HotFreeBooks.com
Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries
by William Griffith
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

JOURNALS OF TRAVELS IN ASSAM, BURMA, BHOOTAN, AFGHANISTAN AND THE NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES By William Griffith. Arranged by John M'Clelland.

[Sketch of William Griffith: pf.jpg]



CONTENTS.

Notice of the author from the Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, and Extracts from Correspondence.

CHAPTER

I Proceeding with the Assam Deputation for the Examination of the Tea Plant.

II Journal of an Excursion in the Mishmee Mountains.

III Tea localities in the Muttock Districts, Upper Assam.

IV Journey from Upper Assam towards Hookum.

V Journey from Hookum to Ava.

VI Botanical Notes written in pencil, connected with the foregoing Chapter.

VII General Report on the foregoing.

VIII Notes on descending the Irrawaddi from Ava to Rangoon, written in pencil.

IX Journey towards Assam.

X Continuation of the same, with Notes on the Distribution of Plants.

XI Journey from Assam into Bootan, with Notes on the Distribution of Plants.

XII Continuation of the Journey in Bootan.

XIII Return of the Mission from Bootan, with Meteorological Observations, etc.

XIV Journey with the Army of the Indus, from Loodianah to Candahar.

XV Journey from Candahar to Cabul.

XVI Journey from Cabul to Bamean—the Helmund and Oxus rivers.

XVII Journey from Cabul to Jallalabad and Peshawur.

XVIII Journey from Peshawur to Pushut.

XIX On the Reproductive Organs of Acotyledonous plants.

XX Journey from Pushut to Kuttoor and Barowl in Kaffiristan, and return to Pushut and Cabul.

XXI Journey from Cabul to Kohi-Baba.

XXII Journey from Peshawur to Lahore.

XXIII Journey from Lahore to Simla.

XXIV Barometrical Heights and Latitudes of places visited throughout Affghanistan.



LIST OF PLATES.

I VIEW FROM NUNKLOW

II THE VILLAGE OF NUNKLOW

III CAPTAIN MATHIE'S CUTCHERRY, THE BOOTAN HILLS, AND HIMALAYA

IV THE HIMALAYA FROM RANGAGURRAH

V BRAMAKHOOND AND FAQUEER'S ROCK

VI THE MORI-PANEE AS IT ENTERS THE KHOOND

VII THE DEO-PANEE AS IT ENTERS THE KHOOND

VIII THE VALLEY OF HOOKUM

IX MEINKHOOM

X VIEW FROM BEESA

XI VIEW ON THE JHEELS

XII THE OK-KLONG ROCK

XIII KULLONG BRIDGE

XIV TASSGOUNG FROM UPPER KULONG

XV CHINDUPJEE

XVI GHUZNEE

XVII BAMEAN IDOLS

XVIII Map of the Khyber Pass



NOTICE OF WILLIAM GRIFFITH, from the Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, with a few extracts from his private correspondence.

"WILLIAM GRIFFITH, Esq., the youngest son of the late Thomas Griffith, was born on the 4th of March 1810, at his father's residence at Ham Common, near Kingston-upon-Thames, in the county of Surrey.

"He was educated for the Medical profession, and completed his studies at the London University, where he became a pupil of Prof. Lindley, under whose able instructions, assisted by the zealous friendship of Mr. R. H. Solly, and in conjunction with two fellow pupils of great scientific promise, Mr. Slack and Mr. Valentine, he made rapid progress in the acquisition of botanical knowledge. The first public proofs that he gave of his abilities are contained in a microscopic delineation of the structure of the wood and an analysis of the flower of Phytocrene gigantea, in the third volume of Dr. Wallich's 'Plantae Asiaticae Rariores'; and in a note on the development and structure of Targionia hypophylla, appended to M. de Mirbel's Dissertation on Marchantia polymorpha, both published in 1832. So highly were his talents as an observer appreciated at this early period, that Dr. Wallich speaks of him as one "whose extraordinary talents and knowledge as a botanist, entitle him to the respect of all lovers of the science;" and M. de Mirbel characterizes him as "jeune Anglois, tres instruit, tres zele et fort bon observateur."

"His note on Targionia is dated Paris, April 2nd, 1832, and in the month of May of the same year, having finished his studies at the London University with great distinction, he sailed from England for India, which was destined to be the scene of his future labours. He arrived at Madras on the 24th of September, and immediately received his appointment as Assistant-Surgeon in the service of the East India Company.

"His first appointment in India was to the coast of Tenasserim; but in the year 1835 he was attached to the Bengal Presidency, and was selected to form one of a deputation, consisting of Dr. Wallich and himself as botanists, and Mr. MacClelland as geologist, to visit and inspect the Tea- forests (as they were called) of Assam, and to make researches in the natural history of that almost unexplored district.

"This mission was for Mr. Griffith the commencement of a series of journeys in pursuit of botanical knowledge, embracing nearly the whole extent of the East India Company's extra-peninsular possessions, and adding large collections, in every branch of natural history, but especially botany, to those which, under the auspices of the Indian Government, had previously been formed. He next, under the directions of Capt. Jenkins, the Commissioner, pushed his investigations to the utmost eastern limit of the Company's territory, traversing the hitherto unexplored tracts in the neighbourhood of the Mishmee mountains which lie between Suddiya and Ava. Of the splendid collection of insects formed during this part of his tour some account has been given by Mr. Hope in the Transactions of the Entomological Society and in the eighteenth volume of our own Transactions.

"His collection of plants was also largely increased on this remarkable journey, which was followed by a still more perilous expedition, commenced in February of the following year, from Assam through the Burmese dominions to Ava, and down the Irrawadi to Rangoon, in the course of which he was reported to have been assassinated. The hardships through which he passed during the journey and his excessive application produced, soon after his arrival in Calcutta, a severe attack of fever: on his recovery from which he was appointed Surgeon to the Embassy to Bootan, then about to depart under the charge of the late Major Pemberton. He took this opportunity of revisiting the Khasiya Hills, among which he formed a most extensive collection; and having joined Major Pemberton at Goalpara, traversed with him above 400 miles of the Bootan country, from which he returned to Calcutta about the end of June 1839. In November of the same year he joined the army of the Indus in a scientific capacity, and penetrated, after the subjugation of Cabool, beyond the Hindoo Khoosh into Khorassan, from whence, as well as from Affghanistan, he brought collections of great value and extent. During these arduous journeys his health had several times suffered most severely, and he was more than once reduced by fever to a state of extreme exhaustion; but up to this time the strength of his constitution enabled him to triumph over the attacks of disease, and the energy of his mind was so great, that the first days of convalescence found him again as actively employed as ever.

"On his return to Calcutta in August 1841, after visiting Simla and the Nerbudda, he was appointed to the medical duties at Malacca: but Dr. Wallich having proceeded to the Cape for the re-establishment of his health, Mr. Griffith was recalled in August 1842 to take, during his absence, the superintendence of the Botanic Garden near Calcutta, in conjunction with which he also discharged the duties of Botanical Professor in the Medical College to the great advantage of the students. Towards the end of 1844 Dr. Wallich resumed his functions at the Botanic Garden. In September Mr. Griffith married Miss Henderson, the sister of the wife of his brother, Captain Griffith, and on the 11th of December he quitted Calcutta to return to Malacca, where he arrived on the 9th of January in the present year. On the 31st of the same month he was attacked by hepatitis, and notwithstanding every attention on the part of the medical officer who had officiated during his absence, and who fortunately still remained, he gradually sunk under the attack, which terminated fatally on the 9th of February. "His constitution," says his attached friend, Mr. MacClelland, in a letter to Dr. Horsfield, "seemed for the last two or three years greatly shattered, his energies alone remaining unchanged. Exposure during his former journeys and travels laid the seeds of his fatal malady in his constitution, while his anxiety about his pursuits and his zeal increased. He became care-worn and haggard in his looks, often complaining of anomalous symptoms, marked by an extreme rapidity of pulse, in consequence of which he had left off wine for some years past, and was obliged to observe great care and attention in his diet. In Affghanistan he was very nearly carried off by fever, to which he had been subject in his former travels in Assam. No government ever had a more devoted or zealous servant, and I impute much of the evil consequences to his health to his attempting more than the means at his disposal enabled him to accomplish with justice to himself."

"The most important of Mr. Griffith's published memoirs are contained in the Transactions of the Linnaean Society. Previous to starting on his mission to Assam, he communicated to the Society the first two of a series of valuable papers on the development of the vegetable ovulum in Santalum, Loranthus, Viscum, and some other plants, the anomalous structure of which appeared calculated to throw light on this still obscure and difficult subject. These papers are entitled as follows:—

1. On the Ovulum of Santalum album. Linn. Trans. xviii. p. 57.

2. Notes on the Development of the Ovulum of Loranthus and Viscum; and on the mode of Parasitism of these two genera. Linn. Trans. xviii. p. 71.

3. On the Ovulum of Santalum, Osyris, Loranthus and Viscum. Linn. Trans. xix. p. 171.

"Another memoir, or rather series of memoirs, "On the Root-Parasites, referred by authors to Rhizantheae, and on various plants related to them," occupies the first place in the Part of our Transactions which is now in the press, with the exception of the portion relating to Balanophoreae, unavoidably deferred to the next following Part. In this memoir, as in those which preceded it, Mr. Griffith deals with some of the most obscure and difficult questions of vegetable physiology, on which his minute and elaborate researches into the singularly anomalous structure of the curious plants referred to will be found to have thrown much new and valuable light.

"In India, on his return from his Assamese journey, he published in the 'Transactions of the Agricultural Society of Calcutta,' a 'Report on the Tea-plant of Upper Assam,' which, although for reasons stated avowedly incomplete, contains a large amount of useful information on a subject which was then considered of great practical importance. He also published in the 'Asiatic Researches,' in the 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' and in the 'Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta,' numerous valuable botanical papers; but the most important of his Indian publications are contained in the 'Calcutta Journal of Natural History,' edited jointly by Mr. MacClelland and himself. Of these it may be sufficient at present to refer to his memoir "On Azolla and Salvinia," two very remarkable plants which he has most elaborately illustrated, and in relation to which he has entered into some very curious speculations; and his still unfinished monograph of "The Palms of British India," which promises to be a highly important contribution to our knowledge of a group hitherto almost a sealed book to European Botanists.

"But the great object of his life, that for which all his other labours were but a preparation, was the publication of a General Scientific Flora of India, a task of immense extent, labour and importance. To the acquisition of materials for this task, in the shape of collections, dissections, drawings and descriptions, made under the most favourable circumstances, he had devoted twelve years of unremitted exertion. His own collections, (not including those formed in Cabool and the neighbouring countries) he estimated at 2500 species from the Khasiya Hills, 2000 from the Tenasserim provinces, 1000 from the province of Assam, 1200 from the Himalaya range in the Mishmee country, 1700 from the same great range in the country of Bootan, 1000 from the neighbourhood of Calcutta, and 1200 from the Naga Hills at the extreme east of Upper Assam, from the valley of Hookhoong, the district of Mogam, and from the tract of the Irrawadi between Mogam and Ava. Even after making large deductions from the sum-total of these numbers on account of the forms common to two or more of the collections, the amount of materials thus brought together by one man must be regarded as enormous. The time was approaching when he believed that he could render these vast collections subservient to the great end which he had in view. He had some time since issued an invitation to many eminent botanists in Europe to co-operate with him in the elaboration of particular families; and he purposed after a few years' additional residence in India to return to England with all his materials, and to occupy himself in giving to the world the results of his unwearied labours. But this purpose was not destined to be fulfilled, his collections have passed by his directions into the hands of the East India Company, and there can be no doubt, from the well-known liberality of the Directors, which this Society in particular has so often experienced, that they will be so disposed of by that enlightened body as to fulfil at once the demands of science and the last wishes of the faithful and devoted servant by whom they were formed. It is hoped too, that the most important of his unpublished materials, both in drawings and manuscripts, will be given to the world in a manner worthy of the author and of the rank in science which he filled."—Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, No. xxv, 1845.

To the foregoing brief sketch which was read before the Linnaean Society at the Anniversary Meeting 24th May 1845, it is scarcely necessary to make any addition. It is worthy of remark however, as showing how talents sometimes run in families, that Mr. Griffith was great grandson of Jeremiah Meyer, Historical Painter to George the Second, and one of the founders of the Royal Academy. It is also but fair to state on the present occasion, that he was not himself the only member of the family who would appear to have inherited something of his grandfather's peculiar art, as we owe the transfer of the landscapes to stone, which add so much to the appearance of the following volume, to the talent and kindness of his sister.

It may perhaps be acceptable in this place to afford a few extracts from the private letters of Mr. Griffith, especially those in which he adverts with a liberality of feeling to his contemporaries, no less honourable to himself than to the persons mentioned.

The following notes addressed to his uncle, at various periods, exhibit the sentiments with which he regarded the late Mr. Bauer not merely as an artist, but original observer.

* * * * *

From letters of Mr. GRIFFITH, to Mr. MEYER.

Mergui: January 17th, 1835.

"My last accounts of Mr. Bauer state him to have been in excellent health: he had just completed some more of his unrivalled drawings."

* * * * *

Suddya: December 30th, 1836.

"Pray give the compliments of the season to Mr. Bauer, to whom I look up with the greatest admiration: what a pity it is for science that such a life as his is not renewable ad libitum. Tell him that I have a beautiful new genus allied to Rafflesia, the flowers of which are about a span across, it is dioecious and icosandrous, and has an abominable smell. How I look back occasionally on my frequent and delightful visits to Kew."

* * * * *

To MRS. H—-.

Serampore, Calcutta: July 22nd, 1841.

"I was aware of the departure of Mr. Bauer through the Athenaeum, in which an excellent notice of him appeared. He certainly was a man to whom I looked up with constant admiration: he was incomparable in several respects, and I am happy to find, that his death was so characteristic of his most inoffensive and meritorious life. It is also very pleasing to me to find that he continued to think well of me. How I should have been able to delight him had he lived a few years longer."

* * * * *

Calcutta: June, 1843.

"Poor Mr. Bauer, we never shall see his like again, I have seen but few notices of his life, which assuredly is worthy of study. There is not a place I shall visit with better feelings than Kew, it has so many pleasant associations even from my school-days."

* * * * *

Calcutta: December 31st, 1843.

"Mr. Bauer is not half appreciated yet; he is considered a very great artist, but what is that to what he was? But he did not fight for his own hand, though he worked hard enough in all conscience. Mr. Bauer in fact preceded all in the train of discovery: he saw in 1797, what others did not see till 30 years after. For instance, the elongation of the pollens' inner membrane into a tube, the first step towards the complete knowledge we now have of vegetable embryogeny. Unfortunately, Mr. Bauer drew, but did not write, and when I recall to mind a remark of Mr. Brown, that it was a disadvantage to be able to draw, I always fancy he had Bauer in his mind's eye; for had he been a writer and not a drawer, before 1800, in great probability we should have known nearly as much of embryogeny as we do now. But he shut his portfolio, and folks went on believing the old fovivillose doctrine and bursting of the pollen, which, his observations of the pollens' inner membrane, would have destroyed at once. Then with regard to Orchideae and Asclepiadeae, he was equally in advance: it would be a rich treat if some one would come forward and publish a selection from his drawings, without a word of letterpress."

* * * * *

Calcutta: February 11th, 1844.

"Mr. Bauer's light is not yet set on the hill. Really when I look back at his works I am lost in admiration, and always regret that he worked more for others than for himself, and that he did not use his pen as freely as he did his brush. When, in the name of all that is generous, will great men think that true greatness consist in endeavouring to make others more prominent than themselves?"

For some years before his death, Mr. Griffith would appear to have had a presentiment that he would not be spared to complete the description of all his collections. On one occasion, when enumerating those who might contribute most efficiently to this object, in the event of its not being permitted to himself, he writes:—

"I cannot however refrain from paying my tribute of respect to Mr. George Bentham, the most industrious, perspicuous, and philosophical Botanist who has systematically contributed to lessen the difficulties under which Indian Botanists have generally suffered.

"There are a few others from whom the sincerity of friendship fully warrants me in expecting every possible assistance: of these Dr. Wight is already well known, and others are rising rapidly to fill, I hope, the highest Botanical stations when these shall have been vacated by the leviathans who now occupy them. Let not the cynic accuse me of partiality when I mention the names of William Valentine, of Decaisne, and C. M. Lemann."

He also delighted to speak and write in terms of the warmest regard of those to whom he was indebted for facilities in his pursuits. To Lord Auckland he invariably alluded in terms of the deepest gratitude—"Under his Lordship's patronage" he remarks on one occasion, "I have received such advantages as make me ashamed of the little I have done, and which are constantly holding up before me my deficiencies in many branches of enquiry connected with the physiology and distribution of plants."

* * * * *

The following letters are quoted chiefly for the additional information they afford on the subject of his travels and pursuits. His letters to Botanists would of course be more important and interesting.

* * * * *

Suddyah: 16th September, 1836.

"I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the cold weather, as on the 1st of November I hope to accompany ——- to Ava, but in the meantime, I intend proceeding in search of the tea plant to the Mishmee Hills, especially about Bramakoond, where it is reported to grow. If I find it there, I will endeavour to trace it up into the mountains, which form due east of this an amphitheatre of high rugged peaks."

* * * * *

November 1st, 1836.

"I here write from the foot of the 'dreaded' Mishmee Hills. I left Suddyah on the 15th October, and have already been to Bramakoond, where I spent three days. I miss you much; you would have been delighted with the place, which is nothing but rocks and hills. I am recruiting my resources for a movement into the interior of the hills, in which I shall follow Wilcox's route, taking with me 15 coolies, for whom I am collecting grain. I have already made considerable collections, chiefly however in Botany, with a few stones and birds. I hope before my return to have seen Coptis teeta in flower, and to have proved that the Beese is different from that of Nepal. I have already seen numbers of the Mishmees who are civil people. I have however had great difficulties with the Chief of the Khond, who though apparently friendly, will, I fear, do all he can to hinder me from getting to Ghaloom, with the Gham of which place I wish to have a conference."

* * * * *

Noa Dihing Mookh: January 20th, 1837.

"I have just returned from the trip to the Lohit much sooner than I expected. I saw nothing of any consequence except rapids which are horrid things, and make one quite nervous. I made a beautiful collection on the Mishmee mountains, of which more anon. Many of the plants are very interesting. I was however worked very hard, all my people being sick: I had even to wash my own clothes, but I fear you will think I am grumbling: so good-bye."

* * * * *

Loodianah: 11th December, 1838.

"I arrived here in 14.5 days, notwithstanding some delays on the road, and have put up with Cornet Robinson, Acting Political Agent. I am not pleased with the up-country, and would rather live in Bengal, for I cannot abide sandy plains and a deficiency of vegetation. Loodianah is a curious place, very striking to a stranger, the town is large, built under official direction, and consequently well arranged in comparison with native towns: there is much trade carried on in it, and it has the usual bustle of a large town.

"Capt. Wade's house is well situated on a rising ground, and the demesne is a pretty one. Otherwise the country is ugly enough, and very bare, yet it is here well wooded, in comparison with what I hear of Ferozepore. Along the face of the hill near the town, a nullah flows, abounding in fish, of which more anon. The rock pigeons, or grouse, are very abundant, and there are two species, one remarkable for the elongated side-feathers of the tail. Both are beautiful birds, but very difficult of access. Crows, kites, vultures, adjutants, herons, Drongoles, sparrows, parrots, etc. remain as before, but most of the less common birds are different from those to the south; the most European are genuine starlings; and, to my memory of eight years back, identical with those of Europe. I have already got thirty to forty species of fish. Cyprinidae, are by far the most common; one loach, and one of Macrognathus.

"But as they are all from one water, viz. the neighbouring nullah, and the Sutledge being five miles off, I shall put them all into bottles, and send them off before I leave this. The most edible fish, and one of the most common is the Roh, but it is not the Roh of Bengal, and might well be called Cyprinus ruber. Burnes has given I think a drawing of it, which is faithful as to colour. All the forms will be familiar to you, but I hope there will be some new species.

"I have made further arrangements, and such as will give you a good insight into the fish of the Sutledge, as to the number of duplicates!—it is the safest plan for an ignoramus not to discriminate too nicely. I am to-day to get large specimens of the Kalabans, Rohi, etc. what a splendid fish the Rohi is, both to look at and to eat. There are two or three species of the transparent Chandas, and three or four Perilamps, six or eight Siluridae, besides the Gwali, which is too large; of Ophiocephalus two or three, exclusive of the Sowli, but all ought to be examined, as there is no relying on native discrimination. There is a curious animal here burrowing like a mole, but more like a rat: of this I have not yet got a specimen, although they are very common.

"I commence with a list of the fish of this place. I have only to mention that several species are confounded under the name Bhoor, all the Chandras under Chunda Begla, Loaches under Pote, all the Perilamps except the Chulwa, which may be from its flavour a Clupeia, etc. The fact is, that the fishermen are aware of genera, but not of species, excepting when the distinctive marks are very strong. The fisherman enumerates forty species, but I have only twenty-six, I have promised him one rupee when he completes the list:

Native Name. Family. General size.

1. Khaila, ) ( 6. 2. Bhoor, ) ( mature. 3. Rewa, ) Cyprins, ( mature. 4. Bangun, ) ( 18 inches, called also Kala Bhans.

5. Chund Bigla, mature. 6. Ditto ditto, ditto. 7. Ditto ditto, ditto. 8. Pote, Loach, ditto. 9. Mailoa, Perilamps, ditto. 10. Khurda, ditto Trichopterus? 11. Puttra, Salurida, 20 seers. 12. Kuttoa, Ditto, 6 inches.

13. Ghichila,) Macrognathus( 7 ditto. 14. Bham, ) ( 3 feet.

15. Nunghree,) ( 6 inches. 16. Nowhan, ) Cyprins, ( ditto. 17. Pootea, ) ( 12 inches.

18. Seengh, Silurida, 8 inches. 19. Bugarlea, ditto. 20. Mootunna, nearly mature. 21. Bardul, 6 inches. 22. Chilwa, Perilamp,? mature. 23. Nuwha, Esox, ditto.

24. Gwalee, ) Silurus, ( 2 maunds, 25. Ruttgull,) ( nearly mature.

26. Chundee Clupeia, ditto ditto.

* * * * *

Candahar: May the 2nd, 1839.

"We have seen three changes in the geological structure of the country.

"The Khojah Omrah was chiefly clay slate, and we are now in another formation, which no one seems to know; but it must be different as the outlines of the hills are completely changed. We are now 3,500 feet above the sea. The climate is good, and would be delightful in a good house, but in tents the thermometer varies from 60 to 98 degrees and even 105 degrees.

"I have got a decent collection of plants, only amounting however to 650 species. The flora continues quite European. I have some of singular interest. Compositae, Cruciferae, and Gramineae form the bulk of the vegetation. All fish are very different from those below the Ghats. I have five or six species of Cyprinidae. One very inimitable fuscous loach. There are few birds, and fewer quadrupeds; in fact the country is at a minimum in both these respects."

* * * * *

Ghuzni: July 25th, 1839.

"We have been gradually ascending since leaving Candahar, and are here at an elevation of 7,600 feet. The same features continue. I have as yet not more than 850 species. The mountains on every side, and indeed the whole face of the country, is still bare. Mookloor, a district through which we passed, about seventy miles from this, is well cultivated and inhabited. There are few birds to be seen, and scarcely any insects, but there are numerous lizards. The thermometer varies in tents from 60 to 90 degrees."

* * * * *

Cabul: August 11th, 1839.

"I am encamped close to Baber's tomb, lulled by the sound of falling water, and cooled with the shade of poplar and sycamore trees, with abundance of delicious fruit, and altogether quite happy for the nonce. I have not yet seen the town which is a strange place, buried in gardens: but nothing can exceed the rich cultivation of the valley in which we are encamped. Beautiful fields on every side, with streamlets, rich verdure, poplars, willows, and bold mountain scenery, which contrasts most favourably with the dreary barren tracts to which we have been accustomed. I go with the Engineers to Bamean in the course of a few days, when we shall cross ridges of 12,000 to 13,000 feet high.

"I can only find three kinds of fish in this neighbourhood. I have been making some drawings, and collecting a few plants which continue to be entirely European."

* * * * *

Peshawur: November 17th, 1839.

"I hope some day or other to turn out a real traveller. I am now in hopes of becoming a decent surveyor, and before many years have passed a decent meteorologist. I leave the Army here, and shall part with it, particularly Thomson and Durand of the Engineers, with regret. I start in a short time to travel up the Indus with little before me but difficulties, however a la renommee. If I can do something unparalleled in the travelling way I shall be content for a year or two at least.

"I have obtained some few specimens of fossil shells from the shingly beds of the Khyber Pass. They seem to be a Spirifer with a very square base, quite different from the common species of the Bolan Pass, which is like a large cockle, and of which I have one beautiful specimen. How I regret not seeing Bukkur, for with a few days' leisure, a number of fossils might be obtained. The older I grow the less content am I scientifically: would that I had received a mathematical education. I was much interested with some quotations from Lyell's Elements in a late Calcutta Courier, especially about the Marine Saurian from the Gallepagos. What further proof can be wanted of the maritime and insular nature of the world during the reigns of the Saurian reptiles? What more conclusive can be expected about the appearance of new species? This point would at once be settled if the formation of these islands can be proved not to have been contemporaneous with the Continents. Then the animal nature of chalk!

"I am doing nothing in botany, but learning Persian, and the use of the theodolite, with nothing but difficulties to look at all around. I begin to feel of such importance, (do not think me conceited in relation to my collections and information on geographical botany,) that I am not overpleased with the idea of facing dangers alone: however I suppose every thing is as usual exaggerated."

* * * * *

Bamean: August 3rd, 1840.

"Yesterday I crossed the Hindoo-koosh by my former route, and this morning while out, i.e. trout fishing, was most agreeably interrupted by the post. The fishing was ended forthwith. Indeed the sun in this country even at elevations of 12,000 feet is very hot, and has excoriated my hands, beautifully white as they were after my sickness, but not before I had caught 3 barbels, evidently different from those of the other side of the range. I caught some trout yesterday evening, it is a most beautiful fish, I was particularly struck with the size of the eye, its prominence, and expressive pupil, in opposition to the sluggishness of the eyes of carps.

"It is strange that Botany has always been the most favoured of the natural sciences, it is strange that in spite of what all do say it is the least advanced of any. How can I reconcile my own splendid opportunities with those of more deserving naturalists in other branches? and I would willingly share them on the principle of common fairness with others, who I know would turn them to a better account. Oreinus takes the worm greedily; in the Helmund, 11,000 feet above the sea, it is abundant. It is the same species I think as that in the Cabul river; but in the Cabul river, Barbus is the predominant fish: in the Helmund it is the reverse. How can one account for the small elevation at which fish are found in the Himalayan? I cannot imagine it is owing as some think to the relative impetuosity of the rivers, which after all is only an assumption.

"This Bamean valley is the strangest place imaginable, its barrenness and the variegated colours of the rocks convey the idea of its volcanic origin, and give it a look as if it had come out of the furnace. I cannot make out where the stones so universally found all over the slopes of the mountains, came from, for very generally they seem water-worn. I find no great peculiarity in the flora of this side of the range, except an abundance of odd-looking Chenopodiaceous plants, probably resulting from the saline saturation of the soil. There is a very singular spring on the other side of the range, about 11,000 feet above the sea: the water very clear, with no remarkable taste, but every thing around is covered with a deposit of a highly ferruginous powder. I shall write next from the fossil locality, which is said to be about forty miles from this. I am as stout as ever, but by no means so strong."

* * * * *

Bamean: August 21st, 1840.

"I am now out of the region of trees, excepting a poplar, of which I will send you a bit, as the same tree grows in much lower places. The want of rings in wood is by no means unusual in tropical vegetation. For the production of rings, some annual check to vegetation is required: their absence is particularly frequent in climbers. The walnut will not be a good instance, because even if you can get it from Java, it is a tree that requires cold, and must consequently be found at considerable altitudes. Your instances must be taken from subjects that can bear a great range of climate: you have some in the apricot, vine, etc. I will not fail in sending you what you want from Cabul, and also from Peshawur, in which almost the extremes of temperature can be contrasted. I will also get the woods of apricots, cherries, etc., at the highest elevations on my road back, as I hope to pass through the grand fruit country of Affghanistan. No Jungermannias are obtainable in this part, nor anywhere indeed, except towards the true Himalayas. I do not remember having seen the pomegranate growing at Cabul: the place is too cold for it. I think however, I can get some from Khujjah, where snow lies in winter. I leave for the Provinces early in October, and shall travel 30 miles a day. I want to get to Seharunpore, 15 or 20 days in advance of my time, as I must run up to Mussoorie and fish in the Dhoon. I shall be in Calcutta in all February."

* * * *

Cabul: September 26th, 1840.

"I despatch to-morrow the first of the bits of wood, the duplicates will be sent on the 28th or 29th: on this latter day I leave for Peshawur, and right glad am I that the time has come at last. I will send you the same woods from Peshawur, but shall scarcely be able to send you pomegranate from any thing like a cold place.

"On receiving your specimens of vine, the following question occurred to me. If wood is a deposit from the leaves or fibres sent down from the leaves, how is the presence of wood to be accounted for in tendrils, which have no leaves, but yet which are evidently branches? The theory of the formation of wood, which considers it as above, is deemed ingenious, but it will not I think be found to be true. The bark evidently has a great deal to say to the matter.

"I shall be most rejoiced at a remote prospect of again setting to work. I take no interest now in the vegetation of this country. I hope to be at Loodianah early in November; my present intention is to run up to Simla, thence to Mussoorie, and descend on Seharunpore. If I do this, I shall only leave one point unfinished, and that is the Hindoo-koosh Proper, where however I shall have the advantage of Major Sanders of the Engineers, who will pick up a few plants for me. I wish much to take notes of the vegetation about Simla and Mussoorie, this I can do at a bad season. I shall afterwards be able to compare the Himalayan chain at very distant points."

* * * * *

Serampore, — 1841.

"I will send you to-morrow dissections of Santalum if I can get a small bottle for them: under .5 inch lens you can easily open the pistillum of Santalum having previously removed the perianth: it is a concial body; you must take care to get it out entire, especially at the base, then place it in water, and dissect off the ovula of which there are three or four, as per sketch. I shall not say what I see, as I want to have your original opinion unbiassed, etc.; but whenever you see the tubes with filaments adhering to their apices, pray mark attentively what takes place, both at the point and at the place where the tube leaves the ovulum; your matchless 1/1500 would do the thing. Try iodine with all such, after having examined them in water.

"Should you find any difficulty in dissecting away the ovula, light pressure under glass will relieve you. I shall be very anxious to know what your opinion is, particularly with regard to the tubes and all adhering filaments; the question now occupying botanists, being this, is the embryo derived directly from the boyau or is it derived from some parts of the ovulum?

"I hope you can understand these sketches."

* * * * *

Peshawur: 13th December, 1839.

"What a shame it is that botanists should know nothing whatever of the formation and structure of wood! They look at a section of a piece of oak, and imagine they have discovered the secret, and write volumes on this imagination, yet they have been told over and over again, that nothing is to be learnt on such subjects without beginning at the commencement, which they are too idle to do. To name an abominable Aster, is among them of much higher importance than to discover the cause of the growth of wood. Medullary rays are most difficult, because they are very often deficient particularly in climbers. I am horridly idle, and yet what can I do without books; yet with regard to books, the more originality we possess, the less we require them? There is nothing to be got here except a few marsh plants coming into flower. One beautiful Chara, which might disclose the secret, had I good glasses, it is a most graceful pellucid form, an undescribed duckweed, a floating Marchantiaceae. Would that I was settled with a Ross on one hand, and a Strongstein on the other, around my collections with good health and good spirits. Tell —— I have in view the division of the vegetable kingdom analagous to radiata, they include all the Marchantiaceae, and are, to all intents and purposes, Vegetable Radiata."

* * * * *

Pushut, 1st march beyond Kooner: January 29th, 1840.

"This will be a letter of odds and ends, you know I was to return to Jallalabad; well I reached that place, but left the encampment and crossed the river, where an advance road making partly for the Kooner expedition were employed, and having originally determined on going to Kooner, I accompanied them two marches, when they were overtaken by the army, to avoid which, I halted one day, and on the next proceeded onwards by the north bank of the river, thus saving all the fords of this horrid river. I should call it beautiful at any other season. The road was bad, and the last one and a half mile into camp most difficult, the path winding round and over spurs of sharp limestone rocks which must have had abundance of silex in them they were so very hard. At the very worst part, my headman being in front, all of a sudden I heard three shots in quick succession with the usual hallooing, and then I was called on in advance, meeting my headman wounded: he has lost the two fore-fingers of his right hand. All I saw was three men scrambling up the face of the hill, on whom I opened a fire as soon as my guns came up, and had the pleasure of hitting one on the shield.

"Such a scene ensued! for when there are three or four on such occasions we may reasonably expect thirty or forty, and my object was to get out of the bad road, and so be close to camp. Some of, or rather all, my people became dismayed, I had therefore to cheer, to point my double barrels, and in fact to enact a whole legion. One fellow tried to shoot me but his powder proved faithful, the others were wounded: however they kept in sight, and to make matters worse, in one place within twenty yards, six or seven of my loads were thrown; evening drawing on, and prospects disgusting, when at last having passed over one bad part and got down into a ravine, a number of people were seen closing down on us, but my man had run off to camp, and by shouts succeeded in calling five or six sepahis, part of the rear-guard, to our relief, and so we escaped bag and baggage, the rascals making off when the red coats appeared. I was sick at heart at the loss of poor Abdool Rozak's fingers: he is an Arab with an English heart, bearing his loss most manfully, and when his fingers were removed expressed anxiety alone about me and my Sundoogs (collections). Well then, where should I have been had I been assailed as Abdool Rozak was, I should have been unprepared, and if riding, my mare would certainly have jumped into the river beneath. Thomson {0a} said when he left me, G—-, you are rash and Abdool Rozak is rash, take care or you will get into trouble. My moving about without a guard was imprudent, and I now return to Jallalabad to get one, or if not successful to wait there until the spring and its floral excitements call me out: what I dislike is danger without any recompense, not a flower is to be had; with excitement it is nothing. I have now had two escapes, one from the buffalo in Assam, and this, which is a greater one, because had not the army been delayed by accident at the ford, it would have been eight or ten miles in advance, and consequently there would have been no rear-guard at hand.

"The country is disturbed, and one can only stir out in the valley itself close to camp, which is the more tantalizing as the mountains are accessible, and covered with forest. Our halt here should put us in possession of much information respecting these forests. As it is, I shall leave probably as wise as I came, except in having ascertained that the change from the well-wooded Himalaya mountains to those of the Hindoo- koosh, without even a shrub five feet high, takes place to the east of this. My employment is surveying and collecting data for ascertaining the heights of the hills around. But wherever I turn, the question suggests itself, what business have I here collecting plants, with so many in Calcutta demanding attention? How I am living! alone, without a table, chair, wine, or spirits, with a miserable beard, and in native clothes! but one thus saves much time; how unfortunate that mine now is not worth saving!

"I have been reading Swainson's volumes in Lardner's Cyclopaedia, in which there is a little to which severe critics may object, but a vast deal more that is beautifully sound. I am quite certain I never appreciated them before. How wonderful that no one before Macleay and Swainson thought that living beings were created on one plan. I have imbibed all the important parts with the hope of bringing them to bear on Botany, which is in a shameful state. One talks of the typical nature of polypetalous or monopetalous plants; another ridicules the idea, because as he wisely says, some polypetalous plants are monopetalous, and vice versa!! he objects, in fact to what constitutes the great value of a character, its mode of variation. All Swainson's propositions appear to me philosophical and highly probable, but none of the present generation have eyes young enough to bear such a flood of light as he has thrown upon them. There are faults I acknowledge, but a man who writes for money does not always write for fame; rapid writing and much more rapid publishing is a vast evil, but one which is too often unavoidable. I have four or five drawings of fish, one of the spotted carnivorous carp, the most carnivorous type of all except Opsarion, and perhaps a new subgenus; {0b} one of the Sir-i-Chushme and Khyber Oreinus, and a Perilamp with two long cirrhi on the upper lip. I intend in my travels now I am alone, to stop at every fertile place. I am ascertaining the limit of the inferior snow in these latitudes, which I fancy will be 3,500 feet. Is it not curious that here 1,000 feet above Jallalabad we have had no snow, while at Jallalabad there has been abundance. I attribute it to the narrowness of the valley at this place, and to the forest. When I glance at the subject of botanical geography, how astounding appears our ignorance! we have no data, except to determine the mere temperature and amount of rain yet men will persist in the rage for imperfect description of undescribed species, and pay no attention to what is one of the most important agents in preserving things as they are in our planet,—i.e. vegetation. On this point Swainson is less happy than on others when he ascribes such importance to temperature, and points out the fact that countries in the same latitudes, and having the same temperatures, produce different animals."

* * * * *

Cabul, September 25th, 1839.

"I am just on the eve of re-entering Cabul from a visit to Bamean, a singular place on the other side of the Hindoo-koosh, celebrated for its idols and caves. It has amply repaid a march of 106 miles and back again. I never saw a more singular place, and never enjoyed myself more: we crossed several high ridges between 11 and 13,000 feet, but so poor is the flora that I have only added 200 species to my catalogue, now amounting to 1200 species instead of 2,400 as I fully expected. But I must say I was as much pleased at the acquisition of a genuine Salmo in the Bamean river (which is a tributary of the Oxus,) as at any thing.

"Unfortunately we were so hurried, that I had only one afternoon and that an unfavourable one, for indulging in my fishing propensities: the chief fish seems to come very near the English trout, and so far as I can judge, is not found on this side the Himalaya. The other fish of these rivers are a fine Schizothorax or Oreinus, allied to the Adoee, a flat- headed Siluroid, a loach, and a small Cyprinus. This is a singular country, quite unlike any thing I have seen, and as distinct from the Himalaya in its vegetation, etc. as can well be imagined. Generally it is very barren, and after travelling over so much of the country I have yet seen only three parts of it decently cultivated. It is reported to be rich in minerals.

"But it will never bear comparison with Hindoostan. It is however capable of much improvement. It consists of a succession of barren valleys, divided from each other by barren ridges, and is generally deficient in the great fertilizer of all things—water. There is scarcely an indigenous tree in the whole country, and generally very few cultivated ones, except about Cabul, although they have poplars and willows well suited to the climate. It has been subjected to so much misrule that the natives have become indifferent to its improvement, (if they ever felt alive to any such interest.) The Zoology is very poor, quite at zero. There is a species of Ibex, an Ovis, and a Capra, which from the frequency of their heads and horns about sacred places and gateways of towns, must be common; but I have never seen more than a portion of one fresh specimen of the sheep. Furs are brought from the Hindoo-koosh, but are all too mutilated to be of any use, except to a Zoologist with antiquarian eyes: one Jerboa. Hares are rather common in some parts, and about here there is a Lagomys. Of birds there are but few, but as the vegetation is chiefly vernal, these creatures may perhaps be abundant. The game birds are quail, three species of partridge, a huge Ptarmigan? Pterocles of Loodianah. The fauna is richest in Saurian reptiles, and of these one might make a very good collection. I have only seen two snakes, and both are I believe lost."

* * * * *

Mirzapore: April 26th, 1841.

"Request —- to refrain from abusing compound microscopes. Why should not compound and simple microscopes each have their merits? Valentine, who is a great authority, and an unrivalled dissector, says, the simple lens must be suspended. I only wish I could dissect with a compound microscope: what things might not one get access to. The simple lens is quite useless with opaque objects; it only does for transmitted light. Now dissections of opaque objects have been too much neglected. How odd it is that all improvements are ridiculed at first.

"I enclose a bit of Sphagnam, a curious moss, with curious incomplete spiral cells in the leaves. I dare say it will bear preservation in Canada balsam. I have received a new microscope, a queer-looking thing, very portable; one object glass of a quarter inch focus, by Ross; two eye- pieces magnifying linearly 200 to 300 times. I have put it up, but I am not well enough to decide on its merits. Now that I have arranged all my things, I am literally frightened at the work I have to do.

"I am quite annoyed at the idea that German artists make better microscopes than English. I was aware that the lenses were better, but otherwise I imagined that any comparison would be vastly in our favour. I am curious to know the price, and where to apply for one, as your account makes me quite ashamed of mine. Who knows what a fine penetrating power of 1100 may not disclose. I am very much pleased with your idea of anointing cuts with nitrate of silver; this hint I will bear in mind.

"I enclose the first list of fish, No. 2, not that it is of much use.—What nonsense it is to collect without knowledge.

No. Native Name. Family. REMARKS.

1 Kuggur, Siluridae. 2 Soonnee, Cyprinidae, Back greenish, otherwise pearly-white. 3 Dhurra, Cyprinidae, Fins reddish, red spot on opercule, back greenish-brown. 4 Moogullee, " Perilampoid, Diaphanous, silvery, head reddish. 5 Peedur, " " Like the preceding. 6 Moorr, " " Ditto ditto. 7 Bhanghun, " " Ditto ditto. 8 Kundura, " Perilampus, Back greenish, otherwise quite silvery. 9 Pullee, " " Same as 4,5,6,7. 10 Goolla Ciprinidae. 11 Khunnuree, Percidae, Chanda of Buchanan, Diaphanous. 12 Sur-ri-rha, Cyprinidae Perilamp, Silvery-green on back. 13 Gundhan, " Perilampoid, Same colours. 14 Mhukk, " " Ditto ditto. 15 Ghurr, " " Ditto ditto. 16 Dhoalee, Ophiocephalus, Colour brown, with usual marks and bars. 17 Ahaiha, Siluridae, Diaphanous, 3-5 irregular longish stripes. 18 Mhullee, Silurus, Silvery-blueish. 19 Mhoarree, Cyprinidae, Yellowish-green, fins reddish. 5 seers. 20 Dhumpurra, " Brownish-green, 6 seers. 21 Pho-eikee, " Perilampoid. 22 Putollee, Cyprinidae, Back and sides light-green. 23 Poapree, " Back greenish-brown, sides greenish. 24 Shingra, Siluridae, No stripes, lightly tinged with brown. 25 Dhimmurr, Silurus. 26 Ghoa-gha, " Back greenish, punctulate, head reddish. 27 Mokkhurr, Opiocephalus. 28 Dhujjha, " 29 Thailla, Cyprinidae, 5 to 6 seers. 30 Mhorakkee, " Much like 19. 31 Singarhee, " Much like 4, 5, 6, 7. 32 Logurr, Siluridae, 3 to 4 faint punctulate longish lines. 33 Ghoje, Not noted. 34 Tupree, " 37 Ghunghutt, Perilampus. 38 Soourr, Siluridae, Diaphanous. Faint punctulate lines. 39 Soonaree, Cyprinidae. 40 Phunnee, " Perilampoid. 41 Kutchoo, " Much like the preceding. 42 Saisurr, " Ditto ditto. 43 Coommee, " Much like no. 4. 44 Saluree, " Ditto ditto. 45 Shumsheer, " So called because of its voracity, (Shumsheer a sabre.) 46 Ghora, " Same as Soonee. 47 Saboan, " Same as the preceding. 48 Bhambhun, Cyprinidae, Same as Dhurra.

All the above from the Indus, at Shikarpore.

No. Family. River. REMARKS.

49 Cyprinidae, Nari, Small size, colour-silvery, except upper back, which is bluish-green. 50 Siluridae, Mysore. 51 Ophiocephalus, " 52 " " 53 Cyprinidae, " Same as 49. 54 " Systomus. " A beautiful fish, bright green back, otherwise bright orange-red, fins stained with black colours; fugacious. 55 Cyprinidae, " 56 " Systomus, " Back greenish, opercle orange spotted, one black spot near tail. 57 Percida Chamda " 58 Perilampoid, " Water of both these rivers, quiescent: bunded up. 59 Cyprinoid, Dadur. 60 " " Same as 54. 61 " Systomus, " Same as 56. 63 Cyprinoid, " 64 " " 65 " " 66 " " Same as 59. 67 Cobites, " 68 Cyprinoid, Bolan, Bluish-green, blue bars and dots. Takes the fly. 69 Barbus? " Intestines very long, much like Naipoora. 70 Gonorhynchus? " 71 " " Probably a small specimen of 69. 72 Cyprinoid, " 73 " Gonorhyncus, Gurmab, Same as 70? 74 " " 75 Cyprinoid, " Closely allied to the Mahaseer. 76 Ditto Mahaseer, " Beautiful fish with yellow-brown back, golden sides. Takes fly greedily. 77 " Gonorhynchoid, " 78 " " 79 Silurida, " In Bolan river, deep still water. 80 Cyprinoid, " In small streams. 81 Macrognathus, " Tenacious of life, belly puffy, common throughout; a good deal like a Gudgeon. 82 Loach, Quettah. 83 Cyprinoides, " A beautiful silvery-leaden backed fish, with a streak of bright-red along the side. Common, very like the preceding: of these Quettah fish No. 83 is the most common, 82 the least so. 84 Cyprinus, curious, " not being a mountainous form. 86 " " 87 Cyprinoides, Lora, Same mountain form, Gonorhynchoid. 88 " " 89 Loach, " Ditto ditto ditto. 90 " " Perhaps same as the preceding. 91 Cyprinoides, " 92 " " Like the Adoee. 93 " " Mountain form. 94 " " Large size for the genus. 95 " " Note.—Probable number of species 47, deducting those supposed not different 96 Cyprinoid, Urghundab. 97 Loach, " 98 Siluridae, " "I subjoin a list given me by a fisherman at Shikarpore, with his divisions into large and small:— Large. Small.

Dhumpurra, Ghunghut. Buree Phookee, Pedir. Buree Thaillee, Soonnee. Mhoarrhee, Phokee. Moukkur, Mogullee. Gundhan, Dhimmur. Singaree, Ghoagar. * Pulla, Khuggur. Seenra. Mhorr. Bhangun. Ghurr. Soourr. Morakee. Tupree. Ghogee. Phopree. Thaillee. * Pulla. Punnotee. Dhaiee. Ghogura.

(I send this list as all the specimens are not lost, and some are among the plants. Most of the species are, I think, distinct, and when they have appeared to me not to be so, I have generally noted it on the spot.

The mountain forms are very distinct, the mouth being under the snout, or head, the intestines long, peritoneum covered with a black pigment. These forms commence at Dadur, 800 feet above the sea: this stream abounds in rapids.

Gurmab is 1,100 feet. Quettah, 5,600 feet. Lora river, 3,600 feet. Urghundab, 3,600 feet.

These lists may be of some small use compared with Burnes's collection. To a certain extent they may be useful as showing the preponderance, etc. of certain forms. You may rely on my distinctions between Cyprinidae, Siluridae, and Percidae.)

"To-morrow I will send the other list of specimens No. 3, which will I hope reach you; of all the fish in these parts, the Sir-i-Chushme and Cabul river Oreinus travels farthest up. I have caught it at nearly 11,000 feet in the Helmund river. Then come loaches, and the beautiful trout-like Opsarion; other Cyprinidae ascend 2,000 or 3,000 feet, the Mahaseer scarcely more. Above that, come the genuine mountain forms.

No. Family. Locality. REMARKS.

1 Cyprinidae, Streams from A brown fish, with irregular Oreinus? So-faid-koh, black spots.

2 Cyprinidae, "

3 " " A sombre looking Gudgeon-like fish, back blackish, sides yellowish, punctulate with groups of blackish spots.

4 Loach, " Colours and patches obscure.

5 Perilamp, Jallalabad river, Usual silvery-bluish hues.

6 Cyprinidae,moun- tain form, Schizothorax.

7 Cyprinidae, Poo- " Colours obscure, scales teoides, minute, dorsal spine very strong.

8 Cyprinidae, " A stout fish, of obscure colours, each scale with a transverse more or less wavy red line (like the Nepoora of Assam), mouth nepooroid, intestines very long, very thin, very frangible, packed in longish folds, Peritoneum covered with a black pigment. Herbiv.

9 Cyprinidae. Peri- " Back metallic bluish-brown, lampoid, otherwise silvery.

10 Cyprinoid, "

11 " Schizo- " thorax,

12 " " " Back greenish, fins reddish, snout elongated.

13 " " " Colours brownish, tinged with yellow; perhaps it is the same as the Helmund and Cabul species: intestines packed in a few folds, moderately long, 4.5 inches longer than body: diameter of body 2 inches. Peritoneum with the black pigment Carneo-herbivorous.

14 Cyprinoid, "

15 Ophiocephalus, Jheels, etc, Bus- Colour rather a rich brown, soollah, pectoral fins barred with chesnut.

16 Cyprinoid like a " Back brownish: this colour Bleak, Schizo- limited to a narrowish line, thorax, otherwise entirely pearly. Peritoneum covered with black pigment. Intestines rather large, in 3 or 4 folds.

17 Cyprinoid. A nar- " A very pretty species, row deep fish. brownish back, marked faintly Perilamp. An both longitudinally and Opsarion? transversely with iridescent patches, abdominal fins reddish.

18 Cyprinoid, Jheels, etc, Bus- A handsome species allied to soollah, very the Mahaseer; back black, common, otherwise yellowish, fins tinged with red, scales as it were bordered with dusky-black. Intestines short.

19 " " An oval, rather thick fish, of obscure colours.

20 " Schizo- " An elegant species, back thorax. obscurely brown, otherwise pearly. Peritoneum black, covered with pigment. Intestines very long and narrow.

21 Racoma nobilis{0c} Lalpoor, Cabul A stout fish, with a large river, head, not unlike a trout at first sight Sides bluish silvery grey, back obscurely brown, remarkable for frequent irregular well-defined black spots, faintest in small specimens, fins tinged with reddish. Head flat at top, with some spots. Peritoneum with black pigment. Intestines of large size, loaded with fat, short, not twice the length of the abdomen, cavity loaded with fat. As usual no caeca. A remarkable type: aspectu omnino carnivoris.

22 Loach, Khyber range A very small and slender stream, from species, light brown, Sir-i-Chushme speckled and barred with spring, temper, brown, attracted 75 degrees, from immediately by scraping up limestone rocks. the bed of the outlet of the spring.

23 Cyprinid, Orei- Same place, but Back brown, with some noides, occurs down to iridescent hues, sides Khyber ghat yellowish brown, dark spots stream. confined to back and sides, small but distinct; fins tinged with reddish. Peritoneum loaded with black pigment. Intestines in short loops across abdomen of intermediate size, as to length and diameter. Air bladder small; very common. Swarm in deepish pools under limestone rocks, takes bait, i.e. offal and worms with great avidity. Like many other species, it is asserted to be the English trout: it rises to the surface.

24 Loach, Same place com- Shape subcylindrical, pale mon, greenish-brown, with very broad bars of brown, fins spotted with black, otherwise fuscescent; at root of tail a deep black bar. Head depressed, in old specimens broad, closely spotted with black, snout attenuated, apex with cirrhi; upper jaw in the centre with a bony process not unlike an incisor tooth

25 Cyprinid, Opsa- " A beautiful trout-like fish, rion back bluish-black, triangular bars of azure blackish, ending in a point towards glandular line, fins tinged with orange, tail tipped with black. Peritoneum spotted slightly with black.

26 " Opsarion, " Possibly young specimens of preceding, colours same but fainter."

* * * * *

Memorandum on return from Afghanistan.

"As I considered on my arrival at Peshawur in December 1839, that a great deal remained to be done, I obtained permission to remain another season in Affghanistan. I immediately mentioned my wishes of travelling to General Avitabili, who strongly advised me not to attempt leaving Peshawur in any novel direction, as the whole of his district was much disaffected. Soon afterwards I heard of an expedition being on the point of leaving Jallalabad for Kooner, and I determined on joining it. I re- traversed the Khybur Pass alone, and arrived at Jallalabad just in time to go in the advance. I was present at Pushut, 18th January 1840; and on the return of the force I remained behind with Captain Macgregor. In February 1840 I accompanied Captain Macgregor to Chugur-Serai, and thence to Otipore or Chugur-Serai-Balu on the immediate frontier of Kaffiristan, and through his influence I was enabled to remain there, and to increase my materials in an extremely interesting direction. I remained about Otipore for some weeks, making arrangements for penetrating into Kaffiristan and little Cashgur, and in daily expectation of being joined by the late Capt. E. Connolly; all my plans, which first seemed to promise success, were completely frustrated by the disturbances which broke out in Bajore, consequent on Meer Alum Khan's absence at Jallalabad. Capt. Connolly barely escaped with his life from the hands of the Momauds. Meer Alum Khan found on his return towards his government that he could not leave Chugur-Serai, and at last, circumstances threatened so much around Otipore and Chugur-Serai, that Meer Alum Khan insisted on my leaving Otipore and on returning with him to Jallalabad. I did not leave a moment too soon, for shortly after, Syud Hoshin turned Otipore by crossing the hills to the north of Deogul, and very soon possessed himself of Otipore. Meer Alum and I reached Jallalabad in safety, having been attacked once on the road.

"I remained at Jallalabad a few days, and was driven thence to Khaggah by the necessity of obtaining medical aid. I reached Khaggah in a high fever, and was confined to my bed for six weeks: during my severe illness, I experienced the greatest kindness and attention from Dr. Thomson and Dr. Andrew Paton, of the H. C. European Regt.

"Early in July I proceeded to Cabul for change of air, and as soon as I recovered a little strength, started to join Lieut. Sturly, who was surveying on the Toorkistan frontier. I met that Officer at Syghan the day he left to prosecute his surveys, which had been interrupted by the Kamard disturbances: he was recalled to Syghan, in consequence of heavier and more serious disturbance.

"I returned to Cabul, as I found it impossible to proceed beyond Syghan, and then waited with impatience for a season that would enable me to cross the Punjab without great risk to my still debilitated constitution.

"My establishment of collectors consisted of unintelligent Affghans, who were particularly prone to abrupt abscondings, and my supplies of materials and carriage very limited.

"The botanical collection is as extensive as could be expected from the nature of the country and the climate. It is in excellent order, consisting of about 1500 species, and a great number of duplicates. This collection has been formed on the principles which have guided me on former travels. Those principles I conceive to require the collection of every form in numbers, and in various localities, so that the geographical limits of each may be estimated, and the examination be open. They also require information as to habitat, locality, climate, whether the plants are gregarious or not, and whether they contribute to giving peculiar features to the country. I do not hesitate to say that this collection contains almost all the plants that existed in flower or fruit along the line of march of the army between Cabul and Syghan, about Chugur-Serai, Otipore, and Pushut, and in the neighbourhood of Khaggah.

"The extent over which it was formed is about 1,600 miles, and on the variety of geographical position a considerable part of its value depends. If the plants between Cabul and Peshawur are less rich, as my journeys between those cities always occurred at unfavourable seasons, the deficiency has been lessened by my friend Dr. Ritchie.

"The Ornithological portion of the collection, consists of about 350 specimens, is in good order, and contains many objects of interest, valuable for throwing some light on the geographical distribution of birds.

"To the fish of the various tracts I paid considerable attention, but owing to the difficulties of travelling and of climate, the collection has suffered severely. At Shikarpore I made an extensive collection of the fish of the Indus. I had collected most of the fish of the river, of the Bolan Pass, of the streams of Quettah, and of the Urghundab, near Candahar, unfortunately I relied too much on the preservative powers of alcohol. Subsequently I took the additional precaution of preserving skins separately; and it is to these which amount to about 150 specimens, that the collections are chiefly limited. The collections contain the fish of the Cabul river, between its source near Sir-i-Chushme, and Peshawur, of the Helmund at an altitude of 11,500 feet, of the Bamean river, and of the Chenab, Ravee, and Sutledge.

"This collection is particularly interesting, as showing that while the plants, quadrupeds, and birds of the southern and northern declivities of the Kohi-Baba, the continuation of the Hindoo-koosh, are much alike, yet that a total difference exists in their fish.

"Lord Keane, and Sir Willoughby Cotton, left me in complete possession of my own time, a great kindness due no doubt to the considerate instructions of Lord Auckland, but for which I was not the less grateful.

"I always found Sir Alexander Burnes very considerate and very willing to forward my views, and put me in possession of information. The late Dr. Lord also showed himself anxious to assist me in my duties, and very kindly asked me to join the Mission to Toorkistan, so suddenly put an end to by a suspected outbreak in Kohistan.

"To Captain Macgregor I was under great obligations during the whole time I continued in his district. Through his influence I was enabled to remain at the outer borders of Kaffiristan; and that deservedly warm respect which he was held in by all the chiefs, would, I am confident, have gained me access into Kaffiristan, and towards Cashgur, at any less unsettled period. I have seen Captain Macgregor in the closet and in the field, and I cannot sufficiently express the respect with which I have had cause to regard him in both situations.

"Captain Sanders, of the Bengal Engineers, was always eager to swell my stock of materials, and during periods of occasional indisposition, I relied almost entirely on him. Captain Sanders had also made for me a collection of plants between Candahar and Herat, which, I regret to say, was nearly entirely destroyed in crossing one of the rivers on that route.

"It is to Dr. Ritchie, of the Bombay Medical Service, the companion of the justly celebrated Major Pottinger, during his return from Herat via Jhomunna, that the Botanical collections are mostly indebted. Dr. Ritchie not only placed unreservedly at my disposal a very interesting collection made on that journey, but also a larger one made between Peshbolak and Peshawur. Both these are of considerable value, the one shows that the Affghan forms prevail as far as Herat on both sides of the Paropamisus, the other shows that Affghanistan, even in its hottest parts, has a majority of European forms. To the contents of these collections, notes of the localities are also added, enhancing their value very considerably. I may be excused for adding, that Dr. Ritchie is acquainted with route surveying; in this and his knowledge of Botany, he possesses two valuable requisitions of a traveller.

"Dr. Grant, of the Bombay Medical Service, formerly in Medical charge of Dr. Lord's Mission, liberally presented me with an excellent series of specimens from the valley of Syghan.

"While I am beyond measure indebted for Zoological collections, to Captain Hay, of the European Regiment."

* * * * *

"The following notes addressed to Emanuel Fernandez, plant collector at Malacca, may perhaps be useful as containing instructions for the collection and transmission of plants and seeds. They are perhaps worthy of insertion on other grounds, as an example of the painstaking, and patient manner in which Mr. Griffith made his wishes known to the persons employed by him in his pursuits."

* * * * *

To Emanuel Fernandez.

"I have received the open box of seeds, and the large case of plants, per 'Tenasserim.' The Ebool seeds were coming up, the dried plants are in good order, and are of very good kinds.

"Before you put in the palms and fruits with other collections, you should see that they are quite dry, as otherwise they rot and injure the dried plants. When you send up more fruits, etc. put them into open rattan baskets, so that they may be aired.

"I send a list of palms and rotans wanted very much, and two more glazed cases for seeds: water the earth inside a day before closing the boxes and sending them off to Singapore. Whenever you get any good seeds, dry them, and put them in a letter, directed to me. Seeds spoil by being kept, particularly if kept among wet fruits and dried plants.

"If you can get flower-pots in Malacca buy two or three dozen, and whenever you get seeds sow them in a pot, and keep them, until you have enough pots filled to occupy one of the cases, then put mould between the pots, and sow more seeds in this mould, fasten the lid down and send off the box to Singapore."

* * * * *

May 30th, 1843.

"The cases of plants, etc. have arrived: the fresh plants were nearly all dead.

"You planted them very well, and cleverly, but some how or other the lids of the boxes were nailed down, and so the plants died; because plants will not live without light.

"Some of the Ebool seeds have sprouted, one Lanjoot arrived alive, and also the Pakoo Galowe.

"I will send soon two glazed cases, in which you may put plants as before, and seeds of palms, or any good plants: sow them in the same manner, and three or four days before the cases are despatched water the earth and plants moderately; then screw down the lid, when the plants, if they have rooted in the earth, will not die, because the glass admits light to them. But to be sure of the plants having rooted, you must keep the cases with you for three weeks, and if any plants are sickly, take them out and put in others.

"I send a list: when your next despatch arrives, I will increase your pay. If you send plenty of seeds, etc. often, that is once a month or six weeks, I will keep you in my service even if I do not come back to Malacca.

"I also send a box with a large bottle in it of spirits of wine, this is for monkey cups (Nepenthes). Take the finest ones you can get of all sorts, and put them in the bottle, leaves and all, do not squeeze them into the bottle, then send it to me."

* * * * *

"I send two empty glazed cases for plants: when these reach you, fill them with moist earth and plant in them ripe fresh seeds of the following palms * * * You need not wait until you have obtained all, but such only as you can get at once; but remember when you have got ripe seeds of any kind to sow them in the case. Take care the earth is not too wet. The seeds you sent, sown in an open box, came up, and we have now six or seven live Ebools, etc.

"Send me up some ripe fruits and seeds of the Epoo, those you sent were not ripe. If you can get any ripe ones, also sow some with the palm seeds."

* * * * *

Calcutta: March 26th, 1844.

"When you prepare Rotangs do not cut off the stalk of the leaf close to the stem, but six inches from it, and do not cut off the thorns, but tie all up in mats or gunny bags: at the same time send the leaves of each dried in paper like other plants and flowers, all with names written plainly in English and Malay.

"Send live plants according as you receive boxes for them."

* * * * *

"Whenever you find ripe fruits or seeds, dry them in the sun, and then send them to the Post Office for despatch in paper bags. Sow palm seeds in open boxes as you did before, the Ebool having come up."

* * * * *

January 14th, 1844.

"The plants dried and living have been received, and do you great credit. The live plants particularly are in excellent order. I have sent two more cases, when they reach you, fill them as you have done before, and despatch them to me. I send some cards on which you can write the names plainly, and tie them on the specimens. I will also send you a pocket English Dictionary, and make you a present of the English and Portuguese one."



PRIVATE JOURNALS OF WM. GRIFFITH, F.L.S.

CHAPTER I.

When proceeding with the Assam Deputation for the Examination of the Tea Plant.

September, 1835.—We arrived at Pubna on the 9th of September, and left it on the following morning, pursuing the course of the Pubna "Karee," which is exceedingly tortuous and of about an average width of 100 yards. On the evening of the 10th, we halted in the same river near its termination. This morning we reached the "Beera," into which the Pubna Karee enters, and which at the mouth presents a vast expanse of water. Among the jheels which occur on every side, we noticed in abundance the Tamarix dioica. About noon we entered a narrow river, and in the evening a very narrow creek in which in two places we experienced a great difficulty in getting the boats along. We noticed Alpinia allughas, Nymphaea pubescens, Oxystelma esculentum, Apluda aristata, in abundance. Up to this period the two most conspicuous grasses continue to be Saccharum spontaneum, and Andropogon muricatus.

Sunday, 13th.—Arrived at Shiraz-gunge, about half-past 8 A.M., from which place the people say Jumalpore is a three days' journey. The country through which we proceeded after leaving Shiraz-gunge is nothing but a net-work of rivers, several of vast size, and low islands, occupied almost exclusively by Saccharum spontaneum, and in some places abounding in Typha elephantina, in fruit. We halted at a small village in the evening, where we procured Centrostachys aquatica.

September 14th.—Came in sight of distant very elevated land, which we suppose to be the Kassiya Hills. This morning (15th) the Hills are very plain, and bear nearly due north. The country through which we passed yesterday presented no change whatever. Andropogon muricatus has now nearly left us; but the Saccharum reaches to a large size, and is incredibly abundant. The natives use it for thatching their huts. We were visited by a heavy squall in the evening.

16th.—Strong winds from an easterly direction. About noon we succeeded in reaching a creek, in which we are completely sheltered. During our route here, we were employed in examining a new species of Crotalaria, and one of Mitrasacme! In pools close to us are Damasonium indicum, Nymphaea caerulea, Myriophyllum tetrandrum, Polygonum rivulare, and a species of Villarsia, V. cristata.

19th.—Left the creek, and arrived at Jumalpore about 2 P.M.; the cantonment of which occupies the right-hand side of the Burrampooter, along the bank of which the officers' houses are situated; indeed this is the only dry line about the place, as immediately inland there are nothing but jheels and rice fields. Jumalpore is about .75 of a mile from the junction of the Jenai with the Burrampooter or rather from the point of exit of the former river.

24th.—We left the cantonment about 11 A.M., and proceeded down the Burrampooter, which is a very uninteresting river, and appears more like a net-work of water and sand banks; opposite Jumalpore, the banks are about a mile apart, but the distance between the extreme banks, leaving the island opposite the cantonment out of the question, is much more. During the dry weather this part of the river is passable, and indeed is in some places nothing but a dry bed of sand, so that people walk across it. During our stay at the above place we met with many interesting and new plants, among which a new species of Villarsia occupied the most prominent place. Cyperaceae, Gramineae, and aquatic Scrophularineae abound. Solanum spirale occurs in abundance, and the trees commence to be clothed with ferns. I observed only one Epiphytica Orchidea, probably an Aerides.

The banks consist hitherto of nothing but sand, covered with Saccharum spontaneum. Andropogon muricatus is scarcely to be met with.

26th.—We left Mymensing this morning, and proceeded down the Burrampooter, the banks of which still present for the most part nothing but a succession of sandy banks covered with Saccharum spontaneum. The stream is not very rapid, and the river, owing to the numerous islands and banks, does not present so imposing an appearance as the Ganges. For the last week strong easterly winds have prevailed.

27th.—We entered the mouth of the Soormah, or, as the natives seem to call it, the Barak. The water of this river or portion of the Megna? is remarkably clear, compared with that of the Ganges; as indeed is that of the Burrampooter.

30th.—Some time after we entered the Soormah we apparently left its channel, and up to this morning we have passed through a tract of jheels with a few clear and very deep channels. The villages are built on small eminences, and are entirely surrounded with water; they have the usual form, and those houses adjoining the water have fences of an Arundo, which they tell us are intended to keep out the grass. We have since entering these jheels passed through and between immense beds of vegetation, formed principally of Oplismenus (Panicum) stagninus, Leersia? aristata, which by-the-bye is a distinct genus. Villarsia cristata, Nymphaealotus, Potamogeton, Azolla Salvinii, etc. etc. The only novel things we have met with are Ischaemum cuspidatum, Roxb. (sui generis,) and a small grass intermediate between Panicum and Chamaeraphis. The wild form of Oryza sativa, Panicum interruptum and Leersia? ciliaris, Roxb. also occur; the two former in abundance. On the more dry tracts, that occasionally though very rarely occur, Andropogon muricatus appears. No Saccharum presented itself since the 28th. High ground was visible yesterday evening, apparently at a great distance.

October 1st.—We have continued to pass through immense jheels: about 6 A.M. we arrived at Hubbe-gunge, a large native town, situated on the Barak, which does not deserve the name of a river. The actual distance from this place to Chattuc is about 42 miles, and the high land in that direction was faintly visible for about 2 hours in the morning. The ground to the Eastward is losing the "Jheel" character, and appears densely wooded, and to the S.E. rather high hills are visible. Altogether this land of jheels is very remarkable, particularly on account of the great depth of the water, which except in one point has hitherto always exceeded 6 feet, and yet the water has fallen in all probability two or three more. As the head quarters of tropical aquatic plants, it is well worthy of attention; the profusion of Leersia aristata, Roxb. is immense, but this is almost exceeded by Oplismenus stagninus.

On the 3rd October, we left the tract of jheels, and proceeded by small rivers, overhung with jungle and fine bamboos; on the 5th we re- entered the Soorma and proceeded down it to Chattuc, which is situated on the left bank of the river, and which we reached in the afternoon. During our passage down the river we had beautiful views of the mountains, which do not however strike one with an idea of great height. We could plainly distinguish two or three waterfalls shooting over scarped precipices.

Churra Punjee, October 30th.—After a residence of 20 days here, I wrote to Mr. Solly, stating nothing particular, except that Bucklandia has coniferous tissue, and that Podostemon will probably prove Monocotyledonous and allied to Pistiaceae. Our stay here has proved a source of great delight, and accumulation of botanical and geological treasures. The cantonments of Churra are at an elevation of 4200 feet above the sea, the native village being situated half way up the ascent which closes in the table-land on which the cantonment is situated towards the N. and W., and it is hence about 300 feet higher. The country immediately adjoining the cantonment is flat, with here and there a rounded hillock, destitute of any covering but grasses and a few low, half shrubby plants. To the Eastward there is a very deep and beautiful valley, the west side of which in particular is densely covered with jungle, but this does not contain any large trees. The opposite side, fronting our bungalow, runs nearly N. and S., presents a succession of ravines, and a most picturesque and varied surface. This valley, along the bottom of which as is usual a torrent runs, opens into the low country at Terrya Ghat, which is situated at the foot of the ascent to Churra. Directly to the south, and at a distance of about two miles from the cantonments, there is another valley likewise occupied below by a torrent fed by the Moosmai falls. The commencement of all these valleys, that I have at least seen, is a sheer precipice, which often, and particularly at Moosmai, assumes the form of a vast amphitheatre, over the brink of which cascades, especially at Moosmai, fall in tolerable plenty. It is in these places that the immense depth of the sandstone is best seen; the depth of the valley of Moosmai is, I am told, 1500 feet, the country above these precipices is generally level, and is in fact table-land. The most beautiful valley is at Maamloo, a village to the Westward of Churra, and about five miles distant. The approach to Churra is pretty enough, and gives the best view of the cantonment. The coal mines are to the Westward, and close to Churra. These I have not yet seen; the coal is of the very best description, it does not splinter, gives remarkably few ashes, affords an admirable fire and the best coke. Water-courses are plenty about Churra, but the body of water is at this season small, although it becomes considerable after a few hours rain; it is then that the great fall at Moosmai becomes really beautiful, the water shooting over the precipice and falling into a bason about 150 feet below. By a succession of these falls, although of more limited height, it at length reaches the bottom of the valley. It is only on the precipices about the fall that the Chamaerops appears to grow; at the foot of a precipice a little to the right (going from Churra,) a tree fern grows, which I have Wallich's authority for stating to be Polypod giganteum, a fern which occurred at Mahadeb, and which I have seen in somewhat similar situations at Mergui. All my excursions have been confined to this valley and to the water-courses immediately around Churra; once only have I quitted the table-land and proceeded to Maamloo, and yet in this very limited space the profusion of objects has been such as to enable me only to embrace a very limited proportion. The above excursion proved very rich. About half way to Maamloo I discovered a solitary tree fern (Alsophila Brunoniana,) and to the left, and up the broken sides of the calcareous cliffs that occur here and between Maamloo and Moosmai, a group of several magnificent specimens, of which on the succeeding day we brought home three. We saw none above 30 feet, although the specimen in the British Museum from these hills measures 45. Their axis is of small diameter, and is nearly cylindrical, the vascular fascicles being disposed in covered bundles, often assuming the form of a UU near the circumference of the very dense cellular tissue of which the axis is chiefly composed. Towards the base it is enveloped in an oblique dense mass of intermottled rigid fibres (roots) which, as they are developed in the greatest extent, the nearer they approach the base, give the trunk a conical form. Their growth is essentially endogenous, and will probably be found when examined aborigine to approximate to that of Cycadeae, although these last are of a more exogenous than endogenous nature. Nothing however is known of the growth of Palms, Cycadeae, or tree ferns. I have above alluded to the calcareous rocks or cliffs; these are of the same formation with those that occur so abundantly on the Tenasserim coast, although they are much more rich in vegetation. These I first saw at Terrya Ghat; like those of Burmah they abound in caves, and assume the most varied and picturesque forms; they appear to be the head quarters of Cyrthandraceae, of which we found a noble species with the flower of a Martynia growing among the tree-ferns. They are very rich in ferns and mosses, of which last near the tree-ferns I gathered four species of four genera without moving a foot. The cliffs in which, or at the foot of which the coal is found, bound the Churra cantonments to the Westward. These are chiefly calcareous. The entrance to Churra lies between this and the precipice at Moosmai. Very few animals of any description are to be seen about Churra. I have seen one small species of deer, about half as large again as the mouse-deer of Mergui, and one young flying squirrel of a greyish black colour, with a very bushy tail. Leopards are, they say, not uncommon. Tigers do not generally come so high. Of birds, I mean about Churra, there are several species of hawks, and their old companions crows and swallows; but I have seen no sparrows, which is singular enough. There is one beautiful species of jay, with crimson-orange beak and legs, and a pretty king-fisher; but, except perhaps in the valleys, birds, I should say, are very scarce. With respect to shooting, scarcely any is to be had; wood- cocks are found in the dells about Churra, but sparingly. I have seen only one snipe and one quail.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse