unbelievers down below.
Yesterday evening, I consented to try one of the many
remarkable cures Suddick proposes. But bathing my feet in
stewed willow-leaves and anointing the soles with henna has
not, I fancy, been the cause of my feeling better to-day.
Shushot (en route to Hemyss), June 26.—Feeling well
enough to accompany the Wuzeer and his party to the ' Mela'
at Hemyss, the great religious and social festival of the year
here, I started this morning in a sort of palanquin with
twenty bearers, Suddick on his pony—a comical piebald
animal which he considers a fine specimen of horseflesh—and
another pony with my baggage.
A lovely morning, the larks singing up in the clear
air over the small patches of irrigated barley as we threaded
our way through the broad street of the mud-roofed
town, where Tartar women were already astir. Their morning toilette does not take long, as, in point of fact, their
back hair and remarkable erection of pasteboard and tinsel
and lumps of rough turquoise is only undone and reconstructed on very festive occasions, of which this is one.
How they manage to sleep in it is difficult to understand;
however, did not our respectable grandmothers have their
wigs dressed and powdered for special occasions overnight ?
Then out of the city gate, crowded by wild-looking mountaineers and their jonies laden with fresh apricots and
dried currants, come in from far-off valleys. The apricots
are so hard that the owner, without damaging the fruit, sits
on the top of his pile, or smokes, peacefully reclining on a
—— 122      A LADY S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. vii.
bag of currants. And so we passed out of the city of the
living to the larger city of the dead, outside its walls; far
up on the bleak bill-sides stretch long lines of i chortens,'
memorial shrines built of mud and stone, in honour of
' Sakya Muni.' The form is that of the dagoba, the relic-
shrine of Buddhism, which we saw so often in the rock-cut
temples of India; but the never-ending ' manis' are quite a
distinct feature of Lamaism.
Still on down narrow ravines where my bearers could
only just squeeze the dhooly through between the rocks, to
the ' great river,' the Indus, much swollen now by melting
snows. My Tartars carried me at a good pace, only stopping
for a moment to change bearers, and doing the eight miles
in less than two hours. Most of them had put on something
smart in honour of the Hemyss (pronounced Hemis) festival,
to which we are bound ; either a new bright-coloured cap,
or a new charm attached to their old one, sewn up bike a
needlecase in a bit of bright-coloured silk ; some few of them
had actually gone the length of washing their faces and
clothes. Soon we reached a farmhouse belonging to the
Wuzeer, a rough mud and wood-built dwelling with stables
underneath, and good-sized rooms overhead, one of which
I am now writing in. I persuaded one of the women-
servants (who are all got up regardless of expense and personal discomfort, with ever so many pounds' weight of decorations) to unroll the little copper cylinder tied round her
waist, which contained a roll of paper about two yards in
length, painted by the Lamas with gods and symbols, and
■charms of various kinds; amongst the latter the clasped   ■
hand, with outstretched fingers, one sees so often carved in
coral at Naples. The names of the fifty-one Buddhas inscribed on the roll, secure for the wearer an entrance into
' Sukhavati,' that pure and glorious ' Land of the West,' the
popular heaven of Lamaism, where pious souls repose on
never-fading lotus blossoms and listen to the music of the
birds in Paradise. To add to her personal baggage, she had
a small copper shrine, with the figures of one of the Buddhist
incarnations, under glass, also tied round her waist.
The better instructed Lama, in the face of all this worship
of idols and belief in magic, declares that the numerous deities
of his ' image-room' are only embodiments of divine wisdom,
and maintains that Monotheism is the real character of
Buddhism. It may be so, but looking round at the many
gods and their wives portrayed in the religious books of the
people, and on the prayer-flags, blown off the sacred poles
surrounding every Lama's house, which I sometimes pick
up during my morning walks, it is difficult to understand
that a belief in one God can be present in the mind of the
Thibetan. To the nobler natures the creed of their race,
even though it be the grossest Fetichism, may suggest in a
dim way something higher than it expresses—and perhaps
the closer we look into any of the religions that have taken
hold of humanity, the more surely do we find the 'jewel
within the lotus'—some fragment of eternal truth, some
precious seed of higher things—choked and obscured by a
growth of superstitious observances, worthless and meaningless in themselves.
The ball began at 7 p.m. to-night.    We sat on a kind of \l
124      A LADYS TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. vn.
divan at one end of the room, and the master of the ceremonies, a native official at whose house we remain to-morrow
night, on a carpet close by. The dancing was what I have
already described at the polo fete the other day. Half a
dozen men and women moving round the room at the slowest
possible pace, their eyes fixed on the floor. No grace, no
gaiety, the most thoroughly decorous and dull attempt at
mirth that can be imagined. An English quadrille is lively
compared to it. However, they seemed to enjoy it hugely,
and the spectators clapped their hands and called out
' shabash' (good), and drank tea and chung, and managed
towards the end of the evening to make, at all events, some
noise. After which we had another dance, rather more
lively in character, a curious relic of Shamaism and demon-
worship. A' Balti' man (district north of this) performed the
' devil-dance,' a strange wild pas seal, at the end of which,
after much exertion of arms and legs, the evil spirit is supposed to be cast out, and the man falls down as if dead.
Then two other men, holding long scarfs, managed to tie
them up into very clever irnitations of birds with outstretched
wings, one of which the dancers presented to me, dancing in
time to the music all the while. The room was dimly lighted
with oil made from apricot stones.
Hemyss, June 28.—We made a very early start this
morning, at 4.30 A.M. (only nine miles to go), and joined the
stream of pilgrims on their way to the festivity at the Hemyss
Lamasary, with our own cortege, of about twenty souls,
mounted on gaily caparisoned ponies. We passed through a
flock of laden sheep, the first we have seen, though they are CHAP. VII.
much used as beasts of burden in the high valleys; each sheep
carried a load of grain, about twenty pounds, strapped on its
hack, but they frequently manage to get rid of their load and
wander away to browse on the scanty thistles^ the only green
thing to be seen on the bleak stony plain we were crossing.
Rather an ingenious plan to make one's mutton carry one's
bread while travelling in desolate places !
As we drew near Hemyss I wondered at the constant
bellowing of cattle to be heard, but soon discovered it was
the music of the holy trumpets, sometimes six or eight feet
long, announcing our approach; and we found a sort of
guard of honour of bare-headed, bare-armed Lamas waiting
to receive us, their shaven heads crowned in a grotesque
manner by a splendid bank of wild roses hanging over the
rock under which they were drawn up. We climbed a rude
stone staircase into the monastery and were shown our anart-
ments, lately occupied by a deceased Lama, who must have
been a man of taste, as he had made himself a comfortable
Our sitting-room, with verandah opening on the main
road, a track trodden out by the feet of the yaks, where the
crowd of pilgrims are passing to and fro, is" the oratory, and
the household gods are still seated in their niches of
gaily-painted woodwork at one end of the room, small
brass cups of oil and chung placed before them; while a
reserve Pantheon of deities is packed away in a corner cupboard at the other end. A stack of prayer-leaves—loose
sheets of paper with printed prayers—is lying in one corner
near a large prayer-wheel, which I see one of our women- 126      A LADY'S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. Vii.
servants, not to lose time, is already turning solemnly. I
have suggested to her, that, as each turn of the wheel
recites a prayer, by working it a little quicker she could get
through a greater amount of devotion in a shorter time—
hinting that at the close of her religious exercise she might
fetch me some water for sketching with. But she gives me
to understand that the duties of religion are not to be
hurried through in a careless or formal manner—and indeed
Lama ritual directs that turning the prayer-wheel is to be
accompanied by devout meditation—so my sketch must wait
till prayers are over. CHAP. VIII.
Hemyss, June 29.—It is a curious life that one leads in
a Thibetan Lamasary, under the same roof with 500 Lamas.
All the monks from the neighbouring valleys have come in
for this festival of the ' Incarnation' called the ' Tschachu,'
held in commemoration of one of the incarnations of Buddha.
The cockroaches walked about my cell in an alarming manner
last night; however, we are quite free from other beasts of
prey, which is wonderful—whether due to the climate of
Ladakh, or to the ordinance, hung up in our sitting-room (the
oratory of the late Lama whose rooms we occupy), excommunicating beasts of prey, written by one of the chief Lamas,
I do not know, but the fact is that not one of these animals
is to be found, I am told, within the walls of the Lamasary.
We dined with the great gods looking calrnly down on us;
last year's harvest decorations, a wreath of first fruits of
straw and barley, hung on the wooden pillar just over my
head; but the flowers and incense with which every morning
the late proprietor decorated the shrine are now missing,
only a few withered leaves remain, crumbling to dust, as 128     A LADY'S TRAVELS   ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. .vm.
relics of the monk—' cremated' with all due ceremony a few
months ago—who placed them there.
After breakfast I had in a girl Lama (' yellow-cap ' nun)
to draw, while the Wuzeer held ' Durbar.' First came the
son of a great Lama from Lhassa, now here to regulate
the spiritual affairs of the convent, and sanctify by his
presence the festival. The 'red-cap' Lamas are allowed
to marry, and he is one of that sect, and a very important
personage, being an ' embodiment' of another very great
and holy Lama, who died some centuries ago. The son
was an intelligent-looking youth, and was accompanied
by a suite of the brethren. Then came five ' Pundits,'
the officials of Leh, come out here to see the ' Tumasha,'
Hindoos, with the high-caste mark uf their sect on their foreheads, filing in to ' make salaam ;' and then came a ' king '
7 O * O
and his son, as the descendants of the old native Rajahs,
still granted their royal titles, are called. His majesty—who
is extremely devout, and spends all his time in prayer—had
on a curious high funnel-shaped cap, embroidered in gold ;
he was mightily taken with the Wuzeer's musical box, which
was playing ' Annie Laurie ' with all its might at one end of
the room, while the praying-wheel, worked by one of Our
Tartar women, creaked away at the other.
But it was time to attend the ceremonies of the day, and
we descended the steep staircase, and wound our way, escorted
by a retinue of Lamas and servants, through lines of gaily-
dressed natives encamped on either side of the road. All
looked bright and happy, and saluted us. touching the forehead
with their fingers and saying- ' Judh.'    As to the ' fair,' it ^    HEMYSS  CHAP. VIII.
merely consists of a few booths where lumps of indigo and
English needles and cottons are sold. And so we reached the
courtyard of the Lamasary (which I have already described),
surrounded by a kind of cloister lined with prayer-wheels,
the church opening out of it on one side. Every nook and
corner was crowded, and with difficulty we made our way to
the tent prepared for us on the roof of the cloister facing the
church. One wall of the courtyard was covered with an
enormous picture painted on silk from Lhassa of the patron
saint of the monastery, a huge being with three eyes, the
J 7 qd O J 7
third being the ' eye of wisdom.' Below, a sort of altar was
raised, decked with cups of 'chung,' plates of grain, and
fresh roses, in front of which and on the church steps were
ranged the red-clad brethren of the convent, some being little
brown-headed boys, others very old men with just strength
enough left to turn their prayer-wheels. Two policemen
Lamas, in yellow-silk brocade and masks, kept the crowd in
order with short sticks, on one of which I observed a Death's
head carved by way of a knob. The choir just under us
burst out into strange solemn music—the leading horns were
eleven feet long, resting on stands, each blown by a man who
must have had good lungs—the church-door opened and
out came two red-clothed cardinals, bearing large silver
censers full of incense, followed by the same motley procession of masks in gorgeous brocades, which I described on
our first visit here. A little image made of dough and
coloured red was placed on a triangle in the centre, representing an evil spirit, or rather the disembodied spirit of
a wicked man; after much dancing round and round and 130     A LADY'S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. viii.
ringing of prayer-bells and flourishing of sacred scarfs, the
Evil one' was exorcised, and his image cast out of the
Lamasary gate, and the procession withdrew to come out
again representing various deities, or, as the Buddhists call
them,' incarnations' and genii.
The personification of the sacred Trinity of ' Buddha,'
the ' Law,' and the ' Church,' is the most popular representation, but all are sufficiently unlovely. The Deities, about
half-a-dozen in number, personated by Lamas, sat on a raised
bench just below us, choir-boys holding large silk umbrellas
and sacred emblems over their heads, while attendant priests
swung incense and rose-leaves in front of them, and the
red-clothed, mitred choir chanted out prayers and invocations.
But the Tartar love of fun showed itself in the pranks
played on the Olympus bench of Deities, by two Lamas
dressed up to represent mendicants or clowns. While the
attendant priests' backs were turned, these wags played all
sorts of tricks; pretending to pay homage to the gods, they
made sly hits at their sacred noses, and otherwise molested
them, till chased away by a lion-faced mask.
The masks representing the ' dragsheds,' or gods who
protect men from demons, were particularly hideous. Their
countenances are supposed to be inflamed with rage and fury
aerainst the evil ones, and their wrath aggravated by the
many malicious tricks played upon them by the latter. At
one time during the ceremony (considering that it was meant
to symbolise a spiritual combat) the fight became extremely
lively. The gods got knocked about in quite a surprising
fashion, much to the delight of the spectators, who enjoyed chap. vni.   * THE IDOLATERS HAVE MANY MINSTERS.'      131
it as London children do the fight between our old friend
Punch and the bailiff.
Looking round I could not help thinking what a strange
Sunday I was passing. Tier above tier the Lamasary rose,
suggesting a holy mountain inhabited by celestial beings
of various grades. We poor mortals below, still amidst the
turmoil of human existences, while from above in the seventh
heaven the divine ' Embodiment' looked serenely down on
the worlds through which in a series of births he had
formerly transmigrated. A large tent has been erected on
the flat roof of the Lamasary, to which no doubt he will
retire after the ceremony is over to enjoy a blissful 'Nirvana' of repose. From the balconies peeped the faces of
native Rajahs in the high regal caps represented in early
Indian sculpture, and 'queens' glittering in silver ornaments, and the serious countenance of a great Lama from
Lhassa, who is directing the ritual of this ceremony, and
higher up against the blue sky, emblems of the Buddhist
Trinity, and flags covered with Buddhist" invocations; and
still higher, the yellow rocks crowned with hermitages and
small shrines. All round below us the crowd of Tartar faces,
yellow-capped nuns, and peasant women with round-faced
babies, their little caps covered with English needles—a
mighty charm against sickness—all gazing eagerly at the
picturesque medley of movement and colour formed by the
Lamas and their deities; and behind us, filling the wide balcony, the Wuzeer's retinue of officials and servants, the latter
serving round tea in little Chinese cups without handles.
A Moravian   missionary,  come  over  the  snow  passes
x 2 132     A  LADY'S  TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD.   CHAP, rat
from British India, anxious to establish a branch mission in
Ladakh, had joined our party. He was eagerly disputing
just behind me with a ' head-man' of a neighbouring village,
a ponderous Mongol, on the impropriety of devil worship—
that is, propitiating the evil spirits popular in this country.
The Chinese eyes of the big man twinkled with a sort of
grave irony as he replied, ' God made all things, even the
devils; he allows them power to do us harm, we must propitiate them;' and so an argument on the * origin of evil'
is being carried on, while the strange pageant is performed
below, and the choir underneath are chanting in quite Gregorian fashion, and the long horns are making melancholy
music, and I have fallen into a reverie, wondering whether
fear or love—the unquenchable aspiration towards the highest good—or dread of the powers of evil, has most powerfully
influenced the heart of man seeking to solve the unfathomable mystery of existence.
At last the masks and priests vanish into the church,
and the crowd rush forward to prostrate themselves before
the great picture; we take the opportunity to throw down
handfuls of dried apricots, much to the delight of the
natives, who between their prostrations scramble for the
While at dinner this evening we heard a wild chant
drawing nearer and nearer, and on looking out into the
CD 7 o
moonlight, saw four men advancing along the path, measuring the ground with their bodies, a religious exercise,
with a benevolent intention; at each step they cast themselves their entire length on the dusty track, then rising, CHAP. VIII.
addressed an invocation to all created beings to hear and
receive the law of Buddha, and thus ' obtaining the unsurpassed, pure, and enlightened heart,' finally reach ' the
state of him who is delivered from sorrow.'
Hemyss, June 30.—Every morning and evening we are
saluted by the hymn proper for the occasion, played on
drums and pipes underneath our windows (or rather the
loopholes in the wall which answer that purpose) by the
Lamas. I cannot say it is melodious, but at all events it is"
in harmony with the strange worship and weird ceremonies
we take part in every day. We attended the religious'
function again to-day, under the same circumstances as
yesterday. Another picture was hung up for devotion, a
fresh series of masks and costumes played mystic religious
antics before it, and vessels of grain and oil and chung
were poured out apparently as sacramental offerings to the
powers of nature. Then all was over; but what I thought
a more interesting scene took place.
This monastery is endowed with landed property, and
the Maharajah's Wuzeer has control, to a certain extent, over
its temporal affairs. The late Governor says, speaking of
Hemyss: ' In a monastery there are two head Lamas, one
the leader in spiritual matters, the other the manager of its
temporal affairs. I had a great deal to do with the ' chagzot,'
as this latter dignitary is called, of several of the large
Lamasaries. I found them to be men of genial and amiable
disposition, and of refined and dignified manners. Some had
good business powers, and administered a small district
round their monasteries in such a way as both to satisfy the Ilniu
134    A LADYS TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. vin.
authorities and keep the people in good heart. Some of the
monasteries are endowed, some get help from Lhassa, but
the greater part depend on the alms given by the villagers.
At harvest time the Lamas receive from the peasantry a goodly
though unfixed portion of their produce. The monks in their
turn are free in their hospitality to travellers, and ready to
identify themselves in interests with the villagers.'
Like the Greek monks of Megaspelion among whom
we were last year, the Lamas elect their own Abbot;
complaints had been made to the Wuzeer that the Prior in
whose charge the feeding of the monks is, had been a faithless shepherd, and filled the convent bread with chaff; so
the brethren were called together in the courtyard below,
and the examination began. It seemed to be very fairly
conducted, the Governor explaining to the crowd of grave
upturned faces that he was ready to listen to any just
charge. But except one very dirty, very portly, very greasy
old Lama, who most certainly did not look starved, as he
stood before us folding his faded red mantle round him,
nervously counting his rosary beads, and looking out of the
corners of his cunning eyes, no one had any accusation to
make. However, now the Prior against whom our old friend
had made an unjust charge, declared that his feelings were
hurt, and that he would throw up his office. With uplifted
hands he declared himself wronged, and it was not till the
CD 7
Governor had shut him and the head-men of the fraternity
up in the church, desiring them to consult together and
come to a decision (and sent a guard of Sepoys to hurry their
deliberations) that a result was arrived at, and the Prior was   CHAP. VIII.
•5 3
induced to continue in office* All this took about two hours;
meanwhile we made a little tour of the Lamasary, which I
have already described. It was strange, considering that
Lamaism is held to be the most exclusive and narrow hierarchy in the world, to find a Christian regulating the tern-
poral affairs of one of the most important Lamasaries in
One cannot help being struck by the many points of
resemblance, as regards ceremonial, between Roman or Greek
Christianity and Lamaism. Monasticism, vestments, holy-
water, relics, confession, rosaries (which, however, Christianity
may have borrowed originally from Eastern ascetics), are all
in vogue among the Lamas. The explanation offered by the
French missionaries, that ' le diable y etait pour beaucoup,'
is scarcely satisfactory; but perhaps the wide influence
that Eastern Christianity had over the greater part of Asia in
early days may be sufficient to account for the similarity
between Lama and Christian ritual. Till as late as the end
of the thirteenth century ' a chain of Nestorian bishoprics
extended from Jerusalem to Pekin,' and the Jacobites formed
' a church which at one time spread over the East as far as
Sistan, under the Sassanian kings.' The" great reformer of
Lamaism, Tsong-Kapa, who instituted the ' yellow-cap' order,
to which some of our Lama friends round here belong, was
horn a.d. 1355. He may have borrowed largely from Eastern
Christianity. Tradition reports him to have had intercourse
with a stranger from the East remarkable for his length of
nose—believed by Abbe Hue to have been a Christian missionary.    But this only applies to Lamaism, and does not lilt
136    A LADY'S TRAVELS ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. viii.
touch the larger and more difficult question of the analogies
between the history and teaching of Buddha and the Founder
of Christianity. Perhaps the one recalls the other only as
the harmony that the striking of two chords awaking all
that is best in human nature must produce. The keynote
of both Christianity and Buddhism was love.
Leh, July 2.—Having had enough of Lamas, and cockroaches, and queens and church festivals, I returned to Leh
yesterday and found my two old ravens croaking a welcome at
the window, the Sepoys on duty at the door, as usual asleep
(except one who was saying his prayers), and the pleasant
faces of English books the only familiar friends to greet me*
But to-day the Moravian padre has pitched his tent not
far off, and is distributing tracts and picture papers in the
Thibetan language, printed in the Thibetan-.Sanskrit character, to a crowd of Tartar boys, who seem eager to receive
them. Believing in the.magical' property of words as these
people do, every scrap of writing is valued, and may contain
some potent charm, but the majority of the men round here
can read and write their own language in a fashion. The
missionary is an interesting companion and a keen botanist;
he has just brought me a new primula to draw, found during
his journey to the Nubra valley, to visit a native convert who,
it is feared, is not a satisfactory specimen of Christianity.
The Moravian Brethren, or, rather, to call the Society by"
its right name, the ' Church of the United Brethren,' formed
in 1457 out of the wreck of the Bohemian Church after the
martyrdom of John Huss, seems to be doing useful work
•/ ' CD
aided by London Missionary Societies.    The ' Padre' has
lived amongst the Tartars in a valley of the Himalayas not
far from Simla for the last twenty-five years; but though
no doubt he and his colleagues and their well-brought-up
families have been a most valuable civilising element in
the country (they manage a large farm, have schools, and
translate useful books into Thibetan), they have not more
than twenty-five converts. Curiously enough, one of these
is a Lama from Lhassa, who gives them much information as to the monastic life there,—from all reports, now
extremely lax and worthless. To reach the highest degree
of sanctity and utter extermination of ' sense and self,' of
which the last development is ' Nirvana' (personal annihilation by fusion with the Divine Essence), it is necessary to
spend years in profound meditation, or rather abstraction;
for not to think, seems to be the proper way of attaining the
desired end. Generally, some relic or serap of holy writing
is chosen on which to fix the eye, and absorb all sensation.
The young Lama (Christian convert of whom I have
spoken), having led rather a worldly life for some years, suddenly gave it up, retired to a' hole in the rock' near the
Lamasary in Lhassa, obtained a piece of paper on which was
written the Decalogue, and used it as a charm whereon to fix
his gaze in solitary contemplation for five years. However,
not being able to read the ten commandments, they did not
afford him much spiritual consolation, and having tried
various other charms without success, he was ultimately converted to Christianity.
There is a holy man belonging to a Lamasary not far from
here, who is now passing through this exercise of devout A LADY S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,   chap. vm.
abstraction in a cave up in the cliff. He has already sat
and meditated nine years, and his hair has grown so loner
that they say it requires someone to carry it when he stands
up. I must try to visit this long-haired and devout philosopher. The Padre says that the influence of the dreamy
religious philosophy called Buddhism is great, and he confessed that unless he roused himself to Christian activity,
living amongst Buddhists, he would be in danger of falling
into its somewhat attractive quietism.
Leh, July 5.—This afternoon the tea merchant from
Lhassa with his wife and assistant came to say adieu before
returning to their native city. There are really two Grand
Lamas ; one residing in Lhassa in whom the most popular
divinity of Thibet, the great Padma Pani, is supposed to be
embodied. He, the ' Great Pitier,' whose thousand eyes are
open to see, and thousand hands stretched out to aid suffering humanity, reappears on earth as a little child, and is
recognised by certain infallible marks (when permission from
the Chinese Government has been obtained) by the Lamas.
The second Grand Lama, called the ' Teshu Lama,' was a baby
eighteen months old when visited by Turner, the ambassador
sent from India by Warren Hastings in 1784. He describes
finding ' the princely infant seated on a throne,' and was in'
formed that' though he could not speak he could understand
everything.' Thereupon the Englishman made a speech and
informed the sacred baby, * that the Governor-General on
hearing of his decease was overwhelmed with sorrow, till the
cloud had been dispelled by his reappearance in the world.'
' The infant looked steadfastly at the British envoy, and CHAP. VIII.
nodded repeatedly;' perhaps the poor little thing was sleepy.
The Governor of Ladakh managed a few years ago to get a
' Pundit,' trained by the Indian Government as a surveyor,
into the still unknown country round Lhassa, sending him,
disguised as a cattle-driver, in the caravan of some merchants
returning from Leh to that city. He was able to take some
observations, and we have now geographical details respecting that part of the country; but evidently the objection to
European explorers is still very great, for when, just to see
how they would take it, I proposed to my visitors to accompany them back to Lhassa, their countenances fell, and
Madame hastened to explain that such a thing was impossible. We carried on a lively conversation, I speaking
to Suddick in English, he translating it into Hindustani,
which was again translated into Thibetan by an intelligent
Tartar. My Lhassa visitors " had not considered it worth
while to attend the festival at Hemyss, it being 'nothing,
nothing' compared to the religious performance in their
own city, where in one Lamasary alone, 5,000 monks are to
be found. I showed them pictures in books of travel in
Thibet, which they examined very critically, and with great
interest—only they would hold them upside down. Madame
had a thick coil of seed pearls round her head, and her
husband an earring with a really magnificent turquoise nearly
three inches long in it.
This morning while I sat sketehing the gateway of the.
palace on the cliff, where the old queen accused of murder
is, they say, consoling herself while the trial proceeds with
much chung and many prayers, a Lama came by, having 140    A LADY S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. viii.
just performed morning service in the Lamasary on the
top of the rocks, from whence his not unmusical chanting
had floated down to me. He sat down with his instruments
of devotion still clasped in his arms, smiling benignantly,
and watched the progress of my sketch for quite half
an hour. The morning sun falling effectively on his red
garments, shaven head,  and earnest face,  made a good
I^E^-sT^qTy^i jj
pieture; but at 8 a.m. we both felt hungry, and so gathering
our things together went our separate ways after a friendly
adieu of nods, he to his morning meal of ' suttoo' (parched
barley-meal mixed with tea), and I to try and eat the tough
curry Suddick prepares for breakfast, and wish that some good
fairy would turn it into a slice of English bread and butter.
The Wuzeer has to leave suddenly for Kashmir to meet the CHAP. VIII.
Maharajah, he starts to-morrow, and his wife is somewhat
perplexed to-day by domestic troubles. Her Tartar housekeeper, a handsome woman who has charge of the keys, has
already had five or six husbands, but has divorced most of
them. She seems inclined to ' try back' now, and has
chosen to-day to re-marry number three. The marriage
ceremony is simple. A license with Government stamp can
be procured for sixpence, and a pot of chung for the same
amount, these being the only formalities required. But unluckily, number-five husband laid a claim in due legal form
before the Governor this morning for 100 rupees, which he
declares he lent to the much-married housekeeper, and the
result  is  that, instead  of a  marriage  feast, she has been
t CD 7
marched off to prison, and the preparations for the Governor's
departure to-morrow have been thrown into confusion. These
matrimonial complications in an establishment are inconvenient ; but probably the housekeeper will soon be released,
if she promises to abstain from further matrimony just at
It is strange that in this country, where morality is not
enforced by law—people may drink as much as they please
and marry as much as they choose—society does not seem
to. suffer excessively. Crime is not frequent, violence and
murder we are told are rare, parents are good to their
children, and children remarkably attached to their somewhat promiscuous parents. The population is small, and,
they say, decreasing, but we notice a singular absence of
J <J 7 CD* CD
deformity or disease.  • We have only seen one blind and one
lame man, and have only twice been asked for alms. 142
Leh, July 16.—A welcome letter from H. has arrived
this evening from Killian. (}ulinary arrangements are diffi-
cult when crossing the highest passes in the world, but the
journey has so far been made without very much discomfort.
At last I got the Chiprassie, who is always praying, to
show me his book of devotion. He tells me it is a ' rule of
faith,' and has pictures of various deities on the cover. He
is a Ghoorka, and, I suppose, improves the time in what
Suddick calls ' making prayer to own god.' I wish my
attendants and guardians would not sing so much at night;
it appears willow and poplar-trees are infested with bogies,
and it is necessary to warn them off by music. However, as
the six Sepoys have only one very long sword amongst them,
the bosries need not fear.
Leh, July 26.—Five merchants with a caravan of sugar,
English   calico and   English   penny whistles  started   for
o cd Sr J
Yarkand yesterday, a great many pony loads having come
into Leh, imported by a Sikh trader from India. As we
rode through the town the small population were making CHAP. IX.
music with the latter (children are the same in Tartary as in
England). I should like to have bestowed a couple of these
instruments of torture on two little ragged Lamas about ten
years old, small monks of the ' yellow cap' sect, who stood
gazing wistfully at the treasures displayed by the solemn-
looking Sikh, but did not like to venture into the crowd.
I found a plate of apricots and peas on the table, a present
from the ' Moonshee,' who informed me that the latter were
' English' (the seed had come from Lhassa, and they were
grown at Leh !)
Leh, July 27.—This morning, coming in from sketching,
I met a poor old ' Chomo' (woman Lama). She certainly carried out Buddha's instructions as to wearing patched garments ; he directed that ascetics were to make their clothes
of stray pieces of stuff picked up in cemeteries or cast away.
She was very old and small, and poor and blind ; a touching
picture, as she stood trying to feel her way with a long staff
through the stream, lifting up her sightless eyes, and shaven
head crowned with the high peaked yellow Lama cap. My
young Sepoy at once jumped across the stepping stones, and
conducted the little woman into the right path, and as we
were near home I brought her into my willow grove, and rejoiced her heart with a few coins and cakes, after which she
trotted away nimbly down to the town.
Leh, July 31.—To-day we met a caravan, eight ponies
and a merchant starting for Yarkand. The Yarkandi pony
par excellence is really a strong animal, a good deal larger
than the Tartar breed. A few friends had come to say
farewell, grave Musalmans who stood in a row, and as the 144
party filed off to commence the long and dangerous journey,
solemnly (and very devoutly, I thought) lifted up their
hands and eyes to Heaven, to invoke a parting benediction
on their friends, who will take fifty or sixty days to reach
Yarkand. Suddick came in with the good news that a certain 'Abdullah' had just arrived in Leh, having met our
travellers thirty-five days ago, only two marches from the
town of Yarkand, all well.    I quote from H.'s journal,
' Gamp below Saser Pass, June 20.—A long weary ride
up a stiff pass. I changed my yak for the fighting grey
pony, the former having already twice kicked off my saddle-
bags. Hundreds of carcases and skeletons of horses lie
in the track, the skins mostly intact; the dry air preserves
them. Did not camp till 7 p.m. in a cold dreary spot, no
wood or grass, 16,500 feet up. Yesterday wild celery grew
plentifully and I picked some for flavouring our soup. We
have with us eight goats and eight sheep.
' June 22.—On getting up yesterday at 3 A.M. we found
to our disgust that several yak-loads consisting of grain,
presents, &c., had not come in; we therefore had to remain,
where we were. This morning we started at 3 a.m. by the
light of the stars; the pass was very rough and steep and
covered with frozen snow and ice, which would make it
almost impassable for laden yaks after the sun was up; it is
about 17,000 feet above the sea, and is one of the worst on
this route. The yak which carried my tent and bedding,
stuck in the snow, but was extricated, with some difficulty.
On the top of the pass we found some bags of grain aban- CHAP. IX.
doned by some trader whose animals had broken down ; this
frequently happens, and in most cases the owner recovers his
stores on a future occasion intact.
' It was 10 a.m. before all our party arrived at this bleak
camping ground, where caravans having sometimes to wait
some days to cross the river have put up a few low stone
walls for shelter from the cutting wind. The place suggests
the " Valley of Death," and reminded me of Holman Hunt's
picture of the " Scape Goat"; wonderfully coloured rocks—
black, white, and grey all round; the valley dotted with
bleaching skeletons. In the midst of this desolation a few
of our yaks were feeding, apparently, on stones.
' June 23.—It was intensely cold last night, and though
I crept into my sleeping-bag with my " posteen" and
all my clothes on, I could not sleep. We were late in
starting, and had much difficulty in finding a ford to cross
the Shyok river a few hundred yards beyond where we
encamped. E. and I crossed, but my pony being a small
one was carried off his legs; the rest of our party and
the baggage found a better ford lower down. We were de-
layed for some time in a nullah by snow, then, after crossing
and recrossing a river, climbed a steep ascent. I found a
good burral head, which I hope to pick up on our return.
After stopping three-quarters of an hour for tea and a rest,
we had another stiff climb, and then, after a rapid descent,
following the wide bed of a river, we camped on the first
level bit of ground we could find at 8 p.m. It was nearly
dark; there was no grass or wood to be found.    I warmed a 146
tin of soup, and we were not long in turning in. The Kabufi
said it was the hardest march he had ever made.
' June 24.—The sheep and goats not arriving until this
morning, we were only able to make half a march to-day, and
camped at a cold spot near the top of the nullah where it
narrows. The Dak men say the spot is haunted, one of them
having been spirited away while carrying important letters.
The old Yarkandi and his pony, the cook and his assistant
all had " dum." We have some Yarkandi biscuits which were
dug up on the Saser Pass, Yarkandi flour is famous and the
biscuits are much better than the rusks we brought from
Leh, but as they were baked last year and are as hard as a
stone, they have to be broken with a tent-hammer.
' June 26.—Crossed the Karakorum Pass to-day, 18,600
feet above the sea, the highest but, perhaps, the easiest in
the route; saw some Thibetan snow cock. On the summit,
as is usual in Thibet, was a pile of stones crowned with heads
and horns of ovis ammon, burral, &c., with some rags and
horse-hair flying from a pole on the top, to which Pulgis
added some hair from our ponies' tails as an offering to the
' Ghibra, June 27.—A long cold march, the last eight
miles in a snow-storm; very cold last night, two inches of
snow on the ground when we started; saw some antelope,"
and, I think, a wild yak.
' Encampment on the Karahash above Suket, June 28.—
Crossed Suket-diwan Pass this morning, 18,230 feet; easy
going one way, but the return journey will be difficult. Did
about thirty miles between 7.15 A.M. and 9 p.m., ponies very A DIFFICULT  PASS.
tired and done up ; saw antelope and distinct traces of tw<
herds of kyang or wild horse. It was pleasant to descend
into the green valley of the Karakash after the mountain
deserts we have traversed, and find plenty of rough grass for
the horses. The last two nights I have not been able to sleep
on account of the cold ; but it is warmer down here, as we
have descended 9,000 feet.    A horse died yesterday.
' June 29.—Passed Shadula, the old frontier when the
Andjanis held Yarkand; there is a fort formerly occupied by
Andjani troops in the summer, and now deserted. We
camped beyond the fort, and left three pony-loads of grain
and two sick ponies behind.
' July 2.—Just below the Killian Pass. Yesterday a
Yarkandi woman who, with her husband, has made the Hadj
to Mecca, came up; she is tied up like a bundle of rags with
a long veil and is returning to Yarkand. Saw some beautiful sedums and stone-crop, and a shrub like the golden
beriberis.    One of our horses broke down here.
< We came over the Killian Pass yesterday, leaving eight
pony-loads at Shadula. We began with a very long steep
climb up a zig-zag path; half-way up one of the horses gave'
out* When near the top we came to snow, with no sort of
track. We got On some way with difficulty, and then came
to a slope with ice underneath the snow, and a crevasse a
few feet below. I was in front leading my pony, who
twice nearly rolled into the crevasse. While waiting for a
hoe to make a path, a wild dog suddenly appeared round
the corner, with a large piece of horse in his mouth. We
looked at each other in astonishment, but before I could 148       A LADY'S TRAVELS  ROUND THE WORLD,    chap. ix.
draw my pistol he was gone. He was grey, like a very
large fox; the doctor, who had just come up, declared he
was certainly a wild dog. We unloaded the ponies, and with
much difficulty got them over the deep snow up to the top
of the pass ; they lost their legs every minute, for the snow
was eight or ten feet deep in many places. There had
been more or less snow falling since the morning, in fact for
the last few days. We rolled our tents and everything else
that would not be injured, down the other side from the
top, the men carrying things we could not do without (the
store boxes, grain, flour, and all being left on the top), and
then began the descent.
' This we found even worse than the ascent; very steep,
over loose stones, snow, and ice. It was almost impossible
to keep one's feet; the poor horses shipped and rolled over,
some to the bottom; it was wonderful that none of them
bioke their necks or limbs. The man carrying my bag fell
and let the bag go ; it rolled bounding over the rocks to the
bottom; of course everything that could break in it did so.
When we at last got down the worst bit, E. discovered
he had left his pony at the top ; so, after waiting one hour in
the snow for it, I went on with some of the ponies, and after
more deep snow and rocks we came to sandy hills; high
mountains on both sides and the river below. Sedums and
other flowers in great plenty, a pretty cream-coloured sort in
clumps and a very pretty pink one on a long stem, not the
ordinary Himalayan primrose, which was there also; and a
lovely white sedum, like a pearl button with a pink centre.
Often the flower tufts looked like patches of tinted snow. CHAP. IX.
At last about 7 p.m. (we had started at 7 a.m.) we came to
a Wakhanee tent (no one in it) and camped, but found no
wood; and after a bad omelette for supper we went to bed.
Snow and rain all night and next day.
* We were to have started at 6 A-M. for the Wakhanee camp
lower down, where we expected to find yaks to send back
for our things left on the top of the pass, but as usual no one
was up but myself, and we did not get off till 8.30. We
found a party of Wakhanees, but only one tent, and a flock of
sheep with large and very fierce sheep dogs. The Wakhanees
were very uncivil, and would not sell us any sheep. We had
to go on twelve miles to find wood, and then there was
very little of it or grass either. We shot three pigeons,
and Pulgis heard of a sheep on the mountain that had
escaped from a caravan, so he went and shot it. . At last it
was arranged that our own men should go back for the loads
left on Killian.
' July 6th.—Just as we were starting Mohammad Amin
brought in the Wakhanee " white beard," so we had to
wait for tea and conversation. The Khirgiz was a rosy, fair
man (might have been English or Scotch), dressed as a
Yarkandi, and pleasant. He brought us two fine sheep, the
fat-tailed kind, about three times the size of the little Ladakh
sheep. We camped at 3.30 this afternoon, where there was
a mouthful of grass, but no wood. The lad who drove the
two sheep came in to say they were drowned (we crossed
the river every ten minutes to-day); the sheep were tied
together. Next day (July 7) we reached Killian fort and
village, a weary ride  over  sand;  crossed  the river once i5o
- by a shaky bridge; the nullah soon afterwards opened out
into a wide sandy plain, only green by the river banks.
The head-man and a party met us about three miles out
of Yarkand territory, and we sat down to a " dastar-
khan," a native " spread," literally a tablecloth, and had tea.
Camped at 3.30 in a shady place under apricot trees (very
hot); then presents were brought, but none by the head-man.
His factotum, a Chinese interpreter, is just out of prison (he
told us this before his face). It is at last settled that the
brother of the Kurdwar of Nubra is to start at once to Yarkand city with our letter; he will be there in two days, so
we ought to have an answer in five or six. I hope you may
see a caravan arrive in Leh; there is one ready here, belonging to a Kabul trader, waiting, he says, for his passport. The
fact is that a small bribe must be paid for it, and he waits
for others to join him in paying this.'—End of extract from
jET.'s Journal.
This afternoon, one of the officials of the town brought
me a large dish of apricots, which I gave Suddick to take
downstairs to the Sepoys, but because I had put the fruit on
a dish which we Christians—bacon-eating unbelievers—had
used, he said the Musalmans or Hindoos could not touch
them ; so to prevent them being thrown away I ordered them
to be given to the Tartar servants, who are more sensible
than the Kashmir Musalmans and have not adopted the
stupid system of Hindoo ' caste.' Suddick is an intelligent
man, but I can see he thinks it better that the 300 children
the good missionary has rescued from death by starvation at CHAP. ix»
Srinagar, should be left to starve than be fed by Christian
O 7 %i
hands. The religious hatred with which the Musalman
regards the Christian is perhaps as strong as ever, and the
blighting influence of the fierce and fatalistic creed of Islam
as antagonistic to all progress and civilisation as in former
days. Suddick is quite relieved to find that ■ the Sahib'
started for Yarkand on a Saturday: ' Nice day, Mem Sahib.
God always bring back man safe when he go Saturday.'
Leh, August 4.—A letter just come in from H.:—
' Great luck so quickly and unexpectedly. Messengers
arrived this evening, having ridden in two days 100 miles,
from Yarkand, with a civil letter from the Governor inviting
us there at once. We start to-morrow and are rewarded for
our long journey.'
So I trust they- have made good use of their eyes, and
had a pleasant time at Yarkand, and are now on the return
Quite a heavy shower fell this afternoon ; it was amusing
to see the consternation of the natives at the unusual sight.
One of the women drew me out on the verandah to point
with dismay to the tiny pools of water and exclaim ' bahut-
pani' (much rain). But indeed it is rather serious for these
dwellers in sun-dried mud-brick houses, for there is a general
collapse of tenements in the town after a heavy shower. The
flat roof, composed of mud and sticks, of this house is being
carefully watched lest it should melt, and I must keep an
umbrella at hand to-night.
Just now my solitude is enlivened by a variety of strange
sounds.     One of the Sepoys has unluckily bought a kind 152
of concertina, lately imported with the penny whistles and
other musical instruments from ' down country,' and is squeaking indefatigably under the window on it. A great raven is
sitting on a branch close by, croaking in a melancholy dirge
for his companion shot this morning. The ' Chiprassie' is reciting his prayers in a shed not far off. Suddick is singing
in a high falsetto voice one of his national songs about' The
Rose of Kashmir,' and as an accompaniment to all, a yak
feeding under the willows is grunting, like a pig with a
powerful bass voice.
He writes:—' Yarkand, July 17.—We got to Borah on
the 10th, having had much trouble in crossing the Killian
river, swollen by heavy rain. Two of our ponies were
carried off their legs, and one of the Hadjis (pilgrims returning from Mecca), four of whom had joined us, with
his horse was washed down some way; but the man stuck
to his horse and would not leave his bags, so they were all
O    7 «/
pulled out together.
' We got in at 6.30 that night, and slept in a sort of open
bungalow. Quantities of fruit everywhere; there was water
for irrigation, but we crossed a good bit of desert on the way.
' 1 got a bad bite in my thigh from one of the ponies, a
little half-Arab stallion, quite quiet to ride, but always fighting other horses. He rushed open-mouthed at my horse and
bit me badly; luckily I had my mackintosh and thick cloak
on, or it might have been-serious (the wound was as large as
the palm of one's hand), and I could not walk for days, but
am ali right now. Next day we got to Kargalik, a large
place with a bazaar, and  very fertile  country round  it. CHAP. IX.
It supplies Kashgar with corn. To get there we had a
weary ride of twelve miles through desert, and we saw the
most perfect " mirage " imaginable. A green valley with
poplars, willows, and water, all as plain as possible, which
faded away as we approached, but accompanied us till we
got to the reality. It was, at all events, pleasant to look
at. On getting to Basharuk the first Chinese official met
us, a native of Kashgar, but in Chinese dress, with the
official hat—a black cap with long martin's tails sticking out
behind. The tails are carefully kept in a leathern case, the
servant putting the cap on when riding, with a handkerchief
over it, giving that on his head to his master.    This is how,
7   CD CD s
on all occasions, they were carried. The length of the tails
shows the rank of the individual.
' The Celestial official had a table-cloth, the usual dastar-
kau, spread under an immense sycamore tree, and was very
eivil. I sat down and refreshed myself with tea and hard-
boiled eggs and fruit, and then amused them by showing
OO 7 «* CD
some of my things (pistol, map, &c.) until E. came up. I
wanted to send you a dak, but was told it would not look
well, and would excite the suspicions of the Chinese.
' We rode through the town of Kargalik to the house
prepared for us. A courtyard, a verandah, with divan and
raised dais all round nicely carpeted, where we sat in state,
the officials squatting below, all drinking tea. The same
ceremonies were repeated at each halting-place. At midnight a trader came in from Yarkand and said the river was
very much swollen, and he had to leave bis loads behind him.
So E. decided to wait a day;  however, it was discovered I
that the water had fallen so much we might have gone on,
instead of which we lost a day.'
(Had H. only followed this Yarkand river to where it
flows into ' Lob' Lake on the edge of the terrible Gobi
Desert, impassable for man or beast, he might have seen
wonderful things. For native.tradition asserts that in olden
times a young man of Lob went in his boat to explore the
river beyond the lake.    After going down the stream seven
«/ OO
days he saw a mountain ahead, and found the river enclosed
in a ' frightful black and deep chasm' in the rocks. He
tried to stop bis boat, but the swift current carried it into
the chasm, at the further end of which he saw a small
black hole in the mountain, and had only time to lie down
in his boat when it was drawn into this dark tunnel. The
top of the boat scraped the rock, and when after a long time
he emerged from the darkness, the bottom of the boat was
strewn with nuggets  of gold.    He  continued  his  voyage
OO O •/     O
down the river for*some days, and landed in a country where
the people had only one eye in the middle of their foreheads,
with whom he sojourned for some time, and finally made his
way back, an old grey-bearded man to bis own land of Lob»
His descendants still live at the junction of the Yarkand
or ' Gold' river—which H. crossed—with the main stream
flowing into the mysterious Lake Lob.)
' We started with camels the day after, lent to us as well
as ponies, leaving our tents behind, and our own ponies to
rest and fatten (another one had died at Killian), and got to
Posgam at 3 p.m. next day, and sat under a canopy till our
■baggage  came in three hours afterwards.   Everyone very CHAP. IX.
civil; great amount of formality; orders having been sent
7    CD *J   * CD
from Yarkand that our ponies and ourselves were to be provided for free of expense. Presents of fat sheep, chickens,
bread, fruit, came in, but the servants benefitted more than
we did.   Insects very bad at Posgam.
' Next day (July 14) we got to Yarkand; very fertile
country; splendid sycamore and mulberry-trees, poplars,
willows, &c. (very like Hampshire, but for the people and
crops). Away to the west fine blue mountains with snowy
peaks. Rice, cotton, Indian corn, grapes, melons, and a
profusion of fruit trees, large herds of sheep and cattle, and
great numbers of fine donkeys* Everyone rides here ; we
met lots of people riding out of Yarkand, strong healthy
men, but great cowards, or they would not allow the Chinese
in their country a day. A great many unarmed Chinese
soldiers of the " Southern Army," wearing enormous broad-1-
brimmed hats ; they are the greatest ruffians out, and under
no control.    One of them took my big rifle away from the
*/ CD •/
Yarkandi servant who was carrying it, who actually never
rode on to tell us so. When I found it out in Yarkand, the
rifle was at once sent after and recovered at Kargalik, and I
got it to-day, apparently uninjured, so I may think myself
lucky. We crossed the Yarkand river in a ferry, and were met
shortly afterwards by the Chinese officials of the town. Tea
and Chinese bread stuffed with onions was repeated. We
got here about 3 P.M. They put us into a sort of summer
house; nice open verandah, with the usual broad carpeted
divan, chintz hung round the walls, one room inside, and
another which Pulgis and the Doctor had." I occupied a 1
big blue and yellow Chinese tent in the garden. We refreshed ourselves, and shortly afterwards were sent for by the
" Amban" (governor). Sending for us so quickly was considered a great compliment. We rode to his official residence
and were at first received by some minor officials, and afterwards by him. He was very civil and shook hands in a
friendly manner, " glad to see us and make friends." Then
E. talked business and was referred to Kashgar. The
Governor of Kashgar had invited us there, and it was quite
arranged that we were to go, with an official to protect us
from the villainous soldiers, but it does not seem so certain
now. One day we are asked to go there, and the next we
are told that fighting is going on, and it would not be safe.
One thing is certain, that my friend's questions respecting
" better communications with India," " a telegraph," and
■" no hindrances put in the way of caravans," will have to be
referred to Pekin, and they all tell us that we shall have to
remain at Kashgar until the answer is received; this might
delay us, as in Shaw's case, some months. The next day two
soldiers coolly walked in after breakfast, took possession of
our house, and made themselves quite at home. Just then
the "Hakim Bey" (second in authority) called to see us.
One of the soldiers sat down by bis side, fanning himself,
and argued in a loud voice with the Hakim Bey, who seemed
powerless to do anything; everyone is afraid of them. I
wanted to turn them out, and I believe it would have saved
us a lot of trouble, but E. (who knows them of old) said
there would be a fearful row if we touched them. They sent
ibr an officer, and we were told afterwards that the man was CHAP. IX.
put in irons and punished. Shortly afterwards a lot more
arrived ; dirty undersized men, all dressed in white. Hakim
Bey asked us to his house, and while there the house next
door was prepared for us. The Amban (by the way, he
is a Roman Catholic from Pekin, one of the few Chinese
Christians in power) said he could protect us in the city,
but not in the country; however, parties of soldiers walk
in whenever the outside door is left open, and make themselves quite at home. We have visitors all day long. The
Amban was to have come yesterday, and great preparations were made for him, but after waiting for hours the
second Celestial authority came, with a large following, saying
«/ ■» o o *       ■/       o
the Amban was unwell. He stayed a long time; E. tried,
but hopelessly, to get anything out of him ; showed him the
map, but he was profoundly ignorant of every country; they
look intelligent, and are fond of talking, but too conceited
to learn anything about any country but their own. Of
course they could not understand what brought us here, but
»/ O
the talk is, in the Bazaar, that we have been very well received, and seeing how the wind blows, traders from Kabul,
Kandahar, and Kashmir come flocking in to pay their respects. They complain bitterly of the present Government,
but I expect they are all as bad as it. I have bought three
carpets (they are really praying-rugs); they seem afraid to
bring things to sell. The Amban has been here to-day, and
was civil enough, and thought we might go back to our old
CD      * CD CD CD
house (more comfortable than this), but we remarked that
the soldiers would come in. He laughed and seemed to
think that of little consequence, and offered us a guard, 158
but acknowledged that our defenders  might be trouble
Had H. gone on to Kashgar he would have passed near
the buried cities—remains of ancient civilisation swallowed
up ages ago by the sand-waves' drifting in from the surrounding desert. Some times a contrary wind lays bare for
a time minarets and domes and palaces, with the skeleton
forms of their ancient owners still retaining the exact
position they happened to be in at the time they were
overwhelmed by the great sand-wave. Bricks of tea, and
glass ornaments, and pottery, and even matting—supposed
to be 800 years old—were found by Dr. Bellew in the mounds
which mark the site of these buried towns. And still the
sand-wave drifts on, and the inhabitants of the edge of the
desert are as loth now as formerly to believe that it will one
day engulph them. Sir D. Forsyth mentions a house over
the back wall of which the sand-wave had broken .and filled
the courtyard.
Leh, August 16.—H. arrived to-day, having made a very
quick journey of only twenty-one days from Yarkand. He
is quite well, but looks rather thin. As Suddick remarks,
' Sahib not get right dinner in jungle.' He has really had a
most successful and interesting expedition, notwithstanding
the extreme difficulties of the journey. Only about fifteen
Englishmen (or, as far as we know, Europeans) have been in
Eastern Turkestan since Marco Polo traversed it in the
thirteenth century. Mr. E. returns to-morrow. H. came on
in advance. They have lost six ponies out of their caravan
of thirty.   Five died and one was drowned—washed down a CHAP. XI.
river, with its load of grain, before their eyes, but they could
not save the poor beast. Indeed H. helped to pull one of
the party out of the water—a cooly who was floating down
the current, not making an effort to save himself.
He has just given me the Commander-in-Chiefs card,'a
bit of crimson tissue-paper, with the name, and ' sends you
salaam from the heart,' on it, in Chinese characters. The
great General came to call in a sort of little costermonger's
cart, drawn by a pony with the shafts up to his ears, in
which the hero sat, while an attendant held a huge umbrella,
and his suite followed—an escort of ' all arms,' some with
old rifles, others with pikes, and what seemed to be sickles
at the end of long poles. Indeed H. found the Chinese
army little altered since that adventurous traveller Abbe Hue
wrote of it nearly fortv-five years ago. He was informed
when in Thibet that the war against the Musalmans of
Kashgar had been successfully terminated by the great
Mandarin, General Zang, whose prodigious length of beard
struck terror into the heart of his foes. When about to
engage the enemy he would tie this up into two great knots,
and rushing to the rear of his army with a long sabre, would
drive his troops forward to the charge!
As the good Abbe drily remarks: ' Cette facon de com-
O •/ *
mander une armee parait bien bizarre, mais eeux qui ont
vecu parmi les Chinois y verront que le genie militaire de
Zang etait-base sur la eonnaissance de ses soldats.'
One day a Chinese dinner arrived; numberless little
dishes, in a long wooden case like a coffin with handles at
each end, some of them rather nice; but when H. thought i6o
he had exhausted the 'menu,' behold, the upper compartment was lifted up, and a second story of good things had to
be explored. The Amban sent a present of tea, supposed
to be priceless and not to be bought in the market, some
of which H. has brought back, and says it is excellent.
After they had been some days in Yarkand, it dawned on
the Celestial authorities that the ' foreign devils' came from
a place called ' Hindustan.' Of England they had never
heard, though the existence of a locality called ' London'
they had a vague impression of.
The fine yaks, black, with bushy white tails, are just
being unloaded, and relieved of two rather pretty Yarkand
rugs, one made of silk, H. has brought back; but he could
get nothing in the way of curiosities in Yarkand: things
O O */ 7 o
have not yet sufficiently settled down since the CJhinese
invasion. At all events the conquerors have established
themselves very firmly in the country, and it is not likely
that a Musalman dynasty will again succeed in getting
the upper hand.
Leh, August 17.—There has been 'Tumasha' this afternoon on account of Mr. E.'s return. The Sepoys and town
authorities went out to meet him, and had a great tea-
drinking on the roadside. The Lamas up on the cliff are
slowing their sacred horns. I can see their red garments
and shaven heads under the Old Palace. H. and I went for
a stroll, after saying adieu to our kind friend the Governor's
wife. On our return in the twilight we noticed a crowd
round the Commissioner's bungalow, and, to our amazement,
found my peaceable Sepoys ' armed to the teeth;' one at ■■Ml
our door had actually a sword and a gun of some sort. On
going to see what the matter was, we found that the treasurer
Pulgis had been robbed of three ' yamboos' (Chinese bars of
silver) on the journey. He accuses one of the servants, a
young Hindoo, of the theft, as two of the Tartar drivers
*J O 7 3
declare that the latter opened two of their yak-loads and
took something out this afternoon.
It was a very picturesque scene in the moonlight round
the bungalow.    About thirty yaks, with their wild Tartar
O •/        %f 7
drivers, formed a circle round their loads, which Mr. E. and
the town authorities were searching for the missing silver,
while Pulgis, gesticulating ferociously, and the young Hindoo,
O     ? O o <J' »/©
his dark face livid with rage, stood by. Just as we came up
he had pulled the long Ghoorka knife out of his girdle, and
tried first to stab Pulgis and then himself. Fortunately it
was wrenched out of his hand, and a Sepoy brought it up,
the long steel blade flashing in the moonlight, to show me,
while H. went to assist Mr. E.
Basgo, August 19.—We left Leh at 6 A.M. this morning,
H. riding his handsome new pony—having originally come
from Yarkand, we have called him ' Amban'—and I on my
old friend ' Khyber.' 1 am really quite sorry to leave Leh, and
the kindly Tartars (whose frank, independent good nature
grows on one in spite of their never washing their faces),
and the jolly-looking Lamas, and the mild-eyed figures
of Buddha, and the cheery much-married women, and the
solemn-faced baby monks and nuns, and the pigtails and
praying-wheels, and the pleasant climate and grand snow-
mountains. Our Tartar friends pity us for having to quit
Thibet, and descend to what they consider the unhealthy and
disagreeable Valley of Kashmir, which, as well as. its poor-
spirited and oppressed inhabitants, these hardy and independent mountaineers hold in contempt; and, indeed, we
are told that a native of Thibet rarely fives long 'down
country.' Some of our acquaintances from Lhassa, to whom
we proposed a visit to Calcutta, seemed to regard with the
greatest horror a sojourn in the fever-stricken plains of
Bengal.    Long may the Ladakis, undisturbed by the rapa- early peasants. ' Salaam,' the pious Musalman says to us, but
' Salaam Aliekoum * to Suddick, the true believer behind us.
The c Ramadan' is just beginning, when for forty days
no Musalman can from sunrise to sunset eat or drink anything whatever, and not even during the long hot day let
a drop of water pass his lips. However, I am glad to say,
for the sake of our servants, that a dispensation is given
M 2 164
I fl
while travelling; but the fast must be strictly observed at
the end of the iourney. So night is turned into day and
day into night by all true believers during Ramadan, as we
mf CD *J CD 7
observed when at Constantinople.
We had a, long march before us, so trotted on briskly out
of the mud-walled gate of the bazaar, where thirty-eight
O 7 «/ o
years ago the traveller might have seen the ghastly spectacle
of a skeleton hanging up—that of a Tartar executed by the
Maharajah's government for having killed and eaten his
own yak. Till a few years ago, when the punishment was
changed to imprisonment for life, death was the result of
indulging in beef of any kind. It is five months since we
have tasted the sacred cow.
We lost our way by following a wrong track over the stony
•/ ml .        O O J
plain, and had a hot walk up a steep nullah to rejoin the
high-road. An Indian ' Fakir'—a wild-looking creature with
no clothing to speak of, his brown face smeared with white
mud, and his long lank hair dyed  red to make him ex-
7 CD J
tremely repulsive to look at, and therefore very holy—was
sitting by the  stream  eating his midday  meal.     I care-
CD V CD •/
fully avoided letting my shadow fall on his single meal
in the twenty-four hours, but the holy man took up a
piece of his chipattie and offered it to me; the intention was
no doubt good, but it would have required enormous courage
to have tasted it.
It was very hot. An old woman and her young Lama
son were sitting under the shadow of a great rock, having
taken off most of their clothing {in fact the Lama was only
dressed in his rosary) and laid themselves out to cool, but CHAT". X.
made a hasty toilette as we approached. We could do little
more than three miles an hour over this sandy stony track,
and were glad at last to see our white tents pitched under
some apricot trees in the distance near a village. Everywhere the people are gathering in their little fruit harvest
as I passed under the trees a large brown hand full of golden
apricots was stretched down to me from amongst the green
branches, and, looking up, I could just see the smiling face
and shaven head of a ' chomo' (nun).    ...
Lamayuru, August 21.—A long hot march up the
Fotula Pass to-day (18 miles), leaving the Indus valley and
the mighty river to roll through unexplored mountain
regions, where the fierce mountain tribes will not allow
travellers to visit the interesting Greek Buddhist re-
mains of ancient temples, said to exist in their valleys. At
last the Indian Trigonometrical Survey have been able to fill
o «/
up the blank space in their maps, having sent in one of their
trained natives to make the survey—a dangerous but successful undertaking.
Rain came on this evening and our baggage drivers have
O OO   o
been making trenches in all haste round the tent. Very
picturesque was the scene just now as they started in the
bright moonlight. Ten jet-black yaks with white bushy tails
stood in a circle, grunting and grumbling while the Tartar
drivers—all screaming at the top of their voices—adjusted
the loads, and Suddick's long legs and white turban darted
about amongst the pigtails and round caps. At last off they
file, up the hill, crowned at each point by the Lamasary
buildings, every man carrying a tent-pole like a lance in his 166
hand ; and we turn in to sleep till Suddick's voice wakes us
at 5 a.m. to-morrow.    .    .
Karbu, August 22.—This afternoon the * Moonshee' of
the village came to invite us to the weekly game of polo,
bringing two of the ponies for us to ride over the watercourses down to the polo ground. Now it is not easy to
perch oneself with ease and dignity sideways on a high-
peaked saddle—a knife-board with a thin bit of carpet over
it—but I tried to look quite happy and accustomed to that
kind of mount, as we rode across the sandy course, and were
led to our seat, a rough stone wall under the shadow of a
large ' Mani' covered with inscribed stones. The band, a
tom-tom and two flutes, discoursed awful music in front of
the spectators (ourselves and two yaks), and then the fifteen
players, mounted on little rough ponies, with high saddles and
very short stirrups, began the game. A goal was soon made
by a clever Tartar, but unluckily his tiny pony pitched him
over the stone wall at the end of the ground, and leaving his
O 7 ft.
luckless rider, galloped up the mountain in the direction of
the nearest glacier. After the game, which was played with
spirit, the- players dismounted, and throwing down their
polo-sticks in a heap, formed a circle in front of us, and
began the national dance. A large pot of chung was brought,
O OX O o ?
and everyone produced the little wooden drinking cup which
every Tartar carries, but there was no excess of any kind.
Then we left, and there was more polo, and more dancing,
and after a cheery 'meeting' they all rode back to the
Sonamarg, August 28.—An interesting ride (24 miles) CHAP. X.
yesterday. At first up a pretty mountain river through an
Alpine glade, which two months ago must have been
a real garden of flowers; brushwood, and clumps of dark
juniper from which hang festoons of clematis, and a lovely
wild rose with golden autumn leaves and brilliant with coral
hips, cover the ' savage sculpture ' of the rocks. Sometimes
it reminded us much of the Upper Lake of Killarney,
only generally a glacier lifted its icy shoulder somewhere
%J      O ** CD \J
against the horizon. At length we reached the top of the
'Zoyila Pass' (11,000 feet) by an easy ascent, and led our
pOnies over the glacier river, a wide frozen ice barrier underneath which one heard the dull roar of the water, and
after a short stiff climb halted at the summit close to the
usual pile of stones decorated with rags and branches and
horsehair; votive offerings of passing travellers, who, when
they have nothing else to offer, pull a hair out of their pony's
tail and tie it on. The view was beautiful over the valley of
the Sind river ; the steep sides clothed with forests of dark
green firs, through which little mountain streams tumbled
down in clouds of feathery spray into a fertile valley, which
gradually opened out into the Vale of Kashmir, now a sea of
soft blue haze down far away below us.
When the moon rose H. and a few natives crept through
the pine-woods into a little field, and waited for some time ;
but no bear appeared. This afternoon we again went in
search of bears; a lovely ride through the green trees
(splendid spruce firs), up to a sort of Alpine valley, bounded
on all sides by magnificent cliffs and shining glaciers, looking
down on a fairyland of flowers and ferns, in which stood 1.68
knee-deep enormous walnut and sycamore trees. Even
that fastidious young Prince Rasselas might have been
content to spend his days in this really ' happy valley.'
Ganderbal, September 1.—Raining this morning, but
quite warm, and we decided to go on. So H. and I started
in advance, and unluckily took a wrong turn up the hills
—-the track is often difficult to distinguish—and lost our
way in the mist, till found by the anxious Suddick. A holy
Musalman Fakir lives not far from our camp; from what
we can make out he is subject to epileptic fits, and is therefore believed to be inspired. The Maharajah (though a
Hindoo) came with a great company of horses and servants
to the holy man, to ask for rain, some years ago. ' Am I
God to open the fountains of Heaven ?' answered the Fakir;
' but go your way, take care of your smart clothes, for the
rain is coming.' And the rain did come, and ever since the
Maharajah sends a present yearly of goodly things to the
hermit up in the hills above our camp.
Srinagar, September 2.—We are again in the ' City of
the Sun,' rebuilt by Rajah Raravarasana about the sixth
century, and a flourishing Buddhist kingdom when the
Chinese pilgrim Hiouen Thsang spent two years here studying religion. Our road to-day led us across one of the
curious gravel banks, remains of an ancient beach, when
the whole Vale of Kashmir was a lake, inhabited by nagas
and other mythical monsters; and by a curious little old
Hindoo temple, carefully defaced and destroyed by the
Musalman conquerors. So little appears to be known about
the ancient remains in this country, that one looks with CHAP. X.
curious interest on the trefoil arches, almost Gothic in design, and fluted pilasters, and entablatures recalling Greek
o .t * o
art, or perhaps the classical style of ' Great Anna,' and wonders what sort of people the worshippers of the sacred
serpent were who built them. After all, the present oppression of Islam by the Hindoos may be the ' great principle of
compensation,' which seems in the long run to balance
human affairs, asserting itself. In the last century the
Musalman ruler, it is said, ' killed the Hindoos like birds ;'
and certainly the fanaticism of the faithful destroyed almost
all the beautiful Buddhist and Hindoo temples in the valley,
whose carved stones one sees built into the tumble-down
wharfs on the river bank.
Srinagar, September 4.—There are very few English
visitors in Kashmir this year, but it is delightful being in
•/ o o
civilised society again. We sometimes have real' Russian
campaigns' with friends; warm discussions as to the probability of an invasion of India. Those who, like H.
and others, have a personal knowledge of the subject and
have seen the Passes, think such an event most unlikely
and almost impossible to occur; but a large class of politicians are firmly persuaded that the dearest wish of the
Russian heart is to march, not to Constantinople, but on
Calcutta via the Khyber or Karakorum.
We have been down the river in our boat to ' the city'
to-day, to inspect things ordered when we were here in the
spring. The papier-mache work (boxes, tables, &c.) is tempting; but the Kashmir shawls and embroidery require a
special education to appreciate their merits.   The silver work I70
is pretty; the copper work very good. But the time and
mental labour required to buy the smallest thing in Srinagar
is incredible.    One sits on a high-legged chair made in a
fearful and wonderful fashion, or on a cushion on the floor,
drinking, if you wish it, spiced tea by the hour, while the
native merchant invites you, in the most engaging manner,
\f 7 O      O O 7
to ' name your own price,' you knowing nothing of the value
of the article. Finally he names what you may feel sure is
far more than the worth, and then abates at about the rate
of a rupee an hour (time is of no value here), till you get
up and walk away fairly tired out.
But next day you see the face, handsome but cunning.
, */     %f 7 O*
of your ' merchant' following you about, in a boat on the
river, or hovering like a bird of prey round the bungalow ;
and as you come in he informs you, in a stealthy whisper,
that he accepts your price. Verily the Chinese pilgrim was
right, when he said of the Kashmiris, ' They are very handsome, but their natural bent is towards fraud and trickery.'
This was in the seventh century, and is as true to-day as
then. If they can by any means cheat the traveller or each
other, even their nearest relation, out of one farthing, they
will spend any amount of time and trouble to do so. Industry and honest work they detest, yet they are clever
enough for anything.     H. is having a new stock for his
rifle beautifully made, and I have secured a ' durzi' (tailor), a
turbaned Moslem who sits cross-legged at the door, and
copies English garments perfectly. When he comes upstairs
and asks for ' suet,' I know that he means thread, and so we
get on. CHAP. X.
Srinagar, September 6.—This morning at 7.30 I went
with the good missionary who is doing so much here, to see
O Jo
his orphanage and hospital. It was a lovely view from the
verandah over the Dal Lake with its floating gardens, and
girdle of snow-topped mountains; but the sight inside the
clean neatly-kept huts was still pleasanter. Two hundred
little ones saved from starvation—clothed in the national garment, a sort of long calico smock-frock or shirt, and small
red skull-cap on their shaven heads—rose up with a hearty
' salaam' as we entered. Their costume is scanty but sufficient, and certainly not expensive, the shirt costing 3d. and
the cap l^d. All the arrangements, though simple and inexpensive, are sensible and judicious.
The little Moslems were told to say a hymn in English,
and their monitor, a small blind boy about ten years old,
stepped forward with an important expression on bis intelligent but thin pale face, and began in a shrill voice—
Work while you work,
Play while you play,
That is the way to be
Happy and gay.
The 199 small Aryans behind repeating each line after him,
which neither he nor they understood the meaning of, but
pronounced capitally. Then they said a hymn in Hindustani, and lastly, folding their little brown hands together,
the ' Lord's Prayer' in Kashmiri. This is the extent of
their ' dogmatic teaching,' as the ' conscience clause' is
strictly observed; but it was very touching to hear the
grand old prayer ffhich can be used alike by Christians and 172
Moslems without awaking bitter controversies, lisped out by
these tiny followers of the Prophet, saved from a cruel death.
Surely ' Our Father' is theirs also, though their religious
instruction never goes farther than this all-embracing Prayer.
Then Ageeza, the blind monitor, pronounced his show
piece,' Little Jack Horner,'with a grand air ; but, on arriving
at the climax where ' He put in his thumb,' he could remember no more. The sightless eyes rolled anxiously, and
his intelligent smallpox-marked features puckered up with
excitement trying to recall the forgotten fine, but vainly,
till a small shrill voice piped up from the end of the room,
' He pulled out a plum,' and then the history of J. Horner
Went on triumphantly to the end. Afterwards the serious
business of the day—breakfast—began. Seated under a long
shed, with the pleasant sunshine dancing in, two hundred
little left hands clasped two hundred porringers filled with
excellent porridge and some freshly-boiled greens; and two
hundred little right hands scooped up the half-liquid food
perfectly neatly, without letting one drop fall on their shirts,
and were then ' ready for more.' They certainly put into
practice what they had just been repeating in their hymn—-
Things done hy halves
Are never done right.
And decidedly did not eat their breakfast' by halves.'
Leaving the two hundred porringers to be replenished
again, we passed on to the hospital, a simple but suitable
building, where huge jars of castor-oil of native manufacture
and fearful-looking vials of black draught (the favourite CHAP. X.
medicine of the Kashmiri) stood ready for use. The native
assistants are handy and clever in preparing medicines, but
alas! even here the native love of thieving breaks out. The
missionaries have to be constantly on the watch lest the
children's food and the hospital medicine be stolen by the
servants.    The fairly convalescent patients were lying on
•t x j       o
mats in a cool shed, and were, like most patients in most
free hospitals, eager to secure some additional luxuries from
the missionary. ' Medical Missions' are admirable institutions.    Togo forth and ' heal the sick' by the miracles
O •/
of modern science, as well as to 'preach the Gospel,' is
surely following closely the example of the Great Physician.
Srinagar, September 8.—We have been sitting in a boat
under one of the picturesque old bridges made of deodar
trunks, sketching all the afternoon. The Maharajah came
by in his great barge, with a gaily painted thing like an
omnibus in the centre, on the top of which he sits with his
ministers round him. Rather a fine-looking man, wearing a
green and gold turban, and loose tunic of pink material, with
white muslin scarfs swathed round him in Hindoo fashion.
A motley procession follows on the bank when 'H. H.'
takes his airing on the river. First come his rifles and guns
carefully done up in green baize covers, each carried by its
caretaker; then his horses (or rather ponies) are led— poor-
looking beasts with cumbersome native saddles; then the
cavalry escort, a dozen troopers mounted on every sort of
animal, in every sort of uniform, and with miscellaneous
arms of every description ; and lastly a company of infantry 174
dressed like our Indian Sepoys, and apparently fairly-well
The Maharajah's defunct relations (his father's soul has
now ' transmigrated' into one of the large carp which were
leaping round us) were being fed by pious Brahmins from
the shore; they threw lumps of dough and cakes in, to secure
their own salvation as well as that of their ancestors by
this pious act, but we thought the food would have been
better employed in feeding the bodies of their starving
fellow-citizens. As the sun sank a blaze of glory in the west,
and the soft blue haze drew like a gossamer veil over the
river, the hungry Suddick, with a sigh, dipped his hand and
drank in the stream and pulled a chipattie out of bis.
pocket, bis first meat and drink since sunrise, this Eamadan
There was a slight shock of earthquake last night; it is
often felt here, but there has not been a severe one since
1824, when much harm was done. It was a curious sensation ;
the timbers in these wooden houses creaked, and we found
some of the plaster shaken off the walls of our room.
Srinagar, September 13.—We made a pleasant excursion
to-day to the 'Nishat Bagh' (abode of bliss) across the
beautiful lake. Boats were flitting about in all directions,
gathering the ' singhara' (water-nut), a three-corned berry of
the size and somewhat the taste of a chestnut, which grows
on a pretty aquatic plant all over the lakes of Kashmir; a
truly valuable food for the poor people now, as, when ground,
it makes a wholesome kind of flour.
But more beautiful than anything  else was the lotus. CHAP. X.
A glorified water-lily, lifting its splendid rose-coloured
flowers two or three feet above the water, each petal delicately tinted like a sea-shell and quite three inches long,
forming a magnificent goblet-shaped blossom, with a crown
of golden stamens inside—more like the flowers one dreams
of than anything one sees.    A cluster of these giant lilies
a/ O O
rearing their grand rosy heads, which Hindoo legend relates
O O *f ' o
owe their colour to the wound inflicted on Siva by the Love
god, over an island of their own enormous but delicately-
O        * **
modelled leaves, some nearly three feet across, is a sight
1 •/ J CD
never to be forgotten. No wonder that Buddhism has
adopted it as the symbol of sacred perfection, and enthrones
its type of human perfection, Buddha, on it. But long
before the dawn of Buddhism, the most ancient of all mythologies, that of Egypt, had reverenced the beauty of the lotus
and regarded it as the symbol of the universe; rising fr<
o ■» ? o
its blossom or crowned with its buds, the Apollo of the
Egyptian gods typified the victory of light over darkness, of
good over evil. The birth of Harmarchus from the lotus
was the first sunrise. Every morning a boatload of lotus
blossoms is, so we are told, brought to the Palace, with which
the Maharajah does ' poojah' and decorates the shrine of
the Hindoo divinities in his private chapel. The magnificent blossoms we gathered drooped and faded almost before
I had time to sketch them. Buddha was right to use the
quickly-fading beauty of the stately lotus to illustrate ' the
impermanency of all things.'
The sacred bullocks have the best time of it in this
country; one meets them walking about the town, poking I
176       A LADY'S  TRAVELS ROUND  THE WORLD,     ckap. x.
their enquiring noses into the greengrocers' stalls or trotting
generally round stealing our ponies' hay, with a cheerful expression of countenance and altogether free and easy manner, very different to our European auimals, whose life must,
be clouded with the consciousness of coming beef.
Srinagar, September 16.—Yesterday we went down the
river in our boat to sketch a picturesque old mosque, the
tomb of the earliest Musalman dynasty in this country,
built on the ruins of a still earlier Hindoo temple; once gay
with the lovely encaustic tiles the Pathan conquerors had
introduced from Persia, but now falling to pieces and quite
eclipsed by the Hindoo shrines, built in conspicuous places
along the river by the devout Maharajah.
I sat on a tombstone, under an ancient and stunted
acacia, and sent Suddick to do some commissions in the
town, a young boatmen, one of our crew, remaining to
keep off the too enquiring populace. But that Musalman
so faithfully fulfilled Suddick's injunctions not to let anyone
approach that at last I had to interfere. No sooner did any
harmless passer-by come in sight than my guardian lifted
up his voice and bade them 'begone in the name of the
Prophet,' with much violent language. From the Sanscrit
school lately established by the Mahajarah for the sons of
Brahmins, hard by the mosque, issued a band of young
Hindoos, who, to satisfy their curiosity as to what I was
doing, came stealing across the sunny churchyard in their
long white garments and neat turbans, the high-caste yellow
lozenge-mark on their foreheads. But 'Eamana' shouted
and   screamed, and   finally  drove the scholars and  their
7 J CHAP. X.
Sanscrit spelling-books down the steep bank nearly into the
sacred river. Irreverent conduct indeed towards Brahmins,
young representatives of the most ancient religious aristocracy
in the world—' the twice born,' students of a tongue of
which Greek and Latin are merely modern offshoots; or, to
speak more correctly, collateral branches.
Returning up the river we heard a sound like 'keening ' from one of the large thatched boats, which Suddick
said was 'women making row because one man going dead';
and a little further on, from the gilded dome of the Maharajah's private chapel, the sound of vespers: ' Hindoo putting
his god to sleep,' as he expressed it.
Srinagar, September 18.—'The Musalman faces shine'
to-day: the Ramadan fast is over, and true believers are in
their bravery, for though Mohammed said that during last
•/ * o o
month the gates of paradise stood open and the gates of hell
shut (and the devils inside further secured from doing mischief by being chained by the leg), still his followers find
it a relief when the long fast is over. Of the seven hells
believed to exist, according to orthodox Islam, the third is
reserved for Christians; but whether the Prophet left it open
for their benefit last month or not is doubtful.
On the Dal Lake all the afternoon; but alas! the lovely
lotus flowers are faded: bright kingfishers were flitting about
amongst their giant leaves, and wild grapes were hanging in
clusters high up in the tall poplar-trees and making triumphal
arches across the narrow channels, as our boat passed round
the lake. A little further on is the village, where the ' Feast
of Roses' is held annually, when all Srinagar turns out in
N 178
gaily-decked boats and makes 'Tumasha,'—a sort of rose
' Thousand, thousand years ago' (Suddick's way of beginning a story), a rich merchant's son came up from India,
making the ' grand tour,' and spent bis substance in riotous
living amidst the rose gardens and houris of Kashmir. The
prodigal's father only arrived in time to see his son die and hear
his last wish to be buried in one of the fairy glades overhanging
the lake where he had spent his happy hours. So we passed
under the spot where he lies, this lotus-eater, with the
shining snowfields above and the blue lake below. One of
Suddick's late masters, an Englishman, devoted to Kashmir
(where he had led a very different life to that of the poor
young scamp of the legend), passing by here, told Suddick
he also would like to be buried in sight of the beautiful
lake; and, indeed, soon afterwards he died—some say by the
Mahajarah's secret orders—and was buried in the cemetery;
Suddick not telling his friends till some months afterwards
of the wish his master had expressed on the sunny afternoon when he little thought death so near.
Yesterday I rode with Suddick to his house, through
the long rows of poplar-trees, magnificent plane-trees,
and really beautiful environs of the town, into the dirty
streets, in one of which, opening a little door in the wall,
he ushered me into a small courtyard, with a prettily-
carved wooden two-storied house and clambering vine on
one side. I had come by appointment to make a sketch of
a ' Punditani ' woman. The wives of the Hindoo ' pundits'
are  very jealously guarded from  European eyes, and are CHAP. X.
not allowed within sight of the visitors' bungalows.     The
o o
Maharajah has even given orders that if they see a ' Sahib'
approaching on the river, as they come down in the evening
to draw water, they are to turn away their faces. I found
my 'subject' in Suddick's cool clean little guest-room, with
his wife and pretty daughter, and a large tray of fruit and
spiced tea waiting for me; but the latticed windows were
kept shut, lest prying eyes should see the ' Punditani' being
portrayed by a stranger (Suddick might in • that case have
been heavily fined) ; and I really could scarcely distinguish
the wonderful face and great eyes that gleamed out of the
darkness. I never saw a face so like that of Domenichino's
St. Cecilia, utterly colourless, with marvellous eyes that
seem to haunt you; so like an old picture or a visionary
being, and so unlike anything in real life. The only colour
was the great scarlet caste-mark on her forehead, and heavy
gold balls hanging from one ear.    .    .    ,
O o       o
Srinagar, October 2.—Passing by the missionary's house
to-day we found thirty of the famine children sitting in
the pleasant shade of the large fruit trees embroiderinj
the thick drugget rugs of the country. Two Kashmiri
durzis were superintending, and the little fingers were busily
stitching away, holding the needle in exactly the contrary
manner to what we do, drawing the thread from instead of
towards them; but the ' Kashmir pattern' came out all
right, and the missionary readily disposes of the rugs to
visitors. The little blind monitor was sitting amongst the
workers, and as I laid my hand on his shoulder, I said to
the workm aster, in Hindustani, ' Poor fellow! he cannot do ISO
;hai\ x.
much,' The child could not have understood what I said, yet he
guessed something of the meaning, for rising up quickly and
assuming his quaint pedagogic air, he began *Work while
you work, play while you play,' and went on through the
hymn, joined by the other children with suspended needles,
—as if to show that, though blindness prevented his working
with his fingers, his busy little brain was not idle. We
were rather in a hurry home, but it was quite impossible to
stop the burst of poetry, so we had to wait till * Jack Horner *
and the other show pieces had been gone through.
A Frenchman and an Englishman are here, buying
the great knots on the trunks of walnut-trees, which, when1
cut up into slices and * veneered,' make the pretty walnut
furniture, and piano cases, so much used now-a-days.
There is now plenty of rice in the country, but to lower
the prices would ruin the officials, who are storing away the
grain as much as possible, in order to dole it out at their
own sweet will and price. Native rulers say, that to attempt
to relieve famine is * to water the branches where the root
is dead."
We are not struck by the * fitness and geniality' of
Native as compared with British rule, at least in Kashmir.
The former seems wanting in those important elements of
good government—progressive legislation, and equal-handed
administration of existing laws. The * difficult virtue of justice,' and that * sternness of veracity,' called truth, the
Oriental mind too often fails to appreciate. Our government
of India has no doubt at times been faulty and unwise; but,
at least, we are willing to  see and correct our mistakes; ■■
unlike the laissez-aUer system of native legislation, adverse
•J O
to reform or development, with too often no aspirations
beyond that of the pious Turk—' Let us go on as we are,
and may Allah send nothing new.' Some day, under happier
conditions, this lovely country may be the garden of India.
Our truly kind friend, the Resident, supplies us with the
now unfamiliar luxury of delicious  vegetables and fruits,
«/ CD *
grown by an estimable ' molly' (when Anglo-Indians speak
of ' my molly,' one understands them to mean their gardener), who is justly proud of a bed of ' stableboys '(strawberries) he succeeded in rearing this year. The Residency
garden is to us a very paradise of plenty. Half an acre of
tomatoes, some as large as turnips. Fruit trees borne down
by their crop of splendid peaches, and trellised vines, whose
luxuriance reminds us of a night we once spent in a garden
at Astrakan, where, in the darkness under the hanging vines,
we pulled down great cool bunches of scented grapes, and
ate them with an appetite sharpened by a week's voyage in a
Russian steamer, where little beyond the caviare was eatable.
Some October peaches were sent to us this morning from
a celebrated Fakir's garden, who cultivates his soul and his
fruit trees with great ardour, near Srinagar; as these holy
men are supposed to command the weather, our friend has
exceptional advantages for raising prize fruit.    .    .    .
On the Jhelum River, October 12.—Still   sailing   (or
rather being paddled) pleasantly on up the quiet river, pass-,
ing Hindoo shrines new and gaudy, with tin-plated roofs and
whitewash, while the remains of grand old temples serve as
landing steps at the water's edge.    Nothing more delightful
—	 182
than the climate, nor anything more glorious than the colour
of the plane trees, backed by the snowy mountains and blue
sky, could be conceived. No wonder that the ' Great Mogul'
would sooner have lost all his possessions than part with
Kashmir. Great barges, laden with rice, go slowly by rowed
by handsome natives (men and women) as we follow the
silver curves of the broad river, with masses of red and
yellow foliage drooping into it. We are passing by the saffron
fields, but the blossoms are not open yet; in a few weeks
they will be a blaze of gold. We arrived about 4 p.m. at
Islamabad, the furthest point we can reach by boat, and made
an effort to reach the ruins at Martand, which, though we
* ' O
had already visited them on our way to the Wardwan valley
in April, we were anxious to see again. But the autumn sun
sank behind the valley wall of mountain peaks before we
could reach Martand; so we had ten miles' ride for nothing,
and very dark it was, as we groped our way back to the boat.
Lussoo, the celebrated guide and servant, said to be 'the
only honest man in Kashmir,' was with us, and every now
and then grasped my elbow to prevent my tumbling straight
into a 'paddy' field.   CHAP. XI.
pious hindoos—last view op the vale of kashmir—ok the"
Maharajah's ' private road '—Chinese pilgrims—jummoo—
the baboos.
Vernag, October 13.—The first day's march is always
troublesome.    No one and nothing knows where to go or to
** o o
pack themselves, and we have two new servants, as well
as the two old ones. The Government chiprassie in scarlet
belt with large brass plate inscribed with his badge of office,
and long sword, goes on with the baggage, carried by eleven
CD '   CD OO     O     7 J
rather miserable ponies. About 7 A.M. we made a starts
I, at all events, sorry to have finished the pleasant lazy river-
tiavelling. We rode out of the dirty straggling town of
Islamabad, through half-ruined suburbs (very different must
this country have been in the Mogul Emperor's time, when
' a thief or a beggar was scarcely known'), into the rice-
fields and corn-land, over rickety bridges, and by beautiful
little old mosques built of carved deodar wood, and under
grand walnut and pear trees, now a blaze of dark brown and
gold, till after eighteen miles' march, we reached the sacred
tank of Vernag, sacred long before the time of the Mogul
O? o o
conquest of Kashmir, though the garden round it, now
going to ruin, with its kiosks and waterworks, was made by
them in the seventeenth century.    The Emperor Jehanghir 184
wished to be brought here to die and be buried, but his
celebrated wife,' NoormahaL' the * Light of the harem,' had
his body taken to Lahore. A picturesque arcaded building,
with cells below for pilgrims, and fairly comfortable rooms
above, runs round the stone basin filled with the clear blue
water (the colour of a sapphire) of the sacred spring. We
established ourselves in one of the rooms, but slept in our
tents. The tank below was a curious sight, fifty feet deep of
clear water, crammed with fish—carp of all sizes fattened
by the devout. They have taken the place of the * Nag,'
or sacred serpent, and are considered by the Hindoos to be
very sacred.
Several parties of pilgrims are encamped below us. Just
now two young men, evidently well to do, and extremely
pious, are making 'pooja' below our balcony; they have
taken off most of their clothing (this is always done before
any act of devotion, and symbolises the casting off of all
worldly possessions or thoughts on approaching God). Two
Brahmins are kneeling beside them by the water's edge to
direct their devotions; their long black hair is sprinkled
with the yellow blossoms of the sacred marigold, and in
•/ CD 7
their hands are brass plates filled with lumps of dough, also
sprinkled with marigolds. A prayer devoutly murmured,
and then an oblation to the fat carp who, as we look down
into the clear water, form a solid, struggling black column,
layer on layer of them, down to the bottom of the tank,
waiting to be fed. They seem to be deeply religious young
men, and go through their acts of piety with great reverence
and decorum. CHAP. XI.
The god Vishnu, wishing to recover a lost Veda, assumed
the form of a small fish. When the pious king Satavrata
came to the river bank to make libation, Vishnu thus
addressed him :—' How canst thou leave me i