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and around him stretch endless circles The view of Rakapushi from Hunza of eternal snow. But the height to is again superb. Standing below the wbich it is necessary to ascend gener- picturesque fort you look across the ally dwarfs the great peaks, and it is valley, barely a couple of miles wide, only when from some favorable point a the river running a thousand feet beview is obtained of a great mountain, low in a deep gorge. Direct out of the con lete from foot to summit, that one valley in one magnificent sweep of realizes the colossal scale on which na- eighteen thousand feet from the river ture has bere worked.
rises Rakapushi, the lower sweep for Then, indeed, the grandeur is over-thousands of feet bare as usual, covpowering, and the impression of im- ered at their base only by terrace after mensity stamps itself indelibly and terrace of cultivation, by endless oralmost oppressively on the mind. chards of apricot, apple, and pear, Finally the eye becomes habituated to above them a few patches of dense the vast proportions, and so accus- forest, and then in summer twelve tomed to dwelling on bare and gigantic thousand to fourteen thousand feet of outlines and monotonous coloring, that snow in one vast pile, below which the traveller on his return through huge glaciers push down almost into Kashmir finds that the scenery which the valley. A sight once seen never to bad enchanted him on bis outward be forgotten. journey with its wild beauty, the val- If the country is interesting, so are leys through which the road runs the people. The Shins, I believe, are hemmed in by cliffs hundreds of feet a dying race, the Botogah Glen in nigh, and by fir-clad slopes, the rushing Chilas, which fifty years ago is said to rivers flowing under banks clothed have turned out twelve hundred biglitwith thickets of white lilac and hazel, ing men, lately furnished a sixth of all seen modelled on a scale of fairy- that number ; in the Indus valley they like minuteness, and the eye wanders are decreasing in numbers, and seem in almost startled pleasure over the to be in danger of being gradually supever-varying scene, the changing color- planted by more vigorous immigrants ing, and the delightful verdure of the from the lower Indus valley ; in Gilgit landscape.
they strike one as uventerprising and There are but few points from which wanting in stamina. Throughout the the exceptional views of the greater whole region under review I should mountains can be obtained. The fin. say the races, with some exceptions, est I have ever seen are those of are naturally peaceful. There is none Nanga Parbat from the Bunji plain, of of the fiery dash of the Pathan, their Rakapushi from Hunza, and Tirich inter-tribal fights have never been very Mir from the Arkari valley in Chitral. costly in life. But as I always exSeen from the Bunji plain, Nanga pected, and as we found in the Hunza Parbat, twenty-six thousand feet high, Nagar expedition, they are stubborn fills up the southern end of the valley. and gallant foes when entrenched. The dead grey sloping plain, the bare Good cragsmen, with a natural talent precipices of hill to right and left, lead for making the most of a defensive up to the narrowing head of the valley position, which centuries of fitful warhemmed in by fir-clad and snow-tipped fare has perfected, they are difficult hills, and, above all, towering thou- enemies to deal with. That they can sands of feet over the Hattu Pir, which “ take a licking,” as a boy would say, itself rises in the foreground in one and bear but little malice, that they precipitous wall, six thousand feet appreciate fair play, and can recognize sheer out of the plain, majestic and the desire we have to prevent oppressolitary, with no other mountains near sion, is shown by the state of Hunza to dwarf it, looms the grand mass of and Nagar. Not a single shot was Nanga Parbat, fifteen thousand feet of fired after the final engagement which uubroken snow and ice.
broke the power of the tribesmen,
officers traversed the country from end | states. Sir Alfred Lyall's well-known to end with nominal escort, and within lines in “ The Amir's Soliloquy ala few months Mr. Conway's party wan. ways used to ring in my head when dered unguarded through the country. talking to the old mehtar of Chitral :
Except in the Indus valley there is no fanaticism. In Yasiu, Punyal, and The virtues of God are pardon and pity, Hunza, the people are chiefly Maulai, They never were mine, belonging to that heretical Mohamme. They have never been ours in a country dan sect, the head of which till lately where the brothers embrace on the war
All stained with the blood of our kin, was H. H. Agha Khan, of Bombay.
field, Inheritors, I believe, of the tenets of
And the reddest sword must win. the “ assassin,” the followers of Richard I.'s opponent, who was, if I re- The old mehtar
typical member right, in our school days, mountain chief, tall, handsome, distincalled “the Old Man of the Moun- guished-looking, with a princely beartain,' these schismatics are looked on ing, and a dignified courtesy to his with horror by orthodox Mohamme-guests ; he was relentless, cruel as dans. They scoff at the Koran, say no death, a past-master in dissimulation, prayers, drink wine, practically wor- and steeped to the lips in the blood of ship the head of the sect, and are said his brothers and relations. But he only to be bound to thorough obedi- ruled his country. I remember, when ence to their pirs or priests. Their there was a delay in some posts reach-religion, such as it is, sits but lightly ing me, his tracing out the culprit, and on them. The Nagar people are what difficulty I had in preventing his Shiahs ; in Chitral both of the great selling the wretched man and all his Mohammedan sects are represented, family into slavery.
There was the rulers being Sunni. But nowhere such thing as robbing the king's guest do you find bigotry, except in the Indus with impunity. I and others repeatvalley, which was converted by mullas edly travelled through the country from Swat. I well remember my old without escort, and generally unarmed. friend the late mehtar of Chitral The Chitralis, the sons of "the land soundly rating one of his sons, who of mirth and murder," as we chriswas governor of a province, for at-tened it, in opposition to “ the land of tempting to interfere with the religious gold and apricots," as the Nagar people views of some of his subjects. He call their country, are a short, active held, from motives of self-interest only, race, devoted to polo, passionately fond the broad view that, so long as his of dancing and of song, and seem unsubjects were law-abiding and paid able to pass a flower without gathering their dues, their religion was no busi- it and sticking it in their small turbans. ness of his.
Their rulers, having no gaols, as one of The people as a rule are cheery and them explained to me, habitually sold pleasant. Only in Chilas, that home any evildoer into slavery. As slaves. of rascally cut-throats, whose raids and the Chitralis were much valued across. brutal murders were the curse of the the Hindu Kush for their often proved border until they filled the cup of their fidelity. To this day our friend and iniquity by a treacherous attempt to ally, the amir of Afghanistan, has, I destroy my friend Mr. Robertson, who believe, in most trusted positions, imwas visiting Gor at the people's invita- mediately about his person, Chitrali tion - an escapade which led to the retainers. The Chitralis, and indeed posting of troops in Chilas itself — only all the Hindu Kush people, will sit up here do you find scowling faces and a all night listening to the maddening, semi-Pathan inclination to murder. monotonous music of their pipe and
That the rulers have been blood- drum bands, watching the dancing thirsty is unfortunately true ; it must boys, joiving in the dance themselves ; be so in semi-savage Mohammedan and the infliction it is to be camped
near one of their chiefs must be en- Travelling constantly from end to dured to be fully appreciated.
end of this region, as a warden of the The Hunza people much resemble marches is bound to do, I have had them in character, but are of liner phy-many opportunities of observing the sique, and probably better men. The people, and of hearing strange and oldNagar people are more subdued ; this world tales. I found that the banshee
cy and their neighbors attribute to wails round the towers of a fort in Chithe depressing effect of their climate in tral before the death of the king, that winter. Crushed under the great range fairies are still seen floating through the which rises to the south, their side of air in troops of horse and foot to their the valley is almost sunless for weeks home in Tirich Mir, horses are hagat a time; the cold is terrible, so they ridden and found with witches' stirrups spend nearly all their time during the in their manes, children are carrieıl off, winter in their dark and gloomy homes, men have passed days in the fairies' and the dreariness of such an existence company, and that two generations ago reacts on their character.
a mehtar of Chitral married a fairy Throughout the whole region there is bride. Old age comes to the fairy folk, not one single town, and no bazaars in and some of them, as in Europe, have the Eastern sense, with the exception their feet set on the wrong way. In of a small one at Gilgit and another at Chitral they are converted to MohamAstor. The little trade that exists is medanism and have a praying-place done by pedlars, chiefly men from Koli where, on Fridays, they assemble, and and Palus in the Indus valley. Except the belated Chitrali hears a ghostly call in Gilgit and in one or two instances in to prayer and the murmur of a great Chitral, the people live in fortified vil host joining in the prescribed devolages -an arrangement till lately neces- tions. But in other parts, where the sary owing to the unsettled state of the prophet's religion has only been obcountry. These forts are of very solid served for a few generations, they are construction, the outer walls from ten still unregenerate ; and surely their to fifteen feet thick, being built of stone state is the more gracious. Fairy and mud strengthened with solid tim- drums are, or were till lately, on the bers. The houses are huddled together roof of every chief's castle and sounded within then, in many cases built one to war. Fairies inspired women,
and on the top of the other. There are as under their influence these secr's forea rule no windows ; light comes in by told the fate of dynasties and the rethe door, and when that is closed, sults of wars. In the Bagrot valley, through a square hole in the roof, sery- twenty miles from Gilgit, I was present ing the double purpose of chimney and when a dainyal — for so these women window. There is a certain amount of are called after inhaling the smoke rude carving, which has a very good of the sacred cedar, went through her effect, on the doors and uprights which mystic dance and prophesied smooth support the roof.
things for the British rule.
The cereCultivation is dependent on irriga- mony of initiation I did not see — tion, for the tract below eight thousand luckily, perhaps. When a woman allfeet is practically raiuless. Much nounces that she is inspired by the ground has, owing to the constant wars fairies, she is niade to go through the and consequent depopulation, fallen usual dance with an acknowledged out of use, and it has been of our dainyal. Then a goat is brought in most grateful tasks to increase the and decapitated, and the novice seizes facilities for cultivation of the people the neck and drinks the pumping by opening disused water channels, and blood. If she can do this she is rein Hunza and Nagar by constructing ceived as a dainyal ; if not, no attennew ones where the engineering diffi- tion is paid to her prophecies, and the culties were too great for the people to people tell you that she invariably goes surmount.
Relics of dead faiths abound, curious that the southern region of the eastern ceremonies usher in the new year and Hindu Kush is one full of interest. the seasons of seed-time and barvest. For five years I have lived in it iu The ruler turns the first furrow, scat- peace and war, the fascination of its ters the first handful of seed mixed desolate grandeur is still upon me, the with gold-dust in token of plenty, and memories of solitary days spent in the offers sacrilice to the gods. Traces of heart of its glorious mountains can tree worship meet you ; the cedar, never fade, nor can the kindly feelings sacred in Kaliristan, is sacred through- towards the cheery and manly inbabout the whole region ; you are incensed itants of its sequestered valleys. with its burning twigs on entering re
ALGERNON DURAND. mote villages, the women still cast its boughs in offering on the deserted altar of the half-forgotten village god. Sacred fires blaze on the mountain-sides
From The Gentleman's Magazine. at certain seasons, and recall the fact RICHARD JEFFERIES AS A DESCRIPTIVE that the home of the so-called “fireworsbip” was but across the Hindu THERE is to some minds no more Kush.
moving figure in the literary history of Buddhism has left its mark : there is our country than that of Richard Jef. a Buddhist tope not far from Gilgit feries ; not one that stands out more which I never had time to explore, markedly from his fellows, a form of Buddhist altars by every path, a great pathos to all ages. A failure not only Buddha in the preaching attitude is begins to be no failure, now when he carved high on the face of a rock three cannot know it; whose peace was miles from Gilgit, and at the foot of the gained at last, only by leaving behind flagstaff, on which now flies the British him all he had counted most dear; flag in the garden of the Residency at there is left of him, in these days, Gilgit, lies the pedestal of a statue with nothing but a voice crying passionthe socket holes for the feet. But there ately from the dark and silence to those is an entire absence of sculptured in- who, yet amid song and sunlight, can scriptions throughout the whole region. neither see nor hear, nor understand. We have searched far and wide, but It is one more to be added to the subtle not one solitary inscription has been ironies of sober fact. found except one in Chitral, which was Of all the elements of tragedy that copied by Sir W. Lockhart's party, and make him pathetic, one lingers yet. had reference to a Chinese invasion. Many are over ; the harassing struggle That a higher civilization prevailed in for mere livelihood, the torture of a Gilgit formerly the Buddhist remains ghastly and lingering disease, the unattest, and the long lines of deep, speakable sadness of a well-recognized square-cut holes in the rock, in which farewell to the earth that was his pasmust have been inserted the supports sion; these are done. His lack of a for large water-channels, probably of right appreciation by his country yet wood, from which water was drawn to remains. cultivate the hundreds of acres of ter- To some of his admirers Richard Jef. raced land which now lie hopelessly feries appears to suffer from a general dry and barren, far out of reach of the and perpetual misapprehension ; life-giving supply. The present inhab- notice of him or his writings, critical itants of the country have neither the or allusive, appears in newspaper or tools nor the skill to undertake such a magazine, but he is to their thinking work, but it is not too much to hope wronged anew ; until, with those that that an era of peace and prosperity is appreciate him, the interest that arises dawning for them in which such works naturally in a character so unique, joins will again be undertaken with success. hands with a sense of gratitude ever
I think I have said enough to show new and deep and a study of him comes
to change from a pleasant intellectual a comparison he was then trying to pastime to a protest that is a positive establish, the present writer has himobligation. Those who have never self called Jefferies à country naturalheard of Richard Jefferies, a larger ist, and the description is true as far as proportion of the educated than it is it goes. Its fault is that it does not go easy to believe, may be suffered to go far enough. Though sufficiently acunaccused. They may be allowed very curate when his name and nature were justly the greater grievance. It is with introduced solely in support of a passthe superficially acquainted that the ing proposition, it would be exceedquarrel lies ; with the journalist who ingly inadequate as a portrait of the knows him by a stray magazine article man, were he the subject of a disand sufficiently by hearsay to recognize course, not merely incidental to it. A the name's allusive value ; with the far better type of the country journalist hundreds who carry away the pitiable is Gilbert White of Selborne. The misconceptions derived from a perusal sweetest and simplest of naturalist of the aforesaid journalist's paragraphs, parsons, he is still the best exemplar and with all those of his admirers who of that homely scientific spirit that make their admiration valueless by makes its sole laboratory the garden failing to discriminate between the and the fields. His delight was to master and the many disciples.
watch the blackbirds upon his lawn, " The mantle of Jeffreys has fallen the slim summer warblers amongst his upon Mr. Robinson,” says a reviewer raspberry bushes, whose fruit he could in an illustrated paper, and the state- never find it in his heart to grudge; he ment is about as accurate as the spell- was wildly excited at the appearance of ing of Jefferies' name, but it is typical a new or uncommon species ; he theoof the journalistic conception. One rized with a child-like curiosity, yet cannot help thinking that Richard not without acumen, upon the probJefferies must have had a very large lems of instinct, avian commissariat, selection of mantles, for they have and migration ; but that was all. It is been falling continually at intervals a far cry alike in time and quality, from since his death, and are now numerous Selborne to Coate Farm ; from Gilbert enough to cloak any magazine descrip-White, naturalist parson, to Richard tive writer who can tell the blackthorn Jefferies, naturalist, poet, dreamer, all blossom from the may. This does not of which he was and something more ; necessitate any undue depreciation of and surely farther still, farther than a present writers, whose essays may be, man may see ahead, to that oft anand often are, like Mr. Robinson's, nounced, long lingering genius upon excellent in their way ; but it is time whom his intle shall in truth deto insist that their ways are not the scend. Given another clergyman of ways of the Wiltshire solitary, and that, simple disposition and the homely sciwhatever genius may shine in contem- entific turn of mind in a zoologically porary magazives, the mantle of Rich- prolific neighborhood, and you may yet ard Jefferies has not fallen yet.
find another White not unlike his For the voice of the British Dunder- predecessor, if only he manage to arise head, who walketh in darkness, has before evolutionary philosophy have become too reiterative to be any longer reduced biology to mathematics ; given
; ignored, and it is sheer charity to in- another working man with a greater form him that Richard Jefferies is both passion for “beasties " than for his less and more than the country natu- brad-awl or his spade, and you may see ralist, in dubbing him which he thinks another Thomas Edward, and welcome to sum him up ;. how much less he, him before all are working men in the being no naturalist, will never dis- enjoyment of the blessings of an unicover, how much more he must needs versal eight-hours day ; you might even develop his poetical faculty to appre- find another Thoreau, if ever another ciate. Elsewhere, for the purposes of high-souled but erratic genius should