As I rode along this range, which rises gently from the plains at both ends and abruptly from the sides, with my groom by my side, I asked him what made Hanuman drop all his burthen here.
‘All his burthen!’ exclaimed he with a smile; ’had it been all, would it not have been an immense mountain, with all its towns and villages? while this is but an insignificant belt of rock. A mountain upon the back of men of former days, sir, was no more than a bundle of grass upon the back of one of your grass-cutters in the present day.’
Nathu, whose mind had been full of the wonders of this place from his infancy, happened to be with us, and he now chimed in.
’It was night when Hanuman passed this place, and the lamps were seen burning in a hundred towns upon the mountain he had upon his back— the people were all at their usual occupations, quite undisturbed; this is a mere fragment of his great burthen.’
’And how was it that the men of those towns should have been so much smaller than the men who carried them?’ ’God only knew; but the fact of the men of the plains having been so large was undisputed—their beards were as many miles long as those of the present day are inches. Did not Bhim throw the forty-cubit stone pillar, that now stands at Eran, a distance of thirty miles, after the man who was running away with his cattle?’
I thought of poor Father Gregory at Agra, and the heavy sigh he gave when asked by Godby what progress he was making among the people in the way of conversion. The faith of these people is certainly larger than all the mustard-seeds in the world.
I told a very opulent and respectable Hindoo banker one day that it seemed to us very strange that Vishnu should come upon the earth merely to sport with milkmaids, and to hold up an umbrella, however large, to defend them from a shower. ‘The earth, sir,’ said he, ’was at that time infested with innumerable demons and giants, who swallowed up men and women as bears swallow white ants; and his highness, Krishna, came down to destroy them. His own mother’s brother, Kans, who then reigned at Mathura over Govardhan, was one of these horrible demons. Hearing that his sister would give birth to a son that was to destroy him, he put to death several of her progeny as soon