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reason to complain of the British Raj; and that, under a superficial appearance of contentment and progress,
, there are gathering forces, mostly powerless for good, which may at any moment break forth with destructive fury, and are certain to do so whenever the energies of this country are more fully occupied elsewhere.
It may be fancied that some of my descriptions of what I encountered among the Himalaya are somewhat exaggerated, and especially, I understand, the achievements of the little pony which carried me over the great Shigri glacier. A lady writing to me on this subject remarks: “Had I not known you to be scrupulously truthful—in fact, fastidiously careful in the use of language, lest it might convey a shade of meaning beyond the thought, opinion, or fact, you wished to express—I might have regarded some of your descriptions as exaggerated; but I consider accuracy, both verbal (that is, in the use of words) and in the statement of facts, to be one of your strong pointsbarring and excepting in the making of promises with respect to letter-writing.” So I have carefully reconsidered everything which might appear to bear the marks of exaggeration, and, while finding almost nothing to alter on that ground, have thought it best to say nothing about one or two incidents which might really
I have only to add on this subject, that the state of Himálayan paths differs somewhat from year to year, according to the amount of
labour expended upon them, and the landslips which
The frontispiece and vignette to this volume are both taken from photographs of Messrs Shepherd & Bourne of Calcutta and Simla, who sent up an expedition into Spiti, and have provided the public with many admirable photographs of Himálayan scenery, all, or most of which, are obtainable in London. The frontispiece represents a view in the Shigri Valley, or Valley of Glaciers, looking down the Chandra river, near to where my first camp in that valley was pitched; but the snow has been brought down a little lower by the lithographer, in order to represent the scene as it was when I saw it; and the figure of a yak, along with something like my tent, have been added to the foreground. The vignette gives a very fair idea of a Himálayan highway, and of one of those jhúlas, or twig-bridges, which I have described in Chapter XXI. The bridge represented is in the upper Spiti valley, between Dankar and Mani, and differs from those usually to be met with only in that it does not cross a deeply-sunk torrent. The map
which accompanies this volume has been based on a section of a large school-map of India by the Rev. J. Barton, published under the direction of Committees of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and of the National Society. Mr Trelawney Saunders, the Geographer to the East India Office, has given this school-map his valuable aid in bringing out clearly the various mountain-ranges to the north of India; and I found, after examining many maps, that no other which I could avail myself of would serve so well as the basis of a small map which would present at a glance the relative positions of the Panjáb plain, the Western Himálaya, the Hindú Kúsh, and the Karakorum Mountains. It seemed to me of much more importance to convey a general idea of that vast and little-known district of mountainous country than to present a detailed plan of my own route ; for only those who are in, or are about to enter, the districts I traversed, will have any object in following me from stage to stage ; and they can do so much better in Major Montgomerie's route-map and the five mile to the inch sheets of the Trigonometrical Survey, than in any map which it would be advisable for me to prepare. At the same time, I have marked my route carefully in the map which I present; I have added
; to it a large number of places which I visited, and have altered the spelling in accordance with that of my book.
That matter of spelling has caused no little trouble. It may not be generally known in this country that some years ago the Indian Government determined that Indian names should be spelt, at least in all official documents and publications, on one system. The system is based on the Jonesian-Wilsonian system of transliteration, as modified by the oriental societies, and has further been modified for practical purposes by Dr W. W. Hunter, the head of the Indian Statistical Department. It partakes of the nature of a compromise, for accents are only used when specially necessary, and not as marking intonation, but only as indicating different vowel-sounds; and in the lists drawn up by Dr Hunter they are used very sparingly, and are omitted in some cases where they might have been added with advantage. I have followed these official lists in most instances, and the simple rules to be borne in mind in order to render their system of spelling intelligible are that,
1. The long á sounds broadly, as in almond.
2. The short a without an accent, has usually somewhat of a u sound, as the a in rural.
3. The í with an accent, is like ee, or the i in ravine. 4. The ú with an accent is like oo, or the u in bull. 5. The e has a broad sound, as the a in dare. 6. The o sounds openly, as in note. 7. The ai sounds as in aisle, or the i in high. 8. The au sounds like ou in cloud.
The most striking peculiarities of this system are the substitution of ú for oo, of í for ee, and the expression of broad a by á. It totally ignores the genius of the English language, and may be considered as another instance of that subjection of England to India which has been going on of late years. Another objection to it is, that it is not thoroughgoing, and is apt to land the a and the u sounds in hopeless confusion; while a third is, that it is liable to mislead from
its employment of accents in a different sense from that which they have, except incidentally, in European languages. But I doubt not these objections have been duly considered by the promoters of the system, and that they have followed the plan which seemed to them best fitted to procure uniformity in the spelling of Indian names, which is an end of so great importance that I have deemed it right to follow the Government system of spelling, but not as a very advanced or always strictly accurate disciple. I am afraid an accent here and there has got on the wrong letter, and I have sometimes continued the use of double letters; but, in truth, to carry out this system with perfect accuracy one would require not only to have the names before one written in an Indo-Aryan language, but also to be in the habit of dealing with them in such a language. Suffice that I have sacrificed my own comfort, if not also that of my readers, on the Indian Government's linguistic altar. As one of the first to do so in this country, I trust I may be excused if my
I steps have occasionally tripped. When publishing in the Magazine I used the word “ Himáliya,” but that was only in order to break the usual custom of pronouncing it “Himmălāya,” and now return to what is the more strictly accurate form.
One word more, and I have done. Like many other men, I have written hundreds—I may say thousands of more or less insignificant articles in newspapers and periodicals ; but, like the vast majority of my fellow