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To Lhassa at Last   By:

To Lhassa at Last by Powell Millington

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been retained as in the original.

Some typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected. A complete list follows the text.

Words italicized in the original are surrounded by underscores .

The 'oe' ligature is represented as oe.

The asterism sign is represented as [].

TO LHASSA AT LAST

[Illustration: LHASSA. From a photograph.

By permission, from "Black & White" ]

TO LHASSA AT LAST

BY

POWELL MILLINGTON

AUTHOR OF

'IN CANTONMENTS' 'IN AND BEYOND CANTONMENTS' ETC.

Far hence, in Asia, On the smooth convent roofs, On the gold terraces Of holy Lassa, Bright shines the sun. MATTHEW ARNOLD

WITH A FRONTISPIECE

SECOND EDITION

LONDON SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE 1905

[ All rights reserved ]

TO CAPTAIN S. H. SHEPPARD, D.S.O. R.E. A COMRADE IN TIBET AND ELSEWHERE THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR

November 1904

PREFACE

When the Sikkim Tibet Mission Force marched to Lhassa, it carried along with it, besides fighting men and diplomatists, a strong contingent that represented literature and the deeper sciences. We were full of brains in that Lhassa column. There were men in it who had made the subject of Tibet their own before they had set foot in the country, and were already qualified to discourse upon it, whether in its political, its topographical, its ethnological, or its arch├Žological aspect. There was a man who came with us armed only with a bicycle wheel and a cyclometer, with which he has corrected all preconceived notions of Tibetan distances. There was a man with a hammer (the 'Martol Walah Sahib' the natives called him), who, if his pony stumbled over a stone, got off his pony and beat the stone with his hammer, not really vindictively but merely to find out what precious ore the stone might contain. Then there was a man with a butterfly net, who pickled the flies that got into his eye, and chased those that did not with his butterfly net and pickled them also. There was a man too with a trowel, who did a lot of useful weeding by the roadside. There was a committee too of licensed curio hunters, who collected curios with much enterprise and scientific precision for the British Museum. Lastly, there was a select band of press correspondents, who threw periodical literary light on our proceedings from start to finish.

Who can doubt that all the above named are not now, in this month of November 1904, writing for their lives, so as to produce at the earliest opportunity the results of their scientific or literary labours in the shape of books that will give valuable information to the serious student, or prove a substantial contribution to literature?

Apart from the above enterprises, a flood of Blue books, compiled by the authorised political and military officials, will doubtless also shortly appear, even though that appearance may in some cases be but a swift transference from the printing press to the pigeonhole.

Surely, then, for one who is not ordered by authority to compile a Blue book, who has no gospel of Tibetan scientific discoveries to proclaim to the world, and who has no harvest in the shape of letters previously sent to the press and capable of republication ready at hand for reaping, to sit down and write a book on Tibet, merely because he happens to have been to Lhassa and back, is a work of supererogation which needs a word of apology.

My apology is that this book will be avowedly a book by a 'man in the street' a man, that is, who occupied an inconspicuous single fly tent in a back street of the brigade camp... Continue reading book >>




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