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and this is the only drop of drinkable water upon this island. Here, then, an attempt has been made to supply this necessary element upon a coral reef, where none is to be found. The effort is most praiseworthy, and might be safely imitated elsewhere.
There are but few of our readers who were, perhaps, aware that our Colonial legislature had so far outstripped us in this work of benevolence; or that such efforts had been made upon barren islands to alleviate the miseries that are to a certain extent inseparable from maritime enterprise. The following notice, which appeared in the London Gazette of the 14th of April last, also shows how this benevolent idea is now working at the Antipodes :—
"booby Island.—Notice to Mariners.—The Governor of New South Wales makes known to all masters of vessels from Sydney to Torres Straits that it is intended to forward by the Enchantress, for the purpose of being placed on Booby Island, a further quantity of bread, fresh water, meat, and spirits as a provision for shipwrecked seamen."
May a divine blessing be breathed upon the good intentions of the Australian legislature for its prompt humanity and hospice 1 Perhaps, with such examples as the post-office and hospice upon Booby Island— a rock in an open sea-way, and Rain Island water-tank, and the hospices at Anticosti, the benevolent idea may be ere long extended to other barren islands and reefs lying in the way of navigation. That such may be the case is not only our wish, but we hope, ere long, to give another account of a few islands where hospices might be placed with great benefit to mankind. R. P.
A SCRAMBLE THROUGH THE HILLS TO CASHMERE. By Captain Colman, 53rd Regiment.
(Continued from p. 517.)
On Sunday, at 5 p.m., there is a review of the troops on the parade ground adjoining the Sheer Ghurree. Chairs are placed for the convenience of visitors; the troops are drawn up to receive the general, Meer Jameet Singh, with a "present arms;" and as this general is a great favourite with the army, and an illegitimate son of Gholaub Singh, a rumour goes that on the decease of the Maharajah, the heir to the crown will not get it without a struggle; when, of course, the English will be called upon to settle the dispute, and the old story of the equal division of the oyster will be told over again: however, after the general has walked his horse about a little, the prince rides round, afterwards dismounting and seating himself in the centre of the chairs; the troops then march past; first come the regular cavalry, about fifty men on Galloways with European saddles, no great shakes; the general having dismounted, then marches past, saluting, and draws up on the other side of the saluting flag facing the prince. He is a tall handsome wiry-looking man, sometimes in a blue frock coat and gold epaulettes; at others in a scarlet tunic with gold lace down the front and skirt, and silver epaulettes, yellow silk turban with kulga or plume of heron's feathers, gold-seamed trousers, brass scabbard, &c. Then came three or four brass guns, four or sixpounders, escorted by twenty men in old horse artillery helmets, these constitute the artillery ; then a band with about fifty performers, making a tremendous riot, who draw up and play their regiment past; and remarkably fine men they are, clad in white jackets, white turbans, and black trousers, white cross belts and matchlocks with bright barrels; they march past very steadily, as well perhaps as any of our own native regiments. The band being now blown by their exertions, and stunned as well as the spectators by their own noise, wheel up in a confused manner, and stride away after their army at a tremendous pace, making way for another of the same stamp (playing "Love not," the last tune); then comes another regiment similar to the former, headed by a boy about fifteen years of age, in white clothes and brass scabbard, for he is a colonel, a brother of the general, and son of Gholaub; his name is Anunt Singh. Every service has its lucky officers ; he is one. Each regiment appears to number about five hundred men. The Mir Sahib told me that there were about four thousand men in the valley, but we never saw more than fifteen hundred of all arms on parade; however the remainder may have been employed collecting the revenue, which is part of their business, and in garrisoning the Hurree Parbut, in which, they say, there are seven hundred men. The irregulars bring up the rear of the procession; they are fine bold-faced sinewy men, with moustache turned up to their eyes ; in white dress, with matchlocks slung across their bodies, shields at their backs, and tulwars in their belts; tolerably well mounted; serviceable looking men; in number about two hundred; they present a contrast in figure to the prince himself; in height he is about five feet five, with a very long body and short stiff legs; he does not seem at home either on foot, on horseback, or sitting in a chair: although quite a young man, about five or six and twenty, he is bloated and oily from over-feeding and no exercise; he does his utmost to make himself agreeable, but does not possess the tact and dissimulation of his father to conceal his distaste for Europeans; in fact, his habits, manners, tastes, &c, are so diametrically opposed, that he could not like us ; still he knows that his succession depends entirely on the good-will of the cursed Feringhees, and he is obliged to try and look pleasant; interest plainly warring with inclination. In face he is rather good looking, with his thick beard and moustache pointed to his eye and elaborately plaited like the tail of the little " Kenwigses." His son, a boy about seven years of age, bids fair to be just as stout as his father, he looks blown out with "ghee" and sweetmeats, and is always accompanied in his airings either by boat or on horseback by a pretty strong guard; he will be taken to England and made a Christian of some fine day, in all probability like Dhuleep Singh, the son of the Ranee or Queen of Lahore.
flowing from the City Lake. People generally go to it this way from the bungalows, in fact there is no other entrance by water but the Drogshah or Flood Gate at the upper end; when the water in the city river (the Jhelum) rises very high, which it does about June, the pressure from without shuts the large doors and prevents an inundation, which would otherwise occur from the admission of so large a body of water; as the flood subsides, the gates open of themselves. Hugel mentions a stone pillar near this which denotes the height to which the water rises; we never saw it, it is probably not in existence at the present time. He (Hugel) says the Cashmerees cannot swim; they must have learnt the art since he left, for they are at the present time as much at their ease in the pure element as ducks. Half way up this canal is a gunpowder manufactory, but it is not often at work; people appear to make gunpowder whenever they feel inclined, without any regard for the public safety. Under the Hurree Parbut, a strong fortress, we came upon four or five different manufactories. A shed is erected; one man sits on the ground and mixes saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal in a stone mortar, whilst a large pestal attached to a beam of wood, working horizontally on an iron pin, is kept going up and down by two men at the other end: this see-saw business is all their stock-in-trade. Passing down the river and about half-way between the second and third bridge on the right hand side, and some few hundred yards from the bank, through filthy streets, is the Delawar Khan Bagh, a trumpery looking place enough, dignified with the title of garden, but only having a few trellises for vines at the end. Overlooking a disagreeable part of the lake is a pavilion ; the place is not worth looking at, except as having been the residence of Hugel ■nd Yigne in 1835. The former (Baron Hugel) sounds the note of admiration extravagantly for this as for everything else he sees; to use an old proverb, his "geese are all swans." There was one visitor living there, but generally it would be scouted as a residence.
Beyond the third bridge is the Hamedan mosque, a fine looking building of wood ; and a door or two higher up in a dirty passage is the workshop of Suffala Baba, perhaps the most extensive dealer in shawls, Pashmena, &c, of any in the city. Mookhtear Shah is spoken of as the principal importer, but he is above the retail line altogether, and shows so little inclination to display his wares that few visit him. There is also another man named Mahomed Shah, who tries hard to compete with Suffala Baba, and adopts the claptrap of cashing bills at three rupees a hundred discount, instead of four, the usual thing; but the articles he sells, though more reasonable in price, are inferior in quality—cheap and nasty is the order of his shop. Suffala Baba is generally willing to expose to view shawls of all prices, ladies' cloaks, babies' robes, &c, elaborately worked, provided the visits to his shop are made before his dinner hour, or when the weather is cool; but in warm weather, or after feeding-time, he becomes listless, sits in his corner on the floor, replies in monosyllables, holds his book of orders upside down, has a perplexed, embarrassed, owlish appearance, and no amount of energy can stir him up from this state of stupor. He is very fair and upright in his dealings, and has great confidence in the honour of Englishmen. After passing the fourth bridge, landing at a flight of steps, and picking one's way through anything but rosewater-smelling avenues, we come upon a hummaum, or hot bath, kept by an old bandy-legged and very ugly barber. Here you are scrubbed, polished, boiled, every joint in your body cracked, and sinew tried, for the sum of two rupees. However, in appearance and general treatment these baths are inferior to those at Cairo; there the sense of oppression on entering the dense steamy atmosphere is not so much felt, on account of the transition from the outer apartments being more gradual, although the temperature of the marble seat on which the patient is remorselessly pressed by his conductor is sufficiently hot to make him fly off instantaneously, and earnestly expostulate, which expostulation is of no avail, the operator, an Egyptian, not understanding one word; in addition to which, the sufferings daily passing before his eyes on this seat have made him callous, and he heeds not the woes of martyrs; however, in two or three minutes one becomes comfortable, and the barber here (Srenugger) related how (Moamsahibs) ladies had undergone the scrubbing process by the hands of female performers. It is to be hoped that the fact of having passed the ordeal here will not embolden them to try that dreadfully hot stone at Cairo; it is anything but an easy chair, and nothing short of the philosophy of Guatimozin, who made himself at home on a gridiron, could sustain a man on that accursed marble bench. One certainly experiences gratification in beholding the torments of others ; for at the Cairo hummaum, although myself lying in a scalding hot bath, I couldn't stifle a chuckle of delight on seeing a friend who had been led in after me, when placed calmly on the same spot, jump off again in a second, and shake his head and fist menacingly at the tawny descendant of Cheops.
Nearly all the houses are built with a framework of wood, the interstices filled up with bricks. This mode of building affords greater safety in earthquakes, to which the valley is very liable; there are continually slight shocks, but a very severe one took place in 1829, upsetting a great number of houses, and destroying many of the inhabitants. Passing the fifth and sixth bridges on the right is a summerhouse overhanging the river, the residence of the Prince's Moonshee; and on the left are small canals, by which the boatmen avoid having to breast the whole strength of the river, after having taken people down through the city for their evening airings.
Let us go on to the lake. Here we are sitting in the summer-house of the Nishet Bagh, or garden of delights, distant from the city about two miles, but looking less as it rises in five terraces, over each of which falls a cascade, one presenting quite a different appearance to the other, from the stones over which water runs being fancifully carved. On each side there are rows of fruit-trees arranged in squares, a plot containing trees of only one sort—one entirely apple, one cherry, one quince ; and there are two pavilions—one on the margin of the lake, at the bottom of the garden, the other (to which I alludeas our residence) at the upper end, and approached by a splendid avenue of Chunar trees, throwing a grateful shade around at mid-day. In front of the house is a large tank with twenty-five jets, which, although almost fit for nothing on our arrival, now gratify our eyesight by playing constantly. A long time it was indeed before we could induce the mallee or gardener to bring the water; but the promise of rupees if the water flowed freely through the garden daily, and a threat that should it not do so we would sally out and destroy any private arrangements he might have made with the people cultivating fields around, for whose convenience he had tacitly allowed the stream to be turned into another direction, had the desired effect; and early in the morning a small river comes tearing in at the top, passes through the large open hall in the centre of our habitation, making all the fountains spout laughingly, and discharges itself into the lake at the bottom of this elisium. Glorious old fellows these Moguls, however much the moderns may abuse their tyranny, they had a marvellously correct eye for a good site, and elaborate taste in beautifying and adorning places when once selected. This was never a royal residence, but Akbar the Great, whose name is revered in Cashmere, having caused a structure of marble to rise on one pretty spot, his courtiers thought (perhaps wisely) that they couldn't do better than follow his example; and so this was brought into existence. The Shalimar, or royal pleasure-ground of Akbar must have been a more sumptuous business altogether. The pillars of the upper pavilion are of superb black porphyry, and there are more than a hundred fountains playing round it. The large Chunar trees are just as old and handsome, the water flows in more copious streams, the falls are larger and deeper, yet it hasn't the same light pleasant appearance as the Nishat, perhaps from its being on lower ground, and the entrance blocked up by reeds and bulrushes. This Shalimar is kept for the use of Rundeer Singh, Mir Sahib or prince, son of Gholaub Singh, who professes to take care of it. I have no doubt he would if he knew how, but, like all the Sikhs, he hasn't a particle of taste. This race of yesterday, though exceeding the Moguls in oppression— in fact, open robbery is the word—don't possess the faculty of embellishing any province that may have fallen to them ; on the contrary, their path has been marked by destruction and defacement of everything that could add to the appearance of the valley. The island of Char Chunar, or four plane trees—so called from there having been originally one at each corner—and on which was a pretty summer-house, with its little fountain in front, has suffered most from these barbarians. The summer-house has been pulled to pieces, and the stones taken away to contribute to the building of an unsightly pagoda with a brass dome, erected in the Sheer Ghurree, or city fort— a specimen of the refined taste of the Mir Sahib, and nicely in contrast with the relics of Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jehan, &c. This island of Char Chunar is artificial, and was made by order, as was also another at the opposite extremity of the lake—one was called the Sona Lunk, or island of gold, the other (Char Chunar) Rupea Lunk, or island of silver. The Golden Island, on which was originally a state prison, has long since fallen to decay, nothing remaining on it but a few small