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easy matter. . Arabs are excessively scarce and dear, and one which was sent for me to look at, at a price of 800 rupees, was a skittish, cat-legged thing, not worth half the money. I went with Mr. Bird, whose kindness and hospitality were unremitting during my whole stay, to look at a drove of up-country horses, just arrived from Lahore and Turkistân, and was exceedingly amused and interested by the picturesque groups of men and animals which met the eye in a crowded serai about nightfall, as well as with the fine forms of some of the colts offered for sale, and the singular appearance and manner of the grazier who owned the “ cofilah," or caravan, and his attendant saeeses.

The former was an elderly man, six feet high, and more than proportionally corpulent, with a long, curling, black beard, spreading over bis white peyrahoom. The latter were also large-limbed, tall men, with long hair in black strong ringlets hanging down their backs and over their ears, their little turbans set knowingly on one side, and neither they nor their master much darker than Europeans. Indeed, they exceedingly resembled some of the portraits of Italians by Titian; they rode well, and showed great strength; but what most amused me was the remarkable resemblance between horse-dealers all over the world, in turns of expression, in tricks of trade, nay, even in tone of voice and cast of countenance. I had fortunately an excellent judge in Mr. Bird, but even he was perplexed for some time how to advise me. At length I fixed on a very handsome colt, too young, certainly, but

strong, and very good tempered, for which I gave 460 rupees. The old man went and came over and over again before he would take the price, but I was pertinacious; and at last, on Abdullah's suggesting that an additional present of something besides money would please him better, I gave him a piece of Dacca muslin, sufficient for a turban, and worth about eight sicca rupees, as well as a small phial of laudanum and brandy for an ear-ache, of which he bitterly complained. This satisfied him, and we parted very good friends, Mr. Bird being of opinion that the price was really a fair one, and the horse extremely promising. It was also necessary to buy five tattoes for my servants to ride in turns, as there were no baggageelephants to mount them on. This, however, was easily accomplished, and the animals, saddles, bridles, and all, were obtained, though very good ones of their kind, for sixteen rupees each. A long string of other necessaries followed, and I had the mortification to find that few of the things I had brought with me from Calcutta could be put on the backs of camels. It was with the greatest difficulty that a carpenter could be found in the whole city to drive a nail, or a blacksmith to make a horse-shoe; it being the festival of Rama and Seeta, all the world was employed in seeing the hero with his army of monkeys attack the giant

FESTIVAL OF RAMA AND SEETA.

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Ravanu. Many other hinderances and disappointments occurred, but the delay they occasioned gave me an opportunity of seeing something of the Ramayuna festival, which consists in a sort of dramatic representation during many successive days, of Rama's history and adventures. The first evening I went with Mr. Bird to the show, for as such it is now considered, and so entirely divested of every religious character, as to be attended even by Mussulmans without scruple. I found Rama, his brother Luchmun, and his betrothed wife Seeta, represented by three children of about twelve years old, seated in Durbar, under an awning in the principal street of the sepoy lines, with a great crowd round them, some fanning them, (of which, poor things, they had great need,) some blowing horns and beating gongs and drums, and the rest shouting till the air rang again. The two heroes were very fine boys, and acted their parts admirably. Each had a gilt bow in his left hand, and a sabre in his right, their naked bodies were almost covered with gilt ornaments and tinsel, they had high tinsel crowns on their heads, their foreheads and bodies spotted with charcoal, chalk, and vermilion, and altogether perfectly resembled the statues of Hindoo deities,

“ Except that of their eyes alone

The twinkle showed they were not stone."

Poor little Seeta, wrapt up in a gorgeous veil of flimsy finery, and tired to death, had dropped her head on her breast, and seemed happily insensible to all which was going on. The brahmin sepoys who bore the principal part in the play, made room, with great solicitude, for us to see. 1 asked a good many questions, and obtained very ready answers in much the same way, and with no more appearance of reverence or devotion than one should receive from an English mob at a puppet-show. "I see Rama, Seeta, and Luchmun, but where is Hunimân?” (the famous monkey general.) “Hunimân," was the answer, “ is not yet come; but that man,” pointing to a great stout soldier of singularly formidable exterior, “is Hunimân, and he will soon arrive." The man began laughing as if half ashamed of his destination, but now took up the conversation, telling me that “ next day was to be a far prettier play than I now saw, for Seeta was to be stolen away by Ravanu and his attendant evil spirits, Rama and Luchmun were to go to the jungle in great sorrow to seek for her,"

(“ Rama, your Rama! to greenwood must hie!")

That “ then (laughing again) I and my army shall come, and we shall fight bravely, bravely.” The evening following I was

288

FESTIVAL OF RAMA AND SEETA.

engaged, but the next day I repeated my visit; I was then too late for the best part of the show, which had consisted of a first and unsuccessful attack by Rama and his army on the fortress of the gigantic ravisher. That fortress, however, I saw,-an enclosure of bamboos, covered with paper and painted with doors and windows, within which was a frightful paper giant, fifteen feet high, with ten or twelve arms, each grasping either a sword, an arrow, a bow, a battle-axe, or a spear. At his feet sate poor little Seeta as motionless as before, guarded by two figures to represent demons. The brothers in a splendid palkee were conducting the retreat of their army; the divine Hunimân, as naked and almost as hairy as the animal whom he represented, was gamboling before them, with a long tail tied round his waist, a mask to represent the head of a baboon, and two great painted clubs in his hands. His army followed, a number of men with similar tails and masks, their bodies dyed with indigo, and also armed with clubs. I was never so forcibly struck with the identity of Rama and Bacchus. Here were before me Bacchus, his brother Ampelus, the Satyrs, (smeared with wine lees,) and the great Pan commanding them. The fable, however, can hardly have originated in India, and probably has been imported both by the Greeks and brahmins from Cashmere, or some other central country where the grape grows, unless we suppose that the grape has been merely an accidental appendage to Bacchus's character, arising from the fact that the festival occurs during the vintage. There yet remained two or three days of pageant, before Seeta's release, purification, and re-marriage to her hero lover, but for this conclusion I did not remain in Allahabad. At Benares, I am told, the show is on such occasions really splendid. The Raja attends in state with all the principal inhabitants of the place, he lends his finest elephants and jewels to the performers, who are children of the most eminent families, and trained up by long previous education. I saw enough, however, at Allahabad to satisfy my curiosity. The show is now a very innocent one, but there was a hideous and accursed practice in “the good old times," before the British police was established, at least if all which the Mussulmans and English say is to be believed, which shows the Hindoo superstition in all its horrors. The poor children who had been thus feasted, honoured, and made to contribute to the popular amusement, were, it is said, always poisoned in the sweetmeats given them the last day of the show, that it might be said their spirits were absorbed into the deities whom they had represented ! Nothing of the sort can now be done. The children, instead of being bought for the purpose, from a distance, by the priests, are the children of neighbours, whose prior and subsequent history is known, and Rama and Seeta now grow old like other boys and girls.

CHAPTER XIV.

ALLAHABAD TO CAWNPOOR.

DESCRIPTION OF CARAVAN-ARMED PEASANTRY-CAMAULPOOR-FYZEE

MUSSEEH-VISITS FROM ZEMINDAR AND IMAM-MUSSULMAN SOLDIER TURNED SAINT-RYUTS OPPRESSED BY SOLDIERY-FUTTEH POORSERAI--BEGGARS LIVING IN TOMBS-STORMY MARCH TO KULEANPOOR-DAK JOURNEY TO CAWNPOOR-HOSPITAL AND SCHOOL-DESCRIPTION OF TOWN AND CLIMATE.

At length, on Thursday morning the 30th of September, we began our journey, having sent off some hours before our motley train, consisting of twenty-four camels, eight carts drawn by bullocks, twenty-four horse-servants, including those of the Archdeacon and Mr. Lushington, ten ponies, forty bearers and coolies of different descriptions, twelve tent-pitchers, and a guard of twenty sepoys under a native officer. The whimsical caravan filed off in state before me; my servants, all armed with spears, to which many of them had added, at their own cost, sabres of the longest growth, looked, on their little ponies, like something between cossacks and sheriff's javelin-men; my new Turkoman horse, still in the costume of his country, with his long squirrellike tail painted red, and his mane plaited in love-knots, looked as if he were going to eat fire, or perform some other part in a melodrama; while Mr. Lushington's horses, two very pretty Arabs, with their tails docked, and their saddles English ( Ungrigi") fashion, might have attracted notice in Hyde-park, the Archdeacon's buggy and horse had every appearance of issuing from the back gate of a college in Cambridge on a Sunday morning; and lastly came some mounted gens d'armes, and a sword and buckler-man on foot, looking exactly like the advanced guard of a Tartar army. Rain, however, long prayed for, but which was now an inconvenience to us, prevented our starting all together, and it was late in the evening before we arrived at Cooseah, sixteen miles from Allahabad, where we found two excellent tents, of three apartments each, pitched for our reception, and the tea-kettle boiling under the shade of some stately trees in a wild country of ruins and jungle, now gemmed and glowing with the scattered fires of our cofilah.

This was the first night I ever passed under canvass, and, independent of its novelty, I found the comforts of my dwelling

VOL. I.-37

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greatly exceed my expectation. The breeze blew in very fresh and pleasantly through the tent door, the ground, covered with short withered grass, was perfectly dry, though rain had so lately fallen, and my bed and musquito-curtains were arranged with as much comfort as in Calcutta. The only circumstance which struck me as likely to be annoying even to a lady, was the publicity of the situation,-her bed within a few inches of an open door, a body of men-servants and soldiers sleeping all round that door, and a sentry pacing backwards and forwards before it. After all, however, this publicity is more apparent than real. The check of the tent prevents effectually any person from seeing what passes within who does not come purposely up to peep, and this the sentry would not allow.

At five o'clock on the morning of October first we again began our march, and proceeded about twelve miles, to the second customary station, called Cussiah, a grove of neem-trees, more extensive than that which we had left, and at a small distance from a large but ruinous village. We passed through a country much wilder, worse cultivated, and worse peopled than any which I had seen in India. What cultivation there was consisted of maize, growing very tall, but sadly burnt by the continued drought. This, however, was only in patches, and the greater part of the prospect consisted of small woods, scattered in a very picturesque manner over a champaign country, with few signs of habitations, and those most of them in ruins. I was strongly reminded of the country of the Tchemoi-morski cossacks, to which the groups of people in dresses nearly similar, and all armed, who passed us on the road, undoubtedly in a great measure contributed. I had been disposed to wonder at Colonel Francklin's counsel to buy spears for my servants, and at the escort which had been ordered me; but I soon found, that, whether necessary or not, such precautions were at least customary. Every traveller whom we met, even the common people going to market, had either swords and shields, spears, or match-lock guns, and one man had a bow and quiver of arrows, in that circumstance, as well as in his dress and person, extremely resembling a Circassian warrior. The road was rugged; nothing indeed, so far as I had yet seen, could appear more unfounded than the assurances which I have heard in Calcutta, that an open carriage is an eligible method of travelling in the Dooab, on any other ground than cheapness. I have been often told that the road as far as Meerut would answer perfectly for a gig. The fact is, there are no roads at all, and the tracks which we follow are very often such as to require care even on horseback. By driving slowly, no doubt a gig may go almost any where, but it is any thing but an agreeable pastime to drive along tracks which, when beaten, are so poached by the feet of horses

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