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extends to the earlier ages of the world, and left behind at such altitudes, must be a subject of interest to every contemplative being. We look on a hundred years as a long period; and so it is; but when the time extends, not to hundreds, but thousands, we are unable to do more than wonder at the existence of objects which have, for so many centuries, remained attached to the earth.
An interesting paper was published in the 33rd number of the Gleanings of Science, by Capt. J. D. Herbert, regarding the fossil shells discovered by Gerard; and the author's endeavour to confer on his friend the honour of being the first discoverer is a praiseworthy one ; that he was so, there can exist no doubt; for, neither before nor since his trip to the Speetee valley, has any other traveller been able to reach the difficult localities where these shells are found. An attempt was made, at the expense of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, by Capt. Thomas Hutton, who used his best endeavours to overcome the difficulties opposed to his progress, but without effect; it is to be regretted that this gentleman did not succeed, since his intimate knowledge of conchology would, no doubt, have enabled him to identify many of the shells. Professor Buck. land, who received a set of the shells, has cursorily alluded to them as the discovery of Gerard at high altitudes. Along with the paper alluded to, there is a plate of some of the shells, which are of the bivalve and univalve kinds ; in this plate is also given a figure of a portion of the blocks of grey siliceous limestone (or ealcareous tufa, containing ifty per cent. of reddish sand), filled with shells, and there is also a figure of the fragment of the back of a testudinous animal. Among the univalve shells, the ammonites predominate. Capt. Herbert remarks :-“The tertiary strata in Europe have been fully studied, owing to the abundance and variety of organic remains found in them; but we have as yet few notices of these strata in other parts of the globe. These tertiary strata have, hitherto, been found in countries of moderate elevation ; it is not unlikely, then, should the conjecture which traces them in the Himalaya mountains prove to be well founded, that the examination of them at such enormous elevations may be attended with the discovery of various particulars of interest, and it is much to be desired that the subject could be prosecuted with that energy which its importance warrants.” Again : “With the exception of these particulars, all that we know or have heard of organic remains in the Hima. layas we owe to the spirit and persevering enterprise of Dr. Gerard. His repeated visits to the different places where these remains are to be found must have made him fully acquainted with all the circumstances.” Further, “I may, however, state, if it be only to connect these collections with the others, that they consist of ammonites and belemnites, like the others, and in addition, of orthoceratites; that, like them, they come from beyond the region of the schists wbich succeed to the Himalaya gneiss in going northward, and that, in addition to the above, there are, what I have seen in no other collection, rocks apparently formed entirely of shells, and containing several species in the most perfect preservation." “ I may conclude this meagre notice with the expression of a hope, in which I am sure the class will join with me, that Dr. Gerard will shortly be able to communicate to us the particulars of his discoveries as to locality, &c., and thus, by this means, there may be assured to him the honour of being the first discoverer, whichi, considering his indefatigable zeal in the examination of the tract in question, and the many years of his life he has devoted to it, we should be sorry to see snatched from him by a late observer, * who was indebted for his knowledge of the phenomena, and his examination of
• The late M. Jacquemont, we believe.
them, to the liberal and communicative spirit which Dr. Gerard has always manifested."
Subsequent to the unfortunate fate of the enterprising travellers, Moorcroft and Trebeck, Gerard addressed a long letter report to Government, offering his services to proceed to Affghanistan in quest of the papers of both these gentlemen, and also to ascertain, by personal inquiries, the cause of their untimely end. This philanthropic offer was, unfortunately, and greatly to his disappointment, taken no notice of, the receipt of his letter being never even acknow. ledged. This apparent neglect may, however, have arisen from a wish on the part of Government not to risk the lives of others in such a dangerous and hazardous undertaking, though such a consideration never entered into Gerard's calculation. He was, we believe, accessory to the obtaining from Government a pardon for Mr. Masson, who has since done so much in making us acquainted with Affghanistan and other countries across the Indus.
Gerard, on one occasion, drew up a long and able report for Government on the state of education amongst all classes of the natives in the protected hill states between the Sutledge and Jumna, and for which he received the thanks of Government, though it was never acted upon. He likewise wrote an account of a visit, in 1827, to the court of the late Maharajah Runjeet Singh, of Lahore, in company with Captain (now Sir C. M.) Wale; but the document has been lost. He exerted himself greatly in the attempt at introducing vaccination among the hill states, but his success in this undertaking was by no means so satisfactory as he could have wished, in consequence of the prejudices of the people. For the purpose of enabling him to introduce vaccination among the hill people, he received, for some time, a certain allowance; but the latter was stopped by Lord William Bentinck, though afterwards granted to the medical officer in charge of the Nusseeree battalion, who continues to draw it.
Constantly bent on exploring new scenes and unknown regions in the Himalayas, Gerard had no sooner finished one journey than he was anxiously contemplating another into some place that bad never previously been trodden by a European; he had thus but little time for revising and en. larging his notes, and his papers on a variety of subjects connected with his travels in the mountains were in a sadly mutilated state, and few or none of them completed, from want of leisure. But even the Himalayas were not sufficient for the enterprising spirit of Gerard, and after visiting them in different directions, he descended to the plains of India, in order to accompany the late Sir Alexander Burnes in his hazardous journey into Bokhara. This was proposed to Lord Wm. Bentinck at Roopur, in 1831. Sir Alexander, then Lieut. Burnes, had just joined liis lordship after the completion of a somewhat hazardous trip from Bombay up the Indus, in charge of horses sent from England as a present to the late Maharajah Runjeet Singb. This gentleman was, in every respect, fitted for the dangerous journey into Bukhara, and readily undertook the performance of what he himself so warmly recommended. Both as a physician and companion, he selected Gerard, on Lieut. Leckie leaving him to return to his military duties at Bombay. Gerard started from Subathoo, on the 25th December, 1831, though then in a weakly state of health from severe illness; but his zeal for the advancement of science and new discoveries, in a comparatively unknown quarter of Asia, overcame all private considerations. The journey about to be undertaken by these two eminent travellers was considered by every one capable of forming a correct judgment in the matter, as higlily perilous, and among others, Sir Chas. Metcalfe.
In company with Burnes, Gerard traversed the Punjaub, crossed the Indus, and reached Kabul, at that time but little known to Europeans, except from the admirable work of Elphinstone. This was merely the commencement of his labours, and the inhospitable country into which he was about to penetrate had already proved the grave of poor. Moorcroft. Unlike his fellow-traveller, Gerard possessed but a limited knowledge of the Persian language; and, perhaps, wanted the tact so conspicuous in Burnes ; still these very deficiencies would render Gerard's observations on every subject falling under his own immediate eye even more valuable tban those of Burnes, who, in possession of the ready means of communicating with the people among whom he was sojourning, was, no doubt, indebted to them for much of his information; whereas Gerard was obliged to glean for himself, and while Burnes was enabled to give a detailed and highly interesting account of his travels, poor Gerard's remarks were of a desultory nature, and such as his time and inclination gave him no opportunity of arranging in such a manner as would please the generality of readers. The scope of Gerard's observations was too extensive for the mind of any one individual to compass with success; and the want of arrangement rendered them of little use to himself, and almost equally so to others. Gerard and his companion penetrated into Bokhara, and reached Meshed in Persia, from which he returned alone, taking the route by Herat, Kandahar, and Kabul ; while Burnes proceeded to Bombay. His appearance in Hindoostan, on his return, was hailed with joy, and he became a welcome guest everywhere: he was fond of society, and related, without any reserve, his adventures, appearing to consider the successful completion of his journey, so fraught with danger and difficulty, as an every day occurrence. He preserved the Affghan costume in wbich he had travelled, and being of a fine, hale, ruddy complexion, and possessing the necessary beard, he well became the large turban.
On his return to India, from the dangerous state of the roads, he was detained, much against his will, at Herat, for seven months. He surveyed the routes by which he travelled, as well as he could, by means of a patent compass, and after reaching Subathoo, which he did on the 24th April, 1834, the line of his journey was protracted, and formed into a large and beautiful map by his brother, Capt. A. Gerard, who presented it to Sir Charles Metcalfe, in 1836. The information contained in this map was considered so valuable, that the late Sir Henry Fane, when commander-in-chief, requested Sir Charles to send it to him; and it was copied by Colonel Garden, then deputy quarter-master general.
Gerard, on his return, did every thing in his power to conciliate the people of the wild countries through which he passed to a friendly feeling towards the British, and even expended large sums for this purpose. He had suffered rouch from fatigue and exposure, and his constitution, originally strong, sank under them; his sufferings were, no doubt, aggravated by the little notice taken of his labours, and the vexation he experienced in being obliged to refund those sums which he had borrowed, particularly from General Allard. All these causes weighed heavily on his mind, and he became unhappy and miserable at Subathoo; his feelings were keen, and could ill brook the cold reception which his appeals met with; and though affable on all occasions, and at times even cheerful, the cankerworm of care had taken deep root. With the buoyant spirits of youth, he might have borne up against the oppression of mind which weighed him down; but after the early and best part of his life spent in travels, and amidst dangers and fatigue, he saw no recompense but poverty and a broken 72 Biographical Sketch of the late James Gilbert Gerard. constitution. To bear up against these requires greater fortitude of mind than a sickly frame of body can bestow, and his spirit, at length, sank, and he be. came seriously ill. Every attention was paid him by his medical attendant, Mr. Laughton, and he had the great consolation of having near him two brothers, Captains Alexander and Patrick Gerard. It was, however, only during the few last days of his existence, that poor Gerard was confined to his bed. He lied at Subathoo, on the 31st March, 1835, aged forty-three years. A neat tomb marks the place of repose of the weary traveller in the churchyard of Subathoo; and thus, far from his native land, but in those mountains which he loved, lie interred the earthly remains of this enterprising and useful man.
Poor Gerard's death was deeply lamented by his friends and acquaintances; of the latter he possessed many, since it required but a short intercourse with him to render his society extremely agreeable and interesting; his heart and hand were open to the stranger, and his purse to the helpless. He was hospitable, kind, and benevolent to all classes of Europeans who required his aid; his house at Subathoo was the home of every traveller, where the welcome of a brother was always afforded, and no toil, trouble, or fatigue would have prevented his affording aid to the poorest native. Thoroughly disinterested himself, he was led to expect the like in others, and his removal from the Nusseeree battalion, to which he had been so many years attached, was a heavy blow to him, as was also the melancholy murder of his friend Mr. W. Fraser, the resident at Delhi; in fact, he never recovered the shock occasioned by the latter. Added to these were the retrenchments made by Government for repaying the money he had borrowed to enable bim to reach India in a manner consistent with the character of a British officer, and one employed by his own Government in a hazardous and perilous journey among tribes whom he wished to reconcile to his countrymen, and to insure to the latter a kind reception when traversing the same paths as he himself had done. That he succeeded in gaining the esteem of the authorities in every place through which he had passed is evident from the friendly letters which he afterwards received from such a man as Moorad Beg.
Gerard's aim, from the time he left Subathoo until his return, was to conciliate the people of the countries through which he journeyed; and though he injudiciously adopted expensive measures to fulfil such a praiseworthy end, he cannot surely be blamed, for his views were thoroughly disinterested, and self was never considered, being satisfied when his object was attained, even at the risk of a ruinous loss to himself in a pecuniary point of view. It is true, when in company with Burnes, he might have confined himself to his strictly medical duties; but in doing so, he would have but partially fulfilled his intentions ; and seeing that his journey was not one of an every-day occurrence, but such as few men could have accomplished, it was incumbent on him to make every effort to render it of service to his employers, and which he could not have done without a considerable outlay of money on his return. His journey into Bokhara and Persia was a disastrous one for him; and to the fatigue and suffering, both in mind and body, may be fairly attributed his premature death, though it appears that some organic disease of the heart existed, which must have caused his death in a few years. His memory failed him during his last illness; but if the attachment of friends, and of two brothers long associated with each other in arduous and perilous journeys among the Himalayas, could afford him solace in his last moments, he possessed this comfort in a remarkable degree. The three brothers were under the same roof, living in the utmost harmony with
one another, and two of them giving their mutual aid in rendering the labours of their dying brother useful to the world. Of the three brothers who once lived so happily in the mountains, and travelled side by side among the heights of the Himalayas, only one now survives, our worthy friend Capt. Patrick Ge. rard, to whom we are indebted for the materials of this biographical sketch, as well as information on many other important subjects connected with the Hima. layan mountains.*
• From the Quarterly Medical and Surgical Journal for the North-West Provinces of India, No II. April, 1844. A new and very able scientific work.
EASTERN WIVES. The daughter of a king of Persia, having conceived an aversion towards her father's vizir, said one day to her mother, “If I could destroy that vizir, I would do it with pleasure, for he is a man whose inauspicious presence disturbs me.” “Be composed, my dear child,” said her mother; “I will manage the matter." Having said this, she wrote a letter, in the king's name, to the wife of the vizir, to the following effect : “Kill your husband, for I have an affection for you,
and wish that you should be mine; but as you have an attachment to your husband, who is my vizir, it would be rather a disgraceful thing if I were to tear you from his arms, and make you my wife whilst he is alive.” When the vizir's spouse read this letter, ambitious thoughts took possession of her heart, and she became intent upon finding some stratagem to rid herself of the obstacle. One night, her husband being in a state of inebriation, she seized the happy occasion, killed him without compunction, and sent his head to the king by the hands of a young damsel. “Whose head is this?" inquired the king, with great anxiety. “ It is the head of your vizir,” replied the damsel ; "his wife has sent it ; you know why.” The king instituted inquiries into the matter, and discovering the truth, took off the heads of the vizir's wife, his own wife, his daughter, and the young damsel. He then summoned the principal officers of his army, and said to them: “I want you all to give me your wives ;” but they unanimously refused. “We will surrender to you our property, nay, sacrifice our lives for you,” said they, “but we cannot part with our dear wives.” After this, the king went secretly to the wives of those officers, and said to each of them apart, “I wish to make you my wife, if you can contrive to get rid of your husband.” That very night, each of the ladies, by some stratagem, succeeded in cutting off the head of her husband, and in the morning, the king saw his generals' heads in his possession, sent by their wives. He was horror-struck at the spectacle.
“ What !” exclaimed he; “I asked these men to give me their wives, and with one accord they refused; yet when I propose to their wives to commit a barbarous act of infidelity, they all consent, and kill their husbands !” His majesty, after this ejaculation, ordered all the expectant widows to be put to death without mercy.*
• Nouv. Journ. Asiatique, Mai, 1836. Asiat.Journ.N.S.Vol.IV.No.19.