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temples with sacred bulls stabled in the holy precincts; the thousands and thousands of people washing away their sins in the Ganges; the idols, flowers, sprinklings with waters, readings of sacred books, prayers of Brahmans, clamouring of beggars for alms, and tokens of religious worship in all directions ;—all tend to wean away the mind from European ideas, and impress it with a deep sense of ignorance as regards the yearnings and aspirations of millions of fellowcreatures. From Benares again the traveller may be carried to Allahabad, where the holy rivers of Jumna and Ganges are united in a single stream; and the religious mind of the Hindoo is filled with a deep reverential awe at the mingling of the waters, which has its source in a fetische worship which is as old as the hills, and flourished in patriarchal times. This religious feeling finds expression in a great festival which is held at the junction of the rivers ; and the European is distracted by the thousand and one nondescript scenes which meet the eye at a Hindoo fair; the jumbling up of the pilgrimages of the Middle Ages with the civilization of the nineteenth century; the conjurors, jugglers, faqueers, women and children in countless numbers ; the hundreds of vehicles, the endless stalls, idols, and lucifer matches, books and sweetmeats, brass pots, gilt caps, cedar pencils, toys, note paper, marbles, red powder, and waving flags. From thence the traveller may be conducted to Agra and Delhi, from the centres of Hindooism to the centres of Islam in India. The marble palaces with graceful arches, slender columns, and screens like lace-work. The magnificent Taj with its dome of white marble, and its exquisite interior inlaid with flowers and birds in coloured gems, which, in the language of Heber, seems to have been built by giants and finished by jewellers. Above all there are the wondrous mosques, decorated with holy texts from the Koran; the cloistered gardens in vast quadrangles
where fountains are ever playing; and the marble tombs to which streams of pious Mussulmans are ever going on pilgrimage to scatter a few flowers upon the sacred shrines, and to offer up prayers to the prophet of Islam. But there is no space here to dwell longer upon the scenes which our Hindoo traveller has described so well; and with this brief Introduction of himself and his Travels, we leave him to tell his own story, assuring the European reader that, notwithstanding the novelty of the names and scenes, it will well repay a careful perusal.
J. TALBOYS WHEELER.
TRAVELS OF A HIND00.
If any man would keep a faithful account of what he had seen and
heard himself, it must, in whatever hands, prove an interesting thing.-Horace Walpole.
From the diary kept of our several journeys, the date of our first and earliest trip up the Hooghly appears to be the 11th of February, 1845. This is now so far back as to seem quite in the 'olden time'-in the days of the budgerow and bholio, of tow-ropes and punt-poles, all now things of the past, and irrevocably gone to obsoletism. It being the order of the day to get over the greatest possible amount of ground in the smallest possible amount of time,' the reader, perhaps, trembles at the mention of by-gones, but let him take courage, and we promise not to be a bore, but let him off easily.
In the times to which we allude, one was not so independent of the elements as now. The hour, therefore, of our embarkation was as propitious as could be wished. Both Neptune and Æolus seemed to look
down with complacency upon our undertaking ;-the one, favouring us with the tide just set in; and the other, with a fresh full breeze blowing from the south. Thanks to their kind old godships ! But, unhappily, we have not to relate here the adventures of an Ulysses or a Sinbad. Ours is a lowly tale of matter-of-fact, drawn from the scenes of every-day life, and from the sights of everybody's familiarity. It is undertaken with no other motive than to give a little work to our humble 'grey goose quill,' and is presented to the public with the parting exclamation of the poet, 'Would it were worthier.'
It was, then, about the middle of February, 1845, that we set out upon our excursion. Under the auspices of a favourable wind and tide, our boat sharply and merrily cut along its way, while we stood upon its deck to descry the fading forms of the Mint and Metcalfe Hall, that gradually receded from the view. In less than twenty minutes we cleared the canal, and passed by Chitpore, so called from the Kali Chitraswari of that village. She is one of those old images to whom many a human sacrifice has been offered under the régime of the Brahmins. It is said of her, that a party of boatmen was rowing up the river to the sound of a melodious strain. Heightened by the stillness of the night, the plaintive carol came in a rich harmony to the ears of the goddess. She then sat facing the east, but, turning to hear the song of the boatmen as they passed by her ghât, she had her face turned towards the river ever since.