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ablution every day, so as to secure the opium cruit their enfeebled constitutions, in a climate adhering to all parts of his person. The water is bearing some likeness to that of their native evaporated, leaving the drug behind. The opium land. It lies, at an elevation of some 7000 feet, for home consumption is given out to licensed on the sharp spur of a mountain whose wooded dealers, but before it reaches the consumers it is sides slope down to the river bottoms on either adulterated in the proportion of thirty parts of hand. Here is presented the most magnificent foreign substances to one of the pure gum. mountain prospect in the world. A fourth of the
From Patna we float down the river for a hun- whole circuit of the horizon is bounded by a line dred miles, past Monghyr, the Birmingham of of perpetual snow. Peak after peak flings its India, until we reach the mouth of the Cosi river, great summit up into the air, to an elevation of which comes sweeping directly down from the more than five miles, Central, and supreme over snow-clad Himalayas, whither we are bound. all, at a distance of five-and-forty miles, towers Here we abandon the river, and take our way by Kinchin-junga, the loftiest mountain on the globe. palkee, due north for the mountains, whose white Its white summit reaches nearer the moon by five summits, 170 miles distant, are visible low down hundred feet than any other spot upon which in the horizon.
the sun shines. It is two and a half miles higher In due time we reach the outposts of the great than Mont Blanc, “the monarch of hills :" eight Himalayan range, which, clothed with verdure, thousand feet higher than the foot of man or beast spring grandly up from the parched plain. They has ever climbed, or than the strong pinions of form huge confused masses toward the north, the condor have ever borne him through the thin flinging great spurs upon either hand far out into atmosphere. the plain. Between these spurs lie close, damp At Dorjiling our naturalist spent the months of valleys, smothered in the rank luxuriance of a the rainy season, busily engaged in collecting and tropical forest. Torrents dash foaming down the preserving his specimens in natural history. We slopes, their position indicated by clouds of spray leave him to his chosen tasks, and occupy ourfloating above the tree tops. Far away to the selves with studying the new forms of social life south the plain stretches like a sea, overhung by that present themselves in this wild region. vapors wafted from the Indian Ocean, hundreds Foremost among the population are the Lepof miles distant. These clouds discharge no moist- chas, the aboriginal people of the mountains, a ture upon the plain; but no sooner do they come in quiet, peaceable, diminutive race. They have a contact with the flanks of the hills than they are condensed, and descend into the valleys in a perpetual drizzle; or, still more condensed by the greater cold of the higher summits, they fall in showers of heavy rain, which feeds the torrents that rush down the valleys, and find their way to the ocean, whence the waters are again exhaled, borne across the plains, again collected and conveyed to the ocean, in perpetual and gigantic interchange.
The path winds through ravines filled with dense jungle, peopled with great ants and leeches innumerable, and vocal with the ceaseless hum of the shrill cicadæ. Elephants, tigers, leopards, wild boars, and rhinoceroses inhabit these jungles, though in no great numbers. The paths trodden through the forests by the elephants are the most available roads.
At last our party reach Dorjiling, in the Sikkim territory, a place purchased by the English Government as a sanatory station where the Europeans, wasted by the heats of the low country, may re
LEPCHA GIRL AND BOODHIST LAMA.
dim tradition of the deluge, from which they say they use, however, for no offensive purposes. It a couple of their ancestors managed to save them- is called “ban," and serves, nevertheless, a variselves by cliinbing one of the lofty peaks in their ety of useful purposes, among which may be mencountry. A few hundred years ago they were tioned those of plow, tooth-pick, table-knife, hamvisited by missionaries from Thibet, who convert-mer, and hatchet. They also carry a bow slung ed them to Boodhism, taught them to plait their over their shoulders, and a quiver full of poisonhair into pigtails, and sundry other things equally ed arrows. As for food, it would be difficult to edifying. They are wonderfully patient and good point out any thing in the animal or vegetable humored, remarkably honest and trustworthy, but kingdom which they do not eat. Nothing comes greatly given to laziness, and abominably filthy amiss to them, from a mushroom to an elephant, in their persons. “In this rainy climate,” re- though rice is the staple article of ordinary conmarks the Doctor very philosophically, “they are sumption. They are capital woodsmen, and are supportable out of doors." They are fond of or- invaluable as assistants to the tourist. Two or naments, which together with their pigtails con- three of them, with no other implement than their stitute the joy and pride of their lives. The most knives, will in the space of a couple of hours delicate compliment which a Lepcha damsel can knock up a very comfortable hut, having a waterpay to one of her male friends is to steal up softly tight roof of bamboo thatch, a table, bedstead, behind him, unplait his long queue, smooth out its and seats. Their ideas upon the subject of religtangled hairs, free it from a portion of its swarm-ion are rather cloudy. They believe most devoutly ing inhabitants, and braid it again into a nice plait. in spirits, both good and bad: but as the former As their pigtails constitute the main feature of class are sure to do them no harm, they pay little their personal attractions, the fairer sex are en- heed to them; but are very anxious to keep on dowed with a double portion, wearing two tails, good terms with the evil ones. Though they are instead of the single one with which their mascu- | but half-converted Boodhists, after all, they manline companions content themselves. They have ifest the deepest reverence for the Lamas or one inexcusable habit; this is, that as they grow priests of Boodh, while they also maintain in old they become most intolerably ugly.
comfort their own native priests, half mounteThe dress of the Lepchas consists in great part banks and half sorcerers, who go about the counof a single wide garment wrapped loosely about try in harlequin attire, blessing, cursing, begging, the body. This is for ordinary weather; in the carrying messages, and performing all the small winter they add an outer garment with sleeves. offices and petty knaveries pertaining to their They usually go bareheaded; but when the Lep-wandering way of life. They sometimes carry cha assumes a hat it is of dimensions ample enough on a petty traffic in addition to their legitimate to make full amends for the unfrequency of its use. I professional avocations. One whom we encounIts broad brim of bamboo-leaves answers a capitaltered dealt in teapots of red clay, sheep, and purpose as an umbrella in rainy weather, at which puppies. season indeed it is generally worn. The males It is no very easy matter to procure permission carry a long heavy knife in their girdles, which to travel through these mountains. The country
Vol. IX.-No. 53.-Qe
being, of our explorer. The dexterous Lepchas in a very short time construct a table and bedstead of bamboo. A candle enclosed in a glass shade, to keep off the insects and preserve the flame from the wind, affords light by which we write up the journal and notes of the day. Meanwhile the attendants are preparing the dinner under the shade of some tree or rock. Fatigue and a hot dinner-even though none of the best
—are capital opiates, and sleep comes without being summoned.
The vegetation presents a commingling of the productions of temperate and tropical climates. Oranges and maize, the broad-leafed banana and purple buckwheat, sugar cane and barley, grow in close juxtaposition. One of the most serviceable plants of the Himalayas is the bamboo. There is no end to the uses to which the differ. ent species are applied. The young shoots of one kind are eaten as salad; the seeds of another supply a substitute for bread, and when fermented produce a slightly intoxicating drink, which constitutes the favorite “tipple” of the country; while its broad leaves furnish the material of a water-tight thatch. Cut into splints it furnishes the means of constructing tables and furniture. Another species grows in the form of long ropelike cables, from which are formed the slight suspension bridges which span the foaming torrents that come dashing down the ravines. Two of these canes are placed parallel to each other, their extremities firmly lashed to the rocks or trees on either bank. Loops of slender vines are
suspended from these, answering the purpose of WANDERING PRIEST.
chains to uphold the roadway, which consists is not under the dominion of the English, the merely of one or sometimes two canes. A EuRajah of Sikkim being merely one of the petty ropean needs steady nerves to enable him to protected princes. But our naturalist was backed traverse one of these swaying structures, over up by strong influences, and after having exhaust- which the agile Lepcha walks steadily bearing a ed the botany of the region about Dorjiling, we load of a hundred and a half. Climbing and succeeded in making arrangements for a journey | parasitical plants abound in the dark valleys. among the mountain passes to the frontiers of Some coil serpent-like around the trees, smotherThibet. The first of these expeditions lasted for ing them in their close embrace; while others three months, and in the course of it we skirted throw out aerial roots like the arms of a huge the base of the great Kinchin-junga. The pre-centipede, with which they grasp the trunks of parations for this expedition were no trifling the trees, and thus climb to their very tops. At affair. The whole party consisted of fifty-six first sight one can scarcely believe that one of persons. There was a guard of Nepaulese sol- these parasites is any thing other than some huge diers, bearers for tents, books, provisions, papers, reptile making its way up the tree. and a host of those miscellaneous functionaries | Advancing further among the mountains, the inseparable from Indian life.
character of the population gradually changes. We set out late in October upon this tour. The diminutive Lepchas are replaced by the ThiWe have by this time got bravely over the neces-betans, a dark, square-built, muscular race of sity of a palkee and bearers, and find ourselves men, with broad Mongolian faces, wide mouths, abundantly able to climb the mountains and thread flat noses, high cheek bones, low foreheads, and the ravines, loaded with knife, dagger, and a mul- little twinkling eyes with the exterior corners tiplicity of scientific instruments. The routine turned upward. Every vestige of hair is careof a day's journey is as follows. By 10 o'clock fully removed from their faces with a pair of the immediate vicinity of the camp has been ex-tweezers, which form a part of their equipment plored, breakfast concluded, and the preparations as indispensable as a pair of razors to a Eurofor the day's march completed. The whole party pean traveler before the advent of the mustache now set out and travel until four or five o'clock movement. Their natural color is scarcely darker in the afternoon, when the word is given to halt than our own, but filth, smoke, and constant exfor the night. A few blankets spread over poles posure to the most rigorous climate upon the enclose a space six or eight feet in length by four globe soon effaces every vestige of their rosy or five broad, constituting the study, for the time complexion. They wear loose blanket robes girt
side of the great Himalayan
It is difficult to conceive the about the waist with a leathern belt, which serves / amount oflabor expended in conveyingevery pound as a repository for their pipes made of iron or of salt which finds its way over these mountains. brass, their tobacco-pouch, knife, chop-sticks, Before reaching the first village on the southern tinder box, tweezers, and sundry other imple- side, it must make a circuit of one-third of the disments. They are vastly good-humored, and tance around the great peak of Kinchin-junga. It when parties of them encounter upon the road, is evident that the most direct route is that which they go through a succession of ceremonious salutes which one can never see without an explosion of inextinguishable laughter. The ceremony begins by each running the tongue to its full extent from his leathery jaws; then comes a profusion of nods and grins, expressive of the height of amity and good-will; and the performance closes by each party scratching his ear. They have learned that this fashion of salutation strikes strangers as somewhat ludicrous; and when they encounter them the mode of greeting undergoes a variation. First they bring the hand up to the eye, then prostrate themselves to the earth, bumping the forehead three times upon the ground; when they rise from this posture of humiliation they invariably put in a claim for bucksheesh, which is always most acceptable when presented in the shape of tobacco or snuff.
These Thibetans are employed in conveying salt from the mines in Thibet, on the northern
keeps nearest to the summit; avoiding the de- to age been loosened from the heights around. scent of the valleys which radiate in every direc- The houses creep up the mountain side. They tion. The actual distance traveled is not more are gayly painted and ornamented with poles, than fifty miles in a straight line, but to accom- from which streamers float in the sharp mountplish this at least a hundred and fifty miles must ain breeze. You might almost suppose that a be traversed, involving an amount of labor which fleet of Noah's arks, as that vessel is represented would accomplish at least twice as far over toler. in old Dutch Bibles, had somehow got stranded able roads. So that in effect the salt is conveyed among the mountains. The buildings are formed on the backs of men and animals a distance of of pine planks set upright, the interstices being fully three hundred miles before reaching the filled with compost. The roofs are low pitched, nearest point of the country where it is to be con- covered with shingles, loaded with large stones sumed. This occupies under the most favorable to keep them from blowing away. A narrow slit, circumstances ten days, making no allowance for closed with a shutter, answers the purpose of a any interval of rest. After the first day the path window. As we pass through the narrow streets in no case descends lower than 10,000 feet above groups of swarthy, blear-eyed Thibetans salute the level of the sea, and at least four passes cov- us with their deferential kotouing. By way of ered with perpetual snow are to be traversed, all public buildings there are a number of manis, of which attain an altitude of more than 15,000 square-roofed temples containing rows of praying feet, as high as the summit of Mont Blanc, while cylinders, five or six feet high, gaudily painted, one, the Kanglachen Pass, is 16,500 feet above some turned by hand, others by water; and menthe sea. Perhaps no better idea can be formed dongs, blank walls, upon which are painted the of the gigantic scale upon which Nature has here universal Bhoodist formula, Om Mani Padmi wrought, than by comparing the Himalayas with om—“Hail to him of the lotus flower and the the Alps. The circuit of Mont Blanc may be jewel.” accomplished in four days, while at least a month High above the level of the dwellings a long must be occupied in making that of Kinchin- low convent building sits perched. Few things junga
are more noticeable than the frequency of temBy way of specimen of life in the Himalayas, ples and monasteries all through the mountains. let us look at one of the villages of the mountains. The principal establishment is at Tassiding, upon It shall be that of Wallanchoon, in the kingdom of a spur which shoots down from the flanks of Nepaul. It stands ten thousand feet and more Kinchin-junga. Here are three temples, with above the level of the sea, say half a mile above the corresponding houses for the Lamas. They the convent of Saint Bernard. The few trees are singular-looking structures, built of huge which find rooting upon the steep mountain sides stones, the walls sloping upward from their base look gaunt and haggard; long streamers of lichen, upon the outside, though they are perpendicular bleached by exposure to sun and wind, float from within. The roof is low and thickly thatched, the naked branches. The village lies in a plain projecting eight or ten feet beyond the walls. A sown over with huge boulders that have from age ladder upon the outside gives access to a small