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our glorious view was blotted had insisted on our bringing out, snow was beginning to two bottles of aguardiente, a fall, and, to crown all, R. most potent spirit, with which seemed very ill indeed. to rub ourselves as a safeguard

For some time our progress against stiffness. We were not was very slow, for he had to be feeling stiff, and had forgotten helped forward every step, but all about the bottles. Not so after a time we came to a slope the Indians; but unfortunately of snow of the right consistency they preferred interior to exfor å sitting glissade. The terior lubrication. Soon Indians had brought mats for heated argument arose, then this purpose, on which we sat, a quarrel, then the flash of a each with our guide in front. knife was visible in the dancing In an incredibly short space of firelight. R., with great prestime we got down nearly 2000 ence of mind, immediately disfeet, and the sensation was de- charged his revolver over the lightful. At least I found it so, heads of the offenders, and a but I am afraid R. was not cap- threat to report them to their able of enjoying anything just master had a most sobering then. In fact, he was still so effect. We ordered the return bad when we reached the spot of the aguardiente, but found where the horses had been that, in the words of the debrought to meet us, that after linquents, “none of it had been covering him with blankets, wasted." Then came peaceful for it was now snowing hard, sleep. and making one of the Indians Next morning we returned lead his horse, I hurried on to to Chalchicomula, where we the cave to make things com- were cordially greeted by Señor fortable against his arrival, and Couttolenc. He added to our prepare a hot drink. Twenty joy by assuring us that we minutes after me he rode up were the first Englishmen to whistling, and said he never make the ascent of Citlalfelt better in his life. Such tepetl, as Orizaba is termed are the strange vicissitudes of in the Indian tongue. This mountain sickness.

I believe to be correct; at any It was too late to get back to rate the statement, made in Chalchicomula before dark; be- "The Alpine Journal' after our sides, the comforts of the cave ascent, has not been contraappealed to us strongly. So vened. Not that there is any we passed another night there, merit in being the first to do nor did we forget to drink to what any one in decent training the health of our newly-con- and ordinary health could do if quered summit, as we sat round they liked, but still the thought the edge of a blazing fire and brings a certain amount of dined. Only one contretemps satisfaction, took place. Señor Couttoleno And so I saved my hat!

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AMRITSAR.

“The Sikhs of Govind shall bestride horses, and bear hawks upon their hands,

The Toorks who behold them shall fly,

One shall combat a multitude,
And the Sikh who thus perishes shall be blessed for ever."

-The Tunkha Nameh of Guru Govind.

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FROM days before Alexander after it was destroyed by the the Punjab has been possessed Afghan, Ahmed Shah, in 1762, by the best horsemen and only with additions. The story swordsmen that have come of its making, its disappearthrough the passes. Scythians, ances and recrudescences, is, of Greeks, Persians, Turks, Af- course, the history of the Sikhs ghans have over - ridden the in abstract. During the sixcountry, despoiled it, and rid- teenth and seventeenth cenden away. The Sikhs are the turies it needed strong defences. only Cis-Himalayan 1 folk who That it has stood since 1775 have become masters of the means that the Sikhs have soil and held it for any length been in the ascendant from of time; and Amritsar, “the this date until they fought Lake of Immortality," was the the British in 1846, after the focus of all the sanguinary death of Ranjit Singh. For struggles they carried on with all that, they built it as men the forces of Islam from the who needed a wall behind their days of Har Govind until the backs. ascendancy of Ranjit Singh. The temple rises from an The Durbar Sahib, the present artificial lake of green water, temple, has been destroyed in which the placid reflection three times. It has been of its marble walls and gilded polluted with cow's blood and roof and cupolas rests dreamily the site heaped with pyramids all day. It is approached by a of the heads of the faithful. marble causeway. The walls Each time the Sikhs retaliated are inlaid with cornelian and as soon as they were strong mother-of-pearl, and the doors enough by destroying the are sheathed in silver. Iron Muhammadan mosques and and brass are

nothing acrinsing the floors with the counted of” in the temple. blood of swine. It can easily The tank is 500 ft. in length be understood that there is no and in breadth. building in the Punjab of any ment round it is of marble, great age.

30 ft. broad, and is enolosed The Durbar Sahib, or Golden on three sides by the Bangas, Temple, as we call it, stands or hostels, which open into it.

as it was rebuilt soon These belong to the different

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1 The Jats, from whom the majority of the Sikhs spring, have been identified with the Scythians. They have been established in India since about 100 B.O.

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Sikh chiefs, and are used by bred men bear to a temporal them and their retainers when lord, with a certain love and they visit

Amritsar. The a certain ease withal. There Ramgharia Banga on the east is less awe than in Hindu has two towers where the temples, because there is less watchmen kept a look-out for superstition. In the place of

For the Durbar distorted images and emblems Sahib is a soldier's shrine. there is the holy book. The

One may stand in the gallery temple is called the Durbar on the second storey of the Sahib because the ceremony is temple and watch the file of a Durbar in the literal sense of worshippers approach along the the word. The book is carried marble causeway through the to the shrine with all circumDarshani Darwaza, or Gate of stance and pomp. It is the Adoration, and from the same deputy, or vicar, of the Gurus spot one may look down on the who have passed away, and Granth Sahib within and see the disciples approach in an the offerings made to the holy unending stream to pay honour book and read the spirit of to their lord. a creed in the faces of the One is struck most with the worshippers.

gentlemanliness of it all—there The Granth rests on a low is no other word for it. stand, the Manjhi Sahib, and Anglo-Indian slang the place is covered with wrappings of would be called a Sahib's silk, and protected from the temple.” One is not dunned, offerings of pigeons by a silk or jostled, or insulted, or awning above. Behind it sits fawned upon there as one is the Granthi, a priest of the old at Benares or Brinda Ban or type, grey-bearded, keen-eyed, Lashkar or the temple of Kali with an oval face, and an old- in Calcutta, where a mob of fashioned turban lying flat on brazen - tongued, cadging, illthe head in coils. As in the conditioned, noisily - extortionHindu temples, men, women, ate rascals surround one's and children drift in a stream carriage before one is a hundred towards the priest, throw offer yards from the gate, and are ings of flowers, sugar, or copper allowed by the temple authoricoins on the object of venera- ties to palm themselves off as tion, and receive consecrated priests. Instead there is a rich ones in return. All coin of simplicity in this as in all Sikh the realm, in silver or gold, is shrines. The Gurus abhorred sonorously announced, dropped idols, priestcraft, ritual, superin a jar before the book, and stition, tamperings with the withheld for temple funds. All supernatural, and all attempts unvalued things receive the to localise, personify, or insist currency of sanctity by contact upon special attributes with the Granth, and manifestations of the Divine passed on to new comers. Being. The highest building The Sikh offerers approach in the precincts of the place with the respect that well- is a nine-storeyed monument to

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the opposite idea. The Baba to Islam through generations, Atal is an elegy in stone to when to be a Sikh meant to the son of the sixth Guru, who slay “a Toork" at sight, or be

" was chid by his father for slain by him. What were restoring a playmate to life. these Muhammadans doing in “Two swords cannot be put the shrine? I asked. When I in one scabbard,” his father was told they were the childsaid, and bade the boy set his ren of Mardana, I understood. heart on pure - living rather One meets diverse races in than vain meddling and dis- this Catholio shrine. In the play. The boy made good his throng of worshippers there mistake as well as he could by are many who are drawn there lying down on the spot and by curiosity, or the off chance giving up the ghost. It would that Nanak may have been the have been better if he had laid one man to whom God divulged violent hands on himself like His secret, just as careful men a man of ordinary passions, keep rubbish of odd kinds in for the record is marred by the hope that one day it may that commonest of human help them in some unforeseen weaknesses, the boast by in- need. As Amritsar is the Indian ference. Anyhow, that was market for Central Asia, the the Sikh attitude towards crowd is diversified by many miraculous pretensions. The weather-beaten folk, merchants whole story is illustrated in and muleteers, their red faces frescoes on the entrance gate seamed with the wind, who to the shrine.

have

in across the All through the day the wor- Himalayas with their carashippers flock to the Granth. vans from Kashgar, or YarThere is no service from the kand, or far Bokhara. They time of the short reading, when go about in wedge-like flocks, the book is borne in on a palan- happy as most migrants and quin an hour before dawn, until laughing at everything, one of the evening prayer. Only the them always in the van to musicians are constantly in pilot the rest with some kind attendance, singing hymns to of jargon that can be underthe rebeck and the lute. These stood. I met a party who had are the Rababis, the descend- come in the day before from ants of the Muhammadan fakir, Yarkand. They told me they Mardana Mirasi of Merawat, had made the journey in fifty who loved Nanak, and set his days, with other cheerful tidhymns to music nearly five ings, which I could only interhundred years ago. As Mar- pret as such by their becks and

. dana sat by Nanak's side and smiles. On their heels followed

. ministered to him, yet kept his a mendicant of the Oghar sect, own faith, so his family have with an empty skull in his made musio for the Gurus or hand, from which he professed for their deputy, the Book, to drink, making capital out of these five hundred years, and the vulgar by playing upon served the Khalsa and held their sense of the grotesque, a

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species of tomfoolery that the Akalis passed by, all stamped old Gurus would have abhorred. with the dint of the ideal that Another anomalous interloper Guru Govind left them, an air wore trousers and a black coat. that one cannot mistake or He called me “mister" in a describe, or explain away by rasping voice, and I turned any common heritage of blood, away, thinking him a tout. for they are sprung from many But the fellow persisted until castes, Khattris,

Khattris, Brahmins, he had delivered himself of his and Muhammadan converts, story in the "favour” he had but most of all from the hard to ask me, which was to tell Jat yeoman, from whom they him in what safe bank he might differ just by the Guru's mark. deposit his hoard. He turned For it has been well said that out to be a transmogrified Sikh this great man left his impress, of Multan, returned after fifteen not only on the minds but on years in the Australian gold the features of a nation. mines. Like the Ancient In the Durbar Sahib, the Mariner, he stopped men to centre of Sikh worship and impart his tale. He wished tradition, I hoped to gain some them to know that he had insight into the influence that crossed the sea, dug on equal has marked these people and terms with white men, and knit them into the community “made a bit.” A human in- which fought against us with stinct after all.

such splendid courage at FerNext, a jolly Tibetan and his ozeshah, Aliwal, and Sobraon. wife shambled along the cause- One expects a vein of bigotry way, as if they were treading in a crusader. But the Sikhs over rocks and snow. I greeted have no very positive theohim, and he replied with a grin logical convictions. They do that displayed all his molars, not believe more or less than as much as to say, “Isn't it a the religious-minded man with joke that odd folk like you and no particular tenets all the me should meet here of all world over. Guru Nanak, the places in the world.” And he founder of the religion, was the laughed, making the place echo declared enemy of superstition. with his cracked - bell voice, He only sought to remove the tuned to the wilderness, as he cobwebs that had overgrown told me how he had come down sectarian conceptions of God. from Leh with merchandise by His is expressed in the first the Kangra valley through words of the Sikh morning much snow, and was picking prayer. up any merit that might be is God is one, His name is true, had for the asking on the He is the Creator, without way.

fear, without enmity, TimeAll this palaver took place less Being, Formless, has on the pavement outside the

come in a womb, is shrine, and must have been self-existing, great and audible within. Meanwhile merciful.Sikh soldiers and fanatio That is a creed to which the

never

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