Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

one.

adapted to the state of India, though it is one, undoubtedly, which could only be carried into effect in peaceable times, and when there was a considerable surplus revenue. I know my dear wife has no objection to this sort of politico-economical discussion, and therefore send it without fearing to tire her. The building which has called it forth is said to have many imperfections, which made it very unfit for its destination. The idea itself, which is to pour the corn in at the top, and take it out through a small door at the bottom, I think a good

But it is said to be ill-built, and by far too weak to support the weight of its intended contents, while by a refinement in absurdity, the door at the bottom is made to open inwards, and consequently when the granary was full, could never have been opened at all. It is now occasionally used as a powder-magazine, but is at this moment quite empty, and only visited sometimes for the sake of its echo, which is very favourable to performances on the flute or bugle. Underneath its walls I had a good deal of conversation with Padre Giulio, who speaks French, though not well, yet fluently. He is thoroughly a man of the world, smooth, insinuating, addicted to paying compliments, and from his various accomplishments an acceptable guest at all English houses where French or Italian are understood. He spoke with great affection of Martyn, who thought well of him, and almost hoped that he had converted him from Popery.

He was apparently pleased with the notice which I paid him, and I certainly was much amused and

[blocks in formation]

interested with his conversation. I found him a great admirer of Metastasio, and of course not fond of Alfieri. He himself is, indeed, a Milanese, so that he feels for the former as for a countryman as well as a brother ecclesiastic. Their sect, he said, had had a heavy loss in India, by the recent death of the Romish Bishop of Thibet, who came out a little before my arrival, and who was also an Italian of good family, and a very elegant and accomplished scholar. He died in this neighbourhood about two months ago. I recollect Lord Amherst speaking of him, and he on his part, Giulio said, spoke much of Lord Amherst's good nature, and good Italian.

August 21.— The Corries arrived this morning; with the Archdeacon and Mr. Northmore, who came over from Dinapoor, I had to arrange the duties of the next day. The distance it appears from Bankipoor to Dinapoor is full seven miles in the dry season, at present between eight and nine, and through roads often impassable for a carriage. The majority of the Europeans in the neighbourhood (now that the 44th regiment is no longer quartered here) live in Bankipoor and Patna, so that Sir C. D'Oyley was anxious that I should preach here rather than at Dinapoor. I thought of doing both, but was dissuaded from a journey in the heat of the day, and I settled to remain here till Tuesday morning, and then go to Dinapoor to preach, and administer Confirmation. I find that the river, which offers at this moment so noble a sheet of water close to the garden-gate, is, in the dry

[blocks in formation]

season, two miles off, and scarcely visible, there being only some small nullahs in the intervening space,

which is then cultivated with rice and oats. August 22.—Mr. Corrie read prayers, and I preached to a congregation of, I should suppose, fifty people, all of the upper or middling ranks, of whom I think thirty staid to receive the Sacrament. The service was performed in a large and convenient room, the Court of Appeal, and a handsome service of communion plate was produced, preserved from the time that the Company's Chaplain, now removed to Dinapoor, was stationed at Patna. A very earnest and general wish was expressed that Government would allow them a Chaplain still. This, with the present establishment, and the great demands on it, is I fear never likely to be granted, but it would be a very great advantage and convenience to the place, and would be attended with little expense in comparison, if an allowance were made the Chaplain at Dinapoor for a lodging and palanquin hire, and he were enjoined to visit Patna once a month. Some measure of the kind, with regard to this and many other stations almost similarly situated, I hope myself to suggest to Government as soon as I am better informed in the necessary details of the plans.

Lady D'Oyley took me this evening through some of the bazars, and a part of a long avenue of trees extending several miles into the country. Many of them are of great size, but the whole she said were planted by the senior judge, Mr. Douglas, an old man who has been a resident in or near

[blocks in formation]

Patna for more than thirty years, during which he has only been once from it as far as Dinapoor. The houses of the natives here are almost all of mud, but their tiled roofs and verandahs give them a better aspect than the common Bengalee cottage. The hackeries are very different from those of Calcutta, being little tabernacles, like the moveable military shrines represented on ancient monuments, with curtains and awnings, and drawn either by one horse or two oxen. We had a very pleasant, quiet evening, such as a Sunday evening ought to be, and concluded with family prayers. On the whole I have been greatly pleased and interested with this visit.

I observed in the course of the day a singular custom among the Europeans here; they have no regular burial-ground, but inter their deceased relatives in their gardens and pleasure-grounds. Little urns and obelisks of this kind meet the eye near most of the bungalows, and there is one of the former under a fine tamarind-tree close to Sir C. D'Oyley's windows.

August 23.—This day, like those which had gone before it, was passed very agreeably, so much of it as I could spare from business, in the society of my new friends, but offered nothing remarkable. There was a large party to dinner, which broke up early, and I spent the rest of the evening in very agreeable conversation with the family circle.

August 24.-Sir C. D’Oyley sent me in his carriage half-way to Dinapoor, where Mr. Northmore's carriage met me. The Archdeacon went in a

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »