Page images
PDF

selves as victims upon the altar of MalAdeo (the great God) in the patriarchic belief that the more valuable the sacrifice the more acceptable it would be to the deity.

The temple of Kedarnath, perhaps the most sacred in Hindoo mythology, stands upon a gently sloping plain, resembling a marsh or bog, without a tree or a shrub within many miles of it, and at an elevation of probably eleven thousand feet. It is apparently of modern construction, with a somewhat Grecian facade, and the usual pyramidal tower at one end, still, strange to say, unfinished. The stone consists of mica slate, so soft and friable on being dug out of the quarry that it admits of being sawed into slabs, or cut with a hatchet; but, when exposed to the air, it soon hardens, and becomes durable as granite itself. There is a large suite of office houses near the temple for the accommodation of prilgrims. The season of pilgrimage was now over, and most of the priests and the attendants were preparing to migrate to lower and wanner regions during the rigor of the approaching -winter.

I found the Brahmins sulky, surly, intolerant, and unaccommodating; averse to allow me the use of a hut, or the benefit of a few mats to cover my tent to protect me from the intense cold; repugnant to my pitching my tent within the immediate neighborhood of the temple dedicated to Mahadeo (the great God,) and every article and every locality was tabooed. Mahadeo's temple could not bo polluted with the presence of my unclean tent, on the same ground sward; to lend me Mahadoe's mats to cover it would be sacrilege; and to allow me to occupy one of their outhouses where holy Brahmins might next season lodge, could not be permitted. Nevertheless, I selected a dry, level spot about forty yards from the temple, and pitched the tent in defiance of remonstrance, •while my followers found shelter in the houses.

About two P.m., being provided with an intelligent guide, I set oft' for the foot of the mountains; and after an hour's gradual ascent over a wet, mossy sward, we came to a chain of rocky hills, from which the feeders of the great Ganges rush out in great numbers, all of which, uniting within the distance of a mile or two, expand into an unfordable river. To bathe in it is esteemed an act of great devotion, and though the temperature was about the freezing point, the Hindoos of my party plunged into the sacred stream over head and ears, though most of them caught severe colds in consequence of their bath.

On a near approach to the above chain of hills they were found to be an enormous boulder, or moraine—an accumulation of im

mense stones brought down from the overlooking mountains by avalanches, every year adding to their numbers, and thousands of years enlarging the debris to the magnitude of the mountain range.

Treading along to the right, the guide brought us to a sort of tarpeian rock, called Byrovajamp, from the summit of which pilgrims were wont to throw themselves as living sacrifices, thus endingtheir days by being dashed to pieces. Such living sacrifices were considered acts of supreme devotion, insuring the victim the highest rewards in a future state of existence.

From this rock the no less celebrated Valley of the Shadow of Death, called Mahapunt, takes its rise, a long ascending slope between two rocky precipices, that ends in perpetual snow. According to Hindoo mythology, this Mahapunt is believed to be the most direct road to the world of spirits. With the assurance of the most favored reception after the journey of this life is over, pilgrims bent upon self-sacrifice took leave of their relations, as before an execution; with the resolution of never returning, and the conviction that if they only persevered long enough and far enough, they would be rewarded with a blessed immortality, they entered the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and eventually perished in the snow.

Such sacrifices conferred a solemn celebrity upon the surviving relations of the deceased, perhaps equal in their own little circle to that of Marcus Curtius himself in the proud days of ancient Rome. Of late years these human sacrifices were prohibited by the company's government, under the heaviest penalties to the accomplices; this ordinance has become as obsolete as that of Suttee, but tradition records an incredible destruction of human life in times long gone by.

The world will cry out, What an infamous government was that of the old East India Company, that tolerated such enormities so long! How very horrible, indeed! scream out our very good Christian people. What benighted ignorance! howls out Exeter Hall; send out more missionaries—more Bibles; drag those heathens from the error of their ways and convert them by fair means, or by any means! Every good Christian must congratulate humanity on the suppression of such barbarous rites; but however much he may reprobate them, they convey a moral lesson that may have a good effect on our own more enlightened society. Have we, good people, no Byrovajamp amongst oursclvesover which our victims of society are daily precipitating themselves, to get rid of a life rendered too intolerable to oe endured? Ilave we no Mahapunt up which our religious devotees clamber in convent chains till they perish in the freezing cloisters of monastic life? Have •we no funeral piles on which our brokenhearted widows offer themselves up as yic1 i I! i -; to their deceased husbands' mal-administration? Have we no Jaggernauth cars before .whose wheels our idolatrous daughters prostrate themselves and get crushed to death? Let our fashionable ladies answer. Is infanticide less known amongst us than it formerly was amongst the Rajpoots? Let our match-making fathers and mothers answer.

Let us consult the records of the Coroner's Courts, the Divorce Courts, the Insolvent Courts, our courts of inquest and our courts of fashion, and we shall find that for one primitive Hindoo, that sacrificed his life for what he considered the good of his soul, a hundred of our fellow-countrymen—aye, and of our fellow-countrywomen, have fallen victims to their own acts and their own hands. Mais revenir a nos moutoju. There being no glaciers hereabouts to interest one, and the snow line being at present a great deal too high to reach it so late La the afternoon, I made my way back to my little tent. I found the Brahmins more complaisant than when I first arrived, and willing to let me have the use of the house, but they were all so absurdly low as not to admit of standing upright in them, and so suspicious looking as to fleas that I declined using them. With two good mats to cover my hut, and an abundant litter of dry grass upon the ground, I made myself as comfortable as circumstances permitted to pass a very cold night.

Learned from a register book shown to me that during the last twenty-three years only twenty-eight Europeans had visited Kedarnath.

18th October.—Spent a miserably uncomfortable night, though I went to bed with my clothes on; the poor dogs felt more than I did, and actually whined with the cold and I had to keep them quiet by casting of their chains, and letting tnem lie at the foot of the bed. This morning the ground was white with hoar frost, with ice on every pool. I felt quite benumbed with cold, witti great giddiness, singing of the ears, violent headache, rapidity of pulse, increased fre"breathing, and loss of vital energy

all, no doubt, the consequence of a rarifiet atmosphere. The weather had become cloud; and threatening, and a full of snow was thought probable, so I resolved to descent forthwith, and hastened down to Akroat kotee. Fortunate it was that I did so, for; heavy fall of snow took place the same af ternoon, whitening the mountains, and pos sibly rendering the road for a time impassa ble.

19ft October.—Made a long retrograd

march to Gopat Kassy, opposite to Okeeluth. Fired at two Khakur deer or Montack about three hundred yards off, but missed them. Shot a brace of fine Calidge iheasants, male and female, very desirable .dditions to the larder, now almost empty, 'hese birds have the habit of hiding themelves in the dense foliage of trees when lushed by dogs, and sit in fancied security.

had some difficulty in discovering them iven when under the tree, and shot them as hey sat. Horresco referens, hut a hungry man cannot afford to adhere at all times to he etiquette of sporting. Another snowtorm has to-day whitened the mountains; >ut a large portion of surface continues >lack and bare, owing to the perpendicular brmation of the rocks. This is a very subime encampment. The great square mountain mass of Budrinath on the right, the serrated range Kedarnath on the left ; with the intermediate field filled up with ranges of mountains, like the waves of the ocean n a storm, of all tints from russet brown to cobalt blue.

Clouds of locusts still hover about in fororn hopes of being able to cross the snowy range. Saw several cases of goitre here, jut the disease is not uncommon in this quarter of the province. Many would feel lonely and wretched in travelling so long without seeing a white face, or having occasion to speak a word of English; but I do not, and no one capable of appreciating such wonderfully fine scenery ought to be discontented. T'here is a fine old bird or beast, perhaps a monitor, to be heard about the altitude of eight thousand feet, and oft in the stilly night its familiar call of " what! what!" repeated at intervals of a few seconds, is very pleasant company.

26<7t October.—Entered upon a new route homeward, and made a very long descent to Bhery, on the main chain of the Mundagnee. crossed over the river on a good bridge, and then found my ponies and my heavy baggage all safe and sound. Mounted right gladly, rode up a very long ascent, and encamped in very fine forest scenery at the village of Kanara. Was informed that about three years ago the Maha-murrio raged dreadfully hereabouts, carrying off twenty and thirty people in small villages, and sixty or seventy in large ones.

21st October.—Started at sunrise as usual, and after many ups and downs got to the first ridge of a lofty chain of mountains, overlooking the Pokree valley, and continuing about the same level through oaks and rhododendron, and very beautiful scenery, arrived at Pokree about two P.m. Here I found the commissioner of Kumaon, and became his guest; he was occupying a small rude bungalow of two rooms, formerly erected by the superintendent of some copper mines, but the speculation did not answer, and the mining was stopped. The Talley of Pokree is very pretty, with extensive rice cultivation, but much sickness at present prevails amongst the people, and great numbers came to me for medicine and advice; my little stock was soon exhausted, but I promised if they would bring any of their invalids into Almorah I would do my best to restore them to health, a promise that only half satisfied them, for their petitions for present relief were so urgent, that I felt quite vexed I could not comply with their urgent demands.

Visited the copper mines, found the shafts nearly horizontal, most of them filled with water or blocked up with rubbish. Found some women collecting the ore from the refuse formerly thrown out by the miners. They first beat the mass pretty fine with a wooden mallet, then they drew it upon an inclined wooden board with grooves, cut out horizontally upon it, over which trickled a stream of water, the metallic particles settled upon the grooves, while the earthy parts being light were washed away.

22d. October.—Started at the usual hour of sunrise, and though the descent was continuous the whole way, did not get toBamoath, on the bed of the Aliknunda till near noon. Here the Aliknunda is a very mighty river, having absorbed the waters of the Pindur far above this point. Crossed over by the

usual crazy straw rope bridge, swam the ponies across with little trouble, the stream being very gentle. Continued to ascend the left bank of the great river for an hour or more to Kurnpray, at the junction of the Pindur road, exceedingly rough, rocky, and stairy, a masterpiece of engineering—scenery wonderfully fine. What a splendid song might be written on the meeting of the waters at Kurnpray. What an immortal picture it would make!

Here a Sepoy of my regiment was carried up to my tent, being very sick and quite unable to proceed homewards; his legs were enormously swollen from the bites of the venomous flies in these low places, with numerous ulcers—in fact, he was in a most distressing condition, so I gave him my dandy engaged four bearers, and sent him onwards to Athbudree. Next day when I reached Athbudree, I found that he had died on the way; the putwarry took possession of his effects to be sent into Almorah to the captain of his company. The body was buried with all funeral ceremonies by the Brahmins.

As I am now returning over travelled ground, I shall not continue this journal further than stating that I arrived at Almorah on the 28th October, very much satisfied with my trip to the Snow, very much disposed to pity my messmates for pottering about the hill-tops, contenting themselves with looking at the grandest scenery of the world through their telescopes.

Fehixgee.

A. New Hippopotamus.—Another hippopotamus was born in the Jtirdin dcs Plantei in Paris on the 18th of May. lie was received at noon on the brink of the basin of the rotunda, in tho arms of bis keeper, and immediately tnken away. Tho maternal hippopotamus had no time to sec her ofl'spring, and yet she indulged in ft long fit of anger. Without the aid of an enormous whip with which the keeper was furnished, lie could hardly have secured his retreat; but by its aid he succeeded in getting out of the basin and shutting the grate behind him.

MM. Isidore Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire and Florcnt 1'rdvost were immediately called in, and they found that tho new-comer was a very wellformed male. lie was placed in a basin exposed to tho sun, and he immediately took to swimming and splashing about as though he had taken lessons from his father and mother.

He was fed on warm cow's milk, which he drank with avidity; in four days he consumed nearly three gallons of it. He slept a, good part of each day on a bed of straw covered with n flannel blanket; the rest of the time he amused himself in a basin of warm water.

His keeper, who did not leave him for a moment, could not make the least movement but his nursling would open his eyes enough to assure himself that his adopted father was not going to leave him. At night he slept with his head on his keeper's breast, and slept well until daybreak.

When ho wanted to drink he roared like a calf, which indeed bo somewhat resembled in form. He measured about four feet in length and weighed one hundred and thirty pounds at birth. His skin, soft, moist, and mellow to tho touch, had nothing of that rose-tint which characterized tho two other hippopotamuses born in the menagerie in 1858 and 1859. It was blackish in somo places, and in others of a grayish white. There was also a very queer orange'tint about his lips.

On the 2d instant it was noticed that his mouth was bloody, and on examination it was found that several teeth were coming through. While they were wondering at this precocity, tho poor animal was taken with convulsions and died in a few minutes.

No. 844.-4 August, 1860.

CONTENTS.

un

1. Jerome Bonaparte — his Death, Life, and Wives, N. Y. Evening Pott, 259

2. Ho! For the Pole!"" 263

3. Claremont, and the Princess Charlotte, . . Eclectic, 269

4. Broad Church Theology, Christian Observer, 273

6. Mr. Everett's Fourth of July Oration, . . Daily Advertiser, 286

6. Mr. Fletcher's Brazil and the Brazilians, . North British Review, 297

7. Hopes and Fears. Part 2. Chap. 7, . . . Constitutional Press Magazine, 301

8. Rational Medicine, Literary Gazette, 316

9. All's Well, • MacmiUan's Magazine, 318

Poetky.—Stanzas for Music, 258. The Upland Path, 258. The Spectre of 1860, 258. All's Well, 318. The City of Extremity, 320. The Two Laments, 320.

Short Articles.—O. P. R. James' last evening in America, 262. Jewish Antiquities in Ohio, 268. Mr. Parker Snow's Arctic Expedition, 272. Prince Albert's Speech, 300. Temperature of the Red Sea, 300. Mounds in Minnesota, 315. Extension of the British Museum, 317. Disappearance of London Antiquities, 317.

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY

LITTELL, SON, & CO., BOSTON.

For Six Dollars a year, In advance, remitted directly to the Publishers, the Lrrroa Aoe will be punctually forwarded free of postage.

Complete sets of the First Scries, In thirty-six volumes, and of the Second Series, In twenty volume, handsomely bound, packed in neat boxes, and delivered In all the principal cities, free of expense of freight, are for salt at two dollars a volume.

Ant Volume may be had separately, at two dollars, bound, or a dollar and a half in numbers.

Axr xuMDr.it may be had for 13 cents; and it is well worth while for subscribers or purchasers to complete any broken volumes they may have, and thus greatly enhance their value.

STANZAS FOR MUSIC.

BY PATBICK SCOTT.

To every pang there comes relief,
And rugged thoughts will softer grow,

As music pours for listening grief
Her harmony of woe—

0 joy! no touch of thine can greet

The mourner with a sound so sweet.

So Mou wilt sing in other lands,
Where I am not, and may not bo;

And thoughtful wake with trembling hands
The chords I strung for thce;

And I will fancy that my heart

Can beat thy voice, where'er thou art.

Farewell! unto that Eastern shore
Will fav'ring winds to bear thee rise:

And dreary waters passing o'er,
Will take the tone of sighs;

And cloudless suns will light thy years—

But will not dry my fount of tears.

How often do our fates destroy
The bliss that is imperfect yet;

As if the soul but learnt from joy
The lesson of regret!

Loss draws its very life from Rain,

And pleasure sows the crop of pain!

Yet why lament, unthankful muse?

Why give these bitter fancies scope?
Ah 1 dear are memory's saddest hues

Beyond the flush of hope:
And sober-tinted thoughts arc best
When life is sinking in the west.

Constitutional Press Magazine.

THE UPLAND PATH.

Wise men—or such as to the world seem wise,
Picture old age the downhill path of Life,
Dimmod by the vapors of a lower earth,
Prawn from its stagnant waters. Nay, not so;
But, rather, upward where the mountains stand
Guarding the young green valleys, lies his way
On whose broad front is set the crown of years.
Silent, and filled with beauty, shall ho go,
As one who travels towards the source of

streams,

And, pondering thoughtfully, comes unaware On landlocked tarns, whose stilly waters keep The fuce of heaven in memory! Far below, The maddening rivers keep the seas in chase, Till the vexed ocean beats the curbing shore; And, striving still for mastery, the rough winds Grapple the yielding argosies. Not for him Sounds their wild roar amid his calm of skies. Save when, perchance, some shriek of human

woe

Leaps to the clouds that roll beneath his feet, Touching the common nature in his heart, Unmoved he stands, and, in a trance of soul,

'Mid God-ward dreams,between the rifted peaks
Beholds the face Divine. So, pressing on,
Higher and higher still, and breathing still
A clearer, purer air, he comes at length
To earth's last foothold, and stands face to face
With the great Change! Undaunted, undis-
mayed,

Though round him close the everlasting hills,
And darkness falls upon him as a shrotid,
He casts his feeble frame on Nature's heart,
That beats to his again; then, heavenward-
bound,
Sets firm his foot upon the Path of Souls.

£. L. 1 Ii.uvtv. —Chaniben'i Journal.

THE SPECTRE OF 1860. years since, empire, kingdom, constitution, Church, noblesse bourgeoisie, through Europe

trembled At the grim fiend yclept Red Revolution,

Who still his forces underground assembled, Crowns, mitres, coronets, prepared to humble, And manner, lawg, and arts in one wild ruin jumble,—

That in their place an edifice might grow,

Squared by the socialistic line and level; Its planners.'Robespierre, Mirabean, nnd Co.— The head man 'in tllcir "• Co." being the

Devil;

A Phalansttre, with a Procrustes' Press, For stretching small folks big and squeezing big folks less.

Ten years have passed, and monarch! still ore

shaking Upon their thrones; in court and chnrch and

mart, Nobles, priests, citizens are still fi-quaking;

Still all is feverish doulit and shock and start ;•
Still a red spectre looms outside the door;
An earthquake still is pent beneath the heaving
floor.

The bonnet rouge upon that spectre's brow
Still shows, half hid by an imperial crown;

It wears the tansculotte's foul rags, but now
A purple robe conceals them, sweeping down;

In the dark shadows of the Janus-face

Anarch's and Despot's traits with kindred sneer embrace.

A match is in the velvet-gloved right hand,
The down-bent head is listening tow'rds the

ground, While from beneath where the veiled form holds

stand

Comes faintly up the miners' muffled sound: And round the front of brass and feet of clay, In blood, with bayonets writ, runs—" L'Empire c'est la paix."

Punch.

« PreviousContinue »