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PREPARATIONS FOR THE JOURNEY.
some time, for the difference of distance is really great, and with a guard of fifty men there was no danger to be apprehended. But the old man said that though, perhaps, we might be safe from · open attack, we should certainly get no supplies,-that nobody ever went that way but Faqueers and hunters, and that the King had himself ordered him to take me the “Shabi Rustu,” King's highway. I then gave up the point, which I afterwards was sorry for, for the jemautdar of the horse-guards whom the King sent with me, assured me that one was as much a Shahi Rustu as the other, and that I should have found the Shahabad road not only three days shorter, but, in his mind, much more pleasant. He owned that there were plenty of thieves and Zemindars, but none that were likely to meddle with us, or of whom any but a timid old Aûmeen would be afraid; and he spoke with a good deal of glee of the deer and the wild hogs which we should have met with in these woodland marches. It must be owned, however, that none of the British officers at the Lucknow cantonments, nor any body at the Residency, or of the Europeans in the King's service, had ever been this road, or believed it to be practicable, so that we might possibly have been occasionally put to some inconvenience for supplies. As it was, I found it impossible to get the distance to Bareilly divided into less than fourteen stages, and was compelled, therefore, to send off the tents and baggage on Sunday morning, in order that I might reach that place for divine service on the 14th, and rest the intervening Sunday by the way.
My separation from Mr. Lushington enabled me to send back to Cawnpoor one elephant and six camels, besides the two elephants which belonged to Mr. Corrie's tent. I also sent back a routee, but kept two small double-poled tents, in order to save trouble and time by pitching them on alternate days. I had still three elephants and twenty-two camels, including two spare ones, a number which was rendered necessary by the length and arduous nature of the journey before me, as well as by the number of tents and quantity of baggage required by my escort. That consisted, besides the King's ten guards, of forty sepoys,
under a “Soubahdar," a native officer, and four non-commissioned officers. I thought this number unnecessary, but was told it was according to rule; and it so happened that I occasioned no inconvenience to the service, since the officers and men who were assigned me were actually under orders for Nusseerabad, and might just as well accompany me thither. My new Soubahdar was introduced to me on the Saturday by his predecessor, who was himself, against his will, ordered back to Cawnpoor. The new one is a grave, modest-looking old man, with a white beard, a native of Rajapootana, and of high caste, but of far more reserved manners, and greater diffidence than the former. He is, however, a
Hindoo, and they are certainly a less dashing race than the Mussulmans.
All my tents and baggage being gone, except what clothes a bag held, and all my servants but two, I set out at half past four o'clock, on one of Mr. Ricketts's elephants, accompanied by Captain Salmon on another, and attended by a third with the two servants. Mr. Ricketts had thought it proper that Captain Salmon and a body of suwarrs should go with me through the city; and the King, whose howdahs had no tilts to them, had kindly stationed two more elephants half-way, to receive me as soon as the sun should be gone down. In this way I made the journey rapidly and agreeably, and reached my tent at Hussungunge, twenty miles from Lucknow, a little after eight in the evening. In the way, at Futtehgunge, I passed the tents pitched for the large party which were to return towards Cawnpoor next day, and I was much pleased and gratified by the Soubahdar and the greater number of the sepoys of my old escort running into the middle of the road to bid me another farewell, and again express their regret that they were not going on with me “ to the world's end." They who talk of the ingratitude of the Indian character, should, I think, pay a little more attention to cases of this sort. These men neither got nor expected any thing by this little expression of good will. If I had offered them money, they would have been bound, by the rules of the service and their own dignity, not to take it. Sufficient civility and respect would have been paid if any of them who happened to be near the road had touched their caps, and I really can suppose them actuated by no motive but good will. It had not been excited, so far as know, by any particular desert on my part; but I had always spoken to them civilly, had paid some attention to their comforts, in securing them tents, fire-wood, and camels for their knapsacks, and had ordered them a dinner, after their own fashion, on their arrival at Lucknow, at the expense of, I believe, not more than four rupees ! Surely if good will is to be bought by these sort of attentions, it is a pity that any body should neglect them!
The suwarrs furnished by the King for this journey were a very different description of men from those who previously accompanied me. They were evidently picked for the purpose, being tall, strong young fellows, on exceedingly good horses, and as well armed as could be wished for the nature of their service.
We passed again through Nawalgunge, and I asked after the sick elephant, but was told he died the same morning that we went on towards Lucknow.
November 2.— I went five coss to Meeagunge, which was built by the famous eunuch Almass Ali Khân, whose proper name, while in a state of servitude, was Meea. It consists of a large
fort of bricks, with eight circular bastions, surrounded by an exterior enclosure, at perhaps five hundred yards distance, of mud, but also in the shape of a fortification, with great gothic gateways corresponding to those in the central enclosure. Between are avenues of very noble mangoe-trees, with which, indeed, the whole intervening space is planted, though at such considerable intervals as not to intercept the breeze. It is a fine old-fashioned park, but now trees, towers, gates, and palaces are sinking fast into rubbish and forgetfulness. Almass had here a park of forty pieces of artillery, and when he received a visit from the Nawab Saadut Ali, he built bim up a throne of a million of rupees, of which, when his Highness was seated on it, he begged him to accept. The fort is now filled with the bazar of a poor village, erected under the shade of the mangoes; the park was laid down, when I saw it, in quillets of beautiful green wheat and barley.
I had been unwell for the last two days, and was obliged to perform my journey of the 3d in my palanquin, the best way in which a sick man could make it; I travelled seven coss to Seetalgunge, the country level, fertile, and well cultivated. The whole of this day I felt extremely ill, and was in much perplexity what to do, as I was some days' journey from any medical adviser. The application, however, of lecches to my temples relieved me considerably, and I was able to get into my palanquin the next morning, intending if possible to push on, so that if I grew worse I might be able to get assistance by sending a servant on to Futtebgunge, the nearest station, on a swift-trotting camel.
This day's march, the 4th, brought me to a large town called Mallaon, in the neighbourhood of which my tents were pitched. Here I remained the whole of the next day, being too ill to move. At the time that I gave orders for this halt, I know not why, but the whole caravan seemed to be convinced that I was not long for this world. Abdullah worried me a good deal with his lamentations on my premature end in the wilderness, recommending all manner of unattainable or improper remedies, and talking all sorts of absurd wisdom, at the same time that his eyes were really full of tears. The poor sirdar said nothing, but showed a most pitiful face every ten or twelve minutes through the tent door. The “goomashta,” or master of the camels, the old soubahdar, the Aûmeen, and many others, came to offer up their good wishes and prayers for my recovery; and, perhaps, the best and most useful proof of their good will was, that I heard no needless noise in the camp the whole day; and, if a voice were raised, “chup! chup!” “ silence ! silence !" followed immediately. Abdullah offered to push on with the camels to procure assistance; and I promised him that, if I were not better next morning,
FERTILITY OF OUDE.
I would send him or some other messenger. But through the mercy of God, the remedies I took, almost in utter ignorance, proved successful, and I foand myself so much better on the morning of Saturday, November the 6th, as to be enabled to perform my day's journey with ease in the palanquin; and I received the felicitations of all the elders of the camp on my recovery.
I believe my complaint to have been the Calcutta and Luck. now influenza, a little aggravated, perhaps, by my journey in the sun after tiffin on Monday afternoon. I did not feel, however, the same excessive and distressing languor as is said to have haunted convalescents in that disorder, or more indeed of weakness than might fairly be accounted for by the discipline which I had undergone.
Our stage to-day of seven coss, through the same level and fruitful style of country, was to Belgaram, a place remarkable as being the station first fixed on for the British advanced force,” as it then was, which was afterwards fixed at Cawnpoor. There are still several traces of what the King's suwarrs said were bells of arms, and officers' bungalows, which certainly might be such, but were now heaps of ruins.
The town of Belgaram itself is small, with marks of having been much more considerable, but still containing some large and good, though old Mussulman houses, the habitations of the tussuldar, cutwall, &c. Here again, after a long interval, 1 found a good many scattered palms, both of the date and toddy species, and there is a noble show of mangoe-trees in every direction. I found myself well enough in the evening to walk round the place, attended by the goomashta, whom I found a very sensible man, willing to give information, and well acquainted with most points which relate to the agriculture, rent, and taxes of this part of India. He said, what I could easily believe from all which I saw, that the soil of Oude was one of the finest in the world ; that every thing flourished here which grew either in Bengal or Persia ; that they had at once rice, sugar, cotton, and palm-trees, as well as wheat, maize, barley, beans, and oats: that the air was good, the water good, and the grass particularly nourishing to cattle: but he said, “ the laws are not good, the judges are wicked, the Zemindars are worse, the Aûmeens worst of all, and the Ryuts are robbed of every thing, and the King will neither see nor hear.” I asked him the rent per begah of the land. He said generally four rupees, but sometimes six; and sometimes the peasant had all taken from him. I observed that it was strange that, under such usage, they continued to cultivate the land so well as they seemed to do. “What can they do?” he answered ; " they must eat; and when they have put the seed in
the ground, they must wait till it comes up, and then take what they can get of it.” I still, however, suspect exaggeration in all these stories.
We passed a neat garden of turnips and some potatoes looking very promising; these last, he said, were at first exceedingly disliked by the people, but now were becoming great favourites, particularly with the Mussulmans, who find them very useful as absorbents in their greasy messes. Our elephants were receiving their drink at a well, and I gave the suwarree some bread, which, before my illness, I had often been in the habit of doing. “He is glad to see you again," observed the goomashta, and I certainly was much struck by the calm, clear, attentive, intelligent eye which he fixed on me, both while he was eating and afterwards, while I was patting his trunk and talking about him. His mohout told me, that three or four years ago his trunk had received a very serious wound from the claw of a tiger which sprang on him, and from which he was rescued with great difficulty; the trunk was nearly torn off, but he was recovered by having a bandage applied kept constantly wet with brandy. He was, he said, a fine tempered beast, but the two others were “ great rascals.” One of them had once almost killed his keeper. I have got these poor beasts' allowance increased, in consideration of their long march ; and that they may not be wronged, have ordered the mohout to give them all their gram presence of a sentry. The gram is made up in cakes, about as large as the top of a hat-box, and baked on an earthen pot. Each contains a seer, and sixteen of them are considered as sufficient for one day's food for an elephant on a march. The suwarree elephant had only twelve, but I ordered him the full allowance, as well as an increase to the others. If they knew this they would indeed be glad to see me.
As I was slowly returning to my tents, a handsome young Mussulman came up, and seeing an European in plain clothes, with only three unarmed people, began talking civilly in point of language, but in a very free and easy sort of manner; he was smartly dressed, with a gold-laced skull-cap, an cmbroidered muslin shirt and drawers, ear-rings, collar, and ring, which professed to be of garnets with a few diamonds, and a showy shawl wrapped round his body, but none of his clothes clean or well put on, and had that sort of jaunty air about him, which, as it is more unusual, is even more offensive in an Eastern than a Western buck. He was followed by seven or eight very dirty ill-dressed fellows with swords, shields, and matchlocks, and bad himself a sword, with a tarnished silver hilt, and a large pistol which he carried in his hand and kept playing with while he was speaking. He was evidently more than half drunk, and had the