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toiling through the Himalayan snows—till, at last, sore and weary, famished by hunger, and cursed by retrospection, he shall lay himself down to die, inch by inch, of starvation and disease,—and leave a name for the eternal execration of mankind.
No class of men had found themselves so insnared all of a sudden in the meshes of danger, as the Natives of Bengal, who then happened to be serving or trading in the Upper Provinces. It was the Bengalee who had ushered in the foreigner to the land, and he should suffer now for his crime. Thus proscribed, the out-ofdoor Bengalees had been at their wits' end how to fly off in a tangent to their homes. Many of them succeeded in skulking away under strange disguises. But those that fell into the hands of Nana's scouts were carried
before him, and made to part with their ears and noses. Of some the right hands were chopped off for the sin of using the English 'gray goose quill.' Though nobody has turned up with a mutilated nose or limb to meet our eyes, yet the story served to echo the opinion, and to give an earnest of the paternal government which men had to expect. Now that things have returned to their old order, many Bengalees are up here again. Turning the tables, they are now seen to give themselves high airs, and to lord it over the crest-fallen and cowed-down Hindoostanees, whom you see to go along the roads like so many knights of the rueful countenance. Those who purposed have mightily succeeded to establish a great funk.'
Returned past by the tête-de-pont of Sir Colin. The
earthworks, still under garrison, are just at the head of the bridge-of-boats that leads one to the dominions of ancient Rama.
There is the Ganges—the Bhagiruthi-Gunga, and there is the Ganges-Canal—the Cautley-Gunga of the natives. The excavation of the canal is deep enough, but from men bathing in it, the water did not appear to be more than waist-high. In one or two places up from Cawnpore, the canal has been brought by aqueducts over bridges, under which the Ganges pursues its course—an engineering skill which appears very extraordinary in native eyes. The canal is some 400 miles long, but so great is the travelling speed of its water, that even at Cawnpore it retains an icy coldness-coming as it does from the eternal snows and glaciers of the Himalayas. The banks here are built up of masonry steps in the fashion of a ghaut. Three locks successively break the velocity of the headlong stream, and the chafing waters forcing through narrow interstices are heard like distant waterfalls. There is a Ganges-Canal Navigation Company set on foot, and we saw some of their flat-bottomed vessels to ply up and down the canal. This gigantic work, undertaken to make famines impossible, is said to be becoming dearer every day the more it costs and the less it yields. By Nana's fiat, the famous Ganges-Canal had been given away as a perquisite to his favourite Azeemollah—his ex-khitmutgar minister.
Little or nothing to see in the native quarters-no ancient houses, no ancient families, no ancient wealth, no ancient toles, and no ancient temples: all here have grown within the memory of living man.
The only thing that struck us as ancient is the dingy crowded mode of habitation with narrow tortuous paths—unchanged by thirty centuries ; unchangeable, perhaps, by thirty more.
Back to the lodgings, quite knocked up, and hot, and hungry. Gave a lusty call for the hooka. Then rushed to the waters to bring our temperature down to 90° Fahrenheit. Next sat to a breakfast of steamingkeechery, chappaties, hill-potatoes, chutnees, and sweetmeats, quite in the good old style of the Hindoostanees —who despite their vegetarianism, make as good soldiers as those who choose their food by their canine teeth. In the party, there was a friend who had been introduced to us as banian to a respectable European solicitor. He gave us the story of a very extraordinary adventure. No sooner had Cawnpore been retaken, and the country about it had got quiet, and the papers teemed with accounts of loot, than his master began to dream dreams, and see visions of diamonds, rubies, and pearls, bricked up in the walls and buried underneath the floors of the Nana's palace at Bithoor. They grew serious, and he got the permission of Government to try his speculation. Coming to Bithoor with his banian, he at once set himself to open the walls and dig the floors. No diamonds or rubies made their appearance. The female apartments might contain them. They were tried, but with no better result. Perhaps they were hid in the out-houses. Down went their walls and
Past, Present, and Future of Cawnpore. 347
roofs, and still no diamonds. Unquestionably, they were lodged in the compounds and fields to lull all suspicion. Twenty acres were carefully ploughed and spaded as if for a crop of peas, till at last the 'nothingventure-nothing-have' solicitor stood aghast at 2000 rupees gone. Unfortunately, this took place not in the days of the 'Limiteds.' The banian has got nothing but to tell his story. Indeed, he made the weeping philosopher stand aloof, and the laughing one to carry
The past of Cawnpore is made up of military parades and fêtes, of dinners to Governors General, and of balls to high official dames. The present forms a sad tale of sack, massacre, and desolation. But the future of it glows in the imagination as a thriving seat of trade and manufactures. Cawnpore is noted for the excellence and cheapness of all articles made from leathersaddlery, harness, boots and shoes, bottle-covers, and cheroot-cases. The manufacture was introduced by a colony of Chinese, who settled in the bazar many years ago. There were then three hundred shops engaged in the trade. The cattle slaughtered for the meat of four or five regiments of European troops, generally quartered here, not only gave an impetus to the trade, but also furnished a large portion of those hides which fetched the highest value in Calcutta. Lace-making and laced skull-caps were now almost the only manufactures that we saw in a few of the shops. The nucleus of the Native town is at present of a small size. Scarcely is there a warehouse now, and goods are piled on the open greens, But before many years, when agricultural produce shall pour hither by rail, river, and road—from a large part of the surrounding country, and from the rich districts of Oude and Rohilcund—for transit to the port of shipping, a succession of warehouses and sheds will extend to the Railway station. By the speculative Up-country wallahs, the place may be raised to the importance of the first cotton market in Hindoostan; and in time, Hindoostanee enterprise, calculating on the profits of reviving the defunct manufactures of their country, may emulate Manchester, and start projects for turning Cawnpore into a rival town. The cessation of its military importance would then be more than compensated by the enhancement of its commercial importance.
The ekas are the only public coaches that are available to strangers at Cawnpore.
In a short ramble through the Native town, the only idol seen by us was the image of a Doorga, set up by a Bengalee Baboo, who came here on service and at last settled with his family. Comparatively, the Hindoostanee is less idolatrous than the Bengalee. The former believes in Shiva, but does not encourage the barbarities of the Churuck Pooja. He believes in Doorga, but does not worship her idol as a three-days' wonder, and then consign it to the river. He has gods and goddesses worshipped only in the public temples. He has rarely a domestic Salgaram or statue of Krishna. His religious festivals are seldom tainted with idolatrous processions. Bengal, long influenced by Buddhism, has lapsed into Brah