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cars, each of which must be drawn separately from the square to its destination at the Garden House (for the god is supposed merely to be upon a journey from the Temple to the Garden House), has to be carefully supervised by the local authorities. Sometimes the huge ropes supplied by the Temple priests are not sound, and break beneath the strain, and an accident is narrowly averted. In the olden days, before British rule had altered such things, a devotee would now and then be run over by the wheels of the car. Hunter has disposed of the fiction that many suicides took place in this way, but enough deaths occurred, no doubt, to justify the well-known allusions to the "Car of Juggernaut" as an engine of destruction. Slowly the heavy ropes are affixed to one of the ugly wooden cars, and the order to start is given by someone in authority. Hundreds rush forward to assist in drawing the car upon its journey, but the energies of the votaries is soon exhausted. Curiously enough, up to a very recent date, when the Temple management was reformed and improved, the actual dragging of the cars to the Garden House, though only a short distance, sometimes took a week to accomplish. For when the first day's excitement was over many of the pilgrims cleared off, and the hard work of dragging the wooden-wheeled chariots through the heavy sand was universally shirked. Finally, hired labour had to do the needful. Such was the case when I witnessed the performance. Still, at the commencement the enthusiasm is
enormous, and no apathy is apparent. Each car is provided with a large automatic brake, and the speed is carefully regulated, because as the route lies down-hill the cars might get out of control, and run over the crowd before the people could escape.
Generally the magistrate and superintendent of police accompany the car, walking in the centre of the road, while the two large ropes on each side are thick with natives. of all castes and classes, running alongside and tugging the car along. During the transit the priests strike cymbals
and shout, the devotees shriek replies and prayers, and the din is hideous. The women, above all, are most conspicuous-every roof and window is thronged, handkerchiefs and saris are waved furiously, and loud cries of "Jagannath Ji" rend the air. The strained and eager faces of people standing on the verandahs and roofs of the houses while the procession is slowly advancing down the street are most impressive. Numbers of these people have come on foot, by long and wearisome marches, walking day and night continuously for many weeks, and this is the consummation of their desire. They return towards their homes happy in mind though moneyless and destitute, often to die of disease on the journey. All the savings which they brought with them have been dissipated in offerings to the god, and in fees to the rapacious priests and servants of the Temple, who are past-masters in the art of cheating the unsophisticated villagers who come to the shrine. The festival lasts in all about ten days, and the priests are careful to keep up several minor celebrations throughout the year as an excuse for looting the pilgrims. But the great day ends with the first Car Procession. After that the heterogeneous crowd of sight-seers begins invisibly to melt away, and European non-officials depart, having seen what they came to see.
It is difficult to describe upon paper the varying impressions produced upon the European mind by the Car Festival of Jagannath. The fact that this same ceremony has been repeated yearly for hundreds of years, preserving probably the same essential features, has in itself a certain fascination for most people. In spite of the inroads of Mahrattas and Mughals, and, finally, the British conquest, comparatively no change has occurred in the annual festival. Truly has the poet sung :
"The East bowed down before the blast
In patient, deep disdain ;
She saw the legions thunder past,
Then plunged in thought again!"
The picturesque blending of colour has its usual effect upon the artistic temperament. Over all, there is the romantic glamour of the East. During the coming winter many Englishmen, globe-trotters, and others, will visit India, and perhaps not a few, if they are well informed, will include in their itinerary the towns of Orissa and the Shrine of Jagannath. The holy town of Puri, like Venice, is best approached from the sea. The Temple, which is not far distant from the shore, is seen from a long way off dimly outlined in a vista of haze, and appears to rise from the water itself. The bright golden sand, the white surf, and the ever-present stately palm-trees, form a proper setting for the great pagoda-the ancient tabernacle where Lord Jagannath still reigns supreme, surrounded, as of yore, by his myriads of devoted worshippers, and venerated as the presiding genius of Orissa.
THIRD SERIES. VOL. XXI.
THE YUNAN EXPEDITION OF 1875, AND THE
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF COLONEL (NOW GENERAL)
JULY 31, 1874.-(Notes previous to and after an interview
The discovery of a north-east passage between Burma and China has long been agitating the minds of the AngloBurman and English mercantile world.
The merit of first drawing attention to the desirability and feasibility of a short-cut to the rich south-western provinces of China must be ascribed to Captain Sprye, who served in Tenasserim during the first Burmese War, and who, after the annexation of Pegu, constituted himself the apostle of the overland route to China.
Captain Sprye's idea was simplicity itself. Any schoolboy with atlas in hand can demonstrate that a straight line drawn from Rangoon to the nearest point of the Chinese Empire, which point is on the Cambodia River, between Kyang Hung in Upper Burma and Sze-mao (or Esmok) in Yunan, has a length of only about 500 miles, half of which lies in British territory and the other half in Kyang Hung, a Shan state tributary to Upper Burma.*
Kyang Hung was visited by Captain (now General) Macleod in 1837, and he found its Shan and Chinese inhabitants, all keen traders, longing for the opening out of a "gold and silver road" to the sea.
To advocate the construction of a railway along this line, Captain Sprye has devoted much time and energy, so much so that the line has come to be known as "Sprye's Route," and he himself imagines that he has acquired a vested interest in any railway that may be constructed along it.
What is more remarkable is that he has succeeded in
* Since the annexation of Upper Burma in 1886 the whole of this line is in British territory.
imbuing others with the same idea.
Recently the firm of
Fox, Halliday and Co., when negotiating a railway concession with the King of Burma, expressly stated that it had so selected a line as not to conflict with Captain Sprye's claims! And this, though Captain Sprye has not explored a single mile of the line himself. From his armchair in London he glorifies himself as the Wagner or Lesseps of Indo-China. He has now been riding his hobby for fifteen years or more, and writes interminable letters to every Government office in any way concerned, so that in many quarters he has come to be looked upon as an intolerable bore. Some officials, however, back him up, and he has got influential Chambers of Commerce to send memorials to ministers and Parliament. Many of these memorials bear a strong family resemblance to Captain Sprye's own elucubrations which are prosy and unattractive, but they are printed as Parliamentary papers. The gist of them all is simply the announcement of the discovery, which Captain Sprye claims as his own-viz., that the Rangoon-KyanHung-Sze-mao line is only 500 miles long, and that a railway along it would bring the commerce of Western China down to Rangoon.
After years of labour Captain Sprye had a partial triumph in 1867, when the Home and Indian Governments were induced to order a survey (at the Indian Government's expense) of that portion of the line which passes through British territory. The survey showed that, though there were no serious engineering difficulties, the line lies in a mountainous and sparsely peopled territory, and that it would be a waste of money to make a railway along it unless such railway were to be carried 250 miles further on, through Burman territory, so as to tap the rich province of Yunan.
The English Chambers of Commerce, backed up in a measure by the Home Government, continued to press for the continuation of the survey to Kyang Hung; but the Indian Government obdurately refused to spend the Indian