Page:Views in India, chiefly among the Himalaya Mountains.djvu/60

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the surrounding stones with its colouring matter. At Mala Pani the attention is attracted to an object of a very different description, but one which can scarcely fail to excite a strong degree of interest in the breast of every British traveller; it is a monument erected to the memory of General Gillespie, and the officers who fell before the fortress of Kalunga. This mausoleum stands on a platform of table-land, on the summit of a hill near the scene of action. The attack of Kalunga cost a sea of blood, for the Ghoorka invaders so resolutely defended the country, of which they had forcibly possessed themselves, that even practised troops found great difficulty in their subjugation. The walls of this once formidable fortress were razed to the ground, after it fell into our hands, and its situation is now only indicated by a rude cairn of brick, with a staff in the centre.


Although the general appearance of Mussooree might have been much improved by more tasteful arrangements on the part of the early residents, yet there are many habitations which possess a very considerable portion of picturesque beauty; and amongst these, the mansion which has, with greater regard for early associations than for local appropriateness, been entitled the "Abbey," stands conspicuous. We ought not perhaps to quarrel with a name; and it is always pleasing to surround ourselves in a foreign country with memorials of our loved and distant home, but the term Abbey is so closely connected with the monastic institutions of a Christian land, and in England usually serves to perpetuate the memory of some pious brotherhood, established, in times long passed, upon the soil, that we can scarcely be reconciled to its transplantation to a scene to which it is so singularly ill-adapted.

Travellers of any taste or feeling have continually to quarrel with the names given by European settlers to places in foreign countries, since they are frequently extremely barbarous, and nearly always ill-chosen. India from numerous causes has suffered less from this kind of desecration than other scenes of European adventure; Barrackpore and Fort Hastings being the only places throughout the British presidency which bear an anglicised name. Not wishing, however, to be hypercritical, we pass over many circumstances which might be alleged against the appellation of the Abbey, and proceed to say, that it stands apart from all other habitations, occupying a very commanding site on the extreme summit of a rugged mountain. During the fine weather, the prospects attainable from this elevated situation much more than compensate for any disadvantage, but there is a season of rains in which it is completely enveloped in mist, and in which the clouds penetrate through every aperture. The entrance of fog into a house is sufficiently disagreeable, but in these altitudes the clouds take the same liberty, and suddenly, if sitting in an apartment with the door or window open, the inhabitants may find themselves wrapped in a very poetical, but a very inconvenient garment. The storms also which are experienced in these exposed situations are exceedingly terrific; occasionally they rage below the residence chosen upon some sublime peak, but at other times they pour their fiercest fury on the devoted mansion, thunder and lightning occurring in the midst of a snow-storm, while a tremendous hurricane at the same time threatens destruction to every thing it meets in its sweeping progress. The noise of the thunder,