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ELEPHANTS SWIMMING.

the natives, since though they have, in their opinion, sufficient strength to master a buffalo, they are proportionably unwieldy. Many stories are told here, as in Surinam, of persons stepping on them by mistake for fallen trees, and being terrified on finding them alive.

December 16.-From Tighree to the ferry of the Ganges is about three coss, all wild jungle. Half-way we passed the hermitage of the tiger-saint, a little cottage almost buried in long grass, but both larger and more apparently comfortable, than, from the jemautdar's description, I had expected. We now took leave of the noble Ganges, not again to see it till our return by sea to Saugor Island. Even here, at this distance from the sea, and in almost the driest season of the year, it is a great and mighty river, not far short, as I think, of the Thames at Westminster bridge. During the rains it must, judging from its traces on both sides, be nearly four miles across.

I had frequently asked military men whether the Ganges was any way fordable after it left the hills, and had, as usual in India, received contradictory and unsatisfactory answers, but the impression left on my mind was, that it was fordable both at Gurmukteser and Anopshehr. On asking the jemautdar and ferrymen, however, they all agreed that there was no ford in its whole course. Here there certainly was not; since, as the boats could not receive our elephants, and they tried to wade through, even they were in the middle of the stream, compelled to swim, a sight which I was not at all sorry to have an opportunity of seeing

All three could swim, which was fortunate, as this is not always the case with them. I did not think that the one which I remarked, sank so deep in the water as had been described to me; or as the elephant is represented as doing in Captain Williamson's print.

In the course of this day's march, a circumstance occurred which proves, I think, how much the people of this country look up to the English for help and counsel in all emergencies. 'I was going along a jungly piece of road, for all this day's march as well as yesterday's was more or less jungly, when I saw a little cluster of travellers of the lower class surrounding somebody on the ground. As soon as they saw me they immediately ran up, saying, that one of their friends was sick, and they begged me to look at him and give him medicine. The man, as it turned out, had only a little colic, which was well before my physic chest arrived to enable me to give him medicine. But what struck me, was the immediate impulse which led these men to suppose, on seeing a European riding along the road, that he was likely to help and advise them! Surely, if this opinion is general, it must be one of the best holds we have on our Indian empire,

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Shahjehanpoor, a common name in India, is a large and picturesque town with a ruined castle, several mosques, and some large and fine groves and pools of water. I saw, however, but little of it, for I had a good deal of business during the day, getting ready my letters to be despatched from Meerut, and in the evening baving patients again. The sepoys indeed were well, but two ponies, one belonging to Mr. Ford's Chuprassee, the other, a very pretty one, to Cashiram the goomashta, were taken exceedingly ill. The causes of their attack were variously stated, but I believe that the saees had given them too much and too acid gram immediately after

their journey. They had both the appearance of palsy or staggers, had lost the use of their loins, reeled to and fro, and at length fell. Before I heard of it they had given them brandy, pepper, and I know not what, and when I saw them they had every symptom of violent inflammation of the bowels. I advised bleeding immediately; nobody could do this but Abdullah, and there was no proper instrument but my penknife; while I was hunting for this, one of the horses died, and the other was evidently in extremity, Abdullah opened the usual vein, but very little blood would run; in fact, they had given it arrack enough to kill an ele. phant. It died in the course of the night, and all which yave me pleasure in the business, was the exceeding attachment of the poor saees to it. He wrung his hands over it as if it had been his brother, sate by it, supporting its head, and rubbing its ears and neck, till life was actually gone, and, as it appeared, it was his ignorant good-will in giving too large a feed of corn, which had done the mischief.

Cashiram bore his loss very well, and said not a single cross word to his servant the whole time. I wish all Christians might have behaved with as much propriety.

December 17.-To-day we went six coss to Mow, a poor village without trees, where, however, by the advantage of a firman from the collector of Meerut, and of a very civil tusseldar, we got supplies in abundance, and were allowed to pay for nothing. In the afternoon a large troop of gipsies, as I and all my people thought they were, though they themselves disowned the term, came to the camp.

They said they came from Ahmedabad in Guzerat, were going on pilgrimage to the Ganges, and had been eight months on their road. They pretended at first to be brahmins, to the great scandal and indignation of Cashiram, who is a brahmin, and reproved them with much austerity for their presumption. I asked them to show their " strings," on which they confessed they had none, but still persisted that they were Rajpoots. 45 "İ'ell me the truth,” said I, “are you Bheels?” the name

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of the wild mountaineers near Ahmedabad. My people laughed at this question, and said they certainly were Bheels and nothing else. They, however, stiffly denied it. They were very merry, but very poor wretches, nearly naked, and the leanest specimens of human life I have ever seen; so wretched, indeed, was their poverty, that I immediately sent for a supply of pice to distribute among them, pending the arrival of which, a man and woman, who seemed the Tramezzani and Catalani of the party, came forwards, and sung two or three songs, the man accompanying them on a vina, a small guitar like the Russian balalaika. Their voices were really good, and though they sung in the vile cracked tone which street-singers have all the world over, the effect was not unpleasant; but it was a strange and melancholy thing to hear a love song, expressive, so far as I could catch the words, of rapture and mutual admiration, trilled out by two ragged wretches, weather-beaten, lean, and smoke-dried. The poor little children, though quite naked, seemed the best fed, and I thought they seemed kind to them, though one old man who was the head of the party, and had an infant slung in a dirty cloth, like a hammock, to a stick, which he carried in his hand, held it carelessly enough; insomuch that, till I asked him what he held in his bundle, and he opened his cloth to show me, I did not suppose it was a child. I gave them an ana each, children and all, with which they went to buy ghee and flour in the village; and soon after made a fire under a neighbouring peepul tree. I saw them in the course of the evening at their meal, and one of the collector's suwarrs said he heard them pray for me before they sat down. I should have fancied thein very harmless poor creatures, or at worst, only formidable to hen-roosts, and in such petty thefts as gipsies practise in England. But I find these rambling parties of self-called pilgrims bear a very bad character in Hindostan. They are often described as “ Thugs, the name given to the practice of which they are accused, that, namely, of attaching themselves, on different pretences, to single travellers or small parties, and watching their opportunity to fling a rope with a slip-knot over the heads of Their victims, with which they drag them from their horses, and strangle them. So nimbly and with such fatal aim are they said to do this, they seldom miss, and leave no time to the traveller, to draw a sword, use a gun, or in any way defend or disentangle himself. The wretches who practise this are very numerous in Guzerat and Malwah, but when they occur in Hindostan are generally from the south-eastern provinces. My poor gipsies, I hope, as they appeared at least grateful, were not monsters of this atrocious description.

CHAPTER XIX.

MEERUT TO DELHI.

SITUATION OF MEERUT-OHURCH-CONSECRATION-VALLEY

OF THE DHOON-CONDOR-ANECDOTE OF BEGUM SUMROO SCHOOL-HOSPITAL-CONFIRMATION-SURGEON APPOINTED --SKINNER'S HORSE-HEAVY RAIN-DELHI-TOMB OF HUMAIOON-AQUEDUCT--FIROZE'S WALKING-STIOK-IMMENSE EXTENT OF RUINS-SHAWL MANUFACTORY-JUMNA MUSJEED

PRESENTATION TO THE EMPEROR-PALACE-KOOTTAB-SAHIB-PRESENT FROM THE BEGUM-LATE AND PRESENT EMPERORS OF DELHI.

DECEMBER 18.—This morning I proceeded to Meerut, and was met at a little distance from the town by Mr. Fisher, the chaplain, (whom I had once, many years ago, heard preach at Knaresborough,) and two of his sons, one a chaplain in the Company's establishment, the other a lieutenant in the same service, and some officers of the troops in garrison, an accession of society which put Cabul into such high spirits, that I almost thought he would have shamed me, as he neighed like a trumpeter, lashed out all ways, reared, jumped with all four feet from the ground, and did every other coltish trick which could show his surprise, and tend to discompose the gravity of his rider. He has, however, no real vice, and his transports gradually subsided.

I pitched my tent, by Mr. Fisher's invitation, in his compound, which is an unusually large one. Two other sepoys were this day added to the sick-list, and, with my former patient, removed to the hospital, whither I sent with them a recommendation to the good offices of the surgeon, and directed, since I was myself to stay some time in the place, that one of their comrades should go every day to see that they wanted nothing.

Meerut is a very extensive cantonment, but less widely scattered than Cawnpoor. The native town, too, on which it is engrafted, is much less considerable. It stands advantageously on a wide and dry plain, all in pasture, which would afford delightful riding-ground, if it were not, like the steppes of Russia, which it much resembles, very full of holes made by the small marmot, which is common there, and called “suslik.” Its Hindoostanee name I have not learned. A small nullah, with a handsome bridge over it, runs through the town. When I saw it, it was quite dry,

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and the bridge seemed absurd; but Mr. Fisher said that, during the rainy months, it was not a bit longer than was necessary. The church is much the largest which I have seen in India. It is one hundred and fifty feet long, eightyfour wide, and being galleried all round, may hold at least three thousand people. It has a high and handsome spire, and is altogether a striking building, too good for the materials of which it is composed, which, like the rest of the public buildings of this country, are only bad brick covered with stucco and whitewash. It is the work of Captain Hutchinson.

December 19.-The church, which I have described, was consecrated this day with the usual forms. The congregation was very numerous and attentive, the singing considerably better than at Calcutta, and the appearance of every thing highly honourable both to the chaplain and military officers of this important station. I had the gratification of hearing my own hymns, “ Brightest and best," and that for St. Stephen's day, sung better than I ever heard them in a church before. It is a remarkable thing, that one of the earliest, the largest, and handsomest churches in India, as well as one of the best organs, should be found in so remote a situation, and in sight of the Himalaya mountains. The evening service was very well attended, and this is the more creditable, inasmuch, as I have elsewhere observed, all who then come are volunteers, whereas attendance in the morning is a part of military parade.

I had heard Meerut praised for its comparative freedom from hot winds, but do not find that the residents confirin this statement: they complain of them quite as much as the people of Cawnpoor, and acknowledge the inferiority of their climate in this respect to that of Rohilcund. The beautiful valley of the Dhoon, since its conquests by the British, affords a retreat to their sick which they seem to value highly; and it has the advantage of being accessible without danger at all times; but, except during the dry months, even this lovely valley is not wholesome. Mr. Fisher had some drawings of different parts of the Dhoon, which represented scenery of very great beauty and luxuriance, on a smaller and less awful scale than Kemaoon. The animals seem much the same; but Lieutenant Fisher gave me a fuller account than I had yet received of the eagle, or, as from his statement it rather seems to be, the condor, of these mountains. It appears to belong to this latter tribe from the bareness of its neck, which resembles that of the vulture, and the character of its beak, which is longer and less hooked than the eagle's, and perhaps, too, from its size, which exceeds that of any eagle

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