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ing at best ;-it may be, mischievous ;-it may be, ridiculous. To remedy the mass of moral evil now existing in the world, a mass of Christianity must first be brought to act upon it: and, coming into close contact with the mischief, must exert upon

it the full force of its subduing, converting, and assimilating in fluence. It must be now as it was in the beginning. The Spirit of God must move upon the face of the deep. Then, and not till then, may we expect to see light, and life, and harmony, gradually springing forth again out of those now disorganized elements of the moral world, which the unassisted resources of humanity can never restore to their original order and beauty.

We cannot conclude, without expressing our thanks to Dr. Chalmers, for this addition to his many useful and masterly publications. We look for the succeeding portions of the work with pleasure, and perhaps when a few more numbers are out, may again notice the subject; especially as it is one which now occupies so much of the public attention.

ART. V.-TOUR THROUGH THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS

OF INDIA, AND TO THE SOURCES OF THE

RIVERS JUMNA AND GANGES. 1. Journal of a Tour through Part of the Snowy Range of the

Himālā Mountains, and to the Sources of the Rivers Jumna and Ganges. By James Baillie Fraser, Esq. Royal 4to.

London, 1820. 2. Views in the Himālā Mountains. By J. B. Fraser, Esq. Co

lombier folio. London, 1820. THE researches of the various able diplomatists, whom the East India Company has had the good fortune to employ, in its political relations with the native powers of India, have greatly contributed to make known to the lovers of science, the vast domains, which are either subject to its sway, or to its political influence, from their contiguity to its territories. But, notwithstanding the valuable corrections of Indian Geography furnished by their labours, the northern parts of Hindostan are still comparatively unknown. And though the able and enterprising measurements of some of the snowy peaks by Captain Webb, and the laborious calculations of Lieutenant-Colonel Colebrooke, recorded in different volumes of the 6 Asiatic Researches," have dispelled much of the error which existed respecting the aclual heights of the celebrated Himalaya (or Himālā) mountains : yet much ignorance and uncertainty prevailed, relative to the nature of the country and the condition of its inhabitants. This chasm in geography and history, Mr. Fraser has, to a considerable degree, supplied in the work, of which we are now to offer some account to our readers.

Travelling with the political agent, who accompanied the victorious army of the East India Company, in its late successful conquest of the Ghoorkha empire, the author and his party enjoyed a perfect and unrestrained freedom, together with full access to every place and person, whether public or private, as conquerors and benefactors. Mr. Fraser, therefore, traversed the country with a perfect facility of seeing and observing, and also of making every inquiry into its moral and political state; while his own want of skill in the language was compensated by the society of those who were perfect masters of it. Though his deficiency in the physical sciences, as Mr. Fraser candidly acknowledges, prevented him from entering into particular scientific details, yet we must do him the justice to say that the information he has collected is highly valuable; and it possesses the singular merit of pourtraying the manners and habits of the rude natives, who dwell at the foot of the great Himalayan Range, with much minuteness, and apparently with great fidelity, before they were changed by intercourse with Europeans, and even before they had mixed much with the inhabitants of the plains. As, however, the journey was suddenly projected, and was also connected with a military movement, our author's notes, though highly valuable in themselves, are necessarily somewhat deficient in arrangement. Omitting, therefore, his account of the war with the Nepaul empire, (the details of which have long since been given to the public in official dispatches,) and which terminated in the submission of the latter to the terms imposed by the East India Company, we shall proceed to classify the most material of his observations on the several regions visited by him; and shall reserve for a distinct notice his very interesting account of his visits to the reputed sacred sources of the rivers Jumna and Ganges, which were never before explored by an European.

That chain of mountains, of which the great Himālā range forms the central ridge, and which, stretching from the Indus on the north-west to the Burrampooter on the south-east, divides the plains of Hindostan and the Punjab from the wilds of Tartary, is a highly interesting tract both in a geographical and political point of view. For, independently of its containing the sources of many of the majestic rivers that fertilize and enrich Hindostan and other Asiatic regions, and being also inhabited by nations and tribes of a singular character and very warlike disposition, who have, for ages, defied the arms of the most powerful Asiatic monarchs, it serves as a grand and most efficient boundary between two empires, of such extent as China, and that which once owned the sway of the house of Timur, but is now chiefly subject to the milder rule of the British government.

The portion of this region, visited by Mr. Fraser, is that which lies between the rivers Sutlej and Alacknunda; the former bounding it to the north-west and north, the latter to the south-east and east, while it overlooks the plains of Hindostan to the south and south-west ; and on the north-east it partly includes, and is partly bounded by the mountains of Himālā. This tract of country, considerable in extent, is divided into a variety of large and small states, which are governed by chiefs, more or less dependent, in proportion as they are powerful. These various states, together with their natural and political boundaries, are enumerated by our author; but those, which he has most particularly described, and to which we shall chiefly direct our attention, are the states of Sirmore, Joobul, Comharsein, Theog, Bischur, and Gurwhāl. The general features of these countries are thus described.

“ All this region, like the whole of the countries contained in the long range of mountains, is wild, rugged, and difficult of access, con. sisting of a mass of hills irregularly connected, or diverging in ranges of various heights from a huge elevated centre, but preserving no regularity of direction or of form. Their tops are sometimes clothed with forests of old and venerable wood; sometimes they are rocky, and green or brown; and the general aspect, to the south and south-east, is always less wooded and less broken (though still very rough), than that to the north and north-west, which is almost uniformly precipitous, formed of sharp crags covered with deep pine forests.

“ T'he ravines that divide these hills are deep and very sudden in aheir descent, often ending in dark chasms that are sometimes wocded, but they as often exhibit faces of bare rock of several hundred feet high, frowning at each other, with little more space between them than has been worn by the violence of the torrents; these, taking their way from the mountain brows, where they have been collected from clouds, and rain, and melting snow, thunder down, and form these furrows in their sides.

". There are no spreading valleys, no rich meadow lands on the banks of rivers, no gentle undulation of ground on which the eye can rest with pleasure; all is steep and difficult; toilsome rise and sudden fall. Such a country offers little encouragement to the industry of the husbandman ; and, accordingly, cultivation, which is limited in proportion to the extent of surface, is laboriously and sparingly scattered among the woods and rocks.

“ As the country recedes from the plains it increases in difficulty and elevation, till at the foot of the snowy mountains it assumes a sa

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vage wildness.; and among them, save in the passes or the beds of rivers, becomes totally impracticable and impervious.

“ The rivers and their beds too gradually change their character as we approach nearer to their source, from the rapid and turbulent stream flowing through a deep and a rugged channel, but affording a comparatively easy road along its banks, to a furious torrent dashing from one huge block of stone to another, along which the traveller proceeds at first with difficulty, which increases to hazard of life, climbing over rocks, and picking his dangerous way across the face of precipices, till at length his career is stopped by masses of mighty ruin, that baffle all human attempts to invade them.' (P. 55, 56.)

1. In point of value and political consideration, Sirmore is the second of the states above enumerated; but as it was the first, visited by Mr. Fraser, we shall commence with this state. It fell under the Ghoorka tyranny a few years ago, principally through the crooked policy of the then reigning sovereign. The Ghoorkas proved hard and oppressive masters. The old families, who were attached to the ancient hereditary government, they banished or dispersed; and they created new officers, to fill the different posts of trust, who were devoted to their service, and whose interest it was, that the old dynasty should never be revived.

many
instances,

the chief zemindars were carried away from their farms and families, as hostages for the peace of the district; and frequently such persons, when suspected of a wish to change masters, were put to death. Such severity naturally produced a great change in the national character, particularly in the more accessible parts of the country, near the plains, and around the capital. All enthusiasm, all appearance of love for liberty was destroyed'; the people became dispirited, bowed to the dust, and alike subdued in mind and in body. In the more northern and remote parts, however, latent symptoms of anxiety to throw off the yoke, evinced themselves, as the British forces approached'; and many hundreds of irregular troops inlisted into the British service. The two incipal places in this state are Nahn, a small and irregular town situated on the crest of a steep hill, and the fortress of Jytock erected on the lofty end of a mountainous ridge, 3600 feet above the level of the plains. This fortress, after a siege of nearly four months (the particulars of which are detailed by Mr. Fraser) capitulated to the division of the army under General Martindale. While the forces lay before this place, our author availed himself of the opportunity thus presented to him of surveying the manners and habits of the native inhabitants.

The face of the country around Nahn and Jytock is peculiarly rugged; the hills, all the way to the river Girree, assume a crumbly and rocky sharpness, rising into narrow sharp ridges

and high peaks, that give a striking character to the whole tract. This seems to rise from the nature of their component parts. They are described, as being apparently formed of a hard stone, very apt to crack and break in sharp irregular ridges; and which, on exposure to the air, easily bursts in small fragments, and then falls into dust. This rock is covered with a thin crust of soil, which in all probability is chiefly formed of the decomposed stone, and is of various thickness. The ravines, which separate these hills, have a not less savage character: they exhibit great variety of rock and precipice, though not on so grand a scale as where the rock is of a less mouldering nature. The soil, however, which covers the mountains, is rich, and produces vegetation of much elegance and variety, besides abundance of wood.

Whenever the ground admits of being worked, much cultivation speckles the sloping sides of these wooded mountains. This is effected by cutting those parts, which are best adapted to the operation, into a succession of terraces, rising one above another, exactly like a flight of steps, having a flat level surface, on which the crops grow, and a perpendicular face. A large proportion of the mountain-sides is thus seen carved into strips that exhibit a very singular appearance. And when the country is flooded by irrigation (as was the case with much that our authorsaw), the singularity is heightened by the aspect of a hilly country, partly under water. The breadth and extent of these ledges or strips of land vary according to the nature of the ground. Where they are carried up one of their usual slopes, without the advantage of a retroceding vale or bottom, they are generally not more than twelve or fifteen feet broad, sometimes not more than six or eight feet, and the depth of the supporting wall frequently equals the breadth. The mode of cultivating these terraces is thus described.

« On such narrow strips it would be impossible to make use of cattle and a plough, and therefore manual labour is employed on them in preparing the soil; but wherever there is room for a plough it is preferred. The instrument here made use of is perfectly similar to that employed in the plains of Hindostan, being equally simple and inefficient: a piece of crooked wood, one end of which is fastened to a rude yoke, which crosses the necks of two bullocks, and the other end turned, downwards, is sharpened to turn the ground; while near the acute angle formed by the bending, a handle is inserted to guide and press into the earth.

“ Patience, however, (the characteristic of the Hindoo of the plains), also serves the mountaineer, instead of ampler means, to attain his end; and repeated ploughings produce an effect equal to that which a superior instrument would compass in one or two, and the soil of the hills in general favours these weak means, being free and easily worked, con.

the point

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