A Journey to Katmandu eBook

Laurence Oliphant
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about A Journey to Katmandu.
and fatiguing to the muscles of any other legs than those of the Nepaulese, who keep continually doubling up the leather and treading it out again, and putting their feet to all sorts of uses, in which, if we had properly cultivated the gifts of nature, we should, doubtless, be equally skilled.  At present our great object is to make our feet look smaller than they naturally are, and even in that the Chinese excel us, civilized though we be.  The result of so much beating and treading was a number of leather cartridge-boxes, which could not have been harder had they been deal; so the means did not justify the end, and perhaps after all we make better use of our feet than the Nepaulese tanners do.

In another part of the establishment was a gang of men engaged in twisting gun-barrels, turning out wonderful productions, considering the rude method employed.

The stocks were more easily fabricated, and the whole musket justified the pride with which it was exhibited; but Jung is no longer satisfied with the productions of the Nepaulese gunmakers.  He visited a gun-manufactory at Birmingham, and was most disagreeably surprised by finding how different was the English mode of manufacturing the implements of war from that employed in Nepaul.

In England Jung had seen brass guns cast by the score during his short visit to the foundry.  Here they were being cast at the rate of one every two or three months.  The metal is not allowed to run into the mould in a continuous stream, but is ladled in, thereby rendering the gun liable to flaws.  There were many other improvements which it would have been obvious to a practised eye were needed in the gun-factory of Nepaul; and it was plain enough that everything was rough and clumsy; but Jung had paid especial attention to these subjects while in England, and intends speedily to introduce an improved system.  How long it will be ere he will have a steam-foundry established in Katmandu time alone can show.

CHAPTER XII.

Kindness of the Mahila Sahib—­His motive—­Drawing-room ornaments—­Visit to the palace of Jung Bahadoor—­A trophy of the London season—­Grand Durbar at the reading of the Queen of England’s letter—­Dress of the officers—­Review of troops—­Dancing boys.

The Mahila Sahib, the younger brother of his Majesty, was a very pleasant-looking young man, with a much more amiable expression of countenance than his royal brother, and professed to be one of Jung’s greatest friends and allies.  As a compliment to the minister, he politely requested us to pay him a visit, an invitation of which we were glad to avail ourselves, since it proved his kindly feeling towards our host, whilst it gave us an opportunity of inspecting the menage of a Nepaulese Prince Royal.

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A Journey to Katmandu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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