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heat and dust into a new world, and an atmosphere every breath of which was life. I got out, and walked for miles; and when we halted at a resthouse on the first plateau,' I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of the mountain tea, and was still more pleased at the sight of the first red-coated English soldiers that I had seen since I left Niagara. The men were even attempting bowls and cricket, so cool were the evenings at this station.
2. When the light came in the morning, we were ascending the same strangely-ribbed hills that we had been crossing by torchlight during the night, and were meeting flat-faced Thibetans,2 with hair done into many pigtails, who were laboriously bringing over the mountain passes Chinese goods in tiny sheep-loads. For miles I journeyed on, up mountain sides and down into ravines,3 but never for a single moment upon a level; catching sight sometimes of portions of the Snowy Range far distant, and half mingled with the clouds, till at last a huge mountain mass, rising to the north and east, blocked out all view save that behind me over the sea of hills that I had crossed. The sameness of the scene rendered it dreary, the only grandeur about it being that which hugeness carries with it. In short, it was a view that would be fine at sunset, and at no other time.
' Plateau, table-land.
2 Thibetans, people from Thibet, a ccuntry to the north of India.
3 Ravine, a narrow valley among the mountains.
3. Suddenly we crossed the ridge, and began to descend, when the sky cleared, and I found myself on the edge of the rhododendron forest. Here were tall trees with dark-green leaves and masses of crimson flowers, and ferns of a hundred different kinds marked the beds of the rivulets that coursed down through the woods, which were filled with troops of chattering monkeys.
4. Rising again slightly, we began to pass the European bungalows, each in its own thicket, and few with flat ground enough for more than half a rose-bed, or a quarter of a croquet-ground. On either side of the ridge was a deep valley, with terraced rice-fields five thousand feet below, and, in the distance, on the one side the mist-covered plains lit by the single silvery ribbon of the distant Sutlej, on the other side the Snowy Range.
5. The sunrise view of the Snowy Range from my bungalow was rather strange, from the multitude of peaks in sight at once, but it was scarcely beautiful or grand. The desolate ranges of foot-hills destroy the beauty which the contrast of the crimson rhododendrons, the snow, and the green foliage of the shrubs would otherwise produce, and the height at which you stand seems to dwarf the distant ranges; but from one of the spots which I reached in a mountain march, the prospect was widely different. Here we saw at once the dazzling peaks among which are the sources of the Jumna, the
1 Bungalow, a country house with one floor or flat only.
Sutlej, and the Ganges; while behind us in the distant plains we could trace the Sutlej itself, silvered by the hazy rays of the half-risen sun. We had in sight no less than twenty peaks, each of which was over 20,000 feet in height, snow-clad to their very bases, while between us and the nearest outlying range were valleys from which the ear caught the humble murmur of fresh-risen streams.
6. Having descended again into the plain, we crossed in a railway journey of an hour one of the most fertile districts of the Punjaub. I was struck with the resemblance of the country to South Australia in each we find great sweeps of wheatgrowing lands, with here and there an acacia or mimosa tree; in each there is a climate hot but dry, and not unhealthy-singularly hot here for a tract in the latitude of Vicksburg, near which the Mississippi is sometimes frozen.
7. Through groves of a yellow - blossomed, sweet-scented, weeping acacia, much like laburnum, in which the fortified railway station seems out of place, I reached the tomb-surrounded garden that is called Lahore-a city of pomegranates, hollyhocks, and roses. The date groves of Lahore are beautiful beyond description.
8. Quitting Lahore at night, I travelled to Moultan by railway. During the night, when I looked out into the still moonlight, I saw only desert and
'Latitude, distance north or south of the Equator. In this passage the latitude is north.
trains of laden camels pacing noiselessly over the waste sands; but in the morning I found that as far as the eye could see, the whole country was a howling wilderness. In every village, bagpipes were playing through the livelong night. are many resemblances to the Gaelic races to be found in India; the Hindoo girl wears a plaid like the Galway peasant, and the hill tribes wear the kilt; but the Punjaubee pipes are like those of the Italian bagpipes rather than those of the Scotch Highlanders.
9. The great sandy desert which lies to the south-east of the Indus has, perhaps, a future under British rule. Wherever snowy mountains are met with in warm countries, yearly floods, the product of the thaws, sweep down the rivers that take their rise in the glaciers of the chain, and the Indus is no exception to the rule. Were the fall less great, the stream less swift, Scinde would have been another Egypt. As it is, the fertilizing floods pour through the deep river bed instead of covering the land, and the silt is wasted on the Arabian Gulf. It is possible that the English Government may at some future time undertake the works necessary for carrying some of this surplus water into the desert, and thus convert the Punjaub and Scinde into a garden which should support a happy population of a hundred millions, reared under our rule, and the best of bulwarks against invasion from the north and west.
10. Earlier in my journey I had seen those
great canals that are commencing to irrigate1 and fertilise the vast deserts that stretch to Scinde. had already seen their handiwork in the fields of cotton, tobacco, and wheat that blossom in the middle of a wilderness; and if the whole Punjaub and Indus valley can be cultivated in the same way, no outlay can be too costly a means to such an end. There can be no reason why, by irrigation, the Indus valley should not become as fertile as the valley of the Nile.
Adapted from Sir C. DILKE's Greater Britain, by permission of Messrs. MACMILLAN and Co.
BOYHOOD AND MANHOOD.
Two lads that thought there was no more behind,2 But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy-eternal 3_
We were as twinned lambs, that did frisk i' the sun And bleat the one at the other; what we changed" Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dreamed
That any did. . . .
Temptations have since then been born to us.
1 Irrigate, to cause water to flow over the neighbouring land.
2 Behind, in the future.
• Changed, exchanged.
* Boy-eternal, boys always.
› Doctrine, we knew not what ill-doing meant ; we knew not the principle of evil.