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the cabin. Soon after I arrived I received a large packet of letters, and, thank God! a more comfortable account of those dearest to me.
The wind and the sea, for the river really deserves the name, continued to rise during a greater part of the day, so that the Corries, it was very plain, could not get past the rock on which the fort stands. Indeed we afterwards heard that at Dinapoor, where the stream is also usually violent, a budgerow and even a pinnace had been very nearly lost, and the latter actually almost filled with water, and driven ashore.
After dinner Lady D'Oyley took me round the only drive which is at this time of year practicable, being, though of smaller extent, much such a green as the race-ground at Barrackpoor. We passed a high building shaped something like a glass-house, with a stair winding round its outside up to the top, like the old prints of the Tower of Babel. It was built as a granary for the district, in pursuance of a plan adopted about thirty-five years ago by Government, after a great famine, as a means of keeping down the price of grain, but abandoned on a supposed discovery of its inefficacy, since no means in their hands, nor any buildings which they could construct, without laying on fresh taxes, would have been sufficient to collect or contain more than one day's provision for the vast population of their territories. It is not only in a time of famine, that, in a country like India, the benefit of public granaries would be felt. These would of course be filled by the agents of the Company in those years and those seasons when grain was cheapest, and when the cultivator was likely to be ruined by the impossibility of obtaining a remunerating price. But the presence of an additional, a steady and a wealthy customer at such times in the market, to the amount of 1-365th of the whole produce, or even less than that, would raise the price of grain ten or even twenty per cent., and thus operate as a steady and constant bounty on agriculture, more popular by far, and, as I conceive, more efficient than any Corn Law which could be devised. It appears to me, therefore, that a system of such granaries, even on a very moderate scale, throughout the Provinces, would not only essentially relieve famine, if it came, but, in some degree, prevent its coming ; that it would improve the situation both of Ryot and Zemindar, and make them more able to pay their dues to Government, while, as there is no necessity or advantage (but rather the contrary) that the corn thus hoarded should be given away, the expense to the Company would not be very much more than the first cost and subsequent repair of the buildings, and the wages of the needful agents and labourers. I am well aware of the usual answer, that it is better to leave these things to private competition and speculation, that much of the grain thus collected would
be spoiled, and become unfit for use, &c. But the first assumes a fact which in India, I believe, is not correct, that there is either sufficient capital or enterprise to enable or induce individuals to store up corn in the manner contemplated. As for the second, it would obviously be, in years of over production, an equal benefit to the cultivator to have a part of his stock purchased and withdrawn from present consumption, even though what was thus purchased were actually burnt, while, though to keep the granaries full of good grain would of course be more expensive to Government, from the perishable nature of the commodity, yet it would be easy so to calculate the selling price as to cover this charge, and avoid the necessity of imposing fresh public burthens. On the whole, therefore, I am inclined to believe that the measure was a wise one, and well 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 is 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 much pleased with the notice which I paid him, and I certainly was much amused and 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. This 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, 1 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 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 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 pleasuregrounds. 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 “ Tonjon," a chair with a head like a gig, carried by bearers. The whole way lies between scattered bungalows, bazars, and other buildings, intermixed with gardens and mangoe groves; and three days without rain bad made the direct road not only passable, but very reasonably good. approached Dinapoor, symptoms began to appear of a great Eng. lish military station, and it was whimsical to see peeping out from beneath the palms and plantains, large blue boards with gilt letters “Digah Farm, Havell, Victualler," &c. - Morris, Tailor.” “Davis, Europe Warehouse,”' &c. The cantonment itself is the largest and handsomest which I have seen, with a very fine quay, looking like a battery, to the river, and I think three extensive squares of barracks uniformly built, of one lofty ground story well raised, stuccoed, and ornamented with arcaded windows, and pillars between each. There are also extensive and, I understood, very handsome barracks for the native troops, which I did not see, those which I described being for Europeans, of whom there are generally here one King's regiment, one Company's, and a numerous corps of artillery. Every thing, in fact, is on a liberal scale, except what belongs to the church, and the spiritual interests of the inhabitants and neighbourhood. The former I found merely a small and inconvenient room in the barracks, which seemed as if it had been designed for a hospitalward; the reading-desk, surplice, books, &c. were all meaner and shabbier than are to be seen in the poorest village chapel in
England or Wales ; there were no punkahs, no wall-shades, or other means for lighting up the church, no glass in the windows, no font, and till a paltry deal stand was brought for my use, out of an adjoining warehouse, no communion table. Bishop Middleton objected to administer confirmation in any but churches regularly built, furnished and consecrated. But though I do not think that in India we need be so particular, I heartily wished, in the present case, to see things more as they should be, and as 1 had been accustomed to see them. Nor, in more essential points, was there much to console me for this neglect of external decencies. I had only fourteen candidates for confirmation, some of them so young that I almost doubted the propriety of admitting them, and there were perhaps a dozen persons besides in the church. It is very true that the King's regiment (the 44th) was absent, but the Company's European regiment, most of them young men, might have been expected to furnish, of itself, no inconsiderable number, when the conduct of those at Dum Dum on similar occasions is recollected. There are, likewise, several indigo-planters in the neighbourhood, many of them with families, and many others who had themselves never been confirmed, to whom the chaplain of the station had long since sent notice, but who had none of them given any answer to his letters ; he, indeed, (whom I found extremely desirous of contributing to the improvement of the people under his care,) lamented in a very natural and unaffected manner the gross neglect of Sunday, the extraordinary inattention on the part of the lower classes to all religious concerns, and the indifference hitherto shown by the Company's military officers now at Dinapoor to every thing like religious improvement. While the 44th was here, a very different and admirable example was set by Colonel Morrison and his officers, and the men themselves were most of them patterns of decent conduct and regular attendance in church, not only in the morning, but in the evening, at which time their attendance was perfectly voluntary.
There had been a school for the European children and those recruits who could not read, but this had fallen to decay, because nobody would subscribe, and the chaplain alone could not support it. The Government sent, six months ago,a lending library for the use of their European soldiers, and allowed eight rupees a month to the clerk for keeping it; but the brigade major, to whom the books were consigned, had never unpacked them, alleging (of which he was not the proper judge) “ that they were too few to be of any use,” and “ that there was no place to put them in," as if a corner of the room now used as a church would not have answered the purpose perfectly.
of the European regiment, though it was "in orders" that the