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and on his asking them the reason why, their reply was : “We do not mind you coming here, because to us and let us sit down by you; but other officers will say to us, ‘D—n you, go away.
This often arises simply from fatigue ; but for a traveller to neglect to make friends of the people among whom he sojourns, causes far more dislike to him than any positive acts of violence he is likely to commit; and such is specially the case in high mountainous countries, where the population is scanty and travellers are rare, and the peoplehowever poor some of them may be, and however dirty all are—have much natural though not formal politeness, and are free from the rude presumption which has become one of the distinguishing characteristics of the lower classes of this country of late years. Englishmen are far from being the most unconciliatory of travellers, and they would be better liked in India if the Indians had more experience of the harshness of the ordinary German, and the ignorant insolence of the ordinary French traveller.
Camped as we were on the Chinese side of the To-tzo river, we might have had a marauding visit from some of the nomad Tartars, dwellers in tents, who are the chief inhabitants of the province of Chúmúrti; but, I fancy, the Lassa Government would be as opposed to any unnecessary interference with Englishmen as it is to admitting them into Chinese Tibet, because such interference might be made a handle of by the Indian Government. There is another door here at To-tzo into the dominions of the Grand Lama; but Mr Pagell had told me that he had already tried it, and that on reaching the first village he was sent back immediately, without any ceremony, and was scarcely allowed time
to feed his yak or pony. It would, no doubt, be as difficult to communicate with the Tzong-pon of Chúmúrti as with the Tzong-pon of D’zabrung, and the Chango people would only go along the path to Spiti. As to the exclusiveness of the Tibetans, I find that Turner* makes mention of a very probable origin of it. He ascribes it not to any dislike to Europeans, but to “that spirit of conquest which forms the common character of all Mohammedan states, and that hostility which their religion enjoins against all who are not its professors.” He, indeed, refers more particularly to this cause as having led the people of Bhotan to close the southern entrances to their mountainous country ; but it is extremely likely that it may have been more generally operative, and induced the Tibetans to seclude the whole dominions of the Grand Lama, while their dread of Europeans and of the gold-mines being coveted, might still have acted afterwards to the same end.
Tibet was visited in 1661, from the Chinese side, by the Jesuit missionaries Grueber and Dorville, who not only visited Lassa, but descended from there on India. Two missionaries from Goa are said to have reached Lassa from the Indian side in 1716 ; but some doubt rests on this statement. The most of our knowledge of the country, however, has been afforded by Father Horazio de la Penna, who went from Peking to Lassa in the early part of last century, when the agents of the Chinese Emperor Kang-hi were making a regular survey of the country. This priest remained thirty
* An account of an bassy to the Court of Teshoo Lama in Tibet. By Captain Samuel Turner. London, 1841.
years in Tibet, and supplied the information on the subject which has been presented in the maps of D'Anville and the works of Georgi and Du Halde. The visit, in recent times, of Fathers Huc and Gabet to Lassa is well known to the public ; but it has only recently been discovered that one Englishman has reached Lassa. That was Thomas Manning, a mathematical tutor of Cambridge and a friend of Charles Lamb, who, after residing for several years in China, went into Tibet from India as a doctor, and in disguise. The Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society has announced that Manning's journal, which has lately turned up in an Ayrshire country house, " is a personal narrative, containing many incidents of the road, and is specially valuable for its account of Lassa and of the Dalai Lama : but it contains little geographical information; and if it had not been for the accounts of Bogle, Turner, and the Pundit of 1865, it would not be easy to make out his route.” Bogle's journal had also passed out of sight. Along with Dr Hamilton, he was sent by Warren Hastings into Tibet in 1774, and reached the western capital, Teshu Lambu. These journals, which are now about to be published for the first time, will probably be interesting; but it does not seem that they will add much to our knowledge of the country. A much more valuable work, that of Captain Turner, has long been before the public, and relates his visit to Teshu Lambu in 1783, besides presenting, and in a very agreeable style, a good deal of accurate information in regard to Tibet in general.
In the close of last century there seems to have been no unwillingness on the part of the Lama Government to enter into relationships with British India ; for first Mr George Bogle in 1774, and then Captain Turner in 1783, were allowed to visit Teshu Lambu as representatives of our Government. It is gratifying to find that the Indian Government is again turning its thoughts to Chinese Tibet after the long time which has elapsed since 1783. A formal mission might be sent to Lassa; or, under the treaty of Tientsin, passports might be claimed from the Chinese Foreign Office, allowing Englishmen, in a private or in a semi-official capacity, to traverse Chinese Tibet, the passports being either in the language of the country or accompanied by Tibetan translations given under imperial authority. As it is, the do-nothing policy of the Indian Government recoils injuriously upon its prestige with its own subjects. It hurts our position in India for the people there to know that there is a country adjoining our own territory into which Englishmen are systematically refused entrance, while the nations of British India and of its tributary states are allowed to enter freely, and even to settle in large numbers at the capital, Lassa, * as the Kashmirís do. About a year and a half ago the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce addressed the Viceroy and the Secretary of State for India, complaining of the restrictions there were in the way of commerce with Tibet, and received answers which seemed to imply that their prayer would be taken into favourable consideration whenever circumstances would allow. More recently the 'Friend of India’ well remarked that “the day has now come when we may justly ask the Chinese Emperor to take steps for our admittance into Tibet.” Certainly the matter might well be brought to a crisis now; and there would not have been the least difficulty about it if a more active use had been made, within the last few years, of our position in China.
* In Western Tibet the name of this city is pronounced without an aspirate ; but in the centre and east of the country it is called “Lhassa,” which, consequently, is the correct way.