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rule is made to preserve equality amongst the partners of the establishment; who are all rendered equally unpresentable at the vice-regal court.
Besides the quantity of goods daily disposed of at auctions, there are vast accumulations, which seem to be utterly forgotten, in the godowns or warehouses belonging to every merchant. The terms applied to these receptacles, is a corruption of the Malay word Gadong. The ransacking of the vaults and store places of Calcutta, and the discovery of all the strange things which the rats and white-ants have left unconsumed, would be an amusing employment. What a quantity of forgotten lumber would see the light ! patent lever fids, and other vaunted inventions, equally at a discount, lie mouldering in these recesses with things of greater value and utility, crates of china and glass, hard-ware, perfumery, &c., &c. Perhaps, in no other place are there such nume. rous commodities put out of sight, and totally out of memory, as at Calcutta. The consignees, who have failed to dispose of goods according to their invoice prices, and who have not received instructions to sell them by auction, allow them to choke up their warehouses without an effort for their rescue from obli. vion. All that is perishable is, of course, speedily demolished; a destiny little anticipated by the sanguine speculator, who perchance hoped to lay the foundation of his wealth in the Calcutta market.
Though this market is sometimes overstocked with the luxuries of the table, yet as the “ eaters of ham and the eaters of jam," as the European community have been styled by a witty writer in the Bengal Annual, are insatiate in their demand for the sweet and savoury importations from oil, pickle, and confectionary-shops, they form the safest investment. Upon the arrival of a ship freighted with preserved salmon, lobsters, oysters, herrings, and other exotic fish, hams, rein-deer tongues, liqueurs, dried fruits, and a long list of foreign dainties, the wholesale purchaser, anxious to sell them in their freshest and purest state, usually puts forth a series of advertisements, in which the art of puffing is carried to its fullest extent. Nothing is too absurd to be printed in the Calcutta newspapers ; the vauntings of Day and Martin must hide their diminished heads before those which figure in our eastern periodicals. Numerous pens are engaged in the composition; the young men in the “ Buildings," the grand patronizers of tiffins and suppers, frequently lending their assistance at a sounding paragraph, and encouraging the perpetration of divers execrable jokes, and familiar invitations in the worst taste imaginable. Cheese, in these shops, is sold for three-shillings a-pound ; ham frequently at four, and every thing else in proportion.
Happily; the economical part of society may furnish their tables at a cheaper rate. The native bazaars of Calcutta, in which European goods are sold, though not very tempting in appearance, are well stocked. They consist of a collection of narrow streets, furnished with shops on either side, some of which have shew-rooms on the upper floor, but all darker, dirtier, and more slovenly than those in the fashionable quarters of the city. - The Soodagurs, fat, sleek, well-dressed men, clad in white muslin, and having the mark of their caste (if Hindops) painted in gold upon the forehead and down the nose, stand at their doors, inviting customers to enter. Capital bargains are to be obtained by those who are willing to encounter the heat, fatigue, and abominations which beset their path. It is not, however, necessary to inspect these districts in person, as a sircar may be employed, or samples of the goods sent for. The millinery exhibited in these places is absolutely startling, and people are puzzled to guess how it can ever be disposed of; but this mystery is solved by an apparition not unfrequent, a half (or rather whole) caste female,-for many of the Portuguese are blacker than the natives,-belonging to the lower ranks, áttired in the European costume. No Christian of European descent, however remote, ever wears a native dress. Rich Indo-British ladies attire themselves in the latest and newest fashions of London and Paris, greatly to their disadvantage, since the Hindoostanee costume is so much more becoming to the dark countenances and pliant figures of Eastern beauties: those of an infes rior class content themselves with habiliments less in vogue, caring little aboạt the date of their construction, provided the style be European. At native festivals, the wives of Portuguese drummers, and other functionaries of equal rank, are to be seen amid the crowd, arrayed in gowns of blue satin, or pink crape, fantastically trimmed; with satin slippers on their feet, their hair fulldressed, and an umbrella carried over their heads by some ragged servant, making altogether an appearance not very unlike that of Maid Marian on May. day. To these ladies, in process of time, are consigned the blonde lace, or silver lama dresses, to which, on their first arrival in India, so exorbitant a price was affixed, that nobody could venture to become a purchaser; after displaying themselves for years in a glass case at Leyburn's, they suddenly disappear, remaining in the deepest oblivion, until some lucky box-wallah procures a customer unacquainted with the changes which have taken place in the London fashions since the period of their debût from the boutique of a firstrate professor. Amidst an intolerable quantity of rubbish, articles of value may be picked out; the piece-goods are equal to those which are obtainable in magazines of higher pretensions, and the hams, cheeses, oil-man's stores, &c. are of the best quality, and furniture, palanquins, in short all the necessaries and conveniencies of life, are to be found at these bazaars. The shop-keepers are, for the most part, very rich native settlers in Calcutta, having derived more benefit from the increasing opulence of the city, than any other class of its inhabitants : the greater part of the wealth flows through their hands. Having large capitals, they are enabled to purchase the whole of a captain's investments direct from the ship; the principal European establishments de the same, putting about twenty per cent. upon the original priee. Many of an inferior class, having no ready-money, are obliged to go into the China bázaar, and buy from the natives (perhaps upon credit) those European commodities they are unable to procure at first-hand; yet these men live in the same style as the large capitalists, driving about in the streets in buggies, and disdaining the thrift - and economy which their brethren at home are compelled to practise.
Under the British Government, the Mussulmans or Hindoos, who have accumulated property, are not afraid of making a display of it in their shops or warehouses ; destitute of those apprehensions which, in the days of anarchy and despotism, embittered the enjoyment of riches, they pursue their avocations with a keenness and avidity which bid defiance to all rival efforts. Ready-money customers do well to make their purchases of persons willing to sell at a fair profit; but there is some danger in getting into debt, or borrowing largely from a Hindoo. The Jews, a class of persons, with whom, in other places, pecuniary dealings are to be dreaded, form in Calcutta so small a portion of the community as scarcely to be worth naming. They have little
hance against the sircars, banyans, and money-changers professing Hindooism, whose usurious practices far exceed any thing related of the scattered tribes of Israel.
Shops at up-country stations, without being half so well supplied, are gene rally ten times dearer than those of Calcutta. Raspberry jam, the preserve
most in request at an Indian table, bears á most préposterous price; a jat; which is sold in London for about four shillings, will cost twenty-four, and can never be purchased for less than sixteen. The charge at Cawnpore for half a pint of salad-oil is six shillings, and in a camp, a two-pound square jar of pickles, and a pine cheese, have sold for three pounds each : an act of extravagance in the consumer which is without any excuse, the native pickles being infinitely superior to those brought from England, and the Hissar cheeses of far better quality than the importations, which are always either dry or rancid.
There are at least balf-a-dozen French and English milliners of note settled in Calcutta, some of whom make regular voyages to Paris and London, for the purchase of their own investments. The displays of their shew-rooms materially depend upon the shipping arrivals; sometimes there is a "beggarly account of empty boxes,” and at others the different apartments are replete with temptations. The high rents of houses, in good situations, in Calcutta, and the necessity of keeping large establishments of servants, preclude the possibility of obtaining goods of any kind, at these fashionable marts, at low prices. The milliners of Calcutta seem to depend entirely upon supplies from Europe; they have never thought of enlisting Chinese manufactures into their service. Large importations of silks, satins, damasks, crapes, &c. arrive from Canton, and some of the higher orders of native merchants have pattern-books to shew, filled with the richest of these fabrics woven in the most exquisite patterns; but the ladies of Calcutta disdain to appear in dresses, which would be eagerly coveted by those of the great capitals of Europe. Chinese, silks and satins are scarcely to be seen in any of the shops; if they should be wanted, they must be sought out like the Cashmeres, the Dacca muslins, and the Benares tissues, concealed from public view in chests and warehouses. At half the expense of their present apparel, the Calcutta belles might be more splendidly attired than any female community in the world; but the rage for European frippery is so great, that the most magnificent fabrics of the East would have no chance against a painted muslin. If these rich products were more seen, the purchase would be more highly appreciated; but the custom of the country, founded in all probability on the deleterious effects of the climate, forbids the outward shew which forms the characteristic, and the at. traction also, of a London shop. The dampness of the atmosphere of Bengal is ruinous to every delicate article exposed to it, and the natives of India have not yet learned the methods by which careful English dealers preserve their stock from dust and dilapidation, nor can they acquire these arts from their European employers, who are in a great measure ignorant of the principles of trade, and are induced to become general dealers in consequence of finding it the most profitable speculation. The indolence occasioned by the heat is usually too great to admit of much personal superintendence; the details are left to native assistants, and, with very few exceptions, every kind of mer.chandize is huddled together in confusion, or arranged in the most tasteless
The jewellers and the establishment of the leading bookseller have already been exempted from this charge, and the praise, which their respective owners merit, must be awarded to the European proprietors of a shop, the prettiest in Calcutta, devoted wholly to the sale of Chinese goods. There is a constant succession of new articles to be seen in this shop. Captains of traders and people desirous of sending presents to England, speedily sweeping away the whole stock; the goods are charged at about double the price for which they may be purchased at Canton, but there are always many pretty things which come within the reach of humble purses, and the privilege of looking over some of the most beautiful specimens of human ingenuity is worth a few rupees. This shop, though not large, occupies a good situation upon the Esplanade; it is remarkably clean and cheerful, offering a striking contrast to the dens of dirt and darkness, which in many parts of the city look more like rat-holes than the emporiums of European goods. The door is generally thronged with carriages, and in the hot-season there is some difficulty in getting up to it; the Garreewans, or coachmen, of Calcutta, ignorant of the etiquêtte practised in England, do not draw off at the approach of another vehicle with a party to set down or take up. For want of some arrangement of this kind, there are perpetual contests for mastery, and timnid people, or those who have a thin attendance of servants to clear the way, prefer walking a few yards tò disputing possession with the carriage at the door. În narrow passages, équipages are obliged to drive away to make room for each other; but where space will permit, it seems a point of honour amongst the coachmen, to cause as much confusion and hubbub as possible. Every body drives on which side the road he pleases to take, either left or right; and considering the vast number of carriages, which assemble in the public places, it is wonderful how few accidents occur.
During the cold season, ladies may shop in Calcutta without any personal inconvenience, and many are not to be deterred by the heat from pursuing so favourite an amusement. The arrival of adventurers from France, who hire apartments for the display of their goods, is a great temptation to venture out ; these people, who are anxious to get away again with the vessel which brought them, usually undersell the regular shop-keepers, disposing of the stock remaining on hand by public outcry, á favourite niethod all over India. Upon some of these occasions, amazing bargains are to be had, of which the natives usually avail themselves; boatmen and others upon
smallest wages being enabled to make purchases, which they are certain of selling to advantage in the upper country, though at a hundred per cent. below the regular price. English captains of vessels have been known to open a warehouse on their own account, and to sell their investments by retail; but whether the experiment answered or failed, the example has not been generally followed. The first arrivals in the market, or those freighted with goods in demand, of course speedily get rid of their cargo ; while the remainder are frequently compelled to make great sacrifices. The pale ale, so much in request at an Indian table, is often sold at a dead loss, and may be had occasionally in Calcutta at three or four rupees a-dozen to the consumer, but it is never procur. able at the same comparative rate of cheapness in the Mofussil. Should the new steam-boats, which have been sent out from England, prove successful in the navigation of the Ganges to Allahabad or Cawnpore, vast additions and improvements will take place in the shops already established at those and the intermediate stations. The reduced rate of European goods, and the more general introduction of articles of native manufacture, will enable the British residents of India to live as well upon inferior allowances, as they were accustomed w do in the days of splendid incomes and profuse expenditure. Mango, coriander, hybiscus, guava, and various other jams and jellies, when prepared without an admixture of spice, are quite equal to the finest of Hoffman's fruits. Hams and bacon can be as well cured in India as in England; and the table at least may be independent of every European article excepting wine and beer. Asiat.Journ. N.S.VOL.14.No.55,
All the musical instruments used in India are importations: as yet no me nufactory of the kind has been ventured upon. Very few carriages are brought from England, there being a large coach-maker's establishment of great cele brity in Calcutta, besides others in different parts of the country; some maintained by Europeans, and others by natives, who work from the instructions of gentlemen, especially artillery and engineer officers, possessing amateur acquaintance with the art. All sorts of harness and saddlery have attained great perfection at Cawnpore, where the natives work upon leather with much success, producing such delicate articles as white kid gloves of a very fair quality ; their saddles and bridles are exceedingly neat and elegant, and if not so durable as those of English make, are infinitely cheaper. The price of a hunting-saddle and bridle imported from England is twelve pounds, while those manufactured at Cawnpore may be had for one, equally good in appearance, though they probably will not last quite so long. The great demand for leather at Cawnpore has proved very fatal to troop.horses, and those of travellers proceeding to that station. The villages, at the distance of a march or two, are inhabited by gangs of miscreants, who do not hesitate to procure so lucrative an article of commerce by the most nefarious means. It is their custom to poison the wells, or otherwise to administer some deleterious mixture to the horses encamped in their neighbourhood. They either die imme. diately, or drop upon the road during their next day's march, and their skins are stripped off and sold at Cawnpore. It is seldom that a native of India can be detected in his knaveries. After many vain attempts to discover the perpetrators of these enormities, gentlemen who lost their horses came to a determination to defeat the projects of the wretches by whom they had been destroyed. Upon the death of any animal, they had it flayed instantly by their own people, and either carried away the skin or caused it to be burned upon the spot. This plan has at length proved effectual : the horse-killers, tired of their vain attempts to secure the object of their villainy, allow the most tempting studs to pass unmolested, the thanadars in the neighbourhood having received orders to warn all travellers of the danger, and to recommend them, in the event of any casualty amongst their cattle, not to leave the skin behind. There is an exceedingly good English coach-maker settled at Cawnpore, and very excellent and elegant carriages are made at Bareilly, a place famous for the beauty of its household furniture, which is painted and lackered with much taste, and in a peculiar manner.
“ DARK WITH EXCESS OF LIGHT."* " You teach," said the Emperor Trajan to Rabbi Joshuah, “ that your God is every where, and boast that he resides amongst your nation. I should like to see him."“ God's presence is indeed every where,” replied Joshuah, “but he cannot be seen; no mortal eye can behold his glory.”—The emperor insisted. “ Well,” said Joshuah,
suppose we try to look first at one of his ambassadors ?”—The emperor consented.The Rabbi took him in the open air at noon-day, and bid him look at the sun in its meridian splendour." I cannot,” said Trajan, “the light dazzles me.”_" Thou art unable,” said Joshuah, " to endure the light of one of his creatures, and canst thou expect to behold the resplendent giory of the Creator ? Would not such a sight anni. hilate you!"
T. CHOLIN. * From Hyman Hurwitz's Hebrero Tales, p. 84.