style in narration is simple, and his more | few years later. His style also is full of impointed and sarcastic sentences are often perfection whenever he begins to indulge in short and neat. reflections that belong to his own philosophy of morals. Those dreadful sentences beginning with "He that," and divided off into couplets of opposed adjectives and substantives, are not so frequent in the Lives as they are in his earlier works; but they come much too often. They were perhaps appro

Johnson, as we have said, was not great in appreciatory criticism. He was far too generous not to praise heartily when he praised at all, and every thing he praises would be praised in these days for the exact qualities he finds in it to approve. He is far too good a critic to be always sneering. Noth-priate and acceptable to the age in which ing can be warmer and more unreserved than his panegyric on Dryden's Odes and Pope's Rape of the Lock. But he did not care much for the very highest poetry, and he had none of the metaphysical analysis which Coleridge worked with so much subtlety a

they appeared, and we may hope that it is a sign of our advancing virtue that they are no longer palatable to us. At any rate, they prevent our regarding the Lives as a model of more than partial excellence for modern criticism to imitate.

MAKING GAS FROM PRAIRIE STONES.-The Chicago Democrat chronicles an important discovery which has recently been made in that vicinity. It says a large quantity of "prairie stone, near the western suburbs of that city, has been found to yield immense quantities of gas and saltpetre. The particulars of the discovery, which was brought about while searching for indications of oil, are as follows:

the gas works, and a large quantity of stone submitted to a test which will leave no doubt of the practical benefits growing out of this unexpected discovery.

"The Chicago Stone Coal-Mining Company have, as it were, stumbled into an almost incalculable fortune. They own twenty acres of land filled with this trebly-valuable stone, and suddenly find it advancing in value from six to eight dollars to forty or fifty dollars a cord!"

"A small bit of this stone, a piece perhaps four inches square, was taken by Mr. Wm. Cumberland, a well-known chemist of this city, a day WILLIAM THE SILENT.-In the recently pubor two since, for the purpose of endeavoring to lished volume of Lord Macaulay's Biographies, extract oil from it. The experiment, so far as there occurs a sentence which somewhat care the end in view was concerned, was a failure-lessly endorses a popular and erroneous view of but in the progress of it other discoveries were made of startling importance and great interest. The stone has been broken up and placed in a retort, which was then subjected to the action of the heat. A vapor was seen to issue from the neck of the retort, and on a match being applied it ignited and burned brilliantly for half an hour. It gave a light fully equal to the same volume of coal-gas, and emitted no odor of any kind! The burned stone was then analyzed, and found to contain fifty per cent of saltpetre, which being removed, the residue was excellent lime!

"Here indeed was a discovery! A stone was found existing in inexhaustible quantities, and obtainable at very little cost, which made gas as well and as freely as the best coal; which yielded fifty per cent of pure saltpetre; and which then was as good lime as could be had anywhere.

"Additional experiments having been performed, in the presence of the superintendent of the gas works, and others, resulting in a confirmation of the discovery, arrangements have been made to experiment on the manufacture of gas from prairie stone.

A retort and gasometer will be prepared at

the characteristics of a great man. Speaking of
parliamentary government as it shaped itself in
England from Pitt's day downwards, Lord Ma-
caulay observes: "In a perilous crisis, such
men "(as Windham and Townshend) "would
have been found far inferior in all the qualifica-
tions of a ruler to such a man as Oliver Crom-
well, who talked nonsense, or as William the
Silent, who did not talk at all." It is a com-
mon error-clearly sustained here by Lord Ma-
caulay-that the great founder of Batavian lib-
erty was a man habitually taciturn, or deficient
in the gift of eloquence. William of Orange
was a remarkably eloquent speaker, and could
and did deliver, when occasion needed, length-
ened, powerful, and brilliant speeches. In pri-
vate life he was joyous, genial, and rich in con-
versational talent. As you are aware, he was
nicknamed "The Silent," simply because he
gave abundant proof that he could hold his
tongue when it was wise not to speak, and be-
cause, in one peculiar and memorable instance,
his self-control led to the revelation of a famous
royal complot against Protestantism.
J. M'C.

From The United Service Magazine.

THE long-looked-for 1st October has at length arrived, and I am now entitled to my month's holiday. The windows of heaven are closed for the season, Binsur and Nundidevy have thrown off their cloud caps. The main chain is become more interesting by a light fall of snow, and every intermediate mountain ridge is sharp and clear as if freshly moulded by Nature's hand.

I have, therefore, disburdened myself of the cares of professional duty, shaken off the harness of society, withdrawn myself from its pleasures and perversities, and am about to plunge deep into the sublimities of the Himalayahs.

I should most willingly have had a comrade or two, but it is not every officer that can accomplish such a journey. Some are too lazy, some are not gifted with the necessary length of wind and tension of muscle, some have no appreciation of the picturesque, the stern economy of subaltern rank restrains some who have the necessary physical qualifications, and a giddy head and nervous temperament unfit others, possessing ample means to meet every contingency. So I must perform my pilgrimage alone-alone so far as the want of fellow-feeling and interchange of sentiment constitute solitude, for I can expect nothing of that sort from my native fellow-travellers.

To the European traveller, with his knapsack on his back, and his hotel at the end of his day's journey, or the grandee with his family-coach and his posse of inmates and outside domestics, the ways and means for a month's journey in the Himalayahs will appear intolerable; but there is no help for it, and every thing beyond the simplest fare of the native bazaar must be carried along with


My kit consists of a small tent, ten feet by eight, a bed, six feet by two; a table and chair, cooking pots and crockery; thirty pints of Guiness' stout, thirty pints Allsop's ale, three bottles sherry, three bottles of brandy, a fat sheep to kill when wanted, a round of beef, a ham, three tongues, thirty pounds potatoes, fifteen pounds flour, eight pounds rice, three pounds candles, besides biscuit, sugar, tea, butter, and jams; a dozen fowls, a milch goat, a pair of ponies, a couple of pointers, a rifle and double gun, fishing-rod, pikestaff, telescope, etc., etc., etc.

For the carriage of the above, no fewer than seventeen coolies are required, and by a special favor, the magistrate has furnished me with a written puwarna to indent for fresh men at the end of each day's journey, paying for the same at the rate of about 3d. each man for his day's hire.

My personal staff consists of a butler, a valet, a cook, a waterman, a washerman, a dog keeper, two grooms, and two grasscutters, making up a marching establishment of about thirty individuals. With such a party I broke ground at Almorah in progress to the far-famed shrine of Hindoo pilgrimage, Kedarnath, at the base of the great snowy chain.

Almorah is the ancient capital of the Goorkah province of Kumaon, and the headquarter station, both civil and military, of the company's government. The elevation above the sea is between five and six thousand feet, with a climate and vegetation almost European, and a residence here makes one forget he is in India.

Left dear old Almorah about eight in the morning, and got to Hawalbagh about halfpast nine-a very pretty little station on the banks of the very pretty little river, the Kossillah, where four companies of my regiment are cantoned.

The houses of the officers are excellent, surrounded with cedar trees, weeping willows, and fruit trees, amongst which the cherry, the plum, and the apricot predominate; myrtles and rose trees almost rival them in size, while the intervening patches are clothed in richest pasturage, or with a heavy crop of hay. The elevation of Hawalbagh is about fifteen hundred feet less than that of Almorah; its climate is neither temperate nor tropical, but a happy union of the two extremes: the palm tree and the pine grow together on equal terms, and an extensive tea plantation, under the auspices of government, is here in full bearing, the tea bringing a market price far above that of Chinese growth.

A tea plantation resembles greatly a nursery of gooseberry bushes, the shrubs being about the same height and arranged in rows. The leaves are plucked several times during the season by native hands, and then made over in basketfuls to Chinamen, imported on purpose from China for completing the manufacture. The leaves are dried quickly in iron pots or ovens, and finally soldered up in tin and wooden boxes for the market either of India or Europe. I believe government would willingly withdraw from their plantations, and allow an opening for private capital, and the speculation would, undoubtedly, be a profitable one.

Crossed the Kossillah by a very fine suspension-bridge of iron, while the river ran rippling far below, clear as crystal, with shoals of fishes of the size of sea trouts steadying themselves in the stream, but sulky beasts that wont look at a hook. Marched up the right bank of the river till near sunset, through very fine scenery, in which the pine

tree was most conspicuous; many of the trees having a spiral twist like cordage, and not a few of them showing marks of having been tapped for their resin, or of having been set on fire by incendiaries.

I intended to have encamped at Somesur, but found I had got so far ahead of my followers that I thought it prudent to halt till they joined me, near a small village called Manar. Seeing me all alone the pudan, or head man, came to pay me his respects, bringing with him a bunch of plantains, and a lota of new milk. About dusk the tent came forward, but the coolies were heartily tired, so I had it pitched on the grassy road, while the followers found good shelter in an adjoining water mill.

I was glad to compound with my kidmutgar for a cold pie and a pint of beer for dinner; while the coolies, like glowworms, lighted up the darkness of the night with their cooking fires, and soon had a smoking supper before them. About eight I went to bed, under no apprehensions of being run over by a mail coach or a wagon, nor yet apprehensive of a midnight visit from a leopard or a tiger, the denizens of the neighboring forests. The tiger is too noble a hunter to prey upon humanity, and regales upon the wild deer of the jungle. However, when old and unable to hunt he turns homicide; he takes to the roads, and is very glad to find an old wife or a cripple on easy terms. Such tigers are called man-eaters, and when they fall by the hand of man they are found mangy and furless, which has given rise to the popular belief that the human nature of their diet deprived them of their fur.

Bears are numerous hereabouts, but they seldom act on the offensive, unless interfered with in grubbing up roots and gathering acorns; to meddle with them while so engaged, is very dangerous. The most frightful lacerations caused by their resentment are numerous in the hills; the human face divine being almost effaced. I have seen cases of eyes torn out, lips, and noses, and ears torn off, and the mouth and nose thrown into one hideous ravine, by the claws of bears. I remember the case of a man who was in the habit of tying one side of his lower lip to his ear by means of a string, and when he ate he was obliged to cast off the string and let the lip fall like a door off the hinges.

The leopard has not the courage to attack man, but prowls about like a cat, ever on the watch to carry away a dog, a sheep, or a goat. I have known a leopard break into a sheepcot at night, and kill and mangle a number of sheep. On one occasion a fine fat deer, whose hind leg I had amputated in consequence of a compound fracture of the|

thigh bone, and which was wont to hop about most cleverly upon its three legs, was one morning found partly devoured in its fold. I have known a leopard in broad daylight make a dash at a large dog, and carry him off from under his master's stirrup as he rode through a jungle; I am, therefore, not unconcerned about my live mutton, and have given most stringent orders to have the sheep tied up in a place of safety. My two dogs I cannot trust to themselves, and have effected an insurance on their lives by chaining them to the tent poles, and my two guns stand ready loaded to meet any emergency.

As for danger from the natives, either in person or property, I have not the least apprehension: indeed, far less so than I should have in old England, for few travellers could encamp on a village common at home without being robbed.

2d October. Slept soundly, notwithstanding the brawling of the Kossillah: mustered all hands at sunrise, and reached Somesur about nine. Had breakfast on my knees under a tree, indented on the pudan for fresh coolies, and renewed the march about eleven.

Somesur is a very extensive valley, with a number of thriving villages scattered over it, each surrounded with broad fields of rice ground; these fields, or khates as they are called, are all laid out in terraces rising one above the other like steps of a stair, extending uphill as high as the supply of water from a mountain-stream admits of irrigation. The stream is turned on upon the upper khate, and eventually irrigates all the others below it. The harvest had lately been gathered in, and the natives were busy having the grain trodden out by cattle, and winnowed. This they do by throwing the straw upon a smooth thrashing floor, and driving two or three muzzled oxen over it, till the grain is detached from the straw; thereafter, the straw is piled up in stacks upon the tops of the houses, upon long poles stuck into the ground, or upon the forks of trees. The rice is then winnowed by the wind, and stowed away in garners for the winter's consumption; it is unhusked as wanted by beating the grain in a wooden mortar with a heavy beam of wood shod with iron.

After leaving Somesur and the Kossillah valley, we passed over a ridge of mountains covered with oak and rhododendron forest, and after a weary long distance, arrived at Byznath, on the little river Goomty.

3d October.-Halted to-day at Byznath, several of my servants were knocked up; one of the sheep was dead-lame, and it was not yet convenient to save the mutton by killing it.

Byznath was a place of very sacred im


portance many, many years ago, but two as I rode into it, I asked a buxom damsel in Hindostanni, what was the name of her pretty village, when she smartly told me to ask the pudan, and ran off laughing at her smartness.

miserable villages alone represent a once populous city. Its importance may still be read in a few fine temples of a high description of architecture, filled with stone idols, beautifully carved, and in fine preservation, numerous enough to stock a museum. The country round Byznath is overgrown with grassy jungle, and extremely unhealthy, and this unhealthiness was probably the cause of its ruin.

The Goomty, a small river of the size of the Kossillah, running clearly over a shingly bottom, is very well stocked with fish, and these are partly domesticated, inasmuch, as they readily congregate like ducks, at a particular spot by beat of drum, to be fed by the Brahmins. I exerted my utmost skill to take one with the rod, but the water was too clear to admit of their being hooked; resolved not to be disappointed in having fish for dinner, I called for my rifle, and singling out the largest as he steadied himself in the stream, fired at his head and killed him; he instantly rolled over belly up, and floated down the river, when one of my men rushed into the middle and dragged him to shore, a fine fish of six or eight pounds' weight. The Brahmins were very much horrified at my impiety in killing what they considered a sacred animal, nearly as much so as if I had killed a child, and I narrowly escaped a prosecution in the civil court; however, the fish was very excellent to eat, notwithstanding.

At ten started again, and after one tremendous ascent through oak and rhododendron forest, got to the summit of the ridge about noon, and after an hour's continued descent arrived at Cheeringee, on the banks of the river Pindar. Not a village nor a hut between Cooling and Cheeringee; road upon the whole pretty good. One could ride uphill, but not down, and the back sinews were sorely tried in the descent. A pikestaff and a pair of ammunition boots were invaluable. Those whose muscles are not well strung would do well to use a dandy in such descents. This consists of a long, stout pole, with a sort of hammock tied upon it, upon which the weary traveller may either sit or recline: four men carry it with ease.

5th October.-Descended the river Pindar by a very fair bridle road to Tirally. Here a wooden bridge was formerly erected over the river; but it was lately broken down by the floods. At present a gossamer sort of suspension bridge, made of straw ropes, connects the two banks. Though made by the natives themselves out of the raw materials of the country, it is very similar in principle to our iron suspension bridges. The footway is a mere ladder wound with a stratum of reeds. The whole affair looks, from a distance, like a gigantic cobweb waving to and Towards sunset a thunder-storm threat- fro with the wind. It is certainly very nerened our little camp, but so slowly did it ad-vous work crossing it, with the roaring torvance, that ample time was found for prepa- rent raging below one, as I experienced. It ration; so tent pins were driven home, extra is, of course, fit only for passengers. I inout-rigger ropes were bent, and trenches out-tended swimming the ponies across, but the side and inside the tent were dug to carry off the surface water. At last the storm approached, and made the tent crack and flap like a wet umbrella; the water burst over the trenches and flowed through in full stream, but the little tent stood fast, and little damage was done. The sheelings erected by my people were all blown to pieces, and they were forced to seek shelter amongst the ruins.

4th October.-Spent a very uncomfortable night in cold and damp, and at daylight found the fog excessive: got fresh relay of coolies, and started about eight. As I ascended, every hair had its dewdrop, and I could have washed my face well with dew; rode uphill at first, then along an undulating slope, then up, up, up, through forests of most gigantic pine trees, each of which was fit for the main-mast of a ship of the line, but doomed to die and rot where it first raised its head. Halted for breakfast under a tree at a little village called Cooling;

stream was too furious, and the banks on either side too steep and rocky to give a chance of their crossing alive. I was the less inclined to run the risk, as a pony only a few. days before was drowned in the attempt to drag him across by means of a rope.

6th October.-Encamped near the village Harmoony. Tent pitched on one of the rice terraces, the flattest and smoothest I could find. The site of the village is one of the most beautiful; on the bold brow of the mountain that shelves down to the Pindar, and about one thousand feet above the level of the river. Judging from appearances, no situation ought to be more healthy, but the pudan assured me that his village had, several months ago, been visited by the Maha-murrie, which carried off fifteen people out of a population of about fifty; that the inhabitants, as is their custom, had then deserted their habitations, and were living in temporary sheds beyond the reach of infection, in hopes of eventually returning when the infection had ceased to exist. One

old woman alone refused to leave her dwelling; she was, of course, debarred from all communication with the refugees, and the pudan pointed out the old creature wandering about the haunts of her childhood, having courted death in vain. I found the pudan an intelligent man, and had a long conversation with him in Hindostanee. He said that the Maha-murrie made its appearance frequently along the valley of the Pindar, and caused the greatest possible consternation. The word Maha-murrie means great mortality, and probably our word Murrain comes from the same origin. From all I could learn the disease very closely resembles the plague. It is issued in by high fever, followed by delirium, and ending fatally about the third or fourth day, generally with suppuration of the glands in the armpit and groins, under the jaw or behind the knee. Very few of those attacked survive, and the population of entire villages is sometimes carried off by its virulence-old and young, male and female, being alike subject to the disease.

Their clothing consists of a coarse, rough blanket of wool or hemp, spun and woven by themselves, seldom or never washed or changed, and pinned upon their persons by great brass skewers. The disease is acknowledged to be much more virulent amongst the wearers of wool than the wearers of hemp, or even of cotton; and to prevail more in the hot and rainy season than in the cold weather. At present I believe there is not a case in the province of Kumaon.

The most probable cause of Maha-murrie is the filthy state of their persons, and their no less filthy habits of their domestic economy; and the most salutary mode of reform would be to have more frequent ablution, and abandon the system of converting the lower story of their dwellings into cattle sheds.

Withal, it is very difficult to trace effects to their true causes, and the perplexities of European science in accounting for the prevalence of the most familiar epidemics at home, makes one diffident in coming to decided conclusions on so mysterious an epidemic as the Maha-murrie.

The Maha-murrie is generally preceded by This afternoon my attention was directed a murrain amongst the rats of the village, to what appeared a dense movable cloud and cautious people then taken the warning hovering over a lofty range of mountains to and desert their houses for an entire season the north, and I was informed that it was or longer. The Maha-murrie is believed to caused by an immense multitude of locusts be highly contagious, and when it breaks that for some days had been endeavoring to out in a village separation from the infected cross over the snowy range into the valley becomes imperative, and self-preservation of Kunawur, but could not on account of the extinguishes every social and domestic affec- cold. The army had made various attempts tion. The son deserts his sick father, the to encamp and refresh themselves upon the daughter her afflicted mother, the husband his affectionate wife, leaving them to their fate, without assistance, and without remorse, to die in their houses or their gardens, like the rats that precede them; nor do they venture back to perform even the rites of funeral till all risk of contagion is supposed to be over. Moreover, if an individual from an infected village were to venture into an uninfected village, he would be stoned to death instantly. Even the old woman that lingered amongst the ruins of Harmoony dared not venture out a mile to join her former associates without the sacrifice of her life.


That such a pestilence should break out in a populous town tainted with the essences of disease is not surprising; but that it should originate amongst a most frugal people, living in primitive houses, in a temperate and delightful climate such as this, is indeed mysterious.

The houses of these hills are built of stone cemented with clay, and roofed with large slabs of clay slate; the family living on the upper story, the lower being filled with their cattle. Certainly much filth and offal lie around, and the persons of the natives are any thing but satisfactory in a sanitary sense.


fields of the villages, but were speedily put to flight by the beating of drums and the firing of muskets. It was suspected that the whole host would eventually perish-a prospect that the natives seemed to enjoy. Such flights are by no means uncommon; ground is sometimes covered some inches deep with their carcasses, and these are gathered up in basketfuls to be parched for food. There was something intensely pathetic in the fate that seemed to await this invading army, reminding one strongly of a similar fate that befell the French armies returning from Moscow, or the Carthagenian armies attempting to cross the Alps. Picked up several invalid locusts, resembling large brown dragon flies, three or four inches in length, that had dropped from cold and hunger.

6th October.-Started this morning by moonlight, having a very long journey before us, and descending along the left bank of the river Pindar, halted for an hour at the pretty little village of Ming. Here we learned that the road some miles further down was carried away by the river, rendering our intended route that way impassable, and making a detour of many miles neces

« ElőzőTovább »