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presents were a little, and but a little, less splendid than those of his precursor. Then followed Oude, Nagpoor, Nepaul, all represented by their vakeels, and each in turn honoured by similar, though less splendid, marks of attention. The next was a Persian Khân, a fine military-looking man, rather corpulent, and of a complexion not differing from that of a Turk, or other southern Europeans, with a magnificent black beard, and a very pleasing and animated address. A vakeel from Sind succeeded, with a high red cap, and was followed by an Arab, handsomely dressed, and as fair nearly, though not so good looking, as the Persian. These were all distinguished, and received each some mark of favour. Those who followed had only a little attar poured on their handkerchiefs, and some pawn. On the whole it was an interesting and striking sight, though less magnificent than 1 had expected, and less so I think than the levee of an European monarch. The sameness of the greater part of the dresses (white muslin) was not sufficiently relieved by the splendour of the few khelâts; and even these which were of gold and silver brocade were in a great measure eclipsed by the scarlet and blue uniforms, gold lace, and feathers, of the English. One of the most striking figures was the Governor-General's native aide-du-camp, a tall, strong-built, and remarkably handsome man, in the flower of his age, and of a countenance at once kind and bold.

His dress was a very rich hussar uniform, and he advanced last of the circle, with the usual military salute; then, instead of the offering of money which each of the rest made, he bared a small part of the blade of his sabre, and held it out to the Governor. The attar he received, not on his handkerchief, but on his white cotton gloves. I had on former occasions noticed this soldier from his height, striking appearance, and rich uniform. He is a very respectable man, and reckoned a good officer.

CHAPTER IV.

CALCUTTA--ROPE BRIDGES--WEDDING PROCESSION-HINDOO FESTIVAL

- CHOLERA MORBUS-FRUITS-ORDINATION OF CHRISTIAN DAVID.

In passing Cossipoor on my return to Titty-ghur, I called on Mr. C. Shakespear, and looked at his rope-bridges, which are likely to be most useful, in this country at least, if not in Europe. Their principle differs from that of chain bridges, in the centre being a little elevated, and in their needing no abutments. It is in fact an application of a ship's standing rigging to a new purpose, and it is not even necessary that there should be any foundation at all, as the whole may be made to rest on flat timbers, and, with the complete apparatus of cordage, iron, and bamboos, may be taken to pieces and set up again in a few hours, and removed from place to place by the aid of a few camels and elephants. One of these over a torrent near Benares, of 160 feet span, stood a severe test during last year's inundation, when, if ever, the cordage might have been expected to suffer from the rain, and when a vast crowd of neighbouring villagers took refuge on it as the only safe place in the neighbourhood, and indeed almost the only object which continued to hold itself above the water. He has now finished another bridge for the Caramnasa, at the expense of Ramchunder Narain, whom I met at the Dur. bar, and who may expect to reap much popularity with his countrymen from such a public benefit, not only as facilitating intercourse, but as freeing their religious pilgrims from a great anxiety. The name of the river in question means, “the destroyer of good works,” from the circumstance of an ancient devotee, whose penances, like those of Kehama, had exalted him to Indra's heaven, having been precipitated headlong by Siva, till his sacrifices broke his fall half way, directly over the stream in question. He now hangs in the air, head downwards, and his saliva flows into, and pollutes the whole water in such a manner, that any person who bathes in, or even touches it, loses the merit of all his antecedent penances, alms, and other acts of piety, reserving, however, the full benefit of his misdeeds of whatever description. All brahmins who are obliged to pass it, (and it lies in the way to some of the most illustrious places of pilgrimage,) are in the greatest terror. They are sometimes carried on men's shoulders, sometimes ferried over; but in either case, if they are in the least

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splashed or wetted, it amounts almost to a matter of damnation, without hope or chance of pardon. The people on the bank who act as watermen, are not influenced by these superstitions; but to Indians in general Mr. Shakespear's bridge will be most valuable. The span of this bridge, which is strong enough to bear a fieldpiece, is 320 feet in length, its breadth 8; its flooring is composed of stout bamboos, connected by coir-rope, with a net-work handrail on either side, also of coir, as are the shrouds and principal tackling which support the whole. The appearance of the bridge is light and graceful, and its motion on passing over it not sufficient to be either dangerous or alarming.

My wife tells me a curious circumstance which has occurred in my absence, illustrative of the timid character which seems to belong to the Bengalees. The coachman had asked leave to go with me to Calcutta; and as the carriage-horses were consequently idle, she ordered the saeeses to lead them out for exercise. Some demur took place, and on asking the reason, she was actually told that they were afraid! She insisted, however, and the horses, when they appeared, were quiet as lambs. The men at first, out of pure precaution, had buckled up their heads so tight, that they could-scarcely breathe, and when ordered to unloose them, held them as if they had tigers in a leash: yet the horses, as I have observed, were quiet, and these are men who have been all their lives in the stable! I bave, indeed, understood from many quarters, that the Bengalees are regarded as the greatest cowards in India; and that partly owing to this reputation, and partly to their inferior size, the Sepoy regiments are always recruited from Bahar and the upper provinces. Yet that little army with which Lord Clive did such wonders, was chiefly raised from Bengal. So much are all men the creatures of circumstance and training.

I had frequently heard of the admiration which the Indians feel for corpulency, but no instance had occurred within my knowledge. I am assured, however, that a young man, whose height and bulk I had noticed to-day at the Durbar, takes a large draught of ghee every morning, in order to contribute to the bulk of which he is vain, and that very frequently the natives contract liver complaints by their anxiety to fatten themselves.

March 1.- We bade adieu to Titty-ghur with regret, but just as we were on the point of setting out, a severe storm of thunder, rain, and wind came on, which detained us about an hour, being the first regular north-wester which we had seen. It fairly lashed the river into high waves, and produced a delightful effect on the air, laying the dust and refreshing vegetation, as if by magic. My wife and children went by water, and I took in the carriage with me our Sircar. He is a shrewd fellow, well acquainted with the country, and possessed of the sort of information which is likely

88

LANDHOLDERS AND TENANTS.-IDOLS.

to interest travellers. His account of the tenure of lands very closely corresponded with what I had previously heard from others.

The “ Zemindars" or landholders, let their lands, sometimes in large divisions, to tenants corresponding to the Scotch tacksmen, who underlet them again, and occasionally, which generally occurs near Calcutta, to the cottagers and cultivators immediately, and in very minute portions. The lands are sometimes on lease for a good many years, sometimes from year to year only. The usual rent for rice-land in Bengal, at least in this part of it, is two rupees a begah, or about twelve or fifteen shillings an acre; for orchards five rupees, or about £1. 12s. for the acre. All rents are paid in money, and the principle of “metairie,” which I explained to him, is unknown. The tenant in most of the villages is at the expense of the buildings, but these are so cheap and frail, as probably to cost less than thatching a stack in England, and can hardly be said to last longer. Land in this neighbourhood sells at about fifty rupees the begah, but did not fetch near so much before the roads were opened, which has been a measure of exceeding utility to the landholders here. The Baboo pointed out two or three large houses which we passed, as the residences of wealthy Zemindars, but who had also still more splendid houses in Calcutta. One of these, who was dignified by Lord Wellesley with the title of rajah, has a really fine villa, surrounded with a sort of park, the borders of which are planted with a handsome myrtle-leaved tree, about as large as an English horsc-chesnut, which is here very common, but which he has defaced by clipping each individual tree into a regular conical shape. This the Baboo pointed out as a piece of extreme neatness and elegance. Another gateway on the left hand, in a very picturesque wood of cocotrees and bamboos, was guarded by an immense wooden idol of a young man, having only sandals and a sash painted black, the rest being flesh-colour. It must have been, I should think, thirty feet high. The Sircar said smiling, “ that great idol stands sentry to all the gods and goddesses within.” It was in fact the entrance to the pagoda at Kaida, which I had previously seen from the river. A little further by the road-side was a huge tower-like structure, about sixteen feet high, supported on eight or ten massive but low wheels, of wood painted red, and adorned with a good deal of clumsy carving. “That,” he said, again smiling, " is our god's carriage; we keep it on the main road, because it is too heavy for the lanes of the neighbouring village. It is a fine sight to see the people from all the neighbourhood come together to draw it, when the statue is put in on solemn days." I asked what god it belonged to, and was answered “ Brahma.” He added, it required between two and three hundred people to move it, which I do not believe, though I can easily suppose that number may

NAWAB OF CHITPOOR,

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usually assist. I asked if self-immolation ever took place here as at Juggernaut, but he assured me " never that he had heard of.” As we passed through Chitpoor, he showed me the house of the

Nawab Chitpoor.” Of this potentate I had not heard before. He is now called by Europeans the Nawab of Moorshedabad, where he resides, and is, it seems, the descendant of the Mohammedan nobleman who was the lord of the district before our conquest, and still retains a considerable appanage of lands and pensions, to the amount of about 100,000 S. rupees monthly, with an honorary guard of sepoys, and many of the exteriors of royalty.

While he resided in his house at Chitpoor he was always received by the Governor on state days at the head of the stairs, and conducted, after an embrace, to a sort of throne at the

upper end of the room; and when he took his leave, he was distinguished by a salute from the fort, and turning out of the guard. The Baboo told me all this, and did not fail to point out the different measure which the Mussulmans in India had received from that they had given to his countrymen. • When they conquered us, they cut off the heads of all our Rajahs whom they could catch. When the English conquered them, they gave them lands and pensions !" I do not exactly know whether he said this by way of compliment or no. I have reason to believe that the sentiment is very common among the Hindoos; and I doubt even, whether they would or would not have been better pleased, had we, in such cases, been less lenient and liberal. Nevertheless it is evident that in thus keeping up, even at a considerable expense, these monuments of the Mohammedan power, our nation has acted wisely as well as generously. It is desirable that the Hindoos should always be reminded that we did not conquer them, but found them conquered, that their previous rulers were as much strangers to their blood and to their religion as we are, and that they were notoriously far more oppressive masters than we have ever shown ourselves.

In passing through the village of Chitpoor, I was surprised to see a jackall run across the street, though it was still broad day, and there was the usual crowd of market people and passengers. A man followed him laughing, and shaking his apron to frighten him, which the animal however to all appearance scarcely heeded. Some carrion had probably attracted him, but it is seldom that they venture to show themselves so early and in such public places. A little further we passed a sort of sepoy, dressed very splendidly in the native style, with a beautiful Persian gun and crooked hanjar, but no bayonet. My companion pointed him out with much glee, as one of the attendants of Baboo Budinâth

Vol. 1.-12

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