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Title: Modern India
Author: Curtis, William Eleroy, 1850-1911
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Modern India" ***

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[Illustration]


MODERN INDIA

BY WILLIAM ELEROY CURTIS

_Author of "The Turk and His Lost Provinces," "To-day in Syria
and Palestine," "Egypt, Burma and British Malaysia," etc._



To LADY CURZON

An ideal american woman



This volume contains a series of letters written for _The Chicago
Record-Herald_ during the winter of 1903-04, and are published
in permanent form through the courtesy of Mr. Frank B. Noyes,
Editor and publisher of that paper.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

      I. The Eye of India
     II. The City of Bombay
    III. Servants, Hotels, and Cave Temples
     IV. The Empire of India
      V. Two Hindu Weddings
     VI. The Religions of India
    VII. How India Is Governed
   VIII. The Railways of India
     IX. The City of Ahmedabad
      X. Jeypore and its Maharaja
     XI. About Snakes and Tigers
    XII. The Rajputs and Their Country
   XIII. The Ancient Mogul Empire
    XIV. The Architecture of the Moguls
     XV. The Most Beautiful of Buildings
    XVI. The Quaint Old City of Delhi
   XVII. The Temples and Tombs at Delhi
  XVIII. Thugs, Fakirs and Nautch Dancers
    XIX. Simla and the Punjab
     XX. Famines and Their Antidotes
    XXI. The Frontier Question
   XXII. The Army in India
  XXIII. Muttra, Lucknow and Cawnpore
   XXIV. Caste and the Women of India
    XXV. Education in India
   XXVI. The Himalyas and the Invasion of Thibet
  XXVII. Benares, the Sacred City
 XXVIII. American Missions in India
   XXIX. Cotton, Tea and Opium
    XXX. Calcutta, the Capital of India



ILLUSTRATIONS

  Map of India
  A Bombay Street
  The Clock Tower and University Buildings, Bombay
  Victoria Railway Station, Bombay
  Nautch Dancers
  Body ready for Funeral Pyre, Bombay Burning Ghat
  Mohammedans at Prayer
  Huthi Singh's Tomb, Ahmedabad
  Street Corner, Jeypore
  The Maharaja of Jeypore
  Hall of the Winds, Jeypore
  Elephant Belonging to the Maharaja of Jeypore
  Tomb of Etmah Dowlah, Agra
  Portrait of Shah Jehan
  Portrait of Akbar, the Great Mogul
  The Taj Mahal
  Interior of Taj Mahal
  Tomb of Sheik Salim, Fattehpur
  A Corner in Delhi
  Hall of Marble and Mosaics, Palace of Moguls, Delhi
  Tomb of Amir Khusran, Persian Poet, Delhi
  "Kim," the Chela and the Old Lama
  A Ekka, or Road Cart
  A Team of "Critters"
  Group of Famous Brahmin Pundits
  Tomb of Akbar, the Great Mogul
  Audience Chamber of the Mogul Palace, Agra
  A Hindu Ascetic
  A Hindu Barber
  Bodies ready for Burning, Benares
  Great Banyan Tree, Botanical Garden, Calcutta
  The Princes of Pearls



I

THE EYE OF INDIA

A voyage to India nowadays is a continuous social event. The
passengers compose a house party, being guests of the Steamship
company for the time. The decks of the steamer are like broad
verandas and are covered with comfortable chairs, in which the
owners lounge about all day. Some of the more industrious women
knit and embroider, and I saw one good mother with a basket full of
mending, at which she was busily engaged at least three mornings.
Others play cards upon folding tables or write letters with
portfolios on their laps, and we had several artists who sketched
the sky and sea, but the majority read novels and guide books,
and gossiped. As birds of a feather flock together on the sea
as well as on land, previous acquaintances and congenial new
ones form little circles and cliques and entertain themselves
and each other, and, after a day or two, move their chairs around
so that they can be together. Americans and English do not mix
as readily as you might expect, although there is nothing like
coolness between them. It is only a natural restraint. They are
accustomed to their ways, and we to ours, and it is natural for
us to drift toward our own fellow countrymen.

In the afternoon nettings are hung around one of the broad decks
and games of cricket are played. One day it is the army against
the navy; another day the united service against a civilian team,
and then the cricketers in the second-class salon are invited
to come forward and try their skill against a team made up of
first-classers. In the evening there is dancing, a piano being
placed upon the deck for that purpose, and for two hours it is
very gay. The ladies are all in white, and several English women
insisted upon coming out on the deck in low-cut and short-sleeved
gowns. It is said to be the latest fashion, and is not half as
bad as their cigarette smoking or the ostentatious display of
jewelry that is made on the deck every morning. Several women,
and some of them with titles, sprawl around in steamer chairs,
wearing necklaces of pearls, diamonds, emeralds and other precious
stones, fit for only a banquet or a ball, with their fingers
blazing with jewels and their wrists covered with bracelets.
There seemed to be a rivalry among the aristocracy on our steamer
as to which could make the most vulgar display of gold, silver
and precious stones, and it occurs to me that these Englishwomen
had lived in India so long that they must have acquired the Hindu
barbaric love of jewelry.

My attention was called not long ago to a cartoon in a British
illustrated paper comparing the traveling outfits of American
and English girls. The American girl had a car load of trunks
and bags and bundles, a big bunch of umbrellas and parasols,
golf sticks, tennis racquets and all sorts of queer things, and
was dressed in a most conspicuous and elaborate manner. She was
represented as striding up and down a railway platform covered
with diamonds, boa, flashy hat and fancy finery, while the English
girl, in a close fitting ulster and an Alpine hat, leaned quietly
upon her umbrella near a small "box," as they call a trunk, and a
modest traveling bag. But that picture isn't accurate. According
to my observation it ought to be reversed. I have never known
the most vulgar or the commonest American woman to make such a
display of herself in a public place as we witnessed daily among
the titled women upon the P. and O. steamer Mongolia, bound for
Bombay. Nor is it exceptional. Whenever you see an overdressed
woman loaded with jewelry in a public place in the East, you may
take it for granted that she belongs to the British nobility.
Germans, French, Italians and other women of continental Europe
are never guilty of similar vulgarity, and among Americans it
is absolutely unknown.

It is customary for everybody to dress for dinner, and, while the
practice has serious objections in stormy weather it is entirely
permissible and comfortable during the long, warm nights on the
Indian Ocean. The weather, however, was not nearly as warm as we
expected to find it. We were four days on the Red Sea and six
days on the Indian Ocean, and were entirely comfortable except
for two days when the wind was so strong and kicked up so much
water that the port-holes had to be closed, and it was very close
and stuffy in the cabin. While the sun was hot there was always
a cool breeze from one direction or another, and the captain
told me it was customary during the winter season.

The passengers on our steamer were mostly English, with a few
East Indians, and Americans. You cannot board a steamer in any
part of the world nowadays without finding some of your fellow
countrymen. They are becoming the greatest travelers of any nation
and are penetrating to uttermost parts of the earth. Many of
the English passengers were army officers returning to India
from furloughs or going out for service, and officers' families
who had been spending the hot months in England. We had lots of
lords and sirs and lady dowagers, generals, colonels and officers
of lesser rank, and the usual number of brides and bridegrooms,
on their wedding tours; others were officials of the government
in India, who had been home to be married. And we had several
young women who were going out to be married. Their lovers were
not able to leave their business to make the long voyage, and
were waiting for them in Bombay, Calcutta or in some of the other
cities. But perhaps the largest contingent were "civil servants,"
as employes of the government are called, who had been home on
leave. The climate of India is very trying to white people, and,
recognizing that fact, the government gives its officials six
months' leave with full pay or twelve months' leave with half
pay every five years. In that way an official who has served five
consecutive years in India can spend the sixth year in England
or anywhere else he likes.

We had several notable natives, including Judge Nayar, a judicial
magistrate at Madras who has gained eminence at the Indian bar
and was received with honors in England. He is a Parsee, a member
of that remarkable race which is descended from the Persian fire
worshipers. He dresses and talks and acts exactly like an ordinary
English barrister. There were three brothers in the attractive
native dress, Mohammedans, sons of Adamjee Peerbhoy, one of the
largest cotton manufacturers and wealthiest men in India, who
employs more than 15,000 operatives in his mills and furnished the
canvas for the tents and the khaki for the uniforms of the British
soldiers during the South African war. These young gentlemen had
been making a tour of Europe, combining business with pleasure,
and had inspected nearly all the great cotton mills in England and
on the continent, picking up points for their own improvement.
They are intelligent and enterprising men and their reputation
for integrity, ability and loyalty to the British government
has frequently been recognized in a conspicuous manner.

Our most notable shipmate was the Right Honorable Lord Lamington,
recently governor of one of the Australian provinces, on his way
to assume similar responsibility at Bombay, which is considered
a more responsible post. He is a youngish looking, handsome man,
and might easily be mistaken for Governor Myron T. Herrick of
Ohio. One night at dinner his lordship was toasted by an Indian
prince we had on board, and made a pleasant reply, although it
was plain to see that he was not an orator. Captain Preston,
the commander of the ship, who was afterward called upon, made
a much more brilliant speech.

The prince was Ranjitsinhji, a famous cricket player, whom some
consider the champion in that line of sport. He went over to
the United States with an English team and will be pleasantly
remembered at all the places he visited. He is a handsome fellow,
25 years old, about the color of a mulatto, with a slender athletic
figure, graceful manners, a pleasant smile, and a romantic history.
His father was ruler of one of the native states, and dying, left
his throne, title and estates to his eldest son. The latter,
being many years older than Ranjitsinhji, adopted him as his
heir and sent him to England to be educated for the important
duty he was destined to perform. He went through the school at
Harrow and Cambridge University and took honors in scholarship
as well as athletics, and was about to return to assume his
hereditary responsibility in Indian when, to the astonishment
of all concerned, a boy baby was born in his brother's harem,
the first and only child of a rajah 78 years of age. The mother
was a Mohammedan woman, and, according to a strict construction
of the laws governing such things among the Hindus, the child
was not entitled to any consideration whatever. Without going
into details, it is sufficient for the story to say that the
public at large did not believe that the old rajah was the father
of the child, or that the infant was entitled to succeed him
even if he had been. But the old man was so pleased at the birth
of the baby that he immediately proclaimed him his heir, the act
was confirmed by Lord Elgin, the viceroy, and the honors and
estates which Ranjitsinhji expected to inherit vanished like a
dream. The old man gave him an allowance of $10,000 a year and
he has since lived in London consoling himself with cricket.

Another distinguished passenger was Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney,
an Indian baronet, who inherited immense wealth from a long line
of Parsee bankers. They have adopted as a sort of trademark,
a nickname given by some wag to the founder of the family, in
the last century because of his immense fortune and success in
trade. Mr. Readymoney, or Sir Jehangir, as he is commonly known,
the present head of the house, was accompanied by his wife, two
daughters, their governess, and his son, who had been spending
several months in London, where he had been the object of much
gratifying attention. His father received his title as an
acknowledgment of his generosity in presenting $250,000 to the
Indian Institute in London, and for other public benefactions,
estimated at $1,300,000. He built colleges, hospitals, insane
asylums and other institutions. He founded a Strangers' Home
at Bombay for the refuge of people of respectability who find
themselves destitute or friendless or become ill in that city.
He erected drinking fountains of artistic architecture at several
convenient places in Bombay, and gave enormous sums to various
charities in London and elsewhere without respect to race or
creed. Both the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian missions in
India have been the recipients of large gifts, and the university
at Bombay owes him for its finest building.

[Illustration: A BOMBAY STREET]

Several of the most prominent native families in India have followed
the example of Mr. Readymoney by adopting the nicknames that were
given their ancestors. Indian names are difficult to pronounce.
What, for example, would you call Mr. Jamshijdji or Mr. Jijibhai,
and those are comparatively simple? Hence, in early times it was
the habit of foreigners to call the natives with whom they came
in contact by names that were appropriate to their character or
their business. For example, "Mr. Reporter," one of the editors
of the Times of India, as his father was before him, is known
honorably by a name given by people who were unable to pronounce
his father's Indian name.

Sir Jamsetjed Jeejeebhoy, one of the most prominent and wealthy
Parsees, who is known all over India for his integrity and
enterprise, and has given millions of dollars to colleges, schools,
hospitals, asylums and other charities, is commonly known as Mr.
Bottlewaller. "Waller" is the native word for trader, and his
grandfather was engaged in selling and manufacturing bottles. He
began by picking up empty soda and brandy bottles about the saloons,
clubs and hotels, and in that humble way laid the foundation of
an immense fortune and a reputation that any man might envy. The
family have always signed their letters and checks "Bottlewaller,"
and have been known by that name in business and society. But
when Queen Victoria made the grandfather a baronet because of
distinguished services, the title was conferred upon Jamsetjed
Jeejeebhoy, which was his lawful name.

Another similar case is that of the Petit family, one of the
richest in India and the owners and occupants of the finest palaces
in Bombay. Their ancestor, or the first of the family who
distinguished himself, was a man of very small stature, almost
a dwarf, who was known as Le Petit. He accepted the christening
and bore the name honorably, as his sons and grandsons have since
done. They are now baronets, but have never dropped it, and the
present head of the house is Sir Manockji Petit.

The Eye of India, as Bombay is called, sits on an island facing
the Arabian Sea on one side and a large bay on the other, but the
water is quite shallow, except where channels have been dredged
to the docks. The scenery is not attractive. Low hills rise in
a semicircle from the horizon, half concealed by a curtain of
mist, and a few green islands scattered about promiscuously are
occupied by hospitals, military barracks, villas and plantations.
Nor is the harbor impressive. It is not worth description, but
the pile of buildings which rises on the city side as the steamer
approaches its dock is imposing, being a picturesque mingling
of oriental and European architecture. Indeed, I do not know of
any city that presents a braver front to those who arrive by sea.
At the upper end, which you see first, is a group of five-story
apartment houses, with oriental balconies and colonnades. Then
comes a monstrous new hotel, built by a stock company under the
direction of the late J. N. Tata, a Parsee merchant who visited
the United States several times and obtained his inspirations
and many of his ideas there. Beside the hotel rise the buildings
of the yacht club, a hospitable association of Englishmen, to
which natives, no matter how great and good they may be, are
never admitted. Connected with the club is an apartment house
for gentlemen, and so hospitable are the members that a traveler
can secure quarters there without difficulty if he brings a letter
of introduction.

Next toward the docks is an old castle whose gray and lichen-covered
walls are a striking contrast to the new modern buildings that
surround it. These walls inclose a considerable area, which by
courtesy is called a fort. It was a formidable defense at one
time, and has been the scene of much exciting history, but is
obsolete now. The walls are of heavy masonry, but a shot from
a modern gun would shatter them. They inclose the military
headquarters of the Bombay province, or Presidency, as it is
called in the Indian gazetteer, the cathedral of this diocese,
quarters and barracks for the garrison, an arsenal, magazines
and other military buildings and a palatial sailors' home, one
of the finest and largest institution of the kind in the world,
which is supported by contributions from the various shipping
companies that patronize this place. There are also several machine
shops, factories and warehouses which contain vast stores of
war material of every sort sufficient to equip an army at a
fortnight's notice. About twelve hundred men are constantly employed
in the arsenal and shops making and repairing military arms and
equipments. There is a museum of ancient weapons, and many which
were captured from the natives in the early days of India's
occupation are quite curious; and there the visitor will have
his first view of one of the greatest wonders of nature, a banyan
tree, which drops its branches to take root in the soil beneath
its over-spreading boughs. But you must wait until you get to
Calcutta before you can see the best specimens.

Bombay is not fortified, except by a few guns behind some earthworks
at the entrance of the harbor, but it must be if the Russians
secure a port upon the Arabian Sea; not only Bombay, but the
entire west coast of India. The only protection for the city
now is a small fleet of battle ships, monitors and gunboats that
lie in the harbor, and there are usually several visiting men
of war at the anchorage.

Bombay is the second city in population in India, Calcutta standing
first on the list with 1,350,000 people, and, if you will take
your map for a moment, you will see that the two cities lie in
almost the same latitude, one on each side of the monstrous
peninsula--Bombay at the top of the Arabian Sea and Calcutta at
the top of the Bay of Bengal. By the census of 1891 Bombay had
821,764 population. By the census of 1901 the total was 776,006,
the decrease of 45,758 being attributed to the frightful mortality
by the plague in 1900 and 1901. It is the most enterprising, the
most modern, the most active, the richest and the most prosperous
city in India. More than 90 per cent of the travelers who enter
and leave the country pass over the docks, and more than half the
foreign commerce of the country goes through its custom-house.
It is by all odds the finest city between modern Cairo and San
Francisco, and its commercial and industrial interests exceed
that of any other.

The arrangements for landing passengers are admirable. On the
ship all our baggage was marked with numbers corresponding to
that of our declaration to the collector of customs. The steamer
anchored out about a quarter of a mile from a fine covered pier.
We were detained on board until the baggage, even our small pieces,
was taken ashore on one launch and after a while we followed it
on another. Upon reaching the dock we passed up a long aisle to
where several deputy collectors were seated behind desks. As we
gave our names they looked through the bundles of declarations
which had been arranged alphabetically, and, finding the proper
one, told us that we would have to pay a duty of 5 per cent upon
our typewriter and kodaks, and that a receipt and certificate
would be furnished by which we could recover the money at any
port by which we left India. Nothing else was taxed, although
I noticed that nearly every passenger had to pay on something
else. There is only one rate of duty--5 per cent ad valorem upon
everything--jewelry, furniture, machinery--all pay the same,
which simplified the transaction. But the importation of arms
and ammunition is strictly prohibited and every gun, pistol and
cartridge is confiscated in the custom-house unless the owner
can present evidence that he is an officer of the army or navy
and that they are the tools of his trade, or has a permit issued
by the proper authority. This precaution is intended to anticipate
any conspiracy similar to that which led to the great mutiny
of 1857. The natives are not allowed to carry guns or even to
own them, and every gun or other weapon found in the hands of a
Hindu is confiscated unless he has a permit. And as an additional
precaution the rifles issued to the native regiments in the army
have a range of only twelve hundred yards, while those issued to
the white regiments will kill at sixteen hundred yards; thus giving
the latter an important advantage in case of an insurrection.

After having interviewed the deputy collector, we were admitted
to a great pen or corral in the middle of the pier, which is
inclosed by a high fence, and there found all our luggage piled
up together on a bench. And all the trunks and bags and baskets
from the ship were similarly assorted, according to the numbers
they bore. We were not asked to open anything, none of our packages
were examined, the declarations of passengers usually being accepted
as truthful and final unless the inspectors have reason to believe
or suspect deception. Gangs of coolies in livery, each wearing a
brass tag with his number, stood by ready to seize the baggage
and carry it to the hotel wagons, which stood outside, where we
followed it and directed by a polite Sikh policeman, took the
first carriage in line. Everything was conducted in a most orderly
manner. There was no confusion, no jostling and no excitement,
which indicates that the Bombay officials have correct notions
of what is proper and carry them into practice.

The docks of Bombay are the finest in Asia, and when the extensions
now in progress are carried out few cities in Europe can surpass
them. They are planned for a century in advance. The people of
Bombay are not boastful, but they are confident of the growth
of their city and its commerce. Attached to the docks is a story
of integrity and fidelity worth telling. In 1735 the municipal
authorities of the young city, anticipating commercial prosperity,
decided to improve their harbor and build piers for the accommodation
of vessels, but nobody around the place had experience in such
matters and a commission was sent off to other cities of India to
find a man to take charge. The commission was very much pleased
with the appearance and ability of Lowji Naushirwanji, the Parsee
foreman of the harbor at the neighboring town of Surat, and tried
to coax him away by making a very lucrative offer, much in advance
of the pay he was then receiving. He was too loyal and honest to
accept it, and read the commission a lecture on business integrity
which greatly impressed them. When they returned to Bombay and
related their experience, the municipal authorities communicated
with those of Surat and inclosed an invitation to Naushirwanji
to come down and build a dock for Bombay. The offer was so
advantageous that his employers advised him to accept it. He
did so, and from that day to this a man of his name, and one of
his descendants, has been superintendent of the docks of this
city. The office has practically become hereditary in the family.

[Illustration: CLOCK TOWER AND UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS--BOMBAY]

A decided sensation awaits the traveler when he passes out from
the pier into the street, particularly if it is his first visit
to the East. He already has had a glimpse of the gorgeous costumes
of the Hindu gentleman and the priestly looking Parsees, and
the long, cool white robes of the common people, for several
of each class were gathered at the end of the pier to welcome
friends who arrived by the steamer, but the moment that he emerges
from the dock he enters a new and a strange world filled with
vivid colors and fantastic costumes. He sees his first "gherry,"
a queer-looking vehicle made of bamboo, painted in odd patterns
and bright tints, and drawn by a cow or a bullock that will trot
almost as fast as a horse. All vehicles, however, are now called
"gherrys" in India, no matter where they come from nor how they
are built--the chariot of the viceroy as well as the little donkey
cart of the native fruit peddler.

The extent of bare flesh visible--masculine and feminine--startles
you at first, and the scanty apparel worn by the common people
of both sexes. Working women walk by with their legs bare from
the thighs down, wearing nothing but a single garment wrapped in
graceful folds around their slender bodies. They look very small,
compared with the men, and the first question every stranger asks
is the reason. You are told that they are married in infancy,
that they begin to bear children by the time they are 12 and 14
years old, and consequently do not have time to grow; and perhaps
that is the correct explanation for the diminutive stature of the
women of India. There are exceptions. You see a few stalwart
amazons, but ninety per cent or more of the sex are under size.
Perhaps there is another reason, which does not apply to the upper
classes, and that is the manual labor the coolies women perform,
the loads they carry on their heads and the heavy lifting that
is required of them. If you approach a building in course of
erection you will find that the stone, brick, mortar and other
material is carried up the ladders and across the scaffolding on
the heads of women and girls, and some of these "hod carriers"
are not more than 10 or 12 years old. They carry everything on
their heads, and usually it requires two other women or girls to
hoist the heavy burden to the head of the third. All the weight
comes on the spine, and must necessarily prevent or retard growth,
although it gives them an erect and stately carriage, which women
in America might imitate with profit. At the same time, perhaps,
our women might prefer to acquire their carriage in some other
way than "toting" a hodful of bricks to the top of a four-story
building.

The second thing that impresses you is the amount of glistening
silver the working women wear upon their naked limbs. To drop
into poetry, like Silas Wegg, they wear rings in their noses
and rings on their toeses, and bands of silver wherever they can
fasten them on their arms and legs and neck. They have bracelets,
anklets, armlets, necklaces, and their noses as well as their
ears are pierced for pendants. You wonder how a woman can eat,
drink or sleep with a great big ornament hanging over her lips,
and some of the earrings must weigh several ounces, for they fall
almost to the shoulders. You will meet a dozen coolie women every
block with two or three pounds of silver ornaments distributed
over their persons, which represent their savings bank, for every
spare rupee is invested in a ring, bracelet or a necklace, which,
of course, does not pay interest, but can be disposed of for
full value in case of an emergency. The workmanship is rude,
but the designs are often pretty, and a collection of the silver
ornaments worn by Hindu women would make an interesting exhibit
for a museum. They are often a burden to them, particularly in hot
weather, when they chafe and burn the flesh, and our Bombay friends
tell us that in the summer the fountain basins, the hydrants and
every other place where water can be found will be surrounded
by women bathing the spots where the silver ornaments have seared
the skin and cooling the metal, which is often so hot as to burn
the fingers.

Another feature of Bombay life which immediately seizes the attention
is the gay colors worn by everybody, which makes the streets
look like animated rainbows or the kaleidoscopes that you can
buy at the 10-cent stores. Orange and scarlet predominate, but
yellow, pink, purple, green, blue and every other tint that was
ever invented appears in the robes of the Hindus you meet upon the
street. A dignified old gentleman will cross your path with a pink
turban on his head and a green scarf wound around his shoulders.
The next man you meet may have a pair of scarlet stockings, a
purple robe and a tunic of wine-colored velvet embroidered in
gold. There seems to be no rule or regulation about the use of
colors and no set fashion for raiment. The only uniformity in
the costume worn by the men of India is that everybody's legs
are bare. Most men wear sandals; some wear shoes, but trousers
are as rare as stovepipe hats. The native merchant goes to his
counting-room, the banker to his desk, the clergyman discourses
from a pulpit, the lawyer addresses the court, the professor
expounds to his students and the coolie carries his load, all
with limbs naked from the ankles to the thighs, and never more
than half-concealed by a muslin divided skirt.

The race, the caste and often the province of a resident of India
may be determined by his headgear. The Parsees wear tall fly-trap
hats made of horse hair, with a top like a cow's foot; the
Mohammedans wear the fez, and the Hindus the turban, and there
are infinite varieties of turbans, both in the material used
and in the manner in which they are put up. An old resident of
India can usually tell where a man comes from by looking at his
turban.



II

THE CITY OF BOMBAY

There are two cities in Bombay, the native city and the foreign
city. The foreign city spreads out over a large area, and, although
the population is only a small per cent of that of the native
city, it occupies a much larger space, which is devoted to groves,
gardens, lawns, and other breathing places and pleasure grounds,
while, as is the custom in the Orient, the natives are packed
away several hundred to the acre in tall houses, which, with
over-hanging balconies and tile roofs, line the crooked and narrow
streets on both sides. Behind some of these tall and narrow fronts,
however, are dwellings that cover a good deal of ground, being
much larger than the houses we are accustomed to, because the
Hindus have larger families and they all live together. When
a young man marries he brings his bride home to his father's
house, unless his mother-in-law happens to be a widow, when they
often take up their abode with her. But it is not common for
young couples to have their own homes; hence the dwellings in
the native quarters are packed with several generations of the
same family, and that makes the occupants easy prey to plagues,
famine and other agents of human destruction.

The Parsees love air and light, and many rich Hindus have followed
the foreign colony out into the suburbs, where you find a succession
of handsome villas or bungalows, as they are called, half-hidden by
high walls that inclose charming gardens. Some of these bungalows
are very attractive, some are even sumptuous in their
appointments--veritable palaces, filled with costly furniture
and ornaments--but the climate forbids the use of many of the
creature comforts which American and European taste demands. The
floors must be of tiles or cement and the curtains of bamboo,
because hangings, carpets, rugs and upholstery furnish shelter for
destructive and disagreeable insects, and the aim of everybody
is to secure as much air as possible without admitting the heat.

Bombay is justly proud of her public buildings. Few cities have
such a splendid array. None that I have ever visited except Vienna
can show an assemblage so imposing, with such harmony and artistic
uniformity combined with convenience of location, taste of
arrangement and general architectural effect. There is nothing,
of course, in Bombay that will compare with our Capitol or Library
at Washington, and its state and municipal buildings cannot compete
individually with the Parliament House in London, the Hotel de
Ville de Paris or the Palace of Justice in Brussels, or many
others I might name. But neither Washington nor London nor Paris
nor any other European or American city possesses such a broad,
shaded boulevard as Bombay, with the Indian Ocean upon one side
and on the other, stretching for a mile or more, a succession of
stately edifices. Vienna has the boulevard and the buildings,
but lacks the water effect. It is as if all the buildings of
the University of Chicago were scattered along the lake front
in Chicago from the river to Twelfth street.

The Bombay buildings are a mixture of Hindu, Gothic and Saracenic
architecture, blended with taste and success, and in the center,
to crown the group, rises a stately clock tower of beautiful
proportions. All of these buildings have been erected during
the last thirty years, the most of them with public money, many
by private munificence. The material is chiefly green and gray
stone. Each has ample approaches from all directions, which
contribute to the general effect, and is surrounded by large
grounds, so that it can be seen to advantage from any point of
view. Groves of full-grown trees furnish a noble background, and
wide lawns stretch before and between. There is parking along
the shore of the bay, then a broad drive, with two sidewalks, a
track for bicycles and a soft path for equestrians, all overhung
with far-stretching boughs of immense and ancient trees, which
furnish a grateful shade against the sun and add to the beauty
of the landscape. I do not know of any such driveway elsewhere,
and it extends for several miles, starting from an extensive
common or parade ground, which is given up to games and sports.
Poor people are allowed to camp there in tents in hot weather, for
there, if anywhere, they can keep cool, because the peninsula upon
which Bombay stands is narrow at that point, and if a breeze is
blowing from any direction they get it. At intervals the boulevard
is intersected by small, well-kept parks with band stands, and is
broken by walks, drives, beds of flowers, foliage, plants and
other landscape decorations; and this in the midst of a great
city.

On the inside of the boulevard, following the contour of the shore
of the bay, is first, Elphinstone College, then the Secretariat,
which is the headquarters of the government and contains several
state apartments of noble proportions and costly decorations. The
building is 443 feet long, with a tower 170 feet high. Next it
are the buildings of the University of Bombay, a library with a
tower 260 feet high, a convocation hall of beautiful design and
perfect proportions and other buildings. Then comes the Courts
of Justice; an immense structure nearly 600 feet long, with a
tower 175 feet high, which resembles the Law Courts of London,
and is as appropriate as it is imposing. The department of public
works has the next building; then the postoffice department, the
telegraph department, the state archives building and patent
office in order. The town hall contains several fine rooms and
important historic pictures. The mint is close to the town hall,
and next beyond it are the offices of the Port Trust, which would
correspond to our harbor commissioners. Then follow in order the
Holy Trinity Church, the High School, St. Xavier's College, the
Momey Institute, Wilson College, long rows of barracks, officers'
quarters and clubs, the Sailors' Home, several hospitals, a school
of art and Elphinstone High School, which is 452 by 370 feet in
size and one of the most palatial educational institutions I
have ever seen, the splendid group culminating in the Victoria
Railway station, which is the finest in the world and almost
as large as any we have in the United States.

[Illustration: VICTORIA RAILWAY STATION--BOMBAY]

It is a vast building of Italian Gothic, with oriental towers
and pinnacles, elaborately decorated with sculpture and carving,
and a large central dome surmounted by a huge bronze figure of
Progress. The architect was Mr. F. W. Stevens, a Bombay engineer;
it was finished in 1888 at a cost of $2,500,000, and the wood
carving, the tiles, the ornamental iron and brass railings, the
grills for the ticket offices, the restaurant and refreshment
rooms, the balustrades for the grand staircases, are all the
work of the students of the Bombay School of Art, which gives
it additional interest, although critics have contended that
the architecture and decorations are too ornate for the purpose
for which it is used.

Wilson College, one of the most imposing of the long line of
buildings, is a memorial to a great Scotch missionary who lived
a strenuous and useful life and impressed his principles and
his character upon the people of India in a remarkable manner.
He was famous for his common sense and accurate judgment; and
till the end of his days retained the respect and confidence of
every class of the community, from the viceroy and the council
of state down to the coolies that sweep the streets. All of them
knew and loved Dr. Wilson, and although he never ceased to preach
the gospel of Christ, his Master, with the energy, zeal and plain
speaking that is characteristic of Scotchmen, the Hindus,
Mohammedans, Parsees, Jains, Jews and every other sect admired
and encouraged him as much as those of his own faith.

One-fourth of all these buildings were presented to the city by
rich and patriotic residents, most of them Parsees and Hindus. The
Sailors' Home was the gift of the Maharajah of Baroda; University
Hall was founded by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Readymoney, who also
built Elphinstone College. He placed the great fountain in front
of the cathedral, and, although a Parsee, built the spire on
the Church of St. John the Evangelist.

Mr. Dharmsala, another Parsee, built the Ophthalmic Hospital and
the European Strangers' Home and put drinking fountains about
the town. David Sassoon, a Persian Jew, founded the Mechanics'
Institute, and his brother, Sir Albert Sassoon, built the tower
of the Elphinstone High School. Mr. Premchand Raichand built
the university library and clock tower in memory of his mother.
Sir Jamsetji Jijibhal gave the school of art and the Parsee
Benevolent Institute; the sons of Jarahji Parak erected the
almshouse. Mr. Rustam Jamshidji founded the Hospital for Women,
the East India Company built the Town Hall and other men gave
other buildings with the greatest degree of public spirit and
patriotism I have ever seen displayed in any town. The guidebook
says that during the last quarter of a century patriotic residents
of Bombay, mostly natives, have given more than $5,000,000 for
public edifices. It is a new form for the expression of patriotism
that might be encouraged in the United States.

Several statues were also gifts to the city; that of Queen Victoria,
which is one of the finest I have ever seen, having been erected
by the Maharajah of Baroda, and that of the Prince of Wales by Sir
Edward Beohm. These are the best, but there are several others.
Queen Victoria's monument, which stands in the most prominent
plaza, where the busiest thoroughfares meet, represents that
good woman sitting upon her throne under a lofty Gothic canopy
of marble. The carving is elaborate and exquisite. In the center
of the canopy appears the Star of India, and above it the Rose
of England, united with the Lotus of India, with the mottoes of
both countries intertwined--"God and My Right" and "Heaven's
Light Our Guide."

Queen Victoria was no stranger to the people of India. They felt a
personal relationship with their empress, and many touching incidents
are told that have occurred from time to time to illustrate the
affection of the Hindus for her. They were taught to call her
"The Good Lady of England," and almost every mail, while she
was living, carried letters from India to London bearing that
address. They came mostly from Hindu women who had learned of
her goodness, sympathy and benevolence and hired public scribes
at the market places to tell her of their sufferings and wrongs.

In the center of another plaza facing a street called Rampart
row, which is lined by lofty buildings containing the best retail
shops in town, is a figure of Edward VII. in bronze, on horseback,
presented by a local merchant. Near the cathedral is a statute
to Lord Cornwallis, who was governor general of India in 1786,
and, as the inscription informs us, died at Ghazipur, Oct. 5,
1805. This was erected by the merchants of Bombay, who paid a
similar honor to the Marquis of Wellesley, younger brother of
the Duke of Wellington, who was also governor general during
the days of the East India Company, and did a great deal for the
country. He was given a purse of $100,000, and his statue was
erected in Bombay, but he died unhappy because the king refused
to create him Duke of Hindustan, the only honor that would have
satisfied his soul. There are several fine libraries in Bombay,
and the Asiatic Society, which has existed since the beginning of
the nineteenth century, has one of the largest and most valuable
collections of oriental literature in existence.

For three miles and a half the boulevard, and its several branches
are bounded by charming residences, which overlook the bay and
the roofs of the city. Malabar Point at the end of the drive,
the extreme end of the island upon which Bombay is built, is
the government house, the residence of the Lord Lamington, who
represents King Edward VII. in this beautiful city. It is a series
of bungalows, with large, cool rooms and deep verandas, shaded
by immense trees and luxurious vines, and has accommodations
altogether for about 100 people. The staff of the governor is
quite large. He has all kinds of aides-de-camp, secretaries and
attaches, and maintains quite a little court. Indeed, his quarters,
his staff and his style of living are much more pretentious than
those of the President of the United States, and his salary is
quite as large. Everywhere he goes he is escorted by a bodyguard
of splendid looking native soldiers in scarlet uniforms, big
turbans and long spears. They are Sikhs, from the north of India,
the greatest fighters in the empire, men of large stature, military
bearing and unswerving loyalty to the British crown, and when
the Governor of Bombay drives in to his office in the morning
or drives back again to his lovely home at night, his carriage
is surrounded by a squad of those tawny warriors, who ride as
well as they look.

About half-way on the road to the government house is the Gymkhana,
and I venture to say that nobody who has not been in India can
guess what that means. And if you want another conundrum, what
is a chotohazree? It is customary for smart people to have their
chotohazree at the Gymkhana, and I think that you would be pleased
to join them after taking the beautiful drive which leads to the
place. Nobody knows what the word was derived from, but it is used
to describe a country club--a bungalow hidden under a beautiful
grove on the brow of a cliff that overhangs the bay--with all of
the appurtenances, golf links, tennis courts, cricket grounds,
racquet courts and indoor gymnasium, and everybody stops there on
their afternoon drive to have chotohazree, which is the local
term for afternoon tea and for early morning coffee.

There are peculiar customs in Bombay. The proper time for making
visits everywhere in India is between 11 a. m. and 1:30 p. m.,
and fashionable ladies are always at home between those hours
and seldom at any other. It seems unnatural, because they are
the hottest of the day. One would think that common sense as
well as comfort would induce people to stay at home at noon and
make themselves as cool as possible. In other tropical countries
these are the hours of the siesta, the noonday nap, which is as
common and as necessary as breakfast or dinner, and none but
a lunatic would think of calling upon a friend after 11 in the
morning or before 3 in the afternoon. It would be as ridiculous
as to return a social visit at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning,
and the same reasons which govern that custom ought to apply
in India as well as in Egypt, Cuba or Brazil. But here ladies
put on their best gowns, order their carriages, take their card
cases, and start out in the burning noontide glare to return
visits and make formal dinner and party calls. Strangers are
expected to do the same, and if you have letters of introduction
you are expected to present them during those hours, and not at
any other time. In the cool of the day, after 5 o'clock, everybody
who owns or can hire a carriage goes out to drive, and usually
stops at the Gymkhana in the country or at the Yacht Club in
the city for chotohazree. It is a good custom to admit women
to clubs as they do here. The wives and daughters of members
have every privilege, and can give tea parties and luncheons in
the clubhouses, while on certain evenings of the week a band is
brought from the military barracks and everybody of any account
in European society is expected to be present. Tables are spread
over the lawn, and are engaged in advance by ladies, who sit
behind them, receive visits and pour tea just as they would do
in their own houses. It is a very pleasant custom.

All visitors who intend to remain in Bombay for any length of
time are expected to call upon the governor and his wife, but it
is not necessary for them to drive out to Malabar Point for such a
purpose. On a table in the reception room of the government building
down-town are two books in which you write your name and address,
and that is considered equivalent to a formal visit. One book is
intended exclusively for those who have been "presented" and by
signing it they are reminding his excellency and her excellency
of their continued existence and notifying them where invitations
to dinners and balls can reach them. The other book is designed for
strangers and travelers, who inscribe their names and professions,
where they live when they are at home, how long they expect to
be in Bombay and where they are stopping. Anybody who desires
can sign this book and the act is considered equivalent to a
call upon the governor. If the caller has a letter of introduction
to His Excellency he can leave it, with a card, in charge of the
clerk who looks after the visitors' book, and if he desires to
see the governor personally for business or social reasons he
can express that desire upon a sheet of note paper, which will
be attached to the letter of introduction and delivered some time
during the day. The latter, if he is so disposed will then give
the necessary instructions and an aide-de-camp will send a "chit,"
as they call a note over here, inviting the traveler to call at
an hour named. There is a great deal of formality in official
and social life. The ceremonies and etiquette are modeled upon
those of the royal palaces in England, and the governor of each
province, as well as the viceroy of India in Calcutta, has his
little court.

A different code of etiquette must be followed in social relations
with natives, because they do not usually open their houses to
strangers. Letters of introduction should be sent with cards
by messengers or through the mails. Then, if the gentleman to
whom they are addressed desires, he will call at your hotel.
Many of the wealthier natives, and especially the Parsees, are
adopting European customs, but the more conservative Hindus still
adhere to their traditional exclusive habits, their families are
invisible and never mentioned, and strangers are never admitted
to their homes.

Natives are not admitted to the European clubs. There is no mingling
of the races in society, except in a few isolated cases of wealthy
families, who have been educated in Europe and have adopted European
customs. While the same prejudice does not exist theoretically,
there is actually a social gulf as wide and as deep as that which
lies between white and black families in Savannah or New Orleans.
Occasionally there is a marriage between a European and a native,
but the social consequences have not encouraged others to imitate
the example. Such unions are not approved by public sentiment in
either race, and are not usually attended with happiness. Some
of the Parsees, who are always excepted, and are treated as a
distinct race and community, mingle with Europeans to a certain
degree, but even in their case the line is sharply drawn.

The native district of Bombay is not so dirty nor so densely
populated as in most other Indian cities. The streets are wider and
some of them will admit of a carriage, although the cross-streets
are nearly all too narrow. The houses are from three to five
stories in height, built of brick or stone, with overhanging
balconies and broad eaves. Sometimes the entire front and rear
are of lattice work, the side walls being solid. Few of them are
plastered, ceilings are unknown and partitions, for the sake of
promoting circulation, seldom go more than half way to the top of
a room. No glass is used, but every window has heavy blinds as a
protection from the hot air and the rays of the sun. While our
taste does not approve the arrangements in many cases, experience
has taught the people of India how to live through the hot summers
with the greatest degree of comfort, and anyone who attempts
to introduce innovations is apt to make mistakes. The fronts
of many of the houses are handsomely carved and decorated, the
columns and pillars and brackets which support the balconies,
the railings, the door frames, the eaves and architraves, are
often beautiful examples of the carvers' skill, and the exterior
walls are usually painted in gay colors and fanciful designs.
Within doors the houses look very bare to us, and contain few
comforts.

The lower floor of the house is commonly used for a shop, and
different lines of business are classified and gathered in the
same neighborhood. The food market, the grocery and provision
dealers, the dealers in cotton goods and other fabrics, the silk
merchants, the shoe and leather men, the workers in copper and
brass, the goldsmiths, jewelers and dealers in precious stones
each have their street or quarter, which is a great convenience
to purchasers, and scattered among them are frequent cook-shops
and eating places, which do not resemble our restaurants in any
way, but have a large patronage. A considerable portion of the
population of Bombay, and the same is true of all other Indian
cities, depends upon these cook-shops for food as a measure of
economy and convenience. People can send out for dinner, lunch,
or breakfast at any hour, and have it served by their own servants
without being troubled to keep up a kitchen or buy fuel.

There are said to be 6,000 dealers in jewelry and precious stones
in the city of Bombay, and they all seem to be doing a flourishing
business, chiefly with the natives, who are very fond of display
and invest their money in precious stones and personal adornments
of gold and silver, which are safer and give more satisfaction
than banks.

You can see specimens of every race and nation in the native
city, nearly always in their own distinctive costumes, and they
are the source of never-ending interest--Arabs, Persians, Afghans,
Rajputs, Parsees, Chinese, Japanese, Malays, Lascars, Negroes
from Zanzibar, Madagascar and the Congo, Abyssinians. Nubians,
Sikhs, Thibetans, Burmese, Singalese, Siamese and Bengalis mingle
with Jews, Greeks and Europeans on common terms, and, unlike the
population of most eastern cities, the people of Bombay always
seem to be busy.

Many enterprises usually left for the municipal authorities of a
city to carry on cannot be undertaken by the government of India
because of the laws of caste, religious customs and fanatical
prejudices of the people. The Hindu allows no man to enter his
home; the women of a Mohammedan household are kept in seclusion,
the teachings of the priests are contrary to modern sanitary
regulations, and if the municipal authorities should condemn
a block of buildings and tear it down, or discover a nuisance
and attempt to remove it, they might easily provoke a riot and
perhaps a revolution. This has happened frequently. During the
last plague a public tumult had to be quelled by soldiers at a
large cost of life because of the efforts of the government to
isolate and quarantine infected persons and houses. These peculiar
conditions suggested in Bombay the advantage of a semi-public body
called "The Improvement Trust," which was organized a few years
ago by Lord Sandhurst, then governor. The original object was to
clear out the slums and infected places after the last plague,
to tear down blocks of rotten and filthy tenement-houses and erect
new buildings on the ground; to widen the streets, to let air and
light into moldering, festering sink holes of poverty, vice and
wretchedness; to lay sewers and furnish a water supply, and to
redeem and regenerate certain portions of the city that were a
menace to the public health and morals. This work was intrusted
to twelve eminent citizens, representing each of the races and
all of the large interests in Bombay, who commanded the respect
and enjoyed the confidence of the fanatical element of the people,
and would be permitted to do many things and introduce innovations
that would not be tolerated if suggested by foreigners, or the
government.

After the special duty which they were organized to perform had
been accomplished The Improvement Trust was made permanent as a
useful agency to undertake works of public utility of a similar
character which the government could not carry on. The twelve
trustees serve without pay or allowances; not one of them receives
a penny of compensation for his time or trouble, or even the
reimbursement of incidental expenses made necessary in the
performance of his duties. This is an exhibition of unusual
patriotism, but it is considered perfectly natural in Bombay. To
carry out the plans of the Trust, salaried officials are employed,
and a large force is necessary. The trustees have assumed great
responsibilities, and supply the place of a board of public works,
with larger powers than are usually granted to such officials.
The municipality has turned over to them large tracts of real
estate, some of which has been improved with great profit; it has
secured funds by borrowing from banks upon the personal credit
of its members, and by issuing bonds which sell at a high premium,
and the money has been used in the improvement of the city, in
the introduction of sanitary reforms, in building model tenements
for the poor, in creating institutions of public necessity or
advantage and by serving the people in various other ways.

The street car system of Bombay belongs to an American company,
having been organized by a Mr. Kittridge, who came over here as
consul during President Lincoln's administration. Recognizing
the advantage of street cars, in 1874 he interested some American
capitalists in the enterprise, got a franchise, laid rails on
a few of the principal streets and has been running horse cars
ever since.

The introduction of electricity and the extension of the street
railway system is imperatively needed. Distances are very great
in the foreign section, and during the hot months, from March
to November, it is impossible for white men to walk in the sun,
so that everybody is compelled to keep or hire a carriage; while
on the other hand the density of the population in other sections
is so great as to be a continual and increasing public peril.
Bombay has more than 800,000 inhabitants, two-thirds of whom are
packed into very narrow limits, and in the native quarters it
is estimated that there is one human being to every ten square
yards of space. It will be realized that this is a dangerous
condition of affairs for a city that is constantly afflicted
with epidemics and in which contagious diseases always prevail.
The extension of the street car service would do something to
relieve this congestion and scatter many of the people out among
the suburbs, but the Orientals always swarm together and pack
themselves away in most uncomfortable and unhealthful limits,
and it will always be a great danger when the plagues or the
cholera come around. Multitudes have no homes at all. They have
no property except the one or two strips of dirty cotton which
the police require them to wear for clothing. They lie down to
sleep anywhere, in the parks, on the sidewalks, in hallways,
and drawing their robes over their faces are utterly indifferent
to what happens. They get their meals at the cook shops for a
few farthings, eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are
sleepy and go through life without a fixed abode.

In addition to the street car company the United States is
represented by the Standard Oil Company, the Vacuum Oil Company,
and the New York Export and Import Company. Other American firms
of merchants and manufacturers have resident agents, but they
are mostly Englishmen or Germans.

There is, however, very little demand in India for agricultural
implements, although three-fourths of the people are employed in
tilling the soil. Each farmer owns or rents a very small piece
of ground, hardly big enough to justify the use of anything but
the simple, primitive tools that have been handed down to him
through long lines of ancestors for 3,000 years. Nearly all his
implements are home-made, or come from the village blacksmith
shop, and are of the rudest, most awkward description. They plow
with a crooked stick, they dig ditches with their fingers, and
carry everything that has to be moved in little baskets on their
heads. The harvesting is done with a primitive-looking sickle,
and root crops are taken out of the ground with a two-tined fork
with a handle only a foot long. The Hindu does everything in a
squatting posture, hence he uses only short-handled tools. Fifty
or seventy-five cents each would easily replace the outfit of
three-fourths of the farmers in the empire. Occasionally there
is a rajah with large estates under cultivation upon which modern
machinery is used, but even there its introduction is discouraged;
first, because the natives are very conservative and disinclined
to adopt new means and new methods; and, second, and what is
more important, every labor-saving implement and machine that
comes into the country deprives hundreds of poor coolies of
employment.

The development of the material resources of India is slowly going
on, and mechanical industries are being gradually established,
with the encouragement of the government, for the purpose of
attracting the surplus labor from the farms and villages and
employing it in factories and mills, and in the mines of southern
India, which are supposed to be very rich. These enterprises
offer limited possibilities for the sale of machinery, and
American-made machines are recognized as superior to all others.
There is also a demand for everything that can be used by the foreign
population, which in India is numbered somewhere about a million
people, but the trade is controlled largely by British merchants
who have life-long connections at home, and it is difficult to
remove their prejudices or persuade them to see the superiority
of American goods. Nevertheless, our manufactories, on their
merits, are gradually getting a footing in the market.

When Mark Twain was in Bombay, a few years ago, he met with an
unusual experience for a mortal. He was a guest of the late Mr.
Tata, a famous Parsee merchant, and received a great deal of
attention. All the foreigners in the city knew him, and had read
his books, and there are in Bombay hundreds of highly cultivated
and educated natives. He hired a servant, as every stranger does,
and was delighted when he discovered a native by the name of
Satan among the numerous applicants. He engaged him instantly
on his name; no other recommendation was necessary. To have a
servant by the name of Satan was a privilege no humorist had
ever before enjoyed, and the possibilities to his imagination
were without limit. And it so happened that on the very day Satan
was employed, Prince Aga Khan, the head of a Persian sect of
Mohammedans, who is supposed to have a divine origin and will
be worshiped as a god when he dies, came to call on Mr. Clemens.
Satan was in attendance, and when he appeared with the card upon
a tray, Mr. Clemens asked if he knew anything about the caller;
if he could give him some idea who he was, because, when a prince
calls in person upon an American tourist, it is considered a
distinguished honor. Aga Khan is well known to everybody in Bombay,
and one of the most conspicuous men in the city. He is a great
favorite in the foreign colony, and is as able a scholar as he
is a charming gentleman. Satan, with all the reverence of his
race, appreciated the religious aspect of the visitor more highly
than any other, and in reply to the question of his new master
explained that Aga Khan was a god.

It was a very gratifying meeting for both gentlemen, who found
each other entirely congenial. Aga Khan has a keen sense of humor
and had read everything Mark Twain had written, while, on the other
hand, the latter was distinctly impressed with the personality of
his caller. That evening, when he came down to dinner, his host
asked how he had passed the day:

"I have had the time of my life," was the prompt reply, "and
the greatest honor I have ever experienced. I have hired Satan
for a servant, and a God called to tell me how much he liked
Huck Finn."



III

SERVANTS, HOTELS AND CAVE TEMPLES

Everybody who comes to India must have a personal servant, a
native who performs the duty of valet, waiter and errand boy and
does other things that he is told. It is said to be impossible
to do without one and I am inclined to think that is true, for it
is a fixed custom of the country, and when a stranger attempts
to resist, or avoid or reform the customs of a country his trouble
begins. Many of the Indian hotels expect guests to bring their own
servants--to furnish their own chambermaids and waiters--hence are
short-handed, and the traveler who hasn't provided himself with
that indispensable piece of baggage has to look after himself.
On the railways a native servant is even more important, for
travelers are required to carry their own bedding, make their
own beds and furnish their own towels. The company provides a
bench for them to sleep on, similar to those we have in freight
cabooses at home, a wash room and sometimes water. But if you
want to wash your face and hands in the morning it is always
better to send your servant to the station master before the
trains starts to see that the tank is filled. Then a naked Hindu
with a goat-skin of water comes along, fills the tank and stands
around touching his forehead respectfully every time you look
his way until you give him a penny. The eating houses along the
railway lines also expect travelers to bring their own servants,
who raid their shelves and tables for food and drink and take it
out to the cars. That is another of the customs of the country.

For these reasons a special occupation has been created, peculiar
to India--that of travelers' servants, or "bearers" as they are
called. I have never been able to satisfy myself as to the derivation
of the name. Some wise men say that formerly, before the days of
railroads, people were carried about in sedan chairs, as they
are still in China, and the men who carried them were called
"bearers;" others contend that the name is due to the circumstance
that these servants bear the white man's burden, which is not at
all likely. They certainly do not bear his baggage. They hire
coolies to do it. A self-respecting "bearer" will employ somebody
at your expense to do everything he can avoid doing and will
never demean himself by carrying a trunk, or a bag, or even a
parcel. You give him money to pay incidental expenses, for you
don't want him bothering you all the time, and he hires other
natives to do the work. But his wages are small. A first-class
bearer, who can talk English and cook, pack trunks, look after
tickets, luggage and other business of travel, serve as guide
at all places of interest and compel merchants to pay him a
commission upon everything his employer purchases, can be obtained
for forty-five rupees, which is $15 a month, and keep himself.
He gets his board for nothing at the hotels for waiting on his
master, and on the pretext that he induced him to come there.
But you have to pay his railway fare, third class, and give him
$3 to buy warm clothing. He never buys it, because he does not
need it, but that's another custom of the country. Then again,
at the end of the engagement he expects a present--a little
backsheesh--two or three dollars, and a certificate that you are
pleased with his services.

That is the cost of the highest priced man, who can be guide
as well as servant, but you can get "bearers" with lesser
accomplishments for almost any wages, down as low as $2 a month.
But they are not only worthless; they actually imperil your soul
because of their exasperating ways and general cussedness. You
often hear that servants are cheap in India, that families pay
their cooks $3 a month and their housemen $2, which is true;
but they do not earn any more. One Swede girl will do as much
work as a dozen Hindus, and do it much better than they, and,
what is even more important to the housewife, can be relied upon.
In India women never go out to service except as nurses, but
in every household you will find not less than seven or eight
men servants, and sometimes twenty, who receive from $1 to $5
a month each in wages, but the total amounts up, and they have
to be fed, and they will steal, every one of them, and lie and
loaf, and cause an infinite amount of trouble and confusion,
simply because they are cheap. High-priced servants usually are
an economy--good things always cost money, but give better
satisfaction.

Another common mistake is that Indian hotel prices are low. They are
just as high as anywhere else in the world for the accommodations.
I have noticed that wherever you go the same amount of luxury and
comfort costs about the same amount of money. You pay for all
you get in an Indian hotel. The service is bad because travelers
are expected to bring their own servants to answer their calls,
to look after their rooms and make their beds, and in some places
to wait on them in the dining-room. There are no women about the
houses. Men do everything, and if they have been well trained as
cleaners the hotel is neat. If they have been badly trained the
contrary may be expected. The same may be said of the cooking.
The landlord and his guest are entirely at the mercy of the cook,
and the food is prepared according to his ability and education.
You get very little beef because cows are sacred and steers are
too valuable to kill. The mutton is excellent, and there is plenty
of it. You cannot get better anywhere, and at places near the
sea they serve an abundance of fish. Vegetables are plenty and
are usually well cooked. The coffee is poor and almost everybody
drinks tea. You seldom sit down to a hotel table in India without
finding chickens cooked in a palatable way for breakfast, lunch
and dinner, and eggs are equally good and plenty. The bread is
usually bad, and everybody calls for toast. The deserts are usually
quite good.

It takes a stranger some time to become accustomed to barefooted
servants, but few of the natives in India of whatever class wear
shoes. Rich people, business men, merchants, bankers and others
who come in contact on equal terms with the foreign population
usually wear them in the streets, but kick them off and go around
barefooted as soon as they reach their own offices or their homes.
Although a servant may be dressed in elaborate livery, he never
wears shoes. The butlers, footmen, ushers and other servants
at the government house in Calcutta, at the viceregal lodge at
Simla, at the palace of the governor of Bombay, and the residences
of the other high officials, are all barefooted.

Everybody with experience agrees that well-trained Hindu servants
are quick, attentive and respectful and ingenious. F. Marion
Crawford in "Mr. Isaacs" says: "It has always been a mystery
to me how native servants manage always to turn up at the right
moment. You say to your man, 'Go there and wait for me,' and you
arrive and find him waiting; though how he transferred himself
thither, with his queer-looking bundle, and his lota and cooking
utensils and your best teapot wrapped up in a newspaper and ready
for use, and with all the hundred and one things that a native
servant contrives to carry about without breaking or losing one of
them, is an unsolved puzzle. Yet there he is, clean and grinning
as ever, and if he were not clean and grinning and provided with
tea and cheroots, you would not keep him in your service a day,
though you would be incapable of looking half so spotless and
pleased under the same circumstances yourself."

Every upper servant in an Indian household has to have an under
servant to assist him. A butler will not wash dishes or dust or
sweep. He will go to market and wait on the table, but nothing
more. A cook must have a coolie to wash the kitchen utensils,
and wait on him. He will do nothing but prepare the food for
the table. A coachman will do nothing but drive. He must have
a coolie to take care of the horse, and if there are two horses
the owner must hire another stable man, for no Hindu hostler
can take care of more than one, at least he is not willing to
do so. An American friend has told me of his experience trying
to break down one of the customs of the East, and compelling
one native to groom two horses. It is too long and tearful to
relate here, for he was finally compelled to give in and hire
a man for every horse and prove the truth of Kipling's poem:

  "It is not good for the Christian race
  To worry the Aryan brown;
    For the white man riles,
    And the brown man smiles,
  And it weareth the Christian down
    And the end of the fight
    Is a tombstone white
  With the name of the late deceased,
    And the epitaph clear:
    A fool lies here,
  Who tried to hustle the East."

That's the fate of everybody who goes up against established customs.
And so we hired a "bearer."

There were plenty of candidates. They appeared in swarms before
our trunks had come up from the steamer, and continued to come by
ones and twos until we had made a selection. They camped outside
our rooms and watched every movement we made. They sprang up in
our way from behind columns and gate-posts whenever we left the
hotel or returned to it. They accosted us in the street with
insinuating smiles and politely opened the carriage door as we
returned from our drives. They were of all sizes and ages, castes
and religions, and, strange to say, most of them had become
Christians and Protestants from their strong desire to please.
Each had a bunch of "chits," as they call them--recommendations
from previous employers, testifying to their intelligence, honesty
and fidelity, and insisted upon our reading them. Finally, in
self-defense, we engaged a stalwart Mohammedan wearing a snow-white
robe, a monstrous turban and a big bushy beard. He is an imposing
spectacle; he moves like an emperor; his poses are as dignified
as those of the Sheik el Islam when he lifts his hands to bestow
a blessing. And we engaged Ram Zon Abdullet Mutmammet on his
shape.

It was a mistake. Beauty is skin deep. No one can judge merit by
outside appearances, as many persons can ascertain by glancing
in a mirror. Ram Zon, and that was what we called him for short,
was a splendid illusion. It turned out that he could not scrape
together enough English to keep an account of his expenditures
and had to trust to his memory, which is very defective in money
matters. He cannot read or write, he cannot carry a message or
receive one; he is no use as a guide, for, although information
and ideas may be bulging from his noble brow, he lacks the power
to communicate them, and, worse than all, he is surly, lazy and
a constitutional kicker. He was always hanging around when we
didn't want him, and when we did want him he was never to be
found.

Ram had not been engaged two hours before he appeared in our
sitting room, enveloped in a dignity that permeated the entire
hotel, stood erect like a soldier, brought his hand to his forehead
and held it there for a long time--the salute of great respect--and
gave me a sealed note, which I opened and found to read as follows:

"Most Honored Sir:--I most humbly beg to inform you this to your
kind consideration and generousitee and trusting which will submit
myself to your grant benevolence for avoid the troublesomeness to
you and your families, that the servant Ram Zon you have been so
honorable and benovelent to engage is a great rogue and conjurer.
He will make your mind buzzling and will steal your properties,
and can run away with you midway. In proof you please touch his
right hand shoulder and see what and how big charm he has. Such
a bad temperature man you have in your service. Besides he only
grown up taller and looks like a dandee as it true but he is
not fit to act in case not to disappeared. I beg of you kindly
consult about those matters and select and choose much experienced
man than him otherwise certainly you could be put in to great
danger by his conjuring and into troubles.

"Hoping to excuse me for this troubles I taking, though he is my
caste and countryman much like not to do so, but his temperature
is not good therefore liable to your honourablesness, etc., etc."

When I told Ram about this indictment, he stoutly denied the
charges, saying that it was customary for envious "bearers" to
say bad things of one another when they lost good jobs. We did not
feel of his right arm and he did not try to conjure us, but his
temperature is certainly very bad, and he soon became a nuisance,
which we abated by paying him a month's wages and sending him off.
Then, upon the recommendation of the consul we got a treasure,
although he does not show it in his looks.

The hotels of India have a very bad name. There are several good
ones in the empire, however, and every experienced traveler and
every clubman you meet can tell you the names of all of them.
Hence it is not impossible to keep a good hotel in India with
profit. The best are at Lucknow and Darjeeling. Those at Caucutta
are the worst, although one would think that the vice-regal capital
would have pride enough to entertain its many visitors decently.

Bombay at last has such a hotel as ought to be found in Calcutta
and all the other large cities, an architectural monument, and
an ornament to the country. It is due to the enterprise of the
late Mr. J. N. Tata, a Parsee merchant and manufacturer, and it
is to be hoped that its success will be sufficient to stimulate
similar enterprises elsewhere. It would be much better for the people
of India to coax tourists over here by offering them comforts,
luxuries and pleasures than to allow the few who do come, to go
away grumbling. The thousands who visit Cairo every winter are
attracted there by the hotels, for no city has better ones, and
no hotels give more for the money. Hence they pay big profits,
and are a source of prosperity to the city, as well as a pleasure
to the idle public.

The most interesting study in Bombay is the people, but there
are several excursions into the country around well worth making,
particularly those that take you to the cave temples of the Hindus,
which have been excavated with infinite labor and pains out of the
solid rock. With their primitive tools the people of ancient times
chiseled great caverns in the sides of rocky cliffs and hills and
fashioned them after the conventional designs of temples, with
columns, pillars, vaulted ceilings, platforms for their idols
and pulpits for their priests. The nearest of these wonderful
examples of stone cutting is on an island in the harbor of Bombay,
called Elephanta, because at one time a colossal stone elephant
stood on the slope near the landing place, but it was destroyed
by the Portuguese several centuries ago. The island rises about
600 feet above the water, its summit is crowned with a glorious
growth of forest, its sides are covered with dense jungles, and
the beach is skirted by mangrove swamps. You get there by a steam
launch provided by the managers of your hotel, or by Cook & Sons,
the tourist agents, whenever a sufficiently large party is willing
to pay them for their trouble. Or if you prefer a sail you can
hire one of the native boats with a peculiar rigging and usually
get a good breeze in the morning, although it is apt to die down
in the afternoon, and you have to take your chances of staying
out all night. The only landing place at Elephanta Island is a
wall of concrete which has been built out across the beach into
four or five feet of water, and you have to step gingerly lest
you slip on the slime. At the end of the wall a solid stairway
cut in the hillside leads up to the temple. It was formerly used
daily by thousands of worshipers, but in this degenerate age
nobody but tourists ever climb it. Every boat load that lands
is greeted by a group of bright-eyed children, who follow the
sahibs (gentlemen) and mem-sahibs (ladies) up the stairs, begging
for backsheesh and offering for sale curios beetles and other
insects of brilliant hues that abound on the island. Coolies
are waiting at the foot of the stairs with chairs fastened to
poles, in which they will carry a person up the steep stairway
to the temple for 10 cents. Reaching the top you find a solid
fence with a gateway, which is opened by a retired army officer
who has been appointed custodian of the place and collects small
fees, which are devoted to keeping the temples clean and in repair.

The island is dedicated to Siva, the demon god of the Hindus, and
it is therefore appropriate that its swamps and jungles should
abound with poisonous reptiles and insects. The largest of the
several temples is 130 feet square and from 32 to 58 feet high,
an artificial cave chiseled out of the granite mountain side.
The roof is sustained by sixteen pilasters and twenty-six massive
fluted pillars. In a recess in the center is a gigantic figure
of Siva in his character as The Destroyer. His face is turned to
the east and wears a stern, commanding expression. His head-dress
is elaborate and crowned by a tiara beautifully carved. In one
hand he holds a citron and in the other the head of a cobra,
which is twisted around his arm and is reaching towards his face.
His neck is adorned with strings of pearls, from which hangs
a pendant in the form of a heart. Another necklace supports a
human skull, the peculiar symbol of Siva, with twisted snakes
growing from the head instead of hair. This is the great image
of the temple and represents the most cruel and revengeful of all
the Hindu gods. Ten centuries ago he wore altogether a different
character, but human sacrifices have always been made to propitiate
him. Around the walls of the cave are other gods of smaller stature
representing several of the most prominent and powerful of the
Hindu pantheon, all of them chiseled from the solid granite.
There are several chambers or chapels also for different forms of
worship, and a well which receives its water from some mysterious
source, and is said to be very deep.

The Portuguese did great damage here several centuries ago in
a war with India, for they fired several cannon balls straight
into the mouth of the cave, which carried away several of the
columns and destroyed the ornamentation of others, but the Royal
Asiatic Society has taken the trouble to make careful and accurate
repairs.

Although the caves at Elephanta are wonderful, they are greatly
inferior in size and beauty to a larger group at Ellora, a day's
journey by train from Bombay, and after that a carriage or horseback
ride of two hours. There are 100 cave temples, carved out of
the solid rock between the second and the tenth centuries. They
are scattered along the base of a range of beautifully wooded
hills about 500 feet above the plain, and the amount of labor and
patience expended in their construction is appalling, especially
when one considers that the men who made them were without the
appliances and tools of modern times, knew nothing of explosives
and were dependent solely upon chisels of flint and other stones.
The greatest and finest of them is as perfect in its details and
as elaborate in its ornamentations as the cathedrals at Milan
or Toledo, except that it has been cut out of a single piece of
stone instead of being built up of many small pieces.

The architect made his plans with the most prodigal detail and
executed them with the greatest perfection. He took a solid rock,
an absolute monolith, and chiseled out of it a cathedral 365
feet long, 192 feet wide and 96 feet high, with four rows of
mighty columns sustaining a vaulted roof that is covered with
pictures in relief illustrating the power and the adventures
and the achievements of his gods. It would accommodate 5,000
worshippers. Around the walls he left rough projections, which
were afterward carved into symbolical figures and images, eight,
ten and twelve feet high, of elephants lions, tigers, oxen, rams,
swans and eagles, larger than life. Corner niches and recesses
have been enriched with the most intricate ornamentation, and
in them, still of the same rock, without the introduction of
an atom of outside material, the sculptors chiseled the figures
of forty or more of the principal Hindu deities. And on each
of the four sides is a massive altar carved out of the side of
the cliff with the most ornate and elaborate traceries and other
embellishment.

Indeed, my pen is not capable of describing these most wonderful
achievements of human genius and patience. But all of them have
been described in great detail and with copious illustrations
in books that refer to nothing else. I can only say that they
are the most wonderful of all the human monuments in India.

  "From one vast mount of solid stone
  A mighty temple has been cored
  By nut-brown children of the sun,
  When stars were newly bright, and blithe
  Of song along the rim of dawn--
  A mighty monolith."

The thirty principal temples are scattered along the rocky mountain
side within a distance of two miles, and seventy-nine others are
in the immediate neighborhood. The smallest of the principal group
is 90 feet long, 40 feet wide, with a roof 40 feet high sustained
by thirty-four columns. They are all alike in one particular. No
mortar was used in their construction or any outside material.
Every atom of the walls and ceilings, the columns, the altars
and the images and ornaments stands exactly where the Creator
placed it at the birth of the universe.

There are several groups of cave temples in the same neighborhood.
Some of them were made by the Buddhists, for it seems to have
been fashionable in those days to chisel places of worship out
of the rocky hillsides instead of erecting them in the open air,
according to the ordinary rules of architecture. There are not
less than 300 in western India which are believed to have been
made within a period of a thousand years. Archæologists dispute
over their ages, just as they disagree about everything else. Some
claim that the first of the cave temples antedates the Christian
era; others declare that the oldest was not begun for 300 years
after Christ, but to the ordinary citizen these are questions of
little significance. It is not so important for us to know when
this great work was done, but it would be extremely gratifying if
somebody could tell us who did it--what genius first conceived
the idea of carving a magnificent house of worship out of the
heart of a mountain, and what means he used to accomplish the
amazing results.

We would like to know for example, who made the designs of the
Vishwa Karma, or carpenter's cave, one of the most exquisite in
India, a single excavation 85 by 45 feet in area and 35 feet
high, which has an arched roof similar to the Gothic chapels
of England and a balcony or gallery over a richly sculptured
gateway very similar to the organ loft of a modern church. At
the upper end, sitting cross-legged in a niche, is a figure four
feet high, with a serene and contemplative expression upon its
face. Because it has none of the usual signs and symbols and
ornaments that appertain to the different gods, archæologists
have pronounced it a figure of the founder of the temple, who,
according to a popular legend, carved it all with his own hands,
but there is nothing to indicate for whom the statue was intended,
and the various stories told of it are pure conjectures that only
exasperate one who studies the details. Each stroke of the chisel
upon the surface of the interior was as delicate and exact as
if a jewel instead of a granite mountain was being carved.

There are temples to all of the great gods in the Hindu catalogue;
there are several in honor of Buddha, and others for Jain, all
more or less of the same design and the same style of execution.
Those who care to know more about them can find full descriptions
in Fergusson's "Indian Architecture."

South of Bombay, on the coast, is the little Portuguese colony
of Goa, the oldest European settlement in India. You will be
surprised to know that there are four or five of these colonies
belonging to other European governments within the limits of British
India, entirely independent of the viceroy and the authority of
Edward VII. The French have two towns of limited area in Bengal,
one of them only an hour's ride from Calcutta. They are entirely
outside of the British jurisdiction and under the authority of
the French Republic, which has always been respected. The Dutch
have two colonies in India also, and Goa, the most important of
all, is subject to Portugal. The territory is sixty-two miles
long by forty miles wide, and has a population of 446,982. The
inhabitants are nearly all Roman Catholics, and the archbishop
of Goa is primate of the East, having jurisdiction over all Roman
Catholics between Cairo and Hong-Kong.

More than half of the population are converted Hindus, descendants
of the original occupants of the place, who were overcome by
the Duke of Albuquerque in 1510, and after seventy or eighty
years of fighting were converted by the celebrated and saintly
Jesuit missionary, St. Francis Xavier. He lived and preached
and died in Goa, and was buried in the Church of the Good Jesus,
which was erected by him during the golden age of Portugal--for
at one time that little kingdom exercised a military, political,
ecclesiastical and commercial influence throughout the world
quite as great, comparatively speaking, as that of Great Britain
to-day. Goa was then the most important city in the East, for
its wealth and commerce rivaled that of Genoa or Venice. It was
as large as Paris or London, and the viceroy lived in a palace
as fine as that occupied by the king. But very little evidence of
its former magnificence remains. Its grandeur was soon exhausted
when the Dutch and the East India Company came into competition
with the Portuguese. The Latin race has never been tenacious either
in politics or commerce. Like the Spaniards, the Portuguese have
no staying power, and after a struggle lasting seventy years,
all of the wide Portuguese possessions in the East fell into the
hands of the Dutch and the British, and nothing is now left but
Goa, with its ruins and reminiscences and the beautiful shrine
of marble and jasper, which the Grand Duke of Tuscany erected
in honor of the first great missionary to the East.



IV

THE EMPIRE OF INDIA

India is a great triangle, 1,900 miles across its greatest length
and an equal distance across its greatest breadth. It extends
from a region of perpetual snow in the Himalayas, almost to the
equator. The superficial area is 1,766,642 square miles, and
you can understand better what that means when I tell you that
the United States has an area of 2,970,230 square miles, without
counting Alaska or Hawaii. India is about as large as that portion
of the United States lying east of a line drawn southward along
the western boundary of the Dakotas, Kansas and Texas.

The population of India in 1901 was 294,361,056 or about one-fifth
of the human race, and it comprises more than 100 distinct nations
and peoples in every grade of civilization from absolute savages to
the most complete and complex commercial and social organizations.
It has every variety of climate from the tropical humidity along
the southern coast to the frigid cold of the mountains; peaks of
ice, reefs of coral, impenetrable jungles and bleak, treeless
plains. One portion of its territory records the greatest rainfall
of any spot on earth; another, of several hundred thousand square
miles, is seldom watered with a drop of rain and is entirely
dependent for moisture upon the melting snows of the mountains.
Twelve thousands different kinds of animals are enumerated in
its fauna, 28,000 plants in its flora, and the statistical survey
prepared by the government fills 128 volumes of the size of our
census reports. One hundred and eighteen distinct languages are
spoken in various parts of India and fifty-nine of these languages
are spoken by more than 100,000 people each. A large number of
other languages and dialects are spoken by different tribes and
clans of less than 100,000 population. The British Bible Society
has published the whole or parts of the Holy Scriptures in forty-two
languages which reach 220,000,000 people, but leave 74,000,000
without the Holy Word. In order to give the Bible to the remainder
of the population of India it would be necessary to publish 108
additional translations, which the society has no money and no
men to prepare. From this little statement some conception of
the variety of the people of India may be obtained, because each
of the tribes and clans has its own distinct organization and
individuality, and each is practically a separate nation.

  Language.        Spoken by   Language.       Spoken by
  Hindi           85,675,373   Malayalam       5,428,250
  Bengali         41,343,762   Masalmani       3,669,390
  Telugu          19,885,137   Sindhi          2,592,341
  Marathi         18,892,875   Santhal         1,709,680
  Punjabi         17,724,610   Western Pahari  1,523,098
  Tamil           15,229,759   Assamese        1,435,820
  Gujarathi       10,619,789   Gond            1,379,580
  Kanarese         9,751,885   Central Pahari  1,153,384
  Uriya            9,010,957   Marwadi         1,147,480
  Burmese          5,926,864   Pashtu          1,080,931

The Province of Bengal, for example, is nearly as large as all
our North Atlantic states combined, and contains an area of 122,548
square miles. The Province of Rajputana is even larger, and has a
population of 74,744,886, almost as great as that of the entire
United States. Madras has a population of 38,000,000, and the
central provinces 47,000,000, while several of the 160 different
states into which India is divided have more than 10,000,000
each.

The population is divided according to religions as follows:

  Hindus        207,146,422   Sikhs           2,195,268
  Mohammedans    62,458,061   Jains           1,334,148
  Buddhists       9,476,750   Parsees            94,190
  Animistic       8,711,300   Jews               18,228
  Christians      2,923,241

It will be interesting to know that of the Christians enumerated
at the last census 1,202,039 were Roman Catholics, 453,612 belonged
to the established Church of England, 322,586 were orthodox Greeks,
220,863 were Baptists, 155,455 Lutherans, 53,829 Presbyterians
and 157,847 put themselves down as Protestants without giving
the sect to which they adhere.

The foreign population of India is very small. The British-born
number only 96,653; 104,583 were born on the continent of Europe,
and only 641,854 out of nearly 300,000,000 were born outside
the boundaries of India.

India consists of four separate and well-defined regions: the
jungles of the coast and the vast tract of country known as the
Deccan, which make up the southern half of the Empire; the great
plain which stretches southward from the Himalayas and constitutes
what was formerly known as Hindustan; and a three-sided tableland
which lies between, in the center of the empire, and is drained
by a thousand rivers, which carry the water off as fast as it
falls and leave but little to refresh the earth. This is the
scene of periodical famine, but the government is pushing the
irrigation system so rapidly that before many years the danger
from that source will be much diminished.

The whole of southern India, according to the geologists, was once
covered by a great forest, and indeed there are still 66,305,506
acres in trees which are carefully protected. The black soil of
that region is proverbial for its fertility and produces cotton,
sugar cane, rice and other tropical and semi-tropical plants with
an abundance surpassed by no other region. The fruit-bearing
palms require a chapter to themselves in the botanies, and are a
source of surprising wealth. According to the latest census the
enormous area of 546,224,964 acres is under cultivation, which
is an average of nearly two acres per capita of population, and
probably two-thirds of it is actually cropped. About one-fourth
of this area is under irrigation and more than 22,000,000 acres
produce two crops a year.

Most of the population is scattered in villages, and the number
of people who are not supported by farms is much smaller than would
be supposed from the figures of the census. A large proportion of
the inhabitants returned as engaged in trade and other employments
really belong to the agricultural community, because they are the
agents of middlemen through whose hands the produce of the farms
passes. These people live in villages among the farming community.
In all the Empire there are only eight towns with more than 200,000
inhabitants; only three with more than 500,000, and only one with
a million, which is Calcutta. The other seven in order of size are
Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Rangoon, Benares and Delhi.
There are only twenty-nine towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants;
forty-nine with more than 50,000; 471 with more than 10,000; 877
with more than 5,000, and 2,134 organized municipalities with
a population of 1,000 or more. These municipalities represent an
aggregate population of 29,244,221 out of a total of 294,361,056,
leaving 265,134,722 inhabitants scattered upon farms and in 729,752
villages. The city population, however, is growing more rapidly
than that of the country, because of the efforts of the government
to divert labor from the farms to the factories. In Germany,
France, England and other countries of Europe and in the United
States the reverse policy is pursued. Their rural population is
drifting too rapidly to the cities, and the cities are growing
faster than is considered healthful. In India, during the ten
years from= 1891 to 1901 the city population has increased only
2,452,083, while the rural population has increased only 4,567,032.

The following table shows the number of people supported by each
of the principal occupations named:

  Agriculture                                    191,691,731
  Earth work and general labor (not agriculture)  17,953,261
  Producing food, drink and stimulants            16,758,726
  Producing textile fabrics                       11,214,158
  Personal, household and sanitary                10,717,500
  Rent payers (tenants)                          106,873,575
  Rent receivers (landlords)                      45,810,673
  Field laborers                                  29,325,985
  General laborers                                16,941,026
  Cotton weavers                                   5,460,515
  Farm servants                                    4,196,697
  Beggars (non-religious)                          4,222,241
  Priests and others engaged in religion           2,728,812
  Workers and dealers in wood, bamboo, etc.        2,499,531
  Barbers and shampooers                           2,331,598
  Grain and pulse dealers                          2,264,481
  Herdsmen (cattle, sheep and goats)               2,215,791
  Indoor servants                                  2,078,018
  Washermen                                        2,011,624
  Workers and dealers in earthen and stone ware    2,125,225
  Shoe, boot and sandal makers                     1,957,291
  Shopkeepers                                      1,839,958
  Workers and dealers in gold and silver           1,768,597
  Cart and pack animal owners                      1,605,529
  Iron and steel workers                           1,475,883
  Watchmen and other village servants              1,605,118
  Grocery dealers                                  1,587,225
  Sweepers and scavengers                          1,518,482
  Fishermen and fish curers                        1,280,358
  Fish dealers                                     1,269,435
  Workers in cane and matting                      1,290,961
  Bankers, money lenders, etc.                     1,200,998
  Tailors, milliners and dressmakers               1,142,153
  Officers of the civil service                    1,043,872
  Water carriers                                   1,089,574
  Oil pressers                                     1,055,933
  Dairy men, milk and butter dealers               1,013,000

The enormous number of 1,563,000, which is equal to the population of
half our states, are engaged in what the census terms "disreputable"
occupations. There are about eighty other classes, but none of
them embraces more than a million members.

Among the curiosities of the census we find that 603,741 people
are engaged in making and selling sweetmeats, and 550,241 in selling
cardamon seeds and betel leaves, and 548,829 in manufacturing
and selling bangles, necklaces, beads and sacred threads. There
are 497,509 teachers and professors, 562,055 actors, singers
and dancers, 520,044 doctors and 279,646 lawyers.

The chewing of betel leaves is one of the peculiar customs of
the country, even more common than tobacco chewing ever was with
us. At almost every street corner, in the porticos of the temples,
at the railway stations and in the parks, you will see women and
men, squatting on the ground behind little trays covered with
green leaves, powdered nuts and a white paste, made of the ashes
of cocoanut fiber, the skins of potatoes and a little lime. They
take a leaf, smear it with the lime paste, which is intended
to increase the saliva, and then wrap it around the powder of
the betel nut. Natives stop at these stands, drop a copper, pick
up one of these folded leaves, put it in their mouths, and go
off chewing, and spitting out saliva as red as blood. Strangers
are frequently attracted by dark red stains upon pavements and
floors which look as if somebody had suffered from a hemorrhage or
had opened an artery, but they are only traces of the chewers of
the betel nut. The habit is no more harmful than chewing tobacco.
The influence of the juice is slightly stimulating to the nerves,
but not injurious, although it is filthy and unclean.

It is a popular impression that the poor of India live almost
exclusively upon rice, which is very cheap and nourishing, hence
it is possible for a family to subsist upon a few cents a day.
This is one of the many delusions that are destroyed when you
visit the country. Rice in India is a luxury that can be afforded
only by the people of good incomes, and throughout four-fifths of
the country is sold at prices beyond the reach of common working
people. Sixty per cent. of the population live upon wheat, barley,
fruit, various kinds of pulses and maize. Rice can be grown only in
hot and damp climates, where there are ample means of irrigation,
and only where the conditions of soil, climate and water supply
allow its abundant production does it enter into the diet of the
working classes. Three-fourths of the people are vegetarians,
and live upon what they produce themselves.

The density of the population is very great, notwithstanding
the enormous area of the empire, being an average of 167 to the
square mile, including mountains, deserts and jungles, as against
21.4 to the square mile in the United States. Bengal, the province
of which Calcutta is the capital, on the eastern coast of India,
is the most densely populated, having 588 people to the square
mile. Behar in the south has 548, Oudh in the north 531; Agra,
also in the north, 419, and Bombay 202. Some parts of India have
a larger population to the acre than any other part of the world.
The peasants, or coolies, as they are called, are born and live
and die like animals. Indeed animals seldom are so closely herded
together, or live such wretched lives. In 1900, 54,000,000 people
were more or less affected by the famine, and 5,607,000 were fed
by the government for several months, simply because there was
no other way for them to obtain food. There was no labor they
could perform for wages, and those who were fortunate enough to
secure employment could not earn enough to buy bread to satisfy
the hunger of their families. It is estimated that 30,000,000
human beings starved to death in India during the nineteenth
century, and in one year alone, the year in which that good woman,
Queen Victoria, assumed the title of empress, more than 5,000,000
of her subjects died from hunger. Yet the population without
immigration is continually increasing from natural causes. The
net increase during the ten years from 1891 to 1901 was 7,046,385.
The, struggle for life is becoming greater every year; wages are
going down instead of up, notwithstanding the rapid increase
of manufacturing industries, the extension of the railway system
and other sources of wealth and employment that are being rapidly
developed.

More than 200,000,000 persons in India are living upon less than
5 cents a day of our money; more than 100,000,000 are living
upon less than 3 cents; more than 50,000,000 upon less than 1
cent and at least two-thirds of the entire population do not
have food enough during any year of their lives to supply the
nourishment demanded by the human system. As I have already shown,
there are only two acres of land under cultivation for each
inhabitant of India. This includes gardens, parks and pastures,
and it is not evenly distributed. In many parts of the country,
millions are compelled to live upon an average of one-fourth
of an acre of land and millions more upon half an acre each,
whereas an average of five acres of agricultural land per capita
of population is believed to be necessary to the prosperity of
a nation.

Few countries have such an enormous birth rate and death rate.
Nowhere else are babies born in such enormous numbers, and nowhere
does death reap such awful harvests. Sometimes a single famine or
plague suddenly sweeps millions into eternity, and their absence
is scarcely noticed. Before the present sanitary regulations and
inspections were introduced the death rate was nearly double
what it is now; indeed, some experts estimate that it must have
been several times as great, but no records were kept in some
of the provinces, and in most of them, they were incomplete and
inaccurate. India is now in a healthier condition than ever before,
and yet the death rate varies from 31.10 per 1,000 in the cold
provinces of Agra and Oudh to 82.7 per 1,000 in the tropical
regions of Behar. In Bombay last year the rate was 70.07 per
1,000; in the central provinces 56.75; in the Punjab, which has
a wide area in northwestern India, it was 47.7 and in Bengal
36.63.

The birth rate is almost as large, the following table being reported
from the principal provinces named:

                    Births per                     Births per
                    1,000 pop.                     1,000 pop.
  Behar                   50.5   Burmah                  37.4
  Punjab                  48.4   Bombay                  36.3
  Agra                    48.9   Assam                   35.4
  Central provinces       47.3   Madras                  31.3
  Bengal                  42.9

Even with the continual peril from plague and famine, the government
does not encourage emigration, as you think would be considered
a wise policy, but retards it by all sorts of regulations and
restrictions, and it is difficult to drive the Hindus out of
the wretched hovels in which they live and thrive and breed like
rats or rabbits. The more wretched and comfortless a home, the
more attached the natives are to it. The less they have to leave
the more reluctant they are to leave it, but the same rule applies
to every race and every nation in the south of Europe and the
Turkish Empire, in Syria, Egypt, the East India Islands, and
wherever the population is dense and wages are low. It is the
semi-prosperous middle class who emigrate in the hope of bettering
their condition.

There is less emigration from India than from any other country.
During the last twenty years the total number of persons emigrating
from the Indian Empire was only 316,349, less than come to the
United States annually from Italy, and the statistics show that
138,660 of these persons returned to their former homes during
that period, leaving the net emigration since 1882 only 177,689
out of 300,000,000 of population. And most of these settled in
other British colonies. We have a few Hindu merchants and Parsees
in the United States, but no coolies whatever. The coolies are
working classes that have gone to British Guiana, Trinidad, Jamaica
and other West Indies, Natal, East Africa, Fiji and other British
possessions in the Pacific. There has been a considerable flow
of workmen back and forth between India and Burma and Ceylon,
for in those provinces labor is scarce, wages are high and large
numbers of Hindus are employed in the rice paddies and tea
plantations.

The government prevents irregular emigration. It has a "protectorate
of emigrants" who is intrusted with the enforcement of the laws.
Natives of India are not permitted to leave the country unless
they are certain of obtaining employment at the place where they
desire to go, and even then each intending emigrant must file
a copy of his contract with the commissioner in order that he
may be looked after in his new home, for the Indian government
always sends an agent to protect the interests of its coolies to
every country where they have gone in any considerable numbers.
Every intending emigrant must submit to a medical examination also,
for the navigation laws prohibit vessels from taking aboard any
native who does not show a certificate from an official that he
is in full possession of his health and faculties and physically
fit to earn his living in a strange country. Vessels carrying
emigrants are subject to inspection, and are obliged to take out
licenses, which require them to observe certain rules regarding
space occupied, ventilation, sanitation and the supply of food and
water. Most of the emigrants leaving India go out under contract
and the terms must be approved by the agent of the government.

The fact that the government and the benevolent people of Europe
and America have twice within the last ten years been compelled to
intervene to save the people of India from perishing of starvation
has created an impression that they are always in the lowest
depths of distress and continually suffering from any privations.
This is not unnatural, and might under ordinary circumstances
be accepted as conclusive proof of the growing poverty of the
country and the inability of the people to preserve their own
lives. Such a conclusion, however, is very far from the fact, and
every visitor to India from foreign lands has a surprise awaiting
him concerning its condition and progress. When three-fifths of
a population of 300,000,000 have all their eggs in one basket
and depend entirely upon little spots of soil for sustenance,
and when their crops are entirely dependent upon the rains, and
when for a succession of years the rains are not sufficient,
there must be failures of harvest and a vast amount of suffering
is inevitable. But the recuperative power of the empire is
astonishing.

Although a famine may extend over its total length and breadth
one season, and require all the resources of the government to
prevent the entire population from perishing, a normal rainfall
will restore almost immediate prosperity, because the soil is so
rich, the sun is so hot, and vegetation is so rapid that sometimes
three and even four crops are produced from the same soil in a
single year. All the people want in time of famine is sufficient
seed to replant their farms and food enough to last them until
a crop is ripe. The fact that a famine exists in one part of
the country, it must also be considered, is no evidence that
the remainder of the empire is not abounding in prosperity, and
every table of statistics dealing with the material conditions of
the country shows that famine and plague have in no manner impeded
their progress. On the other hand they demonstrate the existence
of an increased power of endurance and rapid recuperation, which,
compared with the past, affords ground for hope and confidence
of an even more rapid advance in the future.

Comparing the material condition of India in 1904 with what it
was ten years previous, we find that the area of soil under
cultivation has increased 229,000,000 acres. What we call internal
revenue has increased 17 per cent during the last ten years; sea
borne foreign commerce has risen in value from £130,500,000 to
£163,750,000; the coasting trade from £48,500,000 to £63,000,000,
and the foreign trade by land from £5,500,000 to £9,000,000.
Similar signs of progress and prosperity are to be found in the
development of organized manufactures, in the increased investment
of capital in commerce and industry, in dividends paid by various
enterprises, in the extended use of the railways, the postoffice
and the telegraph. The number of operatives in cotton mills has
increased during the last ten years from 118,000 to 174,000, in
jute mills from 65,000 to 114,000, in coal and other mines from
35,000 to 95,000, and in miscellaneous industries from 184,000
to 500,000. The railway employes have increased in number from
284,000 to 357,000 in ten years.

A corresponding development and improvement is found in all lines
of investment. During the ten years from 1894 to 1904 the number
of joint stock companies having more than $100,000 capital has
increased from 950 to 1,366, and their paid up capital from
£17,750,000 to £24,500,000. The paid in capital of banks has
advanced from £9,000,000 to £14,750,000; deposits have increased
from £7,500,000 to £23,650,000, and the deposits in postal savings
banks from £4,800,000 to £7,200,000, which is an encouraging
indication of the growth of habits of thrift. The passenger traffic
on the railways has increased from 123,000,000 to 195,000,000,
and the freight from 20,000,000 to 34,000,000 tons. The number of
letters and parcels passing through the postoffice has increased
during the ten years from 340,000,000 to 560,000,000; the postal
money orders from £9,000,000 to £19,000,000, and the telegraph
messages from 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 in number.

The income tax is an excellent barometer of prosperity. It exempts
ordinary wage earners entirely--persons with incomes of less than
500 rupees, a rupee being worth about 33 cents of our money.
The whole number of persons paying the income tax has increased
from 354,594 to 495,605, which is about 40 per cent in ten years,
and the average tax paid has increased from 37.09 rupees to 48.68
rupees. The proceeds of the tax have increased steadily from
year to year, with the exception of the famine years.

There are four classifications of taxpayers, and the proportion
paid by each during the last year, 1902, was as follows:

                                         Per cent.
  Salaries and pensions                      29.07
  Dividends from companies and business       7.22
  Interest on securities                      4.63
  Miscellaneous sources of income            59.08

The last item is very significant. It shows that nearly 60 per
cent of the income taxpayers of India are supported by miscellaneous
investments other than securities and joint stock companies. The
item includes the names of merchants, individual manufacturers,
farmers, mechanics, professional men and tradesmen of every class.

The returns of the postal savings banks show the following classes
of depositors:

                                           Number.
  Wage earners                             352,349
  Professional men with fixed incomes      233,108
  Professional men with variable incomes    58,130
  Domestics, or house servants             151,204
  Tradesmen                                 32,065
  Farmers                                   12,387
  Mechanics                                 27,450

The interest allowed by the savings bank government of India is
3-1/2 per cent.

Considering the awful misfortunes and distress which the country
has endured during the last ten years, these facts are not only
satisfactory but remarkable, and if it can progress so rapidly
during times of plague and famine, what could be expected from
it during a cycle of seasons of full crops.

During the ten years which ended with 1894 the seasons were all
favorable, generally speaking, although local failures of harvests
occurred here and there in districts of several provinces, but
they were not sufficient in area, duration or intensity to affect
the material conditions of the people. The ten succeeding years,
however, ending with 1904 witnessed a succession of calamities
that were unprecedented either in India or anywhere else on earth,
with the exception of a famine that occurred in the latter part
of the eighteenth century. Those ten years not only saw two of
the worst famines, but repeated visitations of widespread and
fatal epidemics. It is estimated that during the ten years ending
December, 1903, a million and a half of deaths were caused by the
bubonic plague alone, and that the mortality from that pestilence
was small in comparison with that caused by cholera, fever and
famine. The effects of those epidemics had been to hamper trade,
to alarm and demoralize the people, to obstruct foreign commerce,
prevent investments and the development of material resources.
Yet during the years 1902 and 1903 throughout all India there
was abundant prosperity. This restoration of prosperity is most
noticeable in several of the districts that suffered most severely
from famine. To a large measure the agricultural population have
been restored to their normal condition.

It is difficult in a great country like India where wages are
so small and the cost of living is so insignificant compared
with our own country, to judge accurately of the condition of
the laboring classes. The empire is so vast and so diverse in
all its features that a statement which may accurately apply
to one province will misrepresent another. But, taking one
consideration with another, as the song says, and drawing an
average, it is plainly evident that the peasant population of
India is slowly improving in condition. The scales of wages have
undoubtedly risen; there has been an improvement in the housing
and the feeding of the masses; their sanitary condition has been
radically changed, although they have fought against it, and
the slow but gradual development of the material resources of
the country promises to make the improvement permanent.

The chief source of revenue in India from ancient times has been
a share in the crops of the farmers. The present system has been
handed down through the centuries with very little modification, and
as three-fifths of the people are entirely and directly dependent
upon the cultivation of the land, the whole fabric of society
has been based upon that source of wealth. The census gives
191,691,731 people as agriculturists, of whom 131,000,000 till
their own or rented land, 18,750,000 receive incomes as landlord
owners and the remainder are agricultural laborers. The landlord
caste are the descendants of hereditary chiefs, of former revenue
farmers and persons of importance to whom land grants were made
in ancient times. Large tracts of land in northern India are
owned by municipalities and village communities, whose officials
receive the rents and pay the taxes. Other large tracts have
been inherited from the invaders and conquerors of the country.
It is customary in India for the landlord to receive his rent
in a part of the crop, and the government in turn receives a
share of this rent in lieu of taxes. This is an ancient system
which the British government has never interfered with, and any
attempt to modify or change it would undoubtedly be resisted.
At the same time the rents are largely regulated by the taxes.
These customs, which have come down from the Mogul empire, have
been defined and strengthened by time and experience. Nearly
every province has its own and different laws and customs on
the subject, but the variation is due not to legislation, but
to public sentiment. The tenant as well as the landlord insists
that the assessments of taxes shall be made before the rent rate
is determined, and this occurs in almost every province, although
variations in rent and changes of proprietorship and tenantry
very seldom occur. Wherever there has been a change during the
present generation it has been in favor of the tenants. The rates
of rent and taxation naturally vary according to the productive
power of the land, the advantages of climate and rainfall, the
facilities for reaching market and other conditions. But the
average tax represents about two-thirds of a rupee per acre, or
21 cents in American money.

We have been accustomed to consider India a great wheat producing
country, and you often hear of apprehension on the part of American
political economists lest its cheap labor and enormous area should
give our wheat growers serious competition. But there is not
the slightest ground for apprehension. While the area planted
to wheat in India might be doubled, and farm labor earns only
a few cents a day, the methods of cultivation are so primitive
and the results of that cheap labor are comparatively so small,
that they can never count seriously against our wheat farms which
are tilled and harvested with machinery and intelligence. No
article in the Indian export trade has been so irregular or has
experienced greater vicissitudes than wheat. The highest figure
ever reached in the value of exports was during the years 1891-92,
when there was an exceptional crop, and the exports reached
$47,500,000. The average for the preceding ten years was $25,970,000,
while the average for the succeeding ten years, ending 1901-02,
was only $12,740,000. This extraordinary decrease was due to
the failure of the crop year after year and the influence of
the famines of 1897 and 1900. The bulk of the wheat produced
in India is consumed within the districts where it is raised,
and the average size of the wheat farms is less than five acres.
More than three-fourths of the India wheat crop is grown on little
patches of ground only a few feet square, and sold in the local
markets. The great bulk of the wheat exported comes from the large
farms or is turned in to the owners of land rented to tenants
for shares of the crops produced.

The coal industry is becoming important. There are 329 mines
in operation, which yielded 7,424,480 tons during the calendar
year of 1902, an increase of nearly 1,000,000 tons in the five
years ending 1903. It is a fair grade of bituminous coal and
does well for steaming purposes. Twenty-eight per cent of the
total output was consumed by the local railway locomotives in
1902, and 431,552 tons was exported to Ceylon and other neighboring
countries. The first mine was opened in India as long ago as
1820, but it was the only one worked for twenty years, and the
development of the industry has been very slow, simply keeping
pace with the increase of railways, mills, factories and other
consumers. But the production is entirely sufficient to meet
the local demand, and only 23,417 tons was imported in 1902,
all of which came as ballast. The industry gives employment to
about 98,000 persons. Most of the stock in the mining companies
is owned by private citizens of India. The prices in Calcutta
and Bombay vary from $2.30 to $2.85 a ton.

India is rich in mineral deposits, but few of them have been
developed, chiefly on account of the lack of capital and enterprise.
After coal, petroleum is the most important item, and in 1902
nearly 57,000,000 gallons was refined and sold in the India market,
but this was not sufficient to meet half the demand, and about
81,000,000 gallons was imported from the United States and Russia.

Gold mining is carried on in a primitive way in several of the
provinces, chiefly by the washing of river sand. Valuable gold
deposits are known to exist, but no one has had the enterprise
or the capital to undertake their development, simply because
costly machinery is required and would call for a heavy investment.
Most of the gold washing is done by natives with rude, home-made
implements, and the total production reported for 1902 was 517,639
ounces, valued at $20 an ounce. This, however, does not tell
more than half the story. It represents only the amount of gold
shipped out of the country, while at least as much again, if
not more, was consumed by local artisans in the manufacture of
the jewelry which is so popular among the natives. When a Hindu
man or woman gets a little money ahead he or she invariably buys
silver or gold ornaments with it, instead of placing it in a
savings bank or making other investments. Nearly all women and
children that you see are loaded with silver ornaments, their
legs and feet as well as their hands and arms, and necklaces of
silver weighing a pound or more are common. Girdles of beautifully
wrought silver are sometimes worn next to the bare skin by ordinary
coolies working on the roads or on the docks of the rivers, and
in every town you visit you will find hundreds of shops devoted
to the sale of silver and gold adornments of rude workmanship
but put metal. The upper classes invest their savings in gold
and precious stones for similar reasons. There is scarcely a
family of the middle class without a jewel case containing many
articles of great value, while both the men and women of the rich
and noble castes own and wear on ceremonial occasions amazing
collections of precious stones and gold ornaments which have
been handed down by their ancestors who invested their surplus
wealth in them at a time when no safe securities were to be had
and savings banks had not been introduced into India. A large
proportion of the native gold is consumed by local artisans in
the manufacture of these ornaments, and is not counted in the
official returns. An equal amount, perhaps, is worked up into
gold foil and used for gilding temples, palaces and the houses
of the rich. Like all orientals, the Indians are very fond of
gilding, and immense quantities of pure gold leaf are manufactured
in little shops that may be seen in every bazaar you visit.

India now ranks second among the manganese ore producing countries
of the world, and has an inexhaustible supply of the highest
grade. The quality of the ores from the central provinces permits
their export in the face of a railway haul of 500 miles and sea
transportation to England, Belgium, Germany and the United States,
but, speaking generally, the mineral development of India has
not yet begun.



V

TWO HINDU WEDDINGS

There was a notable wedding at Baroda, the capital of one of the
Native States of the same name, while we were in India, and the
Gaikwar, as the ruling prince is called, expressed a desire for us
to be present. He has a becoming respect for and appreciation of
the influence and usefulness of the press, and it was a pleasure
to find so sensible a man among the native rulers. But, owing
to circumstances over which we had no control, we had to deny
ourselves the gratification of witnessing an event which few
foreigners have ever been allowed to see. It is a pity winter
is so short in the East, for there are so many countries one
cannot comfortably visit any other time of year.

Baroda is a non-tributary, independent native state of the first
rank, lying directly north of the province of Bombay, and its
ruler is called a "gaikwar," which signifies "cowherd," and the
present possessor of that title is one of the biggest men in the
empire, one of the richest and one of the greatest swells. He
is entitled to a salute of twenty-one guns, an honor conferred
upon only two other native princes, the Maharajah of Mysore and
the Nizam of Hyderabad. He is one of the ablest and one of the
most progressive of the native princes. His family trace their
descent back to the gods of mythology, but he is entirely human
himself, and a handsome man of middle age. When we saw him for
the first time he had half a dozen garlands of flowers hanging
around his neck, and three or four big bouquets in his hand,
which, according to the custom of the country, had been presented
to him by affectionate friends. It was he who presented to the City
of Bombay the beautiful statue of Queen Victoria which ornaments
the principal public square. It is one of the finest monuments to
be seen anywhere, and expressed his admiration of his empress,
who had shown particular interest in his career. The present
gaikwar was placed upon the throne in 1874 by Lord Northbrook,
when he was Viceroy of India, to succeed Malhar Rao, one of those
fantastic persons we read about in fairy stories but seldom find
in real life. For extravagant phantasies and barbaric splendors
he beat the world. He surpassed even those old spendthrifts of
the Roman Empire, Nero, Caligula and Tiberius. He spent a million
of rupees to celebrate the marriage ceremonies of a favorite
pigeon of his aviary, which was mated with one belonging to his
prime minister. But the most remarkable of his extravagant freaks
was a rug and two pillow covers of pearls, probably the greatest
marvel of all fabrics that were ever woven since the world was
made.

The carpet, ten feet six inches by six feet in size, is woven
entirely of strings of perfect pearls. A border eleven inches wide
and a center ornament are worked out in diamonds. The pillow covers
are three feet by two feet six inches in size. For three years
the jewel merchants of India, and they are many, were searching
for the material for this extraordinary affair. It cost several
millions of dollars and was intended as a present for a Mohammedan
lady of doubtful reputation, who had fascinated His Highness.
The British Resident at his capital intervened and prohibited
the gift on the ground that the State of Baroda could not afford
to indulge its ruler in such generosity, and that the scandal
would reflect upon the administration of the Indian Empire. The
carpet still belongs to the State and may be seen by visitors
upon a permit from one of the higher authorities. It is kept at
Baroda in a safe place with the rest of the state jewels, which
are the richest in India and probably the most costly belonging
to any government in the world.

The regalia of the gaikwar intended for state occasions, which
was worn by him at the wedding, is valued at $15,000,000. He
appeared in it at the Delhi durbar in 1903. It consists of a
collar and shoulder pieces made of 500 diamonds, some of them as
large as walnuts. The smallest would be considered a treasure by
any lady in the land. The border of this collar is made of three
bands of emeralds, of graduated sizes, the outer row consisting
of jewels nearly an inch square. From the collar, as a pendant,
hangs one of the largest and most famous diamonds in the world,
known as the "Star of the Deccan." Its history may be found in
any work on jewels. There is an aigrette to match the collar,
which His Highness wears in his turban.

This is only one of several sets to be found in the collection,
which altogether would make as brave a show as you can find at
Tiffany's. There are strings of pearls as large as marbles, and
a rope of pearls nearly four feet long braided of four strands.
Every pearl is said to be perfect and the size of a pea. The
rope is about an inch in diameter. Besides these are necklaces,
bracelets, brooches, rings and every conceivable ornament set
with jewels of every variety, which have been handed down from
generation to generation in this princely family for several
hundred years. One of the most interesting of the necklaces is
made of uncut rubies said to have been found in India. It has
been worn for more than a thousand years. These jewels are kept
in a treasure-room in the heart of the Nazar Bgah Palace, guarded
night and day by a battalion of soldiers. At night when the palace
is closed half a dozen huge cheetahs, savage beasts of the leopard
family, are released in the corridors, and, as you may imagine, they
are efficient watchmen. They would make a burglar very unhappy.
During the daytime they are allowed to wander about the palace
grounds, but are carefully muzzled.

Malhar Rao built a superb palace at a cost of $1,500,000 which
is considered the most perfect and beautiful example of the
Hindu-Saracenic order of architecture in existence, and its interior
finish and decoration are wonderful for their artistic beauty,
detail and variety. In front of the main entrance are two guns
of solid gold, weighing two hundred and eighty pounds each, and
the carriages, ammunition wagons and other accoutrements are made
of solid silver. The present Maharajah is said to have decided
to melt them down and have them coined into good money, with
which he desires to endow a technical school.

Behind the palace is a great walled arena in which previous rulers
of Baroda have had fights between elephants, tigers, lions and other
wild beasts for the amusement of their court and the population
generally. And they remind you of those we read about in the
Colosseum in the time of Nero and other Roman emperors. Baroda
has one of the finest zoological gardens in the world, but most of
the animals are native to India. It is surrounded by a botanical
garden, in which the late gaikwar, who was passionately fond of
plants and flowers, took a great deal of interest and spent a
great deal of money.

He built a temple at Dakar, a few miles from Baroda, which cost
an enormous sum of money, in honor of an ancient image of the Hindu
god, Krishna. It has been the resort of pilgrims for hundreds of
years, and is considered one of the most sacred idols of India.
In addition to the temple he constructed hospices for the shelter
and entertainment of pilgrims, who come nowadays in larger numbers
than ever, sometimes as many as a hundred thousand in a year, and
are all fed and cared for, furnished comfortable clothing and
medical attendance, bathed, healed and comforted at the expense
of His Highness, whose generosity and hospitality are not limited
to his own subjects. The throne of the idol Krishna in that temple
is a masterpiece of wood carving and bears $60,000 worth of gold
ornaments. Artists say that this temple, although entirely modern,
surpasses in the beauty of its detail, both in design and
workmanship, any of the old temples in India which people corne
thousands of miles to see.

Fate at last overtook the strange man who did all these things
and he came to grief. Indignant at Colonel Phayre, the British
Resident, for interfering with his wishes in regard to the pearl
carpet and some other little fancies, he attempted to poison
him in an imperial manner. He caused a lot of diamonds to be
ground up into powder and dropped into a cup of pomolo juice,
which he tried to induce his prudent adviser to drink. Ordinary
drug store poison was beneath him. When Malhar Rao committed a
crime he did it, as he did everything else, with royal splendor.
He had tried the same trick successfully upon his brother and
predecessor, Gaikwar Khande Rao, the man who built a beautiful
sailors' home at Bombay in 1870 to commemorate the visit of the
Duke of Edinburgh to India. Colonel Phayre suspected something
wrong, and declined to drink the toast His Highness offered. The
plot was soon afterward discovered and Viceroy Lord Northbrook,
who had tolerated his tyranny and fantastic performances as long
as possible, made an investigation and ordered him before a court
over which the chief justice of Bengal presided. The evidence
disclosed a most scandalous condition of affairs throughout the
entire province. Public offices were sold to the highest bidder;
demands for blackmail were enforced by torture; the wives and
daughters of his subjects were seized at his will and carried
to his palace whenever their beauty attracted his attention. The
condition of the people was desperate. In one district there was
open rebellion; discontent prevailed everywhere and the methods
of administration were infamous. It was shown that a previous
prime minister had been poisoned by direct orders of his chief
and that with his own hands the gaikwar had beaten one of his
own servants to death. Two Hindu judges of the court voted for
acquittal, but the remainder found him guilty. As the judgment
was not unanimous, Mahal Rao escaped the death penalty which he
deserved, and would have suffered but for the sympathy of his
judicial co-religionists. He was deposed and sent to prison,
and when an investigation of his finances was made, it was found
that during the last year of his reign he had wasted $3,500,000
in gifts to his favorites, in gratifying his whims and fancies,
and for personal pleasures. All of which was wrung from the people
by taxation.

After his conviction the widow of his brother and predecessor,
Khande Rao, whom he had poisoned, was allowed to exercise the
right of adoption, and her choice fell upon the present gaikwar,
then a lad of eleven, belonging to a collateral branch of the
family. He was provided with English tutors and afterward sent to
England to complete his education. He proved a brilliant scholar,
an industrious, earnest, practical man, and, as I have said,
Queen Victoria took a great personal interest in him. When he
came to the throne in 1874, he immediately applied himself with
energy and intelligence to the administration of the government
and surrounded himself with the best English advisers he could
get. Since his accession the condition of Baroda has entirely
changed and is in striking contrast with that which existed under
his predecessors. Many taxes have been abolished and more have
been reduced. Public works have been constructed everywhere;
schools, colleges, hospitals, asylums, markets, water works,
electric lighting plants, manufactories and sanitary improvements
have been introduced, competent courts have been established and
the province has become one of the most prosperous in India.

Baroda is called "The Garden of India." It occupies a fine plain
with rich alluvial soil, well watered, and almost entirely under
cultivation. It produces luxurious crops of grain, cotton, sugar,
tobacco and other staples, and the greater part of them are turned
from raw material into the finished product in factories scattered
through the state. We were advised that Baroda is the best place
in India to study the native arts and fabrics. The manufacturing
is chiefly controlled by Parsees, descendants of Persian fugitives
who fled to India and settled in Baroda more than a thousand years
ago, and in their temple at Navasari, a thriving manufacturing
town, the sacred fire has been burning uninterruptedly for five
hundred years. The City of Baroda has about 125,000 population.
The principal streets are lined with houses of teakwood, whose
fronts are elaborately carved. Their like cannot be seen elsewhere.
The maharajah keeps up the elephant stables of his predecessor
in which are bred and kept the finest animals in India. He also
breeds the best oxen in the empire.

Through the good offices of Mr. Fee, our consul at Bombay, we
received invitations to a Hindu wedding in high life. The groom
was a young widower, a merchant of wealth and important commercial
connections, a graduate of Elphinstone College, speaks English
fluently, and is a favorite with the foreign colony. The bride
was the daughter of a widow whose late husband was similarly
situated, a partner in a rich mercantile and commission house,
well known and respected. The family ate liberal in their views,
and the daughter has been educated at one of the American mission
schools, although they still adhere to Hinduism, their ancestral
religion. The groom's family are equally liberal, but, like many
prominent families of educated natives, do not have the moral
courage or the independence to renounce the faith in which they
were born. The inhabitants of India are the most conservative of
all peoples, and while an educated and progressive Hindu will
tell you freely that he does not believe in the gods and
superstitions of his fathers, and will denounce the Brahmins as
ignorant impostors, respect for public opinion will not permit
him to make an open declaration of his loss of faith. These two
families are examples, and when their sons and daughters are
married, or when they die, observe all the social and religious
customs of their race and preserve the family traditions unbroken.

The home of the bridegroom's family is an immense wooden house
in the native quarter, and when we reached it we had to pass
through a crowd of coolies that filled the street. The gate and
outside walls were gayly decorated with bunting and Japanese
lanterns, all ready to be lighted as soon as the sun went down.
A native orchestra was playing doleful music in one of the courts,
and a brass band of twenty pieces in military uniforms from the
barracks was waiting its turn. A hallway which leads to a large
drawing-room in the rear of the house was spread with scarlet
matting, the walls were hung with gay prints, and Japanese lanterns
were suspended from the ceiling at intervals of three or four
feet. The first room was filled with women and children eating
ices and sweetmeats. Men guests were not allowed to join them.
It was then half past four, and we were told that they had been
enjoying themselves in that innocent way since noon, and would
remain until late in the evening, for it was the only share they
could have in the wedding ceremonies. Hindu women and men cannot
mingle even on such occasions.

The men folks were in the large drawing-room, seated in rows
of chairs facing each other, with an aisle four or five feet
wide in the center. There were all sorts and conditions of men,
for the groom has a wide acquaintance and intimate friends among
Mohammedans, Jains, Parsees, Roman Catholics, Protestants and all
the many other religious in Bombay, and he invited them to his
marriage. Several foreign ladies were given seats in the place of
honor at the head of the room around a large gilt chair or throne
which stood in the center with a wreath of flowers carelessly
thrown over the back. There were two American missionaries and
their wives, a Jesuit priest and several English women.

[Illustration: NAUTCH DANCERS]

Soon after we were seated there was a stir on the outside and
the groom appeared arrayed in the whitest of white linen robes,
a turban of white and gold silk, an exquisite cashmere shawl over
his shoulders, and a string of diamonds around his neck that
were worth a rajah's ransom. His hands were adorned with several
handsome rings, including one great emerald set in diamonds, so
big that you could see it across the room. Around his neck was
a garland of marigolds that fell to his waist, and he carried a
big bridal bouquet in his hand. As soon as he was seated a group
of nautch dancers, accompanied by a native orchestra, appeared
and performed one of their melancholy dances. The nautches may be
very wicked, but they certainly are not attractive in appearance.
Their dances are very much like an exercise in the Delsarte method
of elocution, being done with the arms more than with the legs,
and consisting of slow, graceful gesticulations such as a dreamy
poet might use when he soliloquizes to the stars. There is nothing
sensuous or suggestive in them. The movements are no more immodest
than knitting or quilting a comfortable--and are just about as
exciting. Each dance is supposed to be a poem expressed by gesture
and posturing--the poetry of motion--a sentimental pantomime,
and imaginative Hindus claim to be able to follow the story.
The orchestra, playing several queer looking fiddles, drums,
clarinets and other instruments, is employed to assist in the
interpretation, and produces the most dreary and monotonous sounds
without the slightest trace of theme or melody or rhythm. While I
don't want to be irreverent, they reminded me of a slang phrase
you hear in the country about "the tune the old cow died of."
Hindu music is worse than that you hear in China or Japan, because
it is so awfully solemn and slow. The Chinese and Japanese give
you a lot of noise if they lack harmony, but when a Hindu band
reaches a fortissimo passage it sounds exactly as if some child
were trying to play a bagpipe for the first time.

When I made an observation concerning the apparent innocence
and unattractiveness of the nautch girls to a missionary lady
who sat in the next seat, she looked horrified, and admonished
me in a whisper that, while there was nothing immodest in the
performance, they were depraved, deceitful and dissolute creatures,
arrayed in gorgeous raiment for the purpose of enticing men. And
it is certainly true that they were clad in the most dazzling
costumes of gold brocades and gauzy stuffs that floated like
clouds around their heads and shoulders, and their ears, noses,
arms, ankles, necks, fingers and toes were all loaded with jewelry.

But their costumes were not half as gay as those worn by some
of the gentlemen guests. The Parsees wore black or white with
closely buttoned frocks and caps that look like fly-traps; the
Mohammedans wore flowing robes of white, and the Hindus silks
of the liveliest patterns and the most vivid colors. No ballroom
belle ever was enveloped by brighter tinted fabrics than the silks,
satins, brocades and velvets that were worn by the dignified
Hindu gentlemen at this wedding, and their jewels were such as
our richest women wear. A Hindu gentleman in full dress must
have a necklace, an aigrette of diamonds, a sunburst in front
of his turban, and two or three brooches upon his shoulders or
breast. And all this over bare legs and bare feet. They wear
slippers or sandals out of doors, but leave them in the hallway
or in the vestibule, and cross the threshold of the house in
naked feet. The bridegroom was bare legged, but had a pair of
embroidered slippers on his feet, because he was soon to take
a long walk and could not very well stop to put them on without
sacrificing appearances.

They brought us trays of native refreshments, while the nautch girls
danced, handed each guest a nosegay and placed a pair of cocoanuts
at his feet, which had some deep significance--I could not quite
understand what. The groom did not appear to be enjoying himself.
He looked very unhappy. He evidently did not like to sit up in a
gilded chair so that everybody could stare and make remarks about
him, for that is exactly what his guests were doing, criticising
his bare legs, commenting upon his jewels and guessing how much
his diamond necklace cost. He was quite relieved when a couple
of gentlemen, who seemed to be acting as masters of ceremonies,
placed a second garland of flowers around his neck--which one
of them whispered to me had just come from the bride, the first
one having been the gift of his mother--and led him out of the
room like a lamb to the slaughter.

When we reached the street a procession of the guests of honor
was formed, while policemen drove the crowd back. First came
the military band, then the masters of ceremonies--each having
a cane in his hand, with which he motioned back the crowd that
lined the road on both sides six or eight tiers deep. Then the
groom marched all alone with a dejected look on his face, and
his hands clasped before him. After him came the foreign guests,
two and two, as long as they were able to keep the formation,
but after going a hundred feet the crowd became so great and
were so anxious to see all that was going on, that they broke
the line and mixed up with the wedding party, and even surrounded
the solitary groom like a bodyguard, so that we who were coming
directly after could scarcely see him. The noisy music of the
band had aroused the entire neighborhood, and in the march to
the residence of the bride's family we passed between thousands
of spectators. The groom was exceedingly nervous. Although night
had fallen and the temperature was quite cool, the perspiration
was rolling down his face in torrents, and he was relieved when we
entered a narrow passage which bad been cleared by the policemen.

The bride's house was decorated in the same manner as the groom's,
and upon a tray in the middle of a big room a small slow fire of
perfumed wood was burning. The groom was led to the side of it,
and stood there, while the guests were seated around him--hooded
Hindu women on one side and men and foreign ladies on the other.
Then his trainers made him sit down on the floor, cross-legged,
like a tailor. Hindus seldom use chairs, or even cushions. Very
soon four Brahmins, or priests, appeared from somewhere in the
background and seated themselves on the opposite side of the
fire. They wore no robes, and were only half dressed. Two were
naked to the waist, as well as barefooted and barelegged. One,
who had his head shaved like a prize fighter and seemed to be
the officiating clergyman, had on what looked like a red flannel
shirt. He brought his tools with him, and conducted a mysterious
ceremony, which I cannot describe, because it was too long and
complicated, and I could not make any notes. A gentleman who
had been requested to look after me attempted to explain what
it meant, as the ceremony proceeded, but his English was very
imperfect, and I lost a good deal of the show trying to clear up
his meaning. While the chief priest was going through a ritual
his deputies chanted mournful and monotonous strains in a minor
key--repetitions of the same lines over and over again. They
were praying for the favor of the gods, and their approval of
the marriage.

After the groom had endured it alone for a while the bride was
brought in by her brother-in-law, who, since the death of her
father, has been the head of the household. He was clad in a
white gauze undershirt, with short sleeves, and the ordinary
Hindu robe wrapped around his waist, and hanging down to his
bare knees. The bride had a big bunch of pearls hanging from
her upper lip, gold and silver rings and anklets upon her bare
feet, and her head was so concealed under wrappings of shawls
that she would have smothered in the hot room had not one of
her playmates gone up and removed the coverings from her face.
This playmate was a lively matron of 14 years, a fellow pupil
at the missionary school, who had been married at the age of
9, so she knew all about it, and had adopted foreign manners
and customs sufficiently to permit her to go about among the
guests, chatting with both gentlemen and ladies with perfect
self-possession. She told us all about the bride, who was her
dearest friend, received and passed around the presents as they
arrived, and took charge of the proceedings.

The bride sat down on the floor beside the husband that had been
chosen for her and timidly clasped his hand while the priests
continued chanting, stopping now and then to breathe or to anoint
the foreheads of the couple, or to throw something on the fire. There
were bowls of several kinds of food, each having its significance,
and several kinds of plants and flowers, and incense, which was
thrown into the flames. At one time the chief priest arose from
the floor, stretched his legs and read a long passage from a
book, which my escort said was the sacred writing in Sanskrit
laying down rules and regulations for the government of Hindu
wives. But the bride and groom paid very little attention to
the priests or to the ceremony. After the first embarrassment
was over they chatted familiarly with their friends, both foreign
and native, who came and squatted down beside them. The bride's
mother came quietly into the circle after a while and sat down
beside her son-in-law--a slight woman, whose face was entirely
concealed. When the performance had been going on for about an
hour four more priests appeared and took seats in the background.
When I asked my guardian their object, he replied, sarcastically,
that it was money, that they were present as witnesses, and each
of them would expect a big fee as well as a good supper.

"Poor people get married with one priest," he added, "but rich
people have to have many. It costs a lot of money to get married."

Every now and then parcels were brought in by servants, and handed
to the bride, who opened them with the same eagerness that American
girls show about their wedding presents, but before she had been
given half a chance to examine them they were snatched away from
her and passed around. There were enough jewels to set the groom
up in business, for all the relatives on both sides are rich,
several beautifully embroidered shawls, a copy of Tennyson's
poems, a full set of Ruskin's works, a flexible covered Bible
from the bride's school teacher, and other gifts too numerous
to mention. The ceremony soon became tedious and the crowded
room was hot and stuffy. It was an ordeal for us to stay as long
as we did, and we endured it for a couple of hours, but it was
ten times worse for the bride and groom, for they had to sit on
the floor over the fire, and couldn't even stretch their legs.
They told us that it would take four hours more to finish the
ritual. So we asked our hosts to excuse us, offered our sympathy
and congratulations to the happy couple, who laughed and joked
with us in English, while the priests continued to sing and pray.



VI

THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA

The most interesting of all the many religious sects in India are
the Parsees, the residue of one of the world's greatest creeds,
descendants of the disciples of Zoroaster, and the Persian fire
worshipers, who sought refuge in India from the persecution of
the all-conquering Mohammedans about the seventh century. They
have not increased and probably have diminished in numbers, but
have retained the faith of their fathers undefiled, which has
been described as "the most sublime expression of religious purity
and thought except the teachings of Christ." It is a curious
fact, however, that although the Parsees are commercially the
most enterprising people in India, and the most highly educated,
they have never attempted to propagate or even to make known
their faith to the world. It remained for Anquetil Duperron, a
young Frenchman, a Persian scholar, to translate the Zend Avesta,
which contains the teachings of Zoroaster, and may be called
the Parsee bible. And even now the highest authority in Parsee
theology and literature is Professor Jackson, who holds the chair
of oriental languages in Columbia University, New York. At this
writing Professor Jackson is in Persia engaged upon investigations
of direct interest to the Parsees, who have the highest regard
and affection for him, and perfect confidence in the accuracy
of his treatment of their theology in which they permit him to
instruct them.

The Parsees have undoubtedly made more stir in the world in
proportion to their population than any other race. They are
a small community, and number only 94,000 altogether, of whom
76,000 reside in Bombay. They are almost without exception
industrious and prosperous, nearly all being engaged in trade and
manufacturing, and to them the city of Bombay owes the greatest
part of its wealth and commercial influence.

While the Parsees teach pure and lofty morality, and are famous
for their integrity, benevolence, good thoughts, good works and
good deeds, their method of disposing of their dead is revolting.
For, stripped of every thread of clothing, the bodies of their
nearest and dearest are exposed to dozens of hungry vultures,
which quickly tear the flesh from the bones.

In a beautiful grove upon the top of a hill overlooking the city
of Bombay and the sea, surrounded by a high, ugly wall, are the
so-called Towers of Silence, upon which these hideous birds can
always be seen, waiting for their feast. They roost upon palm
trees in the neighborhood, and, often in their flight, drop pieces
of human flesh from their beaks or their talons, which lie rotting
in the fields below. An English lady driving past the Towers of
Silence was naturally horrified when the finger of a dead man
was dropped into her carriage by one of those awful birds; and
an army officer told me, that he once picked up by the roadside
the forearm and hand of a woman which had been torn from a body
only a few hours dead and had evidently fallen during a fight
between the birds. The reservoir which stores the water supply
of Bombay is situated upon the same hill, not more than half a
mile distant, and for obvious reasons had been covered with a
roof. Some years ago the municipal authorities, having had their
attention called to possible pollution of the water, notified
the Parsees that the Towers of Silence would have to be removed
to a distance from the city, but the rich members of that faith
preferred to pay the expense of roofing over the reservoir to
abandoning what to them is not only sacred but precious ground.
The human mind can adjust itself to almost any conditions and
associations, and a cultured Parsee will endeavor to convince
you by clever arguments that their method is not only humane and
natural, but the best sanitary method ever devised of disposing
of the dead.

Funeral ceremonies are held at the residence of the dead; prayers
are offered and eulogies are pronounced. Then a procession is
formed and the hearse is preceded by priests and followed by
the male members of the family and by friends. The body is not
placed in a coffin, but is covered with rich shawls and vestments.
When the gateway of the outer temple is reached, priests who
are permanently attached to the Towers of Silence and reside
within the inclosure, meet the procession and take charge of
the body, which is first carried to a temple, where prayers are
offered, and a sacred fire, kept continually burning there, is
replenished. While the friends and mourners are engaged in worship,
Nasr Salars, as the attendants are called, take the bier to the
ante-room of one of the towers. There are five, of circular shape,
with walls forty feet high, perfectly plain, and whitewashed.
The largest is 276 feet in circumference and cost $150,000. The
entrance is about fifteen or twenty feet from the ground and is
reached by a flight of steps. The inside plan of the building
resembles a circular gridiron gradually depressed toward the
center, at which there is a pit, five feet in diameter. From
this pit cement walks radiate like the spokes of a wheel, and
between them are three series of compartments extending around
the entire tower. Those nearest the center are about four feet
long, two feet wide and six inches deep. The next series are a
little larger, and the third, larger still, and they are intended
respectively for men, women and children.

When the bearers have brought the body into the anteroom of the
tower they strip it entirely of its clothing. Valuable coverings
are carefully laid away and sent to the chamber of purification,
where they are thoroughly fumigated, and afterward returned to
the friends. The cotton wrappings are burned. The body is laid
in one of the compartments entirely naked, and in half an hour
the flesh is completely stripped from the bones by voracious
birds that have been eagerly watching the proceedings from the
tops of the tall palms that overlook the cemetery. There are
about two hundred vultures around the place; most of them are
old birds and are thoroughly educated. They know exactly what
to expect, and behave with greatest decorum. They never enter
the tower until the bearers have left it, and usually are as
deliberate and solemn in their movements as a lot of undertakers.
But sometimes, when they are particularly hungry, their greed
gets the better of their dignity and they quarrel and fight over
their prey.

After the bones are stripped they are allowed to lie in the sun
and bleach and decay until the compartment they occupy is needed
for another body, when the Nasr Salars enter with gloves and
tongs and cast them into the central pit, where they finally
crumble into dust. The floor of the tower is so arranged that all
the rain that falls upon it passes into the pit, and the moisture
promotes decomposition. The bottom of the pit is perforated and
the water impregnated with the dust from the bones is filtered
through charcoal and becomes thoroughly disinfected before it
is allowed to pass through a sewer into the bay. The pits are
the receptacles of the dust of generations, and I am told that
so much of it is drained off by the rainfall, as described, that
they have never been filled. The carriers are not allowed to
leave the grounds, and when a man engages in that occupation
he must retire forever from the world, as much as if he were
a Trappist monk. Nor can he communicate with anyone except the
priests who have charge of the temple.

The grounds are beautifully laid out. No money or labor has been
spared to make them attractive, and comfortable benches have
been placed along the walks where relatives and friends may sit
and converse or meditate after the ceremonies are concluded.
The Parsees are firm believers in the resurrection, and they
expect their mutilated bodies to rise again glorified and
incorruptible. The theory upon which their peculiar custom is
based is veneration for the elements. Fire is the chief object
of their worship, and they cannot allow it to be polluted by
burning the dead; water is almost as sacred, and the soil of
the earth is the source of their food, their strength and almost
everything that is beautiful. Furthermore, they believe in the
equality of all creatures before God, and hence the dust of the
rich and the poor mingles in the pit.

Parsee temples are very plain and the form of worship is extremely
simple. None but members of the faith are admitted. The interior
of the temple is almost empty, except for a reading desk occupied
by the priest. The walls are without the slightest decoration and
are usually whitewashed. The sacred fire, the emblem of spiritual
life, which is never extinguished, is kept in a small recess
in a golden receptacle, and is attended by priests without
interruption. They relieve each other every two hours, but the
fire is never left alone.

The Mohammedans have many mosques in Bombay, but none of them
is of particular interest. The Hindu or Brahmin temples are also
commonplace, with two exceptions. One of them, known as the Monkey
Temple, is covered with carved images of monkeys and other animals.
There are said to be 300 of them, measuring from six inches to
two feet in height. The other is the "Walkeshwar," dedicated to
the "Sand Lord" occupying a point upon the shore of the bay not
far from the water. It has been a holy place for many centuries.
The legend says that not long after the creation of the world
Rama, one of the most powerful of the gods, while on his way
to Ceylon to recover Stia, his bride, who had been kidnaped,
halted and camped there for a night and went through various
experiences which make a long and tedious story, but of profound
interest to Hindu theologians and students of mythology. The
temple is about 150 years old, but does not compare with those
in other cities of India. It is surrounded by various buildings
for the residence of the Brahmins, lodging places for pilgrims
and devotees, which are considered excellent examples of Hindu
architecture. Several wealthy families have cottages on the grounds
which they occupy for a few days each year on festival occasions
or as retreats.

[Illustration: BODY READY FOR THE FUNERAL PYRE--BOMBAY BURNING
GHATS]

Upon the land side of the boulevard which skirts the shore of
the bay, not far from the university of Bombay, is the burning
ghat of the Hindus, where the bodies of their dead are cremated
in the open air and in a remarkably rude and indifferent manner.
The proceedings may be witnessed by any person who takes the
trouble to visit the place and has the patience to wait for the
arrival of a body. It is just as public as a burial in any cemetery
in the United States. Bodies are kept only a few hours after
death. Those who die at night are burned the first thing in the
morning, so that curious people are usually gratified if they
visit the place early. Immediately after a poor Hindu sufferer
breathes his last the family retire and professional undertakers
are brought in. The latter bathe the body carefully, dress it
in plain white cotton cloth, wrap it in a sheet, with the head
carefully concealed, place it upon a rude bier made of two bamboo
poles and cross pieces, with a net work of ropes between, and
four men, with the ends of the poles on their shoulders, start
for the burning ghat at a dog trot, singing a mournful song.
Sometimes they are followed by the sons or the brothers of the
deceased, who remain through the burning to see that it is properly
done, but more often that duty is entrusted to an employe or a
servant or some humble friend of the family in whom they have
confidence. Arriving at the burning ghat, negotiations are opened
with the superintendent or manager, for they are usually private
enterprises or belong to corporations and are conducted very
much like our cemeteries. The cheapest sort of fire that can be
provided costs two rupees, which is sixty-six cents in American
money, and prices range from that amount upwards according to the
caste and the wealth of the family. When a rich man's body is
burned sandal-wood and other scented fuel is used and sometimes
the fire is very expensive. After an agreement is reached coolies
employed on the place make a pile of wood, one layer pointing
one way and the next crossed at right angles, a hole left in
the center being filled with kindling and quick-burning reeds.
The body is lifted from the bier and placed upon it, then more
wood is piled on and the kindling is lit with a torch. If there
is plenty of dry fuel the corpse is reduced to ashes in about
two hours. Usually the ashes are claimed by friends, who take
them to the nearest temple and after prayers and other ceremonies
cast them into the waters of the bay.

The death rate in Bombay is very large. The bubonic plague prevails
there with a frightful mortality. Hence cremation is safer than
burial. In the province of Bombay the total deaths from all diseases
average about 600,000 a year, and you can calculate what an enormous
area would be required for cemeteries. In 1900, on account of
the famine, the deaths ran up to 1,318,783, and in 1902 they
were more than 800,000. Of these 128,259 were from the plague,
13,600 from cholera, 5,340 from smallpox, and 2,212 from other
contagious diseases. Hence the burning ghats were very useful,
for at least 80 percent of the dead were Brahmins and their bodies
were disposed of in that way.

It is difficult to give an accurate idea of Brahminism in a brief
manner, but theoretically it is based upon the principles set
forth in a series of sacred books known as the Vedas, written
about 4,000 years ago. Its gods were originally physical forces
and phenomena--nature worship,--which was once common to all
men, the sun, fire, water, light, wind, the procreative and
productive energies and the mystery of sex and birth, which impressed
with wonder and awe the mind of primitive humanity. As these
deities became more and more vague and indefinite in the popular
mind, and the simple, instinctive appeal of the human soul to
a Power it could not see or comprehend was gradually debased
into what is now known as Brahminism, and the most repugnant,
revolting, cruel, obscene and vicious rites ever practiced by
savages or barbarians. There is nothing in the Vedas to justify
the cruelties of the Hindu gods and the practices of the priests.
They do not authorize animal worship, caste, child-marriage,
the burning of widows or perpetual widowhood, but the Brahmins
have built up a stupendous system of superstition, of which they
alone pretend to know the mystic meaning, and their supremacy is
established. Thus the nature worship of the Vedas has disappeared
and has given place to terrorism, demon worship, obscenity, and
idolatry.

The three great gods of the Hindus are Siva, Vishnu and Brahma,
with innumerable minor deities, some 30,000,000 altogether, which
have been created during emergencies from time to time by worshipers
of vivid imaginations. When we speak of Hinduism or Brahminism as
a religion, however, it is only a conventional use of a term,
because it is not a religion in the sense that we are accustomed
to apply that word. In all other creeds there is an element of
ethics; morality, purity, justice and faith in men, but none of
these qualities is taught by the Brahmins. With them the fear
of unseen powers and the desire to obtain their favor is the
only rule of life and the only maxim taught to the people. And
it is the foundation upon which the influence and power of the
Brahmins depend. The world and all its inhabitants are at the
mercy of cruel, fickle and unjust gods; the gods are under the
influence of the Brahmins; hence the Brahmins are holy men and
must be treated accordingly. No Hindu will offend a Brahmin under
any circumstances, lest his curse may call down all forms of
misfortune. A Hindu proverb says:

"What is in the Brahmin's books, that is in the Brahmin's heart.
Neither you nor I knew there was so much evil in the world."

The power of the priests or Brahmins over the Hindus is one of
the phenomena of India. I do not know where you can get a better
idea of their influence and of the reverence that is paid to
them than in "Kim," Rudyard Kipling's story of an Irish boy who
was a disciple of an old Thibetan lama or Buddhist monk. That
story is appreciated much more keenly by people who have lived
or traveled in India, because it appeals to them. There is a
familiar picture on every page, and it is particularly valuable
as illustrating the relations between the Brahmins and the people.
"These priests are invested," said one of the ablest writers on
Indian affairs, "with a reverence which no extreme of abject
poverty, no infamy of private conduct can impair, and which is
beyond anything that a mind not immediately conversant with the
fact can conceive. They are invariably addressed with titles of
divinity, and are paid the highest earthly honors. The oldest
and highest members of other castes implore the blessing of the
youngest and poorest of theirs; they are the chosen recipients
of all charities, and are allowed a license in their private
relations which would be resented as a deadly injury in any but
themselves."

This reverence is largely due to superstitions which the Brahmins
do their best to cultivate and encourage. There are 30,000,000
gods in the Hindu pantheon, and each attends to the affairs of his
own particular jurisdiction. Most of them are wicked, cruel and
unkind, and delight in bringing misfortunes upon their devotees,
which can only be averted by the intercession of a priest. Gods and
demons haunt every hill and grove and gorge and dark corner. Their
names are usually unknown, but they go on multiplying as events
or incidents occur to which the priests can give a supernatural
interpretation. These gods are extremely sensitive to disrespect
or neglect, and unless they are constantly propitiated they will
bring all sorts of disasters. The Brahmin is the only man who
knows how to make them good-natured. He can handle them exactly
as he likes, and they will obey his will. Hence the superstitious
peasants yield everything, their money, their virtue, their lives,
as compensation for the intercession of the priests in their
behalf.

The census of 1901 returned 2,728,812 priests, which is an average
of one for every seventy-two members of the Hindu faith, and
it is believed that, altogether, there are more than 9,000,000
persons including monks, nuns, ascetics, fakirs, sorcerers, chelas,
and mendicants or various kinds and attendants employed about
the temples who are dependent upon the public for support. A
large part of the income of the pious Hindu is devoted to the
support of priests and the feeding of pilgrims. Wherever you
see it, wherever you meet it, and especially when you come in
contact with it as a sightseer, Brahminism excites nothing but
pity, indignation and abhorrence.

Buddhism is very different, although Buddha lived and died a
Hindu, and the members of that sect still claim that he was the
greatest, the wisest and the best of all Brahmins. No two religions
are so contradictory and incompatible as that taught by Buddha and
the modern teachings of the Brahmins. The underlying principles of
Buddha's faith are love, charity, self-sacrifice, unselfishness,
universal brotherhood and spiritual and physical purity. He believed
in none of the present practices of the Hindu priests. There is
a striking resemblance between the teachings of Buddha and the
teachings of Christ. Passages in the New Testament, reporting
the words of the Savior, seem like plagiarisms from the maxims of
Buddha, and, indeed, Buddhist scholars tell of a myth concerning
a young Jew who about five centuries after Buddha, and twenty
centuries ago, came from Syria with a caravan and spent several
years under instruction in a Buddhist monastery in Thibet. Thus
they account for the silence of the scriptures concerning the
doings of Christ between the ages of 12 and 20, and for the
similarity between his sermons and those preached by the founder
of their religion. Buddha taught that good actions bring happiness
and bad actions misery; that selfishness is the cause of sin,
sorrow and suffering, and that the abolition of self, sacrifices
for others and the suppression of passions and desires is the
only true plan of salvation. He died 543 years before Jesus was
born, and within the next two centuries his teachings were accepted
by two-thirds of the people of India, but by the tenth century
of our era they had been forgotten, and a great transformation
had taken place among the Indo-Ayran races, who began to worship
demons instead of angels and teach fear instead of hope, until
now there are practically no Buddhists in India with the exception
of the Burmese, who are almost unanimous in the confession of
that faith. It is a singular phenomenon that Buddhism should
so disappear from the land of its birth, although 450,000,000
of the human race still turn to its founder with pure affection
as the wisest of teachers and the noblest of ideals.

The teachings of Buddha survive in a sect known as the Jains,
founded by Jina, or Mahavira, a Buddhist priest, about a thousand
years ago, as a protest against the cruel encroachments of the
Hindus. Jina was a Perfect One, who subdued all worldly desires;
who lived an unselfish life, practiced the golden rule, harmed
no living thing, and attained the highest aim of the soul, right
knowledge, right conduct, temperance, sobriety, chastity and a
Holy Calm.

There are now 1,334,148 Jains in India, and among them are the
wealthiest, most highly cultured and most charitable of all people.
They carry their love of life to extremes. A true believer will
not harm an insect, not even a mosquito or a flea. All Hindus
are kind to animals, except when they ill treat them through
ignorance, as is often the case. The Brahmins represent that
murder, robbery, deception and every other form of crime and
vice may be committed in the worship of their gods. They teach
that the gods themselves are guilty of the most hideous depravity,
and that the sacrifice of wives, children, brothers, sisters
and friends to convenience or expediency for selfish ends is
justifiable. Indeed, the British government has been compelled to
interfere and prohibit the sacrifice of human life to propitiate
the Hindu gods. It has suppressed the thugs, who, as you have
read, formerly went about the country killing people in order
to acquire holiness; it has prohibited the awful processions
of the car of Juggernaut, before which hysterical fanatics used
to throw their own bodies, and the bodies of their children, to
be crushed under the iron wheels, in the hope of pleasing some
monster among their deities. The suppression of infanticide,
which is still encouraged by the Brahmins, is now receiving the
vigilant attention of the authorities.

Every effort has been made during the last fifty years to prevent
the awful cruelties to human beings that formerly were common in
Hindu worship, but no police intervention has ever been necessary
to protect dumb animals; nobody was ever punished for cruelty to
them; on the contrary, animal worship is one of the most general
of practices among the Hindus, and many beasts and reptiles are
sacred. But the Jains go still further and establish hospitals
for aged and infirm animals. You can see them in Bombay, in Delhi,
Lucknow, Calcutta and other places where the Jains are strong.
Behind their walls may be found hundreds of decrepit horses,
diseased cows and bullocks, many dogs and cats and every kind of
sick, lame and infirm beast. Absurd stories are told strangers
concerning the extremes to which this benevolence is carried,
and some of them have actually appeared in published narratives
of travel in India. One popular story is that when a flea lights
upon the body of a Jain he captures it carefully, puts it in
a receptacle and sends it to an asylum where fat coolies are
hired to sit around all day and night and allow fleas, mosquitoes
and other insects to feed upon them. But although untrue, these
ridiculous stories are valuable as illustrating the principles
in which the Jains believe. They are strict vegetarians. The
true believers will not kill an animal or a fish or a bird, or
anything that breathes, for any purpose, and everybody can see
that they strictly practice what they preach.

His most gracious majesty, King of Great Britain and Ireland and
Emperor of India, has more Mohammedan subjects than the Great
Turk or any other ruler. They numbered 62,458,061 at the last
census. They are a clean, manly, honorable and industrious portion
of the population. Commercially they do not rank as high as the
Parsees, who number only 94,190, or the Jains, who number 1,334,148,
but are vastly superior to the Hindus from any point of view.
They are not so ignorant nor so filthy nor so superstitious nor
so submissive to their priests. They are self-respecting and
independent, and while the believers in no other creed are more
scrupulous in the performance of their religious duties, they
are not in any measure under the control or the dictation of
their mullahs. They have their own schools, called kuttebs, they
take care of their own poor very largely; drunkenness and gambling
are very rare among them. They are hospitable, kind to animals
and generous. The difference between the Mohammedans and the
Hindus may be seen in the most forcible manner in their temples.
It is an old saying that while one god created all men, each
man creates his own god, and that is strikingly true among the
ignorant, superstitious people of the East. The Hindu crouches in
a shadow to escape the attention of his god, while the Mohammedan
publicly prays to his five times a day in the nearest mosque,
and if no mosque is near he kneels where he stands, and takes
full satisfaction in a religion of hope instead of fear.

From the political standpoint the Mohammedans are a very important
factor in the situation in India. They are more independent than the
Hindus; they occupy a more influential position than their numbers
entitle them to; they have most profound pride in their religion
and race, and in their social and intellectual superiority, and
the more highly they are educated the more manly, self-reliant and
independent they become, and the feeling between the Mohammedans
and the Hindus is bitterly hostile. So much so as to make them
a bulwark of the government. Several authorities told me that
Mohammedans make the best officials in the service and can be
trusted farther than any other class, but, speaking generally,
Islam has been corrupted and debased in India just as it has
been everywhere else.

One of the results of this corruption is the sect known as Sikhs,
which numbers about 2,195,268. It thrives best in the northern
part of India, and furnishes the most reliable policemen and
the best soldiers for the native army. The Sikhs retain much
that is good among the teachings of Mohammed, but have a bible
of their own, called the Abi-granth, made up of the sermons of
Nanak, the founder of the sect, who died in the year 1530. It
is full of excellent moral precepts; it teaches the brotherhood
of man, the equality of the sexes; it rejects caste, and embraces
all of the good points in Buddhism, with a pantheism that is
very confusing. It would seem that the Sikhs worship all gods
who are good to men, and reject the demonology of the Hindus.
They believe in one Supreme Being, with attributes similar to the
Allah of the Mohammedans, and recognize Mohammed as his prophet
and exponent of his will. They have also adopted several Hindu
deities in a sort of indirect way, although the Sikhs strictly
prohibit idolatry. Their worship is pure and simple. Their temples
are houses of prayer, where they, meet, sing hymns, repeat a
ritual and receive pieces of "karah prasad," a consecrated pastry,
which means "the effectual offering." They are tolerant, and
not only admit strangers to their worship, but invite them to
participate in their communion.

The morning we arrived in Agra we swallowed a hasty breakfast
and hurried off to the great mosque to witness the ceremonies
of what might be termed the Mohammedan Easter, although the
anniversary has an entirely different significance. The month
of Ramadan is spent by the faithful followers of the Prophet
in a long fast, and the night before it is broken, called
Lailatul-Kadr, or "night of power," is celebrated in rejoicing,
because it is the night on which the Koran is supposed to have
come down from heaven. In the morning following, which is as
much a day of rejoicing as our Christmas, the men of Islam gather
at the mosques and engage in a service of thanksgiving to Allah
for the blessings they and their families have enjoyed during
the year past, and pray for a repetition of the same mercies for
the year to come. This festival is called the "Idu I-Fitr," and
we were fortunate enough to witness one of the most impressive
spectacles I have ever seen. Women never appear, but the entire
male population, with their children assembled at the great park
which surrounds the mosque, clad in festival attire, each bringing
a prayer rug to spread upon the ground. About ten thousand persons
of all ages and all classes came on foot and in all sorts of
vehicles, with joyous voices and congratulations to each other
that seemed hearty enough to include the whole world. Taking
advantage of their good humor and the thankful spirits hundreds
of beggars were squatting along the roadside and appealing to
every passerby in pitiful tones. And nearly everyone responded.
Some people brought bags of rice, beans and wheat; others brought
cakes and bread, but the greater number invested in little sea
shells which are used in the interior of India as currency, and
one hundred of them are worth a penny.

Rich people filled their pockets with these shells and scattered
them by handsful among the crowd, and the shrieking beggars scrambled
for them on the ground. There were long lines of food peddlers,
with portable stoves, and tables upon which were spread morsels
which the natives of India considered delicacies, but they were
not very tempting to us. The food peddlers drove a profitable
trade because almost every person present had been fasting for
a lunar month and had a sharp appetite to satisfy. After the
services the rich and the poor ate together, masters and servants,
because Mohammed knew no caste, and it was an interesting sight
to see the democratic spirit of the worshipers, for the rich
and the poor, the master and the servant, knelt down side by
side upon the same rug or strip of matting and bowed their heads
to the ground in homage of the God that made them all. Families
came together in carriages, bullock carts, on the backs of camels,
horses, mules, donkeys, all the male members of the household
from the baby to the grandfather, and were attended by all men
servants of the family or the farm. They washed together at the
basins where the fountains were spouting more joyously than usual,
and then moved forward, laughing and chattering, toward the great
mosque, selected places which seemed most convenient, spread
their rugs, matting, blankets and sheets upon the ground, sat in
long rows facing Mecca, and gossiped cheerfully together until
the great high priest, surrounded by mullahs or lower priests,
appeared in front of the Midrab, the place in every mosque from
which the Koran is read, and shouted for attention.

Ram Zon, one of our "bearers," who is a Mohammedan, disappeared
without permission or notice early in the morning, and did not
report for duty that day. His piety was greater than his sense of
obligation to his employers, and I saw him in the crowd earnestly
going through the violent exercise which attends the worship of
Islam.

[Illustration: MOHAMMEDANS AT PRAYER]

When the hour for commencing the ceremony drew near the entire
courtyard, several acres in extent, was covered with worshipers
arranged in rows about eight feet apart from north to south,
all facing the west, with their eyes toward Mecca in expectant
attitudes. The sheikh has a powerful voice, and by long experience
has acquired the faculty of throwing it a long distance, and,
as he intoned the service, mullahs were stationed at different
points to repeat his words so that everybody could hear. The
first sound was a long wailing cry like the call of the muezzeins
from the minarets at the hour of prayer. It was for the purpose
of concentrating the attention of the vast audience which arose
to its feet and stood motionless with hands clasped across their
breasts. Then, as the reading proceeded, the great crowd, in perfect
unison, as if it had practiced daily for months, performed the
same motions one after the other. It was a remarkable exhibition
of precision. No army of well drilled troops could have done
better.

The following were the motions, each in response to the intonation
of a prayer by the high priest:

1. Both hands to forehead, palms and fingers together, in the
attitude of prayer.

2. Bend body forward at right angles, three times in succession,
keeping hands in the same position.

3. Return to upright position, with hands lowered to the breast.

4. Bow head three times to the ground.

5. Rise and stand motionless with hands at sides.

6. Hands lifted to ears and returned to side, motions three times
repeated.

7. Body at right angles again, with hands clasped at forehead.

8. Body erect, kneel and bow forward, touching the forehead three
times to the earth.

9. Fall back upon knees and with folded hands.

10. Rise, stand at attention with clasped hands until the cry
of the mullah announced that the ceremony was over; whereupon
everybody turned to embrace his family and friends in a most
affectionate manner, again and again. Some were crying, some
were laughing, and all seemed to be in a state of suppressed
excitement. Their emotions had been deeply stirred, and long fasting
is apt to produce hysteria.

The boom of a cannon in a neighboring fortress, was a signal
that the obligations of Ramadan had been fulfilled, that the
fast was broken, and thousands of people rushed pell-mell to
the eating stands to gorge themselves with sweetmeats and other
food. The more dignified and aristocratic portion of the crowd
calmly sat down again upon their rugs and mats and watched their
servants unload baskets of provisions upon tablecloths, napkins
and trays which they spread upon the ground. Not less than seven
or eight thousand persons indulged in this picnic, but there was
no wine or beer; nothing stronger than tea or coffee, because
the Koran forbids it. And after their feast at the mosque the
rest of the day was spent in rejoicing. Gay banners of all colors
were displayed from the windows of Mohammedan houses, festoons
of flowers were hung over the doors, and from the windowsills;
boys were seen rushing through the streets loaded with bouquets
sent from friend to friend with compliments and congratulations;
firecrackers were exploded in the gardens and parks, and during
the evening displays of fireworks were made to entertain the
Moslem population, who were assembled in each other's houses
or at their favorite cafes, or were promenading the streets,
singing and shouting and behaving very much as our people do on
the Fourth of July.



VII

HOW INDIA IS GOVERNED

The present form of government in India was adopted in 1858,
after the terrible Sepoy mutiny had demonstrated the inability of
the East India Company to control affairs. By an act of parliament
all territory, revenues, tributes and property of that great
corporation, which had a monopoly of the Indian trade, and, next
to the Hanseatic League of Germany, was the greatest Trust ever
formed, were vested in the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland,
who in 1876 assumed the additional title of Empress of India. The
title and authority were inherited by Edward VII. He governs through
the Secretary of State for India, who is a Cabinet minister, and
a Council of not less than ten members, nine of whom must have
the practical knowledge and experience gained by a residence of at
least ten years in India and not more than ten years previous to
the date of their appointment. This Council is more of an advisory
than an executive body. It has no initiative or authority, but
is expected to confer with and review the acts of the Secretary
of State for India, who can make no grants or appropriations
from the revenues or decide any questions of importance without
the concurrence of a majority of its members. The Council meets
every week in London, receives reports and communications and
acts upon them.

The supreme authority in India is the Viceroy, the direct personal
representative of the emperor in all his relations with his
300,000,000 Indian subjects; but, as a matter of convenience,
he makes his reports to and receives his instructions from the
Secretary of State for India, who represents that part of the
empire both in the ministry and in parliament. The present viceroy
is the Right Honorable George Nathaniel Curzon, who was raised
to the peerage in October, 1898, as Baron Curzon of Kedleston.
He is the eldest son of Lord Scarsdale, was born Jan. 11, 1859,
was educated at Eton and Oxford; selected journalism as his
profession; became correspondent of the London Times in China,
India and Persia; was elected to parliament from Lancashire in
1886, and served until 1898; was private secretary to the Marquis
of Salisbury, and under-secretary of state for India in 1891-92;
under-secretary of state for foreign affairs in 1895-98; married
Mary Leiter, daughter of Mr. L. Z. Leiter of Washington and Chicago,
in 1895, and was appointed viceroy of India to succeed the Earl
of Elgin, September, 1898.

There have been twenty-five viceroys or governors general of
India since Warren Hastings in 1774, and the list includes some
of the ablest statesmen in English history, but Lord Curzon is
the only man in the list who has ever been his own successor.
When his first term expired in September, 1903, he was immediately
reappointed for another five years. Whether he continues through
the second term depends upon certain contingencies, but it is
entirely probable that he will remain, because he has undertaken
certain reforms and enterprises that he desires to complete. His
administration has been not only a conspicuous but a remarkable
success. Although he has been severely criticised for his
administrative policy and many of his official acts have been
opposed and condemned, the sources from which the criticisms
have come often corroborate the wisdom and confirm the success
of the acts complained of. Lord Cornwallis was twice Governor
General of India, but there was a long interval between his terms,
the first beginning in 1786 and the second in 1805. He is the only
man except Lord Curzon who has been twice honored by appointment
to the highest office and the greatest responsibility under the
British crown except that of the prime minister.

The Viceroy is assisted in the administration of the government
by a cabinet or council of five members, selected by himself,
subject to the approval of the king. Each member is assigned to
the supervision of one of the executive departments,--finance,
military, public works, revenue, agriculture and legislative.
The viceroy himself takes personal charge of foreign affairs.
The commander in chief of the army in India, at present Lord
Kitchener, is ex-officio member of the council.

For legislative purposes the council is expanded by the addition of
ten members, appointed by the Viceroy from among the most competent
British and native residents of India upon the recommendation
of provincial, industrial and commercial bodies. The remaining
members are the heads of the various executive departments of the
government. By these men, who serve for a period of five years,
and whose proceedings are open to the public and are reported and
printed verbatim, like the proceedings of Congress, the laws
governing India are made, subject to the approval of the Viceroy,
who retains the right of veto, and in turn is responsible to
the British parliament and to the king.

Thus it will be seen that the system of government in India is
simple and liberal. The various industries and financial interests,
and all of the great provinces which make up the empire, have a
voice in framing the laws that apply to the people at large;
but for convenience the territory is divided into nine great
provinces, as follows:

Madras, with a governor whose salary is $40,000 a year.

Bombay, whose governor receives the same salary.

Bengal, with a lieutenant governor; salary, $33,000.

United Provinces, lieutenant governor; salary, $33,000.

Punjab, lieutenant governor; salary, $33,000.

Burma, lieutenant governor; salary, $33,000.

Assam, chief commissioner; salary, $16,500.

Central Provinces, chief commissioner, $16,500.

Northwestern Frontier Province, governed by an agent to the governor
general, whose salary is $16,500.

The governors of Bombay and Madras are appointed by the king;
the lieutenant governors and commissioners by the Viceroy. All of
them have legislative councils and complete executive organizations
similar to that of the general government at Calcutta. Each makes
its own local laws and enjoys administrative independence similar to
that of the states of the American Union, and is seldom interfered
with by the Viceroy or the authorities in London, the purpose
being to encourage home rule as far as possible. The provinces
are divided into districts, which are the units of administration,
and each district is under the control of an executive officer,
who is responsible to the governor of the province.

Exclusive of the great provinces named are eighty-two of the
ancient principalities, most of them retaining their original
boundaries, governed by native chiefs, who are allowed more or
less independence, according to their ability, wisdom and zeal.
The control exercised by the central government varies in the
different states, but there are certain general rules which are
applied to all. The native princes have no right to make war or
peace, or communicate officially with each other or with foreign
governments except through the Viceroy. They are permitted to
maintain a limited independent military force; they are allowed
to impose a certain amount of taxes; no European is allowed to
reside at their courts without their consent, but commerce, trade,
industry, education, religious worship, the press and other rights
and privileges are free to all just as much as in England or the
United States. The native chiefs are not permitted to interfere with
the judiciary, which has a separate and independent organization,
as in Great Britain, with the Viceroy and the council of state
corresponding to the House of Lords, as the highest court of
appeal. Each native chief is "assisted" in his government by a
"Resident," who is appointed by and reports to the Viceroy, and
is expected to guide the policy and official acts of the native
ruler with tact and delicacy. He remains in the background as much
as possible, assumes no authority and exercises no prerogatives,
but serves as a sort of ambassador from the Viceroy and friendly
adviser to the native prince.

The following is a list of the ruling native princes in the order
of their rank as recognized by the British government, and the
salutes to which they are entitled:

Salute of twenty-one guns--
  Baroda, the Maharaja (Gaikwar) of.
  Hyderabad, the Nizam of.
  Mysore, the Maharaja of.

Salute of nineteen guns--
  Bhopal, the Begam (or Newab) of.
  Gwalior, the Maharaja (Singhai) of.
  Indore, the Maharaja (Holkar) of.
  Jammu and Kashmire, the Maharaja of.
  Kalat, the Khan of.
  Kolhapur, the Maharaja of.
  Mewar (Udaipur), the Maharaja of.
  Travancore, the Maharaja of.

Salute of seventeen guns--
  Bahawalpur, the Nawab of.
  Bharatpur, the Maharaja of.
  Bikanir, the Maharaja of.
  Bundi, the Maharao Raja of.
  Cochin, the Raja of.
  Cutch, the Rao of.
  Jeypore, the Maharaja of.
  Karauli, the Maharaja of.
  Kota, the Maharao of.
  Marwar (Jodhpur), the Maharaja of.
  Patiala, the Maharaja of.
  Rewa, the Maharaja of.
  Tonk, the Newab of.

Salute of fifteen guns--
  Alwar, the Maharaja of.
  Banswara, the Maharawal of.
  Datia, the Maharaja of.
  Dewas (senior branch), the Raja of.
  Dewas (junior branch), the Raja of.
  Dhar, the Raja of.
  Dholpur, the Maharaja Rana of.
  Dungarpur, the Maharawal of.
  Idar, the Maharaja of.
  Jaisalmir, the Maharawal of.
  Khairpur, the Mir of.
  Kishangarh, the Maharaja of.
  Orchha, the Maharaja of.
  Partabgarth, the Marharawat of.
  Sikkam, the Maharaja of.
  Sirohi, the Maharao of.

Salute of thirteen guns--
  Benares, the Raja of.
  Cooch Behar, the Maharaja of.
  Jaora, the Nawab of.
  Rampur, the Newab of.
  Tippera, the Raja of.

Salute of eleven guns--
  Agaigarh, the Maharaja of.
  Baoni, the Newab of.
  Bhaunagar, the Thakur Sahib of.
  Bijawar, the Maharaja of.
  Cambay, the Nawab of.
  Chamba, the Raja of.
  Charkhari, the Maharaja of.
  Chhatarpur, the Raja of.
  Faridkot, the Raja of.
  Gondal, the Thakur Sahib of.
  Janjira, the Newab of.
  Jhabua, the Raja of.
  Jahllawar, the Raj-Rana of.
  Jind, the Raja of.
  Gunagarth, the Newab of.
  Kahlur, the Rajah of.
  Kapurthala, the Raja of.
  Mandi, the Raja of.
  Manipur, the Raja of.
  Morvi, the Thakur Sahib of.
  Nabha, the Raja of.
  Narsingarh, the Raja of.
  Nawanagar, the Jam of.
  Palanpur, the Diwan of.
  Panna, the Maharaja of.
  Porbandar, the Rana of.
  Pudukota, the Raja of.
  Radhanpur, the Newab of.
  Rajgarth, the Raja of.
  Rajpipla, the Raja of.
  Ratlam, the Raja of.
  Sailana, the Raja of.
  Samthar, the Raja of.
  Sirmur (Nahan), the Raja of.
  Sitamau, the Raja of.
  Suket, the Raja of.
  Tehri (Garhwal), the Raja of.

The Viceroy has a veto over the acts of the native princes as
he has over those of the provincial governors, and can depose
them at will, but such heroic measures are not adopted except
in extreme cases of bad behavior or misgovernment. Lord Curzon
has deposed two rajahs during the five years he has been Viceroy,
but his general policy has been to stimulate their ambitions,
to induce them to adopt modern ideas and methods and to educate
their people.

Within the districts are municipalities which have local magistrates
and councils, commissioners, district and local boards and other
bodies for various purposes similar to those of our county and
city organizations. The elective franchise is being extended in
more or less degree, according to circumstances, all over India,
suffrage being conferred upon taxpayers only. The municipal boards
have care of the roads, water supply, sewerage, sanitation, public
lighting, markets, schools, hospitals and other institutions
and enterprises of public utility. They impose taxes, collect
revenues and expend them subject to the approval of the provincial
governments. In all of the large cities a number of Englishmen
and other foreigners are members of boards and committees and
take an active part in local administration, but in the smaller
towns and villages the government is left entirely to natives,
who often show conspicuous capacity.

The policy of Lord Curzon has been to extend home rule and
self-government as rapidly and as far as circumstances will justify.
The population of India is a dense, inert, ignorant, depraved and
superstitious mass of beings whose actions are almost entirely
controlled by signs and omens, and by the dictation of the Brahmin
priests. They are therefore not to be trusted with the control
of their own affairs, but there is a gradual and perceptible
improvement in their condition, which is encouraged by the
authorities in every possible way. And as fast as they show
themselves competent they are trusted with the responsibility
of the welfare of themselves and their neighbors. The habitual
attitude of the Hindu is crouching upon the ground. The British
government is trying to raise him to a standing posture, to make
him a man instead of the slave of his superstitions.

No one can visit India, no one can read its history or study
its statistics, without admitting the success and recognizing
the blessings of British occupation. The government has had its
ups and downs. There have been terrible blunders and criminal
mistakes, which we are in danger of repeating in the Philippine
Islands, but the record of British rule during the last
half-century--since the Sepoy mutiny, which taught a valuable
lesson at an awful cost--has been an almost uninterrupted and
unbroken chapter of peace, progress and good government. Until
then the whole of India never submitted to a single ruler. For
nearly a thousand years it was a perpetual battlefield, and not
since the invasion of Alexander the Great have the people enjoyed
such liberty or tranquillity as they do today. Three-eighths
of the country still remains under the authority of hereditary
native rulers with various degrees of independence. Foreigners
have very little conception of the extent and the power of the
native government. We have an indefinable impression that the
rajah is a sensuous, indolent, extravagant sybarite, given to
polo, diamonds and dancing girls, and amputates the heads of
his subjects at pleasure; but that is very far from the truth.
Many of the princes in the list just given, are men of high
character, culture and integrity, who exercise a wise, just and
patriarchal authority over their subjects. Seventeen of the rajputs
(rashpootes, it is pronounced) represent the purest and bluest
Hindu blood, for they are descended from Rama, the hero of the
Ramayama, the great Hindu poem, who is generally worshiped as
an incarnation of the god Bishnu; and their subjects are all
their kinsmen, descended from the same ancestors, members of
the same family, and are treated as such. Other rajahs have a
relationship even more clannish and close, and most of them are
the descendants of long lines of ancestors who have occupied the
same throne and exercised the same power over the same people from
the beginning of history. None of the royal families of Europe
can compare with them in length of pedigree or the dimensions of
their family trees, and while there have been bad men as well
as good men in the lists of native rulers; while the people have
been crushed by tyranny, ruined by extravagance and tortured by
the cruelty of their masters, the rajahs of India have averaged
quite as high as the feudal lords of Germany or the dukes and
earls of England in ability and morality.

It has been the policy of Lord Curzon since he has been Viceroy
to extend the power and increase the responsibility of the native
princes as much as possible, and to give India the largest measure
of home rule that circumstances and conditions will allow. Not
long ago, at the investiture of the Nawab of Bahawalpur, who
had succeeded to the throne of his father, the Viceroy gave a
distinct definition of the relationship between the native princes
and the British crown.

"It is scarcely possible," he said, "to imagine circumstances
more different than those of the Indian chiefs now and what they
were at the time Queen Victoria came to the throne. Now their
sympathies have expanded with their knowledge and their sense of
responsibility; with the degree of confidence reposed in them.
They recognize their obligations to their own states and their
duty to the imperial throne. The British crown is no longer an
impersonal abstraction, but a concrete and inspiring force. The
political system of India is neither feudalism nor federation.
It is embodied in no constitution; it does not rest upon treaty,
and it bears no resemblance to a league. It represents a series
of relationships that have grown up between the crown and Indian
princes under widely different historical conditions, but which
in process of time have gradually conformed to a single type. The
sovereignty of the crown is everywhere unchallenged. Conversely,
the duties and the services of the state are implicitly recognized,
and, as a rule, faithfully discharged. It is this happy blend of
authority with free will, of sentiment with self-interest, of
duties with rights, that distinguishes the Indian Empire under
the British crown from any other dominion of which we read in
history. The princes have gained prestige instead of losing it.
Their rank is not diminished, and their privileges have become
more secure. They have to do more for the protection they enjoy,
but they also derive more from it; for they are no longer detached
appendages of empire, but its participators and instruments.
They have ceased to be architectural adornments of the imperial
edifice, and have become the pillars that help to sustain the
main roof."

At the same time Lord Curzon has kept a tight rein upon the rajahs
and maharajas lest they forget the authority that stands behind
them. He does not allow them to spend the taxes of the people
for jewels or waste it in riotous living, and has the right to
depose any of them for crime, disloyalty, misgovernment or any
other cause he deems sufficient. The supreme authority of the
British government has become a fact which no native state or
ruler would for a moment think of disputing or doubting. No native
chief fails to understand that his conduct is under scrutiny, and
that if he committed a crime he would be tried and punished by
the courts as promptly and as impartially as the humblest of his
subjects. At the same time they feel secure in their authority and
in the exercise of their religion, and when a native prince has no
direct heir he has the right to select his successor by adoption.
He may choose any child or young man among his subjects and if the
person selected is of sound mind and respectable character, the
choice is promptly ratified by the central government. There is
no interference with the exercise of authority or the transaction
of business unless the welfare of the people plainly requires it,
and in such cases, the intervention has been swift and sure.

During the five years that he has been Viceroy, Lord Curzon has
deposed two native rulers. One of them was the Rajah of Bhartpur,
a state well-known in the history of India by its long successful
resistance of the British treaty. In 1900 the native prince, a
man of intemperate habits and violent passions, beat to death
one of his personal servants who angered him by failing to obey
orders to his satisfaction. It was not the first offense, but
it was the most flagrant and the only one that was ever brought
officially to the attention of the government. His behavior had
been the subject of comment and the cause of scandal for several
years, and he had received frequent warnings. Hence, when the
brutal murder of his servant was reported at the government house,
Lord Curzon immediately ordered his arrest and trial. He was
convicted, sentenced to imprisonment for life, deprived of all
his titles and authority, and his infant son was selected as his
successor. During the minority of the young prince the government
will be administered by native regents under British supervision.

In 1901 the uncle of the Maharaja of Panna died under mysterious
circumstances. An investigation ordered by Lord Curzon developed
unmistakable evidence that he had been deliberately poisoned. The
rajah was suspended from power, was tried and convicted of the
crime, and in April, 1902, was deposed, deprived of all honors
and power and sentenced to imprisonment for life, while one of
his subordinates who had actually committed the crime by his
orders was condemned to death.

In January, 1903, the Maharaja of Indore, after testifying to his
loyalty to the British crown by attending the durbar at Delhi,
and after due notice to the viceroy, abdicated power in favor of
his son, a boy 12 years old. The step was approved by Lord Curzon
for reasons too many and complicated to be repeated here. During
the minority of the young man the government will be conducted
by native ministers under British supervision, and the boy will
be trained and educated with the greatest care.

In 1894 the Maharaja of Mysore died, leaving as his heir an infant
son, and it became necessary for the viceroy to appoint a regent
to govern the province during his minority. The choice fell upon
the boy's mother, a woman of great ability and intelligence, who
justified the confidence reposed in her by administering the
affairs of the government with great intelligence and dignity.
She won the admiration of every person familiar with the facts.
She gave her son a careful English education and a few months
ago retired in his favor.

In several cases the privilege of adoption has been exercised by
the ruling chief, and thus far has been confirmed by the British
authority in every case.

There are four colleges in India exclusively for the education
of native princes, which are necessary in that country because
of the laws of caste. It is considered altogether better for a
young prince to be sent to an English school and university,
or to one of the continental institutions, where he can learn
something of the world and come into direct association with
young men of his own age from other countries, but, in many cases,
this is impracticable, because the laws of caste will not permit
strict Hindus to leave India and forbid their association with
strangers, Even where no religious objections have existed, the
fear of a loss of social dignity by contamination with ordinary
people has prevented many native princes and nobles from sending
their sons to ordinary schools. Hence princes, chiefs and members
of the noble families in India have seldom been educated and until
recently this illiteracy was not considered a discredit, because it
was so common. To furnish an opportunity for the education of that
class without meeting these objections, Lord Mayo, while viceroy,
founded a college at Ajmer, which is called by his name, A similar
institution was established at Lahore by Sir Charles Atchison,
Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab in 1885. The corner stone was
laid by the Duke of Connaught, A considerable part of the funds
were contributed by the Punjab princes, and the balance necessary
was supplied by the imperial government. Similar institutions
have since been founded at Indore and Rajkot, and in the four
schools about 300 of the future rulers of the native states are
now receiving a healthy, liberal, modern education. The course
of study has been regulated to meet peculiar requirements. It is
not desired to make great scholars out of these young princes to
fill their heads with useless learning, but to teach them knowledge
that will be of practical usefulness when they assume authority,
and to cultivate manly habits and pure tastes. Their physical
development is carefully looked after. They play football, cricket
and other games that are common at the English universities;
they have gymnasiums and prizes for athletic excellence. They
are taught English, French and the oriental languages; lower
mathematics, geography, history and the applied sciences,
particularly chemistry, electricity and engineering.

Lord Curzon has taken a deep interest in these institutions.
He usually attends the graduating exercises and makes addresses
to the students in presenting prizes or diplomas; and he gives
them straight talks about the duties and the privileges of young
men of their positions and responsibilities. He tells them that
a rajah is worthless unless he is a gentleman, and that power
can never safely be intrusted to people of rank unless they are
fitted to exercise it. With a view of extending their training
and developing their characters he has recently organized what is
called the Imperial Cadet Corps, a bodyguard of the Viceroy, which
attends him upon occasions of state, and is under his immediate
command. He inspects the cadets frequently and takes an active
personal interest in their discipline and education. The course
of instruction lasts for three years, and is a modification of
that given the cadets at West Point. The boys are taught military
tactics, riding and the sciences. Very little attention is paid
to higher mathematics of other studies except history, law and
the modern languages. No one is eligible for admission to this
corps except members of the families of the ruling native princes,
and they must be graduates of one of the four colleges I have
mentioned, under 20 years of age. There is great eagerness on the
part of the young princess to join the dashing troop of horsemen.
Four of the privates are now actual rulers of states with several
millions of subjects and more than thirty are future maharajas.
The honorary commander is the Maharaja Sir Pertas Singh, but the
actual commander is a British major. It is proposed to offer
commissions in the Indian army to the members of this corps at
the close of their period of training, but that was not the chief
purpose in Lord Curzon's mind when he suggested the organization.
He desired to offer the most tempting inducement possible for
the young princes to attend college and qualify themselves for
their life work.

American visitors to India are often impressed with the presence
of the same problems of government there that perplex our own
people in the Philippines, and although England has sent her
ablest men and applied her most mature wisdom to their solution,
they are just as troublesome and unsettled as they ever were,
and we will doubtless have a similar experience among our own
colonial or, as they are called, insular possessions. There are
striking coincidences. It makes one feel quite at home to hear
Lord Curzon accused of the same errors and weaknesses that Judge
Taft and Governor Wright have been charged with; and if those
worthy gentlemen could get together, they might embrace with
sympathetic fervor. One class of people in India declares that
Lord Curzon sacrifices everything of value to the welfare of
the natives; another class insists that he has his foot upon the
neck of the poor Hindu and is grinding his brown face into the
dust. In both England and India are organizations of good people
who have conceived it to be their mission to defend and protect
the natives from real or imaginary wrongs they are suffering,
while there are numerous societies and associations whose business
is to see that the Englishman gets his rights in India also.

It may console Lord Curzon to know that the criticisms of his
policy and administration have been directed at every viceroy
and governor general of India since the time of Warren Hastings,
and they will probably be repeated in the future as long as there
are men of different minds and dispositions and different ideas
of what is right and proper.

England has given India a good government. It has accomplished
wonders in the way of material improvements and we can say the
same of the administration in the Philippine Islands, even for
the short period of American occupation. Mistakes have been made
in both countries. President Roosevelt, Secretary Taft, Governor
General Wright and his associates would find great profit in
studying the experience of the British. The same questions and
the same difficulties that confront the officials at Manila have
occurred again and again in India during the last 200 years,
and particularly since 1858, when the authority and rights of
the East India Company were transferred to the crown. And the
most serious of all those questions is how far the native shall
be admitted to share the responsibilities of the government.
The situations are similar.

The population of India, like that of the Philippines, consists
of a vast mixed multitude in various stages of civilization, in
which not one man in fifty and not one woman in 200 can read
or write.

Ninety per cent of the people, and the same proportion of the
people of the Philippines, do not care a rap about "representative
government." They do not know anything about it. They would not
understand what the words meant if they ever heard them spoken.
The small minority who do care are the "educated natives," who are
just as human as the rest of us, and equally anxious to acquire
money and power, wear a title, hold a government office and draw a
salary from the public funds. There are many most estimable Hindu
gentlemen who do not come within this class, but I am speaking
generally, and every person of experience in India has expressed
the same opinion, when I say that a Hindu immediately becomes a
politician as soon as he is educated. It he does not succeed in
obtaining an office he becomes an opponent of the government,
and more or less of an agitator, according to his ability and
ambitions.

The universities of India turn out about five thousand young men
every year who have been stuffed with information for the purpose
of passing the civil service examinations, and most of them have
only one aim in life, which is to secure government employment.
As the supply of candidates is always much larger than the demand,
the greater number fail, and, in their disappointment, finding no
other profitable field nor the exercise of their talents, become
demagogues, reformers and critics of the administration. They
inspire and maintain agitations for "home rule" and "representative
government." They hold conventions, deliver lectures, write for
the newspapers, and denounce Lord Curzon and his associates.
If they were in the Philippine Islands they would organize
revolutions and paper governments from places of concealment
in the forests and mountains. They classify their emotions and
desire for office under the name of patriotism, and some of them
are undoubtedly sincere. If they had a chance they would certainly
give their fellow countrymen the best government and the highest
degree of happiness within their power. They call themselves
"the people." But in no sense are they representatives of the
great masses of the inhabitants. They have no influence with
them and really care nothing about them. If the English were to
withdraw from India to-day there would be perpetual revolution.
If the Americans were to withdraw from Manila the result would
be the same.

It should be said, however, that, with all their humbug about
benevolence, the British have never had the presumption to assert
that their occupation of India is exclusively for the benefit of
the natives. They are candid enough to admit that their purpose
is not entirely unselfish, and that, while they are promoting
civilization and uplifting a race, they expect that race to consume
a large quantity of British merchandise and pay good prices for
it. The sooner such an understanding is reached in the Philippines
the better. We are no more unselfish than the British, and to
keep up the pretext of pure benevolence while we are in the
Philippines for trade and profit also, is folly and fraud. It
is neither fair nor just to the Filipinos nor to the people of
the United States. At the same time the British authorities in
India have given the natives a fair share of the offices and have
elevated them to positions of honor, influence and responsibility.
But they have discovered, as our people must also discover in the
Philippines, that a civil service examination does not disclose
all the qualities needed by rulers of men. The Hindu is very
similar in character, disposition and talent to the Filipino;
he has quick perceptions, is keen-witted, cunning and apt at
imitations. He learns with remarkable ease and adapts himself
to new conditions with great facility, but no amount of those
qualities can make up for the manly courage, the sterling honesty,
the unflinching determination and tireless energy of the British
character. The same is true in the Philippine Islands.

At the last census only 864 Englishmen held active civil positions
under the imperial government and 3,752 natives. The number of
natives employed in the public service has been constantly increasing
since 1879, while the number of Englishmen has been gradually growing
less. No person other than a native of India can be appointed to
certain positions under the government. Native officers manage
almost all of the multifarious interests connected with the revenues,
the lands, the civil courts and local administration. The duties
of the civil courts throughout India, excepting the Court of
Appeals, are almost entirely performed by native judges, who
exercise jurisdiction in all cases affecting Europeans as well
as natives, and the salaries they receive are very liberal. No
country in the world pays better salaries than India to its
judiciary. In Bengal a high court judge whether English or native,
receives $16,000 a year, and the members of the lower courts
are paid corresponding amounts.

It is asserted by prominent and unprejudiced members of the bar
that nothing in the history of civilization has been more remarkable
than the improvement that has taken place in the standard of
morality among the higher classes of Indian officials, particularly
among the judiciary. This is due in a great measure to the fact
that their salaries have been sufficient to remove them from
temptation, but a still greater influence has been the example
of the irreproachable integrity of the Englishmen who have served
with them and have created an atmosphere of honor and morality.

The English officials employed under the government of India
belong to what is known as "The Covenanted Civil Service" the term
"covenanted" having been inherited from the East India Company,
which required its employes to enter into covenants stipulating
that they would serve a term of years under certain conditions,
including retirement upon half pay when aged, and pensions for
their families after their death. Until 1853 all appointments
to the covenanted service were made by nomination, but in that
year they were thrown open to public competition of all British
subjects without distinction of race, including natives of India
as well as of England. The conditions are so exacting that few
native Hindus are willing to accept them, and of the 1,067 men
whose names were on the active and retired lists on the 31st
of December, 1902, only forty were natives of India.

Lord Macaulay framed the rules of the competition and the scheme
of examination, and his idea was to attract the best and ablest
young men in the empire. Candidates who are successful are required
to remain one year on probation, with an allowance of $500, for
the purpose of preparing themselves for a second examination
which is much more severe than the first. Having passed the second
examination, they become permanent members of the civil service.
They cannot be removed without cause, and are promoted according
to length of service and advanced on their merits in a manner
very similar to that which prevails in our army and navy. None
but members of the covenanted service can become heads of
departments, commissioners of revenue, magistrates and collectors,
and there is a long list of offices which belong to them exclusively.
Their service and assignment to duty is largely governed by their
special qualifications and experience. They are encouraged to
improve themselves and qualify themselves for special posts.
A covenanted official who can speak the native languages, who
distinguishes himself in literature or in oratory, who devises plans
for public works, or distinguishes himself in other intellectual
or official lines of activity is sure to be recognized and receive
rapid advancement, while those who prefer to perform only the
arduous duties that are required of them will naturally remain
in the background. There is, and there always will be, more or
less favoritism and partiality as long as human affections and
personal regard influence official conduct, and I do not believe
we would have it otherwise. We can admire the stern sense of
justice which sends a son to the scaffold or denies a brother
a favor that he asks, but we do not like to have such men in
our families. There is undoubtedly more or less personal and
political influence exercised in the Indian service, but I doubt
if any other country is more free from those common and natural
faults.

In addition to the covenanted service are the imperial service
and the provincial service, which are recruited chiefly from the
natives, although both are open to any subject of King Edward
VII. All these positions are secured by competitive examinations,
and, as I have already intimated, the universities of India have
arranged their courses of study to prepare native candidates
for them. This has been criticised as a false and injurious
educational policy. The universities are called nurseries for
the unnatural propagation of candidates for the civil service,
and almost every young man who enters them expects, or at least
aspires, to a government position. There is no complaint of the
efficiency of the material they furnish for the public offices.
The examinations are usually sufficient to disclose the mental
qualifications of the candidates and are conducted with great care
and scrupulousness, but they fail to discover the most essential
qualifications for official responsibility, and the greater number
of native appointees are contented to settle down at a government
desk and do as little work as possible.



VIII

THE RAILWAYS OF INDIA

The railways of India are many and long and useful, but still very
primitive in their appointments, having been built for utility and
convenience, and not for comfort. The day will come, I suppose,
when modern improvements will be introduced, and the long journeys
which are necessary to reach any part of the vast empire will be
made as pleasant and luxurious as transcontinental trips in the
United States. Just now, however, the equipment is on a military
basis of simplicity and severity. Passengers are furnished with
what they need, and no more. They are hauled from one place to
another at reasonable rates of speed; they are given shelter from
the sun and the storms en route; a place to sit in the daytime
and to lie down during the night; and at proper intervals the
trains stop for refreshments--not very good nor very bad, but
"fair to middling," as the Yankees say, in quality and quantity.
If a traveler wants anything more he must provide it himself.
People who live in India and are accustomed to these things are
perfectly satisfied with them, although the tourist who has just
arrived is apt to criticise and condemn for the first few days.

Every European resident of India who is accustomed to traveling
by train has an outfit always ready similar to the kit of a soldier
or a naval officer. It is as necessary as a trunk or a bag, an
overcoat or umbrella, and consists of a roll of bedding, with
sheets, blankets and pillows, protected by a canvas cover securely
strapped and arranged so that when he wants to retire he need
only unbuckle the straps and unroll the blankets on the bunk in
the railway carriage. He also has a "tiffin basket," with a tea
pot, an alcohol lamp, a tea caddy, plates and cups of granite
ware, spoons, knives and forks, a box of sugar, a tin of jam,
a tin of biscuits or crackers, and other concomitants for his
interior department in case of an emergency; and, never having
had anything better, he thinks the present arrangement good enough
and wonders why Americans are dissatisfied. Persons of ordinary
common sense and patience can get used to almost anything, and
after a day or two travelers trained to the luxury of Pullman
sleepers and dining cars adjust themselves to the primitive
facilities of India without loss of sleep or temper, excepting
always one condition: You are never sure "where you are at," so
to speak. You never know what sort of accommodations you are
going to have. There is always an exasperating uncertainty as
to what will be left for you when the train reaches your place
of embarkation.

Sleeping berths, such as they are, go free with first and second
class tickets and every traveler is entitled to one bunk, but
passengers at intermediate points cannot make definite arrangements
until the train rolls in, no matter whether it is noonday or 2
o'clock in the morning. You can go down and appeal to the station
master a day or two in advance and advise him of your wants and
wishes, and he will put your name down on a list. If you are so
fortunate as to be at the starting place of the train he will
assign you a bunk and slip a card with your name written upon
it into a little slot made for the purpose; the other bunks in
the compartment will be allotted to Tom, Dick and Harry in the
same manner. There are apartments reserved for ladies, too, but
if you and your wife or family want one to yourselves you must
be a major general, or a lieutenant governor, or a rajah, or
a lord high commissioner of something or other to attain that
desire. If they insist upon being exclusive, ordinary people
are compelled to show as many tickets as there are bunks in a
compartment, and the first that come have the pick, as is perfectly
natural. The fellow who enters the train later in the day must
be satisfied with Mr. Hobson's choice, and take what is left,
even if it doesn't fit him. It the train is full, if every bunk
is occupied, another car is hitched on, and he gets a lower, but
this will not be done as long as a single upper is vacant. And
the passengers are packed away as closely as possible because
the trains are heavy and the engines are light, and the schedules
must be kept in the running. A growler will tell you that he never
gets a lower berth, that he is always crowded into a compartment
that is already three-fourths occupied with passengers who are
trying to sleep, but he forgets that they have more than he to
complain of, and if he is a malicious man he can find deep
consolation in the thought and make as great a nuisance of himself
as possible. I do not know how the gentler sex behave under such
circumstances, but I have heard stories that I am too polite
to repeat.

There is no means of ventilation in the ceiling, but there is
a frieze of blinds under it, along both sides of the car, with
slats that can be turned to let the air in directly upon the
body of the occupant of the upper berth, who is at liberty to
elect whether he dies of pneumonia or suffocation. The gentleman
in the lower berth has a row of windows along his back, which
never fit closely but rattle like a snare drum, and have wide
gaps that admit a forced draught of air if the night is damp
or chilly. If it is hot the windows swell and stick so that you
cannot open them, and during the daytime they rattle so loud that
conversation is impossible unless the passengers have throats
of brass like the statues of Siva. In India, during the winter
season, there is a wide variation in the temperature, sometimes
as much as thirty or forty degrees. At night you will need a
couple of thick blankets; at noonday it is necessary to wear a
pith helmet or carry an umbrella to protect the head from the
sun, and as people do their traveling in the dry season chiefly,
the dust is dreadful. Everything in the car wears a soft gray
coating before the train has been in motion half an hour.

The bunks are too narrow for beds and too wide for seats. The
act of rolling over in the night is attended with some danger and
more anxiety, especially by the occupants of the upper berths.
In the daytime you can sit on the edge like an embarrassed boy,
with nothing to support your spine, or you can curl up like a
Buddha on his lotus flower, with your legs under you; but that
is not dignified, nor is it a comfortable posture for a fat man.
Slender girls can do it all right; but it is impracticable for
ladies who have passed the thirty-third degree, or have acquired
embonpoint with their other graces. Or you can shove back against
the windows and let your feet stick out straight toward the infinite.
It isn't the fault of a railway corporation or the master mechanic
of a car factory if they don't reach the floor. It is a defect
for which nature is responsible. President Lincoln once said
every man's legs ought to be long enough to reach the ground.

The cars are divided into two, three, or four compartments for
first-class passengers, with a narrow little pen for their servants
at the end which is absolutely necessary, because nobody in India
travels without an attendant to wait upon him. His comfort as
well as his social position requires it, and few have the moral
courage to disregard the rule. To make it a little clearer I
will give you a diagram sketched by your special artist on the
spot.

[Illustration]

This is an excellent representation of a first-class railway carriage
in India without meretricious embellishments.

The second-class compartments, for which two-thirds of the
first-class rates are charged, have six narrow bunks instead
of four, the two extras being in the middle supported by iron
rods fastened to the floor and the ceiling. The woodwork of all
cars, first, second, and third class, is plain matched lumber,
like our flooring, painted or stained and varnished. The floor is
bare, without carpet or matting, and around on the wall, wherever
there is room for them, enormous hooks are screwed on. Over the
doors are racks of netting. The bunks are plain wooden benches,
covered with leather cushions stuffed with straw and packed as
hard as tombstones by the weight of previous passengers. The
ceiling is of boards pierced with a hole for a glass globe, which
prevents the oil dripping upon your bald spot from a feeble and
dejected lamp. It is too dim to read by and scarcely bright enough
to enable you to distinguish the expression upon the lineaments
of your fellow passengers. A scoop net of green cloth on a wire
springs back over the light to cover it when you want to sleep:
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The toilet room
is Spartan in its simplicity, and the amount of water in the
tanks depends upon the conscientiousness of a naked heathen of
the lowest caste, who walks over the roofs of the cars and is
supposed to fill them from a pig skin suspended on his back.
You furnish your own towel and the most untidy stranger in the
compartment usually wants to borrow it, having forgotten to bring
one himself. You acquire merit in heaven, as the Buddhists say, by
loaning it to him, but it is a better plan to carry two towels,
in order to be prepared for such an emergency.

As we were about starting upon a tour that required several thousand
miles of railway travel and several weeks of time, the brilliant
idea of avoiding an risks and anxiety by securing a private car
was suggested, and negotiations were opened to that purpose,
but were not concluded because of numerous considerations and
contingencies which arose at every interview with the railway
officials. They are not accustomed to such innovations and could
not decide upon their own terms or ascertain, during the period
before departure, what the connecting lines would charge us.
There are private cars fitted up luxuriously for railway managers
and high officials of the government, but they couldn't spare one
of them for so long a time as we would need it. Finally somebody
suggested a car that was fitted out for the Duke and Duchess of
Connaught when they came over to the Durbar at Delhi. It had two
compartments, with a bathroom, a kitchen and servants' quarters,
but only three bunks. They kindly offered to let us use it provided
we purchased six first-class tickets, and were too obtuse to
comprehend why we objected to paying six fares for a car that
could not possibly admit more than three people. But that was
only the first of several issues. At the next interview they
decided to charge us demurrage at the rate of 16 cents an hour
for all the time the car was not in motion, and, finally, at the
third interview, the traffic manager said it would be necessary
for us to buy six first-class tickets in order to get the empty car
back to Bombay, its starting point, at the end of our journey. This
brought the charges up to a total as large as would be necessary
to transport a circus or an opera company, and we decided to take
our chances in the regular way.

We bought some sheets and pillow cases, pillows and old-fashioned
comfortables and blankets, and bespoke a compartment on the train
leaving Bombay that night. Two hours before the time for starting
we sent Thagorayas, our "bearer", down to make up the beds, which,
being accustomed to that sort of business, he did in an artistic
manner, and by allowing him to take command of the expedition
we succeeded in making the journey comfortably and with full
satisfaction. The ladies of our party were assigned to one
compartment and the gentlemen to another, where the latter had
the company of an engineer engaged upon the Bombay harbor
improvements, and a very intelligent and polite Englishman who
acts as "adviser" to a native prince in the administration of
an interior province.

On the same train and next to our compartment was the private
coach of the Gaikwar of Baroda, who was attended by a dozen or
more servants, and came to the train escorted by a multitude of
friends, who hung garlands of marigold about his neck until his
eyes and the bridge of his nose were the only features visible.
The first-class passengers came down with car loads of trunks and
bags and bundles, which, to avoid the charge for extra luggage,
they endeavored to stowaway in their compartments. The third-class
carriages were packed like sardines with natives, and up to the
limit allowed by law, for, painted in big white letters, where every
passenger and every observer can read it, is a notice giving the
number of people that can be jammed into that particular compartment
in the summer and in the winter. We found similar inscriptions
on nearly all freight cars which are used to transport natives
during the fairs and festivals that occur frequently--allowing
fifteen in summer and twenty-three in winter in some of the cars,
and in the larger ones thirty-four in winter and twenty-six in
summer, to avoid homicide by suffocation.

The Gaikwar of Baroda in his luxurious chariot did not sleep any
better than the innocent and humble mortals that occupied our
beds. We woke up in the morning at Ahmedabad, got a good breakfast
at the station, and went out to see the wonderful temples and
palaces and bazaars that are described in the next chapter.

There are now nearly 28,000 miles of railway lines in India.
On Jan. 1, 1903, the exact mileage under operation was 26,563,
with 1,190 miles under construction. The latter was more than
half completed during the year, and before the close of 1905,
unless something occurs to prevent, the total will pass the thirty
thousand mark. The increase has been quite rapid during the last
five years, owing to the experience of the last famine, when
it was demonstrated that facilities for rapid transportation
of food supplies from one part of the country to another were
an absolute necessity. It is usually the case that when the
inhabitants of one province are dying of starvation those of
another are blessed with abundant crops, and the most effective
remedy for famine is the means of distributing the food supply
where it is needed. Before the great mutiny of 1857 there were
few railroads in India, and the lesson taught by that experience
was of incalculable value. If re-enforcements could have been
sent by rail to the beleaguered garrisons, instead of making
the long marches, the massacres might have been prevented and
thousands of precious lives might have been saved. In 1880 the
system amounted to less than 10,000 miles. In 1896 it had been
doubled; in 1901 it had passed the 25,000 mile mark, and now
the existing lines are being extended, and branches and feeders
are being built for military as well as famine emergencies. All
the principal districts and cities are connected by rail. All
of the important strategical points and military cantonments
can be reached promptly, as necessity requires, and in case of
a rebellion troops could be poured into any particular point
from the farthermost limits of India within three or four days.

As I have already reminded you several times, India is a very
big country, and it requires many miles of rails to furnish even
necessary transportation facilities. The time between Bombay and
Calcutta is forty-five hours by ordinary trains and thirty-eight
hours by a fast train, with limited passenger accommodation, which
starts from the docks of Bombay immediately after the arrival of
steamers with the European mails. From Madras, the most important
city of southern India, to Delhi, the most important in the north,
sixty-six hours of travel are required. From Peshawur, the extreme
frontier post in the north, which commands the Kyber Pass, leading
into, Afganistan, to Tuticorin, the southern terminus of the system,
it is 3,400 miles by the regular railway route, via Calcutta,
and seven days and night will be necessary to make the journey
under ordinary circumstances. Troops could be hurried through
more rapidly.

Nearly all the railways of India have either been built by the
government or have been assisted with guarantees of the payment
of from 3 to 5 per cent dividends. The government itself owns
19,126 miles and has guaranteed 3,866 miles, while 3,242 miles
have been constructed by the native states. Of the government
lines 13,441 miles have been leased to private companies for
operation; 5,125 miles are operated by the government itself.
Nearly three-fourths of the lines owned by native states have
been leased for operation.

The total capital invested in railway property, to the end of
1902, amounted to $1,025,000,000, and during that year the average
net earnings of the entire mileage amounted to 5.10 per cent
of that amount. The surplus earnings, after the payment of all
fixed charges and guarantees and interest upon bonds amounted
to $4,233,080.

The number of passengers carried in 1,902 was 197,749,567, an
increase of 6,614,211 over the previous year. The aggregate freight
hauled was 44,142,672 tons, an increase of 2,104,425 tons over
previous year, which shows a healthy condition. During the last
ten years the gross earnings of all the railways in India increased
at the rate of 41 per cent.

Of the gross earnings 59 per cent. were derived from freight and
the balance from passengers.

There is now no town of importance in India without a telegraph
station. The telephone is not much used, but the telegraph lines,
which belong to the government, more than pay expenses. There
has been an enormous increase in the number of messages sent
in the last few years by natives, which indicates that they are
learning the value of modern improvements.

The government telegraph lines are run in connection with the
mails and in the smaller towns the postmasters are telegraph
operators also. In the large cities the telegraph offices are
situated in the branch postoffices and served by the same men, so
that it is difficult to divide the cost of maintenance. According
to the present system the telegraph department maintains the
lines, supplies all the telegraphic requirements of the offices
and pays one-half of the salaries of operators, who also attend
to duties connected with the postoffice. There were 68,084 miles
of wire and 15,686 offices on January 1, 1904. The rate of charges
for ordinary telegrams is 33 cents for eight words, and 4 cents
for each additional word. Telegrams marked "urgent" are given
the right of way over all other business and are charged double
the ordinary rates. Telegrams marked "deferred" are sent at the
convenience of the operator, generally during the night, at half
of the ordinary rates. As a matter of convenience telegrams may
be paid for by sticking postage stamps upon the blanks.

There are 38,479 postoffices in India and in 1902 545,364,313
letters were handled, which was an increase of 24,000,000 over the
previous year and of 100,000,000 since 1896. The total revenues of
the postoffice department were $6,785,880, while the expenditures
were $6,111,070.



IX

THE CITY OF AHMEDABAD

Ahmedabad, capital of the province of Jujarat, once the greatest
city of India, and formerly "as large as London," is the first
stopping place on the conventional tour from Bombay through the
northern part of the empire, because it contains the most perfect
and pure specimens of Saracenic architecture; and our experience
taught us that it is a place no traveler should miss. It certainly
ranks next to Agra and Delhi for the beauty and extent of its
architectural glories, and for other reasons it is worth visiting.
In the eleventh century it was the center of the Eden of India,
broad, fertile plains, magnificent forests of sweet-scented trees,
abounding in population and prosperity. It has passed through
two long periods of greatness, two of decay and one of revival.
Under the rule of Sidh Rajah, "the Magnificent," one of the noblest
and greatest of the Moguls, it reached the height of its wealth
and power at the beginning of the fifteenth century. He erected
schools, palaces and temples, and surrounded them with glorious
gardens. He called to his side learned pundits and scholarly
priests, who taught philosophy and morals under his generous
patronage. He encouraged the arts and industries. His wealth was
unlimited, and, according to local tradition, he lived in a style
of magnificence that has never been surpassed by any of the native
princes since. His jewels were the wonder of the world, and one
of the legends says that he inherited them from the gods. But,
unfortunately, his successors were weak and worthless men, and
the glory of his kingdom passed gradually away until, a century
later, his debilitated and indolent subjects were overcome and
passed under the power of a Moslem who, in the earlier part of
the sixteenth century, restored the importance of the province.

Ahmed Shah was his name.

He built a citadel of impregnable strength and imposing architecture
and surrounded it by a city with broad streets and splendid buildings
and called it after himself; for Ahmedabad means the City of Ahmed.
Where his predecessor attracted priests and scholars he brought
artists, clever craftsmen, skilled mechanics and artisans in gold,
silver, brass and clay; weavers of costly fabrics with genius to
design and skill to execute. Architects and engineers were sent
for from all parts of the world, and merchants came from every
country to buy wares. Thus Ahmedabad became a center of trade
and manufacture, with a population of a million inhabitants, and
was the richest and busiest city in the Mogul Empire. Merchants
who had come to buy in its markets spread its reputation over
the world and attracted valuable additions to its trades and
professions. Travelers, scholars and philosophers came to study
the causes of its prosperity, and marvelous stories are told by
them in letters and books they wrote concerning its palaces,
temples and markets. An envoy from the Duke of Holstein gives
us a vivid account of the grandeur of the city and the splendor
of the court, and tells of a wedding, at which the daughter of
Ahmed Shah married the second son of the grand mogul. She carried
to Delhi as her dower twenty elephants, a thousand horses and
six thousand wagons loaded with the richest stuffs of whatever
was rare in the country. The household of the rajah, he says,
consisted of five hundred persons, and cost him five thousand
pounds a month to maintain, "not comprehending the account of his
stables, where he kept five hundred horses and fifty elephants."
When this traveler visited the rajah he was sitting in a pavilion
in his garden, clad in a white vestment, according to the Indian
code, over which he had a cloak of gold "brocade," the ground
color being carnation lined with white satin, and above it was
a collar of sable, whereof the skins were sewed together so that
the tails hung over down his back.

Among the manufacturers and business men of Ahmedabad in those
days, as now, were many Jains--the Quakers of India--who belong
to the rich middle class. They believe in peace, and are so
tender-hearted that they will not even kill a mosquito or a flea.
They are great business men, however, notwithstanding their soft
hearts, and the most rapid money-makers in the empire. They built
many of the most beautiful temples in India, in which they worship
a kind and gentle god whose attributes are amiability, benevolence
and compassion. The Jains of Ahmedabad still maintain a large
"pinjrapol," or asylum for diseased and aged animals, with about
800 inmates, decrepit beasts of all species, by which they acquire
merit with their god. And about the streets, and in the outskirts
of the city, sitting on the tops of what look like telegraph
poles, are pigeon houses; some of them ornamented with carving,
other painted in gay colors and all of them very picturesque.
These are rest houses for birds, which the Jains have built,
and every day basins of food are placed in them for the benefit
of the hungry. In the groves outside of the city are thousands
of monkeys, and they are much cleaner and more respectable in
appearance than any you ever saw in a circus or a zoo. They are
as large as Italian greyhounds, and of similar color, with long
hair and uncommonly long tails, and so tame they will come up to
strangers who know enough to utter a call that they understand.
Our coachman bought a penny's worth of sweet bread in one of the
groceries that we passed, and when we reached the first grove
he uttered a cry similar to that which New England dairymen use
in calling their cattle. In an instant monkeys began to drop from
the limbs of trees that overhang the roadway, and came scampering
from the corners, where they had probably been indulging in noonday
naps. In two minutes he was surrounded by thirty-eight monkeys,
which leaped and capered around like so many dogs as he held
the sugar cake up in the air before them. It was a novel sight.
These monkeys are fed regularly at the expense of the Jains, and
none of God's creatures is too insignificant or irritating to
escape their comprehensive benevolence.

One of the temples of the Jains, the Swamee Narayan, as they call
it, on the outskirts of the city, is considered the noblest modern
sacred building in all India. It is a mass of elaborate carving,
tessellated marble floors and richly colored decorations, 150
feet long by 100 feet wide, with an overhanging roof supported
by eighty columns, and no two of them are alike. They are masses
of carving-figures of men and gods, saints and demons, animals,
insects, fishes, trees and flowers, such as are only seen in the
delirium of fever, are portrayed with the most exquisite taste
and delicacy upon all of the surface exposed. The courtyard is
inclosed by a colonnade of beautifully carved columns, upon which
open fifty shrines with pagoda domes about twelve feet high, and
in each of them are figures of Tirthankars, or saints of the
calendar of the Jains. The temple is dedicated to Dharmamath, a
sort of Jain John the Baptist, whose image, crowned with diamonds
and other jewels, sits behind a beautiful gilded screen.

Ahmedabad now has a population of about 130,000. The ancient
walls which inclose it are in excellent preservation and surround
an area of about two square miles. There are twelve arched gateways
with heavy teakwood doors studded with long brass spikes as a
defense against elephants, which in olden times were taught to
batter down such obstructions with their heads. The commerce of
the city has declined of late years, but the people are still
famous for objects of taste and ornament, and, according to the
experts, their "chopped" gold is "the finest archaic jewelry in
India," almost identical in shape and design with the ornaments
represented upon sculptured images in Assyria. The goldsmiths
make all kinds of personal adornments; necklaces, bracelets,
anklets, toe, finger, nose and ear rings, girdles and arm-bands
of gold, silver, copper and brass, and this jewelry is worn by the
women of India as the best of investments. They turn their money
into it instead of patronizing banks. As Mr. Micawber would have
expressed it, they convert their assets into portable property.

The manufacture of gold and silver thread occupies the attention
of thousands of people, and hundreds more are engaged in weaving
this thread with silk into brocades called "kincobs," worn by
rich Hindus and sold by weight instead of by measure. They are
practically metallic cloth. The warp, or the threads running
one way, is all either gold or silver, while the woof, or those
running the other, are of different colored silks, and the patterns
are fashioned with great taste and delicacy. These brocades wear
forever, but are very expensive. A coat such as a rajah or a rich
Hindu must wear upon an occasion of ceremony is worth several
thousand dollars. Indeed, rajahs have had robes made at Ahmedabad
for which the cloth alone cost $5,000 a yard. The skill of the
wire drawers is amazing. So great is their delicacy of touch
that they can make a thousand yards of silver thread out of a
silver dollar; and if you will give one of them a sovereign, in
a few moments he will reel off a spool of gold wire as fine as
No. 80 cotton, and he does it with the simplest, most primitive
of tools.

Nearly all the gold, silver and tin foil used in India is made
at Ahmedabad, also in a primitive way, for the metal is spread
between sheets of paper and beaten with a heavy hammer. The town
is famous for its pottery also, and for many other manufactured
goods.

The artisans are organized into guilds, like those of Europe in
ancient times, with rules and regulations as strict as those of
modern trades unions. The nagar-seth, or Lord Mayor, of Ahmedabad,
is the titular head of all the guilds, and presides over a central
council which has jurisdiction of matters of common interest. But
each of the trades has its own organization and officers. Membership
is hereditary; for in India, as in all oriental countries, it
is customary for children to follow the trade or profession of
their father. If an outsider desires to join one of the guilds
he is compelled to comply with very rigid regulations and pay a
heavy fee. Some of the guilds are rich, their property having
been acquired by fines, fees and legacies, and they loan money
to their own members. A serious crisis confronts the guilds of
Ahmedabad in the form of organized capital and labor-saving
machinery. Until a few years ago all of the manufacturing was
done in the households by hand work. Within recent years five
cotton factories, representing a capital of more than $2,500,000,
have been established, and furnish labor for 3,000 men, women and
children. This innovation was not opposed by the guilds because
its products would come into direct competition only with the
cotton goods of England, and would give employment to many idle
people; but now that silk looms and other machinery are proposed
the guilds are becoming alarmed and are asking where the intrusions
are likely to stop.

The tombs of Ahmed, and Ganj Bhash, his chaplain, or spiritual
adviser, a saintly mortal who admonished him of his sins and kept
his feet in the path that leads to paradise, are both delightful,
if such an adjective can apply, and are covered with exquisite
marble embroidery, almost incredible in its perfection of detail.
It is such as modern sculptors have neither the audacity or the
imagination to design nor the skill or patience to execute. But
they are not well kept. The rozah, or courtyard, in which the
great king lies sleeping, surrounded by his wives, his children
and other members of his family and his favorite ministers, is
not cared for. It is dirty and dilapidated.

[Illustration: HUTHI SINGH'S TOMB--AHMEDABAD]

This vision of frozen music, as some one has described it, is a
square building with a dome and walls of perforated fretwork in
marble as delicate as Jack Frost ever traced upon a window pane.
It is inclosed by a crumbling wall of mud, and can be reached only
through a narrow and dirty lane obstructed by piles of rubbish,
and the enjoyment of the visitor is sometimes destroyed and always
seriously interfered with by the importunities of priests, peddlers
and beggars who pursue him for backsheesh.

The lane from the mausoleum leads into the courtyard of the Jumma
Musjid, a mosque erected by Ahmed Shah at the height of his power
and glory. It is considered one of the most stately and satisfactory
examples of Saracenic architecture.

The most beautiful piece of carving, however, in this great
collection is a window in a deserted mosque called Sidi Sayid.
Perhaps you are familiar with it. It has been photographed over
and over again, and has been copied in alabaster, marble, plaster
and wax; it has been engraved, photographed and painted, and is used
in textbooks on architecture as an illustration of the perfection
reached by the sculptors of India. The design is so complicated
that I cannot describe it, but the central features are trees,
with intertwining boughs, and the Hindu who made it could use
his chisel with as free and delicate a hand as Raphael used his
brush. Fergusson, who is recognized as the highest authority on
architecture, says that it is "more like a work of nature than
any other architectural detail that has yet been designed, even
by the best masters of Greece or the middle ages." Yet the mosque
which this precious gem made famous is abandoned and deserted,
and the courtyard is now a cow pasture.



X

JEYPORE AND ITS MAHARAJA

A board of geographic names, similar to that we have in Washington,
is badly needed in India to straighten out discrepancies in the
nomenclature on the maps. I was told that only three towns in
all the vast empire have a single spelling; all the rest have
several; some have many; and the name of one town--I have forgotten
which--is given in sixty-five different ways. Jeypore, for example,
is given in fifteen. The sign over the entrance to the railway
station reads "Jeypure;" on the lamps that light the platform
it is painted "Jeypoor"; on the railway ticket it was "Jaypur";
on the bill of fare in the refreshment-room of the station it
was "Jaipor"; on a telegram delivered by the operator at the
station it was spelled "Jaiphur." If the employes about a single
establishment in the town can get up that number of spells, what
are we to expect from the rest of the inhabitants of a city of
150,000 people, and Jeypore is one of the simplest and easiest
names in the gazetteer. The neighboring city of Jodpore, capital
of the adjoining native state of Marwar, offers an even greater
variety of orthoepy, for it appears in a different spelling on each
of the three maps I carried around--a railway map, a government
map, and the map in Murray's Guide Book. This is a fair illustration
of the dissensions over nomenclature, which are bewildering to
a stranger, who never knows when he gets the right spelling,
and sometimes cannot even find the towns he is looking for.

Jodpore is famous for its forts, which present an imposing appearance
from a wide spreading plain, as they are perched at the top of a
rocky hill three hundred feet high, with almost perpendicular
sides. The only way to reach it is by a zigzag road chiseled
out of the cliff, which leads to a massive gateway. The walls
are twenty-eight feet high, twenty-eight feet thick, and are
crowned with picturesque towers. During ascent you are shown
the impressions of the hands of the fifteen wives of one of the
rajahs who were all burned in one grand holocaust upon his funeral
pyre. I don't know why they did it, but the marks are there.
Within the walls are some very interesting old palaces, built
in the fifteenth century, of pure Hindu architecture, and the
carvings and perforated marble work are of the most delicate
and beautiful designs. The treasury, which contains the family
jewels and plate, is the chief object of tourist curiosity, and
they are a collection worth going far to see. The pearls and
emeralds are especially fine, and are worth millions. The saddles,
bridles, harness and other stable equipments are loaded with gold
and silver ornaments set with precious stones, and the trappings
for elephants are covered with the most gorgeous gold and silver
embroidery.

About half a mile outside the city walls is a temple called the
Maha Mandir, whose roof is supported by a hundred richly decorated
columns. On each side of it are palaces intended exclusively
for the use of spirits of former rulers of the country. Their
beds are laid out with embroidery coverings and lace, sheltered
by golden canopies and curtains of brocade, but are never slept
in by living people, being reserved for the spirits of the dead.
This is the only exhibition of the kind to be seen in India,
and why the dead and gone rulers of Marwar should need lodgings
when those of the other Indian states do not, is an unsolved
mystery.

In the royal cemetery, three miles to the north, rows of beautiful
but neglected cenotaphs mark the spots where the remains of each
of some 300 rajahs were consumed with their widows. Some of them
had more and some less, according to their taste and opportunities,
and sutti, or widow burning, was enforced in Jodpore more strictly
than anywhere else in India. You can imagine the thoughts this
extraordinary place suggests. Within its walls, in obedience
to an awful and relentless custom, not less than nine hundred
or a thousand innocent, helpless women were burned alive, for
these oriental potentates certainly must have allowed themselves
at least three wives each. That would be a very moderate estimate.
I have no doubt that some of them had forty, and perhaps four
hundred, and we know that one had fifteen. But no matter how
many times a rajah went to the matrimonial altar, every wife that
outlived him was burned upon his funeral pyre in order that he
might enjoy her society in the other world. Since widow burning was
stopped by the British government in the sixties, the spirits of
the rajahs of Jodpore have since been compelled to go to paradise
without company. But they do not take any chances of offending the
deities by neglect, for on a hill that overlooks their cemetery
they have erected a sort of sweepstakes temple to Three Hundred
Million Gods.

At the palace of the rajah of Ulwar, in a city of the same name,
sometimes spelled Alwar and in forty other different ways, which
lies about thirty miles north of Jodpore, is another collection
of jewels, ranked among the finest in India. The treasure-house
contains several great chests of teakwood, handsomely carved
and gilded, bound with gold and silver bands, and filled with
valuable plate, arms, equipment, vessels and ornaments that have
accumulated in the family during several centuries, and no matter
how severe the plague or how many people are dying of famine,
these precious heirlooms have never been disturbed. Perhaps the
most valuable piece of the collection is a drinking cup, cut from
a single emerald, as large as those used for after dinner coffee.
There is a ruby said to be one of the largest in existence and
worth $750,000; a yellow diamond valued at $100,000; several
strings of almost priceless pearls and other jewels of similar
value. There are caskets of gold and ivory in which hundreds of
thousands of dollars' worth of jewels are imbedded, perfumery
bottles of solid gold with the surfaces entirely incrusted with
pearls and diamonds, and hung upon the walls around the apartment
are shawls that are worth a thousand times their weight in gold.
The saddles, harness and elephant trappings are much more beautiful
and costly than those at Jodpore, and in the adjoining armory is
a remarkable collection of swords and other weapons with hilts
of gold, jade, enamel and jewels. A coat of mail worn by Bani
Singh, grandfather of the present rajah, is made of solid gold,
weighing sixteen and a half pounds, and is lavishly decorated
with diamonds. The library is rich in rare oriental books and
manuscripts wonderfully illuminated in colors and gold. It has
a large collection of editions of the Koran in fifty or more
different languages, and one manuscript book called "The Gulistan"
is claimed to be the most valuable volume in India. The librarian
insisted that it is worth 500,000 rupees, which is equivalent to
about $170,000, and declared that the actual cost of the gold
used in illuminating it was more than $50,000. It is a modern
manuscript copy of a religious poem, made in 1848 by a German
scribe at the order of the Maharaja Bani Singh. The miniatures
and other pictures were painted by a native artist at Delhi,
and the ornamental scroll work upon the margins of the pages and
the initial letters were done by a resident of Ulwar.

Nearly all of the capitals of the provinces of Rajputana have
similar treasures, the accumulations of centuries, and it seems
like criminal negligence to keep such enormous sums of money tied
up in jewels and useless ornaments when they might be expended or
invested to the great advantage of the people in public works and
manufactories. Some of the towns need such industries very badly
because, off the farms, there is nothing in the way of employment
for either men or women, and every branch of agriculture is
overcrowded. One may moralize about these conditions as long
as he likes; however, changes occur very slowly in India, and as
Kipling so pertinently puts it in one of his poems, it's only
a fool "Who tries to hustle the East."

Jeypore is the best, the largest and most prosperous of the twenty
Rajput capitals, and is beyond comparison the finest modern city
in India. It is also the busiest. Everybody seems to have plenty
to do, and plenty to spend. The streets are as crowded and as
busy as those of London or New York, with a bustling and stalwart
race of men and women, happy and contented, and showing more
energy than you often see in an oriental country. The climate is
cool, dry and healthful. The city stands upon a sandy and arid
plain, 1,600 feet above the sea, surrounded by stony hills and
wide wastes of desert, but, even these natural disadvantages have
contributed to its wealth and industries, for the barren hills are
filled with deposits of fine clays, rare ores and cheap jewels
like garnets, carbuncles and agates, which have furnished the
people one of their most profitable trades. Out of this material
they make an enamel which is famous everywhere, and has been the
source of great gain and fame. It is shipped in large quantities
to Europe, but the greater part is sold in the markets of India.

[Illustration: STREET CORNER--JEYPORE, INDIA]

Jeypore is surrounded by a wall twenty feet high and nine feet
thick, built within the last century, and hence almost in perfect
condition. Indeed the town, unlike most of the Indian cities,
is entirely without ruins, and you have to ride five miles on
the back of an elephant in order to see one. The streets are
wide and well paved, and laid out at exact angles. Four great
thoroughfares 111 feet wide run at equal intervals at right angles
with each other. All the other streets are fifty-five feet wide
and the alleys are twenty-eight feet. Parks and public squares
are laid out with the same regularity, and the houses are of
uniform heights and generally after the same pattern. The façades
are almost fantastic, being covered profusely with stucco and
"ginger-bread work," so much that it is almost bewildering. The
roofs are guarded by highly ornamental balustrades that look
like perforated marble, but are only molded plaster; the windows
are filled with similar material; the doorways are usually arched
and protected with overhanging canopies, and the doors are painted
with pictures in brilliant colors. The entire city has been
"whitewashed" a bright rose color, every house having almost the
same tint, which gives a peculiar appearance. There is nothing
else like it in all the world. The outer walls of many of the
house are painted with pictures of animals and birds, trees,
pagodas and other fantastic designs, and scenes like those on
the drop curtains of theatres, which appear to have been done
by unskilled amateurs, and the whole effect--the colors, the
gingerbread work and the tints--reminds you of the frosted cakes
and other table decorations you sometimes see in confectioners'
windows at Christmas time. You wonder that the entire city does
not melt and run together under the heat of the burning sun.
The people wear colors even more brilliant than those of their
houses, and in whichever direction you look you see continual
streams passing up and down each broad highway like animated
rainbows, broken here and there by trains of loaded camels, huge
elephants with fanciful canopies on their backs and half-naked
Hindus astride their heads, guiding them. Jeypore was the first
place we found elephants used for business purposes, and they
seemed to be quite numerous--more numerous than horses--and some
of them were covered with elaborate trappings and saddles, and
had their heads painted in gay tints and designs. That was a
new idea also, which I had never seen before, and I was told
that it is peculiar to Jeypore. The bullock carts, which furnish
the only other means of transportation, are also gayly painted.
The designs are sometimes rude and the execution bears evidence
of having been done with more zeal than skill. The artist got the
giddiest colors he could find, and laid them on without regard
to time or expense. The wheels, bodies and tongues of the carts;
and the canopies that cover those in which women are carried,
are nightmares of yellows, greens, blues, reds and purples, like
cheap wooden toys. Everything artificial at Jeypore is as bright
and gay as dyes and paint can make it.

A great deal of cloth is manufactured there, both cotton and
silk; most of it in little shops opening on the sidewalk, and it
is woven and dyed by hand where everybody can see that the work
is honestly done. As you walk along the business part of town you
will see women and children holding long strips of red, green,
orange, purple or blue cloth--sometimes cotton and sometimes silk,
fresh from the vats of dye, out of the dust, in the sunshine,
until the colors are securely fastened in the fibers. Even the men
paint their whiskers in fantastic colors. It is rather startling
to come up against an old gentleman with a long beard the color of
an orange or a spitzenberg apple. You imagine they are lunatics,
but they are only pious Mohammedans anxious to imitate the Prophet,
who, according to tradition, had red whiskers.

About half of the space of the four wide streets is given up
to sidewalk trading, and rows of booths, two or three miles in
length, occupy the curbstones, with all kinds of goods; everything
that anybody could possibly want, fruits, vegetables, groceries,
provisions, boots and shoes, ready-made clothing, hats and caps,
cotton goods and every article of wearing apparel you can think
of, household articles, furniture, drugs and medicines, jewelry,
stationery, toys--everything is sold by these sidewalk merchants,
who squat upon a piece of matting with their stock neatly piled
around them.

One feature of the street life in Jeypore, however, is likely
to make nervous people apprehensive. The maharaja and other rich
men keep panthers, leopards, wildcats and other savage beasts
trained for tiger hunting and other sporting purposes, and allow
their grooms to lead them around through the crowded thoroughfares
just as though they were poodle dogs. It is true that the brutes
wear muzzles, but you do not like the casual way they creep up
behind you and sniff at the calves of your legs.

Siwai Madhao Singh, Maharaja of Jeypore, is one of the most
interesting persons in India, and he represents the one hundred
and twenty-third of his family, descendants of the hero of a
great Sanskrit epic called the Ramayana, while the emperor of
Japan represents only the one hundred and twenty-third of his
family, which is reckoned the oldest of royal blood. The poem
consists of 24,000 stanzas, arranged in seven books, and describes
the adventures and sets forth the philosophy of Rama, the seventh
incarnation of Vishnu, one of the two greatest of the gods.

[Illustration: MAHARAJA OF JEYPORE AND HIS PRIME MINISTER]

Siwai Madhao Singh is proud of his ancestry, proud of his ancient
faith, proud of the traditions of his race, and adheres with
scrupulous conservatism to the customs and the manners of his
forefathers. At the same time he is very progressive, and Jeypore,
his capital, has the best modern museum, the best hospital, the
best college, the best industrial and art school, and the largest
school for girls among all the native states of India, and is more
progressive than any other Indian city except Calcutta and Bombay.
The maharaja was selected to represent the native princes at the
coronation of King Edward, and at first declined to go because he
could not leave India for a foreign country without losing caste.
When the reasons for his selection had been explained to him, and
he was informed that his refusal must be construed as an act of
disrespect to his sovereign, he decided that it was his duty to
waive his religious scruples and other objections and show his
esteem and loyalty for the Emperor of India. But he could not
go without great preparation. He undertook to protect himself
as much as possible from foreign influences and temptations,
and adhered as strictly as circumstances would allow to the
requirements of his caste and religion. He chartered a ship to
carry him from Bombay to London and back; loaded it with native
food supplies sufficient to last him and his party for six months,
and a six months' supply of water from the sacred Ganges for
cooking and drinking purposes. His preparations were as extensive
and complete as if he were going to establish a colony on some
desert island. He was attended by about 150 persons, including
priests, who carried their gods, altars, incense, gongs, records,
theological works, and all the appurtenances required to set up
a Hindu temple in London. He had his own stewards, cooks and
butchers--servants of every kind--and, of course, a good supply
of wives and dancing girls. A temporary temple was set up on the
dock in Bombay before sailing, and Rama, his divine ancestor,
was worshiped continuously for two weeks by the maharaja's priests
in order to secure his beneficent favor on the voyage. When London
was reached the entire outfit was transferred to a palace allotted
to his use, and such an establishment as he maintained there
was never seen in the world's metropolis before.

Siwai Madhao Singh was received with distinguished honors by the
king, the court, the ministry, the statesmen and the commercial
and industrial interests of England. He was one of the most
conspicuous persons at the coronation, and if he had been trained
from childhood for the part he could not have conducted himself
with greater grace and dignity. Everybody was delighted with him,
and he was delighted with his reception. He returned to Jeypore
filled with new ideas and inspired with new ambitions to promote
the welfare of his people, and although he had previously shown
remarkable capacity for government he feels that his experience
and the knowledge he acquired during his journey were of inestimable
value to him. One of the results is a determination to send his
sons to England to be educated, because he feels that it would
be an injustice to them and to the people over whom they must
some time rule, to deprive them of the advantages offered by
English institutions and by association with the people that
he desires them to meet. Caste is no longer an objection. The
maharaja has broken caste without suffering any disadvantage,
and has discovered that other considerations are more important.
He has learned by actual personal experience that the prejudices
of his race and religion against travel and association with
foreigners has done an immeasurable amount of injustice. He has
seen with his own eyes how the great men of England live and
prosper without caste, and is willing to do like them. They do
not believe in it. They regard it as a narrow, unjust and
inconvenient restriction, and he is partially convinced that they
are right. The most distinctive feature of Hindu civilization
thus received a blow from which it can never recover, because
Siwai Madhao Singh is recognized as one of the ablest, wisest
and most sincere of all the Hindu princes, and his influence in
this and as in other things is almost unlimited. He expects to
go to England again. He desires to visit other countries also,
because he realizes that he can learn much that is of value to
him and to his people by studying the methods and the affairs
of foreign nations.

[Illustration: HALL OF THE WINDS--JEYPORE]

In November, 1902, when Lord Curzon visited Jeypore, a banquet
was given in his honor, at which the maharaja made a remarkable
speech, alluding to his experience in England and the benefit
he derived from that visit. In reply Lord Curzon said: "When
I persuaded Your Highness to go to England as the chosen
representative of Rajputana at the coronation of the king, you
felt some hesitation as to the sharp separation from your home
and from the duties and the practices of your previous life.
But you have returned fortified with the conviction that dignity
and simplicity of character, and uprightness and magnanimity of
conduct are esteemed by the nobility and the people of England
not less than they are here. I hope that Your Highness' example
may be followed by those who come after you, and that it may
leave an enduring mark in Indian history."

The palace and gardens of the maharaja cover one-seventh of the
entire area of the city of Jeypore, and are inclosed within a
mighty wall, which is entered through several stately gates.
The only portion of the palace visible from the street is called
the Hawal Mahal, or "Hall of the Winds," which Sir Edwin Arnold's
glowing pen describes as "a vision of daring and dainty loveliness,
nine stories of rosy masonry, delicate overhanging balconies and
latticed windows, soaring tier after tier of fanciful architecture,
a very mountain of airy and audacious beauty, through a thousand
pierced screens and gilded arches. Aladdin's magician could have
called into existence no more marvelous an abode, nor was the
pearl and silver palace of the Peri more delicately charming."

Those who have had the opportunity to compare Sir Edwin Arnold's
descriptions with the actual objects in Japan, India and elsewhere
are apt to give a liberal allowance to his statements. He may be
an accomplished poet, but he cannot see straight. He looks at
everything through rose-colored magnifying glasses. The Hall of
the Winds is a picturesque and unique piece of Hindu architecture.
It looks like the frosting on a confectioners' cake. But it is
six instead of nine stories in height, is made of the cheapest
sort of stucco, and covered with deep pink calcimine. It is the
residence of the ladies of the harem, or zenana, as that mysterious
part of a household is called in India.

The palace of the maharaja is a noble building, but very ornate,
and is furnished with the most tawdry and inappropriate French
hangings and furniture. It is a pity that His Highness did not
allow his own taste to prevail, and use nothing but native furniture
and fabrics. His garden is lovely, being laid out in the highest
style of Hindu landscape art. At the foot of the grounds is a
great marble building, open on all sides, with a picturesque
roof sustained by a multitude of columns, which is the public
or audience hall, where His Highness receives his subjects and
conducts affairs of ceremony. Behind it is a relic of some of
his semi-barbarous ancestors in the form of a tank, in which a
lot of loathsome crocodiles are kept for the amusement of people
who like that sort of thing. They are looked after by a venerable,
half-naked old Hindu, who calls them up to the terrace by uttering
a peculiar cry, and, when they poke their ugly noses out of the
water and crawl up the steps, teases them with dainty morsels
he has obtained at the nearest slaughter-house. It is not a
soul-lifting spectacle.

The stables are more interesting. The maharaja maintains the
elephant stud of his ancestors, and has altogether about eighty
monsters, which are used for heavy work about the palace grounds
and for traveling in the country. In the stud are two enormous
savage beasts, which fight duels for the entertainment of the
maharaja and his guests. These duels take place in a paddock
where horses are exercised. His Highness has erected a little
kiosk, in which he can sit sheltered from the sun while the sport
goes on. He also has a lot of leopards, panthers and cheetahs
(Hindu wildcats), trained like dogs for hunting purposes, and
are said to be as useful and intelligent as Gordon setters. He
frequently takes a party of friends into the jungle for tiger
shooting, and uses these tame beasts to scare up the game.

He is fond of horses and has 300 breeding mares and stallions
kept in long stables opening upon the paddock in which they are
trained. Each horse has a coolie to look after it, for no coolie
could possibly attend to more than one. The man has nothing else
to do. He sleeps on the straw in the stall of the animal, and
seldom leaves it for a moment from the time he is assigned to
the duty until his services are no longer required. The maharaja
has spent a great deal of money and taken a great deal of pains
to improve the stock of his subjects, both horses and cattle. He
has an experimental farm for encouraging agriculture and teaching
the people, and a horticultural garden of seventy acres, with a
menagerie, in which are a lot of beautiful tigers captured by
his own men upon his own estates within twelve miles of town.
They catch a good many tigers alive, and one of his amiable habits
is to present them to his friends and people whom he desires to
honor.

In the center of the horticultural garden stands one of the noblest
modern buildings in India, a museum which the maharaja established
several years ago for the permanent exhibition of the arts and
industries of his people, who are very highly skilled in metal and
loom work of all kinds, in sculpture, enameling, in making jewelry
of gold and silver, and varieties of glass work. At great expense
he has assembled samples of similar work from other countries in
order that his subjects may have the benefit of comparing it
with their own, and in connection with the museum has established
a school of art and industry. This at present has between five
and six hundred students receiving instruction in the arts and
industries in which the people of Jeypore have always excelled.
The museum is called Albert Hall, in honor of the King of England,
and the park is christened in memory of the late Earl of Mayo,
who, while Viceroy of India, became an intimate friend and revered
adviser of the father of the maharaja. An up-to-date hospital
with a hundred beds is named Mayo Hospital.

The Maharaja's College is another institution which has been
established by this public-spirited and progressive Hindu, who
has done more for the education of his people than any other
native prince. There are now about 1,000 students, with a faculty
of eighty-two professors, including fifteen Englishmen and twelve
Persians. The college is affiliated with the University of Calcutta,
and has the best reputation of any institution of learning among
the native states. But even higher testimony to the liberality and
progressive spirit of this prince is a school for the education
of women. It is only of recent years that the women in India
were considered worth educating, and even now only about half
a million in this vast country, with a female population of
150,000,000, can read and write. But the upper classes are gradually
beginning to realize the advantage of educating their girls,
and the Maharaja of Jeypore was one of the first to establish
a school for that purpose, which now has between 700 and 800
girls under the instruction of English and native teachers.

We had great fun at Jeypore, and saw many curious and interesting
things, for it is the liveliest and most attractive place we found
in India, with the greatest number of novelties and distinctive
local color. We went about day after day like a lot of lunatics,
kodaks in hand, taking snap-shots at all the odd looking
characters--and their name is legion--that we saw in the streets,
and it was an unusual experience. Everybody hasn't an opportunity
to photograph a group of elephants in full regalia carrying their
owners' wives or daughters on shopping excursions or to visit
friends--of course we didn't know which. And that is only one
of the many unusual spectacles that visitors to Jeypore may see
in every direction they choose to look. The gay raiment worn by
the women and the men, the fantastic designs painted upon the
walls of the houses and the bullock carts, are a never-ending
delight, for they are absolutely unique, and the latter ought
to be placed on pedestals in museums instead of being driven
about for ordinary transportation purposes. The yokes of the
oxen are carved with fanciful designs; everything is yellow or
orange or red. Even the camels are draped with long nettings
and fringes and tassels that reach from their humps to their
heels. The decorative idea seems to prevail over everything in
Jeypore. Nothing is without an ornament, no matter how humble
its purpose or how cheap its material or mechanism, its owner
embellishes as much as money and imagination will allow. Everything
pays tribute to the esthetic sense of the people.

The bullocks are lean animals of cream color, with long legs,
and trot over the road like horses, making four or five miles
an hour. Instead of carrying a bit in their mouths, the reins
are attached to a little piece of iron that passes through a
hole in the cartilage of the nose, and the traces which draw
the load spring from a collar that resembles a yoke. Most of
the hauling is done by these animals. They are used for every
purpose that we use horses and mules. Cows are never yoked. They
are sacred. The religion of the Hindu prohibits him from subjecting
them to labor. They are used for milking and breeding, and are
allowed to run at large. Nobody dare injure a cow or even treat
it unkindly. It would be as great a sin as kicking a congressman.
A learned pundit told me the other day how it happened that cows
became so highly esteemed in India. Of course he did not pretend
to have been on the spot, but had formed a theory from reading,
study and reflection, and by that same method all valuable theories
are produced. He said that once upon a time cattle became scarce
because of an epidemic which carried many of them off, and in
order to recover their numbers and protect them from slaughter
by the people some raja persuaded the Brahmins to declare them
sacred. Everything that a Brahmin says goes in India, and the
taboo placed upon those cows was passed along until it extended
over the entire empire and has never been removed. I suppose
we might apply the same theory to the sacred bulls of Egypt.

We took our first elephant ride one morning to visit Amber, the
ancient but now deserted capital of the province of Jeypore,
where tens of millions of dollars were wasted in the construction
of splendid palaces and mansions that are now abandoned, and
standing open and empty, most of them in good condition, to the
enjoyment of tourists only and an occasional party of pilgrims
attracted hither by sacred associations. The reason alleged for
abandoning the place was the lack of pure water.

[Illustration: ELEPHANT BELONGING TO THE MAHARAJAH OF JEYPORE]

The maharaja usually furnishes elephants for visitors to his
capital to ride around on. We are told that he delights to do
it because of his good heart and the number of idle monsters
in his stable who have to be exercised daily, and might as well
be toting tourists about the country as wandering around with
nobody on their backs. But a certain amount of ceremony and delay
is involved in the transaction of borrowing an elephant from an
Indian prince, hence we preferred to hire one from Mr. Zoroaster,
who keeps a big shop full of beautiful brass and enamel work,
makes Indian rugs and all sorts of things and exerts a hypnotic
influence over American millionaires. One American millionaire,
who was over there a few days ahead of us, evidently came very
near buying out Mr. Zoroaster, who shows his order book with
great pride, and a certain estimable American lady, who owns a
university on the Pacific slope, recently bought enough samples
of Indian art work from him to fill the museum connected with that
institution. Mr. Zoroaster will show you the inventory of her
purchases and the prices she paid, and will tell you in fervent
tones what a good woman she is, and what remarkable taste she has,
and what rare judgment she shows in the selection of articles
from his stock to illustrate the industrial arts of India. He
charged us fifteen rupees, which is equivalent to five dollars
in American money, more or less, according to the fluctuations
of exchange, for an elephant to carry us out to Amber, six miles
and a half. We have since been told that we should have paid
but ten rupees, and some persons assert that eight was plenty,
and various other insinuations have been made concerning the
way in which Mr. Zoroaster imposed upon innocent American globe
trotters, and there was plenty of people who kept reminding us
that we might have obtained an elephant for nothing. But Zoroaster
is all right; his elephants are all right; the mahouts who steer
them are all right, and it is worth fifteen rupees to ride to
Amber on the back of a great, big clumsy beast, although you
don't realize it at the time.

Beginners usually do not like the sensation of elephant riding.
Young girls giggle, mature ladies squeal, middle-aged men grab hold
of something firm and say nothing, while impenitent sinners often
express themselves in terms that cannot properly be published.
The acute trouble takes place just after mounting the beast and
just before leaving the lofty perch occupied by passengers on
his back. A saddle is placed upon his upper deck, a sort of
saw-horse, and the lower legs stretch at an angle sufficiently
obtuse to encompass his breadth of beam. This saw-horse is lashed
to the hull with numerous straps and ropes and on top of it are
placed rugs and cushions. Each saddle is built for four passengers,
sitting dos-a-dos, back to back, two on a side, and a little
shelf hangs down to support their feet. In order to diminish
the climb the elephant kneels down in the road. A naked heathen
brings a ladder, rests it against the side of the beast and the
passengers climb up and take their seats in the saddle. Another
naked heathen, who sits straddle the animal's neck, looks around
at the load, inquires if everybody is ready, jabs the elephant
under the ear with a sharpened iron prong and then the trouble
begins. It is a good deal like an earthquake.

An elephant gets up one leg at a time, and during the process the
passengers on the upper deck are describing parabolas, isosceles
triangles and parallelepipedons in the circumambient atmosphere.
There isn't much to hold on to and that makes it the more exciting.
Then, when the animal finally gets under way, its movements are
similar to those of an earthquake or a vessel without ballast in
a first-class Hatteras gale. The irregularity and uncertainty
of the motion excites apprehension, and as the minutes pass by
you become more and more firmly convinced that something is wrong
with the animal or the saddle or the road, and the way the beast
wiggles his ears is very alarming. There is nobody around to
answer questions or to issue accident-insurance policies and
the naked heathen attendants talk no language that you know.
But after a while you get used to it, your body unconsciously
adjusts itself to the changes of position, and on the return
trip, you have a pretty good time. You become so accustomed to
the awkward and the irregular movements that you really enjoy
the novelty and are perfectly willing to try it again.

But the most wonderful part of all is how the mahout steers the
elephant. It is one of the mysteries that foreigners can never
understand. He carries a goad in each hand--a rod of iron, about
as big as a poker, with an ornamental handle generally embossed
with silver or covered with enamel. One of the points curves
around like half a crescent; the other is straight and both are
sharpened to a keen point. When the mahout or driver wants the
elephant to do something, he jabs one of the goads into his
hide--sometimes one and sometimes the other, and at different
places on the neck, under the ears, and on top of the head, and
somehow or another the elephant understands what a jab in a
particular place means and obeys cheerfully like the great,
good-natured beast that he is. I have never been able to understand
the system. Elephant driving is an occult science.

The road to Amber passes through an interesting part of the city
of Jeypore and beyond the walls the broad highway is crowded with
carts loaded with vegetables and other country produce coming
into town and quite as many loaded with merchandise going the
other way. Some of them are drawn by bullocks and some by camels;
there are long caravans of camels with packs and paniers upon
their backs. As you meet hundreds of pedestrians you will notice
that the women all have baskets or packages upon their heads. The
men never carry anything. On either side of the broad highway
are cultivated gardens and gloomy looking houses and acres covered
with ruins and crumbling tombs. The city of Amber, which, as
I have already told you, was once the capital of the province
and the scene of great splendor, as well as frequent strife,
is now quite deserted. It once had 50,000 inhabitants, but now
every house is vacant. Few of them even have caretakers. The
beautiful palace with its marble coverings, mosaics and luxuriant
gardens is occupied only by a number of priests and fakirs, who
are supposed to spend their time in meditation upon heavenly
things, and in obedience to an ancient custom they sacrifice a
sheep or a goat in one of the temples every morning. Formerly
human beings were slain daily upon this altar--children, young
girls, women and peasants, who either offered themselves for
the sake of securing advancement in reincarnation or were seized
by the savage priests in the absence of volunteers. This was
stopped by the British a century ago, and since then the blood
of rams and goats has atoned for the sins of Jeypore.



XI

ABOUT SNAKES AND TIGERS

A gentleman in Bombay told me that 50,000 people are killed in
India every year by snakes and tigers, and his extraordinary
statement was confirmed by several officials and others to whom I
applied for information. They declared that only about one-half of
the deaths from such causes were ever reported; that the government
was endeavoring to secure more complete and exact returns, and
was offering rewards for the destruction of reptiles and wild
animals. Under instructions from Lord Curzon the authorities
of the central government at Calcutta gave me the returns for
British India for the ten years from 1892 to 1902, showing a
total of 26,461 human beings and 88,019 cattle killed by snakes
and wild animals during the fiscal year 1901-2. This does not
include the mortality from these causes in the eighty-two native
states which have one-third of the area and one fourth of the
population of the empire. Nor does it include thousands of cases
in the more remote portions of the country, which are never reported
to the authorities. In these remote sections, vast areas of
mountains, jungles and swamps, the danger from such causes is
much greater and deaths are more frequent than in the thickly
settled portions; so that my friend's estimate was not far out
of the way.

The official statistics for British India only (the native states
not included) for the ten years named are as follows:

   KILLED BY WILD ANIMALS AND SNAKES.

                     Persons    Cattle
  1892                21,988    81,688
  1893                24,016    90,253
  1894                24,449    96,796
  1895                25,190   100,107
  1896                24,322    88,702
  1897                25,242    84,187
  1898                25,166    91,750
  1899                27,585    98,687
  1900                25,833    91,430
  1901                26,461    88,019
                     -------   -------
  Total ten years    250,252   907,619

Taking 1901 as a sample, I find that 1,171 persons were killed
by tigers and 29,333 cattle; 635 persons and 37,473 cattle were
killed by leopards; 403 human beings and 5,048 cattle were killed
by wolves; 1,442 human beings and 9,123 cattle were killed by
other wild animals, and 22,810 human beings and 5,002 cattle
by snakes. This is about the average record for the ten years,
although the number of persons killed by tigers in 1901-2 was
considerably less than usual.

The largest sacrifice of life was in the Province of Bengal, of
which Calcutta is the capital, and where the imperial authorities
have immediate control of such affairs. The government offers a
bounty of $1 for every snake skin, $5 for every tiger skin, and
a corresponding amount for other animals. During 1901-2, 14,301
wild animals were reported killed and 96,953 persons received
rewards. The number of snakes reported destroyed was 69,668 and
2,858 persons were rewarded. The total amount of rewards paid
was $33,270, which is much below the average and the smallest
amount reported for many years. During the last ten years the
amount of rewards paid has averaged about $36,000 annually. The
falling off in 1901-2 is due to the discovery that certain
enterprising persons had gone into the business of breeding snakes
for the reward, and had been collecting considerable sums from
the government by that sort of fraud. Hereafter no one will be
able to collect claims without showing satisfactory evidence
that the snakes were actually wild when killed or captured. It is
hardly necessary to say that no one has thus far been accused of
breeding tigers for the bounty, although large numbers of natives
are engaged in the business of capturing them for menageries and
zoological gardens.

In the maharaja's park at Jeypore we saw a dozen or more splendid
man-eating tigers, which, the keeper told us, had been captured
recently only twelve miles from that city. His Highness keeps a
staff of tiger hunters and catchers for amusement. He delights
in shooting big game, and several times a year goes into the
jungles with his native hunters and parties of friends and seldom
returns without several fine skins to add to his collection. His
tiger catchers remain in the woods all the time, and he has a
pleasant way of presenting the animals they catch to friends in
India, England and elsewhere. While we were in Jeypore I read in
a newspaper that the Negus of Abyssinia had given Robert Skinner
two fine lions to take home to President Roosevelt, and I am
sure the maharaja of Jeypore would be very glad to add a couple
of man-eating tigers if he were aware of Colonel Roosevelt's
love for the animal kingdom. I intended to make a suggestion in
that line to him, but there were so many other things to talk
about that it slipped my mind.

The maharaja catches tigers in the orthodox way. He has cages
of iron and the toughest kind of wood set upon wheels so that
they can be hauled into the jungle by oxen. When they reach a
suitable place the oxen are unhitched, the hunters conceal the
wheels and other parts of the wagon with boughs and palm leaves.
A sheep or a goat or some other animal is sacrificed and placed
in the cage for bait and the door is rigged so that it will remain
open in an inviting manner until the tiger enters and lifts the
carcass from the lever. The instant he disturbs the bait heavy
iron bars drop over the hole through which he entered and he is
a prisoner at the mercy of his captors. Sometimes the scheme
fails and the hunters lose their time and trouble and bait, but
being men of experience in such affairs they generally know the
proper place and the proper season to look for game. When the
watchers notify them that the trap is occupied they come with oxen
and haul it to town, where it is backed up against a permanent
cage in the menagerie, the iron door is lifted, and the tiger
is punched with iron bars until he accepts the quarters that
have been provided for him, and becomes a prisoner for life.

It is a terrible thing when a hungry and ugly man-eater comes
into a village, for the inhabitants are generally defenseless.
They have no guns, because the government does not allow the
natives to carry arms, and their only weapons are the implements
of the farm. If they would clear out and scatter the number of
victims would not be so large, but they usually keep together
for mutual defense, and, as a consequence, the animal has them
at his mercy. A man-eater that has once tasted human flesh is
never satiated, and attacks one victim after another until he
has made away with an entire village.

The danger from snakes and other poisonous reptiles is much greater
than from tigers and other wild beasts, chiefly because snakes
in India are sacred to the gods, and the government finds it
an exceedingly delicate matter to handle the situation as the
circumstances require. When a Hindu is bitten by a snake it is
considered the act of a god, and the victim is honored rather
than pitied. While his death is deplored, no doubt, he has been
removed from an humble earthly sphere to a much more happy and
honorable condition in the other world. Therefore, while it is
scarcely true that the Hindus like to be killed by snake poison,
they will do very little to protect themselves or cure the bites.
Nor do they like to have the reptiles killed for fear of provoking
the gods that look after them. The snake gods are numbered by
hundreds of thousands, and shrines have been erected to them
in every village and on every highway. If a pious Hindu peasant
sees a snake he will seldom run from it, but will remain quiet
and offer a prayer, and if it bites him and he dies, his heirs
and relatives will erect a shrine to his memory. The honor of
having a shrine erected to one's memory is highly appreciated.
Hence death from snake poison is by no means the worst fate a Hindu
can suffer. These facts indicate the difficulties the government
officials meet in their endeavors to exterminate reptiles.

Snake charmers are found in every village. They are usually priests,
monks or sorcerers, and may generally be seen in the neighborhood
of Hindu temples and tombs. They carry from two to twenty hideous
reptiles of all sizes in the folds of their robes, generally
next to their naked bosoms, and when they see a chance of making
a few coppers from a stranger they draw them out casually and
play with them as if they were pets. Usually the fangs have been
carefully extracted so that the snakes are really harmless. At
the same time they are not agreeable companions. Sometimes snake
charmers will allow their pets to bite them, and, when the blood
appears upon the surface of the skin, they place lozenges of
some black absorbent upon the wounds to suck up the blood and
afterward sell them at high prices for charms and amulets.

When Mr. Henry Phipps of New York was in India he became very
much interested in this subject. His sympathies were particularly
excited by the number of poor people who died from snake bites
and from the bites of wild animals, without medical attention.
There is only one small Pasteur institute in India, and it is
geographically situated so that it cannot be reached without
several days' travel from those parts of the empire where snakes
are most numerous and the mortality from animals is largest.
With his usual modesty, without saying anything to anybody, Mr.
Phipps placed $100,000 in the hands of Lord Curzon with a request
that a hospital and Pasteur institute be established in southern
India at the most accessible location that can be found for the
treatment of such cases, and a laboratory established for original
research to discover antidotes and remedies for animal poisons.
After thorough investigation it was decided to locate the institute
in the Province of Madras. The local government provided a site
and takes charge of its maintenance, while the general government
will pay an annual subsidy corresponding to the value of the
services rendered to soldiers sent there for treatment.

While we were waiting at a railway station one morning a
solemn-looking old man, who, from appearances, might have been
a contemporary of Mahomet, or the nineteenth incarnation of a
mighty god, squatted down on the floor and gazed upon us with a
broad and benevolent smile. He touched his forehead respectfully
and bowed several times, and then, having attracted attention and
complied with the etiquette of his caste, drew from his breast
a spry little sparrow that had been nestling between his cotton
robe and his bare flesh. Stroking the bird affectionately and
talking to it in some mysterious language, the old man looked up
at us for approval and placed it upon the pavement. It greeted
us cordially with several little chirps and hopped around over
the stone to get the kinks out of its legs, while the old fakir
drew from his breast a little package which he unfolded carefully
and laid on the ground. It contained an assortment of very fine
beads of different colors and made of glass. Taking a spool of
thread from the folds of his robe, the old man broke off a piece
about two feet long and, calling to the bird, began to whistle
softly as his pet hopped over toward him. There was evidently
a perfect understanding between them. The bird knew what was
expected and proceeded immediately to business. It grasped the
lower end of the thread in its little claws as its trainer held
it suspended in the air with the other end wound around his
forefinger, and swung back and forth, chirruping cheerfully.
After swinging a little while it reached the top, and then stood
proudly for a moment on the fakir's finger and acknowledged our
applause. Then it climbed down again like a sailor or a monkey
and dropped to the ground. I had never seen an exhibition so
simple and yet unusual, but something even better was yet to
come, for, in obedience to instruction, the little chap picked
up the tiny beads one after another with his bill and strung
them upon the thread, which it held with its tiny toes.



XII

THE RAJPUTS AND THEIR COUNTRY

In India, as everywhere else, the climate and physical features
of the country have exercised a sharp and lasting influence upon
the race that lives therein. The noblest characters, the brave,
the strong, the enduring and the progressive come from the north,
where the air is keen and encourages activity, while those who
dwell in the south have hereditary physical and moral lassitude.
The geographical names are typical of the people. They all mean
something and have a poetical and oftentimes a political
significance. "The Mountains of Strength" encompass a plateau
called "The Abode of Princes," and beyond and behind them stretches
a desert called the "Region of Death." This country is called
the Rajputana--pronounced Raashpootana--and is composed of the
most interesting of all the native states of India, twenty in
number, with an area of 150,000 square miles and a population
of more than 12,000,000. They are the only part of the empire
where ancient political institutions and dynasties survive, and
their preservation is due to the protection of the British
authorities. Each prince is the hereditary chief of a military
clan, the members of which are all descended from a common ancestor,
and for centuries have been the lords of the soil. Many of the
families are Mohammedans, and they are famous for their chivalry,
their loyalty, their independence and love of the truth. These
characteristics, I contend, are largely due to the climate and
the topography of the territory in which they live.

Mount Abu, the sacred Olympus of western India, a huge heap of
granite rising 5,650 feet above the sea, is in the center of
Rajputana. It is called the "Pinnacle of the Saints," and upon
its summit may be found the highest ideals of Indian ecclesiastical
architecture in a group of five marble temples erected by
peace-loving and life-protecting Jains, the Quakers of the East.
These temples were built about a thousand years ago by three
brothers, pious merchant princes, Vimala Sah, Tejpala and Vastupala.
The material was carried more than 300 miles over mountains and
across plains--an undertaking worthy of the ancient Egyptians.
The columns and pillars, the cornices, the beams that support the
roofs, the arches of the gateways, windows and doors, the sills
and lintels, the friezes and wainscoting, all of the purest and
daintiest marble, were chiseled by artists of a race whose creed
pronounces patience to be the highest virtue, whose progenitor lived
8,000,000 years, and to whom a century is but a day. The purpose
of the prayers of these people is to secure divine assistance in
the suppression of all worldly desires, to subdue selfishness,
to lift the soul above sordid thoughts and temptations. Therefore
they built their temples amid the most beautiful scenery they
could find. They made them cool and dark because of the heat and
glare of this climate, with wide porticoes, overhanging eaves that
shut out the sunshine and make the interior one great refreshing
shadow, tempting the warm and weary to enter the cool twilight,
for all the light they have is filtered through screens made of
great sheets of fine-grained marble, perforated with tracery
and foliage designs as delicate as Brussels lace.

In the center of this wonderful museum of sculpture, surrounded
by a forest of carved columns, which in the minuteness and beauty
of detail stand almost unrivaled even in this land of lavish labor
and inexhaustible patience, sits the image of Parswanatha, the god
of Peace and Plenty, a divinity that encourages love and gentleness
and truth, to whom these temples were dedicated. He is seated upon
an exquisite platform of alabaster, with legs crossed and arms
folded, silent and immovable, engaged in the contemplation of the
good and beautiful, and his lips are wreathed in a smile that
comprehends all human beings and will last throughout eternity.
Around this temple, as usual with the Jains, is a cloister--a
wide colonnade supported by a double row of pillars. There are
fifty-five cells opening upon it, but instead of being occupied
by monks or priests, in each of them, upon a throne of lotus
leaves, sits an exact miniature duplicate of the image of the same
god, in the same posture, with the same expression of serene and
holy calm. A number of young priests were moving about placing
fresh flowers before these idols, and in the temple was a group
of dusty, tired, hungry, half-naked and sore-footed pilgrims,
who had come a long way with packs on their backs bearing their
food and seeking no shelter but the shade of temples or trees.
Here at last they found rest and relief and consolation, and it
seems a beautiful religion that requires nothing more from its
devotees.

The forty-eight columns which sustain the dome of this temple
have been pronounced the most exquisite examples of carved marble
in existence, and the highest authority on Indian architecture
declares that the dome "in richness of ornament and delicacy
of detail is probably unsurpassed in the world."

Facing the entrance to the temple is a square building, or portico,
containing nine large white elephants, each carved from a monolith
of marble. Originally they all had riders, intended to represent
Vimala Sah, the Jain merchant, and his family going in procession
to worship, but several of the figures have been broken entirely
away and others have been badly damaged. These five temples, with
their courtyards and cloisters, are said to have cost $90,000,000
and to have occupied fourteen years in building, from 1032 to
1046 A. D.

Mount Abu is the headquarters of the Rajputana administration,
the hot weather station for the British troops, and the favorite
summer resort of the European colonies of western India. The
mountain is encircled with well-made roads, winding among the
forests, and picturesque bridle paths. There are many handsome
villas belonging to officials and private citizens, barracks,
schools, asylums, clubs and other modern structures.

In several of the larger cities of the province can be found
temples similar to those I have described; some of them of Saracenic
architecture, equal to that of the Alhambra or the Persian palaces.
The pure Hindu designs differ from the Saracenic as widely as
the Gothic from the Romanesque, but often you find a mixture
embracing the strongest features of both. The rich and the strong
gave expression to their own sense of beauty and taste when by
the erection of these temples they sought to honor and glorify
the gods to whom they pray.

Ajmere, the winter capital of the governor general of Rajputana,
is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of western India,
having been founded only a hundred years after the beginning of
the Christian era, and occupying a picturesque position in an
amphitheater made by the mountains, 3,000 feet above the sea.
It is protected by a stone wall, with five gateways; many of the
residences and most of the buildings are of stone, with ornamental
façades, and some of them are of great antiquity. In the olden
days it was the fashion to build houses to last forever. Ajmere
has a population of about 70,000. It is surrounded by a fertile
country, occupied by an industrious, wealthy, and prosperous
people. The city is commanded by a fortress that crowns a noble
hill called "The Home of the Stars," possesses a mosque that
is one of the most successful combinations of Hindu and Saracenic
architecture of which I have spoken, the conception of some unknown
genius, combining the Mohammedan ideas of grandeur with Hindu
delicacy of taste and prodigality of detail. In its decorations
may be found some of the most superb marble embroidery that the
imagination can conceive of. One of the highest authorities dates
its erection as far back as the second century before Christ, but
it is certainly of a much later date. Some architects contend that
it belongs to the fourteenth century; it is however, considered
the finest specimen of early Mohammedan architecture in existence.
The mosque can be compared to a grand salon, open to the air at
one side, the ceiling, fifty feet high, supported by four rows
of columns, eighteen in each row, which are unique in design, and
no two of them are alike. The designs are complex and entirely
novel, and each is the work of a different artist, who was allowed
entire liberty of design and execution, and endeavored to surpass
his rivals.

There are several other mosques and temples of great beauty in
Ajmere, and some of them are sacred places that attract multitudes
of pilgrims, who are fed daily by the benevolence of rich
contributors. Enormous rice puddings are cooked in eight enormous
earthen caldrons, holding several bushels each, which are ready
at noon every day. The composition contains rice, butter, sugar,
almonds, raisins and spices, and to fill all of the eight pots
costs about $70. The moment the pudding is cooked a bell is rung,
and the pilgrims are allowed to help themselves in a grab-game
which was never surpassed. Greedy creatures scald themselves in
the pudding so badly that they sometimes carry the marks for
life. It is counted a miracle caused by the intercession of the
saints that no lives have ever been lost in these scrambles,
although nearly every day some pilgrim is so badly burned that
he has to be taken to a hospital. The custom is ancient, although
I was not able to ascertain its origin or the reason why the
priests do not allow the pudding to cool below the danger point
before serving it.

Ajmere is the headquarters of one of the greatest railways in
India, with extensive shops, employing several thousand natives
and Europeans. The chief machinists, master mechanics and engineers
are almost exclusively Scotchmen.

In this province may be found an excellent illustration of the
effect of the policy of the British government toward the native
princes. It had good material to work with, because the twenty
independent Rajput princes are a fine set of men, all of whom trace
their descent to the sun or the moon or to one of the planets, and
whose ancestors have ruled for ages. Each family has a genealogical
tree, with roots firmly implanted in mythology, and from the
day when the ears of their infants begin to distinguish the
difference in sounds, and their tongues begin to frame thoughts in
words, every Rajput prince is taught the tables of his descent,
which read like those in the Old Testament, and the names of his
illustrious ancestors. Attached to each noble household is a
chronicler or bard, whose business is to keep the family record
straight, and to chant the epics that relate the achievements of
the clan. As I have said, all the Rajput families are related and
belong to the same caste, which has prevented them from diluting
their blood by marriage with inferior families. It is his blood,
and not the amount of his wealth or the extent of his lands,
that ennobles a Rajput. Many of the noblest families are very
poor, but the poorest retains the knowledge and the pride of
his ancestors, which are often his only inheritance.

These characteristics and other social and religious customs
make Rajputana one of the most romantic and fascinating spots in
India, and perhaps there is no more interesting place to study
the social, political and economical development of a people
who once held that only two professions could be followed by
a gentleman--war and government. But their ancient traditions
have been thoroughly revised and modified to meet modern ideas.
They have advanced in prosperity and civilization more rapidly
than any other of the native states. Infanticide of girl babies
was formerly considered lawful and generally practiced among them,
and widows were always burned alive upon the funeral pyres of
their husbands, but now the Rajput princes are building hospitals
and asylums for women instead, bringing women doctors from Europe
to look after the wives and daughters in their harems, and are
founding schools for the education of girls.

[Illustration: TOMB OF ETMAH-DOWLAH--AGRA]

About three miles from the center of Ajmere is Mayo College,
for the exclusive education of Rajput princes, and erected by
them. The center building, of white marble, is surrounded by
villas and cottages erected for the accommodation of the members
of the princely families who are sent there. The villas are all of
pure Hindu architecture, and there has been considerable rivalry
among the different families to see which should house its cadets
in the most elegant and convenient style. Hence, nowhere else
in India can be found so many fine examples of modern native
residence architecture. The young princes live in great style,
each having a little court around him and a number of servants
to gratify his wants. It is quite the usual arrangement for a
college student to live in a palatial villa, with secretaries,
aides-de-camp, equerries and bodyguards, for Indian princes are
very particular in such matters, and from the hour of birth their
sons are surrounded with as much ceremony as the King of Spain.
They would not be permitted to attend the college if they could
not continue to live in regal state. Some of them, only 10 or
12 years old, have establishments as large and grand as those
of half the kings of Europe, and the Princes Imperial of England
or of Germany live the life of a peasant in comparison.



XIII

THE ANCIENT MOGUL EMPIRE

The ancient Mogul Empire embraced almost as much of India as
is controlled by the British today, and extended westward into
Europe as far as Moscow and Constantinople. It was founded by
a young warrior known as Timour the Tartar, or Tamerlane, as he
is more frequently called in historical works. He was a native
of Kesh, a small town fifty miles south of Samarkand, the capital
of Bokhara, which was known as Tartary in those days. This young
man conquered more nations, ruled over a wider territory and
a larger number of people submitted to his authority than to
any other man who ever lived, before or since. His expansion
policy was more successful than that of Alexander the Great or
Julius Cæsar or Charles V. or Napoleon, and he may properly be
estimated as one of the greatest if not the very greatest and
most successful soldier in all history. Yet he was not born to a
throne. He was a self-made man. His father was a modest merchant,
without wealth or fame. His grandfather was a scholar of repute
and conspicuous as the first convert to Mohammedanism in the
country in which he lived. Timour went into the army when he
was a mere boy. There were great doings in those days, and he
took an active part in them. From the start he seems to have been
cast for a prominent role in the military dramas and tragedies
being enacted upon the world's wide stage. He inherited a love
of learning from his grandfather and a love of war as well as
military genius from some savage ancestor. He rose rapidly. Other
men acknowledged his superiority, and before he was 30 years
old he found himself upon a throne and acknowledged to be the
greatest soldier of his time. He came into India in 1398 and set
up one of his sons on a throne at Delhi, where his descendants
ruled until the great Indian mutiny of 1857--460 years. He died
of fever and ague in 1405, and was buried at Samarkand, where
a splendid shrine erected over his tomb is visited annually by
tens of thousands of pilgrims, who worship him as divine.

Babar, sixth in descent from Timour, consolidated the states
of India under a central government. His memoirs make one of
the most fascinating books ever written. He lived a stirring
and a strenuous life, and the world bowed down before him. His
death was strangely pathetic, and illustrates the faith and the
superstition of men mighty in material affairs but impotent before
gods of their own creation. His son and the heir to his throne,
Humayon, being mortally ill of fever, was given up to die by the
doctors, whereupon the affectionate father went to the nearest
temple and offered what he called his own worthless soul as a
substitute for his son. The gods accepted the sacrifice. The
dying prince began to recover and the old man sank slowly into
his grave.

The empire increased in wealth, glory and power, and among the
Mogul dynasty were several of the most extraordinary men that have
ever influenced the destinies of nations. Yet it seems strange that
from the beginning each successive emperor should be allowed to
obtain the throne by treachery, by the wholesale slaughter of his
kindred and almost always by those most shameful of sins--parricide
and ingratitude to the authors of their being. Rebellious children
have always been the curse of oriental countries, and when we
read the histories of the Mogul dynasty and the Ottoman Empire
and of the tragedies that have occurred under the shadows of the
thrones of China, India and other eastern countries, we cannot
but sympathize with the feelings of King Thebaw of Burma, who
immediately after his coronation ordered the assassination of
every relative he had in the world and succeeded in "removing"
seventy-eight causes of anxiety.

Babar, the "Lion," as they called him, was buried at Kabul, the
capital of Afghanistan, and was succeeded by Humayon, the son
for whom he gave his life. The latter, on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1517,
the day that Martin Luther delivered his great speech against the
pope and caused the new word "Protestant"--one who protests--to
be coined, drove Sikandar, the last of the Afghan dynasty, from
India. When they found the body of that strenuous person upon the
battle field, the historians say, "five or six thousand of the
enemy were lying dead in heaps within a small space around him;"
as if he had killed them all. The wives and slaves of Sikandar
were captured. Humayon behaved generously to them, considering
the fashion of those times, but took the liberty to detain their
luggage, which included their jewels and other negotiable assets.
In one of their jewel boxes was found a diamond which Sikandar
had acquired from the sultan Alaeddin, one of his ancestors,
and local historians, writing of it at the time, declared that
"it is so valuable that a judge of diamonds valued it at half the
daily expenses of the entire world." This was the first public
appearance in good society of the famous Kohinoor, which, as
everybody knows, is now the chief ornament in the crown of Edward
VII., King of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India. It
is valued at £880,000, or $4,400,000 in our money. Queen Victoria
never wore it. She had it taken from the crown and replaced by a
paste substitute. This jewel thus became one of the heirlooms
of the Moguls, who lived in such splendor as has never been seen
since or elsewhere and could not be duplicated in modern times.

In the winter of 1555 Humayon was descending a stairway when his
foot slipped and he fell headlong to the bottom. He was carried
into his palace and died a few days later, being succeeded by
his son, a boy of 13, who in many respects was the noblest of
the Moguls, and is called in history Akbar the Great. He came to
the throne in 1556, and his reign, which lasted until 1605, was
almost contemporaneous with that of Queen Elizabeth. In reading
his history one is impressed by the striking resemblance between
him and the present Emperor of Germany. Beiram, who had been
his father's prime minister, and whose clear intellect, iron
will and masterful ability had elevated the house of Tamerlane
to the glory and power it then enjoyed, remained with the young
king as his adviser, and, owing to the circumstances, did not
treat him with as much deference and respect as Akbar's lofty
notions considered proper. The boy endured the slights for four
years, and when he reached the age of 17 there occurred at the
court of the Moguls an incident which was repeated several centuries
later at Berlin, but it turned out differently.

Beiram, like Bismarck, submitted to the will of his young master,
surrendered all insignia of authority, and started on a pilgrimage
to Mecca, but before he left India his chagrin and indignation
got the better of his judgment and he inspired an insurrection
against the throne. He was arrested and brought back to Delhi,
where, to his surprise, he was received with the greatest ceremony
and honor. According to the custom of the time, nobles of the
highest rank clothed him with garments from the king's wardrobe,
and when he entered the royal presence Akbar arose, took him by
the hand and led the astonished old man to a seat beside the
imperial throne. Beiram, realizing the magnanimity of his boyish
master, fell upon his knees, kissed the feet of the king, and
between sobs begged for pardon. The king conferred the greatest
possible honors upon him, but gave him no responsibility, and
Beiram's proud and sensitive soul found relief in resuming his
pilgrimage to Mecca. But he never reached that holy place. He
died on the way by the hand of an Afghan noble, whose father,
years before, he had killed in battle.

You must remember Akbar, because so many of the glories of Indian
architecture, which culminate at Agra and Delhi, are due to his
refined taste and appreciation for the beautiful, and I shall
have a good deal to say about him, because he was one of the best
men that ever wore a crown. He was great in every respect; he was
great as a soldier, great as a jurist, great as an executive,
broad-minded, generous, benevolent, tolerant and wise, an almost
perfect type of a ruler, if we are to believe what the historians
of his time tell us about him. He was the handsomest man in his
empire; he excelled all his subjects in athletic exercises, in
endurance and in physical strength and skill. He was the best
swordsman and the best horseman and his power over animals was
as complete as over men. And as an architect he stands unrivaled
except by his grandson, who inherited his taste.

Although a pagan and without the light of the gospel, Akbar
recognized the merits of Christianity and exemplified the ideals
of civil and religious liberty which it teaches, and which are
now considered the highest attribute of a well-ordered state.
While Queen Elizabeth was sending her Catholic subjects to the
scaffold and the rack, while Philip II. was endeavoring to ransom
the souls of heretics from perdition by burning their bodies
alive in the public plazas of his cities, and while the awful
incident of St. Bartholomew indicated the religious condition
of France, the great Mogul of Delhi called around his throne
ministers of peace from all religions, proclaimed tolerance of
thought and speech, freedom of worship and theological controversy
throughout his dominions; he abolished certain Hindu practices,
such as trials by ordeal, child marriage, the burning of widows
and other customs which have since been revived, because he
considered them contrary to justice, good morals and the welfare
of his people, and displayed a cosmopolitan spirit by marrying
wives from the Brahmin, Buddhist, Mohammedan and Christian faiths.
He invited the Roman Catholic missionaries, who were enjoying
great success at Goa, the Portuguese colony 200 miles south from
Bombay, to come to Agra and expound their doctrines, and gave
them land and money to build a church. His grandson and successor
married a Catholic queen--a Portuguese princess.

But notwithstanding the just, generous and noble life of Akbar,
he was overthrown by his own son, Selim, who took the high-sounding
title Jehanghir, "Conqueror of the World," and he had been reigning
but a short time when his own son, Kushru, endeavored to treat
him in the same manner. The revolt was promptly quelled. Seven
hundred of the supporters of the young prince were impaled in
a row, and that reckless youth was conducted slowly along the
line so that he could hear the dying reproaches of the victims
of his misguided ambition. Other of his sons also organized
rebellions afterward and "the conqueror of the world" had
considerable difficulty in retaining his seat upon the throne,
but he proved to be a very good king. He was just and tolerant,
sober and dignified and scrupulous in observing the requirements
of his position, and was entirely subject to the influence of
a beautiful and brilliant wife.

His successor was Shah Jehan, one of the most interesting and
romantic figures in Indian history, who began his reign by murdering
his brothers. That precaution firmly established him upon the throne.
He, too, was considered a good king, but his fame rests chiefly
upon the splendor of his court and the magnificent structures he
erected. He rebuilt the ancient City of Delhi upon a new site,
adorned it with public buildings of unparalleled cost and beauty,
and received his subjects seated upon the celebrated peacock
throne, a massive bench of solid gold covered with mosaic figures
of diamonds, rubies, pearls and other precious stones. It cost
£6,500,000, which is $32,500,000 of our money, even in those
times, when jewels were cheap compared with the prices of today.
In 1729 Nadir Shah, the King of Persia, swooped down upon India
and carried this wonder of the world to his own capital, together
with about $200,000,000 in other portable property.

There are many good traits in the character of Shah Jehan. Aside
from his extravagance, his administration was to be highly commended.
Under his rule India reached the summit of its wealth and prosperity,
and the people enjoyed liberty and peace, but retribution came at
last, and his sons did unto him as he had done unto his father,
and much more also. They could not wait until he was ready to
relinquish power or until death took the scepter from his hand,
but four of them rebelled against him, drove him from the throne
and kept him a prisoner for the last eight years of his life. But
scarcely had they overthrown him when they began to quarrel among
themselves, and Aurangzeb, the fourth son, being the strongest
among them, simplified the situation by slaughtering his three
brothers, and was thus able to reign unmolested for more than
half a century, until he died in 1707, 89 years old. His last
days were embittered by a not unnatural fear that he would suffer
the fate of his own father.

From the time that the Emperor Aurangzeb climbed to the throne
of the Moguls upon the dead bodies of his father and three elder
brothers, the glory and power of that empire began to decay.
He reigned forty-nine years. His court was magnificent. At the
beginning his administration was wise and just, and he was without
question an able, brave and cultured king. But, whether as an
atonement for his crimes or for some other reason, he became a
religious fanatic, and after a few years the broad-minded policy
of religious liberty and toleration, which was the chief feature
of the reign of his father and his grandfather, was reversed, and
he endeavored to force all of his subjects into the Mohammedan
faith. He imposed a heavy head tax upon all who did not profess
that faith; he excluded all but Moslems from the public service;
he deprived "infidels," as they were generally termed, of valuable
civil rights and privileges; he desecrated the shrines and destroyed
the sacred images of the Hindus, and prohibited the religious
festivals and other features of their worship. The motive of
this policy was no doubt conscientious, but the effect was the
same as that which has followed similar sectarian zeal in other
countries. The history of the world demonstrates that religious
intolerance and persecution always destroy prosperity. No nation
ever prospered that prohibited freedom of worship. You will find
a striking demonstration of that truth in Spain, in the Balkan
states and in the Ottoman Empire, in modern times without going
back to the Jews and other ancient races. The career of Aurangzeb is
strikingly like that of Philip II. of Spain, and his character was
similar to that of Louis XIV. of France, who was his contemporary.
Both were unscrupulous, arrogant, egotistical and cruel kings;
both were religious devotees and endeavored to compensate for a
lack of morals by excessive zeal in persecuting heretics, and
in promoting what they considered the interests of their church;
and both created disaffection and provoked rebellion among their
subjects, and undermined the power and authority of the dynasties
to which they belonged.

It is needless to review the slow but gradual decay of the Great
Mogul Empire. With the adoption of Aurangzeb's policy of intolerance
it began to crumble, and none of his successors proved able to
restore it. He died in 1707, and the throne of the Moguls was
never again occupied by a man of force or notable ability. The
history of the empire during the eighteenth century is merely a
record of successive failures, of disintegration, of successful
rebellions and of invasions by foreign foes, which stripped the
Moguls of their wealth and destroyed their resources. First came
the Persians; then the Afghans, who plundered the imperial capital,
desecrated tombs and temples, destroyed the fortresses and palaces
and left little but distress and devastation when they departed.
One by one the provinces separated themselves from the empire and
set up their own independence; until in 1804 the English took
possession of the remnant and have maintained their authority
ever since.

Within the wall of the great citadel at Delhi, for reasons of
policy, the English allowed the great Mogul to maintain a fictitious
court, and because the title continued to command the veneration of
the natives, at state ceremonies the nominal successor of Timour
the Tartar was allowed to sit upon a throne in the imperial hall
of audience and receive the homage of the people. But the Moguls
were not allowed to exercise authority and were idle puppets
in the hands of their advisers until the great mutiny of 1857
brought the native soldiers into the palace crying:

"Help, oh King, in our Fight for the Faith."

It is not necessary to relate the details of that awful episode
of Indian history, but it will do no harm to recall what we learned
in our school days of the principal incidents and refer to the
causes which provoked it. From the beginning of the British
occupation of India there had been frequent local uprisings caused
by discontent or conspiracy, but the East India Company, and the
officials of the British government who supported it, had perfect
confidence in the loyalty of the sepoys--the native soldiers who
were hired to fight against their fellow countrymen for so much
pay. They were officered by Englishmen, whose faith in them was
only extinguished by assassination and massacre. The general
policy and the general results of British administration have
been worthy of the highest commendation, but there have been
many blunders and much injustice from time to time, due to
individuals rather than to the nation. A weak and unwise man
in authority can do more harm in a year than can be corrected
in a century. Several so-called "reforms" had been introduced
into the native army; orders had been issued forbidding the use
of caste marks, the wearing of earrings and other things which
Englishmen considered trivial, but were of great importance to
the Hindus. Native troops were ordered over the sea, which caused
them to lose their caste; new regulations admitted low-caste men
to the service; the entire army was provided with a new uniform
with belts and cockades made from the skins of animals which the
Hindus considered sacred, and cartridges were issued which had been
covered with lard to protect them from the moisture of the climate,
and, as everybody knows, the flesh of swine is the most unclean
thing in existence to the pious Hindu. All these things, which
the stubborn, stupid Englishmen considered insignificant, were
regarded by the sepoys as deliberate attacks upon their religion,
and certain conspirators, who had reasons for desiring to destroy
British authority, used them to convince the native soldiers
that the new regulations were a long-considered and deliberate
attempt to deprive them of their caste and force them to become
Christians. Unfortunately the British officers in command refused
to treat the complaints seriously, and laughed in the faces of
their men, which was insult added to injury, and was interpreted
as positive proof of the evil intentions of the government.

This situation was taken advantage of by certain Hindu princes
who had been deprived of power or of pensions previously granted.
Nana Sahib, the deposed raja of Poona, was the leader, and the
unsuspecting authorities allowed him to travel about the country
stirring up discontent and conspiring with other disloyal native
chiefs for a general uprising and massacre, which, according to
their programme, occurred in northern India during the summer
of 1857. If the British had desired to play into the hands of the
conspirators they could not have adopted a policy more effective
in that direction. Utterly unconscious of danger and unsuspicious
of the conspiracies that were enfolding them, they relieved city
after city of its guard of English troops and issued arms and
ammunition in unusual and unnecessary quantities to the sepoys,
at whose mercy the entire foreign population was left.

The outbreak occurred according to the programme of Nana Sahib,
who proved to be a leader of great ability and strategic skill,
and in nearly every city of northern India, particularly at Delhi,
Lucknow, Cawnpore and other places along the Ganges, men, women and
children, old and young, in the foreign colonies were butchered
in cold blood. In Agra 6,000 foreigners gathered for protection
in the walls of the great fort, and most of them were saved.
Small detachments of brave soldiers under General Havelock, Sir
Henry Lawrence, Sir Colin Campbell, Sir Hugh Rose, Lord Napier and
other leaders fought their way to the rescue, and the conspiracy
was finally crushed, but not without untold suffering and enormous
loss of life.

On the evening of May 11, 1857, about fifty foreigners, all unarmed
civilians, were brought into the palace at Delhi, and by order of
Bahander Shah, the Mogul whom the mutineer leaders had proclaimed
Emperor of India, were thrust into a dungeon, starved for five
days and then hacked to pieces in the beautiful courtyard. The
new emperor, a weak-minded old man with no energy or ability,
and scarcely intellect enough to realize his responsibilities,
pronounced judgment and issued the orders prepared for him by
the conspirators by whom he was surrounded. But retribution was
swift and sure. A few weeks later when the British troops blew
in the walls of the palace citadel after one of the most gallant
assaults ever recorded in the annals of war, the old man, with
two of his sons, fled to the tomb of Humayon, who occupied the
Mogul throne from 1531 to 1556, as if that sanctuary would be
revered by the British soldiers.

This tomb is one of the most notable buildings in India. It stands
on the bank of the Jumna River, about five miles from the present
city of Delhi. It is an octagonal mass of rose-colored sandstone
and white marble, decorated with an ingenuity of design and delicacy
of execution that have never been surpassed, and is crowned by a
marble dome of perfect Persian pattern, three-fourths the diameter
of that of St. Paul's Cathedral of London, and almost as large as
that of the Capitol at Washington. In this splendid mausoleum,
where twelve of his imperial ancestors sleep, the Last of the Moguls
endeavored to conceal himself and his sons, but Colonel Hodson,
who commanded a desperate volunteer battalion of foreigners whose
property had been confiscated or destroyed by the mutineers, whose
wives had been ravished and whose children had been massacred,
followed the flying Mogul to the asylum he sought, and dragged
him trembling and begging for mercy from among the tombs.

Hodson was a man of remarkable character and determination and
was willing to assume responsibility, and "Hodson's Horse," as
the volunteer battalion was called, were the Rough Riders of the
Indian mutiny. He took the aged king back to Delhi and delivered
him to the British authorities alive, but almost imbecile from
terror and excitement. The two princes, 19 and 22 years of age,
he deliberately shot with his own revolver before leaving the
courtyard of the tomb in which they were captured.

This excited the horror of all England. The atrocities of the
mutineers were almost forgotten for the moment. That the heirs
of the throne of the great Moguls should be killed by a British
officer while prisoners of war was an offense against civilization
and Christianity that could not be tolerated, although only a
few weeks before these two same princes had participated in the
cold-blooded butchery of fifty Christian women and children.
There was a parliamentary investigation. Hodson explained that
he had only a few men, too few to guard three prisoners of such
importance; that he was surrounded by fifty thousand half-armed
and excited natives, who would have exterminated his little band
and rescued his prisoners if anyone of their number had possessed
sufficient presence of mind and courage to make the attempt.
Convinced that he could not conduct three prisoners through that
crowd of their adherents and sympathizers without sacrificing
his own life and that of his escort, he took the responsibility
of shooting the princes like the reptiles they were, and thus
relieved the British government from what might have been a most
embarrassing situation.

Hodson was condemned by parliament and public opinion, while
the bloodthirsty old assassin he had captured was treated as
gently and as generously as if he had been a saint. Bahandur
Shah was tried and convicted of treason, but was acquitted of
responsibility for the massacre on the ground that his act
authorizing it was a mere formality, and that it would have occurred
without his consent at any rate. Instead of hanging him the British
government sent him in exile to Rangoon, where he was furnished
a comfortable bungalow and received a generous pension until
November, 1862, when he died. Bahandur Shah had a third son, a
worthless drunken fellow, who managed to escape the consequences
of his participation in the massacre and accompanied him into
exile. He survived his father for several years and left a widow
and several children at Rangoon, including a son, who inherited
his indolence, but not his vices. The latter still lives there on
a small pension from the British government, is idle, indifferent,
amiable and well-liked. He goes to the races, the polo games
and tennis matches, and takes interest in other sports, but is
too lazy to participate. He has married a Burmese wife and they
have several children, who live with him in the bungalow that was
assigned to his grandfather when he was sent to Burma forty-five
years ago, and, judging from appearances, it has not been repaired
since. Although he is perfectly harmless, the Last of the Moguls
is required to report regularly to the British commandant and
is not allowed to leave Burma, even if he should ever desire
to do so.



XIV

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE MOGULS

Although the Moguls have vanished, their glory remains in the
most sublime and beautiful monuments that were ever erected by
human hands, and people come from the uttermost parts of the
earth to admire them. In the form of fortresses, palaces, temples
and tombs they are scattered pretty well over northern India,
and the finest examples may be found at Agra, a city of 200,000
inhabitants, only a short ride from Delhi, the Mogul capital. Agra
was their favorite residence. Akbar the Great actually removed
the seat of government there the latter part of the sixteenth
century, and expended genius and money until he made it the most
beautiful city in India and filled it with the most splendid
palaces that were ever seen. Shah Jehan, his grandson, who was
a greater man than he, and lived and reigned nearly a hundred
years after him, even surpassed him in architectural ambition
and accomplishments. Jehan built the fort at Agra, and the best
specimens of his architectural work are within its walls, erected
between 1630 and 1637, and he was confined within them, the prisoner
of his son Aurangzeb, for seven years before his death, from 1658
to 1665.

The fortress at Agra is probably the grandest citadel ever erected.
It surpasses in beauty and strength the Kremlin at Moscow, the
Tower of London, the citadel at Toledo and every other fortress
I know of. Nothing erected in modern times can compare with it.
Although it would be a poor defense and protection against modern
projectiles, it was impregnable down to the mutiny of 1857. The
walls are two miles and a quarter in circumference; they are
protected by a moat 30 feet wide and 35 feet deep; they are 70
feet high and 30 feet thick, and built of enormous blocks of
red sandstone. There are two entrances, both very imposing, one
called the Delhi Gate and the other the Elephant Gate, where
there used to be two large stone elephants, but they were removed
many years ago. Within the walls is a collection of the most
magnificent oriental palaces ever erected, with mosques, barracks,
arsenals, storehouses, baths and other buildings for residential,
official and military purposes, all of them on the grandest scale.
Since the British have had possession they have torn down many
of the old buildings and have erected unsightly piles of brick
and stone in their places, but while such vandalism cannot be
condemned in terms too strong, the world should be grateful to
them for leaving the most characteristic and costly of the Mogul
residences undisturbed. A small garrison of English soldiers is
quartered in the fortress at present, just enough to protect it
and keep things in order, but there is room for several regiments,
and during the mutiny of 1857 more than 6,000 foreigners, refugees
from northern India, found refuge and protection here.

Although the palaces seem bare and comfortless to us to-day, and
we wonder how people could ever be contented to live in them,
we are reminded that when they were actually occupied the open
arches were hung with curtains, the marble floors were spread
with rugs and covered with cushions, and the banquet halls were
furnished with sumptuous services of gold, silver and linen.
The Moguls were not ascetics. They loved luxury and lived in
great magnificence with every comfort and convenience that the
ingenuity and experience of those days could contrive. It is
never safe to judge of things by your own standard. You may always
be sure that intelligent people will adapt themselves in the
best possible manner to their conditions and environment. Those
who live in the tropics know much better how to make themselves
comfortable than friends who visit them from the arctic zone.
Wise travelers will always imitate local habits and customs so
far as they are able to do so. While these wonderful compositions
of carved marble seem cold and comfortless as they stand empty
to-day, we must not forget that they were very different when
they were actually inhabited. Some idea of the luxury of the
Mogul court may be gained from an account given by M. Bernier,
a Frenchman who visited Agra in 1663 during the reign of Shah
Jehan. He says:

"The king appeared sitting upon his throne, in the bottom of
the great hall of the Am-kas, splendidly appareled. His vest was
of white satin, flowered and raised with a very fine embroidery
of gold and silk. His turban was of cloth-of-gold, having a fowl
wrought upon it like a heron, whose foot was covered with diamonds
of an extraordinary bigness and price, with a great oriental topaz,
which may be said to be matchless, shining like a little sun. A
collar of big pearls hung about his neck down to his stomach,
after the manner that some of the heathens wear their great beads.
His throne was supported by six pillars, or feet, said to be
of massive gold, and set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. I
am not able to tell you aright either the number or the price
of this heap of precious stones, because it is not permitted to
come near enough to count them and to judge of their water and
purity. Only this I can say: that the big diamonds are there
in confusion, and that the throne is estimated to be worth four
kouroures of roupies, if I remember well. I have said elsewhere
that a roupie is almost equivalent to half a crown, a lecque to
a hundred thousand roupies and a kourour to a hundred lecques,
so that the throne is valued at forty millions of roupies, which
are worth about sixty millions of French livres. That which I
find upon it best devised are two peacocks covered with precious
stones and pearls. Beneath this throne there appeared all the
Omrahs, in splendid apparel, upon a raised ground covered with a
canopy of purified gold, with great golden fringes and inclosed
by a silver balistre. The pillars of the hall were hung with
tapestries of purified gold, having the ground of gold; and for
the roof of the hall there was nothing but great canopies of
flowered satin, fastened with great red silken cords that had
big tufts of silk mixed with threads of gold."

The gem of the architectural exhibition at Agra, always exempting
the Taj Mahal, is the "Pearl Mosque," so called because it is
built of stainless white marble, without the slightest bit of
color within except inscriptions from the Koran here and there
inlaid in precious stones. It was the private chapel of the Moguls,
as you might say; was built between 1648 and 1655, and has been
pronounced by the highest authority to be the purest and most
elegant example of Saracenic architecture in existence. No lovelier
sanctuary was ever erected in honor of the Creator. One of the
inscriptions tells us that it was intended to be "likened to a
mansion of paradise or to a precious pearl." It is built after
the usual fashion, a square courtyard paved with white marble and
surrounded by a marble colonnade of exquisite arches, supported
by pillars of perfect grace. The walls upon three sides are solid;
the western side, looking toward Mecca, being entirely open, a
succession of arches supported by columns exquisitely carved.
And the roof is crowned with a forest of minarets and three white
marble domes. In the center of the courtyard is a marble tank
thirty-seven feet square and three feet deep, in which the faithful
performed their ablutions before going to prayer.

Near by the mosque is the Diwan-i-'Am, or Hall of Public Audience,
201 feet square, in which the Moguls received their subjects
and held court. The roof is supported by nine rows of graceful
columns cut from red sandstone and formerly covered with gold.
The rest of the building is marble. The throne stood upon a high
platform in an alcove of white marble, richly decorated, and above
it are balconies protected by grilles or screens behind which the
sultanas were permitted to watch the proceedings. Back of the
audience-room is a great quadrangle, planted with trees, flowers
and vines. White marble walks radiate from a marble platform and
fountain basin in the center, and divide the garden into beds
which, we are told, were filled with soil brought from Cashmere
because of its richness. And even to-day gardeners say that it
is more productive than any found in this part of the country.
Around this court were the apartments of the zenana, or harem,
occupied by the mother, sisters, wives and daughters of the sultan
who were more or less prisoners, but had considerable area to
wander about in, and could sit in the jasmine tower, one of the
most exquisite pieces of marble work you can imagine, and on the
flat roofs of the palaces, which were protected by high screens,
and enjoy views over the surrounding country and up and down the
Jumna River. From this lofty eyrie they could witness reviews
of the troops and catch glimpses of the gay cavalcades that came
in and out of the fortress, and in a small courtyard was a bazar
where certain favored merchants from the city were allowed to
come and exhibit goods to the ladies of the court. But these were
the only glimpses female royalty ever had of the outer world.

No man was ever admitted to the zenana except the emperor. All
domestic work was done by women, who were watched on the outside
by eunuchs and then by soldiers. They had their own place of
worship, the "Gem Mosque" they called it, a beautiful little
structure erected by Shah Jehan, and afterward used as his prison.

The baths are of the most sumptuous character. The walls are
decorated with raised foliage work in colors, silver and gold,
upon a ground of mirrors, and the ceiling is finished with pounded
mica, which has the effect of silver. Fronting the entrance of
the bathrooms are rows of lights over which the water poured in
broad sheets into a basin, then, running over a little marble
causeway, fell over a second cluster of lights into another basin,
and then another and another, five in succession, so that many
ladies were able to bathe in these fascinating fountains at the
same time. Below the baths we were shown some dark and dreary
vaults. In the center of the most gloomy of them there is a pit--a
well--which, the guide told us, has its outlet in the bottom of
the river, three-quarters of a mile away. Over this pit hangs
a heavy beam of wood very highly carved, and in the center is
a groove from which dangles a silken rope. Here, according to
tradition, unfaithful inmates of the harem were hanged, and when
life was extinct the cord was cut and the body fell into the
pit, striking the keen edge of knives at frequent intervals,
so that it finally reached the river in small fragments, which
were devoured by fishes or crocodiles, or if they escaped them,
floated down to the sea. After each execution a flood of water was
turned from the fountains into the pit to wash away the stains.

But let us turn from this terrible place to the jasmine tower
containing apartments of the chief sultana, which overhangs the
walls of the fort and is surpassingly beautiful: a series of
rooms entirely of marble--roof, walls and floor--and surrounded
by a broad marble veranda supported, by noble arches springing
from graceful, slender pillars arranged in pairs and protected
by a balustrade of perforated marble. One could scarcely imagine
anything more dainty than these lacelike screens of stone extremely
simple in design and exquisite in execution. The interior walls
are incrusted with mosaic work of jasper, carnelian, lapis-lazuli,
agate, turquoise, bloodstone, malachite and other precious materials
in the form of foliage, flowers, ornamental scrolls, sentences
from the Koran in Arabic letters and geometrical patterns. The
decoration is as beautiful and as rich as the Taj Mahal, so far
as it goes, and was done by the same artists.

There is a broad field for the imagination to range about in
and picture this palace when it was a paradise of luxury and
splendor, filled with gorgeous and costly hangings, draperies,
rugs, couches and cushions. The writers of the time tell us that
the sultanas had 5,000 women around them who were divided into
companies. First were the three chief wives, next in rank were
300 concubines and the remainder were dancing girls, musicians,
artists, embroiderers, seamstresses, hair dressers, cooks and
other servants. The mother of the Mogul was always the head of
the household. The three empresses were subject to her authority,
according to the oriental custom, and while they might stand
first in the affections of the Mogul they were subordinate to
his mother, who conducted affairs about the harem, we are told,
with the same regularity and strictness that were found in the
executive departments of the state. Each of the wives received an
allowance according to her rank. If she had a child, especially
a son, she was immediately promoted to the highest rank, given
larger and better quarters, provided with many more servants
and furnished with a much larger allowance in money.

The apartments of the emperor are quite plain when compared with
the adjoining suite of the favorite sultana, but are massive,
dignified and appropriate for a sovereign of his wealth and power,
and everything is finished with that peculiar elegance which is
only found in the East. In all the great cluster of buildings
there is nothing mean or commonplace. Every apartment, every
corridor, every arch and every column is perfect and a wonder
of architectural design, construction and decoration.

From the emperor's apartments you may pass through a stately
pavilion to a large marble courtyard. Upon one side of it, next
to the wall that overhangs the river, is a slab of black marble
known as "The Black Marble Throne." And upon this he used to
sit when hearing appeals for justice from his subjects or other
business of supreme importance. Upon the opposite side of the
court is a white marble slab upon which the grand vizier sat
and to the east is a platform where seats were provided for the
judges, the nobles and the grandees of the court. In this pavilion
have occurred some of the most exciting scenes in Indian history.

Perhaps you would like to know something about the women who
lived in these wonderful palaces, and are buried in the beautiful
tombs at Agra. They had their romances and their tragedies, and
although the Mohammedan custom kept them closely imprisoned in
the zenanas, they nevertheless exerted a powerful influence in
arranging the destinies of the Mogul empire. The most notable
of the women, and one who would have taken a prominent part in
affairs in whatever country or in whatever generation it had
pleased the Almighty to place her, was Nur Jehan, sultana of the
Mogul Jehanghir. She lived in the marble palace of Agra from 1556
to 1605; a woman of extraordinary force of character, the equal
of Queen Elizabeth in intellect and of Mary Stuart in physical
attractions, and her life was a mixture of romance and tragedy. Her
father, Mizra Gheas Bey, or Itimad-Ud Daula, as he was afterward
known, was grand vizier of the Mogul empire during the latter
part of the reign of Akbar the Great. An obscure but ambitious
Persian scholar, hearing of the generous patronage extended to
students by Emperor Akbar in India, he started from Teheran to
Delhi overland, a distance of several thousand miles. He had
means enough to buy a donkey for his wife to ride, and trudged
along with a caravan on foot beside the animal to protect her and
the panniers which contained all their earthly possessions. The
morning after the caravan reached Kandahar, Turkestan, a daughter
was born to the wife of Mirza, and was, naturally, a great source
of anxiety and embarrassment to him, but the principal merchant
of the caravan, struck with the beauty of the child and with
sympathy for the mother, provided for their immediate needs, took
them with him to Agra and there used his good offices with the
officials in behalf of the father, who was given employment under
the government. His ability and fidelity were soon recognized. He
was promoted rapidly, and finally reached the highest office in
the gift of the Mogul--that of prime minister of the empire--which
he filled with conspicuous ability, wisdom and prudence for many
years. As his daughter grew to girlhood she attracted the attention
of Prince Jehanghir, who became violently in love with her, and,
to prevent complications, the emperor caused her to be married to
Shir Afghan Kahn, a young Persian of excellent family, who was
made viceroy of Bengal, and took his wife with him to Calcutta.

Several years later, when Jehanghir ascended the throne, he had
not forgotten the beautiful Persian, and sent emissaries to Calcutta
to arrange with her husband for a divorce so that he might take
her into his own harem. Shir Afghan refused, and the king ordered
his assassination. Nur Jehan undoubtedly loved her husband, and
sincerely mourned him. She repelled the addresses of the emperor,
and for several years earned her living by embroidery and painting
silks. One day the emperor surprised her in her apartment. He
was the only man in India who had the right to intrude upon his
lady subjects, but seems to have used it with rare discretion.
When she recognized her visitor she bowed her head to the floor
nine times in accordance with the custom of the country; and
although she was wearing the simplest of garments, she had lost
none of her beauty or graces, and treated the Mogul with becoming
modesty and dignity. When he reproached her for her plain attire
she replied:

"Those born to servitude must dress as it shall please them whom
they serve. Those women around me are my servants and I lighten
their bondage by every indulgence in my power; and I, who am your
slave, O Emperor of the World, am willing to dress according to
your pleasure and not my own."

This significant retort pleased His Majesty immensely, and, with
the facilities that were afforded emperors in those days, he had
her sent at once to the imperial harem, where she was provided
with every possible comfort and luxury and was promoted rapidly
over the other women. She received the title Nur Jehan Begam
(Light of the World). The Emperor granted her the right of
sovereignty in her own name; her portrait was placed upon the
coin of the country; and after several years her power became
so great that the officials would not obey any important order
from his majesty unless it bore her indorsement. He willingly
submitted to her judgment and counsel. She repressed his passions,
caprices and prejudices, and when any matter of serious importance
arose in the administration of affairs, it was submitted to her
before action was taken. Her beauty and her graces were the theme
of all the poets of India, and her goodness, the kindness of her
heart and her unbounded generosity are preserved by innumerable
traditions. She was the godmother of all orphan girls and provided
their dowers when they were married, and it is said that during
her reign she procured good husbands for thousands of friendless
girls who otherwise must have spent their lives in slavery. Thus
the child of the desert became the most powerful influence in
the East, for in those days the authority of the Mogul extended
from the Ganges to the Bosporus and the Baltic Sea.

Nur Jehan took good care of her own family. Her father continued
to occupy the office of grand vizier until his death, and her
brother, Asaf Khan, became high treasurer of the empire and
father-in-law of the Mogul. Other relatives were placed in
remunerative and influential positions. But at last she made a
blunder, and failed to secure the crown for her son, Sheriar,
who, being a younger member of the family, was not entitled to
it, and Shah Jehan, the oldest son of the Mogul by another wife,
succeeded him to the throne.

Shah Jehan promptly murdered his ambitious brother, as was the
amiable custom of those days, but treated his father's famous
widow with great respect and generosity. He presented her with
a magnificent palace, gave her an allowance of $1,250,000 a year
and accepted her pledge that she would interfere no longer in
politics. She survived nineteen years and devoted her time and
talents thereafter and several millions of dollars to the
construction of a tomb to the memory of her father, which still
stands as one of the finest of the group of architectural wonders
of Agra. It is situated in a walled garden on the bank of the
River Jumna about a mile and a half from the hotels, and is
constructed entirely of white marble. The sides are of the most
beautiful perforated work, and the towers are of exquisite design.
Much of the walls are covered with the Florentine mosaic work
similar to that which distinguishes the Taj Mahal.

[Illustration: AKBAR, THE GREAT MOGUL. SHAH JEHAN]

Shah Jehan, the greatest of all the Moguls, had many wives, and
three in particular. One of them was a Hindu, of whom we know
very little; another was a Mohammedan, the daughter of Asaf Khan,
high treasurer of the empire and the niece of Nur Jehan. She is
the woman who sleeps in the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful of all
human structures. The third was Miriam, a Portuguese Christian
princess, who never renounced her religion, and built a Roman
Catholic Church in a park outside the walls of Agra in connection
with a palace provided for her special residence. This marriage
was brought about through the influence of the governor of the
Portuguese colony at Goa, 200 miles south of Bombay, and illustrates
the liberality of Shah Jehan in religious matters. He not only
tolerated, but invited Catholic missionaries to come into his
empire and preach their doctrines, and although we know very
little of the experience of the Sultana Miriam, and her life
must have been rather lonely and isolated, yet the king did not
require her to remain in the harem with his other wives, but
gave her an independent establishment a considerable distance
from the city, where she was attended by ladies of her own race
and religion. Her palace has disappeared, but the church she
built is still standing, and her tomb is preserved. By successive
changes they have passed under the control of the Church of England
and her grounds are now occupied by an orphanage under the
superintendence of a Mr. Moore, who has 360 young Hindus under
his care. The fathers and mothers of most of them died during
the famine and he is teaching them useful trades. We stopped
to talk to some of the children as we drove about the place,
but did not get much information. The boys giggled and ran away
and the workmen were surprisingly ignorant of their own affairs,
which, I have discovered, is a habit Hindus cultivate when they
meet strangers.

Akbar the Great is buried in a coffin of solid gold in a mausoleum
of exquisite beauty about six miles from Agra on the road to
Delhi. It is another architectural wonder. Many critics consider
it almost equal to Taj Mahal. It is reached by a lovely drive
along a splendid road that runs like a green aisle through a
grove of noble old trees whose boughs are inhabited by myriads
of parrots and monkeys. The mausoleum is quite different from
any other that we have seen, being a sort of pyramid of four open
platforms, standing on columns. These are of red sandstone and
the fourth, where rests the tomb of the great Mogul, of marble.
The lower stories are frescoed and decorated elaborately in blue
and gold. The fourth or highest platform is a beautiful little
cloister of the purest white. No description in words could possibly
do it justice or convey anything like an accurate idea of its
beauty. Imagine, if you can, a platform eighty feet from the
ground reached by beautiful stairways and inclosed by roofless
walls of the purest marble that was ever quarried. These walls
are divided into panels. Each panel contains a slab of marble
about an inch thick and perforated like the finest of lace. The
divisions and frame work, the base and frieze are chiseled with
embroidery in stone such as can be found nowhere else. There is
no roof but the sky. In the center of this lofty chamber stands
a solid block of marble which is covered with inscriptions from
the Koran in graceful, flowing Persian text. Sealed within a
cenotaph underneath are the remains of the great Akbar.

About three feet from his head stands a low marble column exquisitely
carved. It is about four feet high, and in the center of the
top is a defect, a rough hole, which seems to have been left
there intentionally. When the mighty Akbar died, his son and
successor, the Emperor Jehanghir, imbedded in the center of that
column, where it might be admired by the thousands of people who
came to the tomb every day, the Kohinoor, then the most valued
diamond in the world and still one of the most famous of jewels,
and chief ornament in the British crown. It was one of the most
audacious exhibitions of wealth and recklessness ever made, but
the stone remained there in the open air, guarded only by the
ordinary custodian of the tomb, from 1668 to 1739, when Nadir,
Shah of Persia, invaded India, captured Delhi, sacked the palaces
of the moguls, and carried back to his own country more than
$300,000,000 worth of their treasures.



XV

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF BUILDINGS

Once upon a time there lived an Arab woman named Arjumand Banu.
We know very little about her, except that she lived in Agra,
India, and was the Sultana of Shah Jehan, the greatest of the
Mogul emperors. She must have been a good woman and a good wife,
because, after eighteen years of married life, and within twelve
months after his accession to the throne, in 1629, she died in
giving birth to her fourteenth baby. And her husband loved her so
much that he sheltered her grave with a mausoleum which, without
question or reservation, is pronounced by all architects and
critics to be the most beautiful building in the world--the most
sublime and perfect work of human hands.

[Illustration: THE TAJ MAHAL]

It is called the Taj Mahal, which means "The Crown of the Palaces,"
and is pronounced Taash Mahal, with the accent on the last syllable
of the last word. Its architect is not definitely known, but the
design is supposed to have been made by Ustad Isa, a Persian,
who was assisted by Geronino Verroneo, an Italian, and Austin de
Bordeaux, a Frenchman. They are credited with the mosaics and
other decorations. Austin designed and made the famous peacock
throne at Delhi. Governor La Fouche of that province, who has
carefully restored the park that surrounds the building, and is
keeping things up in a way that commands hearty commendation,
has the original plans and specifications, which were discovered
among the archives of the Moguls in Delhi after the mutiny of 1857.
The records show also that the tomb cost more than $20,000,000 of
American money, not including labor, for like those other famous
sepulchers, the pyramids of Egypt, this wonderful structure was
erected by forced labor, by unpaid workmen, who were drafted
from their shops and farms by order of the Mogul for that purpose,
and, according to the custom of the time, they were compelled to
support themselves as well as their families during the period
of their employment. Thousands of those poor, helpless creatures
died of starvation and exhaustion; thousands perished of disease,
and thousands more, including women and children, suffered untold
distress and agony, all because one loving husband desired to do
honor to the favorite among his many wives. The workmen were changed
at intervals, 20,000 being constantly employed for twenty-two
years upon this eulogy in marble. The descendants of some of
the artists engaged upon its matchless decoration still live in
Agra and enjoy a certain distinction because of their ancestry.
Forty or fifty of them were employed by Governor La Fouche in
making repairs and restorations in 1902, and a dozen or more
are still at work. It is customary in that country for sons to
follow the occupations of their fathers.

The road to the Taj Mahal from the City of Agra crosses the River
Jumna, winds about among modern bungalows in which British officials
and military officers reside, alternating with the ruins of ancient
palaces, tombs, temples and shrines which are allowed to deface
the landscape. Some of the fields are cultivated, and in December,
when we were there, the business of the farmers seemed chiefly
to be that of hoisting water from wells to irrigate their crops.
They have a curious method. A team of oxen hoists the buckets
with a long rope running over a pulley, and every time they make
a trip along the well-worn pathway they dump a barrel or more of
much needed moisture into a ditch that feeds the thirsty ground.

The roadway is well kept. It was made several centuries ago, and
was put in perfect order in 1902 on account of the Imperial durbar
at Delhi, which brought thousands of critical strangers to see the
Taj Mahal, which really is the greatest sight in India, and is
more famous than any other building, except perhaps Westminster
Abbey and St. Peter's Cathedral at Rome. The road leads up to a
superb gateway of red sandstone inlaid with inscriptions from
the Koran in white marble, and surmounted by twenty-six small
marble domes, Moorish kiosks, arches and pinnacles. This gateway
is considered one of the finest architectural monuments in all
India. Bayard Taylor pronounced it equal to the Taj itself.

You pass under a noble arch one hundred and forty feet high and
one hundred and ten feet wide, which is guarded by a group of
Moslem priests and a squad of native soldiers who protect the
property from vandals. Having passed this gateway you find yourself
at the top of a flight of wide steps overlooking a great garden,
which was originally laid out by the Mogul Shah Jehan and by Lord
Curzon's orders was restored last year as nearly as possible
to its original condition and appearance. About fifty acres are
inclosed by a high wall of a design appropriate to its purpose.
There are groups of cypress equal in size and beauty to any in
India; groves of orange and lemon trees, palms and pomegranates,
flowering plants and shrubs, through which winding walks of gravel
have been laid. From the steps of the gateway to the tomb is
a vista about a hundred feet wide paved with white and black
marble with tessellated designs, inclosed with walls of cypress
boughs. In the center are a series of tanks, or marble basins,
fed from fountains, and goldfish swim about in the limpid water.
This vista, of course, was intended to make the first view as
impressive as possible, and it is safe to say that there is no
other equal to it. At the other end of the marble-paved tunnel
of trees, against a cloudless sky, rises the most symmetrical,
the most perfect, perhaps the only faultless human structure in
existence. At first one is inclined to be a little bewildered,
a little dazed, as if the senses were paralyzed, and could not
adjust themselves to this "poem in marble," or "vision in marble,"
or "dream in marble," as poets and artists have rhapsodized over
it for four centuries.

No building has been more often described and sketched and painted
and photographed. For three hundred and fifty years it has appeared
as an illustration in the chapter on India in geographies, atlases
and gazetteers; it is used as a model in architectural text-books,
and of course is reproduced in every book that is written about
India. It has been modeled in gold, silver, alabaster, wax and
every other material that yields to the sculptor's will, yet no
counterfeit can ever give a satisfactory idea of its loveliness,
the purity of the material of which it is made, the perfection of
its proportions, the richness of its decorations and the exquisite
accuracy achieved by its builders. Some one has said that the
Moguls designed like giants and finished like jewelers, and that
epigram is emphasized in the Taj Mahal. Any portion of it, any
feature, if taken individually, would be enough to immortalize
the architect, for every part is equally perfect, equally chaste,
equally beautiful.

I shall not attempt to describe it. You can find descriptions
by great pens in many books. Sir Edwin Arnold has done it up
both in prose and poetry, and sprawled all over the dictionary
without conveying the faintest idea of its glories and loveliness.
It cannot be described. One might as well attempt to describe
a Beethoven symphony, for, if architecture be frozen music, as
some poet has said, the Taj Mahal is the supremest and sublimest
composition that human genius has produced. But, without using
architectural terms, or gushing any more about it, I will give
you a few plain facts.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF TAJ MAHAL]

The Taj Mahal stands, as I have already told you, at the bottom
of a lovely garden surrounded by groves of cypress trees, on the
bank of the River Jumna, opposite the great fortress of Agra,
where, from the windows of his palace, the king could always
see the snowwhite domes and minarets which cover the ashes of
his Arab wife. Its base is a marble terrace 400 feet square,
elevated eighteen feet above the level of the garden, with benches
arranged around so that one can sit and look and look and look
until its wonderful beauty soaks slowly into his consciousness;
until the soul is saturated. Rising from the terrace eighteen
feet is a marble pedestal or platform 313 feet square, each corner
being marked with a marble minaret 137 feet high; so slender,
so graceful, so delicate that you cannot conceive anything more
so. Within their walls are winding staircases by which one can
reach narrow balconies like those on lighthouses and look upon
the Taj from different heights and study its details from the top
as well as the bottom. The domes that crown these four minarets
are exact miniatures of that which covers the tomb.

On the east and on the west sides of the terrace are mosques built
after Byzantine designs of deep red sandstone, which accentuates
the purity of the marble of which the tomb is made in a most
effective manner. At any other place, with other surroundings,
these mosques would be regarded worthy of prolonged study and
unbounded admiration, but here they pass almost unnoticed. Like
the trees of the gardens and the river that flows at the foot
of the terrace, they are only an humble part of the frame which
incloses the great picture. They are intended to serve a purpose,
and they serve it well. In beauty they are surpassed only by
the tomb itself.

One of the mosques has recently been put in perfect repair and
the other is undergoing restoration, by order of Lord Curzon,
who believes that the architectural and archæological monuments
of ancient India should be preserved and protected, and he is
spending considerable government money for that purpose. This
policy has been criticised by certain Christian missionaries,
who, like the iconoclasts of old, would tear down heathen temples
and desecrate heathen tombs. Many of the most beautiful examples
of ancient Hindu architecture have already been destroyed by
government authority, and the material of which they were built
has been utilized in the construction of barracks and fortresses.
You may not perhaps believe it, but there are still living in
India men who call themselves servants of the Lord, who would
erase every other monument that is in any way associated with
pagan worship or traditions. They would destroy even the Taj
Mahal itself, and then thank God for the opportunity of performing
such a barbarous act in His service.

Midway between the two red mosques rises a majestic pile of pure
white marble 186 feet square, with the corners cut off. It measures
eighty feet from its pedestal to its roof, and is surmounted
by a dome also eighty feet high, measuring from the roof, and
fifty-eight feet in diameter. Upon the summit of the dome is a
spire of gilded copper twenty-eight feet high, making the entire
structure 224 feet from the turf of the garden to the tip of
the spire. All of the domes are shaped like inverted turnips
after the Byzantine style. Four small ones surround the central
dome, exact duplicates and one-eighth of its size, and they are
arranged upon arches upon the flat roof of the building. From
each of the eight angles of the roof springs a delicate spire
or pinnacle, an exact duplicate of the great minarets in the
corners, each sixteen feet high, and they are so slender that
they look like alabaster pencils glistening in the sunshine.
The same duplication is carried out through the entire building.
The harmony is complete. Every tower, every dome, every arch, is
exactly like every other tower, dome and arch, differing only
in dimensions.

The building is entered on the north and south sides through
enormous pointed arches of perfect proportions reaching above
the roof and at each corner of the frames that inclose them is
another minaret, a miniature of the rest. Each of the six faces
of the remainder of the octagon is pierced by two similar arches,
one above the other, opening upon galleries which serve to break
the force of the sun, to moderate the heat and to subdue the
light. They form a sort of colonnade around the building above
and below, and are separated from the rotunda by screens of
perforated alabaster, as exquisite and delicate in design and
execution as Brussels point lace. The slabs of alabaster, 12 by
8 feet in size, are pierced with filigree work finely finished
as if they were intended to be worn as jewels upon the crown of
an empress. I am told that there is no stone work to compare
with this anywhere else on earth. Hence it was not in Athens, nor
in Rome, but in northern India that the chisel of the sculptor
attained its most perfect precision and achieved its greatest
triumphs. All of the light that reaches the interior is filtered
through this trellis work.

The rotunda is unbroken, fifty-eight feet in diameter and one
hundred and sixty feet from the floor to the apex of the dome.
Like every other part of the building, it is of the purest white
marble, inlaid with mosaics of precious stones. The walls, the
pillars, the wainscoting and the entire exterior as well as the
interior of the building are the same. You have doubtless seen
brooches, earrings, sleeve-buttons and other ornaments of Florentine
mosaic, with floral and other designs worked out with different
colored stones inlaid on black or white marble. You can buy paper
weights of that sort, and table tops which represent months of
labor and the most exact workmanship. They are very expensive
because of the skill and the time required to execute them. Well,
upon the walls of the tomb of the Princess Arjamand are about
two acres of surface covered with such mosaics as fine and as
perfect as if each setting were a jewel intended for a queen to
wear--turquoise, coral, garnet, carnelian, jasper, malachite,
agate, lapis lazuli, onyx, nacre, bloodstone, tourmaline, sardonyx
and a dozen other precious stones of different colors. The guide
book says that twenty-eight different varieties of stone, many of
them unknown to modern times, are inlaid in the walls of marble.

The most beautiful of these embellishments are inscriptions,
chiefly passages from the Koran and tributes of praise to "The
Exalted One of the Palace" who lies buried there, worked out
in Arabic and Persian characters, which are the most artistic
of any language, and lend themselves gracefully to decorative
purposes. The ninety-nine names of God, which pious Mussulmans
love to inscribe, appear in several places. Over the archway
of the entrance is an inscription in Persian characters which
reads like a paraphrase of the beatitudes:

"Only the Pure in Heart can Enter the Garden of God."

This arch was once inclosed by silver doors, which were carried
off by the Persians when they invaded India and sacked the palaces
of Agra in 1739.

There is no wood or metal in this building; not a nail or a screw
or a bolt of any sort. It is entirely of marble, mortised and
fastened with cement.

The acoustic properties of the rotunda are remarkable and a sound
uttered by a human voice will creep around its curves repeating
and repeating itself like the vibrations of the gongs of Burmese
temples, until it is lost in a whisper at the apex of the dome.
I should like to hear a violin there or a hymn softly sung by
some great artist.

In the center of the rotunda Shah Jehan and his beloved wife
are supposed to lie side by side in marble caskets, inlaid with
rich gems and embellished by infinite skill with lacelike tracery.
But their bodies are actually buried in the basement, and, the
guides assert, in coffins of solid gold. She for whom this tomb
was built occupies the center. Her lord and lover, because he
was a man and an emperor, was entitled to a larger sarcophagus,
a span loftier and a span longer. Both of the cenotaphs are
embellished with inlaid and carved Arabic inscriptions. Upon his,
in Persian characters, are written these words:

"His Majesty, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Shadow of Allah,
whose Court is now in Heaven; Saith Jesus, on whom be peace,
This World is a Bridge; Pass thou over it, Build not upon it!
It lasteth but an Hour; Devote its Minutes to thy Prayers; for
the Rest is Unseen and Unknown!"

No other person has such a tomb as this; nor pope, nor potentate,
nor emperor. Nowhere else have human pride and wealth and genius
struggled so successfully against the forgetfulness of man. The
Princess Arjamand has little place in history, but a devoted,
loving husband has rescued her name from oblivion, and has
immortalized her by making her dust the tenant of the most majestic
and beautiful of all human monuments.

Everybody admits that the Taj Mahal is the noblest tribute of
affection and the most perfect triumph of the architectural art
in existence, and the beautiful edifices in the fort at Agra,
which we also owe to Shah Jehan, the greatest of the Moguls,
have already been mentioned but I am conscious that my words
are weak. It is not possible to describe them accurately. No
pen can do them justice. The next best work in India, a group
of buildings second only to those in Agra, and in many respects
their equal, are credited to Akbar the Great, grandfather of
Shah Jehan. He reigned from 1556 to 1605. They may be found at
Fattehpur-Sikir (the City of Victory), twenty-two miles from
Agra on the Delhi road, occupying a rocky ridge, surrounded by
a stone wall with battlements and towers. The emperor intended
these palaces to be his summer residence, and was followed there
by many of the rich nobles of the court, who built mansions and
villas of corresponding size and splendor to gratify him and
their own vanity--but all its magnificence was wasted, strange
to say. The city was built and abandoned within fifty years.
Perhaps Akbar became tired of it, but the records tell us that
it was impossible to secure a water supply sufficient for the
requirements of the population and that the location was exceedingly
unhealthy because of malaria. Therefore the king and the court,
the officials of the government, with the clerks and servants,
the military garrison and the merchants who supplied their wants,
all packed up and moved away, most of them going back to Agra,
where they came from, leaving the glorious marble palaces without
tenants and allowing them to crumble and decay.

Abandoned cities and citadels are not unusual in India. I have
already told you of one near Jeypore where even a larger population
were compelled to desert their homes and business houses for
similar reasons--the lack of a sufficient water supply, and there
are several others in different parts of India. Some of them
are in a fair state of preservation, others are almost razed
to the ground, and their walls have been used as quarries for
building stone in the erection of other cities. But nowhere can
be found so grand, so costly and so extensive a group of empty
and useless palaces as at Fattehpur-Sikri.

The origin of the town, according to tradition, is quite interesting.
When Akbar was returning from one of his military campaigns he
camped at the foot of the hill and learned that a wise and holy
Brahmin named Shekh Selim Chishli, who resided in a cave among
the rocks, exercised powerful influence among the Hindu deities.
Akbar was a Mohammedan, but of liberal mind, and had not the
slightest compunction about consulting with a clergyman of another
denomination. This was the more natural because his favorite
wife was a Hindu princess, daughter of the Maharaja of Jeypore,
and she was extremely anxious to have a child. She had given
birth to twins some years previous, but to her deep grief and
that of the emperor, they had died in infancy.

The holy man on the hill at Fattehpur was believed to have tremendous
influence with those deities who control the coming of babies
into this great world; hence the emperor and his sultana visited
Shekh Selim in his rock retreat to solicit his interposition
for the birth of a son. Now, the hermit had a son only 6 months
old, who, the evening after the visit of the emperor, noticed
that his father's face wore a dejected expression. Having never
learned the use of his tongue, being but a few months old, this
precocious child naturally caused great astonishment when, by a
miracle, he sat up in his cradle and in language that an adult
would use inquired the cause of anxiety. The old man answered:

"It is written in the stars, oh, my son, that the emperor will
never have an heir unless some other man will sacrifice for him
the life of his own heir, and surely in this wicked and selfish
world no one is capable of such generosity and patriotism."

"If you will permit me, oh, my father," answered the baby, "I
will die in order that his majesty may be consoled."

The hermit explained that for such an act he could acquire unlimited
merit among the gods, whereupon the obliging infant straightened
its tiny limbs and expired. Some months after the sultana gave
birth to a boy, who afterward became the Emperor Jehanghir.

Akbar, of course, was gratified and to show his appreciation of
the services of the hermit decided to make the rocky ridge his
summer capital. He summoned to his aid all the architects and
artists and contractors in India, and a hundred thousand mechanics,
stone cutters, masons and decorators were kept busy for two scores
of years erecting the palaces, tombs and temples that now testify
with mute eloquence to the genius of the architects and builders
of those days. It is shown by the records that this enterprise
cost the taxpayers of India a hundred millions of dollars, and
that did not include the wages of the workmen, because most of
them were paid nothing. In those days almost everything in the
way of government public works was carried on by forced labor.
The king paid no wages. The material was expensive. Very little
wood was used. The buildings are almost entirely of pure white
marble and red sandstone. They had neither doors nor windows, but
only open arches which were hung with curtains to secure privacy,
and light was admitted to the interior through screens of marble,
perforated in beautiful designs. The entrance to the citadel is
gained through a gigantic gateway, one of the noblest portals
ever erected. It was intended as a triumphal arch to celebrate
the victory of Akbar over the Afghans, and to commemorate the
conquest of Khandesh, and this is recorded in exquisite Persian
characters upon its frontal and sides. Compared with it the arches
of Titus and Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
are clumsy piles of masonry. There is nothing to be compared
with it anywhere in Europe, and the only structure in India that
resembles it in any way may be found among the ruins in the
neighborhood of Delhi.

[Illustration: TOMB OF SHEIK-SALIM--FATTEHPUR]

Through this majestic portal you enter a quadrangle about six
hundred feet square, inclosed by a lofty cloister which Bishop
Heber pronounced the finest that was ever erected. He declared
that there was no other quadrangle to be compared to it in size or
proportions or beauty. In the center of this wonderful inclosure
is a building that resembles a miniature temple. It is not large,
and its low roof and far projecting eaves give it the appearance
of a tropical bungalow. It is built of the purest marble. No other
material was used in its construction. There is not a nail or
a screw or an ounce of metal of any kind in its walls, and very
little cement or mortar was used. Each piece of stone fits the
others so perfectly that there was no need of bolts or anything
to hold it in place. It stands upon a pedestal four feet high and
is crowned with a low white dome of polished metal. The walls
of this wonderful building are pillars of marble inclosing panels
of the same material sawed in very thin slabs and perforated in
exquisite geometrical patterns. No two panels are alike; there
is no duplication of design on the pillars; every column is
different; every capital and every base is unique. We are told
that it was customary in the days of the Moguls to assign a section
of a building to an artist and allow him to exercise his skill
and genius without restriction, of course within certain limits.
Notwithstanding this diversity of design, the tomb of Shekh Selim,
of which I have attempted to give you an idea, is an ideal of
perfect harmony, and every stroke of the chisel was as precise
as if the artist had been engraving a cameo. It was erected by
Akbar and his Queen, Luquina, as a token of gratitude to the old
monk who brought them an heir to their throne, but, unfortunately
this heir was an ungrateful chap and treated his father and mother
very badly.

Another tomb of equal beauty but smaller dimensions, is also a
tribute of respect and affection. Under this marble roof lies
all that remains of that extraordinary baby who gave his life
to gratify the king.

Surrounding the quadrangle are the apartments of the emperor,
the residences of his wives and the offices in which he conducted
official business. They are all built of marble of design and
beauty similar to those within the walls of the fort at Agra.
One of them, known as the Hall of Records, is now used for the
accommodation of visitors because there is no hotel and very
little demand for one. The only people who ever go to Fattehpur
Sikri are tourists, and they take their own bedding and spread
it on the marble floor. It is a long journey, twenty-six miles
by carriage, and it is not possible to make it and return on
the same day.

The Imperial Hall of Audience, where Akbar was accustomed to
sit in his robes of state each day to receive the petitions and
administer justice to his subjects, is a splendid pavilion of red
sandstone with fifty-six columns covered with elaborate carving
in the Hindu style. Here he received ambassadors from all parts
of the earth because the glory of his court and the liberality of
his policy gave him universal reputation. Here Jesuit missionaries
gave him the seeds of the tobacco plant which they brought from
America, and within a few miles from this place was grown the
first tobacco ever produced in India. The hookah, the big tobacco
pipe, with a long tube and a bowl of perfumed water for the smoke
to pass through, is said to have been invented at Fattehpur Sikri
by one of Akbar's engineers.

Connected by a marble corridor with the palace, and also with the
Hall of Public Audience, is a smaller pavilion, where, according to
the custom of the times, the emperor was in the habit of receiving
and conferring with his ministers and other officials of his
government, with ambassadors and with strangers who sought his
presence from curiosity or business reasons. This diwani-khas,
or privy chamber, is pointed out as the place where the emperor
held his celebrated religious controversies. We are told that
for several years Jesuit missionaries were invited there and
encouraged to explain the dogmas and doctrines of their faith to
the nobles and the learned pundits of the Indian Empire, often
in the presence of the Mogul, who took part in the discussions.

When his majesty was tired of business and wanted relaxation
he ordered his servants to remove the silken rug and cushions
upon which he sat to a little marble portico on the other side of
the palace, where the pavement of the court was laid in alternate
squares of black and white marble. This was known as the imperial
puchisi board, and we are told that his majesty played a game
resembling chess with beautiful slave girls dressed in costume
to represent the men upon the board. Here he sat for hours with
his antagonists, and was so proud of his skill that expert puchisi
players from all parts of the empire were summoned to play with
him.

At the other end of the inclosure is a large building known as
the mint, where the first rupees were coined. They were cubes of
gold, covered with artistic designs and with Persian inscriptions
reading "God is great. Mighty is His Glory." The largest coin was
called a "henseh" and was worth about $1,000 in our money. And
there were several other denominations, in the forms of cubes,
and they bore similar pious inscriptions.

The residences of the women of the court and the ministers and
other high officials were of corresponding splendor and beauty.
There is nothing on our side of the world or in Europe to compare
with them in beauty of design, costliness of material and lavishness
of decoration. The grandest palaces of the European capitals are
coarse and clumsy beside them, and the new library at Washington,
which we consider a model of architectural perfection, can be
compared to these gems of Hindu architects as cotton duck to
Brussels lace.

The palaces, temples and tombs in northern India are unequaled
examples of the architectural and decorative arts. Nothing more
beautiful or more costly has ever been built by human hands than
the residences and the sepulchers of the Moguls, while their
audience chambers, their baths and pavilions are not surpassed,
and are not even equaled in any of the imperial capitals of Europe.
The oriental artists and architects of the Mohammedan dynasties
lavished money upon their homes and tombs in the most generous
manner, and the refinement of their taste was equal to their
extravagance. And where do you suppose they obtained all the
money for these buildings, which cost millions upon millions
of dollars? The architectural remains of Akbar and Shah Jehan,
the two most splendid of the Moguls, represent an expenditure of
several hundred millions, even though the labor of construction
was unpaid, and where did they get the funds to pay for them?
Lieutenant Governor La Touche, who has been collecting the records
of the Mogul dynasty and having them carefully examined, discovers
that their revenues average about $100,000,000 a year for a hundred
years or more. In 1664 the land taxes amounted to £26,743,000,
in 1665 they amounted to £24,056,000, while in 1697, during the
reign of the Mogul Aurangzeb, they reached their highest figure,
which was £38,719,000. With these funds they were required to
keep up their palaces, pay their officials, maintain their armies
and provide for the luxurious tastes of their courtiers.



XVI

THE QUAINT OLD CITY OF DELHI

Wherever the viceroy may hold court, wherever the government
may sit, Delhi always has been and always will be the capital
of India, for have not the prophets foretold that the gilded
marble palaces of the Moguls will stand forever? Although Benares
and Lucknow have a larger population, Delhi is regarded as the
metropolis of Northern India, and in commerce and manufactures
stands fourth in the list of cities, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras
only surpassing it in wealth, industry and trade. If you will look
at the map for a moment you will notice its unusually favorable
location, both from a commercial and military standpoint. It
occupies a central place in northern India, has railway connections
with the frontier and is equidistant from Bombay and Calcutta,
the principal ports of the empire. It receives raw materials
from the northern provinces and from mysterious regions beyond
the boundary. Its cunning artisans convert them into finished
products and ship them to all the markets of the world. Being
of great strategic importance, a large military garrison is
maintained there, and the walls of an ancient fort shelter arsenals
filled with guns and magazines filled with ammunition, which
may be promptly distributed by railway throughout the empire
on demand. It is the capital of one of the richest and most
productive provinces, the headquarters of various departments of
the government, the residence of a large foreign colony, civil,
military and commercial; it has the most learned native pundits
in India; it has extensive missionary stations and educational
institutions, and is the center and focus of learning and all
forms of activity. It is a pity and a disgrace that Delhi has
no good hotels. There are two or three indifferent ones, badly
built and badly kept. They are about as good as the average in
India, but ought to be a great deal better, for if travelers could
find comfortable places to stop Delhi might be made a popular
resort.

Travelers complain also of the pestiferous peddlers who pursue
them beyond the limit of patience. We were advised by people who
know India not to buy anything until we reached Delhi, because
that city has the best shops and the best bazaars and produces
the most attractive fabrics, jewelry and other articles which
tourists like to take home to their friends. And we found within
a few moments after our appearance there that we would have no
difficulty in obtaining as many things as we wanted. We arrived
late at night, and when we opened the doors of our chambers the
next morning we found a crowd of clamoring merchants in the corridor
waiting to seize us as we came out. And wherever we went--in
temples, palaces, parks and in the streets--they followed us with
their wares tied up in bundles and slung over their backs. When
we drove out to "The Ridge," where the great battles took place
during the mutiny of 1857, to see a monument erected in memory
of the victims of Indian treachery, two enterprising merchants
followed us in a carriage and interrupted our meditations by
offering silks, embroideries and brass work at prices which they
said were 20 per cent lower than we would have to pay in the
city. When we went into the dining-room of the hotel we always
had to pass through a throng of these cormorants, who thrust
jewelry, ivory carvings, photographs, embroideries, cashmere
shawls, silks and other goods in our faces and begged us to buy
them. As we rode through the streets they actually ran at the
sides of the carriage, keeping pace with the horses until we
drove them off by brandishing parasols, umbrellas and similar
weapons of defense. We could not go to a mosque or the museum
without finding them lying in wait for us, until we became so
exasperated that homicide would have been justifiable. That is
the experience of every traveler, especially Americans, who are
supposed to be millionaires, and many of our fellow countrymen
spend their money so freely as to excite the avarice of the Delhi
tradesmen. And indeed it is true that their goods are the most
attractive, although their prices are higher than you have to
pay in the smaller towns of India, where there is less demand.

The principal business section, called Chandni Chauk, which means
Silver street, has been frequently described as one of the most
picturesque and fascinating streets in the world. It is about a
mile long and seventy-five feet broad. In the center are two rows
of trees, between which for several hundred years was an aqueduct,
but it is now filled and its banks are used as a pathway, the
principal promenade of the town. But a stranger cannot walk there
in peace, for within five minutes he is hemmed in and his way is
blocked by merchants, who rush out from the shops on both sides
with their hands filled with samples of goods and business cards
and in pigeon English entreat him to stop and see what they have
for sale. Sometimes it is amusing when rival merchants grapple
with each other in their frantic efforts to secure customers,
but such unwelcome attentions impair the pleasure of a visit to
Delhi.

The shops on both sides of the Chandni Chauk are full of wonderful
loom and metal work, jewelry, embroidery, enamel, rugs, hangings,
brocades, shawls, leather work, gems and carved ivory and wood.
Delhi has always been famous for carvings, and examples of engraving
on jade of priceless value are often shown. Sometimes a piece
of jade can be found in a curio shop covered with relief work
which represents the labor of an accomplished artist for years.
In the days of the Moguls these useless ornaments were very highly
regarded. Kings and rich nobles used to have engravers attached
to their households. Artists and their families were always sure
of a comfortable home and good living, hence time was no object.
It was not taken into consideration. They were indifferent whether
they spent five months or five years in fashioning a block of
ivory or engraving a gem for their princely patrons. The greatest
works of the most accomplished artists of the Mogul period are now
nearly all in the possession of native princes and rich Hindus,
and if one comes into the market it is snapped up instantly by
collectors in Europe and the United States. Some of the carved
ivory is marvelous. An artist would spend his entire life covering
a tusk of an elephant with carvings of marvelous delicacy and
skill; and even to-day the ivory carvers of Delhi produce wonderful
results and sell them at prices that are absurdly small, considering
the labor they represent.

Akbar the Great, who sat upon the Mogul throne the latter half
of the sixteenth century, was a sensible man, and endeavored to
direct the skill and taste of the artisans of his empire into
more practical channels. Instead of maintaining artists to carve
ivory and jade he established schools and workshops for the
instruction of spinners, weavers and embroiderers, and offered
high prices for fine samples of shawls and other woolen fabrics,
weapons, pottery and similar useful articles. He purchased the
rich products of the looms for the imperial wardrobe and induced
the native princes to imitate his example. He organized guilds
among his workmen, and secured the adoption of regulations which
served to maintain a high standard, and permitted none but perfect
products to be placed upon the market.

The descendants of the master workmen educated under this policy
are still living and following the trades of their ancestors in
Delhi, and there may be found the finest gold and silver cloth
and the most elaborate embroidery produced in the world. The
coronation robe of Queen Alexandra of England, which is said
to have been of surpassing richness and beauty, was woven and
embroidered in a factory upon the Chandni Chauk, and the merchant
who made it is constantly receiving orders from the different
courts of Europe and from the leading dressmakers of London,
Paris and Vienna. He told us that Mrs. Leland Stanford had
commissioned him to furnish the museum of her university in
California the finest possible samples of different styles of
Indian embroidery, and his workmen were then engaged in producing
them. Her contract, he said, amounted to more than $60,000. Lady
Curzon is his best customer, for she not only orders all of the
material for her state gowns from him, but has brought him enough
orders from the ladies of the British court to keep his shop
busy for five years. He told us that Lady Curzon designed the
coronation robe of Queen Alexandra; he declared that she had
the rarest taste of any woman he knew, and that she was the best
dressed woman in the world--an opinion shared by other good judges.

[Illustration: A CORNER IN DEHLI]

He spread upon the floor wonderful samples of the skill and taste
of his artists, brocades embroidered with jewels for the ceremonial
robes of native princes; silks and satins whose surface was concealed
by patterns wrought in gold and silver thread. And everything is
done by men. Women do not embroider in India. He keeps eighty
men embroiderers constantly employed, and pays them an average of
18 cents a day. The most famous of his artists, those who design
as well as execute the delicate and costly garnishings, the men
who made the coronation robe of the British queen, receive the
munificent compensation of 42 cents a day. That is the maximum
paid for such work. Apprentices who do the filling in and coarser
work and have not yet acquired sufficient skill and experience
to undertake more important tasks are paid 8 cents a day and
work twelve hours for that.

Delhi is the principal distributing point for the famous Cashmere
shawls which are woven of the hair of camels, goats and sheep
in the province of Cashmere, which lies to the northward about
300 miles. They are brought packed in panniers on the backs of
camels. I was told at Delhi that the foreign demand for Cashmere
shawls has almost entirely ceased, that a very few are shipped
from India nowadays because in Europe and America they are no
longer fashionable. Hence prices have gone down, the weavers
are dependent almost entirely upon the local market of India,
and one can obtain good shawls for very low prices--about half
what they formerly cost.

In northern India every Hindu must have a shawl; it is as necessary
to him as a hat or a pair of boots to a citizen of Chicago or New
York, and it is customary to invest a considerable part of the
family fortune in shawls. They are handed down from generation
to generation, for they never wear out; the older they are the
more valuable they are considered. You often see a barefooted,
bare-legged peasant with his head wrapped in a Cashmere shawl
that would bring a thousand dollars in a London auction-room.
It is considered absolutely essential for every young man to
wear one of those beautiful fabrics, and if there is none for
him in the family he saves his earnings and scrimps and borrows
and begs from his relations until he gets enough money together
to buy one. Most of the shawls are of the Persian pattern familiar
to us. The groundwork is a solid color (white and yellow seem to
be the most popular), and there are a good many of blue, green,
orange and pink. A crowd of Hindus in this part of the country
suggest a kaleidoscope as they move about with their brilliant
colored shawls upon their shoulders.

The amount and fineness of embroidery upon the border and in
the corners of shawls give them their value, and sometimes there
is an elaborate design in the center. The shawl itself is so
fine that it can be drawn through a finger ring or folded up
and stowed away in an ordinary pocket, but it has the warmth
of a Scotch blanket. Shawls are woven and embroidered in the
homes of the people of Cashmere, and are entirely of hand work.
There are no factories and no steam looms, and every stitch of
the decoration is made with an ordinary needle by the fingers
of a man. Women do not seem to have acquired the accomplishment.

A great deal of fun used to be made at the expense of Queen Victoria,
who was in the habit of sending a Cashmere shawl whenever she was
expected to make a wedding present, and no doubt it was rather
unusual for her to persist in forcing unfashionable garments
upon her friends. But there is another way of looking at it.
The good queen was deeply interested in promoting the native
industries of India, and bought a large number of shawls every
year from the best artists in Cashmere. Up there shawl-makers
have reputations like painters and orators with us, and if you
would ask the question in Cashmere any merchant would give you
the names of the most celebrated weavers and embroiderers. Queen
Victoria was their most regular and generous patron. She not
only purchased large numbers of shawls herself, but did her best
to bring them into fashion, both because she believed it was a
sensible practice, and would advance the prosperity of the heathen
subjects in whom she took such a deep interest.

The arts and industries of India are very old. Their methods
have been handed down from generation to generation, because
sons are in the habit of following the trades of fathers, and
they are inclined to cling to the same old patterns and the same
old processes, regardless of labor-saving devices and modern
fashions. Many people think this habit should be encouraged;
that what may be termed the classic designs of the Hindus cannot
be improved upon, and it is certainly true that all purely modern
work is inferior. Lord and Lady Curzon have shown deep interest
in this subject. Lord Curzon has used his official authority and
the influence of the government to revive, restore and promote
old native industries, and Lady Curzon has been an invaluable
commercial agent for the manufacturers of the higher class of
fabrics and art objects in India. She has made many of them
fashionable in Calcutta and other Indian cities and in London,
Paris and the capitals of Europe, and so great is her zeal that,
with all her cares and responsibilities, and the demands upon
her time, she always has the leisure to place orders for her
friends and even for strangers who address her, and to assist
the silk weavers, embroiderers and other artists to adapt their
designs and patterns and fabrics to the requirements of modern
fashions. She wears nothing but Indian stuffs herself, and there
is no better dressed woman in the world. She keeps several of
the best artists in India busy with orders from her friends, and
is beginning to see the results of her efforts in the revival
of arts that were almost forgotten.

The population of Delhi is about 208,000. The majority of the
people, as in the other cities of northwestern India, are
Mohammedans, descendants of the invaders of the middle ages, and
the hostility between them and the Brahmins is quite sharp. The
city is surrounded by a lofty wall six miles in circumference,
which was built by Shah Jehan, the greatest of the Moguls, some
time about 1630, and the modern town begins its history at that
date. It has been the scene of many exciting events since then.
Several times it has been sacked and its inhabitants massacred.
As late as 1739 the entire population was put to the sword and
everything of value within the walls was carried off by the Persians.
In the center of the city still remains a portion of what was
probably the most splendid palace that was ever erected. It is
surrounded by a second wall inclosing an area 3,000 feet long by
1,500 feet wide, which was at one time filled with buildings of
unique beauty and interest. They illustrated the imperial grandeur
of the Moguls, whose style of living was probably more splendid
than that of any monarchs of any nation before or since their
time. Their extravagance was unbounded. Their love of display
has never been surpassed, and while it is a question where they
obtained the enormous sums of money they squandered in ceremonies
and personal adornment, there is none as to the accuracy of the
descriptions given to them. The fact that Nadir Shah, the Persian
invader, was able to carry away $300,000,000 in booty of jewels
and gold, silver and other portable articles of value when he
sacked Delhi in 1739, is of itself evidence that the stories
of the wealth and the splendor of the Moguls are not fables.
It is written in the history of Persia that the people of that
empire were exempt from taxation for three years because their
king brought from Delhi enough money to pay all the expenses
of his government and his army during that time. We are told
that he stripped plates of gold from the walls of the palace
of Delhi and removed the ceilings from the apartments because
they were made of silver, and the peacock throne of itself was
of sufficient value to pay the debts of a nation.

A considerable part of the palaces of the Moguls has been destroyed
by vandals or removed by the British authorities in order to make
room for ugly brick buildings which are used as barracks and
for the storage of arms, ammunition and other military supplies.
It is doubtful whether they could have secured uglier designs and
carried them out with ruder workmanship. Writers upon Indian
history and architecture invariably devote a chapter to this
national disgrace for which the viceroys in the latter part of
the nineteenth century were responsible, and they denounce it as
even worse than the devastation committed by barbarian invaders.
"Nadir Shah, Ahmed Khan and the Maratha chiefs were content to strip
the buildings of their precious metals and the jeweled thrones,"
exclaims one eminent writer. "To the government of the present
Empress of India was left the last dregs of vandalism, which
after the mutiny pulled down these perfect monuments of Mogul art
to make room for the ugliest brick buildings from Simla to Ceylon.
The whole of the harem courts of the palace were swept off the
face of the earth to make way for a hideous British barrack,
without those who carried out this fearful piece of vandalism
thinking it even worth while to make a plan of what they were
destroying, or making any records of the most splendid palace
in the world. Of the public parts of the palace, all that remain
are the entrance hall, the Nobut Khana, the Dewani Aum, the Dewani
Khas and the Rung Mahal, now used as a mess room, and one or two
small pavilions. They are the gems of the palace, it is true,
but without the courts and corridors connecting them they lose
all their meaning and more than half their beauty. Being now
situated in the midst of a British barrack yard, they look like
precious stones torn from their settings in some exquisite piece
of oriental jeweler's work and set at random in a bed of the
commonest plaster."

It is only fair to say that no one appreciates this situation
more keenly than Lord Curzon, and while he is too discreet a
man to criticise the acts of his predecessors in office, he has
plans to restore the interior of the fort to something like its
original condition and has already taken steps to tear down the
ugly brick buildings that deface the landscape. But something
more is necessary. The vandalism still continues in a small way.
While we were being escorted through the beautiful buildings by
a blithe and gay young Irish soldier, I called his attention to
several spots in the wall where bits of precious stone--carnelian,
turquoise and agate--had been picked out and carried away as
relics. The wounds in the wall were recent. It was perfectly
apparent that the damage had been done that very day, but he
declared that there was no way to prevent it; that he was the
only custodian of the place; that there were no guards; that
it was impossible for him to be everywhere at once, and that
it was easy enough for tourists and other visitors to deface
the mosaics with their pocket knives in one of the palaces while
he was showing people through the others.

The mosaics which adorn the interior marble walls of the palaces
are considered incomparable. They are claimed to be the most
elaborate, the most costly and the most perfect specimens of the
art in existence. The designs represents flowers, foliage, fruits,
birds, beasts, fishes and reptiles, carried out with precious
stones in the pure white marble with the skill and delicacy of a
Neapolitan cameo cutter, and it is said that they were designed
and done by Austin de Bordeaux, the Frenchman who decorated the
Taj Mahal, and it was a bad man who did this beautiful work.
History says that "after defrauding several of the princes of
Europe by means of false gems, which he fabricated with great
skill, he sought refuge at the court of the Moguls, where he
was received with high favor and made his fortune."

The richest and the loveliest of the rooms in the palace is the
Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, which is built entirely
of marble and originally had a silver ceiling. The walls were once
covered with gold, and in the center stood the famous peacock
throne. Over the north and south entrances are written in flowing
Persia, characters the following lines:

  If there be a Paradise on Earth
  It is This! It is This! It is This!

The building was a masterpiece of refined fancy and extravagance,
and upon its decorations Austin de Bordeaux, whose work on the Taj
Mahal pronounces him to be one of the greatest artists that ever
lived, concentrated the entire strength of his genius and lavished
the wealth of an empire. Mr. Tavernier, a French jeweler, who
visited Delhi a few years after the palace was finished, estimated
the value of the decorations of this one room at 27,000,000 francs.

One of the several thrones used by the Moguls on occasions of
ceremony was a stool eighteen inches high and four feet in diameter
chiseled out of a solid block of natural crystal. M. Tavernier
asserts that it was the largest piece of crystal ever discovered,
and that it was without a flaw. It was shattered by the barbarians
during the invasion of the Marathas in 1789. But the peacock
throne, which stood in the room I have just described, was even
more wonderful, and stands as the most extraordinary example
of extravagance on record.

[Illustration: HALL OF MARBLE AND MOSAICS IN THE PALACE OF THE
MOGULS AT DEHLI]

A description written at the time says: "It was so called from its
having the figures of two peacocks standing behind it, their tails
being expanded, and the whole so inlaid with diamonds, sapphires,
rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious stones of appropriate
colors as to represent life. The throne itself was six feet long
by five feet broad. It stood upon six massive feet, which, like
the body, were of solid gold, inlaid with rubies, emeralds and
diamonds. It was surrounded by a canopy of gold, supported by
twelve pillars, all richly emblazoned with costly gems, and a
fringe of pearls ornamented the borders of the canopy. Between
the two peacocks stood a figure of a parrot of the ordinary size
carved out of a single emerald. On either side of the throne
stood an umbrella, one of the emblems of royalty. They were formed
of crimson velvet, richly embroidered and fringed with pearls.
The handles were eight feet high, of solid gold thickly studded
with diamonds."

This throne, according to a medical gentleman named Bernier, the
writer whose description I have quoted, was planned and executed
under the direction of Austin de Bordeaux. It was carried away by
Nadir Shah to Teheran in 1739, and what is left of it is still
used by the Shah of Persia on ceremonial occasions. The canopy,
the umbrellas, the emerald parrot and the peacocks have long
ago disappeared.

The same splendor, in more or less degree, was maintained throughout
the entire palace during the reign of the Moguls. The apartments
of the emperor and those of his wives, the harem, the baths,
the public offices, the quarters for his ministers, secretaries
and attendants were all built of similar materials and decorated
in the same style of magnificence. Some of the buildings are
allowed to remain empty for the pleasures of tourists; others
are occupied for military purposes, and the Rung Mahal, one of
the most beautiful, formerly the residence of the Mogul's favorite
wife, is now used for a messroom by the officers of the garrison.
A writer of the seventh century who visited the place says: "It
was more beautiful than anything in the East that we know of."

At one end of the group of the buildings is the Moti Majid, or
Pearl Mosque, which answered to the private chapel of the Moguls,
and has been declared to be "the daintiest building in all India."
In grace, simplicity and perfect proportions it cannot be surpassed.
It is built of the purest marble, richly traced with carving.

It is within the walls of this fort and among these exquisite
palaces that the Imperial durbar was held on the 1st of January,
1903, to proclaim formally the coronation of King Edward VII.,
Emperor of India, and Lord Curzon, with remarkable success, carried
out his plan to make the occasion one of extraordinary splendor.
It brought together for the first time all of the native princes
of India, who, in the presence of each other, renewed their pledges
of loyalty and offered their homage to the throne. No spectacle
of greater pomp and splendor has ever been witnessed in Europe or
Asia or any other part of the world since the days of the Moguls.
The peacock throne could not be recovered for the occasion, but
Lord and Lady Curzon sat upon the platform where it formerly
stood, and there received the ruling chiefs, nobles and princes
from all the states and provinces of India. Lord Curzon has been
criticised severely in certain quarters for the "barbaric splendor
and barbaric extravagance of this celebration," but people familiar
with the political situation in India and the temper of the native
princes have not doubted for a moment the wisdom which inspired
it and the importance of its consequences. The oriental mind
is impressed more by splendor than by any other influence, and
has profound respect for ceremonials. The Emperor of India, by
the durbar, recognized those racial peculiarities, and not only
gratified them but made himself a real personality to the native
chiefs instead of an abstract proposition. It has given the British
power a position that it never held before; it swept away jealousies
and brought together ruling princes who had never seen each other
until then. It broke down what Lord Curzon calls "the water-tight
compartment system of India."

"Each province," he says, "each native state, is more or less
shut off by solid bulkheads from its neighbors. The spread of
railways and the relaxation of social restrictions are tending
to break them down, but they are still very strong. Princes who
live in the south have rarely ever in their lives seen or visited
the states of the north. Perhaps among the latter are chiefs who
have rarely ever left their homes. It cannot but be a good thing
that they should meet and get to know each other and exchange ideas.
To the East there is nothing strange, but something familiar and
even sacred," continued Lord Curzon, "in the practice that brings
sovereigns together with their people in ceremonies of solemnity.
Every sovereign in India did it in the old days; every chief in
India does it now; and the community of interest between the
sovereign and his people, to which such a function testifies and
which it serves to keep alive, is most vital and most important."

And the durbar demonstrated the wisdom of those who planned it. The
expense was quite large. The total disbursements by the government
were about $880,000, and it is probable that an equal amount
was expended by the princes and other people who participated.
That has been the subject of severe criticism also, because the
people were only slowly recovering from the effect of an awful
famine. But there is another point of view. Every farthing of
those funds was spent in India and represented wages paid to
workmen employed in making the preparations and carrying them
into effect. No money went out of the country. It all came out of
the pockets of the rich and was paid into the hands of the poor.
What the government and the native princes and nobles expended in
their splendid displays was paid to working people who needed
it, and by throwing this large amount into circulation the entire
country was benefited.

The extravagance of the Viceroy and Lady Curzon in their own
personal arrangements has also been criticised, and people complain
that they might have done great good with the immense sums expended
in dress and entertainment and display, but it is easy to construe
these criticisms into compliments, for everyone testifies that both
the viceroy and his beautiful American wife performed their parts
to perfection, and that no one could have appeared with greater
dignity and grace. Every detail of the affair was appropriate
and every item upon the programme was carried out precisely as
intended and desired. Lord and Lady Curzon have the personal
presence, the manners and all the other qualities required for
such occasions.

Dr. Francois Bernier, the French physician who visited the Mogul
court in 1658, and gives us a graphic description of the durbar
and Emperor Aurangzeb, who reigned at that time, writes: "The
king appeared upon his throne splendidly appareled. His vest was
of white satin, flowered and raised with a very fine embroidery
of gold and silk. His turban was of cloth of gold, having a fowl
wrought upon it like a heron, whose foot was covered with diamonds
of an ordinary bigness and price, with a great oriental topaz
which may be said to be matchless, shining like a little sun. A
collar of long pearls hung about his neck down to his stomach,
after the manner that some heathens wear their beads. His throne
was supported by six pillars of massive gold set with rubies,
emeralds and diamonds. Beneath the throne there appeared the
great nobles, in splendid apparel, standing upon a raised ground
covered with a canopy of purple with great golden fringes, and
inclosed by a silver balustrade. The pillars of the hall were
hung with tapestries of purple having the ground of gold, and for
the roof of the hall there was nothing but canopies of flowered
satin fastened with red silken cords that had big tufts of silk
mixed with the threads of gold hanging on them. Below there was
nothing to be seen but silken tapestries, very rich and of
extraordinary length and breadth."



XVII

THE TEMPLES AND TOMBS OF DELHI

Seven ancient ruined cities, representing successive periods
and dynasties from 2500 B. C. to 1600 A. D., encumber the plains
immediately surrounding the city of Delhi, within a radius of
eighteen or twenty miles; and you cannot go in any direction
without passing through the ruins of stupendous walls, ancient
fortifications and crumbling palaces, temples, mosques and tombs.
Tradition makes the original Delhi the political and commercial
rival of Babylon, Nineveh, Memphis and Thebes, but the modern
town dates from 1638, the commencement of the reign of the famous
Mogul Shah Jehan, of whom I have written so much in previous
chapters. About eleven miles from the city is a group of splendid
ruins, some of the most remarkable in the world, and a celebrated
tower known as the Kutab-Minar, one of the most important
architectural monuments in India. You reach it by the Great Trunk
Road of India, the most notable thoroughfare in the empire, which
has been the highway from the mountains and northern provinces
to the sacred River Ganges from the beginning of time, and,
notwithstanding the construction of railroads, is to-day the
great thoroughfare of Asia. If followed it will lead you through
Turkestan and Persia to Constantinople and Moscow. Over this
road came Tamerlane, the Tartar Napoleon, with his victorious
army, and Alexander the Great, and it has been trodden by the
feet of successive invaders for twenty or thirty centuries. To-day
it leads to the Khyber Pass, the only gateway between India and
Afghanistan, where the frontier is guarded by a tremendous force,
and no human being is allowed to go either way without permits
from the authorities of both governments. Long caravans still
cross the desert of middle Asia, enter and leave India through
this pass and follow the Grand Trunk Road to the cities of the
Ganges. It is always thronged with pilgrims and commerce; with
trains of bullock carts, caravans of camels and elephants, and
thousands of pedestrians pass every milestone daily. Kipling
describes them and the road in "Kim" in more graphic language
than flows through my typewriter. In the neighborhood of Delhi
the Grand Trunk Road is like the Appian Way of Rome, both sides
being lined with the mausoleums of kings, warriors and saints in
various stages of decay and dilapidation. And scattered among
them are the ruins of the palaces of supplanted dynasties which
appeared and vanished, arose and fell, one after another, in
smoke and blood; with the clash of steel, the cries of victory
and shrieks of despair.

In the center of the court of the ancient mosque of Kutbul Islam,
which was originally built for a Hindu temple in the tenth century,
stands a wrought-iron column, one of the most curious things
in India. It rises 23 feet 8 inches above the ground, and its
base, which is bulbous, is riveted to two stone slabs two feet
below the surface. Its diameter at the base is 16 feet 4 inches
and at the capital is 12 inches. It is a malleable forging of
pure iron, without alloy, and 7.66 specific gravity. According
to the estimates of engineers, it weighs about six tons, and it
is remarkable that the Hindus at that age could forge a bar of
iron larger and heavier than was ever forged in Europe until a
very recent date. Its history is deeply cut upon its surface in
Sanskrit letters. The inscription tells us that it is "The Arm
of Fame of Raja Dhava," who subdued a nation named the Vahlikas,
"and obtained, with his own arm, undivided sovereignty upon the
earth for a long period." No date is given, but the historians
fix its erection about the year 319 or 320 A. D. This is the
oldest and the most unique of all the many memorials in India,
and has been allowed to stand about 1,700 years undisturbed.
An old prophecy declared that Hindu sovereigns would rule as
long as the column stood, and when the empire was invaded in
1200 and Delhi became the capital of a Mohammedan empire, its
conqueror, Kutb-ud-Din (the Pole Star of the Faith), originally
a Turkish slave, defied it by allowing the pillar to remain,
but he converted the beautiful Hindu temple which surrounded
it into a Moslem mosque and ordered his muezzins to proclaim
the name of God and His prophet from its roof, and to call the
faithful to pray within its walls.

This Hindu temple, which was converted into a mosque, is still
unrivaled for its gigantic arches and for the graceful beauty
of the tracery which decorated its walls. Even in ruins it is
a magnificent structure, and Lord Curzon is to be thanked for
directing its partial restoration at government expense. The
architectural treasures of India are many, but there are none
to spare, and it is gratifying to find officials in authority
who appreciate the value of preserving those that remain for
the benefit of architectural and historical students. It it a
pity that the original Hindu carvings upon the columns cannot be
restored. There were originally not less than 1,200 columns, and
each was richly ornamented with peculiar Hindu decorative designs.
Some of them, in shadowy corners, are still almost perfect, but
unfortunately those which are most conspicuous were shamefully
defaced by the Mohammedan conquerors, and we must rely upon our
imaginations to picture them as they were in their original beauty.
The walls of the building are of purplish red standstone, of
very fine grain, almost as fine as marble, and age and exposure
seem to have hardened it.

In one corner of the court of this great mosque rises the Kutab
Minar, a monument and tower of victory. It is supposed to have
been originally started by the Hindus and completed by their
Mohammedan conquerors. Another tower, called the Alai-Minar, about
500 feet distant, remains unfinished, and rises only eighty-seven
feet from the ground. Had it been finished as intended, it would
have been 500 feet high, or nearly as lofty as the Washington
monument. According to the inscription, it was erected by Ala-din
Khiji, who reigned from 1296 to 1316, and remains as it stood at
his death. For some reason his successor never tried to complete
it.

The Kutab Minar, the completed tower, is not only a notable structure
and one of the most perfect in the world, second only in height
to the Washington monument, but it is particularly notable for
its geometrical proportions. Its height, 238 feet, is exactly
five times the diameter of its base. It is divided into five
stories each tapering in perfect proportions and being divided
by projecting balconies or galleries. The first story, 95 feet
in height, consists of twenty-four faces in the form of convex
flutings, alternately semicircular and rectangular, built of
alternate courses of marble and red sandstone. The second story
is 51 feet high and the projections are all semicircular; the
third story is 41 feet and the projections are all rectangular;
the fourth, 26 feet high, is a plain cylinder, and the fifth or
top story, 25 feet high, is partly fluted and partly plain. The
mean diameter of each story is exactly one-fifth of its height,
and the material is alternate courses of marble and red sandstone,
the entire exterior surface being incrusted with inscriptions from
the Koran, sculptured in sharp relief. It has been compared for
beauty of design and perfection of proportions to the Campanile
at Florence, but that is conventional in every respect, while
the Kutab Minar is unique. The sculptures that cover its surface
have been compared to those upon the column of Trajan in Rome and
the Column Vendome in Paris, but they are intended to relate the
military triumphs of the men in whose honor they were erected, while
the inscription upon the Kutab Minar is a continuous recognition
of the power and glory of God and the virtues of Mahomet, His
prophet.

Whichever way you look, whichever way you drive, in that
extraordinary place, you find artistic taste, the religious devotion,
the love of conquest and the military genius of the Mohammedans
combined and perpetuated in noble forms. The camel driver of
Mecca, like the founder of Christianity, was a teacher of peace
and an example of humility, but his followers have been famous
for their pride, their brilliant achievements, their audacity
and their martial violence and success. The fortresses scattered
over the plain bear testimony to their fighting qualities, and
are an expression of their authority and power; their gilded
palaces and jeweled thrones testify to their luxurious taste
and artistic sentiment, while the massive mausoleums which arise
in every direction testify to their pride and their determination
that posterity shall not forget their names. I have told you in
a previous chapter about the tomb of Humayun, the son of Baber
(the Lion of the Faith), who transmitted to a long line of Moguls
the blood of conquerors. But it is only one of several noble
examples of architecture and pretensions, and as evidence of
the human sympathies of the man who built it, the tomb of his
barber is near by.

About a mile across the plain is another group of still more
remarkable sepulchers, about seven or eight miles from Delhi.
They are surrounded by a grove of mighty trees, whose boughs
overhang a crumbling wall intended to protect them. As we passed
the portal we found ourselves looking upon a large reservoir,
or tank, as they call them here, which long ago was blessed by
Nizamu-Din, one of the holiest and most renowned of the Brahmin
saints, so that none who swims in it is ever drowned. A group of
wan and hungry-looking priests were standing there to receive
us; they live on backsheesh and sleep on the cold marble floors
of the tombs. No dinner bell ever rings for them. They depend
entirely upon charity, and send out their chelas, or disciples,
every morning to skirmish for food among the market men and people
in the neighborhood. While we stood talking to them a group of six
naked young men standing upon the cornice of a temple attracted
our attention by their violent gesticulations, and then, one
after another, plunged headlong, fifty or sixty feet, into the
waters of the pool. As they reappeared upon the surface they
swam to the marble steps of the pavilion, shook themselves dry
like dogs and extended their hands for backsheesh. It was an
entirely new and rather startling form of entertainment, but
we learned that it was their way of making a living, and that
they are the descendants of the famous men and women who occupy
the wonderful tombs, and are permitted to live among them and
collect backsheesh from visitors as they did from us. Several
women were hanging around, and half a dozen fierce-looking mullahs,
or Mohammedan priests, with their beards dyed a deep scarlet
because the prophet had red hair.

The most notable of the tombs, the "Hall of Sixty-four Pillars,"
is an exquisite structure of white marble, where rests Azizah Kokal
Tash, foster brother of the great Mogul Akbar. He was buried here
in 1623, and around him are the graves of his mother and eight
of his brothers and sisters. Another tomb of singular purity
and beauty is that of Muhammud Shah, who was Mogul from 1719
to 1748--the man whom Nadir Shah, the Persian, conquered and
despoiled. By his side lie two of his wives and several of his
children.

The tomb of Jehanara, daughter of the great Emperor Shah Jehan,
is a gem of architecture, a dainty bungalow of pure white marble.
The roof is a low dome with broad eaves, and the walls are slabs
of thin marble perforated in geometric designs like the finest
lace. The inscription calls her "Heavenly Minded," and reminds us
that "God is the Resurrection and the Life;" that it was her wish
that nothing but grass might cover her dust, because "Such a pall
alone was fit for the lowly dead," and closes with a prayer for
the soul of her father. Notwithstanding her wishes, so expressed,
the tomb cost $300,000, but such sentiments, which appear upon
nearly all of the Mogul tombs, are not to be taken literally. The
inscription over the entrance to one of the grandest in India,
where lies "The Piercer of Battle Ranks," admits that "However
great and powerful man may be in the presence of his fellow
creatures; however wide his power and influence, and however
large his wealth, he is as humble and as worthless as the smallest
insect in the sight of God." Human nature was the same among the
Moguls as it is to-day, and the men who were able to spend a
million or half a million dollars upon their sepulchers could
afford to throw in a few expressions of humility.

[Illustration: TOMB OF AMIR KHUSRAN--PERSIAN POET--DELHI. _With
panels of perforated marble_]

The most beautiful of the tombs is that of Amir Khusrau, a poet
who died at Delhi in 1315, the author of ninety-eight poems,
many of which are still in popular use. He was known as "the
Parrot of Hindustan," and enjoyed the confidence and patronage
of seven successive Moguls. His fame is immortal. Lines he wrote
are still recited nightly in the coffee-houses and sung in the
harems of India, and women and girls and sentimental young men
come daily to lay fresh flowers upon his tomb.

In the center of Delhi and on the highest eminence of the city
stands the Jumma Musjid, almost unrivaled among mosques. There
is nothing elsewhere outside of Constantinople that can compare
with it, either in size or splendor, and we are told that 10,000
workmen were employed upon it daily for six years. It was built by
Shah Jehan of red sandstone inlaid with white marble; is crowned
with three splendid domes of white marble striped with black,
and at each angle of the courtyard stands a gigantic minaret
composed of alternate stripes of marble and red sandstone. There
are three stately portals approached by flights of forty steps,
the lowest of which is 140 feet long. Through stately arches you
are led into a courtyard 450 feet square, inclosed by splendid
arcaded cloisters. In the center of the court is the usual fountain
basin, at which the worshipers perform their ablutions, and at
the eastern side, facing toward Mecca, at the summit of a flight
of marble steps, is the mosque, 260 feet long and 120 feet wide.
The central archway is eighty feet high.

Over in one corner of the cloisters is a reliquary guarded by
a squad of fierce-looking priests, which contains some of the
most precious relics of the prophet in existence. They have a
hair from his mustache, which is red; one of his slippers, the
print of his foot in a stone, two copies of portions of the
Koran--one of them written by his son-in-law, Imam Husain, very
clear and well preserved, and the other by his grandson, Imam
Hasan. Both are very beautiful specimens of chirography, and would
have a high value for that reason alone, but obtained especial
sanctity because of the tradition that both were written at the
dictation of the Prophet himself, and are among the oldest copies
of the Koran in existence.



XVIII

THUGS, FAKIRS, AND NAUTCH DANCERS

The most interesting classes among the many kinds of priests,
monks and other people, who make religion a profession in India,
are the thugs, fakirs and nautch girls, who are supposed to devote
their lives and talents to the service of the gods. There are
several kinds of fakirs and other religious mendicants in India,
about five thousand in number, most of them being nomads, wandering
from city to city and temple to temple, dependent entirely upon
the charity of the faithful. They reward those who serve them
with various forms of blessings; give them advice concerning
all the affairs of life from the planting of their crops to the
training of their children. They claim supernatural powers to
confer good and invoke evil, and the curse of a fakir is the
last misfortune that an honest Hindu cares to bring upon himself,
for it means a failure of his harvests, the death of his cattle
by disease, sickness in his family and bad luck in everything
that he undertakes. Hence these holy men, who are familiars of the
gods, and are believed to spend most of their time communicating
with them in some mysterious way about the affairs of the world,
are able to command anything the people have to give, and nobody
would willingly cross their shadows or incur their displeasure.
The name is pronounced as if it were spelled "fah-keer."

These religious mendicants go almost naked, usually with nothing
but the smallest possible breech clout around their loins, which
the police require them to wear; they plaster their bodies with
mud, ashes and filth; they rub clay, gum and other substances
into their hair to give it an uncouth appearance. Sometimes they
wear their hair in long braids hanging down their backs like the
queue of a Chinaman; sometimes in short braids sticking out in
every direction like the wool of the pickaninnies down South.
Some of them have strings of beads around their necks, others
coils of rope round them. They never wear hats and usually carry
nothing but a small brass bowl, in imitation of Buddha, which
is the only property they possess on earth. They are usually
accompanied by a youthful disciple, called a "chela," a boy of
from 10 to 15 years of age, who will become a fakir himself unless
something occurs to change his career.

Many of the fakirs endeavor to make themselves look as hideous
as possible. They sometimes whitewash their faces like clowns
in circuses; paint lines upon their cheeks and draw marks under
their eyes to give them an inhuman appearance. At certain seasons
of the year they may clothe themselves in filthy rags for the
time being as an evidence of humility. Most of them are very
thin and spare of flesh, which is due to their long pilgrimages
and insufficient nourishment. They sleep wherever they happen
to be. They lie down on the roadside or beneath a column of a
temple, or under a cart, or in a stable. Sometimes kindly disposed
people give them beds, but they have no regular habits; they
sleep when they are sleepy, rest when they are tired and continue
their wanderings when they are refreshed.

About the time the people of the country are breakfasting in
the morning the chela starts out with the brass bowl and begs
from house to house until the bowl is filled with food, when he
returns to wherever his master is waiting for him and they share
its contents between them. Again at noon and again at night the
chela goes out on similar foraging expeditions and conducts the
commissary department in that way. The fakir himself is supposed
never to beg; the gods he worships are expected to take care of
him, and if they do not send him food he goes without it. It is
a popular delusion that fakirs will not accept alms from anyone
for any purpose, for I have considerable personal experience to
the contrary. I have offered money to hundreds of them and have
never yet had it refused. A fakir will snatch a penny as eagerly
as any beggar you ever saw, and if the coin you offer is smaller
than he expects or desires he will show his disapproval in an
unmistakable manner.

The larger number of fakirs are merely religious tramps, worthless,
useless impostors, living upon the fears and superstitions of
the people and doing more harm than good. Others are without
doubt earnest and sincere ascetics, who believe that they are
promoting the welfare and happiness of their fellow men by depriving
themselves of everything that is necessary to happiness, purifying
their souls by privation and hardship and obtaining spiritual
inspiration and light by continuous meditation and prayer. Many
of these are fanatics, some are epileptics, some are insane. They
undergo self-torture of the most horrible kinds and frequently
prove their sincerity by causing themselves to be buried alive, by
starving to death, or by posing themselves in unnatural attitudes
with their faces or their arms raised to heaven until the sinews
and muscles are benumbed or paralyzed and they fall unconscious
from exhaustion. These are tests of purity and piety. Zealots
frequently enter temples and perform such feats for the admiration
of pilgrims and by-standers. Many are clairvoyants and have the
power of second sight. They hypnotize subjects and go into trances
themselves, in which condition the soul is supposed to leave
the body and visit the gods. Some of the metaphysical phenomena
are remarkable and even startling. They cannot be explained.
You have doubtless read of the wonderful fakir, Ram Lal, who
appears in F. Marion Crawford's story of "Mr. Isaacs," and there
is a good deal concerning this class of people in Rudyard Kipling's
"Kim." Those two, by the way, are universally considered the best
stories of Indian life ever written. You will perhaps remember
also reading of the astonishing performances of Mme. Blavatsky,
who visited the United States some years ago as the high priestess
of Theosophy. Her supernatural manifestations attracted a great
deal of attention at one time, but she was finally exposed and
denounced as a charlatan.

Among the higher class of fakirs are many extraordinary men,
profound scholars, accomplished linguists and others whose knowledge
of both the natural and the occult sciences is amazing. I was
told by one of the highest officials of the Indian Empire of
an extraordinary feat performed for his benefit by one of these
fakirs, who in some mysterious way transferred himself several
hundred miles in a single night over a country where there were no
railroads, and never took the trouble to explain how his journey
was accomplished.

The best conjurers, magicians and palmists in India are fakirs.
Many of them tell fortunes from the lines of the hand and from
other signs with extraordinary accuracy. Old residents who have
come in contact with this class relate astounding tales. While
at Calcutta a young lady at our hotel was incidentally informed
by a fortune-telling fakir she met accidentally in a Brahmin
temple that she would soon receive news that would change all
her plans and alter the course of her life, and the next morning
she received a cablegram from England announcing the death of
her father. If you get an old resident started on such stories
he will keep telling them all night.

Of course you have read of the incredible and seemingly impossible
feats performed by Hindu magicians, of whom the best and most
skillful belong to the fakir class. I have seen the "box trick,"
or "basket trick," as they call it, in which a young man is tied
up in a gunny sack and locked up in a box, then at a signal a
few moments after appears smiling at the entrance to your house,
but I have never found anyone who could explain how he escaped
from his prison. This was performed daily on the Midway Plaisance
at the World's Fair at Chicago and was witnessed by thousands
of people. And it is simple compared with some of the doings
of these fakirs. They will take a mango, open it before you,
remove the seeds, plant them in a tub of earth, and a tree will
grow and bear fruit before your eyes within half an hour. Or,
what is even more wonderful, they will climb an invisible rope
in the open air as high as a house, vanish into space, and then,
a few minutes after, will come smiling around the nearest street
corner. Or, if that is not wonderful enough, they will take an
ordinary rope, whirl it around their head, toss it into the air,
and it will stand upright, as if fastened to some invisible bar,
so taut and firm that a heavy man can climb it.

These are a few of the wonderful things fakirs perform about
the temples, and nobody has ever been able to discover how they
do it. People who begin an inquiry usually abandon it and declare
that the tricks are not done at all, that the spectators are simply
hypnotized and imagine that they have seen what they afterward
describe. This explanation is entirely plausible. It is the only safe
one that can be given, and it is confirmed by other manifestations
of hypnotic power that you would not believe if I should describe
them. Fakirs have hypnotized people I know and have made them
witness events and spectacles which they afterward learned were
transpiring, at the very moment, five and six thousand miles
away. For example, a young gentleman, relating his experience,
declared that under the power of one of these men he attended his
brother's wedding in a London church and wrote home an account
of it that was so accurate in its details that his family were
convinced that he had come all the way from India without letting
them know and had attended it secretly.

Many of the snake charmers to whom I referred in a previous chapter
are fakirs, devoted to gods whose specialties are snakes, and
pious Hindus believe that the deities they worship protect them
from the venom of the reptiles. Sometimes you can see one of
them at a temple deliberately permit his pets to sting him on
the arm, and he will show you the blood flowing. Taking a little
black stone from his pocket he will rub it over the wound and then
rub it upon the head of the snake. Then he will rub the wound
again, and again the head of the snake, all the time muttering
prayers, making passes with his hands, bowing his body to the
ground, and going through other forms of worship, and when he
has concluded he will assure you that the bite of the snake has
been made harmless by the incantation.

I have never seen more remarkable contortionists than the fakirs
who can be always found about temples in Benares, and frequently
elsewhere. They are usually very lean men, almost skeletons. As
they wear no clothing, one can count their bones through the
skin, but their muscles and sinews are remarkably strong and
supple. They twist themselves into the most extraordinary shapes.
No professional contortionist upon the vaudeville stage can compare
with these religious mendicants, who give exhibitions in the
open air, or in the porticos of the temples in honor of some
god and call it worship. They acquire the faculty of doing their
feats by long and tedious training under the instruction of older
fakirs, who are equally accomplished, and the performances are
actually considered worship, just as much as an organ voluntary,
the singing of a hymn, or a display of pulpit eloquence in one of
our churches. The more wonderful their feats, the more acceptable
to their gods, and they go from city to city through all India,
and from temple to temple, twisting their bodies into unnatural
shapes and postures under the impression that they will thereby
attain a higher degree of holiness and exalt themselves in the
favor of heaven. They do not give exhibitions for money. They
cannot be hired for any price to appear upon a public stage.
Theatrical agents in London and elsewhere have frequently tempted
them with fortunes, but they cannot be persuaded to display their
gifts for gain, or violate their caste and the traditions of
their profession.

There is a fearful sect of fakirs devoted to Siva and to Bhairava,
the god of lunacy, who associate with evil spirits, ghouls and
vampires, and practice hideous rites of blood, lust and gluttony.
They tear their flesh with their finger-nails, slash themselves
with knives, and occasionally engage in a frantic dance from
which they die of exhaustion.

The nautches of India have received considerable attention from
many sources. They are the object of the most earnest admonitions
from missionaries and moralists, and no doubt are a very bad lot,
although they do not look it, and are a recognized and respected
profession among the Hindus. They are consecrated to certain
gods soon after their birth; they are the brides of the impure
and obscene deities of the Hindu pantheon, and are attached to
their temples, receiving their support from the collections of
the priests or the permanent endowments, often living under the
temple roof and almost always within the sacred premises. The
amount of their incomes varies according to the wealth and the
revenues of the idol to which they were attached. They dance
before him daily and sing hymns in his honor. The ranks of the
nautch girls are sometimes recruited by the purchase of children
from poor parents, and by the dedication of the daughters of pious
Hindu families to that vocation, just as in Christian countries
daughters are consecrated to the vocation of religion from the
cradle and sons are dedicated to the priesthood and ministry.
Indeed it is considered a high honor for the daughter of a Hindu
family to be received into a temple as a nautch.

They never marry and never retire. When they become too old to
dance they devote themselves to the training of their successors.
They are taught to read and write, to sing and dance, to embroider
and play upon various musical instruments. They are better educated
than any other class of Hindu women, and that largely accounts for
their attractions and their influence over men. They have their
own peculiar customs and rules, similar to those of the geishas of
Japan, and if a nautch is so fortunate as to inherit property it
goes to the temple to which she belongs. This custom has become
law by the confirmation of the courts. No nautch can retain any
article of value without the consent of the priest in charge of
the temple to which she is attached, and those who have received
valuable gifts of jewels from their admirers and lovers are often
compelled to surrender them. On the other hand, they are furnished
comfortable homes, clothing and food, and are taken care of all
of their lives, just the same as religious devotees belonging
to any other sect. Notwithstanding their notorious unchastity
and immorality, no discredit attaches to the profession, and
the very vices for which they are condemned are considered acts
of duty, faith and worship, although it seems almost incredible
that a religious sect will encourage gross immorality in its
own temples. Yet Hinduism has done worse things than that, and
other of its practices are even more censurable.

Bands of nautches are considered necessary appurtenances of the
courts of native Hindu princes, although they are never found
in the palaces of Mohammedans. They are brought forward upon
all occasions of ceremony, religious, official and convivial.
If the viceroy visits the capital of one of the native states he
is entertained by their best performances. They have a place on
the programme at all celebrations of feast days; they appear at
weddings and birthday anniversaries, and are quite as important
as an orchestra at one of our social occasions at home. They are
invited to the homes of native gentlemen on all great occasions
and are treated with the utmost deference and generosity. They
are permitted liberties and are accorded honors that would not be
granted to the wives and daughters of those who entertain them,
and stand on the same level as the Brahmin priests, yet they
are what we would call women of the town, and receive visitors
indiscriminately in the temples and other sacred places, according
to their pleasure and whims.

A stranger in India finds it difficult to reconcile these facts,
but any resident will assure you of the truth. The priests are
said to encourage the attentions of rich young Hindus because of
the gifts of money and jewels they are in the habit of showering
upon nautches they admire, but each girl is supposed to have a
"steady" lover, upon whom she bestows her affections for the
time being. He may be old or young, married or unmarried, rich or
poor, for as a rule it is to these women that a Hindu gentleman
turns for the companionship which his own home does not supply.

There is a difference of opinion as to the beauty of the nautches.
It is purely a matter of taste. There is no rule by which personal
attractions may be measured, and doubtless there may be beautiful
women among them, but, so far, I have never seen one. Their costumes
are usually very elaborate, the materials being of the rarest and
finest qualities and profusely embroidered, and their jewels are
usually costly. Their manners are gentle, refined and modest; they
are perfectly self-possessed under all circumstances, and, while
their dancing would not be attractive to the average American
taste, it is not immodest, and consists of a succession of graceful
gestures and posturing which is supposed to have a definite meaning
and express sentiments and emotions. Most of the dances are
interpretations of poems, legends, stories of the gods and heroes
of Indian mythology. Educated Hindus profess to be able to understand
them, although to a foreigner they are nothing more than meaningless
motions. I have asked the same question of several missionaries,
but have never been able to discover a nautch dancer who has
abandoned her vocation, or has deserted her temple, or has run
away with a lover, or has been reached in any way by the various
missions for women in India. They seem to be perfectly satisfied
with their present and their future.

The greatest good women missionaries have done in India, I think,
is in bringing modern medical science into the homes of the natives.
No man is ever admitted to the zenanas, no matter what may happen,
and thousands upon thousands, yes, millions upon millions, of poor
creatures have suffered and died for lack of ordinary medical
attention because of the etiquette of caste. American women brought
the first relief, graduates from medical schools in Philadelphia,
New York and Chicago, and now there are women physicians attached to
all of the missions, and many of them are practicing independently
in the larger cities. They are highly respected and exert a great
influence.

Nizam-u-Din, one of the holiest of the Hindu saints, lies in a
tomb of marble lace work and embroidery near Delhi; as exquisite
a bit of architecture as you can imagine, so dainty in all its
details that it ought to be the sepulcher of a fairy queen instead
of that of the founder of the Thugs, the secret religious society
of assassins which was suppressed and practically exterminated by
the British authorities in the '60's and '70's. He died in 1652.
He was a fanatic who worshiped the goddess Kali; the black wife of
Siva, and believed that the removal of unbelievers from the earth
was what we call a Christian duty. As Kali prohibited the shedding
of blood, he trained his devotees to strangle their fellow beings
without violating that prohibition or leaving any traces of their
work, and sent out hundreds of professional murderers over India
to diminish the number of heretics for the good and glory of the
faith. No saint in the Hindu calendar is more generally worshiped
or more profoundly revered unto the present day. His tomb is
attended by groups of Brahmins who place fresh flowers upon the
cenotaph every morning and cover it reverently with Cashmere
shawls of the finest texture and pieces of rare embroidery.

India is the only country where crime was ever systematically
carried on as a religious and legitimate occupation in the belief
that it was right, for not only the Thugs, but other professional
murderers existed for centuries, and still exist, although in
greatly diminished numbers, owing to the vigilance of the police;
not because they have become converted from the error of their ways.
There are yet tribes of professional criminals who believe that,
in following the customs and the occupation of their ancestors,
they are acting in the only way that is right and are serving
the gods they worship. Criminal organizations exist in nearly
all the native states, and the government is just now making
a special effort to stamp out professional "dacoits," who are
associated for the purpose of highway robbery, cattle stealing
and violence and carry on marauding expeditions from their
headquarters continuously. They are just as well organized and as
thoroughly devoted to their business as the gangs of highwaymen
that used to make travel dangerous through Europe in the middle
ages. And there are other criminal organizations with which it
is even more difficult to deal. A recent report from the office
of the home secretary says:

"We all know that trades go by castes in India; a family of
carpenters will be a family of carpenters a century or five centuries
hence, if they last so long; so with grain dealers, blacksmiths,
leather-makers and every known trade. If we keep this in mind
when we speak of 'professional criminals' we shall realize what
the term really means. It means that the members of a tribe whose
ancestors were criminals from time immemorial are themselves
destined by the use of the caste to commit crime, and their
descendants will be offenders against the law till the whole
tribe is exterminated or accounted for in the manner of the Thugs.
Therefore, when a man tells you he is a badhak, or a kanjar,
or a sonoria, he tells you, what few Europeans ever thoroughly
realize, that he is an habitual and avowed offender against the
law, and has been so from the beginning and will be so to the
end; that reform is impossible, for it is his trade, his caste--I
may almost say, his religion--to commit crime."

The Thugs were broken up by Captain Sleeman, a brave and able
British detective who succeeded in entering that assassination
society and was initiated into its terrible mysteries. A large
number of the leaders were executed from time to time, but the
government, whose policy is always to respect religious customs
of the Hindus, administered as little punishment as possible,
and "rounding up" all of the members of this cult, as ranchmen
would say, "corralled" them at the Town of Jabal-pur, near the
City of Allahabad, in northeastern India, where they have since
been under surveillance. Originally there were 2,500, but now
only about half of that number remain, who up to this date are
not allowed to leave without a permit the inclosure in which
they are kept.

One of the criminal tribes, called Barwars, numbers about a thousand
families and inhabits forty-eight villages in the district of
Gonda, in the Province of Oudh, not far from Delhi. They live
quietly and honestly upon their farms during the months of planting
and harvesting, but between crops they wander in small gangs
over distant parts of the country, robbing and plundering with
great courage and skill. They even despoil the temples of the
gods. The only places that are sacred to them are the temple
of Jaganath (Juggernaut), in the district of Orissa, and the
shrine of a certain Mohammedan martyr. They have a regular
organization under hereditary chiefs, and if a member of the
clan gives up thieving he is disgraced and excommunicated. The
plunder is divided pro rata, and a certain portion is set aside
for their priests and as offerings to their gods.

There is a similar clan of organized robbers and murderers known
as Sonoriaths, whose special business is to steal cattle, and
the Mina tribe, which lives in the district of Gurgaon, on the
frontier of the Punjab Province, has 2,000 members, given up
entirely to robbery and murder. They make no trouble at home. They
are honest in their dealings, peaceable, charitable, hospitable,
and have considerable wealth, but between crops the larger portion
of the men disappear from their homes and go into other provinces
for the purpose of robbery, burglary and other forms of stealing.
In the Agra Province are twenty-nine different tribes who from
time immemorial have made crime their regular occupation and,
like all those mentioned, look upon it as not only a legitimate
but a religious act ordered and approved by the deities they
worship.

Special laws have been enacted for restraining these castes or
clans, and special police officers now exercise supervision over
them. Every man is required to register at the police headquarters
and receive a passport. He is required to live within a certain
district, and cannot change his abode or leave its limits without
permission. If he does so he is arrested and imprisoned. The
authorities believe that they have considerably reduced the amount
of crime committed by these clansmen, who are too cunning and
courageous to be entirely suppressed. No amount of vigilance
can prevent them from leaving their villages and going off into
other provinces for criminal purposes, and the railways greatly
facilitate their movements.

Nevertheless, if you will examine the criminal statistics of
India you will be surprised at the small number of arrests, trials
and convictions for penal offenses. The figures demonstrate that
the people are honest and law abiding. There is less crime in
India than in any other country in proportion to population, much
less than in England or the United States. Out of a population
of 300,000,000 people during the ten years from 1892 to 1902
there was an annual average of 1,015,550 criminal cases before
the courts, and an average of 1,345,667 offenses against the
criminal laws reported, while 870,665 persons were convicted of
crime in 1902, with the following penalties imposed:

  Death                                  500
  Penal servitude                      1,707
  Imprisonment                       175,795
  Fines                              628,092
  Over two years' imprisonment         7,576
  Between one and two years           39,067
  Between fifteen days and one year   86,653
  Under fifteen days                  34,517

The following were the most serious crimes in 1902:

                                  Arrests.   Convictions.
  Offenses against public peace    15,190          5,088
  Murder                            3,255          1,102
  Assault                          42,496         12,597
  Dacoity or highway robbery        3,320            706
  Cattle stealing                  29,691          9,307
  Ordinary theft                  183,463         45,566
  House-breaking                  192,353         23,143
  Vagrancy                         25,212         18,877
  Public nuisances                216,285        201,421

The following table will show the total daily average of prisoners,
men and women, serving sentences for penal offenses in the prisons
of India during the years named:

            Men.   Women.    Total.
  1892    93,061    3,142    96,202
  1893    91,976    2,988    94,964
  1894    92,236    2,941    95,177
  1895    97,869    3,216   101,085
  1896   100,406    3,280   103,686
  1897   109,989    3,277   113,266
  1898   103,517    2,927   106,446
  1899   101,518    2,773   104,292
  1900   114,854    3,253   118,107
  1901   108,258    3,124   111,382

Those who are familiar with criminal statistics in the United
States and other countries, will, I am confident, agree with
me that this is a most remarkable record for a population of
300,000,000, illiterate, superstitious, impregnated with false
ideas of honor and morality, and packed so densely as the people
of India are. The courts of justice have reached a high standard;
the lower courts are administered almost exclusively by natives;
the higher courts by English and natives together. No trial of
importance ever takes place except before a mixed court, and
usually the three great religions--Brahminism, Mohammedanism and
Christianity--are represented on the bench.

One of the most difficult and delicate tasks of the British
authorities has been to prevent infanticide, the murder of girl
infants, because from time immemorial among all the races of
India it has been practiced openly and without restraint and
in many sections as a religious duty. And what has made it more
difficult, it prevailed most extensively among the families of
the highest rank, and among the natives, communities and provinces
which were most loyal to the British crown. For example, the
Rajputs, of whom I have written at length in a previous chapter,
are the chivalry of India. They trace their descent from the
gods, and are proud of their nobility and their honor, yet it
has been the custom among them as far back as traditions run,
to strangle more than half their girl babies at birth, and until
this was stopped the records showed numbers of villages where
there was not a single girl, and where there never had been one
within the memory of man. As late as the census of 1869 seven
villages were reported with 104 boys and one girl, twenty-three
villages with 284 boys and twenty-three girls and many others in
similar proportions. The statistics of the recent census of 1901,
by the disparity between the sexes, show that this crime has not
yet been stamped out. In the Rajputana Province, for example,
there are 2,447,401 boys to 1,397,911 girls, and throughout the
entire population of India there are 72,506,661 boys to 49,516,381
girls. Among the Hindus of all ages there are 105,163,345 men
to 101,945,387 women, and among the Sikhs, who also strangle
their children, there are 1,241,543 men to 950,823 women. Among
the Buddhists, the Jains and other religions the ratio between
the sexes was more even.

Sir John Strachy, in his admirable book upon India, says: "These
people have gone on killing their children generation after
generation because their forefathers did so before them, not
only without a thought that there is anything criminal in the
practice, but with the conviction that it is right. There can
be little doubt that if vigilance were relaxed the custom would
before long become as prevalent as ever." The measures taken
by the government have been radical and stringent. A system of
registration of births and deaths was provided by an act passed
in 1870, with constant inspection and frequent enumeration of
children among the suspected classes, and no efforts were spared
to convince them that the government had finally resolved to
prevent the practice and in doing so treated it as murder.



XIX

SIMLA AND THE PUNJAB

At Delhi the railway forks. One branch runs on to the frontier of
Afghanistan via Lahore and Peshawur, and the other via Umballa, an
important military post, to Simla, the summer capital and sanitarium
of India. Because of the climate there must be two capitals. From
October to April the viceroy occupies the government house at
Calcutta with the civil and military authorities around him, but
as soon as the summer heat sets in the whole administration, civil,
military and judicial, removes to Simla, and everybody follows,
foreign consuls, bankers, merchants, lawyers, butchers, bakers
and candlestick makers, hotel and boardinghouse keepers, with
their servants, coachmen and horses. The commander-in-chief of
the army, the adjutant general and all the heads of the other
departments with their clerks take their books and records along
with them. The winter population of Simla is about 15,000; the
summer population reaches 30,000. The exodus lasts about a month,
during which time every railway train going north is crowded and
every extra car that can be spared is borrowed from the other
railways. The last of October the migration is reversed and everybody
returns to Calcutta. This has been going on for nearly fifty
years. The journey to Umballa is made by rail and thence by
"dak-gherries," a sort of covered democrat wagon, "mailtongas,"
a species of cart, bullock carts, army wagons and carriages of
every size and description, while the luggage is brought up the
hills in various kinds of conveyance, much of it on the heads
of coolies, both women and men. The distance, fifty-seven miles
by the highway, is all uphill, but can be made by an ordinary
team in twelve hours.

Long experience has taught the government officials how to make
this removal in a scientific manner, and the records are arranged
for easy transportation. The viceroy has his own outfit, and when
the word is given the transfer takes place without the slightest
difficulty or confusion. A public functionary leaves his papers at
his desk, puts on his hat and walks out of his office at Calcutta;
three days later he walks into his office at Simla, hangs his
hat on a peg behind the door and sits down at his desk with the
same papers lying in the same positions before him, and business
goes on with the interruption of only three or four days at most.
The migration makes no more difference to the administration than
the revolutions of the earth. Formerly the various offices were
scattered over all parts of Simla, but they have been gradually
concentrated in blocks of handsome buildings constructed at a
cost of several millions of dollars. The home secretary, the
department of public works, the finance and revenue departments,
the secretary of agriculture, the postmaster general and the
secretary of war, each has quite as good an office for himself
and his clerks as he occupies at Calcutta. There is a courthouse,
a law library, a theatre and opera house, a number of clubs and
churches, for the archbishop and the clergy follow their flocks,
and the Calcutta merchants come along with their clerks and
merchandise to supply the wants of their customers. It is a
remarkable migration of a great government.

Although absolutely necessary for their health, and that of their
families, it is rather expensive for government employes, or
civil servants, as they are called in India, to keep up two
establishments, one in Simla and one in Calcutta. But they get
the benefit of the stimulating atmosphere of the hills and escape
the perpetual Turkish bath that is called summer in Calcutta.
Many of the higher officials, merchants, bankers, society people
and others have bungalows at Simla furnished like our summer
cottages at home. They extend over a long ridge, with beautiful
grounds around them. It is fully six miles from one end of the
town to the other, and the principal street is more than five
miles long. The houses are built upon terraces up and down the
slope, with one of the most beautiful panoramas of mountain scenery
that can be imagined spread out before them. Deep valleys, rocky
ravines and gorges break the mountainsides, which are clothed with
forests of oak and other beautiful trees, while the background is
a crescent of snowy peaks rising range above range against the
azure sky. Many people live in tents, particularly the military
families, and make themselves exceedingly comfortable. Simla is
quite cold in winter, being 7,084 feet above the sea and situated
on the thirty-second parallel of north latitude, about the same
as Charleston, S. C., but in summer the climate is very fine.

The viceroy occupies a chateau called the Viceregal Lodge, perched
upon a hill overlooking the town, and from his porches commands as
grand a mountain landscape as you could wish to see. The Viceregal
Lodge, like the government-house in Calcutta, was designed especially
for its purpose and is arranged for entertainments upon a broad
scale. The vice-queen takes the lead in social life, and no woman
in that position has ever been more competent than Lady Curzon.
There is really more society at Simla than in Calcutta. It is
the Newport of India, but fortunately for the health of those
who participate, it is mostly out of doors. The military element
is large enough to give it an athletic and sporting character, and
to the girls who are popular a summer at Simla is one prolonged
picnic. There are races, polo, tennis, golf, drives, rides, walks,
garden parties and all sorts of afternoon and morning functions. F.
Marion Crawford describes the gayeties of Simla in "Mr. Isaacs,"
the first and best novel he ever wrote, and gives a graphic account
of a polo match in which his hero was knocked off his horse and
had his head bathed by the young lady he was in love with. Kipling
has given us a succession of pictures of Simla society, and no
novel of Indian life is without a chapter or two on it, because
it is really the most interesting place in all the empire.

If you want to get a better idea of the place and its attractions
than I can give, read "Mr. Isaacs." Many of its incidents are
drawn from life, and the hero is a Persian Jew of Delhi, named
Jacobs, whose business is to sell precious stones to the native
princes. Crawford used to spend his summers at Simla when he
was a reporter for the Allahabad Pioneer, and made Jacobs's
acquaintance there. His Indian experiences are very interesting,
and he tells them as well as he writes. When he was quite a young
man he went to India as private secretary for an Englishman of
importance who died over there and left him stranded. Having failed
to obtain employment and having reached the bottom of his purse,
he decided in desperation to enlist as a private soldier in the
army, and was looking through the papers for the location of the
recruiting office when his eye was attracted by an advertisement
from the Allahabad Pioneer, which wanted a reporter. Although
he had never done any literary work, he decided to make a dash
for it, and became one of the most successful and influential
journalists in India until his career was broken in upon by the
success of "Mr. Isaacs," his first novel, which was published
in England and turned his pen from facts to fiction.

The railway journey from Delhi to Lahore is not exciting, although
it passes through a section of great historical interest which
has been fought over by contending armies and races for more
than 3,000 years. Several of the most important battles in India
occurred along the right of way, and they changed the dynasties
and religions of the empire, but the plains tell no tales and
show no signs of the events they have witnessed. Everybody who
has read Kipling's stories will be interested in Umballa, although
it is nothing but an important military post and railway junction.
He tells you about it in "Kim," and several of his army stories
are laid there. Sirhind, thirty-five miles beyond, was formerly
one of the most flourishing cities in the Mogul Empire, and for
a radius of several miles around it the earth is covered with
ruins. It was the scene of successive struggles between the Hindus
and the Sikhs for several centuries, and even to this day every
Sikh who passes through Sirhind picks up and carries away a brick,
which he throws into the first river he comes to, in hope that in
time the detested city will utterly disappear from the face of
the earth. Sirhind is the headquarters of American Presbyterian
missionary work in the Punjab, as that part of India is called,
and the headquarters of the largest irrigation system in the
world, which supplies water to more than 6,000,000 acres of land.

Just before reaching Lahore we passed through Amritsar, a city
which is famous for many things, and is the capital of the Sikhs,
a religious sect bound together by the ties of faith and race
and military discipline. They represent a Hindu heresy led by
a reformer named Nanak Shah, who was born at Lahore in 1469 and
preached a reformation against idolatry, caste, demon worship
and other doctrines of the Brahmins. His theories and sermons
are embraced in a volume known as the "Granth," the Sikh Bible,
which teaches the highest standard of morality, purity and courage,
and appeals especially to the nobler northern races of India. His
followers, who were known as Sikhs, were compelled to fight for
their faith, and for that reason were organized upon a military
basis. Their leaders were warlike men, and when the Mogul power
began to decay they struggled with the Afghans for supremacy in
northern India. They have ever since been renowned for their
fighting qualities; have always been loyal to British authority;
for fifty years have furnished bodyguards for the Viceroy of India,
the governors of Bombay, Bengal and other provinces, and so much
confidence is placed in their coolness, courage, honesty, judgment
and tact that they are employed as policemen in all the British
colonies of the East. You find them everywhere from Tien-Tsin to
the Red Sea. They are men of unusual stature, with fine heads
and faces, full beards, serious disposition and military airs.
They are the only professional fighters in the world. You seldom
find them in any other business, and their admirers declare that
no Sikh was ever convicted of cowardice or disloyalty.

Amritsar is their headquarters, their religious center and their
sacred city. Their temples are more like Protestant churches than
those of other oriental faiths. They have no idols or altars, but
meet once a week for prayer and praise. Their preacher reads passages
from the "Granth" and prays to their God, who may be reached through
the intercession of Nanak Shah, his prophet and their redeemer.
They sing hymns similar to those used in Protestant worship and
celebrate communion by partaking of wafers of unleavened bread.
Their congregations do not object to the presence of strangers,
but usually invite them to participate in the worship.

The great attraction of Amritsar is "The Golden Temple" of the
Sikhs which stands in the middle of a lake known as "The Pool of
Immortality." It is not a large building, being only fifty-three
feet square, but is very beautiful and the entire exterior is
covered with plates of gold. In the treasury is the original
copy of the "Granth" and a large number of valuable jewels which
have been collected for several centuries. Among them is one
of the most valuable strings of pearls ever collected.

The Punjab is a province of northern India directly south of
Cashmere, east of Afghanistan and west of Thibet. It is one of
the most enterprising, progressive and prosperous provinces,
and, being situated in the temperate zone, the character of the
inhabitants partakes of the climate. There is a great difference,
morally, physically and intellectually, between people who live
in the tropics and those who live in the temperate zone. This
rule applies to all the world, and nowhere more than in India.
Punjab means "five rivers," and is formed of the Hindu words
"punj ab." The country is watered by the Sutlej, the Beas, the
Rabi, the Chenab and the Jhelum rivers, five great streams, which
flow into the Indus, and thence to the Arabian Sea. Speaking
generally, the Punjab is a vast plain of alluvial formation,
and the eastern half of it is very fertile. The western part
requires irrigation, the rainfall being only a few inches a year,
but there is always plenty of water for irrigation in the rivers.
They are fed by the melting snows in the Himalayas.

The City of Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, is a stirring,
modern town, a railway center, with extensive workshops employing
several thousand men, and early in the nineteenth century, under
the administration of Ranjit Singh, one of the greatest of the
maharajas, it acquired great commercial importance, but the buildings
he erected are cheap and tawdry beside the exquisite architectural
monuments of Akbar, Shah Jeban and other Moguls. The population
of Punjab province by the census of 1901 is 20,330,339, and the
Mohammedans are in the majority, having 10,825,698 of the
inhabitants. The Sikhs are a very important class and number
1,517,019. There are only 2,200,000 Sikhs in all India, and those
who do not live in this province are serving as soldiers elsewhere.
The population of Lahore is 202,000, an increase of 26,000 during
the last ten years.

When you come into a Mohammedan country you always find tiles.
Somehow or another they are associated with Islam. The Moors
were the best tilemakers that ever lived, and gave that art to
Spain. In Morocco today the best modern tiles are found. The
tiles of Constantinople, Damascus, Smyrna, Jerusalem and other
cities of Syria and the Ottoman Empire are superior to any you
can find outside of Morocco; and throughout Bokhara, Turkestan,
Afghanistan and the other Moslem countries of Asia tilemaking has
been practiced for ages. In their invasion of India the Afghans
and Tartars brought it with them, and, although the art did not
remain permanently so far beyond the border as Delhi, you find
it there, in the rest of the Punjab and wherever Mohammedans
are in the majority.

Lahore is an ancient city and has many interesting old buildings.
The city itself lies upon the ruins of several predecessors which
were destroyed by invaders during the last twelve or fifteen
centuries. There are some fine old mosques and an ancient palace
or two, but compared with other Indian capitals it lacks interest.
The most beautiful and attractive of all its buildings is the
tomb of Anar Kali (which means pomegranate blossom), a lady of
the Emperor Akbar's harem, who became the sweetheart of Selim,
his son. She was buried alive by order of the jealous father
and husband for committing an unpardonable offense, and when
Selim became the Emperor Jehanjir he erected this wonderful tomb
to her memory. It is of white marble, and the carvings and mosaic
work are very fine. In striking contrast with it is a vulgar,
fantastic temple covered inside and out with convex mirrors.
In the center of the rotunda, upon a raised platform is carved
a lotus flower, and around it are eleven similar platforms of
smaller size. The guides tell you that upon these platforms the
body of Ranjit Singh, the greatest of the maharajas, was burned
in 1839, and his eleven wives were burned alive upon the platforms
around him.

The Emperor Jehanjir is buried in a magnificent mausoleum in the
center of a walled garden on the bank of the river five miles
from Lahore, but his tomb does not compare in beauty or splendor
with those at Agra and Delhi. There is a garden called "The Abode
of Love," about six miles out of town, where everybody drives
in the afternoon. It was laid out by the Mogul Shah Jehan in
1637 for a recreation ground for himself and his sultanas when
he visited this part of the empire, and includes about eighty
acres of flowers and foliage plants.

Modern Lahore is much more interesting than the ancient city.
The European quarter covers a large area. The principal street
is three miles long, shaded with splendid trees, and on each
side of it are the public offices, churches, schools, hotels,
clubs and the residences of rich people, which are nearly all
commodious bungalows surrounded by groves and gardens. The native
city is a busy bazaar, densely packed with gayly dressed types
of all the races of Asia, and is full of dust, filth and smells.
But the people are interesting and the colors are gay. It is
sometimes almost impossible to pass through the crowds that fill
the native streets, and whoever enters there must expect to be
jostled sometimes by ugly-looking persons.

The fort is the center of activity. The ancient citadel has been
adapted to modern uses and conveniences at the expense of its
former splendor. The palaces and mosques, the baths and halls
of audience of the Moguls have been converted into barracks,
arsenals and storerooms, and their decorations have been covered
with whitewash. The only object of interest that has been left is
an armory containing a fine collection of ancient Indian weapons.
But, although the city has lost its medieval picturesqueness, it has
gained in utility, and has become the most important educational
and industrial center of northern India. The university and its
numerous affiliated schools, the law college, the college of
oriental languages and the manual training school are all well
attended and important, and the school of art and industry enjoys
the reputation of being the most useful and the best-managed
institution of the kind in the East, probably in all Asia, which
is due to the zeal and ability of J. L. Kipling, father of Rudyard
Kipling, who has spent the greater part of his life in making it
what it is. He was also the founder of the museum or "Wonder-House,"
as the natives call it. It has the finest collection of Indian
arts and industries in existence except that in South Kensington
Museum, which Mr. Kipling also collected and installed. It was
under the carriage of one of the great old-fashioned cannon that
stand in front of this museum that "Kim" first encountered the
aged Llama, and Kipling's father is the wise man who kept the
"Wonder-House" and gave the weary pilgrim the knowledge and
encouragement that sustained him in his search for The Way.

[Illustration: "KIM," THE CHELA, AND THE OLD LAMA WHO SOUGHT THE
WAY AND THE TRUST AND THE LIGHT]

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, where his father was principal
of an art school, and was brought to Lahore when he was a child,
so that he spent most of his younger life there. He was educated
at the Lahore schools and university; he served for several years
as a reporter of the Lahore newspaper, and there he wrote most
of his short stories. "The Plain Tales From the Hills" and the
best of his "Barrack-Room Ballads" were inspired by his youthful
association with the large military garrison at this point. Here
Danny Deever was hanged for killing a comrade in a drunken passion,
and here Private Mulvaney developed his profound philosophy.

Lahore is the principal Protestant missionary center of northern
India. The American Presbyterians are the oldest in point of
time and the strongest in point of numbers. They came in 1849,
and some of the pioneers are still living. They have schools and
colleges, a theological seminary and other institutions, with
altogether five or six thousand students, and are turning out
battalions of native preachers and teachers for missionary work in
other parts of India. The American Methodists are also strong and
there are several schools maintained by British societies. Fifty
years ago there was not a native Christian in all these parts,
and the missionaries had to coax children into their schools by
offering inducements in the form of food and clothing. Now by
the recent census there are 65,811 professing Christians in the
Punjab province, and the schools and native churches are nearly
all self-supporting.

Lahore is an important market for native merchandise, and the
distributing point for imported European goods as well as the
native products, while Amritsar, the neighboring city, is the
manufacturing center. Here come Cashmeris, Nepalese, Beluchis,
Afghans, Persians, Bokharans, Khivans, Khokandes, Turcomans,
Yarkandis, Cashgaris, Thibetans, Tartars, Ghurkhars, and other
strange types of the human race in Asia, each wearing his native
dress and bringing upon caravans of camels and elephants the
handiwork of his neighbors. The great merchants of London, Paris,
Vienna, New York and Chicago have buyers there picking up curious
articles of native handiwork as well as staples like shawls from
Cashmere and rugs and carpets from Amritsar. The finest carpets
in India are produced at Amristar, and between 4,000 and 5,000
people are engaged in their manufacture. These operators are not
collected in factories as with us, but work in their own homes.
The looms are usually set up in the doorways, through which the
only light can enter the houses, and as you pass up and down the
streets you see women and men, even children, at work at the looms,
for every member of the family takes a turn. As in China, Japan
and other oriental countries, arts and industries are hereditary.
Children always follow the trades of their parents, and all work
is done in the households. The weavers of Amritsar to-day are
making carpets and shawls upon the same looms that were used
by their great-grand fathers--yes, their progenitors ten and
twenty generations back--and are weaving the same patterns, and
it is to be regretted that modern chemical dyes made in Paris, the
United States and Germany are taking the place of the primitive
native methods which produced richer and permanent colors.

The trade is handled by middlemen, who furnish materials to the
weavers and pay them so much for their labor upon each piece.
The average earnings seem to us ridiculously small. An entire
family does not receive more than $3 or $4 a month while engaged
in producing shawls that are sold in London and Paris for hundreds
of pounds and rugs that bring hundreds of dollars, but it costs
them little to live; their wants are few, they have never known any
better circumstances and are perfectly contented. The middleman,
who is usually a Persian Jew, makes the big profit.

Winter is not a good time for visiting northern India. The weather
is too cold and stormy. The roads are frequently obstructed by
snow, and the hotels are not built to keep people up to American
temperature. We could not go to Cashmere at all, although it is
one of the most interesting provinces of the empire, because
the roads were blocked and blizzards were lurking about. There
is almost universal misapprehension about the weather in India.
It is certainly a winter country; it is almost impossible for
unacclimated people to live in most of the provinces between
March and November, and no one can visit some of them without
discomfort from the heat at any season of the year. At the same
time Cashmere and the Punjab province are comfortable no later
than October and no earlier than May, for, although the sun is
bright and warm, the nights are intensely cold, and the extremes
are trying to strangers who are not accustomed to them. You will
often hear people who have traveled all over the world say that
they never suffered so much from the cold as in India, and it
is safe to believe them. The same degree of cold seems colder
there than elsewhere, because the mercury falls so rapidly after
the sun goes down. However, India is so vast, and the climate
and the elevations are so varied, that you can spend the entire
year there without discomfort if you migrate with the birds and
follow the barometer. There are plenty of places to see and to
stay in the summer as well as in the winter.

We arrived in Bombay on the 12th of December, which was at least
a month too late. It would have been better for us to have come
the middle of October and gone immediately north into the Punjab
province and Cashmere, where we would have been comfortable. But
during the entire winter we were not uncomfortably warm anywhere,
and even in Bombay, which is considered one of the hottest places
in the world, and during the rainy season is almost intolerable,
we slept under blankets every night and carried sun umbrellas in
the daytime. At Jeypore, Agra, Delhi and other places the nights
were as cold as they ever are at Washington, double blankets were
necessary on our beds, and ordinary overcoats when we went out
of doors after dark. Sometimes it was colder inside the house
than outside, and in several of the hotels we had to put on our
overcoats and wrap our legs up in steamer rugs to keep from
shivering. At the same time the rays of the sun from 11 to 3
or 4 in the afternoon were intensely hot, and often seriously
affect persons not acclimated. If we ever go to India again we
will arrange to arrive in October and do the northern provinces
before the cold weather sets in.

It's a pity we could not go to Cashmere, because everybody told
us it is such an interesting place and so different from other
parts of India and the rest of the world. It is a land of romance,
poetry and strange pictures. Lalla Rookh and other fascinating
houris, with large brown eyes, pearly teeth, raven tresses and ruby
lips, have lived there; it is the home of the Cashmere bouquet,
and the Vale of Cashmere is an enchanted land. Average Americans
know mighty little about these strange countries, and it takes
time to realize that they actually exist; but we find our fellow
citizens everywhere we go. They outnumber the tourists from all
other nations combined.

I notice that the official reports of the Indian government give
the name as "Kashmir," and, like every other place over here,
it is spelled a dozen different ways, but I shall stick to the
old-fashioned spelling. It you want to know something about it,
Cashmere has an area of 81,000 square miles, a population of
2,905,578 by the census of 1901, and is governed by a maharaja
with the advice of a British "resident," who is the medium of
communication between the viceroy and the local officials. The
maharaja is allowed to do about as he pleases as long as he behaves
himself, and is said to be a fairly good man.

The people are peaceful and prosperous; politics is very quiet;
taxes are low; there is no debt, and a surplus of more than
$3,000,000 in the treasury, which is an unusual state of affairs
for a native Indian province. The exports have increased from
$1,990,000 in 1892 to $4,465,000 in 1902, and the imports from
$2,190,000 in 1892 to $4,120,000 in 1902. The country has its
own coinage and is on a gold basis. The manufacturing industries
are rapidly developing, although the lack of demand for Cashmere
shawls has been a severe blow to local weavers, who, however,
have turned their attention to carpets and rugs instead. Wool
is the great staple, and from time immemorial the weavers of
Cashmere have turned out the finest woolen fabrics in the world.
They have suffered much from the competition of machine-made
goods during the last half-century or more, and have been growing
careless because they cannot get the prices that used to be paid
for the finest products. In ancient times the making of woolen
garments was considered just as much of an art in Cashmere as
painting or sculpture in France and Germany, porcelain work in
China or cloisonne work in Japan, and no matter how long a weaver
was engaged upon a garment, he was sure to find somebody with
sufficient taste and money to buy it. But nowadays, like everybody
else who is chasing the nimble shilling, the Cashmere weavers are
more solicitous about their profits than about their patterns
and the fine quality of their goods. The lapse of the shawl trade
has caused the government to encourage the introduction of the
silk industry. A British expert has been engaged as director of
sericulture, seedlings of the mulberry tree are furnished to
villagers and farmers free of cost, and all cocoons are purchased
by the state at good prices. The government has silk factories
employing between 6,000 and 7,000 persons under the instruction
of French and Swiss weavers.



XX

FAMINES AND THEIR ANTIDOTES

Famine is chronic in India. It has occurred at intervals for
centuries past, as long as records have been kept, as long as
man remembers, and undoubtedly will recur for centuries to come,
although the authorities who are responsible for the well-being
of the empire are gradually organizing to counteract forces of
nature which they cannot control, by increasing the food supply
and providing means for its distribution. But there must be hunger
and starvation in India so long as the population remains as dense
as it is. The reason is not because the earth refuses to support
so many people. There is yet a vast area of fertile land untilled,
and the fields already cultivated would furnish food enough for
a larger population when normal conditions prevail, although
there's but a bare half acre per capita. There is always enough
somewhere in India for everybody even in times of sorest distress,
but it is not distributed equally, and those who are short have
no money to buy and bring from those who have a surplus. The
export of grain and other products from India continues regularly
in the lean as well as the fat years, but the country is so large,
the distances so great, the facilities for transportation so
inadequate, that one province may be exporting food to Europe
because it has to spare, while another province may be receiving
ships loaded with charity from America because its crops have
failed and its people are hungry.

The health and happiness of three hundred million human souls in
India and also of their cattle, their oxen, their sheep, their
donkeys, their camels and their elephants are dependent upon
certain natural phenomena over which neither rajah nor maharaja,
nor viceroy, nor emperor, nor council of state has control, and
before which even the great Mogul on his bejeweled throne stood
powerless. It is possible to ameliorate the consequences, but
it is not possible to prevent them.

Whether the crops shall be fat or lean, whether the people and
the cattle shall be fed or hungry, depends upon the "monsoons,"
as they are called, alternating currents of wind, which bring
rain in its season. All animal and vegetable life is dependent
upon them. In the early summer the broad plains are heated by
the sun to a temperature higher than that of the water of the
great seas which surround them. In parts of northern India, around
Delhi and Agra, the temperature in May and June is higher than
in any other part of the empire, and is exceeded in few other
parts of the world. This phenomenon remains unexplained. The
elevation is about 2,100 feet above the sea; the atmosphere is
dry and the soil is sandy. But for some reason the rays of the
sun are intensely hot and are fatal to those who are exposed
to them without sufficient protection. But this extreme heat
is the salvation of the country, and by its own action brings
the relief without which all animal and vegetable life would
perish. It draws from the ocean a current of wind laden with
moisture which blows steadily for two months toward the northwest
and causes what is called the rainy season. That wind is called
the southwest monsoon. The quantity of rain that falls depends
upon the configuration of the land. Any cause which cools the
winds from the sea and leads to the condensation of the vapor
they carry--any obstacle which blocks their course--causes
precipitation. Through all the northern part of India there is a
heavy rainfall during April, May and June, the earth is refreshed
and quantities of water are drained into reservoirs called "tanks,"
from which the fields are irrigated later in the summer.

The quantity of rainfall diminishes as the winds blow over the
foothills and the mountains, and the enormous heights of the
Himalayas prevent them from passing their snow-clad peaks and
ridges. Hence the tablelands of Thibet, which lie beyond, are
the dryest and the most arid region in the world.

As the sun travels south after midsummer the temperature falls,
the vast dry tract of the Asiatic continent becomes colder, the
barometric pressure over the land increases, and the winds begin
to blow from the northeast, which are called the northeast monsoon,
and cause a second rainy season from October to December. These
winds, or monsoons, enable the farmers of India to grow two crops,
and they are entirely dependent upon their regular appearance.

Over 80 per cent of the population are engaged in farming. They
live from hand to mouth. They have no reserve whatever. If the
monsoon fails nothing will grow, and they have no money to import
food for themselves and their cattle from more fortunate sections.
Hence they are helpless. As a rule the monsoons are very reliable,
but every few years they fail, and a famine results. The government
has a meteorological department, with observers stationed at
several points in Africa and Arabia and in the islands of the
sea, to record and report the actions of nature. Thus it has been
able of late years to anticipate the fat and the lean harvests. It
is possible to predict almost precisely several months in advance
whether there will be a failure of crops, and a permanent famine
commission has been organized to prepare measures of relief before
they are needed. In other words, Lord Curzon and his official
associates are reducing famine relief to a system which promotes
economy as well as efficiency.

It is an interesting fact that the monsoon currents which cross
the Indian Ocean from South Africa continue on their course through
Australia after visiting India, and recent famines in the latter
country have coincided with the droughts which caused much injury
to stock in the former. Thus it has been demonstrated that both
countries depend upon the same conditions for their rainfall,
except that human beings suffer in India while only sheep die
of hunger in the Australian colonies.

The worst famine ever known in India occurred in 1770, when Governor
General Warren Hastings reported that one-third of the inhabitants
of Bengal perished from hunger--ten millions out of thirty millions.
The streets of Calcutta and other towns were actually blocked
up with the bodies of the dead, which were thrown out of doors
and windows because there was no means or opportunity to bury
them. The empire has been stricken almost as hard during the
last ten years. The development of civilization seems to make
a little difference, for the famine of 1900-1901 was perhaps
second in severity to that of 1770. This, however, was largely
due to the fact that the population had not had time to recover
from the famine of 1896-97, which was almost as severe, although
everything possible was done to relieve distress and prevent
the spread of plagues and pestilence that are the natural and
unavoidable consequences of insufficient nourishment.

No precautions that sanitary science can suggest have been omitted,
yet the weekly reports now show an average of twenty thousand
deaths from the bubonic plague alone. The officials explain that
that isn't so high a rate as inexperienced people infer, considering
that the population is nearly three hundred millions, and they
declare it miraculous that it is not larger, because the Hindu
portion of the population is packed so densely into insanitary
dwellings, because only a small portion of the natives have
sufficient nourishment to meet the demands of nature and are
constantly exposed to influences that produce and spread disease.
The death rate is always very high in India for these reasons.
But it seems very small when compared with the awful mortality
caused by the frequent famines. The mind almost refuses to accept
the figures that are presented; it does not seem possible in the
present age, with all our methods for alleviating suffering,
that millions of people can actually die of hunger in a land
of railroads and steamships and other facilities for the
transportation of food. It seems beyond comprehension, yet the
official returns justify the acceptance of the maximum figures
reported.

The loss of human life from starvation in British India alone
during the famine of 1900-1901 is estimated at 1,236,855, and
this is declared to be the minimum. In a country of the area
of India, inhabited by a superstitious, secretive and ignorant
population, it is impossible to compel the natives to report
accidents and deaths, particularly among the Brahmins, who burn
instead of bury their dead. Those who know best assert that at
least 15 per cent of the deaths are not reported in times of
famines and epidemics. And the enormous estimate I have given
does not include any of the native states, which have one-third
of the area and one-fourth of the population of the empire. In
some of them sanitary regulations are observed, and statistics
are accurately reported. In others no attempt is made to keep
a registry of deaths, and there are no means of ascertaining
the mortality, particularly in times of excitement. In these
little principalities the peasants have, comparatively speaking,
no medical attendance; they are dependent upon ignorant fakirs
and sorcerers, and they die off like flies, without even leaving
a record of their disappearance. Therefore the only way of
ascertaining the mortality of those sections is to make deductions
from the returns of the census, which is taken with more or less
accuracy every ten years.

[Illustration: AN EKKA OR ROAD CART]

The census of 1901 tells a terrible tale of human suffering and
death during the previous decade, which was marked by two famines
and several epidemics of cholera, smallpox and other contagious
diseases. Taking the whole of India together, the returns show
that during the ten years from 1892 to 1901, inclusive, there
was an increase of less than 6,000,000 instead of the normal
increase of 19,000,000, which was to be expected, judging by
the records of the previous decades of the country. More than
10,000,000 people disappeared in the native states alone without
leaving a trace behind them.

The official report of the home secretary shows that Baroda State
lost 460,000, or 19.23 per cent of its population.

The Rajputana states lost 2,175,000, or 18.1 per cent of their
population.

The central states lost 1,817,000, or 17.5 per cent.

Bombay Province lost 1,168,000, or 14.5 per cent.

The central provinces lost 939,000, or 8.71 per cent.

These are the provinces that suffered most from the famine, and
therefore show the largest decrease in population.

The famine of 1900-01 affected an area of more than four hundred
thousand square miles and a population exceeding sixty millions,
of whom twenty-five millions belong in the provinces of British
India and thirty-five millions to the native states.

"Within this area," Lord Curzon says, "the famine conditions
for the greater part of a year were intense. Outside it they
extended with a gradually dwindling radius over wide districts
which suffered much from loss of crops and cattle, if not from
actual scarcity. In a greater or less degree in 1900-01 nearly
one-fourth of the entire population of the Indian continent came
within the range of relief operations.

"It is difficult to express in figures with any close degree
of accuracy the loss occasioned by so widespread and severe a
visitation. But it may be roughly put in this way: The annual
agricultural product of India averages in value between two and
three hundred thousand pounds sterling. On a very cautious estimate
the production in 1899-1900 must have been at least one-quarter
if not one-third below the average. At normal prices this loss
was at least fifty million pounds sterling, or, in round numbers,
two hundred and fifty million dollars in American money. But,
in reality, the loss fell on a portion only of the continent,
and ranged from total failure of crops in certain sections to
a loss of 20 and 30 per cent of the normal crops in districts
which are not reckoned as falling within the famine tract. If to
this be added the value of several millions of cattle and other
live stock, some conception may be formed of the destruction
of property which that great drought occasioned. There have been
many great droughts in India, but there have been no others of
which such figures could have been predicated as these.

"But the most notable feature of the famine of 1900-01 was the
liberality of the public and the government. It has no parallel in
the history of the world. For weeks more than six million persons
were dependent upon the charity of the government. In 1897 the
high water mark of relief was reached in the second fortnight
of May, when there were nearly four million persons receiving
relief in British India. Taking the affected population as forty
millions, the ratio of relief was 10 per cent. In one district of
Madras and in two districts of the northwestern provinces the ratio
for some months was about 30 per cent, but these were exceptional
cases. In the most distressed districts of the central provinces
16 per cent was regarded in 1896-7 as a very high standard of
relief. Now take the figures of 1900-01. For some weeks upward
of four and a half million persons were receiving food from the
government in British India, and, reckoned on a population of
twenty-five millions, the ratio was 18 per cent, as compared
with 10 per cent of the population in 1897. In many districts
it exceeded 20 per cent. In several it exceeded 30 per cent.
In two districts it exceeded 40 per cent, and in the district
of Merwara, where famine had been present for two years, 75 per
cent of the population were dependent upon the government for
food. Nothing I could say can intensify the simple eloquence
of these figures.

"The first thing to be done was to relieve the immediate distress,
to feed the hungry, to rescue those who were dying of starvation.
The next step was to furnish employment at living wages for those
who were penniless until we could help them to get upon their
feet again, and finally to devise means and methods to meet such
emergencies in the future, because famines are the fate of India
and must continue to recur under existing conditions.

"I should like to tell you of the courage, endurance and the
devotion of the men who distributed the relief, many of whom
died at their posts of duty as bravely and as uncomplainingly
as they might have died upon the field of battle. The world will
never know the extent and the number of sacrifices made by British
and native officials. The government alone expended $32,000,000
for food, while the amount disbursed by the native states, by
religious and private charities, was very large. The contributions
from abroad were about $3,000,000, and the government loaned the
farmers more than $20,000,000 to buy seed and cattle and put
in new crops.

"So far as the official figures are concerned, the total cost
of the famine of 1900 was as follows:

  BRITISH INDIA

  Direct relief                           $31,950,000
  Loss of revenue                          16,200,000
  Loans to farmers and native states       21,300,000

  NATIVE STATES

  Relief expenditure and loss of revenue   22,500,000
                                          -----------
  Total                                   $91,950,000

"Some part of these loans and advances will eventually be repaid.
But it is not a new thing for the government of India to relieve
its people in times of distress. The frequent famines have been
an enormous drain upon the resources of the empire."

The following table shows the expenditures for famine relief
by the imperial government of India during the last twenty-one
years:

  Five years, 1881-86                     $25,573,885
  Five years, 1886-91                      11,449,190
  Five years, 1891-96                      21,631,900
  1896-1897                                 8,550,705
  1897-1898                                19,053,575
  1898-1899                                 5,000,000
  1899-1900                                10,642,235
  1900-1901                                20,829,335
  1901-1902                                 5,000,000
                                         ------------
  Total (twenty-one years)               $127,730,825

Among the principal items chargeable to famine relief, direct and
indirect, are the wages paid dependent persons employed during
famines in the construction of railways and irrigation works,
which, during the last twenty-one years, have been as follows:

                           Direct                  Construction
                           famine   Construction  of irrigation
                           relief.  of railways.       works.
  Five years, '81-'86     $379,760    $9,113,165   $3,739,790
  1886-1891                277,030       666,665    1,384,570
  1891-1896                411,065    12,056,505      921,675
  1896-1897              6,931,750                    156,100
  1897-1898             17,752,025                    125,055
  1898-1899                133,515     2,301,175       38,900
  1899-1900             10,375,590                    119,650
  1900-1901             20,626,150                    155,570
  1901-1902              2,645,905                    353,465
                       -----------   -----------   ----------
  Total (21 years)     $59,531,790   $24,137,610   $6,994,775

The chief remedies which the government has been endeavoring to
apply are:

1. To extend the cultivated area by building irrigation works and
scattering the people over territory that is not now occupied.

2. To construct railways and other transportation facilities
for the distribution of food. This work has been pushed with
great energy, and during the last ten years the railway mileage
has been increased nearly 50 per cent to a total of more than
26,000 miles. About 2,000 miles are now under construction and
approaching completion, and fresh projects will be taken up and
pushed so that food may be distributed throughout the empire as
rapidly as possible in time of emergency. Railway construction
has also been one of the chief methods of relief. During the
recent famine, and that of 1897, millions of coolies, who could
find no other employment, were engaged at living wages upon various
public works. This was considered better than giving them direct
relief, which was avoided as far as possible so that they should
not acquire the habit of depending upon charity. And as a part
of the permanent famine relief system for future emergencies,
the board of public works has laid out a scheme of roads and
the department of agriculture a system of irrigation upon which
the unemployed labor can be mobilized at short notice, and funds
have been set apart for the payment of their wages. This is one
of the most comprehensive schemes of charity ever conceived, and
must commend to every mind the wisdom, foresight and benevolence
of the Indian government, which, with the experience with a dozen
famines, has found that its greatest difficulty has been to relieve
the distressed and feed the hungry without making permanent paupers
of them. Every feature of famine relief nowadays involves the
employment of the needy and rejects the free distribution of
food.

3. The government is doing everything possible to encourage the
diversification of labor, to draw people from the farms and employ
them in other industries. This requires a great deal of time,
because it depends upon private enterprise, but during the last
ten years there has been a notable increase in the number of
mechanical industries and the number of people employed by them,
which it is believed will continue because of the profits that
have been realized by investors.

4. The government is also making special efforts to develop the
dormant resources of the empire. There has been a notable increase
in mining, lumbering, fishing, and other outside industries which
have not received the attention they deserved by the people of
India; and, finally,

5. The influence of the government has also been exerted so far
as could be to the encouragement of habits of thrift among the
people by the establishment of postal savings banks and other
inducements for wage-earners to save their money. Ninety per
cent of the population of India lives from hand to mouth and
depends for sustenance upon the crops raised upon little patches
of ground which in America would be too insignificant for
consideration. There is very seldom a surplus. The ordinary Hindu
never gets ahead, and, therefore, when his little crop fails he
is helpless.

[Illustration: A TEAM OF "CRITTERS"]

The munificence of Mr. Henry Phipps of New York has enabled the
government of India to provide one of the preventives of famine
by educating the people in agricultural science. A college, an
experimental farm and research laboratory have been established
on the government estate of Pusa, in southern Bengal, a tract
of 1,280 acres, which has been used since 1874 as a breeding
ranch, a tobacco experimental farm and a model dairy. No country
has needed such an institution more than India, where 80 per
cent of the population are engaged in agricultural pursuits,
and most of them with primitive implements and methods. But the
conservatism and the illiteracy, the prejudices and the ignorance
of the natives make it exceedingly difficult to introduce
innovations, and it is the conviction of those best qualified
to speak that the only way of improving the condition of the
farmer classes is to begin at the top and work down by the force
of example. During a recent visit to India this became apparent
to Mr. Phipps, who is eminently a practical man, and has been
in the habit of dealing with industrial questions all of his
life. He was brought up in the Carnegie iron mills, became a
superintendent, a manager and a partner, and, when the company
went into the great trust, retired from active participation in
its management with an immense fortune. He has built a beautiful
house in New York, has leased an estate in Scotland, where his
ancestors came from, and has been spending a vacation, earned
by forty years of hard labor, in traveling about the world. His
visit to India brought him into a friendly acquaintance with Lord
Curzon, in whom he found a congenial spirit, and doubtless the
viceroy received from the practical common sense of Mr. Phipps many
suggestions that will be valuable to him in the administration
of the government, and in the solution of the frequent problems
that perplex him. Mr. Phipps, on the other hand, had his sympathy
and interest excited in the industrial conditions of India, and
particularly in the famine phenomena. He therefore placed at the
disposal of Lord Curzon the sum of $100,000, to which he has
since added $50,000, to be devoted to whatever object of public
utility in the direction of scientific research the viceroy might
consider most useful and expedient. In accepting this generous
offer it appeared to His Excellency that no more practical or
useful object could be found to which to devote the gift, nor
one more entirely in harmony with the wishes of the donor, than
the establishment of a laboratory for agricultural research, and
Mr. Phipps has expressed his warm approval of the decision.

It is proposed to place the college upon a higher grade than
has ever been reached by any agricultural school in India, not
only to provide for a reform of the agricultural methods of the
country, but also to serve as a model for and to raise the standard
of the provincial schools, because at none of them are there
arrangements for a complete or competent agricultural education.
It is proposed to have a course of five years for the training
of teachers for other institutions and the specialists needed in
the various branches of science connected with the agricultural
department, who are now imported from Europe. The necessity for
such an education, Lord Curzon says, is constantly becoming more
and more imperative. The higher officials of the government have
long realized that there should be some institution in India
where they can train the men they require, if their scheme of
agricultural reformation is ever to be placed upon a practical
basis and made an actual success. For those who wish to qualify
for professorships or for research work, or for official positions
requiring special scientific attainments, it is believed that
a five years' course is none too long. But for young men who
desire only to train themselves for the management of their own
estates or the estates of others, a three years' course will be
provided, with practical work upon the farm and in the stable.

The government has solved successfully several of the irrigation
problems now under investigation by the Agricultural Department
and the Geological Survey of the United States. The most successful
public works of that nature are in the northern part of the empire.
The facilities for irrigation in India are quite as varied as in the
United States, the topography being similar and equally diverse.
In the north the water supply comes from the melting snows of the
Himalayas; in the east and west from the great river systems
of the Ganges and the Indus, while in the central and southern
portions the farmers are dependent upon tanks or reservoirs into
which the rainfall is drained and kept in store until needed.
In several sections the rainfall is so abundant as to afford
a supply of water for the tanks which surpluses in constancy
and volume that from any of the rivers. In Bombay and Madras
provinces almost all of the irrigation systems are dependent
upon this method. In the river provinces are many canals which
act as distributaries during the spring overflow, carry the water
a long distance and distribute it over a large area during the
periods of inundation. In several places the usefulness of these
canals has been increased by the construction of reservoirs which
receive and hold the floods upon the plan proposed for some of
our arid states.

In India the water supply is almost entirely controlled by the
government. There are some private enterprises, but most of them
are for the purpose of reaching land owned by the projectors.
A few companies sell water to the adjacent farmers on the same
plan as that prevailing in California, Colorado and other of
our states. But the government of India has demonstrated the
wisdom of national ownership and control, and derives a large
and regular revenue therefrom. In the classification adopted by
the department of public works the undertakings are designated
as "major" and "minor" classes. The "major" class includes all
extensive works which have been built by government money, and
are maintained under government supervision. Some of them, classed
as "famine protective works," were constructed with relief funds
during seasons of famine in order to furnish work and wages to
the unemployed, and at the same time provide a certain supply
of water for sections of the country exposed to drought. The
"minor" works are of less extent, and have been constructed from
time to time to assist private enterprise.

The financial history of the public irrigation works of India
will be particularly interesting to the people of the United
States because our government is just entering upon a similar
policy, the following statement is brought down to December 31,
1902:

  Cost of construction                      $125,005,705
  Receipts from water rates (1902)             7,797,890
  Receipts from land taxes (1902)              4,066,985
  Total revenue from all sources (1902)       11,864,875
  Working expenses (1902)                      3,509,600
  Net revenue (1902)                           8,355,275
  Interest on capital invested                 4,720,615
  Net revenue, deducting interest              3,634,660
  Profit on capital invested, per cent              6.97

  Net profit to the government, per cent            3.04

In addition to this revenue from the "major" irrigation works
belonging to the government, the net receipts from "minor" works
during the year 1902 amounted to $864,360 in American money.

In other words, the government of India has invested about
$125,000,000 in reservoirs, canals, dams and ditches for the
purpose of securing regular crops for the farmers of that empire
who are exposed to drought, and not only has accomplished that
purpose, but, after deducting 3-1/2 per cent as interest upon
the amount named, enjoys a net profit of more than $3,500,000
after the payment of running expenses and repairs. These profits
are regularly expended in the extension of irrigation works.

In the Sinde province, which is the extreme western section of
India, adjoining the colony of Beluchistan on the Arabian Sea,
there are about 12,500,000 acres of land fit for cultivation. Of
this a little more than 9,000,000 acres are under cultivation,
irrigated with water from the Indus River, and the government
system reaches 3,077,466 acres. Up to December 31, 1902, it had
expended $8,830,000 in construction and repairs, and during that
year received a net revenue of 8.5 per cent upon that amount
over and above interest and running expenses.

In Madras 6,884,554 acres have peen irrigated by the government
works at a cost of $24,975,000. In 1902 they paid an average
net revenue of 9.5 per cent upon the investment, and the value
of the crops grown upon the irrigated land was $36,663,000.

In the united provinces of Agra and Oudh in northern India the
supply of water from the Himalayas is distributed through 12,919
miles of canals belonging to the government, constructed at a
cost of $28,625,000, which irrigates 2,741,460 acres. In 1902
the value of the crops harvested upon this land was $28,336,005,
and the government received a net return of 6.15 per cent upon
the investment. The revenue varies in different parts of the
provinces. One system known as the Eastern Jumna Canal, near
Lucknow, paid 23 per cent upon its cost in water rents during
that year. In other parts of the province, where the construction
was much more expensive, the receipts fell as low as 2.12 per
cent.

In the Punjab province, the extreme northwestern corner of India,
adjoining Afghanistan on the west and Cashmere on the east, where
the water supply comes from the melting snows of the Himalayas,
the government receives a net profit of 10.83 per cent, and the
value of the crop in the single year of 1902 was one and one-fourth
times the total amount invested in the works to date.

This does not include a vast undertaking known as the Chenab
Canal, which has recently been completed, and now supplies more
than 2,000,000 acres with water. Its possibilities include 5,527,000
acres. As a combination of business and benevolence and as an
exhibition of administrative energy and wisdom, it is remarkable,
and is of especial interest to the people of the United States
because the conditions are similar to those existing in our own
arid states and territories.

If you will take a map of India and run your eye up to the
northwestern corner you will see a large bald spot just south of
the frontier through which runs the river Chenab (or Chenaub)--the
name of the stream is spelt a dozen different ways, like every
other geographical name in India. This river, which is a roaring
torrent during the rainy season and as dry as a bone for six
months in the year, resembles several of out western rivers,
particularly the North Platte, and runs through an immense tract
of arid desert similar to those found in our mountain states.
This desert is known as the Rechna Doab, and until recently was
waste government land, a barren, lifeless tract upon which nothing
but snakes and lizards could exist, although the soil is heavily
charged with chemicals of the most nutritious character for plants,
and when watered yields enormous crops of wheat and other cereals.
Fifteen years ago it was absolutely uninhabited. To-day it is
the home of about 800,000 happy and prosperous people, working
more than 200,000 farms, in tracts of from five to fifty acres.
The average population of the territory disclosed at the census
of 1901 was 212 per square mile, and it is expected that the
extension of the water supply and natural development will largely
increase this average.

The colony has been in operation fat a little more than eleven
years. The colonists were drawn chiefly from the more densely
populated districts of the Punjab province, and were attracted
by a series of remarkable harvests, which were sold at exorbitant
prices during the famine years. The land was given away by the
government to actual settlers upon a plan similar to that of
our homestead act, the settlers being given a guarantee of a
certain amount of water per acre to a fixed price. The demand
caused by the popularity of the colony has already exhausted
the entire area watered by the canals, but an extension and
enlargement of the system will bring more land gradually under
cultivation, the estimates of the engineers contemplating an
addition of 2,000,000 acres within the next few years.

The value of the crop produced in 1902 upon 1,830,525 acres of
irrigated land in this colony was $16,845,000, irrigated by canals
that cost $8,628,380, and the government enjoyed a net profit of
14.01 per cent that year upon its benevolent enterprise. Aside
from the money value of the scheme, there is another very important
consideration. More than half of the canals and ditches were
constructed by "famine labor"--that is, by men and women (for
women do manual labor in india the same as men) who were unable
to obtain other employment and would have died of starvation
but for the intervention of the government. Instead of being
supplied with food at relief stations, these starving people
were shipped to the Rechan Doab besert and put to work at minimum
wages.

You will agree with me that the government has a right to feel
proud of its new colony, and its success has stimulated interest
in similar enterprises in other parts of the empire. It has not
only furnished employment to thousands of starving people, but
by bringing under cultivation a large tract of barren land with a
positive certainty of regular harvests it has practically insured
that section of the country against future famines.

The following figures will show the rapid development of the colony
from the first season of 1892-93 to the end of the season 1901,
which is the latest date for which statistics can be obtained:

          CAPITAL OUTLAY TO END OF YEAR

  1892-93      £721,233    1897-98    £1,512,916
  1893-94       878,034    1898-99     1,616,676
  1894-95       995,932    1899-1900   1,677,982
  1895-96     1,174,781    1900-01     1,725,676
  1896-97     1,362,075

         ACRES IRRIGATED DURING THE YEAR

  1892-93       157,197    1897-98       810,000
  1893-94       270,405    1898-99       957,705
  1894-95       269,357    1899-1900   1,353,223
  1895-96       369,935    1900-01     1,830,525
  1896-97       520,279

           NET REVENUE DURING THE YEAR

  1892-93        £4,084    1897-98      £111,041
  1893-94         3,552    1898-99       131,566
  1894-95         9,511    1899-1900     155,302
  1895-96        51,632    1900-01       421,812
  1896-97        92,629

       RETURN ON CAPITAL OUTLAY, PER CENT

  1892-93          0.57    1897-98          7.34
  1893-94          0.40    1898-99          8.14
  1894-95          0.96    1899-1900        9.26
  1895-96          4.40    1900-01         14.01
  1896-97          6.75

The system of allotment of land may be interesting. As the area
under irrigation was entirely open and unoccupied, few difficulties
were met with, and the engineers were perfectly free in plotting
the land. The entire area was divided into squares of 1,000 feet
boundary on each side, and these squares were each divided into
twenty-five fields which measure about one acre and are the unit
of calculation in sales and in measuring water. Sixty squares,
or 1,500 fields, compose a village, and between the villages,
surrounding them on all four sides, are canals. Between the squares
are ditches, and between the fields are smaller ditches, so that the
water can be measured and the allowance made without difficulty.
The government sells no smaller piece than a field of twenty-five
acres, but purchasers can buy in partnership and afterwards subdivide
it.

Each village is under the charge of a superintendent, or resident
engineer, who is responsible to a superior engineer, who has
charge of a number of villages. Each field is numbered upon a
map, and a record is kept of the area cultivated, the character
of the crops sown, the dates or irrigation and the amount of water
allowed. Before harvest a new measurement is taken and a bill is
given to the cultivator showing the amount of his assessment,
which is collected when his crop is harvested. As there has never
been a crop failure, this is a simple process, and in addition
to the water rate a land tax of 42 cents an acre is collected
at the same time and paid into the treasury to the credit of
the revenue department, while the water rates are credited to
the canal department.

The chief engineer fixes the volume of water to be furnished to
each village and the period for which it is to remain flowing.
The local superintendent regulates the amount allowed each
cultivator, according to the crops he has planted. There are
six rates, regulated by the crops, for some need more water than
others, as follows:

Class. Crops.                                  Rate per acre.
    1--Sugarcane                                       $2.50
    2--Rice                                             2.10
    3--Orchards, gardens, tobacco, indigo,
       vegetables and melons                            1.66
    4--Cotton, oil seeds, Indian corn and all cold
       weather crops, except grain and lentils          1.66
    5--All crops other than specified above              .83
    6--Single water to plow, not followed by a crop      .40

As I have shown you from the figures above, this enterprise has
proved highly profitable to the government, and its management
is entitled to the highest compliments.

The main canal was originally forty miles long, averaging 109
feet wide, with an average slope of one foot to the mile, and
capable of carrying seven feet four inches of water, or 10,000
cubic feet, per second. Twenty-eight miles have since been enlarged
to a width of 250 feet and the remaining twelve miles to a width
of 150 feet. The canal has been deepened to nine feet six inches,
and the intention is to deepen it one foot more. The banks of the
main canal are twenty-five feet wide at the top and are built
entirely of earth. A railway ninety-six miles long of three-foot
gauge has been constructed down the main canal, which is a great
convenience in shipping crops and pays a profit to the government.
It was constructed by the canal engineers while the ditch was
being dug. There are 390 miles of branch canals from thirty to
fifty feet wide and from six to eight feet deep, and 2,095 miles
of distributaries, or ditches running between villages and squares.
The banks of the branches and ditches are all wide enough for
highways, and thus enable the people to go from village to village
and get their crops to market. Several towns of considerable size
have already grown up; the largest, called Lyallpur, having about
10,000 inhabitants. It is the headquarters of the canal and also
of the civil authorities; and scattered through the irrigated
country are about 100 permanent houses used as residences and
offices by the superintendents and engineers.



XXI

THE FRONTIER QUESTION

The most sensitive nerve in the British Empire terminates in
Afghanistan, and the ghost of the czar is always dancing about
the Khyber Pass, through which caravans laden with merchandise
find their way across the mountains between India and the countries
of Central Asia. Every time there is a stir in a clump of bushes,
every time a board creaks in the floor, every time a footstep is
heard under the window, the goose flesh rises on John Bull's back,
and he imagines that the Great White Bear is smelling around the
back door of his empire in India. Peshawur is the jumping-off place
of the Northwest, the limit of British authority, the terminus of
the railway system of India and the great gateway between that
empire and Central Asia, through which everything must pass.
It is to the interior of Asia what the Straits of Gibraltar are
to the Mediterranean Sea, and the Dardanelles to the Black and
Caspian seas. While there are 300 paths over the mountains in
other directions, and it might be possible to cross them with
an army, it has never been attempted and would involve dangers,
expense and delays which no nation would undertake. The Khyber
Pass has been the great and only route for ages whether for war or
commerce. The masters of Central Asia, whether Persians, Greeks,
Macedonians or Assyrians, have held it. Alexander the Great crossed
it with his army. Timour the Tartar, whom we know better as
Tamerlane, came through upon his all-conquering expedition when
he subdued India to found the Mogul Empire, and if the Russians
ever enter India by land they will come this way.

The pass is reached by crossing a stony plain ten miles from
Peshawur, and winds through gorges and crevices in the mountains
for thirty-three miles at an altitude averaging 7,000 feet above
the sea. At one point the mountains close in to about 500 feet
apart and the rocks rise in sheer precipices on either side; in
other places the gorge widens to a mile or more and will average
perhaps three-quarters of a mile the entire distance. It is a
remarkable gateway, a natural barrier between hereditary enemies
and easily defended from either side. Kabul, the capital of
Afghanistan, is 180 miles from the western entrance to the defile.

The British fortifications are at Jamrud, nine miles from Peshawur,
and the terminus of the railways, where a strong garrison is
always kept. The pass itself is controlled by a powerful
semi-independent native tribe called the Afridis, estimated at
20,000 strong, who receive subsidies from the British government
and from the Ameer of Afghanistan to keep them good-natured on
the pretext that they are to do police work and keep order in the
pass. It is blackmail and bribery, but accomplishes its purpose,
and the pass itself, with a strip of highlands and foothills
on the Afghanistan side, is thus occupied by a neutral party,
which prevents friction between the nations on either side of
the border. The Afridis are fearless fighters, half-civilized,
half-savage, and almost entirely supported by the subsidies they
receive. Nearly all of the able-bodied men are under arms. A
few, who are too old or too young to fight, remain at home and
look after the cattle and the scraggy gardens upon the gravelly
hillsides. The women are as hardy and as enduring as the men
and are taught to handle the rifle. The British authorities are
confident of the loyalty of the Afridis and believe that the
present arrangement would be absolutely safe in time of war as
it is in time of peace--that they would permit no armed body,
whether Russians or Afghans, to cross the pass without the consent
of both sides, as is provided by treaty stipulations.

The arrangement is as effective as it is novel and the Afridis
carry out every detail conscientiously. The pass is open only two
days in the week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. No one is permitted
to cross or even enter it from either side except on those days.
And even then travelers, tourists and others actuated by curiosity
are not allowed to go through without permits. The caravans going
both ways are required to camp under well-formed regulations
at either entrance until daylight of Tuesday or Friday, when
they are escorted through by armed bodies of Afridis horsemen.
There is not the slightest danger of any sort to anyone, but it
is just as well to go through the ceremony, for it keeps the
Afridis out of mischief and reminds them continually of their
great responsibilities. These caravans are interesting. They
are composed of long strings of loaded camels, ox-carts, mules
and donkeys, vehicles of all descriptions and thousands of people
traveling on foot, who come sometimes from as far west as the
Ural Mountains and the banks of the Volga River. They come from
Persia, from all parts of Siberia and from the semi-barbarous
tribes who inhabit that mysterious region in central Asia, known
as the "Roof of the World."

The camel drivers and the traders are fierce-looking men and
extremely dirty. They have traveled a long way and over roads
that are very dusty, and water is scarce the entire distance.
They look as if they had never washed their faces or cut their
hair, and their shaggy, greasy, black locks hang down upon their
shoulders beneath enormous turbans. Each wears the costume of
his own country, but they are so ragged, grimy and filthy that
the romance of it is lost. The Afghans are in the majority. They
are stalwart, big-bearded men, with large features, long noses
and cunning eyes, and claim that their ancestors were one of the
lost tribes of Israel. Their traditions, customs, physiognomy and
dialects support this theory. Although they are Mohammedans, they
practice several ancient Jewish rites. The American missionaries
who have schools and churches among them are continually running
up against customs and traditions which remind them forcibly of
the Mosaic teachings. They have considerable literature, poetry,
history, biography, philosophy and ecclesiastical works, and some
of their priests have large libraries of native books, which, the
missionaries say, are full of suggestions of the Old Testament.

One of the most successful missionaries in that part of the world
was an apostate Polish Jew named Rev. Isidore Lowenthal, a remarkable
linguist and a man of profound learning. He translated the Bible
and several other religious books into Pashto, the language of
the Afghans, and was convinced that he shared with them the same
ancestry. A story that is invariably related to travelers up
in that country refers to his untimely taking off, for he was
accidentally shot by one of his household attendants, and his
epitaph, after giving the usual statistical information, reads:

  He was shot accidentally by his chookidar.
  Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
  I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Afghanistan question, is, so to speak, in statu quo. The
ameer is friendly to the British, but asserts his independence
with a great deal of firmness and vigor, and is an ever-present
source of anxiety. He receives a subsidy of $600,000 from the
British government, which is practically a bribe to induce him
not to make friends with Russia, and yet there are continual
reports concerning Russian intrigues in that direction. He declines
to receive an English envoy and will not permit any Englishmen
to reside at his court. The Indian government is represented
at Kabul by a highly educated and able native Indian, who is
called a diplomatic agent, and has diplomatic powers. He reports
to and receives instructions from Lord Curzon directly, and is
the only medium of communication between the ameer and the British
government. The present ameer has been on the throne only since
the death of his father, the ameer Abdur Rahman, in October,
1901, and for several months there was considerable anxiety as
to what policy the young man, Habi Bullah Khan, would adopt.
During the last three years of the old man's life he yielded
his power very largely to his son, and selected him twenty wives
from the twenty most influential families in the kingdom in order
to strengthen his throne. Although Habi Bullah is not so able or
determined as his father, he has held his position without an
insurrection or a protest, and is no longer in danger of being
overthrown by one of the bloody conspiracies which have interlarded
Afghanistan history for the last two centuries.

The British were fortunate in having a viceroy at that critical
period who was personally acquainted with the young ameer and a
friend of his father. When Lord Curzon was a correspondent of
the London Times, before he entered parliament, he visited Cabul
and formed pleasant relations with the late ameer, who speaks
of him in most complimentary terms in his recently published
memoirs. The old man happened to die during the darkest period of
the South African war, and Russia took occasion at that critical
moment to demand the right to enter into independent diplomatic
negotiations with Afghanistan for the survey of a railroad across
that country. Only a few years before, Great Britain fought a war
with Afghanistan and overthrew Shere Ali, the shah, because he
received a Russian ambassador on a similar errand, after having
refused to allow a British envoy to reside at his court or even
enter his country. And there is no telling what might have happened
had not Lord Curzon taken advantage of his personal relations and
former friendship. Russia selected a significant date to make
her demands. It was only a fortnight after the British repulse
at Spion Kop, and Ladysmith was in a hopeless state of siege.
Such situations have a powerful influence upon semi-civilized
soldiers, who are invariably inclined to be friendly to those
who are successful at arms. However, Lord Curzon had influence
enough to hold the ameer to the British side, and the latter
has ever since shown a friendly disposition to the British and
has given the Russians no public encouragement.

The official report of the viceroy to the secretary of state for
India in London, covering the ten years ending Dec. 31, 1902,
contains the following interesting paragraph concerning the greatest
source of anxiety:

"Relations with Afghanistan have been peaceful throughout the
decade. Although there is reason to believe that Afghan influence
among the turbulent tribes on the northwestern frontier was at
times the cause of restlessness and disorder, the Durand agreement
of 1893, followed by the demarcation of the southern and nearly
all the eastern Afghan boundary, set a definite limit to the
legitimate interference of Afghanistan with the tribes included
in the British sphere of influence. Under that agreement the annual
subsidy paid by the British government to the ameer was increased
from £80,000 to £120,000. A further demarcation, which affected
alike Afghanistan and the British sphere, was that which resulted
from the Pamir agreement concluded with Russia in 1895. Russia
agreed to accept the River Oxus as her southern boundary as far
east as the Victoria Lake. Thence to the Chinese frontier a line
was fixed by a demarcation commission. This arrangement involved
an interchange of territories lying on the north and south bank
of the Oxus respectively between Afghanistan and Bokhara, which
was carried out in 1896. The Ameer of Afghanistan also undertook
to conduct the administration of Wakkhan, lying between the new
boundary and the Hindu Kush, in return for an increase of his
subsidy.

"Under the strong rule of the late ameer the country for the
most part enjoyed internal peace, but this was broken by the
revolt of the Hazaras in 1892, which was severely suppressed.
In 1895-96 Kafiristan, a region which the delimitation included
in the Afghan sphere of influence, was subjugated. Political
relations of the government of India with the late and with the
present ameer have been friendly, and were undisturbed by the
murder of the British agent at Kabul by one of his servants in
1895, an incident which had no political significance. In the
year 1894-95 His Highness sent his second son, Shahzada Nasrulla
Khan, to visit England as the guest of Her Majesty's government.
The Ameer Abdur Rahman, G. C. B., died in October, 1901, and
was peacefully succeeded by his eldest son, Habi Bullah Khan,
G. C. M.G."

There is no doubt as to what Lord Curzon knows and believes
concerning the aggressive policy of Russia in Asia, because,
shortly before he was appointed viceroy of India, he wrote an
article on that subject for a London magazine, which is still
what editors call "live matter."

"The supreme interest," he said, "ties in the physical fact that
it (the northwestern frontier) is the only side upon which India
has been or ever can be invaded by land, and in the political
fact that it confronts a series of territories inhabited by wild
and turbulent, by independent or semi-independent tribes, behind
whom looms the grim figure of Russia, daily advancing into clearer
outline from the opposite or northwest quarter. It is to protect the
Indian Empire, its peoples, its trades, its laboriously established
government and its accumulated wealth from the insecurity and
possible danger arising from a further Russian advance across the
intervening space that the frontier which I am about to describe
has been traced and fortified. Politicians of all parties have
agreed that, while the territorial aggrandizement of Russia is
permissible over regions where she replaces barbarism even by
a crude civilization, there can be no excuse for allowing her
to take up a position in territories acknowledging our sway,
where she can directly menace British interests in India, or
indirectly impose an excessive strain upon the resources and the
armed strength of our eastern dominions. The guardianship of the
frontier is, therefore, an act of defense, not of defiance, and is
an elementary and essential obligation of imperial statesmanship.

"Originally it was supposed that there were but three or four
passes or cracks by which this mountain barrier was perforated,
and that if British soldiers only stood sentinel at their exits
an invader would have no other alternative but to come down and
be annihilated. Modern surveys, however, have shown that the
number of available passes is nearer 300 than three, a discovery
which has suggested the policy of establishing friendly relations
with the tribes who hold them, and thus acquiring an indirect
control over their western mouths. For just as the main physical
feature of the frontier is this mountain wall, with its narrow
lateral slits, so the main political feature is the existence
in the tracts of country thus characterized of a succession of
wild and warlike tribes, owing allegiance to no foreign potentate,
but cherishing an immemorial love for freedom and their native
hills."

Although the idea of consolidating these border tribes into a
single province, with an administrator and staff of officers
of its own directly under the control of the viceroy, was first
suggested by the late Lord Lytton, it has been the good fortune
of Lord Curzon to carry it into effect, and it is considered one
of the wisest and most notable events of his administration of
Indian affairs. The new community, which is called the Northwest
Frontier Province, was organized in February, 1901, and takes in
the wide stretch of territory, which is described by its name.
It is directly governed by an agent of the governor general and a
chief commissioner, who allow the widest liberty and jurisdiction
to the local chiefs consistent with peace and good government. The
new system has been working since 1902, and while it is yet too
early to calculate the results, the improvement already noticed in
the condition of affairs, peace, industry, morals, the increase
of trade and the development of natural resources justifies the
expectation that the semi-barbarous tribes will soon yield to
the influences of civilization and settle down into industrious,
law-abiding and useful citizens. At least their organization and
discipline under the command of tactful and discreet English
officers gives to India a frontier guard composed of 30,000 or
40,000 fearless fighters, who will be kept on the skirmish line
and will prove invaluable through their knowledge of the country
and the mountain trails in case of a border war. The military
position of England has thus been strengthened immensely, and
when the railways now being constructed in that direction are
completed, so that regular British and native troops may be hurried
to the support of the wild and warlike tribes whenever it is
necessary, a constant cause of anxiety will be removed and the
north-western frontier will be thoroughly protected.

The problems connected with the aggressive policy of Russia on
the Indian frontier are very serious from every point of view
to every Englishman, and whenever the time comes, if it ever
does come, the frontier will be defended with all the power of
the British Empire. The aggressiveness of Russia has been felt
throughout India much more than anyone can realize who has not
lived there and come in contact with affairs. It has been like a
dark cloud continually threatening the horizon; it has disturbed
the finances of the country; it has entered into the consideration
of every public improvement, and has, directly or indirectly,
influenced the expenditure of every dollar, the organization of
the army, the construction of fortifications and the maintenance
of a fleet. The policy of Lord Curzon is to bring all the various
frontier tribes, which aggregate perhaps 2,000,000, under the
influence of British authority. To make them friends; to convince
them that loyalty is to their advantage; to organize them so
that they shall be a source of strength and not of weakness or
peril; to teach them the blessings of peace and industry; to
avoid unnecessary interference with their tribal affairs; to
promote the construction of railways, highways and all facilities
of communication; to extend trade, introduce schools and mechanical
industries, and to control the traffic in arms and ammunition.
The commercial and the military policies are closely involved
and in a measure one is entirely dependent upon the other.

South of Afghanistan, and the westernmost territory under British
control, is Baluchistan, whose western boundary is Persia and the
Arabian Sea. It was formerly a confederation of semi-independent
nomadic tribes under the Khan of Kalat, with a population of about
a million souls, but twenty-six years ago, after the Afghan war of
1878, those tribes were taken under the protection of the Indian
government and Sir Robert Sanderman, a wise, tactful and energetic
man, assisted the native rulers to reorganize and administer
their affairs. During that period the condition of the country
has radically changed. British authority is now supreme, the
primitive conditions of the people have been greatly improved,
they have settled down almost universally in permanent towns
and villages, many of them are cultivating the soil, producing
valuable staples and improving their condition in every respect.
The country consists largely of barren mountains, deserts and
stony plains. Its climate is very severe. The summers are intensely
hot and the winters intensely cold. The wealth of the people is
chiefly in flocks and cattle, and they are now raising camels,
which is a profitable business. The chief exports are wool and
hides, which are all clear gain now that the cultivation of the
fields provides sufficient wheat, barley, millet, potatoes and
other vegetables to supply the wants of the people. Fruits grown
in the valleys are superior to anything produced in other parts
of Asia. The apples and peaches of Baluchistan are famous and
are considered great delicacies in the Indian market. There is
supposed to be considerable mineral in the mountains, although
they have never been explored. Iron, lead, coal, asbestos, oil
and salt have been found in abundance, and some silver.

The efforts of the government have been to direct the attention
of the people to mechanical industries rather than to mining,
because it is important to break them of their nomadic tendencies
and accustom them to permanent homes and regular employment.
They resemble the Bedouins of Arabia in many respects and prefer
to follow their flocks and herds over the mountains rather than
settle down in the towns. The men are hardy, brave, honest and
intelligent, but are desperate fighters and of cruel disposition;
the women resemble the Chinese more than the Arabs, and are bright,
active and ingenuous. The sense of humor is highly developed and
the laws of hospitality are similar to those of the Arabs.

Although the British agent in Baluchistan has autocratic powers
whenever he finds it necessary to exercise them, the Khan of
Kalat is allowed to govern the country in his own way, and to all
appearances is the independent authority. He is given a subsidy
of about $75,000 a year on his private account from the Indian
government, and his official income averages about 500,000 rupees
a year, which is equivalent to about $175,000. With this he pays
the expenses of his government and maintains a bodyguard of about
250 native cavalry. Only once has the British government found it
necessary to interfere in an arbitrary manner. On that occasion
Khudadad, the late ruling khan, murdered his prime minister in a
fit of passion, and upon investigation it was found that he had
put to death also without trial a number of innocent subjects. The
Viceroy of India permitted him to abdicate and gave him a generous
allowance, which was much better treatment than the villain was
entitled to. His son, Mir Mahmud, who succeeded him, turns out
to be an excellent ruler. He is intelligent, conscientious, and
has the welfare of his people at heart.

There is little of interest except the political question and
the peculiar appearance of the people up in that particular part
of India. It has been debatable ground as far back as the earliest
days of Aryan colonization. Although Peshawur is regarded as a
modern city, it is mentioned by the historians who wrote up the
campaigns of Alexander the Great, and if you will go up there
the guides will show you where he crossed the river. The city has
a population of about 80,000, of which three-fourths are Moslems.
They come from every part of Asia, and the streets and bazaars
swarm with quaint costumes and strange faces unlike any you have
ever seen before. And what strikes a traveler most forcibly is
their proud demeanor, their haughty bearing and the independent
spirit expressed by every glance and every gesture. They walk
like kings, these fierce, intolerant sons of the desert, and
their costumes, no matter how dirty and trail-worn they may be,
add to the dignity and manliness of their deportment.

They are so different, these haughty Mohammedans, from the
bare-legged, barefooted, cringing, crouching creatures you see
farther south. It would seem impossible for these men to stoop
for any purpose, but the Bengalese, the Hindustani and the rest
of the population of the southern provinces, do everything on
the ground. They never use chairs or benches, but always squat
upon the floor, and all their work is done upon the ground.
Carpenters have no benches, and if they plane a board they place
it upon the earth before them and hold it fast with their feet.
The blacksmith has his anvil on the floor; the goldsmith, the
tailor and even the printer use the floor for benches, and it
is the desk of the letter writer and the bookkeeper.

It looks queer to see a printer squatting before a case of type,
and even queerer to see a person writing a letter with a block
of paper spread out before him on the ground. But that is the
Hindu custom. You find it everywhere throughout India, just as
you will find everybody, men, women and children, carrying their
loads, no matter how light or how heavy, upon their heads. If an
errand boy is sent from a shop with a parcel he never touches it
with his hands, but invariably carries it on top of his turban.
One morning I counted seven young chaps with "shining morning
faces" on their way to school, everyone of them with his books
and slate upon his head. The masons' helpers, who are mostly
women, carry bricks and mortar upon their heads instead of in
hods on their shoulders, and it is remarkable what heavy loads
their spines will support. At the railway stations the luggage
and freight is carried the same way. The necks and backs of the
natives are developed at a very early age. If a porter can get
assistance to hoist it to the top of his head he will stagger
along under any burden all right. I have seen eight men under
a grand piano and two men under a big American roller top desk,
and in Calcutta, where one of the street railway companies was
extending its tracks, I saw the workmen carry the rails upon
their heads.



XXII

THE ARMY IN INDIA

The regular army in India is maintained at an average strength
of 200,000 men. The actual number of names upon the pay rolls on
the 31st of December, 1904, was 203,114. This includes several
thousand non-fighting men, a signal corps, a number of officers
engaged in semi-civil or semi-military duties, those on staff
detail and those on leave of absence. The following is an exact
statement:

                  BRITISH

  Cavalry, three regiments              2,101
  Artillery, eighty-seven batteries    14,424
  Infantry, forty-five battalions      42,151
  Engineers, one battalion                204
                                      -------   58,880

                  NATIVES

  Cavalry, forty regiments             24,608
  Artillery, fourteen batteries         6,235
  Infantry, 126 battalions            108,849
  Engineers, twenty-three battalions    3,925
                                      -------  143,617
  Officers on staff duty                           617
                                               -------
  Grand total                                  203,114

This regular and permanent military force is supplemented by
native armies in the various independent states, which are only
indirectly under the command of the commander-in-chief and are
not well organized, except in one or two of the provinces. There
is a reserve corps consisting of 22,233 men who have served in
the regular army and are now upon what we call the retired list.
They may be called out at any time their services are needed.
There is also a volunteer force numbering 29,500 men, including
cavalry, artillery, infantry and marines, many of them under the
command of retired officers of the regular army; and the employes
of several of the great railroad companies are organized into
military corps and drill frequently. There is also a military
police under the control of the executive authorities of the
several provinces, making altogether about 300,000 men capable of
being mobilized on short notice in any emergency, about one-third
of them being Englishmen and two-thirds natives.

In 1856, before the great mutiny, the British forces in India
consisted of less than 40,000 Europeans and more than 220,000
natives, besides about 30,000 contingents, as they were called,
maintained by the rulers of the native states and at their expense.
The greater part of the artillery was manned by native soldiers
under European officers. Three-fourths of the native soldiers
participated in the mutiny. The Madras forces in southern India
and the Sikhs in the Punjab were not only loyal but rendered
valuable services in suppressing the revolt. On the reorganization
of the army, after the mutiny was suppressed, it was decided that
there should never be more than two natives to one European in
the service; that the artillery should be manned by Europeans
exclusively, and that all the arsenals and supply stations should
be in their charge. Since the reorganization there has been an
average of 60,000 British and 120,000 native troops in India. All
the artillery has been manned by Europeans, the British troops
have been garrisoned at stations where they can render the most
prompt and efficient service, and all of the cantonments, as the
European camps are called, all the fortresses and arsenals, are
connected with each other and with Bombay and Calcutta by railway.
When the mutiny broke out in 1857 there were only about 400 miles
of railway in India, and it was a matter of great difficulty,
delay and expense to move troops any distance. To-day India has
nearly 28,000 miles of railway, which has all been planned and
constructed as a part of the national defense system. In 1857
it took between three and four months for a relief party to reach
Delhi from the seaboard. To-day ten times the force could be
sent there from any part of India within as many days.

Another vital error demonstrated by the mutiny was the former
plan of drawing soldiers from a single caste. They were all under
the same influence; all had the same interests and were governed
by the same prejudices, and could be easily united for the same
purpose. Now caste is not recognized in the army. Recruits are
drawn from every tribe and every caste, and men of different
races, religions and provinces are thrown together in the same
company and are not allowed to serve in the locality where they
were enlisted. Enlistments are entirely voluntary. The natives
are armed, equipped and clothed by the state, but provide their
own food, for which they receive a proper allowance. This is
necessary in order that they may regulate their own diet and
obey the laws of their caste. There are also what are called
"class company regiments," composed chiefly of men who are serving
second enlistments. That is, men of the same race and caste are
organized into separate companies, so that a regiment may have
two companies of Sikhs, two companies of Brahmins, two companies
of Rajputs, two companies of Mohammedans, two companies of Gurkhas
and companies of other tribes or religious sects which neutralize
each other and are inspired by active rivalry.

Race outbreaks and religious collisions very seldom occur in
India these days, but the hostility between the several sects
and races is very deep. The Mohammedan still dreams of the day
when his race shall recover control of the Indian Empire and turn
the Hindu temples into mosques. The Sikhs hate the Mohammedans as
well as the Hindus. None of the sects is without its prejudices.

The most efficient section of the native army is composed of the
Sikhs, the Gurkhas, who are enlisted in Nepaul, and the Pathans,
who come from the hill tribes in the far northwest. These are all
vigorous, hardy races, fearless, enduring and fond of military
service. It would be difficult to find in any country better
soldiers than they make, and their numerical strength in the Indian
army could be doubled without difficulty in case more soldiers
were needed.

All cities, towns and villages have regularly organized police
forces, consisting entirely of natives and numbering about 700,000.
In the larger cities and towns the chief officers are European,
and throughout the entire country the preference in making
appointments to this force is given to men who have served in
the regular army. About 170,000 officers and men have this
distinction and make very efficient police.

The supreme authority over the army in India is vested by law in
the viceroy and is exercised through a member of the council of
state, known as the secretary of military affairs, who corresponds
to our Secretary of War. The active command is in the person of
the commander-in-chief, who is also a member of the council of
state by virtue of his office. The present commander-in-chief
is Lord Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum and of the recent Boer
war. Lord Roberts was formerly in command of the Indian army.
He served in that country for thirty-eight years in various
capacities. He went as a youngster during the mutiny, was with
the party that relieved Delhi, and saw his first fighting and
got his "baptism of blood" upon the "ridge," which was the scene
of the fiercest struggle between the English rescuers and the
native mutineers. He has recently published a readable book giving
an account of his experience during thirty-eight years of military
service in India.

Lord Kitchener is assisted by four lieutenant generals, each
having command of one of the four military divisions into which
the empire is divided. The Calcutta division is under the command
of General Sir Alfred Gaseley, who led the combined international
forces to the relief of the besieged legations in Peking. There
is a general staff similar to that recently organized in the
United States army, which looks after the equipment, the feeding,
the clothing and the transportation of the army with an enormous
corps of clerks and subordinate officers.

The officers of the staff corps number 2,700, and are appointed
from the line of the native army upon the merit system. Many of
them were educated at the military colleges in England; many
others have seen service in the regular army of great Britain,
and have sought transfer because the pay is better and promotion
is more rapid in the Indian than in the British army. However,
before an officer is eligible for staff employment in India he
must serve at least one year with a British regiment and one year
with a native regiment, and must pass examinations in the native
languages and on professional subjects. This is an incentive to
study, of which many young officers take advantage, and in the
Indian army list are several pages of names of officers who have
submitted to examinations and have demonstrated their ability
to talk, read and write one or more of the native tongues. The
gossips say that during his voyage from London to Bombay two
years ago Lord Kitchener shut himself up in his stateroom and
spent his entire time refreshing his knowledge of Hindustani.

No officer is allowed a responsible command unless he can speak
the native language of the district in which he is serving, and,
as there are 118 different dialects spoken in india, some of
the older officers have to be familiar with several of them.
Such linguistic accomplishments are to the advantage of military
officers in various ways. They are not only necessary for their
transfer to staff duty, but insure more rapid promotion, greater
responsibilities and render them liable at any time to be called
upon for important service under the civil departments. Several
thousand officers are now occupying civil and diplomatic posts, and
are even performing judicial functions in the frontier provinces.

The armies of the native states look formidable on paper, but
most of them are simply for show, and are intended to gratify
the vanity of the Hindu princes who love to be surrounded by
guards and escorted by soldiers with banners. Some of the uniforms
of the native armies are as picturesque and artistic as those of
the papal guards at the Vatican, and on occasions of ceremony
they make a brave show, but with the exception of two or three of
the provinces, the native forces would be of very little value
in a war.

The military authorities of India are exceedingly proud of the
morale and the hygienic condition of their troops, and the records
of the judge advocates and medical departments show a remarkable
improvement in these respects, which is largely due to the scientific
construction of barracks, to the enforcement of discipline and
regulations framed to suit climatic conditions, a better knowledge
of the effect of food and drink and the close observance of the
laws of hygiene. The climate is very severe, particularly upon
Europeans, who must take care of themselves or suffer the
consequences. The death rate in all armies in time of peace should
be much lower than in the ordinary community, because recruits
are required to submit to physical examinations, and none but
able-bodied men are enlisted. The death rate in the army of the
United States before our soldiers were sent to the Philippines
was remarkably low, only three or four per 1,000 per year.

Some years ago in the army of India the mortality from disease
was as high as sixty-nine per 1,000, but by the introduction
of the reforms mentioned the rate had been reduced to nineteen
per 1,000 in 1880, and for the last ten years has been less than
sixteen per 1,000. According to the opinion of those best qualified
to know, this is largely due to the introduction of what are known
as Regimental Institutes, or Soldiers' Clubs, corresponding closely
to the canteens which were abolished in our army a few years ago,
but which are considered as important a part of the military
organization in India as a hospital or arsenal. After fifty years
of experience in India the British military authorities gave up
the attempt to prohibit drinking in the army. Lord Kitchener says:
"You might as well try to hasten the millennium." And for twenty
years they have been using various measures, some of which have
proved practicable and others impracticable, to promote temperance.
The result is an almost unanimous conclusion upon the part of
those who have given the subject study that the most effective
means of preventing intemperance and promoting discipline and
morals are the soldiers' institutes and clubs, in which liquor
is sold in small quantities under strict regulations enforced by
the enlisted men themselves. In other words, they have stopped
trying to prohibit drinking because they found it was impossible,
and are now trying to reduce it to the minimum. The placing of
the regulation of the liquor traffic very largely with the men
themselves, and removing the semblance of official interference of
authority, is said to be one of the most effective arrangements,
and the very fact that drinking is not forbidden and that liquor
can be obtained at any moment within a few steps of the barracks
is of itself a most wholesome influence, because it takes away
the desire, and all the spirit of adventure and risk. As long
as human nature is stubborn and contrary, men will do out of
pure mischief what they are told must not be done. These matters
have a deep interest for the viceroy, Lord Kitchener, the
commander-in-chief, and other prominent officials of the army
in India. Lord Kitchener takes an active part in the temperance
work and in the administration of the soldiers' institutes, and
has had an officer detailed to look after their arrangement and
management. Not long ago the viceroy traveled seven hundred miles
to deliver an address at an anniversary of the Army Temperance
Association.

Colonel De Barthe, secretary of military affairs in the cabinet
of the viceroy, to whom I was sent for information on this subject,
said: "The lives of the British soldiers in India are very tedious
and trying, especially during the hot summers, which, in the
greater part of the empire, last for several months. The climate
is enervating and is apt to reduce moral as well as physical
vitality. There are few diversions. The native quarters of the
large cities are dreadful places, especially for young foreigners.
I cannot conceive of worse, from both a sanitary and a moral point
of view. But they have a certain novelty; they are picturesque
and oftentimes attractive and entertaining to homesick soldiers,
who, as is natural, yield easily to temptations to dissipation.

"And the best remedy is to furnish counter attractions and give
the men resorts that are comfortable and attractive, where they
will not be subject to the restraint of authority or come in
contact with their officers too often. The government, as well
as philanthropic societies, is doing everything that it can to
provide such places, to protect the enlisted man as far as possible
from the temptations to which he is subjected, and to furnish
him a loafing place where he will feel at home, where he may do
as he likes to all reasonable limits, and where he can obtain a
moderate amount of pure liquor without feeling that he is violating
regulations and subjecting himself to punishment.

"We formerly had bars at which soldiers could buy pure liquor,
instead of the poisonous stuff that is sold them in the native
quartets of Indian cities, but we soon concluded that they defeated
their own purposes. Being situated at convenient locations, soldiers
would patronize them for the love of liquor, and induce others
to do the same for the sake of companionship. This promoted
intemperance, because the soldiers went to the bar only to drink,
and for no other reason. There were no reading-rooms or loafing
places or attractive surroundings, and they were not permitted
to remain at the bar after they had been served with one drink.

"Those bars have been abolished, and, under the present system, an
effort is being made to furnish homelike, attractive club-houses,
where the enlisted men may pass their leisure time in comfortable
chairs, with pleasant surroundings, games, newspapers, magazines,
books, writing materials and a well-filled library. We give them
a lunch-room and a bar which are much more attractive than any of
the native bazaars can offer. They are allowed to drink liquor on
the premises in moderation, and the regulations of the institute
are enforced by a committee of the men themselves, which appeals
to their honor, their pride and their love for their profession.
A drunken enlisted man is quite as much of a humiliation to his
comrades as a drunken officer would be to his associates, and
the men feel quite as much responsibility in restraining each
other and in preventing their comrades from getting into trouble
as their officers--perhaps more. To this spirit, this esprit de
corps, we appeal, and find after several years of experience
that the institutes promote temperance, health, discipline and
contentment among the men.

"The surgeons of the service will tell you, and their reports
contain the details, that the largest amount of disease and the
worst cases are due to contact with natives in the bazaars of the
cities near which our barracks are located. It is impossible to
keep the men out of them, and their visits can only be lessened
by furnishing counter attractions. The soldiers' institutes have
proved to be the strongest ever devised. Anyone who knows India
can tell instantly where soldiers' institutes have not been
established by examining the sick reports of the officers of the
medical corps.

"You cannot prevent men from drinking any more than you can prevent
them from swearing or indulging in any other vice," continued
Colonel De Barthe, "but you can diminish the amount of vice by
judicious measures, and that we believe is being done by our
institutes, with their libraries, reading-rooms, lunch-rooms,
cafes, amusement-rooms, bars, theaters for concerts, lectures
and amateur dramatic performances. The government does not put in
billiard tables or any other kind of games. We allow the men to
do that for themselves, and they pay for them out of the profits
of the bar. Nor do we furnish newspapers. We require the soldiers
to subscribe for themselves. There is a good reason for this
which should be obvious to everyone who has ever had experience
in such matters. We furnish the building, provide the furniture,
fuel, lights, fill the shelves of the library with excellent
standard books of history, travels, biography, fiction and
miscellaneous works, and have a way of shifting the books between
stations occasionally, so that the men will not always have the
same titles before their eyes. We furnish a piano for the amusement
hall, and all of the permanent fixtures of the place, but the
men are required to do their share, which gives them personal
interest in the institute, increases their responsibility and
takes away much of the official atmosphere. If we should provide
magazines and newspapers they would not be so well satisfied
with them. There would always be more or less grumbling and
criticism. Hence it is better for them to make their own choice. If
we should provide crockery and glassware for the refreshment-rooms
it would be more frequently broken. The same rule prevails in other
matters, and, what is still more important, we want to remove as
much of the official relation as possible. The management of
the institute is in the hands of soldiers, under the supervision
of officers, who simply act as checks or as inspectors to see
that things go straight.

"We encourage the men to organize singing clubs, amateur theatricals
and other entertainments in which they take a great interest
and considerable talent is sometimes developed. They have their
own committees looking after these things, which is a healthful
diversion; and the institute is the headquarters of all their
sporting organizations and committees. The officers of the barracks
never go there unless they are invited, but when the men give an
entertainment every officer and his family attend and furnish
as much assistance as possible."

Colonel De Barthe showed me the rules for the government of these
institutes, which may be found in paragraph 658 of the Army
Regulations for India, and begin with the words: "In order to
promote the comfort and provide for the rational amusement of
noncommissioned officers and men, to supply them with good articles
at reasonable prices and to organize and maintain the means for
indoor recreation, a regimental institute shall be provided," etc.
It is then provided that there shall be a library, reading-rooms,
games and recreation-rooms, a theater or entertainment hall, a
refreshment-room and a separate room for the use of and under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Army Temperance Association.
The reading-room is to be furnished with a library and the
amusement-room with a piano; card playing is permitted in the
recreation-room, but not for money or other stakes of value;
the discussion of religious and political subjects within the
institute is forbidden, and religious exercises are not allowed
to be conducted in the building except in the room of the Army
Temperance Association.

Every noncommissioned officer and private is entitled to the
use of the institute except when excluded for profane or other
improper language, for intoxication or other misconduct, for
such time as the committee in charge shall deem advisable. The
management of the institute is entrusted to several committees of
non-commissioned officers and soldiers and an advisory committee
of three or more officers. These committees have control of all
supplies, receipts and expenditures, the preservation of order, the
enforcement of the rules, and are enjoined to make the institute
as attractive as possible. A committee of three, of whom the
chairman must be a sergeant, is authorized to purchase supplies;
an inventory of the stock must be taken once a month; there may
be a co-operative store if deemed advisable by the commanding
officer, at which groceries, provisions and general merchandise
may be sold to the men at cost price; liquor may be sold in a
separate room of limited dimensions, under the supervision of a
committee of which a sergeant is chairman, and that committee,
by assigning good reasons, has the power to forbid its sale to
any person for any length of time. No spirituous liquor except
rum can be kept or sold; that must be of the best quality and
no more than one dram may be sold to any person within the hour,
and only one quart of malt liquor. Beside these, aerated waters
and other "soft drinks" must be provided, with coffee, tea,
sandwiches and other refreshments as required. The profits of
the institute may be devoted to the library, reading-room and
recreation department, the purchase of gymnastic apparatus, etc.,
and articles for the soldiers' mess, and may be contributed to
the widows and orphans' fund, if so determined by the patrons
of the institution.

Those, in short, are the means used by the Indian government to
promote temperance and morality in its army, and everyone who has
experience and knowledge of the practical operation of such affairs
approves them. In addition to the institutes described, the Army
Temperance Association, which is entirely unofficial and composed
of benevolent people in private life, has established in several
of the large cities of India, where garrisons are stationed,
soldiers' clubs, which also prove very efficacious. They are
located in the bazaars and other parts of the cities frequented
by soldiers and where the most mischief is usually done. They are
clubs pure and simple, with reading and writing-rooms, games,
music, restaurants, billiard-rooms and bars at which rum, beer,
ale and other liquors are sold. There is also a devotional-room,
in which religious meetings are held at stated times. These clubs
are managed by private individuals in connection with committees
of noncommissioned officers and enlisted men, and several of them
represent investments of $15,000 and $20,000. In some cases a
small membership fee is charged. They have proved very effective
in catching human driftwood, and provide a place where men who
are tempted may have another chance to escape the consequences.
They are conducted upon a very liberal plan, and after pay day
soldiers who start out for a debauch, as so many regularly do,
are accustomed to leave their money and valuables with the person
in charge before plunging into the sinks of vice, where so many
men find pleasure and diversion.



XXIII

MUTTRA, ALIGARH, LUCKNOW, CAWNPORE

On the way back from the frontier are plenty of delightful places
at which the journey may be broken. You can have another glimpse
of the most beautiful building in the world at Agra, and can take
a day's excursion to Muttra, one of the seven sacred cities of
India, the birthplace of Krishna, second in rank and popularity
of the Hindu gods. The trains are conveniently arranged; they
take you over from Agra in the morning and bring you back at
night, which is well, because there is no hotel at Muttra, only
what they call a dak bungalow, or lodging-house, provided by
the municipal authorities for the shelter of travelers who have
no friends to put them up. These dak bungalows are quite common
in India, for comparatively few of the towns have hotels that
a European or American would care to patronize. In Japan the
native hotels are miracles of neatness and sweetness. In India,
and the rest of Asia, they are, as far as possible, the reverse.
I suppose it would be possible for a white man to survive a day or
two in a native hotel, but the experience would not be classified
as pleasure. Several of the native princes have provided dak
bungalows for public convenience and comfort, and one or two are
so hospitable as to furnish strangers food as well as lodging
free of cost. The maharajas of Baroda, Jeypore, Bhartpur, Gwalior
and several other provinces obey the scriptural injunction and
have many times entertained angels unawares.

It is an ancient custom for the head of the state or the municipal
authorities or the commercial organizations or the priests to
provide free lodgings for pilgrims and strangers; indeed, there
are comparatively few hotels at which natives are required to pay
bills. When a Hindu arrives in a strange town he goes directly to
the temple of his religion and the priest directs him to a place
where he can stop. It is the development of ancient patriarchal
hospitality, and the dak bungalow, which is provided for European
travelers in all hotelless towns and cities, is simply a refinement
of the custom. There are usually charges, but they are comparatively
small. You are expected to furnish your own bedding, towels,
etc., and there are no wire spring mattresses. Sometimes iron
cots are provided and often bunks are built in the wall. If there
are none all you have to do is to wrap the drapery of your couch
around you and select a soft place on the floor. A floor does
not fit my bones as well as formerly, but it is an improvement
upon standing or sitting up. Usually the dak bungalows are clean.
Occasionally they are not. This depends upon the character and
industry of the person employed to attend them. The charges are
intended to cover the expense of care and maintenance, and are
therefore very moderate, and everybody is treated alike.

After a long, dusty drive in the suburbs of Delhi one day I crept
into the grateful shade of a dak bungalow, found a comfortable
chair and called for some soda to wash down the dust and biscuits
to hold my appetite down until dinner time. I was sipping the
cool drink, nibbling the biscuits and enjoying the breeze that
was blowing through the room, when the attendant handed me a
board about as big as a shingle with a hole drilled through the
upper end so that it could be hung on a wall. Upon the board
was pasted a notice printed in four languages, English, German,
French and Hindustani, giving the regulations of the place, and
the white-robed khitmatgar pointed his long brown finger to a
paragraph that applied to my case. I paid him 10 cents for an
hour's rest under the roof. It was a satisfaction to do so. The
place was clean and neat and in every way inviting.

At many of the railway stations beds are provided by the firm of
caterers who have a contract for running the refreshment-rooms.
Most of the stations are neat and comfortable, and you can always
find a place to spread your bedding and lie down. There is a
big room for women and a big room for men. Sometimes cots are
provided, but usually only hard benches around the walls. There
are always washrooms and bathrooms adjoining, which, of course,
are a great satisfaction in that hot and perspiring land. The
restaurants at the railway stations are usually good, and are
managed by a famous caterer in Calcutta, but the men who run
the trains don't always give you time enough to eat.

On the passenger trains, ice, soda water, ginger ale, beer and
other soft drinks are carried by an agent of the eating-house
contractor, who furnishes them for 8 cents a bottle, and it pays
him to do so, for an enormous quantity is consumed during the
hot weather. The dust is almost intolerable and you cannot drink
the local water without boiling and filtering it. The germs of
all kinds of diseases are floating around in it at the rate of
7,000,000 to a spoonful. A young lady who went over on the ship
with us didn't believe in any such nonsense and wasn't afraid
of germs. She drank the local water in the tanks on the railway
cars and wherever else she found it, and the last we heard of
her she was in a hospital at Benares with a serious case of
dysentery.

[Illustrations: GROUP OF FAMOUS BRAHMIN PUNDITS]

Mark Twain says that there is no danger from germs in the sacred
water of the Ganges, because it is so filthy that no decent microbe
will live in it; and that just about describes the situation.
It is a miracle that the deaths are so few. Millions of people
fill their stomachs from that filthy stream day after day because
the water washes away their sins, and I do not suppose there
is a dirtier river in all the universe, nor one that contains
more contagion and filth. It receives the sewage of several of
the largest cities of India. Dead bodies of human beings as well
as animals can be seen floating daily. From one end of it to
the other are burning ghats where the bodies of the dead are
soaked in it before they are placed upon the funeral pyres, and
when the bones and flesh are consumed the ashes are cast upon
the sacred stream. But the natives observe no sanitary laws,
and the filth in which they live and move and have their being
is simply appalling.

But I started out to tell you about Muttra, which is a very ancient
place. It is mentioned by Pliny, the Latin historian, Ptolemy, the
Egyptian geographer, and other writers previous to the Christian
era, and is associated with the earliest Aryan migrations. Here
Krishna, the divine herdsman, was born. He spent his childhood
tending cattle in the village of Gokul, where are the ruins of
several ancient temples erected in his honor, but, although he
seems to have retained his hold upon the people, they have allowed
them to crumble, and the profuse adornments of the walls and
columns have been shamefully defaced. At one time it is said
there were twenty great monasteries at that place, with several
hundred monks, yet nothing is left of them but piles of stone and
rubbish. All have been destroyed in successive wars, for Muttra
has been the scene of horrible atrocities by the Mohammedans who
have overrun the country during several invasions. Therefore most
of the temples are modern, and they are too many to count. There is
a succession of them on the banks of the river the whole length
of the city, interspersed with hospices for the entertainment of
pilgrims, and palaces of rich Hindus, who go there occasionally
to wash away their sins, just as the high livers of London go
to Homburg and Carlsbad to restore their digestions. One of the
palaces connected with the temple, built of fine white stone in
modern style, belongs to Lakshman Das, a Hindu who the guide
told us is the richest man in India. The many merchants of Muttra
all seem prosperous. The city is visited by hundreds of thousands
of pilgrims every year, all of whom bring in more or less money,
and the houses and shops are of a more permanent and imposing
order of architecture than those of Delhi, Agra and other places.
It has the appearance of being a rich community.

The shade trees along the streets swarm with monkeys and parrots,
which are sacred, and when you go there you mustn't jump if a
grinning monkey drops down upon your shoulders in a most casual
manner and chatters in your ear. The animals are very tame. They
are fed by the pilgrims, who gain great merit with the gods thereby,
and the river is filled with sacred turtles, which are also objects
of great interest and devotion.

Only two towns in India are more sacred than Muttra. One is Benares
and the other is Jagernath, or Juggernaut, which is about 150
miles south of Calcutta on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. There
is the great idol which we have all heard about from the
missionaries, and, I regret to say, some have been guilty of a
good deal of misrepresentation and exaggeration. When I was a
boy I read in Sunday-school books the most heart-tearing tales
about the poor heathen, who cast themselves down before the car of
Juggernaut and were crushed to lifeless pulp under its monstrous
wheels. This story has been told thousands of times to millions
of horrified listeners, but an inquiry into the facts does not
confirm it. It is true that on certain holy days the great image
of Juggernaut, or Jagernath, whichever way you choose to spell
it, and it weighs many tons, is placed upon a car and the car is
drawn through the crowded streets by thousands of pilgrims, who
cast flowers, rice, wheat, palm leaves, bamboo wisps, sweetmeats
and other offerings in its way. Occasionally in the throng that
presses around the image some one is thrown down and has the
life trampled out of him; on several occasions people have been
caught by the wheels or the frame of the car and crushed, and
at rare intervals some hysterical worshiper has fallen in a fit
of epilepsy or exhaustion and been run over, but the official
records, which began in 1818, show only nine such occurrences
during the last eighty-six years.

I have great respect for missionaries, but I wish some of them
would be more charitable in disposition, a little more accurate
in statement, and not print so much trash. In Muttra you have a
good illustration of their usefulness. The American Methodists
commenced work there in 1887. No educational or evangelical work
had ever been attempted previous to that time, but the men and
women who came were wise, tactful and industrious, and the result
may be seen in a dozen or more schools, with several thousand
pupils, a flourishing, self-supporting church, a medical mission,
a deaconesses' home and training school, a printing establishment
and bookshop which is self-supporting and a large number of earnest,
intelligent converts. Wherever you go in heathen lands you will
find that wisdom, judgment, tact and ability, when applied in
any direction, always show good results, but all missionaries,
I regret to say, are not endowed with those qualities or with
what Rev. Dr. Hepburn of Japan calls "sanctified common sense,"
and the consequences are sometimes deplorable.

"By their works ye shall know them."

At Aligarh, a town of 50,000 inhabitants on the railway between
Agra and Delhi, is a very rare and indeed a unique institution--a
Moslem university and printing press--the only ones in India, and
the only ones in the world established and conducted on modern
lines. The university is modeled upon the English plan. It has an
English president and dean and several English professors, all
of them graduates of the University of Cambridge. The preparatory
school has an English head master and assistant, and in the faculty
is a professor of physical culture, who has brought manly sports
among the students to a standard unequaled elsewhere in India.
The Aligarh University has the best football team and the best
cricket team in the empire.

This remarkable institution was founded in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed
Khan, a Mohammedan lawyer and judge on the civil bench, for the
education of his co-religionists in order that they may take
places in the world beside the graduates of English and European
universities and exercise a similar influence. He recognized
that the Moslem population of India must degenerate unless it
was educated; that it could not keep pace with the rest of the
world. He was shocked at the ignorance and the bigotry of his
fellow Mohammedans and at their stubborn conservatism. He was
a sincere believer in his own religion, and insisted that the
faith of Islam, properly understood, was as much in the interest
of truth and progress in every branch of human knowledge and
activity as the Christian religion, and he devoted his entire
fortune and collected contributions from rich Mohammedans for
the establishment of a school that should be entirely up-to-date
and yet teach the Koran and the ancient traditions of Islam. There
are now about 500 students, who come from the most important
families in India. They live together in dormitories built about
the college, dine in the same refectory and enjoy a healthy,
active college life. Foreign and Christian professors fill the
chairs of science, mathematics and languages, while able mullahs
give instruction in the Koran and direct the students in the
daily exercise of the Mohammedan rites.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan met with bitter opposition and animosity
from the conservative element of his faith, and while some of
his opponents admitted the purity and nobility of his motive,
he was often accused of apostasy, but his noble life was spared
until March, 1898, and he was permitted to see his institution
enjoying great popularity and usefulness. There is at present a
movement among the Mohammedans of India for the higher education
of the members of that sect. It is the fruit of his labors and
the men who are leading it are graduates of the Aligarh College.

Lucknow and Cawnpore are usually neglected by American travelers,
but are sacred objects of pilgrimage to all Englishmen because
of their terrible memories of the awful struggles of the mutiny
of the sepoys, or native soldiers, in 1857, and their heroic
defense and heroic relief by a handful of British troops under
Sir Henry Havelock, General James Outram and Sir Colin Campbell.
Although more has been written about Lucknow, yet the tragedy
of Cawnpore is to me the more thrilling in several particulars,
and that city was the scene of the greater agony.

Upon the shores of the Ganges River is a pretty park of sixty
acres, in the center of which rises a mound. That mound covers
the site of a well in which the bodies of 250 of the victims of
the massacre were cast. It is inclosed by a Gothic wall, and in
the center stands a beautiful figure of an angel in white marble
by an Italian artist. Her arms are crossed upon her breast and in
each hand she holds a palm branch. The archway is inscribed:

  "These are They which Came
  Out of Great Tribulation."

Chiseled in the wall that marks the circle of the well are these
words:

"Sacred to the Perpetual Memory of a great Company of Christian
people, chiefly Women and Children, who near this Spot were cruelly
Murdered by the Followers of the Rebel Nana Dhundu Panth of Bithur,
and cast, the Dying with the Dead, into the Well below on the
XVth day of July, MDCCCLVII."

The story of Cawnpore has no parallel in history. It might have
been repeated at Peking two or three years ago, for the conditions
existed there. In the summer of 1857 sixty-one English artillerymen
and about 3,000 sepoys were attached to the garrison at that place,
where about 800 foreigners resided. Upon the 6th of June the native
troops rose in mutiny, sacked the paymaster's office and burned
several of the public buildings. The frightened foreigners fled
into one of the larger buildings of the government, where they
hastily threw up fortifications and resisted a siege for three
weeks. Their position having become untenable, they arranged
terms of capitulation with Nana Sahib, the leader of the mutiny,
who had been refused the throne and the allowance paid by the
British government to the late maharaja, although the latter
had adopted him in legal form and had proclaimed him his heir.
This was one of the principal reasons for the mutiny, and without
considering the question of justice or injustice, Nana Sahib
satiated his desire for vengeance under the most atrocious
circumstances. Having accepted the surrender of the little garrison
upon his personal assurances of their security and safe conduct
to Allahabad, he placed the survivors, about 700 in number, in
boats upon the Ganges River and bade them good-by. As soon as
the last man was on board and the word was given to start down
the stream, the blast of a bugle was heard. At that signal the
crews of the boats leaped into the water, leaving the passengers
without oars, and immediately the straw roofs of the boats burst
into flames and showers of bullets were fired from lines of infantry
drawn up on the banks. Most of those who jumped into the water
to escape the flames were shot down by the bullets. And many
who escaped both and endeavored to reach the shore were sabered
by cavalrymen who awaited them. One boat load escaped.

The survivors of this incident, about 200 in number, were led
back into the city, past their old homes, now in smoldering ruins,
and were locked up in two rooms twenty feet long and ten feet
wide. They had no beds, no furniture, no blankets, not even straw
to lie upon. They were given one meal a day of coarse bread and
water, and after suffering untold agonies for fifteen days were
called out in squads and hacked to pieces by the ruffians of
Nana's guard. Their bodies were cast into the well, which was
afterward filled with earth and has since been the center of
a memorial park.

The siege of Lucknow was somewhat different. When the mutiny
broke out Sir Henry Lawrence, the governor, concentrated his
small force of British soldiers, with eleven women and seven
children, in his residency, which stood in the center of a park
of sixty acres. It was a pretentious stone building, with a superb
portico and massive walls, and protected by deep verandas of
stone. Anticipating trouble, he had collected provisions and
ammunition and was quite well prepared for a siege, although
the little force around him was attacked by more than 30,000
merciless, bloodthirsty fanatics. The situation was very much
as it was at Peking, only worse, and the terrific fire that was
kept up by the sepoys may be judged by the battered stump of an
old tree which still stands before the ruins of the residency.
Although about three feet in diameter, it was actually cut down
by bullets.

On the second day of the siege, while Sir Henry Lawrence was
instructing Captain Wilson, one of his aids, as to the distribution
of rations, a shell entered his apartment, exploded at his side and
gave him a mortal wound. With perfect coolness and calm fortitude
he appointed Major Banks his successor, instructed him in details
as to the conduct of the defense, exhorted the soldiers of the
garrison to their duty, pledged them never to treat with the
rebels, and under no circumstances to surrender. He gave orders
that he should be buried "without any fuss, like a British soldier,"
and that the only epitaph upon his tombstone should be:

"Here lies Henry Lawrence, Who Tried to do his Duty; May God have
Mercy upon his soul."

He died upon the Fourth of July. Upon the 16th Major Banks, his
successor in command, was killed and the authority devolved upon
Captain Inglis, whose widow, the last survivor of the siege,
died in London Feb. 4, 1904. The deaths averaged from fifteen to
twenty daily, and most of the people were killed by an African
sharpshooter who occupied a commanding post upon the roof of a
neighboring house and fired through the windows of the residency
without ever missing his victim. The soldiers called him "Bob the
Nailer." The latter part of August he was finally killed, but
not until after he had shot dozens of men, women and children
among the besieged. In order to protect themselves from his shots
and those from other directions the windows of the residency
were barricaded, which shut out all the air and ventilation,
and the heat became almost intolerable. A plague of flies set
in which was so terrible that the nervous women and children
frequently became frantic and hysterical.

On the 5th of September a faithful native brought the first news
that a relieving force under Sir Henry Havelock and General James
Outram was nearing Lucknow. On the 25th Havelock fought his way
through the streets of the city, which were packed with armed
rebels, and on the 26th succeeded in reaching the residency. But,
although the relief was welcome, and the sufferings of the besieged
were for the moment forgotten, it was considered impracticable
to attempt an evacuation because the whole party would have been
massacred if they had left the walls. A young Irish clerk in
the civil service, named James Kavanagh, undertook to carry a
message to Sir Colin Campbell and succeeded in passing through
the lines of the enemy. On the 16th of November Campbell fought
his way through the streets with 3,500 men, and the relief of
Lucknow was finally effected.

A few days later Sir Henry Havelock, the hero of the first relief,
died from an attack of dysentery from which he had long been
suffering, and his body was buried under a wide-spreading tree in
the park. The tomb of Havelock is a sacred spot to all soldiers.
A lofty obelisk marks the resting place of one of the noblest
of men and one of the bravest and ablest of soldiers.

The residency is naturally a great object of interest, but the
cemetery, gay with flowers and feathery bamboos, is equally so,
because there lies the dust of 2,000 men and women who perished
within the residency, in the attempts at relief and in other
battles and massacres in that neighborhood during the mutiny.

Nana Sahib, who was guilty of these awful atrocities, was never
punished. In the confusion and the excitement of the fighting
he managed to make his escape, and mysteriously disappeared. It
is now known that he took refuge in the province of Nepal, where
he was given an asylum by the maharaja, and remained secretly
under his protection, living in luxury for several years until
his death. It is generally believed that the British authorities
knew, or at least suspected, his whereabouts, but considered it
wiser to ignore the fact rather than excite a controversy and
perhaps a war with a powerful native province.

There is little of general interest in Cawnpore. Lucknow, however,
is one of the most prosperous and busy towns in India. The people
are wealthy and enterprising. It has probably more rich natives
than any other city of India except Bombay, and their houses are
costly and extravagant, but in very bad architectural taste.
Millions of dollars have been spent in tawdry decorations and
ugly walls, but they are partially redeemed by beautiful parks
and gardens. Lucknow has the reputation of being the home of
the Mohammedan aristocracy in India, and a large number of its
wealthiest and most influential citizens belong to that faith.
Their cathedral mosque is one of the finest in the country. The
imambra connected with it is a unique structure and contains
the largest room in the world without columns, being 162 feet
long by 54 feet wide, and 53 feet high. It was built in 1784,
the year of the great famine, in order to give labor and wages
to a hungry people, and is one solid mass of concrete of simple
form and still simpler construction.

The architect first made a mold or centering of timber, bricks
and earth, which was covered with several layers of rubble and
coarse concrete several feet in thickness. After it had been
allowed a year or two to set and dry, the mold or centering was
removed, and this immense structure, whose exterior dimensions
are 263 by 145 feet, stood as solid as a rock, a single piece
of cement literally cast in a mold, and, although it has been
standing 125 years, it shows no signs of decay or deterioration.
The word imambra signifies "the patriarch's palace." The big room
is used for the celebration of the Moslem feast of Mohurram,
which commemorates the martyrdom of the sons of Ali, the immediate
descendants of Mahomet.

The royal palaces of Lucknow, formerly occupied by the native
kings, are considered the worst architecture of India, although
they represent the expenditure of millions of dollars. But the
hotels are the best in all the empire, except the new one of
which I have spoken in Bombay. For this reason and because it is
a beautiful city, travelers find it to their comfort and advantage
to stop there for several days longer than they would stay elsewhere,
and enjoy driving about the country visiting the different parks
and gardens.

One of the most novel excursions in India may be made to the
headquarters of the commissariat department of the army, about
three miles out of town, where a herd of elephants is used for
heavy lifting and transportation purposes. The intelligence,
patience and skill of the great beasts are extraordinary. They
are fed on "chow patties," a mixture of hay, grains and other
forage, and are allowed a certain number for each meal. Each
elephant always counts his as soon as they are delivered to him,
and if spectators are present the guardkeepers frequently give
them a short allowance, whereupon they make a terrible fuss until
they get what they are entitled to.

There are some quaint customs among the farmers in that part
of the country. The evil eye is as common and as much dreaded
as in Italy, and people who are suspected of that misfortune
are frequently murdered by unknown hands to rid the community
of a common peril and nuisance.

Good and bad omens occur hourly; superstitions are as prevalent
as in Spain. If a boy be born, for example, a net is hung over
the doorway and a fire is lighted upon the threshold to prevent
evil spirits from entering the house.

[Illustration: TOMB OF AKBAR, THE GREAT MOGUL, AT AGRA]

The commencement of the farming season is celebrated with ceremonies.
The first furrow in the village is plowed by a committee of farmers
from the neighborhood. The plow is first worshiped and decorated.
The bullock or camel which draws it is covered with garlands of
flowers, bright-colored pieces of cloth and rosettes of ribbon
are braided into its tail and hung upon its horns. Behind the
plow follows "the sower," who is also decorated with flowers
and ornaments, has a red mark upon his forehead and his eyelids
colored with lampblack. He drops seed into the furrow. Behind
him comes a second man, who carefully picks up every grain that
has fallen outside of the furrow. When the furrow is finished
the farmers assemble at some house in the neighborhood and have
a dinner of simple food. There are similar ceremonies connected
with the harvest. Some of them are said to be inherited from
their ancient Aryan ancestors; others are borrowed from the Arabs,
Persians and Chinese.



XXIV

CASTE AND THE WOMEN OF INDIA

Everybody who keeps in touch with the slowly changing social
conditions in India is convinced that the caste, the most important
fetich of the Hindus, is gradually losing its hold, particularly
upon the upper classes, because they cannot adjust it to the
requirements of modern civilization and to the foreign customs
they imitate and value so highly. Very high authorities have
predicted in my hearing that caste will be practically obsolete
within the next fifty years, and entirely disappear before the end
of the century, provided the missionaries and other reformers will
let it alone and not keep it alive by controversy. It is a sacred
fetich, and when it is attacked the loyal Hindu is compelled to
defend and justify it, no matter what his private opinion of
its practicability and advantages may be, but, if foreigners will
ignore it, the progressive, cultured Hindus will themselves discard
it. The influences of travel, official and commercial relations,
and social intercourse with foreigners, personal ambition for
preferment in the military and the civil service, the adoption
of modern customs and other agencies are at work undermining the
institution, and when a Hindu finds that its laws interfere with
his comfort or convenience, he is very certain to ignore them.
The experience of the Maharaja of Jeypore, told in a previous
chapter, is not unusual. His case is only one of thousands, for
nearly every native prince and wealthy Hindu has broken caste
again and again without suffering the slightest disadvantage,
which has naturally made them indifferent.

Travelers see very little of this peculiar institution, and it
is so complicated that they cannot comprehend it without months
of study. They notice that half the men they meet on the streets
have odd looking signs upon their foreheads. Ryas, our bearer,
calls them "god marks," but they are entirely artificial, and
indicate the particular deity which the wearer is in the habit
of worshiping, as well as the caste to which he belongs. A white
triangle means Krishna, and a red circle means Siva--the two
greatest gods--or vice versa, I have forgotten which, and Hindus
who are inclined to let their light shine before men spread on
these symbols with great care and regularity. At every temple,
every market place, at the places where Hindus go to bathe, at the
railway stations, public buildings, in the bazaars, and wherever
else multitudes are accustomed to gather, you will find Brahmins
squatting on a piece of matting behind trays covered with little
bowls filled with different colored ochers and other paints.
These men know the distinctive marks of all the castes, and for
small fees paint the proper signs upon the foreheads of their
patrons, who wear them with great pride. You frequently see them
upon children also; and on holidays and religious anniversaries,
when the people come out for pleasure, or during special ceremonials
at their temples, nearly everybody wears a "god mark," just as he
would wear a badge denoting his regiment and corps at a Grand
Army reunion.

The more you study the question of caste the more confusing it
becomes, but it is interesting and important because it is the
peculiar institution of India and is not found in any other country
in the world. The number of castes is almost infinite. The
200,000,000 or more Hindus in this empire are divided into a vast
number of independent, well-organized and unchangeable groups,
which are separated by wide differences, who cannot eat together or
drink from the same vessel or sit at the same table or intermarry.
There have been, and still are, eminent and learned philosophers
and social scientists who admire caste as one of the highest
agencies of social perfection, and they argue that it alone has
prevented the people of India from relapsing into barbarism, but
foreigners in general and Christian missionaries in particular
take a very different view, and many thoughtful and patriotic
Hindus publicly declare that it is the real and only cause of
the wretched condition of their people and the greatest obstacle
to their progress. Mr. Shoshee Chunder Dutt, a very learned Hindu
and author of a standard book entitled "India, Past and Present,"
declares that "civilization has been brought to a standstill by
its mischievous restrictions, and there is no hope of its being
remedied until those restrictions are removed."

It is curious to learn that the word "caste" is not Hindu at
all, but Portuguese, and that instead of being an ancient feature
of the Hindu religion, it is comparatively a modern idea.

The first form of religion in India was the worship of nature,
and the chief gods of the people were the sun, fire, water and
other natural phenomena, which were interpreted to the ignorant
masses by priests, who gradually developed what is now called
Brahminism, and, in the course of time, for social reasons, divided
the people into four classes: First, the Brahmins, which include the
priestly, the literary and the ruling portions of the population;
second, the Kshatryas, or warriors, who were like the knighthoods
of Europe in the middle ages; then the Vaisyas, or landowners,
the farming population, and those engaged in mercantile and
manufacturing industries; and finally the Sudras, or servants
who attended the other castes, toiled in the fields and did the
heavy labor of the community.

Gradually these grand divisions became divided into sections
or social groups. Trades, professions, tribes and clans, and
particularly those who worshiped the same god, naturally drifted
together and were watchful of their mutual interests. As there
are as many gods in the Hindu pantheon as there are inhabitants of
India, these religious associations are very numerous. Occupation
is not a sign of caste. Every caste, and particularly the Brahmins,
have members in every possible occupation. Nearly every cook
in India is a Brahmin, which is a matter of almost imperative
necessity, because no man can partake of food cooked or even
touched by persons of lower caste. The Brahmins are also more
numerous than any other caste. According to the recent census
they number 14,888,000, adult men only being counted. The soldier
caste numbers more than 10,000,000, the farmer caste and the
leather workers have nearly as many. Nearly 20 per cent of the
population of India is included in those four castes, and there
are forty or fifty sub-castes, each having more than 1,000,000
members.

There are more than 1,800 groups of Brahmins, who have become so
numerous and so influential that they are found everywhere. The
number in the public service is very large, representing about
35 per cent of the entire mass of employes of the government in
every capacity and station, and they have the largest proportion
of educated men. It is a popular delusion that every Brahmin is a
priest, when the fact is that they are so numerous that not more
than a small percentage is employed in religious functions. But
for more than 2,000 years they have maintained their superiority
unchallenged. This is not only due to their pretensions, but
to their intellectual force. They have been the priests, the
writers, the rulers, the legislators of all India, because of
their force of character and mental attainments, and will always
preserve their supremacy through the same forces that enabled
them to acquire it.

The laws of caste, as explained by Mr. Shoshee Chunder Dutt, the
Hindu writer referred to above, provide:

1. That individuals cannot be married who do not belong to the
same caste.

2. That a man may not sit down to eat with another who is not
of his own caste.

3. That his meals must be cooked either by persons of his own
caste or a Brahmin.

4. That no man of an inferior caste is to touch his cooked rations,
or the dishes in which they are served, or even to enter his
cook room.

5. That no water or other liquid contaminated by the touch of
a man of inferior caste can be made use of--rivers, tanks and
other large sheets of water being, however, held to be incapable
of defilement.

6. That articles of dry food, excepting rice, wheat, etc., do not
become impure by passing through the hands of a man of inferior
caste so long as they remain dry, but cannot be taken if they
get wet or greased.

7. That certain prohibited articles, such as cows' flesh, pork,
fowls, etc., are not to be taken.

8. That the ocean or any other of the boundaries of India cannot
be crossed over.

The only acts which now lead to exclusion from castes are the
following:

1. Embracing Christianity or Mohammedanism.

2. Going to Europe, America or any other foreign country.

3. Marrying a widow.

4. Throwing away the sacred thread.

5. Eating beef, pork or fowl.

6. Eating food cooked by a Mohammedan, Christian or low caste
Hindu.

7. Officiating as priest in the house of a low caste Sudra.

8. By a female going away from home for an immoral purpose.

9. By a widow becoming pregnant.

When a Hindu is excluded from caste his friends, relatives and
fellow townsmen refuse to partake of his hospitality; he is not
invited to entertainments in their houses; he cannot obtain wives
or husbands for his children; even his own married daughters
cannot visit him without running the risk of being excluded from
caste; his priest and even his barber and washerman refuse to
serve him; his fellow caste men ostracize him so completely that
they refuse to assist him even in sickness or at the funeral of
a member of his household. In some cases the man excluded from
caste is debarred from the public temples.

To deprive a man of the services of his barber and his washerman
is becoming more difficult these days, but the other penalties
are enforced with more or less rigor.

They tell us that foreigners cannot appreciate the importance
of caste. Murray's guide book warns the traveler to remember
that fact, and says that the religion of the Hindu amounts to
little more than the fear of demons, of the loss of caste and
of the priests. Demons have to be propitiated, the caste rules
are strictly kept and the priests presented with gifts. Great
care has to be taken not to eat food cooked by a man of inferior
caste; food cooked in water must not be eaten together by people
of different castes, and castes are entirely separated with regard
to marriage and trade. A sacred thread of cotton is worn by the
higher castes. Washing in the sacred rivers, particularly the
Ganges, and especially at Allahabad, Benares, Hardwar and other
exceptionally holy spots, is of efficacy in preserving caste
and cleansing the soul of impurities.

"The traveler should remember," says the guide book, "that all
who are not Hindus are outcasts, contact with whom may cause
the loss of caste to a Hindu. He should not touch any cooking or
water holding utensil belonging to a Hindu, nor disturb Hindus
when at their meals; he should not molest cows, nor shoot any
sacred animal, and should not pollute holy places by his presence
if any objection is made. The most sacred of all animals is the
cow, then the serpent, and then the monkey. The eagle is the
attendant of Vishnu, the bull of Siva, the goose of Brahma, the
elephant of Indra, the tiger of Durga, the buffalo of Rama, the
rat of Ganesh, the ram of Agni, the peacock of Kartikkeya, the
parrot of Kama (the god of love), the fish, the tortoise and
boar are incarnations of Vishnu, and the crocodile, cat, dog,
crow, many trees, plants, stones, rivers and tanks are sacred."

Nevertheless, Brahmins are very clever in dodging an issue when
it is necessary for their convenience. For example, when a modern
water supply was introduced for the first time into a city of
India the problem arose, How could the Hindus use water that
came from hydrants, in face of the law which prohibited them
drinking it from vessels which may have been touched by people of
another caste? After much reflection and discussion the pundits
decided that the payment of water rates should be considered an
atonement for violating the ordinances of their religion.

There has been some improvement in the condition of women in
India, and it is due almost entirely to the Christian missionaries
who have brought about reforms which could not have occurred
otherwise, although, at the same time, the spirit of modern progress
has not been without its influence upon the native families.
Remarkable instances have occurred in which native women have
attained distinction in literature, scholarship and science.
Several have passed university entrance examinations; a few have
obtained degrees. In 1903 there were 264 women in collegiate
institutions throughout the empire, more than has ever been known
before. There has been a gradual increase in their number. In
1893-4 there were only 108; two years later there were 110. In
1898-9 the number jumped to 174, and in 1900-1 it reached 205,
hence you will see that the advance has been normal and regular
and there have been no steps backward. The greatest progress
has been in the southern part of the empire, where women are
less secluded and the prejudice against their education is not
so strong. Nevertheless 99 per cent of the women of India are
absolutely illiterate, and among the total of 144,409,000 only
1,433,000 can read and write; 75 per cent of them can do no more.
If a census were taken of those who can read and understand an
ordinary novel or a book of travel the total would be less than
250,000, and counted among the literates are all the girls now
in school who have advanced as far as the first reader.

In the United Provinces, the richest and proudest of India, where
the arts and sciences have advanced quite rapidly among men, only
56,000 women out of a total of 23,078,000 can read and write,
and that, as I said before, includes the girl children in the
schools. In the Punjab Province, which lies in the north, out
of a total of 12,369,000 women and girls only 42,000 can read
and write and at least 50 per cent of them are under 12 years
of age. The total number of girls now attending school in India
is only 446,282 out of a total population of 144,409,000 women,
but even this small number shows most encouraging improvement
during the last ten years. In 1893-4 the girls in school were
only 375,868, but since then there has been a gradual increase
every year--400,709 in 1897-8, 425,914 in 1899-1900 and 429,645
in 1900-01. In the Central Province, which ought to be one of
the most progressive in India, out of a total female population
of 23,078,000 only 20,821 girls altogether are in school.

But this does not fairly indicate the influence of women in India,
where they take a larger and more active share in the
responsibilities of the family and in the practical affairs of
life than one would suppose. The mother of a family, if she is
a woman of ability and character, is always the head of the
household, and the most influential person in it, and as long
as she lives she occupies the place of honor. Women often manage
estates and commercial affairs, and several have shown remarkable
executive ability and judgment. Several of the native states have
been ruled by women again and again, and the Rannee of Sikkim
is to-day one of the most influential persons in India, although
she has never been outside of the town in which she lives.

An American lady told me of a remarkable interview she recently
had with the granddaughter of Tipu, the native chief who, in
the latter part of the eighteenth century, gave the English the
hardest struggle they ever had in India. He was finally overcome
and slain, and his territory is now under English rule, but his
family were allowed a generous pension and have since lived in
state with high-sounding titles. His granddaughter lives in a
splendid palace in southern India, which she inherited from her
father, and is now 86 years old. She cannot read or write, but
is a women of extraordinary intelligence and wide knowledge of
affairs, yet she has never been outside of the walls that surround
her residence; she has never crossed the threshold of the palace
or entered the garden that surrounds it since she was a child,
and 90 per cent of her time, day and night, has been spent in
the room in which she was born. Yet this woman, with a title
and great wealth, is perfectly contented with her situation.
She considers it entirely appropriate, and thinks that all the
women in the world ought to live in the same way.

The influence she and other women of old-fashioned ideas and
the conservative classes have is the chief obstacle to progress,
for they are much more conservative than the men, and much more
bigoted in their ideas. She does not believe that respectable
women ought to go to school; she does not consider it necessary
for them to read or write, and thinks that all women should devote
themselves to the affairs of their households and bear children,
duties which do not require any education. The missionaries who
work in the zenanas, or harems, of India tell me that the prejudice
and resistance they are compelled to overcome is much stronger
and more intolerant among women than among men, for the former
have never had an opportunity to see the outside of their homes;
have never come in contact with foreigners and modern ideas,
and are perfectly satisfied with their condition. They testify
that Hindu wives as a rule are mere household drudges, and, with
very rare exceptions, are patterns of chastity, industry and
conjugal fidelity, and they are the very best of mothers.

Here and there a husband or a father is found who is conscious
of the disadvantages under which the women of his family are
laboring and would be glad to take upon himself the duty of
instructing his wife and daughters, yet is prevented from doing
so because the latter prefer to follow the example of their
foremothers and remain ignorant.

While such conditions prevail it is impossible for the government
to take any steps for the promotion of education among women, but
a notable reform has been conducted by English women of India
under the leadership of the Marchioness of Dufferin, Lady Curzon,
and the wives of other viceroys, by supplying women doctors and
hospitals, because, as you understand, men physicians are not
permitted to enter zenanas except upon very rare occasions and
then only in the most liberal of families. Nor are women allowed
to be taken to hospitals. There are excellent hospitals and
dispensaries in every part of India, but women are not permitted to
participate in their benefits, and an untold amount of unnecessary
suffering is the result. Some years ago, inspired by Lady Dufferin,
an association was formed to provide women doctors, hospital
nurses, and establish, under the direction of women exclusively,
hospitals for the treatment of women and girls. This association
is non-sectarian and no religious services or conversations are
allowed. The movement has received active encouragement from both
the imperial government and the local authorities, and by the
latest returns is responsible for 235 hospitals and dispensaries,
33 women doctors with degrees from the highest institutions of
Europe, 73 assistants, and 354 native students and trained nurses,
who, during the year 1903, took care of nearly a million and a
half of women and girls who needed treatment and relief. This
does not include many similar institutions that are maintained
by the various missionary boards for the same purpose. Taking
both the civil and religious institutions together, the women
of India are now well supplied with hospitals and asylums.

Scattered over the country under the care of zealous and devoted
Christian women are a large number of homes for widows, and no
one who has not lived in India can appreciate the importance of
such institutions and the blessing they offer, for the situation
of widows is pitiable. Formerly they were burned upon the funeral
pyres of their husbands. It was an ancient custom, adopted from
the Scythian tribes, who sacrificed not only the wives, but the
concubines and slaves and horses upon the tombs of their dead
lords.

The British government forbade "suttee," as widow burning was
called, and although we hear that it is still practiced occasionally
in remote parts of the empire, such an act would be punished
as murder if the police were to learn of it. But the fate of
some thousands of widows is worse than death, because among the
superstitious Hindus they are held responsible for the death
of their husbands, and the sin must be expiated by a life of
suffering and penance. As long as a widow lives she must serve as
a slave to the remainder of the family, she must wear mourning,
be tabooed from society, be deprived of all pleasures and comforts,
and practice never-ending austerities, so that after death she
may escape transmigration into the body of a reptile, an insect
or a toad. She cannot marry again, but is compelled to remain in
the house of her husband's family, who make her lot as unhappy
and miserable as possible.

The Brahmins prohibit the remarriage of widows, but in 1856 Lord
Canning legalized it, and that was one of the causes of the mutiny.
The priests and conspirators told the native soldiers that it was
only a step toward the abolition of all their rites and customs.
The law, however, is a dead letter, and while there have been
several notable marriages of widows, the husband and wife and
the entire family have usually been boycotted by their relatives,
neighbors and friends; husbands have been ruined in business
and subjected to every humiliation imaginable.

If you will examine the census statistics you will be astonished
at the enormous number of widows in India. Out of a total of
144,000,000 women in 1901, 25,891,936 were widows, of whom 19,738,468
were Hindus. This is accounted for by child marriage, for it is
customary for children five years of age and upwards to become
husbands and wives. At least 50 per cent of the adherents of
Brahminism are married before they are ten years old and 90 per
cent before they are fifteen. This also is an ancient custom and
is due to several reasons. Fathers and mothers desire to have
their children settled in life, as we say, as early as possible,
and among the families of friends they are paired off almost as
soon as they are born. The early marriage, however, is not much
more than a betrothal, for after it takes place, usually with
great ceremony, the children are sent back to their homes and
remain under the care of their parents until they reach a proper
age, when the wife is conducted with great rejoicing to the home
of her husband, and what is equivalent to another marriage takes
place. This occurs among the highly educated and progressive Hindus.
They defend the custom as wise and beneficial on the theory that
it is an advantage for husband and wife to be brought up together
and have their characters molded by the same influences and
surroundings. In that way, they argue, much unhappiness and trouble
is prevented. But in India, as everywhere else, the mortality
is greatest among children, and more than 70 per cent of the
deaths reported are of persons under ten years of age. Those
who are married are no more exempt than those who are not, which
explains the number of widows reported, and no matter how young
a girl may be when her husband dies she can never have a second.

Widowers are allowed to marry again and most of them do. There are
only 8,110,084 widowers in all India as against nearly 26,000,000
widows.

Of course there are many native homes in which widows are treated
kindly and receive the same attention and are allowed the same
pleasures as the other women of the family, but those who understand
India assert that they are exceptional, and hence asylums for those
who are treated badly are very much needed. This is a matter with
which the government cannot deal and the work is left entirely
to the Christian missionaries, who establish homes and teach
friendless widows to become self-supporting.



XXV

EDUCATION IN INDIA

Allahabad is the center of learning, the Athens in India, the
seat of a native university, the residence of many prominent men,
the headquarters of Protestant missionary work, the residence
of the governor of the United Provinces, Sir James La Touche,
one of the ablest and most progressive of the British officials
in India. Allahabad was once a city of great importance. In the
time of the Moguls it was the most strongly fortified place in
India, but the ancient citadel has been torn down by the British
and the palaces and temples it contained have been converted into
barracks, arsenals and storehouses. Nowhere in India have so
many beautiful structures been destroyed by official authority,
and great regret is frequently expressed. Allahabad was also a
religious center in ancient times and the headquarters of the
Buddhist faith. The most interesting monument in the city is the
Lat of Osoka, one of a series of stone columns erected by King
Asoka throughout his domains about the year B. C. 260, which were
inscribed with texts expressing the doctrines of Buddhism as
taught by him. He did for that faith what the Emperor Constantine
the Great did for Christianity; made it the religion of the state,
appointed a council of priests to formulate a creed and prepare
a ritual, and by his orders that creed was carved on rocks, in
caves and on pillars of stone and gateways of cities for the
education of the people. The texts or maxims embodied in the
creed represent the purest form of Buddhism, and if they could
be faithfully practiced by the human family this world would
be a much better and happier place than it is.

Several handsome modern buildings are occupied by the government,
the courts and the municipal officials, and the university is
the chief educational institution of northern India. There are
five universities in the empire--at Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore,
Allahabad and Madras--and they are managed and conducted on a plan
very different from ours, having no fixed terms or lectures, but
having regular examinations open to all comers who seek degrees.
The standard is not quite so high as that of our colleges and the
curriculum is not so advanced. The students may come at 15 or
16 years of age and be examined in English, Latin, Greek history,
geography, mathematics and the elements of science, the course
being just a grade higher than that of our high schools, and
get a degree or certificate showing their proficiency. They are
very largely attended by natives who seek diplomas required for
the professions and government employment. After two years' study
in any regular course a student may present himself for an
examination for a degree and is then eligible for a diploma in
law, medicine, engineering and other sciences.

The slipshod systems pursued at these institutions have been
severely criticised by scientific educators, but they seem to
answer the purpose for which they are intended. It is often asserted
that the colleges and universities in India do not cultivate a
genuine desire for learning; that the education they furnish is
entirely superficial, and that it is obtained not for its own
sake, but because it is a necessary qualification for a government
appointment or a professional career. It is asserted that no
graduate of any of these institutions has ever distinguished
himself for scholarship or in science, that no native of India
educated in them has ever produced any original work of merit,
and that no problem of political or material importance has ever
been solved by a citizen of this empire. In 1902 Lord Curzon, who
has taken a deep interest in this subject and is an enthusiastic
advocate of public schools, appointed a commission to investigate
the conduct and efficiency of the universities of India. The
report was not enthusiastic or encouraging. It was entirely
noncommittal. At the same time it must be said that the universities
and colleges of India are a great deal better than nothing at
all, and as there is no other provision for higher education
they serve a very important purpose.

The deplorable illiteracy of the people of India is disclosed
by the recent census. Ninety-five per cent of the men and more
than 99 per cent of the women have never learned the first letter
of the alphabet, and would not recognize their own name it written
or printed. I have been told by ladies engaged in missionary and
educational work that grown people of the lower classes cannot
even distinguish one picture from another; that their mental
perceptions are entirely blank, and that signs and other objects
which usually excite the attention of children have no meaning
whatever for them. The total number of illiterates recorded is
246,546,176, leaving 47,814,180 of both sexes unaccounted for,
but of these only 12,097,530 are returned as able to read and
write. The latest statistics show that 3,195,220 of both sexes
are under instruction.

And even the percentages I have mentioned do not adequately represent
the ignorance of the masses of the people, because more than
half of those returned by the census enumerators as literates
cannot read understandingly a connected sentence in a book or
newspaper and can only write their own names. The other half are
largely composed of foreigners or belong to the Brahmin castes.
The latter are largely responsible for present conditions, because
their long-continued enjoyment of a hereditary supremacy over
the rest of the population has been due to their learning and
to the ignorance of the masses belonging to other castes. They
realize that they could never control any but an illiterate
population. Hence the priests, who should be leaders in education,
are, generally speaking, the most formidable opponents of every
form of school.

The census shows that only 386,000 natives in the whole of India
possess a knowledge of English, and this number includes all
the girls, boys and young men under instruction.

[Illustration: AUDENCE CHAMBER OF THE MOGUL--PALACE--AGRA]

The Parsees and Jains are more eager for learning than the Hindus,
and are taking an active part in educational affairs. The Mohammedans
are also realizing the importance of modern schools, and there
is now quite an energetic movement among that sect. There is
a school connected with almost every Jain temple. We visited
one at Delhi. There were no benches or desks. The children, who
were of all ages, from 4 years old upward, were squatting upon
the floor around their masters, and were learning the ordinary
branches taught in common schools, with the exception of one
class over in a far corner of the room, which was engaged in the
study of Sanskrit. It was explained to us that they were being
trained for priests. Everybody was bare-footed and bare-legged,
teachers and all, and every boy was studying out loud, repeating
his lesson over and over as he committed it to memory. Some of
the youngsters made their presence known by reading in very loud
voices. A few of them had ordinary slates. Others used blocks
of wood for the same purpose, but the most of them wrote their
exercises upon pieces of tin taken from cans sent over by the
Standard Oil Company. We went into a school one day where, for
lack of slates and stationery, the children were copying their
writing lessons in the sand on the floor. It was a new idea,
but it answered the purpose. With little brushes they smoothed
off a surface and formed letters as clearly as they could have
been made upon a blackboard.

Bright colors are characteristic of the Hindus. Their garments
are of the gayest tints; both the outer and inner walls of their
houses are covered with rude drawings in colors; their carts are
painted in fantastic designs; and their trunks are ornamented in a
similar way. They are not always done in the highest form of art,
but you may be sure that the colors are bright and permanent. Some
people paint the hides of their horses and bullocks, especially on
holidays, and their taste for art, both in design and execution,
is much more highly developed than their knowledge of letters.

The present Indian educational system is about fifty years old,
but popular education, as we use that term, was not introduced
in a practical way until during the 80's. Up to that time nearly
all the schools were conducted by missionaries and as private
institutions. In 1858, when the government was transferred from
the East India Company to the crown, there were only 2,000 public
schools in all India, with less than 200,000 pupils, and even
now with a population of 300,000,000 there are only 148,541
institutions of learning of all kinds, including kindergartens
and universities, with a grand total of 4,530,412 pupils. Of
these 43,100 are private institutions, with 638,999 pupils.

Education is not compulsory in India. The natives are not compelled
to send their children to school and the officials tell me that if
it were attempted there would be great trouble, chiefly because
of the Brahmin priests, who, as I have already intimated, are
decidedly opposed to the education of the masses. Normal schools
have been established in every province for the training of teachers,
with 31,114 young men and 2,833 young women as students. There
has been a slight increase in the attendance at school during
the last few years. In 1892 only 11.1 per cent of the children
of school age were enrolled and the average attendance was a
little over 7 per cent. In 1902 the enrollment had increased
to 12.5 per cent of the school population, and the attendance
to a little more than 8 per cent. Of the pupils in the public
schools 509,525 were Brahmins and 2,269,930 non-Brahmins. In
the private institutions 43,032 were Brahmins and the balance
non-Brahmins.

There are several important art schools in India which have been
established and are encouraged by the government for the purpose
of encouraging the natives to pursue the industrial arts. Lord
Curzon has taken a decided interest in this subject, and is doing
everything in his power to revive the ancient art industries,
such as brocade weaving, embroidery, carving, brass working,
mosaic, lacquering, and others of a decorative character. The
tendency of late years has been to increase the volume of the
product at the sacrifice of the quality, and the foreign demand
for Indian goods and the indifference of the buying public as
to their excellence is said to have been very demoralizing upon
the artisans.

From an artistic point of view, the manufactures of metal are the
most important products of India; the wood carvers of ancient times
surpassed all rivals and still have a well-deserved reputation.
In every village may be found artists of great merit both in
brass, copper, wood, silk and other industrial arts, but the
quality of their work is continually deteriorating, and Lord
Curzon and other sincere friends of India are endeavoring to
restore it to the former high standard. For that purpose art
schools have been established in Calcutta, Lahore, Bombay, Madras
and other places, first to train the eyes and the hands of the
young artisans, and, second, to elevate their taste and stimulate
their ambition to excel in whatever line of work they undertake.
There are several thousand young men in these schools who have
shown remarkable talent and are beginning to make their influence
felt throughout the country.

As you may imagine, it is very difficult to induce people to
produce objects of high art when those which cost less labor and
money can be sold for the same prices. As long as the foreign
demand for Indian goods continues this tendency to cheapen the
product will be noticed.

By the late census it appears that there were 2,590 publications
in the native Indian languages during the year 1900, as against
2,178 during the previous year; 1,895 were books and 695 pamphlets;
1,616 of the books were original works and the remainder were
translations; 832 were in the Bengali language and the remainder
were divided among eighty-eight other languages, ninety-nine being
in Sanskrit and 103 in Persian. Included in this list were poetry,
fiction, works of travel, religious books, history, biography,
philosophy and several on political economy. Among the Persian
publications I noticed "A History of Russian Rule in Asia";
among the translations are Lord Lytton's "Last Days of Pompeii,"
several popular novels, and several of Shapespeare's plays. There
was a history of England and a series of biographies entitled
"Lives of Great Women," including those of Queen Victoria, Queen
Elizabeth, Maria Theresa, Marie Antoinette, and the mother of
Napoleon I.

Since 1902 there have been several movements among the Hindus
and Mohammedan citizens of India looking to the advancement of
their races and coreligionists. At Bombay, in December, 1903,
was held a Mohammedan educational conference, and a committee
was appointed to draw up a plan of permanent organization for the
purpose of awakening among the members of that sect an interest
in the advancement of women and the education of the masses.
Representatives were present from nearly all of the provinces
in which there is a Mohammedan population, and resolutions were
passed declaring that, in the opinion of the conference, schools
should be established throughout India to educate young women
and children of both sexes in strict conformity with the customs
and doctrines of Islam. It was asserted that such educational
facilities are absolutely necessary to keep the children out
of the public and Christian schools. The most notable feature
of the conference, which marks an entirely new departure in the
history of Islam, was the presence, unveiled and in modern dress,
of Miss Sorabjee, a highly educated and accomplished member of
that sect, who appeared daily upon the platform, participated in
the debates and made a lengthy address upon the emancipation of
women. She declared that in a population of 60,000,000 Mohammedans
only 4,000 girls are now attending school, which, she said, is
a menace to civilization, a detriment to Islam and a disgrace
to the members of that church. I was informed that this is the
first time a Mohammedan woman ever made an address before a public
assembly of Mohammedans, because the Koran does not permit women
to appear in public and custom requires them to conceal their
faces. Miss Sorabjee was, nevertheless, received with respect,
and made a decidedly favorable impression upon the assembly, which
was composed of men of culture and influence and true believers
in the teachings of the Prophet.

Another notable feature of the conference was the unanimous
recognition of the growing influence of Christianity in the Indian
Empire, and the opinion that in order to preserve their faith
the followers of Islam must imitate its example. Progressive
Mohammedans have become convinced that not only their men but
their women will insist upon having an education, and will seek
it in the Christian schools if facilities are not furnished by
members of their own religion. Aga Khan, a Mohammedan prince
who presided over the gathering, explained that the conference
was called in obedience to the spirit of progress, and as an
indication that the Mohammedan section of the community was alive
to the disadvantages under which the members of the faith were
laboring, and to the need of educated men as leaders in society
and commerce.

Mr. Tyabji, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the Bombay
presidency, took even more advanced ground and declared that
the schools proposed by the conference must be far in advance
of those heretofore provided by Mohammedans, and teach English,
French, German and the modern sciences as well as the maxims of the
Koran. By that remark he uncovered the great defect of Mohammedan
education, which is purely religious, with the exception of a single
institution in northern India to which I refer in a previous
chapter. The conservative element of the Moslem population holds
that a knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic is sufficient
for members of that sect; hence in most of their schools they teach
nothing except the Koran, which is the book of books, the law of
laws, and contains knowledge sufficient for all mankind under
all circumstances. Some progressive Mohammedans go a little too
far in the other direction and would ignore all Arabic literature
and leave all ecclesiastical affairs to the priests. The Arabic
and Persian languages are rich in learning, poetry and general
literature. But they are not cultivated, and are almost unknown
to the Moslem priests, who are the school teachers of that faith
to-day. They have left the revival of Arabic belles-lettres entirely
to foreigners, and confine themselves to the Koran and the
commentaries that have been prepared upon it. It is asserted
that one can learn more of Arabian and Persian literature to-day
in London, Oxford, Paris, Berlin or Zurich than is known in
Constantinople or Cairo or any other Mohammedan city, and that
Professor Max Muller of Oxford has done more to encourage its
study than all the Mohammedan priests and professors in existence.

At almost the same time, although in another place, several of
the leading thinkers and scholars of the Brahmin caste were
discussing the same subject with the same purpose and from the
same point of view. They have been endeavoring to inaugurate
what they are pleased to call "the Renaissance of the Hindus."
And there is also an active movement for a revival of Buddhism,
although thus far it is confined to Japan and Ceylon. Buddhism
is practically extinct in India. At the Hindu conference several
thoughtful people expressed the view that something must be done
to revive the vitality of that religion, because it is the faith of
nearly 200,000,000 souls in India alone, over whom it is gradually
losing its influence, because of the vigorous propaganda of the
Christians. It was not admitted that the Hindus are adopting the
Christian religion, but merely that they are losing confidence
in their own and drifting toward materialism.

It is universally recognized among educated Brahmins that India is
approaching a great religious crisis which demands the attention of
all who are interested in the welfare of the people. The movement
is slow, but quite obvious to all who are watching the development
of reforms that have been proposed for the last fifteen or twenty
years. It is based upon the fact that Brahminism, as taught at
the temples of India to-day, does not satisfy or even appeal to
educated men. At the same time it is insisted that true Hinduism
has the same ideals and the same spiritual advantages that are
offered by Christianity.

Experienced missionaries tell me there is a distinct tendency
among educated Hindus to give up the old line of defense against
the Christian religion, and, admitting the ethical purity and truth
of the teachings of Christ, to attack some particular doctrine, some
dogma over which Christians themselves have been in controversy,
to elaborate the criticisms of Ingersoll and Bradlaugh, and to
call attention to the failure of the Christians to realize their
own ideals. This is very significant, but at the same time there
is little encouragement or satisfaction in studying and tracing
the various reforms that have been started from time to time
among the Hindus. They have been many and frequent. New teachers
are constantly arising, new organizations are being formed, and
revivals of ancient precepts are occurring every year, but they
do not endure. They are confined to limited circles, and none has
yet penetrated to any extent into the dense mass of superstition,
idolatry and ignorance which lays its offerings at the altars of
cruel and obscene gods.

At one of Lady Curzon's receptions, among other notable men and
women, I met Sir Nepundra Narayan Bhuf Bahadur, Maharaja of
Cutch-Behar, and his wife, one of the few native women who dress
in modern attire and appear in public like their European sisters.
She is the daughter of one of the most famous of Indian reformers.

Early in the last century a scholar and patriot named Ramohun
Roy, becoming dissatisfied with the teachings and habits of the
Brahmins, renounced his ancestral religion and organized what was
called "The Truth Seeking Society" for the purpose of reviving pure
Hinduism. He proclaimed a theistic creed, taught the existence of
one God, and the sin of idolatry. He declared for the emancipation
of women, for charity to the poor and helpless, for the purity of
life, and, altogether, his sermons and lectures are very similar
to the teachings of the Unitarians in the United States. He was
called the Theodore Parker of India, and attracted many followers.
But before he had accomplished much he died, and his mantle fell
upon Keshab Chunder Sen, a man of great learning, talent and
worth, the son of one of the most conservative families of the
Brahmin caste, born and brought up in a fetid atmosphere of
superstition and idolatry. While attending school at Calcutta he
was thrown in with European teachers and associates and, being
of an inquisitive mind, undertook the study of religions other
than his own. It naturally came about that he heard of the "Truth
Seeking Society" and ultimately joined it, and by his force of
character and ability became one of its leaders. Early in his
career he concluded that the greatest weakness among the people
of India is their treatment of their women, and he organized what
was known as "The Indian Reform Association" for the purpose
of promoting the education of women, preventing child marriage,
relieving widows from their forlorn ostracism and securing for
the daughters of Indian families the same legal and property
rights that are enjoyed by the sons. The movement became quite
popular and he gained considerable reputation. He went to England
and Germany and delivered lectures and published several books.
His agitation accomplished some practical results, and he secured
the passage of several laws of importance establishing the civil
rights of wives, widows and daughters.

In 1884 his daughter, a very brilliant and beautiful woman, married
the Maharaja of Cutch-Behar, who was converted, joined the movement
and became an active member of the society. Like many others of
the princely families of India, he lays claim to divine origin,
the founder of his dynasty having been a god. In 1772, the ruling
rajah, having been attacked by more powerful neighbors, applied
for protection to Warren Hastings, then governor of Bengal, and
acknowledged subjection to the East Indian Company. The province
of Cutch-Behar was thus one of the first to be absorbed by the
British Empire, but it has ever since been governed by the native
prince, who nominally owns all of the land in his territory and
receives taxes in lieu of rent from his tenants, who are his
subjects. His territory has a population of 650,000, of whom
427,000 are Hindus and 174,539 are Mohammedans. He is assisted
in his government by a resident English adviser, appointed by
the viceroy, and really has very little to do. He has a personal
allowance of $150,000 for the support of himself and family, and
inherited from his ancestors one of the most rare and valuable
collections of jewels in India.

The present maharaja was born in 1863, educated in England, attained
his majority in 1883, and has two sons, one of whom is a member
of the Viceroy's Corps of Imperial Cadets, and the other acts as
his father's secretary. The maharaja is considered one of the
handsomest men in India, as he is one of the most accomplished
and progressive, and his wife is as famous for her intellectual
as for her physical attractions.

The late Jamsetjee Nusserwanji Tata of Bombay, a typical Parsee,
amassed an enormous fortune as a merchant and manufacturer, won an
enviable reputation for integrity, enterprise and public spirit,
and for several years before his lamented death in 1904, was
permitted to enjoy the gratification that men of his kind deserve
after a long career of activity and usefulness. Having provided
in a most ample manner for his own future wants, and intrusting
his enormous business responsibilities to his sons, he devoted
the rest of his life to travel and other pleasures, and a large
portion of his fortune to benevolence. I have been frequently
told that Mr. Tata in his time was the most enterprising man in
India. He spent enormous sums in experiments for the development
of the resources and industries of his country; some of which
failed, but others have been eminently successful. He developed
the cotton industry, perhaps more than any other man, and improved
the staple by importing plants and seeds from Egypt. He was largely
engaged in growing, preserving and exporting the fruits of India
in order to furnish another occupation for the country people,
and in a thorough exploration of its iron deposits, building
furnaces, smelters, and mills with the hope of being able to
supply the local markets with home made steel and iron. There
is plenty of ore, plenty of coal and labor, and Mr. Tata was
willing to pay the expense and do the work of a pioneer in order
that his fellow countrymen may enjoy the wealth that lies dormant
in their mountains.

He had cotton mills and other manufactories in various parts
of India, but the greater part of his fortune was invested in
the industries and real estate of his own province of Bombay.
His residence was one of the largest and most beautiful palaces
in that city, filled with works of art and trophies of travel. He
was the owner of several of the finest business blocks, introduced
modern apartment houses into Bombay, and built the modern hotel to
which I have several times alluded. He supported several young
Parsees in the technical schools and colleges of England, Germany
and the United States. For years no less than six such students
were selected annually to be educated at his expense, not only
because he took a personal interest in the welfare of his
co-religionists, but because he believed that young engineers,
chemists, electricians and other practical scientists were needed
to develop the resources of India.

Mr. Tata's latest act of benevolence, shortly before his death,
was to place in the hands of a board of trustees, of whom the
chancellor of the University of Bombay is chairman, real estate
and securities valued at more than 3,500,000 of rupees, which is
equivalent to about $1,250,000, the income from which, amounting
to 120,000 rupees, or about $40,000 in our money, a year, is
to be used for the establishment and perpetual maintenance of
the Indian Research University, a name selected by a conference
called together by the viceroy. This conference was composed of
four directors of public instruction for the different provinces
of India, the home secretary of the imperial government, the
surgeon general of the army and several other gentlemen eminent
in educational and public affairs. After a careful examination
of all conditions they decided to locate the institution at the
city of Bangalore, in the province of Mysore, in southern India,
where the local government, as an inducement, donated 300 acres of
land upon an eminence in a very favorable situation, and offered
a contribution of 18,000 rupees a year toward the payment of the
expenses, provided the money is used in such a way as to benefit
the people of that province. It has also offered to defray a
considerable part of the cost of erecting the necessary buildings.



XXVI

THE HIMALAYAS AND THE INVASION OF THIBET

Darjeeling is one of the most favored spots on earth, the loveliest
place in India, and the favorite resort and sanitarium of the citizen
element as distinguished from military and official circles. It
is a hard journey, both going and coming, and a traveler gets
impatient when he finds that it takes him from four o'clock in
the afternoon of one day until nearly two o'clock of the next to
make a journey of 246 miles. He leaves Calcutta with the thinnest
clothing he can buy, but when he arrives there he is glad that
he brought his overcoat and gloves, and pulls a second blanket
over himself at night. At the same time it is not so cold in
Darjeeling as one would expect from the altitude of 7,400 feet
above the sea, and the latitude, which is about 27 degrees 50
minutes. You travel from four o'clock till seven upon a railway
of ordinary gauge, cross the Ganges on a steamboat for an hour,
taking your dinner while afloat; change into a three-foot gauge
train until half-past four in the morning, when you are routed
out, given a cup of coffee and a roll, and transferred to a baby
carriage on wheels which crawls up the foothills of the Himalayas
at the rate of six miles an hour.

The track is only two feet gauge, with forty-pound rails, which
have been laid upon the ancient highway over which the caravans
between China and India have passed for thirty centuries. It
winds in and out of gorges and defiles and at several points
the engineers have had to cut a foothold for it on the edges of
tremendous precipices. It doubles on itself repeatedly, describes
the letter S and the letter Z and the figure 8, and zigzags about
so recklessly that the engineer puts his locomotive first at one
end of the train and then at the other. Englishmen who write
books on India assert that it is the grandest railway journey in
the world, but we can show them several quite as picturesque and
attractive in our own beloved Rocky Mountains. The only advantage
they have over us there is the superior height of the mountains
and the superior size of the trees. But you must remember that
our country is young yet, and India is one of the oldest nations
in the world.

The first few miles of track lie in a dense jungle, with vegetation
of truly tropical luxuriance. Cane stalks grow fifty and sixty feet
high, the grass is fifteen feet deep, beautiful bamboo trees, whose
foliage is as fine as feathers, and palms which have plumage like
a peacock and a bird of paradise, lift their proud and haughty
heads above an impenetrable growth which, the guides tell us, is
the home of tigers, rhinoceroses, panthers, bears, wild hogs,
buffaloes, deer and all sorts of beasts, and snakes as big around
as a barrel. Fern trees are lovely, and are found here in their
greatest glory, but nevertheless we have foliage at home, and
they are no more beautiful than our elms, oaks, and other trees
that I might mention.

This is a great tea country, and the mountain sides have been
cleared in many places for plantations. A tea planter in India
is a heavy swell. He may be no more brilliant or intellectual
or virtuous or handsome, but the fact that he grows tea instead
of potatoes or wheat or sugar gives him a higher standing in the
social scale. I was asking an explanation of this phenomenon
from a very wise man the other day, and, although he insisted
that his attention had never been called to it before, he was
willing to admit that it was so, and he explained it on the theory
that so many sons of dukes and earls and lords and the swagger
set in England had come to India to engage in tea growing that
they had created a caste of their own; so that whenever a man
said he was a tea planter the public immediately assumed that
his father belonged to the nobility and treated him accordingly.
The tea planters usually live in good style. They have beautiful
bungalows, gardens, lawns and groves, and although they complain
of the depression of the industry, there is no evidence that they
suffer for want of the necessities of life. In the Darjeeling
district are about two hundred large plantations, employing from
one to two thousand laborers each, and producing about 12,000,000
pounds a year. Most of the product is shipped to England.

They carry you up the mountains in tiny little cars seating six
persons and open all around so that the passengers can take in all
there is to see, and they have plenty of scenery. The trains are
not allowed to run faster than six miles an hour as a precaution
against accidents, which allows plenty of time to look about,
and they twist around so that you can see things from various
points of view. And if a passenger gets impatient or is in a
hurry he can jump out of the car and walk ahead.

There is little doubt that the views from Darjeeling include the
most majestic assemblage of mountains on the earth's surface.
For a distance of 200 miles east and west there arise a succession
of peaks not less than 22,000 feet high, and several of them
more than 25,000. In the immediate vicinity and within sight
are the highest mountains in the world. Everest, the king of
mountains, which measures 29,200 feet, is only eighty miles distant;
Kinchinjunga, which is forty-five miles distant, is 28,156 feet
high, and also, in the immediate vicinity, are the following:

  Janu           25,304     Kabru          24,015
  Chumalari      23,943     Pauhanri       23,186
  Donkia         23,176     Baudim         22,017
  Narsingh       22,146     Kanhenjhan     22,500
  Chomaino       23,300

Between these mountain peaks is an almost continuous succession
of snow fields and glaciers beyond all comparison. The snow line
is 17,000 feet in midsummer, and in winter comes down to 12,000 and
15,000 feet, and when that altitude is reached snow is continuous
and impassable. This is the highest and the most extensive of
all mountain ranges. Along the northern frontier of India for
2,000 miles it stands like a vast hedge, the most formidable
natural boundary in the world, nowhere lower than 17,000 feet,
and impassable for armies the entire distance, with the exception
of two gateways: Jeylup Pass here and at the Khyber Pass of which
I told you in a previous chapter. There are passes over the snow,
but their elevation is seldom less than 16,000 feet; the average
elevation of the watershed exceeds 18,000 feet, and the great
plateau of Thibet, which lies upon the other side, is between
15,000 and 16,000 feet above the sea.

This plateau, which is sometimes called the "Roof of the World,"
is 700 miles long and 500 miles wide, and could not be crossed
by an army not only because of the winds and the cold, but also
because there is very little water, no fuel and no supplies. No
invading force could possibly enter India from the north if these
passes were defended, because the inhospitable climate of Thibet
would not sustain an army, and the enormous distance and altitude
would make the transportation of supplies for any considerable
force practically impossible. During the summer the plateau is
covered with flocks and herds, but when the cold weather comes
on the shepherds drive them into the foothills, where they find
shelter. The width of the main range of the Himalayas will average
about 500 miles between its northern and southern foot-hills; it
embraces every possible kind of climate, vegetation and natural
products, and is a vast reservoir from which four of the greatest
rivers of the world flow across the plains of India, carrying
the drainage from the melting snows, and without this reservoir
northern India would be a hopeless and dreary desert.

There is a lively dispute among geographers, topographers and other
learned pundits of the scientific bureaus of the Indian government
as to whether Everest is really the king of the mountains. Other
peaks in the group have their advocates, and over in Cashmere
are several which lift their heads nearly as high as 30,000 feet,
but few of them have been accurately measured, and the height of
none can be determined with exactness. Mount Godwin, in Cashmere,
is very near the height of Everest, and many claim that Kinchinjunga
is even higher.

Darjeeling is a sanitarium of the greatest benefit to the people
of India. The town is made up chiefly of hotels, hospitals and
summer bungalows belonging to the mercantile class of Calcutta.
Few officials except military officers ever go there. The official
society follows the viceroy to Simla, where the summer is always
gay, but those who seek health and rest only and are fond of
nature prefer Darjeeling. The hotels are good, there are plenty of
boarding houses, there are hospitals for all sorts of infirmities,
and perhaps there is no other place in the world with such an
ideal climate within a day's travel of the tropics. The hotels,
villas, boarding houses, hospitals and asylums are scattered all
over the hillside without regularity of arrangement. Wherever a
level spot has been found some kind of a house has been erected,
usually without any architectural taste, and the common use of
corrugated iron for building material has almost spoiled the
looks of the place. There is plenty of timber, and the great
mountains are built of stone, so that there is no excuse for the
atrocious structures that have been erected there.

Everybody who comes is expected to get up at half-past 3 in the
morning in order to see the sun rise. Everything is arranged
by the managers of the hotel. They have fixed the sunrise at
that hour in order to compel their guests to make the greatest
possible effort to see it because they will thus remember the
incident, and the experience will remain longer in their memory.
They give you a cup of coffee and a roll, and, if you insist
upon it, you can get an egg, although the cook is not inclined
to be obliging at that hour in the morning. They put you in a
sort of sedan chair called a "dandy," and you are carried by
four men seven miles up the mountains to a point 12,000 feet
above the sea. From there you can look upon the most impressive
spectacle that human eye has ever witnessed, the rising of the sun
over an amphitheater surrounded by the highest group of peaks on
the globe. Their snow-covered summits are illuminated gradually,
beginning at the top, as if a searchlight were slowly turned upon
them. Mount Everest stands in the center, but is so much farther
away that it does not seem so much higher than the rest.

There is little mountain climbing in India compared with the
Alps, because the distances and the difficulties are so great.
A Boston gentleman and his wife made the ascent of Mount Everest
in 1904, and it is claimed that they went higher than anyone
had ever gone before.

Darjeeling is not a large town, but it is filled with interesting
people, and on Sunday a market is held in the principal bazaar
which is declared to be the most picturesque and fascinating
in all India. Throngs of natives in quaint costumes come from
all parts of the country around, representatives of tribes which
do not often stray so far away from their homes. They come from
Nepaul, Thibet, Sikkim and the surrounding countries, and bring
articles of home manufacture to exchange for "store goods." The
features of the people are unmistakable testimony of their Mongolian
origin. They are short of stature, with broad, flat faces, high
cheek bones and bright, smiling eyes wide apart. The men grow no
beards, but have long pigtails of coarse coal-black hair. The
women are sturdy, good-natured and unembarrassed; they are adorned
with a great quantity of jewelry, chiefly of silver, but often
of gold. They wear circlets around their heads made of coral,
turquoise, amber, agate, jade or other precious stones, with five
or six necklaces and enormous girdles of the same material. Huge
ear rings, four or five inches long, pull down the lobes of their
ears. Their wrists are heavy with bracelets, their limbs with
anklets, and their fingers are half hidden with rings. The entire
fortune of a family is usually invested in personal adornments
for the women members. They find this much safer than savings
banks.

The attention of the world has recently been attracted in that
direction because of an unusual and very significant movement
of the Indian government, which, in the winter of 1904, took
advantage of the embarrassments of Russia in the farther East,
and sent a military expedition over the northern border on the
pretext of escorting a diplomatic mission. Colonel Younghusband
was sent as an envoy extraordinary--very extraordinary--for,
with 2,500 British soldiers, he was instructed to make a treaty
of commerce and good will with the Grand Lama of Thibet, and his
orders were to stay at Lhassa until the treaty was negotiated
and as much longer as was necessary to compel the Thibetans to
respect its terms and carry out its stipulations. That means the
permanent occupation of Lhassa by a British army and the opening
of an unknown and mysterious region to trade.

Thibet is the unknown, mysterious country of the world, a land
of desert and mountains inhabited by a primitive and bigoted
people, who have for many years been under the protection of
China, and paid tribute to the emperor until the late war with
Japan in 1895. After the result of that conflict became known
they seemed to lose their respect for and confidence in their
protectors and have sent no envoys or money to Peking since.
We know very little about Thibet. Foreigners are not permitted
to enter the country, and only a few venturesome explorers have
endured the hardships and faced the dangers of a visit to that
forbidden land. Indeed, it is so perilous an undertaking that
a skeptical public frequently takes the liberty to doubt the
statements of the men who have gone there. But all agree that it
is the hermit of nations, and its people are under the control of
cruel and ignorant Buddhist priests, who endeavor to prevent them
from acquiring any modern customs or ideas. One of the objects of
Colonel Younghusband's expedition is to change this situation
and persuade the ignorant and bigoted ecclesiastics who govern
Thibet to open their gates and admit foreign merchants and foreign
merchandise into that benighted country. There is considerable
commerce, however. Parties of Thibetan traders are continually
coming across the frontier into Darjeeling with all sorts of
native products and may be seen in the market that is held every
Sunday morning and during the weekdays in the bazaars of the city.
After selling their goods they buy cottons, drugs, groceries,
hardware and other European goods and take them back into their
own country; but foreigners are not allowed to pass the line,
and practically all of the trade of Thibet is monopolized by
the Chinese, who sell the natives large quantities of cotton
fabrics and other imported merchandise as well as tea, silk and
other Chinese goods. This trade is supposed to be worth many
millions of dollars, and the ability of India to furnish the
tea and of England to furnish the manufactured goods that the
inhabitants of Thibet may need is considered ample reason for
sending the Younghusband expedition into that country. But there
are other reasons quite as important.

Lying between Thibet and India is the independent state of Nepal,
or Nepaul, the home of the Gurkhas, one of the finest fighting
races in the world, and there are eighteen full regiments of
them in the Indian army. The Gurkhas are a mountain people,
industrious, temperate, hardy, brave, loyal, honest, and without
sense of fear. They are the main dependence of the Indian government
among the native troops. Nepal has its own government and the
people are proud of their independence. While they are entirely
friendly to Great Britain and have treaties with India under
which the latter extends a protectorate over the province and
enters into an offensive and defensive alliance, the Maharaja
permits no British adviser to take part in his government and
receives a representative of the viceroy only in the capacity of
envoy or minister plenipotentiary. The latter dare not interfere
with the administration of the government and never presumes
to tender his advice to the native rulers unless it is asked.
His duties are chiefly to keep the viceroy at Calcutta informed
as to what is going on in the Nepal province and to cultivate
the good will of the officials and the people.

There has never been a census of Nepal and the population has been
variously estimated from 2,000,000 to 5,000,000. It is probably
near the latter figure. The people are mostly engaged in raising
cattle, sheep and goats and growing wheat, barley and other grains
in the valleys. The principal exports, which amount to about
$8,000,000 a year, are wool, hides and grain, and the imports,
which amount to about $5,000,000, are cotton goods and other
wearing apparel, iron and steel, cutlery and other manufactured
merchandise.

The people of Nepal profess the Hindu faith and have close relations
with the Brahmins at Benares, which is the Rome, or the Mecca, of
Brahminism. They sometimes in the past have beep bold enough to
defy British authority, and, for example, protected Nana Sahib,
the leader of the mutiny of 1857, and gave him an asylum when he
fled from British vengeance. However amicable the relations between
Nepal and the British government, the latter is scrupulously careful
not to furnish any excuse for complaint or controversy, because
a collision with this powerful people would not only result in
the loss of the finest corps in the Indian army, but would make
it extremely unpleasant for the people of Assam, Bengal, Oudh
and the Punjab, which provinces lie next on the south.

One hundred years ago an army from Nepal invaded Thibet and sacked
an important town. The Thibetans appealed to China, which had not
yet lost its military vigor, and sent an army to invade Nepal.
It came within eighteen miles of Gurkha, the capital, when the
Nepals proposed a parley, paid a heavy indemnity and entered into
a treaty of permanent peace, promising never to invade Thibet
again. That was the last heroic act of the Chinese government,
and then, in compliance with the terms of the treaty, all the
passes through the Himalaya Mountains between the two countries
were permanently closed by common consent, and in many cases
were walled up with masonry, adding an artificial barrier to
the natural wall. It was also agreed that there should be no
communication across the border and that the inhabitants of both
provinces would remain upon their own sides. This prohibition
has been enforced until to-day, and has not been violated except
by Buddhist priests and monks and a few venturesome explorers.
No Englishman may even now enter Nepal or pass from Nepal into
Thibet without permission from the authorities of both governments.

Mindful of the aggressive policy of Russia, which controls Turkestan,
the country north of Thibet, the British government some years ago
sent an envoy named McCauley to Lhassa, with the permission of
the Chinese government, to open commercial relations with Thibet
and find another market for the tea of Assam and the manufactured
merchandise of India. But he was unable to do anything. He could
not induce the priests, or lamas, who control the government,
to negotiate with him. They would not respond to his advances
and gave him plainly to understand that they did not care to
improve their relations with India. Immediately after his departure
the Thibetans began to fortify the passes over the mountains,
and invaded the little province of Sikkim, which also adjoins
Thibet. The British sent up troops and forbade the continuance
of the work. The Thibetans withdrew to the interior and agreed to
make a commercial treaty and open their market to Indian goods,
promising to send a plenipotentiary to Calcutta for that purpose
within six months; but he has never appeared, and frequent reminders
from the British have passed without notice.

When Lord Curzon came to India he determined to reverse the policy
of indifference which had been pursued by Lord Elgin, his
predecessor. The opening of Thibet to Indian trade has been one
of the principal features of his administrative programme. In
1900 he sent to Lhassa an ambassador in the person of Colonel
Younghusband, a distinguished Asiatic traveler, who speaks the
language of Thibet, to talk things over and persuade the Dailai
Lama, as the chief ruler of Thibet is called, to carry out his
promise about the treaties. The Grand Lama refused to receive
Colonel Younghusband, and would have nothing whatever to do with
him, rejecting his overtures without explanation and treating
his messages with contempt.

While England was suffering the worst of the disasters of the
recent war in South Africa the Russian government sent a secret
embassy to Lhassa, carrying rich presents and large sums of money
to the Grand Lamal for the ostensible purpose of securing permission
to construct a branch from its Siberian Railway to Lhassa across
Chinese Turkestan. The Grand Lama afterward sent an embassy to
return the visit at St. Petersburg, which was received with great
honors and presented with rich gifts. The Grand Lama, in recognition
of these attentions, conferred upon the czar the title of "Lord and
Guardian of the Gifts of Faith." It is the supreme Buddhist honor,
and while the title is empty, it is particularly significant in
this case, because it implies protection. It is believed that a
secret treaty was made under which Russia promised to guarantee
the independence of Thibet and protect that government against
invasion in exchange for the privilege of constructing a railway
line through its territory. The Thibetans are supposed to have
accepted these terms because of their fear of China. Until 1895
Thibet was a province of the Chinese Empire, and paid tribute to
the emperor every year, but since the war with Japan the Grand
Lama has sent no messenger to Peking, has paid no tribute and
has ignored the Chinese representative at Lhassa. The priests
postponed negotiations on the pretext that it was necessary to
consult Peking, and promised to send a mission to Calcutta within
six months, but never have done so. In the meantime there has
been continual friction on the border; the Indian authorities
have repeatedly reminded the Grand Lama of his promise and its
postponement, but he has stubbornly refused to communicate with
them, and has even returned their communications unopened.

When the secret relations between Russia and Thibet were discovered
the Chinese authorities were naturally indignant and the Indian
authorities were alarmed. After a conference China granted permission
for England to use whatever methods it thought best to bring the
Grand Lama to terms. Thereupon Colonel Younghusband was sent to
Lhassa again. The Grand Lama again refused to see him, declined
to appoint an official to confer with him and returned his
credentials unopened, and used other means to show his indifference
and contempt for India and England.

When Younghusband returned to Calcutta and reported the failure
of his mission and the insults offered him Lord Curzon decided
that the time had come to act, and as soon as preparations could
be made Colonel Younghusband started back to Lhassa escorted
by 2,500 armed men and carrying provisions for two years. He
was instructed to avoid collisions, to make friends with the
people, to establish permanent posts on the line of march wherever
he thought necessary and to remain at Lhassa until he secured
a treaty opening the markets of Thibet to British merchants.
The treaty is made, and by its terms the Thibetans are to pay
England an indemnity of $3,750,000 to cover the cost of the
expedition. Until the indemnity is paid the Indian troops will
continue to occupy the Churubi Valley which leads to Lhassa.

Lord Curzon did not dispatch this expedition and undertake this
strategic movement without considering the present situation of
Russia. The czar took occasion to engage in negotiations not
only with Thibet, but with Afghanistan also, at the very moment
when England was suffering her most serious disasters and
embarrassments of recent history, and is getting tit for tat.
Before Colonel Younghusband's expedition was dispatched the British
ambassador at St. Petersburg was instructed to inquire if the
Russian government had any relations with Thibet or any interests
there, and was officially informed that it had not, and hence
the etiquette of the situation had been complied with and Lord
Curzon was perfectly free to act.



XXVII

BENARES, THE SACRED CITY

No one can realize what an awful religion Brahminism is until
he visits Benares, the most sacred city of India, upon the banks
of the Ganges, the most sacred river, more holy to more millions
of human souls than Mecca to the Moslem, Rome to the Catholic
or Jerusalem to the Jew. This marvelous city it so holy that
death upon its soil is equivalent to life eternal. It is the
gate to paradise, the abundant entrance to everlasting happiness,
and its blessings are comprehensive enough to include all races,
all religions and all castes. It is not necessary to be a Brahmin
or to worship Siva or Krishna or any other of the Hindu gods,
nor even to believe in them. Their grace is sufficient to carry
unbelievers to the Hindu heavens provided they die within the
area inclosed by a boulevard encircling this city.

There are in Benares 2,000 temples and innumerable shrines, 25,000
Brahmin priests, monks, fakirs and ascetics, and it is visited
annually by more than half a million pilgrims--a larger number than
may be counted at Mecca or Jerusalem, or at any other of the sacred
cities of the world. There are more than 500,000 idols established
in permanent places for worship in Benares, representing every
variety of god in the Hindu pantheon, so that all the pilgrims
who go there may find consolation and some object of worship.
There are twenty-eight sacred cows at the central temples, and
perhaps 500 more at other places of worship throughout the city;
the trees around the temple gardens swarm with sacred monkeys
and apes; there are twenty-two places where the dead are burned,
and the air of the city is always darkened during the daytime by
columns of smoke that rise from the funeral pyres. No other city,
not even London, has so many beggars, religious and otherwise;
nowhere can so many pitiful spectacles of deformity and distress be
seen; nowhere is such gross and repulsive obscenity and sensuality
practiced--and all in the name of religion; nowhere are such sordid
deceptions imposed upon superstitious believers, and nowhere
such gloomy, absurd and preposterous methods used for consoling
sinners and escaping the results of sin. Although Benares in
these respects is the most interesting city in India, and one of
the most interesting in the world, it is also the most filthy,
repulsive and forbidding. Few people care to remain there more
than a day or two, although to the ethnologist and other students,
to artists and people in search of the picturesque, it has more
to offer than can be found elsewhere in the Indian Empire.

Benares is as old as Egypt. It is one of the oldest cities in
existence. It was already famous when Rome was founded; even
when Joshua and his trumpeters were surrounding the walls of
Jericho. It is the hope of every believer in Brahminism to visit
Benares and wash away his sins in the water of the sacred Ganges;
the greatest blessing he can enjoy is to die there; hence, the
palaces, temples, and lodging-houses which line the river banks
are filled with the aged relatives and friends of their owners
and with pilgrims who have come from all parts of India to wait
with ecstatic patience the summons of the angel of death in order
to go straight to heaven.

Nothing in all their religion is so dear to devout Hindus as the
Ganges. The mysterious cavern in the Himalayas which is supposed
to be the source of the river is the most sacred place on earth.
It is the fifth head of Siva, and for 1,600 miles to its delta
every inch of the banks is haunted with gods and demons, and has
been the scene of events bearing upon the faith of two-thirds
of the people of India. The most pious act, and one that counts
more than any other to the credit of a human soul on the great
books above, is to make a pilgrimage from the source to the mouth
of the Ganges. If you have read Kipling's story of "Kim," you will
remember the anxiety of the old lama to find this holy stream, and
to follow its banks. Pilgrims to Benares and other cities upon
the Ganges secure bottles of the precious water for themselves
and send them to friends and kindred in foreign lands. No river
in all the world is so worshiped, and to die upon its sacred
banks and to have one's body burned and his ashes borne away
into oblivion upon its tawny current is the highest aspiration
of hundreds of millions of people.

The Ganges is equally sacred to the Buddhist, and Benares is
associated more closely with the career of Buddha than any other
city. Twenty-five hundred years ago Buddha preached his first
sermon there, and for ten centuries or more it was the headquarters
of Buddhism. Buddha selected it as the center of his missionary
work. He secured the support of its scholars, teachers and
philosophers, and from there sent forth missionaries to China,
Japan, Burmah, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Thibet, and
other countries until half the human race accepted him as divine,
his teachings as the law of God, and Benares as the fountain
of that faith. It is a tradition that one of the wise men who
followed the Star of Bethlehem to the Child that was cradled in
a manger was a learned pundit from Benares, and it is certainly
true that the doctors of theology who have lived and taught in the
temples and monasteries there have exercised a greater influence
upon a larger number of men than those of any other city that
ever existed. But in these modern days Benares is wholly given
over to ignorance, superstition, vice, filth and idolatry. The
pure and lofty doctrines of Buddha are no longer taught. The
"Well of Knowledge" is a filthy, putrid hole filled with slime
and rotting vegetation. Buddhism has been swept out of India
altogether, and Brahminism is taught and practiced there in its
most repulsive and depraved forms.

[Illustration: A HINDU ASCETIC--BENARES]

Occasionally some reformer appears who endeavors to rebuke the
depravity and appeals to the thinking members of the Brahmin
sect to restore the ancient philosophy and morality of their
fathers. I saw such an one at Benares. He lives in a bare and
comfortless temple surrounded by a garden; is entirely dependent
upon charity; every mouthful of food that he eats is brought to
him by his disciples. He spends his entire time, day and night,
in contemplation; he sleeps when he is exhausted; he eats when
food is handed him, and if he is neglected he starves until some
thoughtful person brings him a bowl of rice or curry. He wears
nothing but a single shirt of cotton; he owns nothing in all
the world except a brass bowl, which is used for both food and
drink, and a few relics of his predecessor and teacher whom he
lived with and served and whose mantle fell upon him. To those
who come to his temple with serious minds and anxious to know
the truth, he talks freely, and his pride is gratified by having
his visitors inscribe their names in a large book which is kept
for that purpose. And contributions of money are very acceptable
because they enable his disciples to circulate his thoughts and
discourses in printed form. I noticed that most of the names in
the visitors' book were those of Americans, and it occurred to
me that his contemplations must be seriously disturbed by having
so many of them intrude upon him. But he assured me that he was
delighted to see every stranger who called; that it gratified him
to be able to explain to American travelers the true principles of
Brahminism and the correct doctrines of that sect. This was the
more important, he said, because nearly every foreigner formed
his impressions of Brahminism by what he saw and heard among
the pilgrims about the temples.

It is only by contact with the crowds of eager pilgrims and devotees
which throng the streets and temples of Benares that one may
realize the vital force which Brahminism exercises in India.
Next to Mohammedanism it is the livest and most influential and
practical of all religions. The devotee lives and breathes and
feels his faith. It enters every experience of his career, it
governs every act, and compared with Brahminism, Christianity
is perfunctory and exercises practically little control over
its believers. Yet Christianity has come here, as it has entered
all the other sacred cities of India, and under the very shadow
of the Hindu holy of holies, within the circle that bounds the
favored gate of heaven, it has set up and maintained several
of the most prosperous and well attended schools in India. The
government has established a college of high standard in a handsome
gothic building, which many consider the best in India. And all
agree that it is an admirable institution. It has about seven
hundred students and teaches modern sciences which contradict
every principle that the Brahmins propose. There is also a school
there for the higher education of women with about 600 students,
maintained by the Maharaja of Vizianagram, a learned and progressive
Hindu prince, who has large estates in the neighborhood, and
there are several other distinctly modern institutions in whose
light Brahminism cannot live. They are growing and it is slowly
decaying. The number of devotees and pilgrims who come there is
still enormous, but those who have the best means of knowing
declare that it is smaller every year. But while the decrease is
comparatively small, its significance is great, and so great that
prominent Brahmins have recently held a conference to consider
what shall be done to protect the faith and defend it against
the vigorous assaults of the school teachers, the missionaries
and the materialists.

It does not take Hindus long to learn that the teachings of their
priests do not conform to the conditions of modern civilization,
and that their practices are not approved by those who believe
in modern standards of morals. It is difficult for an educated
man to adhere to or accept the teachings of the Hindu priests
while their practices are absolutely repugnant to him. The church,
therefore, if it may be called a church, must be reformed, and
its practices must be revised, if the decay which is now going
on is ever arrested.

Several religions have been born and bred and have died in Benares.
Vedic, Moslem, Buddhist, Brahmin have been nursed and flourished and
have decayed within the same walls. It is impossible to ascertain
when the Ganges was first worshiped, or when people began to build
temples upon its banks, or when Benares first became sacred.
Water was one of the first objects worshiped; the fertilizing and
life giving influence of a stream was one of the first phenomena
of nature recognized. Ganga, the beautiful heroine of a Hindu
legend, is supposed to have lived at the source of the water to
which her name is given, and the river is often represented as
flowing from the head of Siva, the chief deity of the Brahmins,
the most repulsive, the most cruel, the most vicious of all the
gods.

Siva is at once the generator and the destroyer. He represents
time, the sun, water, fire and practically all the mysteries of
nature, and Benares is the center of his influence and worship.
The temple which attracts the most pilgrims is dedicated to him.
The "Well of Knowledge," which is in the courtyard of the Golden
Temple, is his chosen residence, and is resorted to by every pilgrim
who drinks the putrid water from a ladle with which it is dipped
up by the attendant priest. All around the Golden Temple are other
temples and shrines dedicated to other gods, but Siva is supreme,
and before his image is the kneeling bull, the common symbol of
Phallic worship as represented in the legend of Europe. Siva's
hair is a bunch of snakes, serpents wind around his neck, arms,
waist and legs; a crescent is stamped upon his forehead, which
was the chief symbol of the ancient cult of Arabia destroyed by
Mohamet Aurangzeb, one of the Mogul emperors, who was a Mohammedan
fanatic. He came here in the middle of his reign, destroyed half
the Hindu temples and upon the ruins of the oldest and the finest
shrine of Siva erected a mosque which still stands and its slender
minarets almost pierce the sky. This mosque was thrust into the
most sacred place of Hindu worship as an insult to the Brahmins,
but the latter are more tolerant, and though they are very largely
in the majority and control everything there, they permit it
to stand untouched, but the worshipers of Islam are compelled
to enter it through a side door. This, however, is due more to
a desire to preserve the peace and prevent collisions between
fanatics and fakirs than for any other reason.

The great temple of Siva, the Golden Temple, is not imposing. It
is a small building with a low dome in the center and a smaller
dome at each corner, above which rises an artistic tower. These
and the roof are covered with beaten gold; hence the name of the
temple. None but Hindus are permitted to cross the threshold,
but strangers are permitted to block up the entrance and see
everything that is going on inside. It is crowded with priests,
pilgrims and sacred bulls and cows. The floor is covered with
filth, the air is fetid and the atmosphere all around it reeks
with offensive odors, suggesting all kinds of disease. There is
always a policeman to protect strangers from injury or insult,
and if you give the priests a little backsheesh they will look
out for you.

Benares is the seventh city in size in India. Ten years ago it
was fifth, but between the years 1891 and 1901 the population
was reduced 10,000 inhabitants by cholera, famine and plague,
and it dropped down two pegs in the list. It is a miracle that
the entire population does not perish, because, notwithstanding
the cautions and efforts of the government, every sanitary law
is violated by thousands of people daily. The temples and other
places frequented by pilgrims are filthy hotbeds of disease, and
the water they drink from the holy wells is absolutely putrid,
so that the odor can be detected a considerable distance. And
yet half a million devotees from every part of India come here
annually, and not only drink the poisonous stuff, but bathe in
the polluted river and carry back to their homes bottles of it
carefully corked and labeled, which the doctors tell us is an
absolutely certain method of distributing disease. While almost
all the large cities of India increased in population during the
the last decade, Bombay and Benares fell off, the former from
plagues and famine and the latter from all kinds of contagious
and other diseases.

It is a city of great wealth and has many handsome and costly
palaces and mansions which have been erected there by pious Hindu
princes, rajahs, merchants, bankers and others who spend a part of
each year within its sacred precincts, renewing their relations
with the gods just as other people go to the springs and seashore
to restore their physical vitality. The residential architecture
is picturesque but not artistic. The houses are frequently of
fantastic designs, and are painted in gay colors and covered with
carvings that are often grotesque. They have galleries around
them, and broad overhanging eaves to keep out the rays of the
sun, and many of them are set in the midst of attractive groves
and gardens. Some of the modern buildings are very fine. There
is plenty of room for the display of landscape gardening as well
as architecture, but the former has been neglected. The one thing
that strikes a stranger and almost bewilders him is the vivid
colors. They seem unnatural and inappropriate for a sacred city,
but are not more incongruous than other features.

The streets in the outer part of the city are wide, well paved
and well shaded. The business portion of the town, where the
natives chiefly live, is a wilderness of narrow streets hemmed
in with shops, factories, dwelling houses, temples, shrines,
restaurants, cafes and boarding houses for pilgrims. Every shop
is open to the street, and the shelves are bright with brass,
silver and copper vessels and gaily painted images of the gods
which are purchased by the pilgrims and other visitors. Benares
is famous all over the world for its brass work and its silks.
Half the shops in town are devoted to the sale of brass vessels
of various kinds, chiefly bowls of many forms and styles which
are required by the pilgrims in performing their religious duties.
In addition to these there are a hundred different varieties of
domestic and sacred utensils, many of them beautifully chased
and engraved, and they are sold to natives at prices that seem
absurd, but foreigners are expected to pay much more. Indeed,
every purchase is a matter of prolonged negotiation. The merchant
fixes his price very high and then lowers it gradually as he
thinks discreet, according to the behavior of his customer.

Handmade silks from looms in the cottages of the peasants can
still be purchased in Benares and they wear forever. Some are
coarse, and some are fine, but they are all peculiar to this
place and cannot be purchased elsewhere because the product is
limited and merchants cannot buy them in sufficient quantity to
make a profitable trade. The heavier qualities of silk are used
chiefly for men's clothing. They wash like linen, they never wear
out and are cool and comfortable. The brocades of Benares are
equally famous, and are used chiefly for the ceremonial dresses
of the rich and fashionable. Sometimes they are woven of threads
of pure gold and weigh as much as an armor. These are of course
very expensive, and are usually sold by weight. Very little account
is taken of the labor expended upon them, although the designs
and the workmanship are exquisite, because the weavers and
embroiderers are paid only a few cents a day. Beside these heavy
fabrics are costly tissues as fine as spiders' webs, also woven
of silver and gold and silk and linen. They are used by the women
as head dresses and scarfs and rich men use them for turbans.
Sometimes an Indian noble will have seventy or eighty yards of this
delicate gossamer wound about his head and the ends, beautifully
embroidered, with long fringes of gold, hang gracefully down upon
the shoulders.

It is almost impossible to go through the narrow streets of Benares
in the middle of the day, because they are so crowded with men,
women, children, priests, pilgrims, peddlers, beggars, mangy
dogs, sacred cows, fat and lazy bulls dedicated to Siva, and
other animate and inanimate obstructions. It seems to be the
custom for people to live and work in the streets. A family dining
will occupy half the roadway as they squat around their brass
bowls and jars and cram the rice and millet and curry into their
mouths with their fingers. The lower classes of Hindus never
use tables, knives or forks. The entire family eats out of the
same dish, while the dogs hang around waiting for morsels and a
sacred cow is apt to poke its nose into the circle at any time.
The street is often blocked up by a carpenter who is mending a
cabinet or putting a new board into a floor.

A little farther along a barber may be engaged in shaving the
face and head of some customer. Both of them are squatting face
to face, as often in the middle of the road as elsewhere, and
with bowls, razors, soap, bottles and other appurtenances of
the trade spread out between them. Barbers rank next to priests
in the religious aristocracy, and, as it is forbidden by the
Brahmins for a man to shave himself, they are of much importance
in the villages. Houses are usually set apart for them to live
in just as we furnish parsonages for our ministers. The village
barber has certain rights and exemptions that are not enjoyed by
other people. He is not required to do military service in the
native states; he does not have to pay taxes, and all members
of his caste have a monopoly of their business, which the courts
have sustained. The Brahmins also require that a man must be
shaved fasting.

Another matter of great importance which the barbers have to
do with is a little tuft of hair that is allowed to grow from
the top of the head of a child when all the rest of the scalp
is shaven. This is a commendable precaution, and is almost
universally taken in the interest of children, the scalp lock
being necessary to snatch the child away from the devil and other
evil spirits when it is in danger from those sources. As the
person grows older and capable of looking after himself this
precaution is not so important, although many people wear the
scalp lock or sacred topknot through life.

The sacred thread is even of greater importance in Hinduism,
and the Brahmins require that each child shall be invested with
it in his eighth year. Until that year also he must bear upon
his forehead the sign of his caste, which Ryas, our bearer, calls
"the god mark." The sacred thread is a fine silk cord, fastened
over the left shoulder, hanging down under the right arm like
a sash. None but the two highest castes have the right to wear
it, although members of the lower castes are even more careful
to do so. It is put on a child by the priest or the parent on
its eighth birthday with ceremonies similar and corresponding
to those of our baptism. After the child has been bathed and its
head has been carefully shaved it is dressed in new garments,
the richest that the family can afford. The priest or godfather
ties on the sacred thread and teaches the child a brief Sanskrit
text called a mantra, some maxim or proverb, or perhaps it may be
only the name of a deity which is to be kept a profound secret
and repeated 108 times daily throughout life. The deity selected
serves the child through life as a patron saint and protector.
Frequently the village barber acts in the place of a priest and
puts on the sacred thread. A similar thread placed around the
neck of a child, and often around its waist by the midwife
immediately after birth, is intended as an amulet or charm to
protect from disease and danger. It is usually a strand of silk
which has been blessed by some holy man or sanctified by being
placed around the neck of an idol of recognized sanctity.

The streets of the native quarters of Indian cities are filled
with naked babies and children. It is unfashionable for the members
of either sex to wear clothing until they are 8 or 10 years old.
The only garment they wear is the sacred string, with usually
a little silver charm or amulet suspended from it. Sometimes
children wear bracelets and anklets of silver, which tinkle as
they run about the streets. The little rascals are always fat
and chubby, and their bright black eyes give them an appearance
of unnatural intelligence. The children are never shielded from
the sun, although its rays are supposed to be fatal to full grown
and mature persons. Their heads being shaved, the brain is deprived
of its natural protection, and they never wear hats or anything
else, and play all day long under the fierce heat in the middle
of the road without appearing any the worse for it, although
foreign doctors insist that this exposure is one of the chief
causes of the enormous infant mortality in India. This may be
true, because a few days after birth babies are strapped upon
the back of some younger child or are carried about the streets
astride the hips of their mothers, brothers or sisters without
any protection from the sun.

[Illustration: A HINDU BARBER]

All outdoors is an Indian barber-shop. The barbers have no regular
places of business, but wander from house to house seeking and
serving customers, or squat down on the roadside and intercept
them as they pass. In the large cities you can see dozens of
them squatting along the streets performing their sacred offices,
shaving the heads and oiling the bodies of customers. Cocoanut oil
is chiefly used and is supposed to add strength and suppleness
to the body. It is administered with massage, thoroughly rubbed
in and certainly cannot injure anybody. In the principal parks
of Indian cities, at almost any time in the morning, you can see
a dozen or twenty men being oiled and rubbed down by barbers or
by friends, and a great deal of oil is used in the hair. After
a man is grown he allows his hair to grow long and wears it in a
knot at the back of his head. Some Hindus have an abundance of
hair, of which they are very proud, and upon which they spend
considerable care and labor.

The parks are not only used for dressing-rooms, but for bedrooms
also. Thousands of people sleep in the open air day and night,
stretched full length upon the ground. They wrap their robes
around their heads and leave their legs and feet uncovered. This
is the custom of the Indians of the Andes. No matter how cold
or how hot it may be they invariably wrap the head and face up
carefully before sleeping and leave the lower limbs exposed.
A Hindu does not care where he sleeps. Night and day are the
same to him. He will lie down on the sidewalk in the blazing
sunshine anywhere, pull his robe up over his head and sleep the
sleep of the just. You can seldom walk a block without seeing
one of these human bundles all wrapped up in white cotton lying
on the bare stone or earth in the most casual way, but they are
very seldom disturbed.

You have to get up early in the morning to see the most interesting
sights in Benares, which are the pilgrims engaged in washing
their sins away in the sacred but filthy waters of the Ganges,
and the outdoor cremation of the bodies of people who have died
during the night and late in the afternoon of the preceding day.
Hindus allow very little time between death and cremation. As
soon as the heart ceases to beat the undertakers, as we would
call the men who attend to these arrangements, are sent for and
preparation for the funeral pyre is commenced immediately. Three
or four hours only are necessary, and if death occurs later than
1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon the ceremony must be postponed
until morning. Hence all of the burning ghats along the river
bank are busy from daylight until mid-day disposing of the bodies
of those who have died during the previous eighteen or twenty
hours.

The death rate in Benares is very high. Under ordinary circumstances
it is higher than that of other cities of India because of its
crowded and unsanitary condition, and because all forms of contagious
diseases are brought by pilgrims who come here themselves to die. As
I have already told you, it is the highest and holiest aspiration
of a pious Hindu to end his days within an area encircled by
what is known as the Panch-Kos Road, which is fifty miles in
length and bounds the City of Benares. It starts at one end of
the city at the river banks, and the other terminus is on the
river at the other end. It describes a parabola. As the city is
strung along the bank of the river several miles, it is nowhere
distant from the river more than six or seven miles. All who die
within this boundary, be they Hindu or Christian, Mohammedan or
Buddhist, pagan, agnostic or infidel, or of any other faith or
no faith, be they murderers, thieves, liars or violators of law,
and every caste, whatever their race, nationality or previous
condition, no matter whether they are saints or sinners, they
cannot escape admission to Siva's heaven. This is the greatest
possible inducement for people to hurry there as death approaches,
and consequently the non-resident death rate is abnormally high.

We started out immediately after daylight and drove from the
hotel to the river bank, where, at a landing place, were several
boats awaiting other travelers as well as ourselves. They were
ordinary Hindu sampans--rowboats with houses or cabins built
upon them--and upon the decks of our cabin comfortable chairs
were placed for our party. As soon as we were aboard the boatmen
shoved off and we floated slowly down the stream, keeping as
close to the shore as possible without jamming into the rickety
piers of bamboo that stretched out into the water for the use
of bathing pilgrims.

The bank of the river is one of the most picturesque and imposing
panoramas you can imagine. It rises from the water at a steep
grade, and is covered with a series of terraces upon which have
been erected towers, temples, mosques, palaces, shrines, platforms
and pavilions, bathing-houses, hospices for pilgrims, khans or
lodging-houses, hospitals and other structures for the accommodation
of the millions of people who come there from every part of India
on religious pilgrimages and other missions. These structures
represent an infinite variety of architecture, from the most severe
simplicity to the fantastic and grotesque. They are surmounted by
domes, pinnacles, minarets, spires, towers, cupolas and canopies;
they are built of stone, marble, brick and wood; they are painted
in every variety of color, sober and gay; the balconies and windows
of many of them are decorated with banners, bunting in all shapes
and colors, festoons of cotton and silk, garlands of flowers and
various expressions of the taste and enthusiasm of the occupants
or owners.

From the Sparrow Hills at Moscow one who has sufficient patience
can count 555 gilded and painted domes; from the cupola of St.
Peter's one may look down upon the roofs of palaces, cathedrals,
columns, obelisks, arches and ruins such as can be seen in no other
place; around the fire tower at Pera are spread the marvelous glories
of Stamboul, the Golden Horn and other parts of Constantinople;
from the citadel at Cairo you can have a bird's-eye view of one
of the most typical cities of the East; from the Eiffel Tower all
Paris and its suburbs may be surveyed, and there are many other
striking panoramas of artificial scenery, but nothing on God's
footstool resembles the picture of the holy Hindu city that may
be seen from the deck of a boat on the Ganges. It has often been
described in detail, but it is always new and always different,
and it fascinates its witnesses. There is a repulsiveness about
it which few people can overcome, but it is unique, and second
only to the Taj Mahal of all the sights in India.

A bathing ghat is a pavilion, pier or platform of stone covered
with awnings and roofs to protect the pilgrims from the sun. It
reaches into the river, where the water is about two feet deep,
and stone steps lead down to the bottom of the stream. Stretching
out from these ghats, in order to accommodate a larger number of
people, are wooden platforms, piers of slender bamboo, floats
and all kinds of contrivances, secure and insecure, temporary
and permanent, which every morning are thronged with pilgrims
from every part of India in every variety of costumes, crowding
in and out of the water, carrying down the sick and dying, all
to seek salvation for the soul, relief for the mind and healing
for the body which the Holy Mother Ganges is supposed to give.

The processions of pilgrims seem endless and are attended by
many pitiful sights. Aged women, crippled men, lean and haggard
invalids with just strength enough to reach the water's edge;
poor, shivering, starving wretches who have spent their last
farthing to reach this place, exhausted with fatigue, perishing
from hunger or disease, struggle to reach the water before their
breath shall fail. Here and there in the crowd appear all forms
of affliction--hideous lepers and other victims of cancerous
and ulcerous diseases, with the noses, lips, fingers and feet
eaten away; paralytics in all stages of the disease, people whose
limbs are twisted with rheumatism, men and women covered with all
kinds of sores, fanatical ascetics with their hair matted with
mud and their bodies smeared with ashes, ragged tramps, blind
and deformed beggars, women leading children or carrying infants
in their arms, handsome rajahs, important officials attended by
their servants and chaplains, richly dressed women with their
faces closely veiled, dignified and thoughtful Brahmins followed
by their disciples, farmers, laborers bearing the signs of toil,
and other classes of human society in every stage of poverty or
prosperity. They crowd past each other up and down the banks,
bathing in the water, drying themselves upon the piers or floats,
filling bottles and brass jars from the sacred stream, kneeling
to pray, listening to the preachers and absorbed with the single
thought upon which their faith is based.

Such exhibitions of faith can be witnessed nowhere else. It is
a daily repetition of the scene described in the New Testament
when the afflicted thronged the healing pool.

After dipping themselves in the water again and again, combing
their hair and drying it, removing their drenched robes--all
in the open air--and putting on holiday garments, the pilgrims
crowd around the priests who sit at the different shrines, and
secure from them certificates showing that they have performed
their duty to the gods. The Brahmins give each a text or a name
of a god to remember and repeat daily during the rest of his or
her life, and they pass on to the notaries who seal and stamp the
bottles of sacred water, sell idols, amulets, maps of heaven, charts
showing the true way of salvation, certificates of purification,
remedies for various diseases, and charms to protect cattle and
to make crops grow. Then they pass on to other Brahmins, who
paint the sign of their god upon their forehead, the frontal
mark which every pilgrim wears. Afterward they visit one temple
after another until they complete the pilgrimage at the Golden
Temple of Siva, where they make offerings of money, scatter barley
upon the ground and drop handfuls of rice and grain into big
stone receptacles from which the beggars who hang around the
temples receive a daily allowance. Finally they go to the priests
of the witness-bearing god, Ganasha, where the pilgrimage is
attested and recorded. Then they buy a few more idols, images
of their favorite gods, and return to their homes with a tale
that will be told around the fireside in some remote village
during the rest of their lives.

[Illustration: BODIES READY FOR BURNING--BENARES]

But the most weird and impressive spectacle at Benares, and one
which will never be forgotten, is the burning of the bodies of
the dead. At intervals, between the temples along the river bank,
are level places belonging to the several castes and leased to
associations or individuals who have huge piles of wood in the
background and attend to the business in a heartless, mercenary
way. The cost of burning a body depends upon the amount and kind
of fuel used. The lowest possible rate is three rupees or about
one dollar in our money. When the family cannot afford that they
simply throw the body into the sacred stream and let it float
down until the fish devour it. When a person dies the manager of
the burning ghat is notified. He sends to the house his assistants
or employes, who bring the body down to the river bank, sometimes
attended by members of the family, sometimes without witnesses.
It is not inclosed in a coffin, but lies upon a bamboo litter,
and under ordinary circumstances is covered with a sheet, but
when the family is rich it is wrapped in the richest of silks and
embroideries, and the coverlet is an expensive Cashmere shawl.

Arriving at the river an oblong pile of wood is built up and
the body is placed upon it. If the family is poor the pile is
low, short and narrow, and the limbs of the corpse have to be
bent so that they will not extend over the edges, as they often
do. When the body arrives it is taken down into the water and
laid in a shallow place, where it can soak until the pyre is
prepared. Usually the undertakers or friends remove the coverings
from the face and splash it liberally from the sacred stream.
When the pyre is ready they lift the body from the litter, adjust
it carefully, pile on wood until it is entirely concealed, then
thrust a few kindlings underneath and start the blaze. When the
cremation is complete the charred sticks are picked up by the
beggars and other poor people who are always hanging around and
claim this waste as their perquisite. The ashes are then gathered
up and thrown upon the stream and the current of the Ganges carries
them away.

Certain contractors have the right to search the ground upon
which the burning has taken place and the shallow river bed for
valuables that escaped the flames. It is customary to adorn the
dead with the favorite ornaments they wore when alive, and while
the gold will melt and diamonds may turn to carbon, jewels often
escape combustion, and these contractors are believed to do a
good business.

All this burning takes place in public in the open air, and sometimes
fifty, sixty or a hundred fires are blazing at the same moment.
You can sit upon the deck of your boat with your kodak in your
hand, take it all in and preserve the grewsome scene for future
reminiscencing.

While the faith of many make them whole, while remarkable cures
are occurring at Benares daily, while the sick and the afflicted
have assured relief from every ill and trouble, mental, moral and
physical, if they can only reach the water's edge, nevertheless
scattered about among the temples, squatting behind pieces of
bamboo matting or lacquered trays upon which rows of bottles
stand, are native doctors who sell all sorts of nostrums and
cure-alls that can possibly be needed by the human family, and
each dose is accompanied by a guarantee that it will surely cure.
These fellows are ignorant impostors and the municipal authorities
are careful to see that their drugs are harmless, while they make
no attempt to prevent them from swindling the people. It seems
to be a profitable trade, notwithstanding the popular faith in
the miraculous powers of the river.

Another class of prosperous humbugs is the fortune-tellers, who
are found around every temple and in every public place, ready
to forecast the fate of every enterprise that may be disclosed
to them; ready to predict good fortune and evil fortune, and
sometimes they display remarkable penetration and predict events
with startling accuracy.

Benares is as sacred to the Buddhists as it is to the Brahmins,
for it was here that Gautama, afterward called Buddha (a title
which means "The Enlightened"), lived in the sixth century before
Christ, and from here he sent out his missionaries to convert
the world. Gautama was a prince of the Sakya tribe, and of the
Rajput caste. He was born 620 B. C. and lived in great wealth
and luxury. Driving in his pleasure grounds one day he met a man
crippled with age; then a second man smitten with an incurable
disease; then a corpse, and finally a fakir or ascetic, walking
in a calm, dignified, serene manner. These spectacles set him
thinking, and after long reflection he decided to surrender his
wealth, to relinquish his happiness, and devote himself to the
reformation of his people. He left his home, his wife, a child
that had just been born to him, cut off his long hair, shaved
his head, clothed himself with rags, and taking nothing with
him but a brass bowl from which he could eat his food, and a
cup from which he could drink, he became a pilgrim, an inquirer
after Truth and Light. Having discovered that he could drink from
the hollow of his hand, he gave away his cup and kept nothing
but his bowl. That is the reason why every pilgrim and every
fakir, every monk and priest in India carries a brass bowl, for
although Buddhism is practically extinct in that country, the
teachings and the example of Gautama had a perpetual influence
over the Hindus.

After what is called the Great Renunciation, Gautama spent six
years mortifying the body and gradually reduced his food to one
grain of rice a day. But this brought him neither light nor peace
of mind. He thereupon abandoned further penance and devoted six
years to meditation, sitting under the now famous bo-tree, near
the modern town of Gaya. In the year 588 B. C. he obtained Complete
Enlightenment, and devoted the rest of his life to the instruction
of his disciples. He taught that all suffering is caused by indulging
the desires; that the only hope of relief lies in the suppression
of desire, and impressed his principles upon more millions of
believers than those of any other religion. It is the boast of
the Buddhists that no life was ever sacrificed; that no blood was
ever shed; that no suffering was ever caused by the propagation
of that faith and the conversion of the world.

After he became "enlightened," Gautama assumed the name of Buddha
and went to Benares, where he taught and preached, and had a
monastery at the town called Sarnath, now extinct, in the suburbs.
There, surrounded by heaps of ruins and rubbish, stand two great
topes or towers, the larger of which marks the spot where Buddha
preached his first sermon. It is supposed to have been built
in the sixth century of the Chinese era, for Hiouen Thsang, a
Chinese traveler who visited Sarnath in the seventh century,
describes the tower and monastery which was situated near it. It
is one of the most interesting as it is one of the most ancient
monuments in India, but we do not quite understand the purpose for
which it was erected. It is 110 feet high, 93 feet in diameter,
and built of solid masonry with the exception of a small chamber
in the center and a narrow shaft or chimney running up to the top.
The lower half is composed of immense blocks of stone clamped
together with iron, and at intervals the monument was encircled
by bands of sculptured relief fifteen feet wide. The upper part
was of brick, which is now in an advanced state of decay and
covered with a heavy crop of grass and bushes. A large tree grows
from the top.

There used to be an enormous monastery in the neighborhood, of
which the ruins remain. The cells and chapels were arranged around
a square court similar to the cloisters of modern monasteries.
A half mile distant is another tower and the ruins of other
monasteries, and every inch of earth in that part of the city is
associated with the life and labor of the great apostle of peace
and love, whose theology of sweetness and light and gentleness
was in startling contrast with the atrocious doctrines taught
by the Brahmins and the hideous rites practiced at the shrines
of the Hindu gods. But these towers are not the oldest relics
of Buddha. At Gaya, where he received the "enlightenment," the
actual birthplace of Buddhism, is a temple built in the year
500 A. D., and it stands upon the site of one that was 700 or
800 years older.

Benares is distinctly the city of Siva, but several thousand
other gods are worshiped there, including his several wives.
Uma is his first wife, and she is the exact counterpart of her
husband; Sati is his most devoted wife; Karali is his most horrible
wife; Devi, another of his wives, is the goddess of death; Kali
is the goddess of misfortune, and there are half a dozen other
ladies of his household whose business seems to be to terrorize
and distress their worshipers. But that is the ruling feature
of the Hindu religion. There is no sweetness or light in its
theology--it exists to make people unhappy and wretched, and to
bring misery, suffering and crime into the world.

The Hindus fear their gods, but do not love them, with perhaps
the exception of Vishnu, the second person in the Hindu trinity,
while Brahma is the third. These three are the supreme deities
in the pantheon, but Brahma is more of an abstract proposition
than an actual god. For purposes of worship the Hindus may be
divided into two classes--the followers of Siva and the followers
of Vishnu. They can be distinguished by the "god marks" or painted
signs upon their foreheads. Those who wear red are the adherents
of Siva, and the followers of Vishnu wear white. Subordinate
to these two great divinities are millions of other gods, and
it would take a volume to describe their various functions and
attributes.

Vishnu is a much more agreeable god than Siva, the destroyer; he
has some human feeling, and his various incarnations are friendly
heroes, who do kind acts and treat their worshipers tolerably
well.

The "Well of Healing," one of the holiest places in Benares,
is dedicated to Vishnu. He dug it himself, making a cavity in
the rock. Then, in the absence of water, he filled it with
perspiration from his own body. This remarkable assertion seems
to be confirmed by the foul odor that arises from the water,
which is three feet deep and about the consistency of soup. It
looks and smells as if it might have been a sample brought from
the Chicago River before the drainage canal was finished. It is
fed by an invisible spring, and there is no overflow, because,
after bathing in it to wash away their sins, the pilgrims drink
several cups of the filthy liquid, which often nauseates them,
and it is a miracle that any of them survive.

One of the most curious and picturesque of all the temples is
that of the goddess Durga, a fine building usually called the
Monkey Temple because of the number of those animals inhabiting
the trees around it. They are very tame and cunning and can spot
a tourist as far as they can see him. When they see a party of
strangers approaching the temple they begin to chatter in the
trees and then rush for the courtyard of the temple, where they
expect to be fed. It is one of the perquisites of the priests
to sell rice and other food for them at prices about ten times
more than it is worth, but the tourist has the fun of tossing
it to them and making them scramble for it. As Durga is the most
terrific of all of Siva's wives, and delights in death, torture,
bloodshed and every form of destruction, the Hindus are very
much afraid of her and the peace offerings left at this temple
are more liberal than at the others, a fact very much appreciated
by the priests.

Another of the most notable gods worshiped at Benares is Ganesa,
the first born of Siva and one of his horrible wives. He is the
God of Prudence and Policy, has the head of an elephant, which
is evidence of sagacity, and is attended by rats, an evidence
of wisdom and foresight. He has eight hands, and from the number
of appeals that are made to him he must keep them all busy. He is
invoked by Hindus of all sects and castes before undertaking any
business of importance. It is asserted that none of the million
deities is so often addressed as the God of Wisdom and Prudence.
If a man is undertaking any great enterprise, if he is starting in
a new business, or signing a contract, or entering a partnership;
if he is about to take a journey or buy a stock of goods or engage
in a negotiation, he appeals to Ganesa to assist him, and leaves
an offering at one of his temples as a sort of bribe. If a woman
is going to make a dress, or a servant changes his employer, or
if anyone begins any new thing, it is always safer to appeal
in advance to Ganesa, because he is a sensitive god, and if he
does not receive all the attention and worship he deserves is
apt to be spiteful. Some people are so particular that they never
begin a letter without saluting him in the first line.

Driving along the roads of this part of India one often sees
stones piled up against the trunk of a tree and at the top a
rude elephant's head, decorated with flowers or stained with oil
or red paint, and there will always be a little heap of gravel
before it. That elephant's head represents the god Ganesa, and
each stone represents an offering by some one who has passed
by, usually the poorest, who have not been able to visit the
temple, and, having nothing else to offer, not even a flower,
drop a stone before the rude shrine.

There are many sacred cows in Benares. You find them in temples
and wandering around the streets. Some of them are horribly diseased
and they are all lazy, fat and filthy. They have perfect freedom.
They are allowed to wander about and do as they please. They
feed from baskets of vegetables and salad that stand before the
groceries and in the markets, and sometimes consume the entire
stock of some poor huckster, who dare not drive them away or
even rebuke them. If he should attempt to do so the gods would
visit him with perpetual misfortunes. Children play around the
beasts, but no one ever abuses them. Pilgrims buy food for them
and stuff them with sweetmeats, and it is an act of piety and
merit to hang garlands over their horns and braid ribbons in
their tails. When they die they are buried with great ceremony,
like the sacred bulls of Egypt.

Benares is the principal center of the idol trade, and a large
part of the population are engaged in making images of the various
gods in gold, silver, brass, copper, wood, stone, clay and other
materials. Most of the work is done in the households. There
are several small factories, but none employs more than ten or
a dozen men, and the streets are lined with little shops, no
bigger than an ordinary linen closet in an American house. Each
opens entirely upon the street, there are no doors or windows,
and when the proprietor wants to close he puts up heavy wooden
shutters that fit into grooves in the threshold and the beam
that sustains the roof. The shelves that hang from the three
walls are covered with all kinds of images in all sizes and of
all materials, and between sales the proprietor squats on the
floor in the middle of his little establishment making more.
The largest number are made of brass and clay. They are shaped
in rude molds and afterward finished with the file and chisel.
The large idols found in the temples are often works of art,
but many of them and some of the most highly revered are of the
rudest workmanship.

There is a funny story that has been floating about for many
years that most of the idols worshiped in heathen lands are made
in Christian countries and shipped over by the car load. This
is certainly not true so far as India is concerned. There is
no evidence upon the records of the custom-house to show that
any idols are imported and it would be impossible for any
manufacturer in the United States or Europe to compete with the
native artisans of Benares or other cities.



XXVIII

AMERICAN MISSIONS IN INDIA

About 5,000 missionaries of various religions and cults are working
among the people of India; two-thirds of them Protestants, and about
1,500 Americans, including preachers, teachers, doctors, nurses,
editors and all concerned. Their names fill a large directory,
and they represent all grades and shades of theology, philosophy,
morality and other methods of making human beings better, and
providing for the salvation of their souls. India is a fertile
and favorite field for such work. The languid atmosphere of the
country and the contemplative disposition of the native encourage
it. The Aryan always was a good listener, and you must remember
that India is a very big country--a continent, indeed, with a mixed
multitude of 300,000,000 souls, some striving for the unattainable
and others hopelessly submerged in bogs of vice, superstition
and ignorance. There are several stages of civilization also.
You can find entire tribes who still employ stone implements and
weapons, and several provinces are governed by a feudal system
like that of Europe in the middle ages. There are thousands who
believe that marriage is forbidden by the laws of nature; there
are millions of men with several wives, and many women with more
than one husband. There are tribes in which women control all
the power, hold all the offices, own all the property and keep
the line of inheritance on their side. There are vast multitudes,
on the other hand, in India who believe that women have no souls
and no hereafter, and advocate the murder of girl babies as fast
as they are born, saving just enough to do the cooking and mending
and to keep the race alive. Communities that have reached an
intellectual culture above that of any nation in Europe are
surrounded by 250,000,000 human beings who cannot read or write.
There are thinkers who have reasoned out the profoundest problems
that have ever perplexed mankind, and framed systems of philosophy
as wise as the world has ever known, and many of their wives
and daughters have never been outside of the houses in which
they were born; all of which indicates the size of the field of
missionary labor and the variety of work to be done.

India contains some of the most sublime and beautiful of all the
non-Christian religions, and perfect systems of morals devised
by men who do not believe in a future life. More than 60,000,000
of the inhabitants accept Jesus Christ as an inspired teacher
and worship the same God that we do under another name, and more
than three times that number believe that the Ruler of All Things
is a demon who delights in cruelty and slaughter and gives his
favor only in exchange for suffering and torture. A tribe in
northwest India believes that God lives on the top of a mountain
in plain sight of them, and up in the northeast are the Nagas,
who declare that after the Creator made men He put them into a
cellar from which they escaped into the world because one day
he forgot to put back the stone that covers a hole in the top.
More fantastic theories about the origin and the destiny of man
are to be found in India than in any other country, and those
who have faith in them speak 167 different languages, as returned
by the census. Some of these languages are spoken by millions
of people; others by a few thousand only; some of them have a
literature of poetry and philosophy that has survived the ages,
while others are unwritten and only used for communication by
wild and isolated tribes in the mountains or the jungles.

Christian missionaries have been at work in India for four hundred
years. St. Francis Xavier was one of the pioneers. Protestants
have been there for a little more than a century, and since 1804
have distributed 13,000,000 of Bibles. During the last ten years
they have sold 5,000,000 copies of the Scriptures either complete
or in part; for the Gospels in each of the great Indian languages,
like two sparrows, can now be bought for a farthing. In 1898,
497,000 copies were issued; in 1902, more than 600,000; and thus
the work increases. More than 140 colporteurs, or agents, mostly
natives, are peddling the Bible for sale in different parts of
India. They do nothing else. More than 400 native women are engaged
in placing it in the secluded homes of the Hindus among women of
the harems, and teaching them to read it. No commercial business
is conducted with greater energy, enterprise and ability than
the work of the Bible Society, in this empire, and while the
missionaries have enormous and perplexing difficulties to overcome,
they, too, are making remarkable headway.

You frequently hear thoughtless people, who know nothing of the
facts, but consider it fashionable to sneer at the missionaries,
declare that Hindus never are converted. The official census
of the government of India, which is based upon inquiries made
directly of the individuals themselves, by sworn agents, and
is not compiled from the reports of the missionary societies,
shows an increase in the number of professing Christians from
2,036,000 in 1891 to 2,664,000 in 1901, a gain of 625,000, or
30 per cent in ten years, and in some of the provinces it has
been remarkable. In the Central Provinces and United Provinces
the increase in the number of persons professing Christianity,
according to the census, was more than 300 per cent. In Assam,
which is in the northeastern extremity of India, and the Punjab,
which occupies a similar position in the northwest, the increase
was nearly 200 per cent. In Bengal, of which Calcutta is the
chief city, the gain was nearly 50 per cent; in the province
of Bombay it was nearly 40 per cent, and in Madras and Burmah
it was 20 per cent.

The dean of the American missionary colony is Rev. R. A. Hume,
of Ahmednagar, who belongs to the third, and his daughter to
the fourth, generation of missionaries in the family. He was
born in Bombay, where his father and his grandfather preached
and taught for many years. Rev. Mr. Ballantine, the grandfather
of Mrs. Hume, went over from southern Indiana in 1835 and settled
at Ahmednagar, where the Protestants had begun work four years
previous.

The first Christian mission ever undertaken by Americans in a
foreign country was at Bombay in 1813, when Gordon Hall and Samuel
Newall, fresh from Williams College, went to convert the heathen
Hindus. The governor general and the officials of the East India
Company ordered them away, for fear that they would stir up trouble
among the natives and suffer martyrdom, but they would not go, and
were finally allowed to remain under protest. A Baptist society
in England had sent out three men--Messrs. Carey, Ward and
Marshman--a few years before. They went to Calcutta, but the
East India Company would not permit them to preach or teach,
so they removed to Gerampore, where they undertook evangelical
work under the protection of the Dutch. But nowadays the British
government cannot do enough to help the missionaries, particularly
the Americans, who are treated in the same generous manner as
those of the Established Church of England, and are given grants
of money, land and every assistance that they officially could
receive.

Speaking of the services of the missionaries during the recent
famine, Lord Curzon said: "I have seen cases where the entire
organization of a vast area and the lives of thousands of beings
rested upon the shoulders of a single individual, laboring on
in silence and in solitude, while his bodily strength was fast
ebbing away. I have known of natives who, inspired by his example,
have thrown themselves with equal ardor into the struggle, and
have unmurmuringly laid down their lives for their countrymen.
Particularly must I mention the noble efforts of missionary agencies
of various Christian denominations. If there ever was an occasion
in which it was open to them to vindicate the highest standards
of their beneficent calling it was here, and strenuously and
faithfully have they performed the task."

In 1901 the government of India recognized the labors and devotion
of the American missionaries during the previous famine by bestowing
upon Dr. Hume the Kaiser-I-Hind gold medal, which is never bestowed
except for distinguished public services, and is not conferred
every year. It is considered the highest honor that can be bestowed
upon a civilian.

Sir Muncherjee Bharnajgree, a Parsee member of parliament, recently
asserted that the American missionaries were doing more for the
industrial development of the Indian Empire than the government
itself. The government recognizes the importance of their work
and has given liberal grants to the industrial schools of the
American Board of Foreign Missions, which are considered the
most successful and perhaps the most useful in India. It is
significant to find that the most important of these schools
was founded by Sir D. M. Petit, a wealthy Parsee merchant and
manufacturer, at the city of Ahmednagar, where 400 bright boys
are being trained for mechanics and artisans under the direction
of James Smith, formerly of Toronto and Chicago. D. C. Churchill,
formerly of Oberlin, Ohio, and a graduate of the Boston School
of Technology, a mechanical engineer of remarkable genius, has
another school in which hand weaving of fine fabrics is taught
to forty or fifty boys who show remarkable skill. Mr. Churchill,
who came out in 1901, soon detected the weakness of the native
method of weaving, and has recently invented a hand loom which
can turn out thirty yards of cloth a day, and will double, and
in many cases treble, the productive capacity of the average
worker. And he expects soon to erect a large building in which
he can set up the new looms and accommodate a much larger number
of pupils. J. B. Knight, a scientific agriculturist who also came
out in 1901, has a class of forty boys, mostly orphans whose
fathers and mothers died during the late famine. They are being
trained in agricultural chemistry and kindred subjects in order to
instruct the native farmers throughout that part of the country.
Rev. R. Windsor, of Oberlin, is running another school founded by
Sir D. M. Petit at Sirur, 125 miles east of Bombay, where forty
boys are being educated as machinists and mechanics. At Ahmednagar,
Mrs. Wagentreiver has a school of 125 women and girls, mostly
widows and orphans of the late famine, who are being taught the
art of lacemaking, and most of her graduates are qualified to
serve as instructors in other lace schools which are constantly
being established in other parts of India. There is also a school
for potters, and the Americans are sending to the School of Art
at Bombay sixty boys to be designers, draughtsmen, illustrators
and qualified in other of the industrial arts.

It is interesting to discover that the School of Industrial Arts
founded by Sir D. M. Petit at Ahmednagar owes its origin to the
Chicago Manual Training School, whose aims and methods were carefully
studied and applied to Indian conditions with equally satisfactory
results. The principal and founder of the school, James Smith, was
sent out and is supported by the New England Congregational Church
on the North Side, Chicago, and generous financial assistance
has been received from Mr. Victor F. Lawson and other members of
that church. It was started in 1891 with classes in woodwork and
mechanical drawing, and has prospered until it has now outgrown
in numbers and importance the high school with which it was
originally connected.

This school is the most conspicuous example of combined English
education and industry in western India, and has received the
highest praise from government officers. Its grant from the
government, too, is higher than that of any other school in the
province. The government paid half of the cost of all the buildings
and equipments, while a very large part of the other half was
paid by people of this country, foremost among the donors being
the late Sir D. M. Petit, Bart., who built and equipped the first
building entirely at his own expense.

Mr. Churchill's workshops have also been very highly commended by
the government inspectors, and his invention has attracted wide
notice because it has placed within reach of the local weavers
an apparatus which is an immense saving in labor and will secure
its operators at least three times the results and compensations
for the same expenditure of time and toil. It thus affords them
means of earning a more comfortable living, and at the same time
gives the people a supply of cheap cotton cloth which they require,
and utilizes defective yarn which the steam power mills cannot
use. The government inspectors publicly commend Mr. Churchill
for declining to patent his invention and for leaving it free
to be used by everybody without royalty of any kind.

It is exceedingly gratifying to hear from all sides these and
other similar encomiums of the American missionaries, and it
makes a Yankee proud to see the respect that is felt for and paid
to them. Lord Curzon, the governors of the various provinces and
other officials are hearty in their commendation of American men
and women and American methods, and especially for the services
our missionaries rendered during the recent famines and plagues.
They testify that in all popular discontent and uprisings they
have exerted a powerful influence for peace and order and for
the support of the government. Lord Northcote, recently governor
of Bombay, in a letter to President Roosevelt, said:

"In Ahmednagar I have seen for myself what practical results
have been accomplished, and during the famine we owed much to the
practical schemes of benevolence of the American missionaries."

On the first of January, 1904, the viceroy of India bestowed upon
William I. Chamberlin of the American Mission College at Madras the
Kaiser-I-Hind gold medal for his services to the public. A similar
medal was conferred upon Dr. Louis Klopsch of the Christian Herald,
New York, who collected and forwarded $600,000 for direct famine
relief and provided for the support of 5,000 famine orphans for
five years. Other large sums were sent from the United States.
The money was not given away. The American committee worked in
cooperation with the agents of the government and other relief
organizations, so as to avoid duplication. They provided clothing
for the naked and work at reasonable wages for the starving. They
bought seed for farmers and assisted them to hire help to put
it in the ground. The rule of the committee in the disbursement
of this money was not to pauperize the people, but to help those
who helped themselves, and to require a return in some form for
every penny that was given. Dr. Hume says: "The gift was charity,
but the system was business." The American relief money directly
and indirectly reached several millions of people and has provided
for the maintenance and education of more than five thousand
orphans, boys and girls, who were left homeless and helpless
when their fathers and mothers died of starvation. More than
320 widows, entirely homeless, friendless and dependent, were
placed in comfortable quarters, taught how to work, and are now
self-supporting. Two homes for widows are maintained by the
missionaries of the American Board, one in Bombay in charge of
Miss Abbott and her sister, Mrs. Dean, with nearly 200 inmates,
and the other at Ahmednagar, in charge of Mrs. Hume.

The medical and dispensary work of the American missions is also
very extensive, and its importance to the peasant class and the
blessings it confers upon the poor cannot be realized by those
people who have never visited India and other countries of the
East and seen the condition of women. As I told you in a previous
chapter, ninety per cent of the Hindu population of India will not
admit men physicians to their homes to see women patients, and the
only relief that the wives, mothers and daughters and sisters in
the zenanas can obtain when they are ill is from the old-fashioned
herb doctors and charm mixers of the bazaars. Now American women
physicians are scattered all over India healing the wounded and
curing the sick. There are few from other countries, although
the English, Scotch and German Lutherans have many missions.



XXIX

COTTON, TEA, AND OPIUM

Next to the United States, India is the largest cotton-producing
country in the world, and, with the exception of Galveston and
New Orleans, Bombay claims to be the largest cotton market. The
shipments have never reached $50,000,000 a year, but have gone
very near that point. Every large state in southern India produces
cotton, but Bombay and Berar are the principal producers. The
area for the whole of India in 1902-3 was 14,232,000 acres, but
this has been often exceeded. In 1893-4 the area planted was
nearly 15,500,000. The average is about 14,000,000 acres. Cotton
is usually grown in conjunction with some other crop, and in
certain portions of India two crops a year are produced on the
same soil. The following table will show the number of bales
produced during the years named:

            Bales of                  Bales of
            400 lbs.                  400 lbs.

  1892-3   1,924,000        1897-8   2,198,000
  1893-4   2,180,000        1898-9   2,425,000
  1894-5   1,957,000        1899-0     843,000
  1895-6   2,364,000        1900-1   2,309,000
  1896-7   1,929,000        1901-2   1,960,000

The failure of the crop in 1899-1900 was due to the drought which
caused the great famine.

About one-half of the crop is used in the local mills. The greater
part of the remainder is shipped to Japan, which is the best
customer. Germany comes next, and, curiously enough, Great Britain
is one of the smallest purchasers. Indian cotton is exclusively of
the short staple variety and not nearly so good as that produced
in Egypt. Repeated attempts have been made to introduce Egyptian
cotton, but, while some of the experiments have been temporarily
successful, it deteriorates the second year.

The cost of producing cotton is very much less than in the United
States, because the land always yields a second crop of something
else, which, under ordinary circumstances, ought to pay taxes
and often fixed charges, as well as the wages of labor, which
are amazingly low, leaving the entire proceeds of the cotton
crop to be counted as clear gain. The men and women who work in
the cotton fields of India are not paid more than two dollars
a month. That is considered very good wages. All the shipping is
done in the winter season; the cotton is brought in by railroad
and lies in bags on the docks until it is transferred to the
holds of ships. During the winter season the cotton docks are
the busiest places around Bombay.

The manufacture of cotton is increasing rapidly. There are now
eighty-four mills in Bombay alone, with a capital of more than
$25,000,000, and all of them have been established since 1870,
including some of the most modern, up-to-date plants in existence.
The people of Bombay have about $36,000,000 invested in mills,
most of it being owned by Parsees. There are mills scattered all
over the country. The industry dates from 1851, and during the
last twenty years the number of looms has increased 100 per cent
and spindles 172 per cent. January 1, 1891, there were 127 mills,
with 117,922 operatives, representing an investment of £7,844,000.
On the 31st of March, 1904, according to the official records,
there were 201 cotton mills in India, containing 43,676,000 looms
and 5,164,360 spindles, with a combined capital of £12,175,000.
This return, however, does not include thirteen mills which were
not heard from, and they will probably increase the number of
looms and spindles considerably and the total capital to more
than $60,000,000.

The wages paid operatives in the cotton mills of India are almost
incredibly low. I have before me an official statement from a
mill at Cawnpore, which is said to give a fair average for the
entire country. The mills of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta and
other large cities pay about one-half more. At smaller places
farther in the north the rates are much less. The wages are given
in rupees and decimals of a rupee, which in round numbers is
worth 33 cents in our money.

  MONTHLY WAGES IN A COTTON MILL AT CAWNPORE FOR THE
   YEARS NAMED (IN RUPEES AND DECIMALS OF A RUPEE).

                           1885.   1890.   1900.   1903.
  Cardroom--
    Head mistry            17.00   24.80   34.90   33.00
    Card cleaner            5.00    5.25    8.70    8.84
    Spare hands             5.00    5.25    5.90    6.58
  Muleroom--
    Head mistry             8.50   19.60   34.00   36.42
    Minder                  5.00    6.37    6.20    7.12
    Spare hands             5.00    5.00    6.00    6.50
  Weaving department--
    Mistry                 13.50   18.00   18.80   17.81
    Healder                 5.00    5.50    7.60    7.09
    Weaver                  6.00   10.50    8.62    9.14
  Finishing department--
    Washers and bleachers   6.00   18.00   18.70   21.25
    Dyer                    5.00    5.50    5.50    6.08
    Finishing man           5.00    5.50    6.00    6.53
  Engineering shop--
    Boiler mistry           6.00    9.00    9.30   10.16
    Engine man              8.00   11.00   10.80   14.62
    Oil man                 6.00    6.00    6.20    6.64
    Boiler man              6.00    6.00    6.90    7.31
    Carpenter              10.00   10.00   11.10   11.67
    Blacksmith             11.50   13.50   13.80   15.84
    Fitter                         10.00   11.00   13.98

These wages, however, correspond with those received by persons in
other lines of employment. The postmen employed by the government,
or letter carriers as we call them, receive a maximum of only
12.41 rupees a month, which is about $3.50, and a minimum of
9.25, which is equivalent to $3.08 in our money. Able-bodied
and skilled mechanics--masons, carpenters and blacksmiths--get
no more than $2.50 to $3.50 a month, and bookkeepers, clerks
and others having indoor occupations, from $4.10 to $5.50 per
month. Taking all of the wage-earners together in India, their
compensation per month is just about as much as the same class
receive per day in the United States.

The encouragement of manufacturing is one of the methods the
government has adopted to prevent or mitigate famines, and its
policy is gradually becoming felt by the increase of mechanical
industries and the employment of the coolie class in lines other
than agriculture. At the same time, the problem is complicated
by the fact that the greater part of the mechanical products of
India have always been produced in the households. Each village
has its own weavers, carpenters, brass workers, blacksmiths and
potters, who are not able to compete with machine-made goods.
Many of these local craftsmen have attained a high standard of
artistic skill in making up silk, wool, linen, cotton, carpets,
brass, iron, silver, wood, ivory and other materials. But their
arts must necessarily decay or depreciate if the local markets are
flooded with cheap products from factories, and there a question
of serious consequence has arisen.

There is very active rivalry in the tea trade of late years.
China formerly supplied the world. Thirty years ago very little
was exported from any other country. Then Japan came in as an
energetic competitor and sent its tea around everywhere, but
the consumption increased as rapidly as the cultivation, so that
China kept her share of the trade. About fifteen years ago India
came into the market; and then Ceylon. The Ceylon export trade
has been managed very skillfully. There has been an enormous
increase in the acreage planted, and 92 per cent of the product
has been sent to the United Kingdom, where it has gradually
supplanted that of China and Japan. Australia has also become
a large consumer of India tea, and the loyalty with which the
two great colonies of Great Britain have stood together is
commendable. In England alone the consumption of India tea has
increased nearly 70 per cent within the last ten years. This is
the result of careful and intelligent effort on the part of the
government. While wild tea is found in Assam and in several of
the states adjoining the Himalayas, tea growing is practically
a new thing in India compared with China and Japan. It was not
until 1830, when Lord William Benthinck was viceroy, that any
considerable amount of tea was produced in India. He introduced
the plant from China and brought men from that country at the
expense of the East India Company to teach the Hindus how to
cultivate it. For many years the results were doubtful and the
efforts of the government were ridiculed. But for the great faith
of two or three patriotic officials the scheme would have been
abandoned. It was remarkably successful, however, until now the
area under tea includes more than half a million acres, the number
of persons employed in the industry exceeds 750,000, the capital
invested in plantations is more than $100,000,000 and the approximate
average yield is about 200,000,000 pounds. In 1903 159,000,000
pounds were exported to England alone, and the total exports
were 182,594,000 pounds. The remainder is consumed in India,
and more than a million pounds annually are purchased for the
use of the army. Among other consumers the United States bought
1,080,000 and China 1,337,000 pounds. Russia, which is the largest
consumer of tea of all the nations, bought 1,625,000 pounds,
and this was a considerable increase, showing that India tea is
becoming popular there.

The industry in India and Ceylon, however, is in a flourishing
condition, the area under cultivation has expanded 85 per cent
and the product has increased 167 per cent during the last fifteen
years. The cultivation is limited to sections where there is a
heavy rainfall and a humid climate, because tea requires water
while it is growing as well as while it is being consumed. Where
these conditions exist it is a profitable crop. In the valleys
of Assam the yield often reaches 450 pounds to the acre. The
quality of the tea depends upon the manner of cultivation, the
character of the soil, the amount of moisture and sunshine and
the age of the leaf at the time of picking. Young, tender leaves
have the finest flavor, and bring the highest prices, but shrink
enormously in curing, and many growers consider it more profitable
to leave them until they are well matured. It requires about
four pounds of fresh leaves to make one pound of dry leaves,
and black tea and green tea are grown from the same bush. If the
leaf is completely dried immediately after picking it retains
its green color, but if it is allowed to stand and sweat for
several hours a kind of fermentation takes place which turns it
black.

There are now about 236,000 acres of coffee orchards in India,
about 111,760 persons are employed upon them and the exports
will average 27,000,000 pounds a year. The coffee growers of
India complain that they cannot compete with Brazil and other
Spanish-American countries where overproduction has forced down
prices below the margin of profit, but the government is doing
as much as it can to encourage and sustain the industry, and
believes that they ought at least to grow enough to supply the
home market. But comparatively little coffee is used in India.
Nearly everybody drinks tea.

Three million acres of land is devoted to the cultivation of
sugar, both cane and beet. During the Cuban revolution the industry
secured quite an impetus, but since the restoration of peace and
the adjustment of affairs, prices have gone down considerably,
and the sugar of India finds itself in direct competition with
the bounty-paid product of Germany, France, Belgium, Austria
and other European countries. In order to protect its planters
the government has imposed countervailing duties against European
sugar, but there has been no perceptible effect from this policy
as yet.

The indigo trade has been very important, but is also in peril
because of the manufacture of chemical dyes in Germany and France.
Artificial indigo and other dyes can be produced in a laboratory
much cheaper than they can be grown in the fields, and, naturally,
people will buy the low-priced article, Twenty years ago India
had practically a monopoly of the indigo trade, and 2,000,000
acres of land were planted to that product, while the value of
the exports often reached $20,000,000. The area and the product
have been gradually decreasing, until, in 1902, only a little
more than 800,000 acres were planted and the exports were valued
at less than $7,000,000.

The quinine industry is also in a deplorable state. About thirty
years ago the Indian government sent botanists to South America
to collect young cinchona trees. They were introduced into various
parts of the empire, where they flourished abundantly until the
export of bark ran nearly to 4,000,000 pounds a year, but since
1899 there has been a steady fall. Exports have declined, prices
have been low, and the government plantations have not paid expenses.
Rather than export the bark at a loss the government has manufactured
sulphate at its own factories and has furnished it at cost price
to the health authorities of the native states, the British
provinces, the army and the hospitals and dispensaries.

One of the most interesting places about Calcutta is the Royal
Botanical Gardens, where many important experiments have been
made for the benefit of the agricultural industry of India. It is
one of the most beautiful and extensive arboreums in the world,
and at the same time its economic usefulness has been unsurpassed
by any similar institution. It was established nearly 150 years
ago by Colonel Kyd, an ardent botanist, under the auspices of
the East India Company, and from its foundation it was intended
to be, as it has been, a source of botanical information, a place
for botanical experiments, and a garden in which plants of economic
value could be cultivated and issued to the public for the purpose
of introducing new products into India. It has been of incalculable
value in all these particulars, not only by introducing new plants,
but by demonstrating which could be grown with profit.

[Illustration: GREAT BANYAN TREE--BOTANICAL GARDEN--CALCUTTA]

The garden lies along the bank of the Ganges, about six miles
south of the city, and is filled with trees and plants of the
rarest varieties and the greatest beauty you can imagine. No
other garden will equal it except perhaps that at Colombo. It
is 272 acres in extent, has a large number of ponds and lakes,
and many fine avenues of palms, mahogany, mangos, tamarinds,
plantains and other trees, and its greatest glory is a banyan
tree which is claimed to be the largest in the world.

A banyan, as you know, represents a miniature forest rather than
a single tree, because it has branches which grow downward as
well as upward, and take root in the ground and grow with great
rapidity. This tree is about 135 years old. The circumference of
its main trunk five and a half feet from the ground is 51 feet.
Its topmost leaf is eighty-five feet from the ground. It has 464
aerial roots, as the branches which run down to the ground are
called, and the entire tree is 938 feet in circumference. It
is large enough to shelter an entire village under its foliage.

Several other remarkable trees are to be found in that garden.
One of them is called "The Crazy Tree," because about thirty-five
different varieties of trees have been grafted upon the same
trunk, and, as a consequence, it bears that many different kinds
of leaves. Its foliage suggests a crazy quilt.

Benares is the center of the opium traffic of India, which, next
to the land tax, is the most productive source of revenue to
the government. It is a monopoly inherited from the Moguls in
the middle ages and passed down from them through the East India
Company to the present government, and the regulations for the
cultivation, manufacture and sale of the drug have been very
little changed for several hundred years. There have been many
movements, public, private, national, international, religious
and parliamentary, for its suppression; there have been many
official inquiries and investigations; volumes have been written
setting forth all the moral questions involved, and it is safe
to say that every fact and argument on both sides has been laid
before the public; yet it is an astonishing fact that no official
commission or legally constituted body, not a single Englishman who
has been personally responsible for the well-being of the people of
India or has even had an influential voice in the affairs of the
empire or has ever had actual knowledge and practical experience
concerning the effects of opium, has ever advocated prohibition
either in the cultivation of the poppy or in the manufacture of
the drug. Many have made suggestions and recommendations for
the regulation and restriction of the traffic, and the existing
laws are the result of the experience of centuries. But anti-opium
movements have been entirely in the hands of missionaries, religious
and moral agitators in England and elsewhere outside of India,
and politicians who have denounced the policy of the government
to obtain votes against the party that happened to be in power.

This is an extraordinary statement, but it is true. It goes without
saying that the use of opium in any form is almost universally
considered one of the most dangerous and destructive of vices,
and it is not necessary in this connection to say anything on
that side of the controversy. It is interesting, however, and
important, to know the facts and arguments used by the Indian
government to justify its toleration of the vice, which, generally
speaking, is based upon three propositions:

1. That the use of opium in moderation is necessary to thousands
of honest, hard-working Hindus, and that its habitual consumers
are among the most useful, the most vigorous and the most loyal
portion of the population. The Sikhs, who are the flower of the
Indian army and the highest type of the native, are habitual
opium smokers, and the Rajputs, who are considered the most manly,
brave and progressive of the native population, use it almost
universally.

2. That the government cannot afford to lose the revenue and
much less afford to undertake the expense and assume the risk of
rebellion and disturbances incurred by any attempt at prohibition.

3. That the export of opium to China and other countries is
legitimate commerce.

The opium belt of India is about 600 miles long and 180 miles
wide, lying just above a line drawn from Bombay to Calcutta. The
total area cultivated with poppies will average 575,000 acres.
The crop is grown in a few months in the summer, so that the land
can produce another crop of corn or wheat during the rest of the
year. About 1,475,000 people are engaged in the cultivation of the
poppy and about 6,000 in the manufacture of the drug. The area
is regulated by the government commissioners. The smallest was in
1892, when only 454,243 acres were planted, and the maximum was
reached in 1900, when 627,311 acres were planted. In the latter
year the government adopted 625,000 acres as the standard area,
and 48,000 chests as the standard quantity to be produced in
British india. Hereafter these figures will not be exceeded. The
largest amount ever produced was in 1872, when the total quantity
manufactured in British India was 61,536 chests of 140 pounds
average weight. The lowest amount during the last thirty-five
years was in 1894, when only 37,539 chests were produced. In
addition to this from 20,000 to 30,000 chests are produced in
the native states.

The annual average value of the crop for the last twenty years
has been about $60,000,000 in American money, the annual revenue
has been about $24,000,000, and the officials say that this is a
moderate estimate of the sum which the reformers ask the government
of India to sacrifice by suppressing the trade. In addition to
this the growers receive about $5,500,000 for opium "trash,"
poppy seeds, oil and other by-products which are perfectly free
from opium. The "trash" is made of stalks and leaves and is used
at the factories for packing purposes; the seeds of the poppy
are eaten raw and parched, are ground for a condiment in the
preparation of food, and oil is produced from them for table,
lubricating and illuminating purposes, and for making soaps,
paints, pomades and other toilet articles. Oil cakes made from the
fiber of the seeds after the oil has been expressed are excellent
food for cattle, being rich in nitrogen, and the young seedlings,
which are removed at the first weeding of the crop, are sold in
the markets for salad and are very popular with the lower classes.

No person can cultivate poppies in India without a license from
the government, and no person can sell his product to any other
than government agents, who ship it to the official factories at
Patna and Ghazipur, down the River Ganges a little below Benares.
Any violation of the regulations concerning the cultivation of
the poppy, the manufacture, transport, possession, import or
export, sale or use of opium, is punished by heavy penalties,
both fine and imprisonment. The government regulates the extent
of cultivation according to the state of the market and the stock
of opium on hand. It pays an average of $1 a pound for the raw
opium, and wherever necessary the opium commissioners are authorized
to advance small sums to cultivators to enable them to pay the
expense of the crop. These advances are deducted from the amount
due when the opium is delivered. The yield, taking the country
together, will average about twelve and a half pounds, or about
twelve dollars per acre, not including the by-products.

The raw opium arrives at the factory in big earthen jars in the
form of a paste, each jar containing about 87-1/2 pounds. It
is carefully tested for quality and purity and attempts at
adulteration are severely punished. The grower is paid cash by
the government agents. The jars, having been emptied into large
vats, are carefully scraped and then smashed so as to prevent
scavengers from obtaining opium from them, and there is a mountain
of potsherds on the river bank beside the factory.

Each vat contains about 20,000 pounds of opium, lying six or
eight inches deep, and about the consistency of ordinary paste.
Hundreds of coolies are employed to mix it by trampling it with
their bare feet. The work is severe upon the muscles of the legs
and the tramplers have to be relieved every half hour. Three
gangs are generally kept at work, resting one hour and working
half an hour. Ropes are stretched for them to take hold of. After
the stuff is thoroughly mixed it is made up into cakes by men
and women, who wrap it in what is known as opium "trash," pack
it in boxes and seal them hermetically for export. Each cake
weighs about ten pounds, is about the size of a croquet ball,
and is worth from ten to fifteen dollars, according to its purity
under assay.

The largest part of the product is shipped to China, but a certain
number of chests are retained for sale to licensed dealers in
different provinces by the excise department. In 1904 there were
8,730 licensed shops, generally distributed throughout the entire
empire. But it is claimed by Lord Curzon that the average number
of consumers is only about two in every thousand of the population.

The revenue from licenses is very large. No dealer is permitted
to sell more than three tolas (about one and one-eighth ounces)
to any person, and no opium can be consumed upon the premises
of the dealer. Private smoking clubs and public opium dens were
forbidden in 1891, but the strict enforcement of the law has been
considered inexpedient for many reasons, chief of which is that
less opium is consumed when it is smoked in these places than when
it is used privately in the form of pills, which are more common
in India than elsewhere. Frequent investigation has demonstrated
that opium consumers are more apt to use it to excess when it is
taken in private than when it is taken in company, and there are
innumerable regulations for the government of smoking-rooms and
clubs and for the restriction and discouragement of the habit.
The amount consumed in India is about 871,820 pounds annually.
The amount exported will average 9,800,000 pounds.

Opium intended for export is sold at auction at Calcutta at the
beginning of every month, and, in order to prevent speculation,
the number of chests to be sold each month during the year is
announced in January. Considerable fluctuation in prices is caused
by the demand and the supply on hand in China. The lowest price
on record was obtained at the June sale in 1898, when all that
was offered went for 929 rupees per chest of 140 pounds, while
the highest price ever obtained was 1,450 rupees per chest. The
exports of opium vary considerably. The maximum, 86,469 chests,
was reached in 1891; the minimum, 59,632, in 1896.

The consumption in India during the last few years has apparently
decreased. This is attributed to several reasons, including increased
prices, restrictive measures for the suppression of the vice, the
famine, changes in the habits of the people, and smuggling; but
it is the conviction of all the officials concerned in handling
opium that its use is not so general as formerly, and its abuse
is very small. They claim that it is used chiefly by hard-working
people and enables them to resist fatigue and sustain privation,
and that the prevailing opinion that opium consumers are all
degraded, depraved and miserable wretches, enfeebled in body
and mind, is not true. It is asserted by the inspectors that
the greater part of the opium sold in India is used by moderate
people, who take their daily dose and are actually benefited
rather than injured by it. At the same time it is admitted that
the drug is abused by many, and that the habit is usually acquired
by people suffering from painful diseases, who begin by taking
a little for relief and gradually increase the dose until they
cannot live without it.

In 1895 an unusually active agitation for the suppression of the
trade resulted in the appointment of a parliamentary commission,
of which Lord Brassey was chairman. They made a thorough
investigation, spending several months in India, examining more
than seven hundred witnesses, of which 466 were natives, and
their conclusions were that it is the abuse and not the use of
opium that is harmful, and "that its use among the people of
India as a rule is a moderate use, that excess is exceptional
and is condemned by public opinion; that the use of opium in
moderation is not attended by injurious consequences, and that no
extended physical or moral degradation is caused by the habit."



XXX

CALCUTTA, THE CAPITAL OF INDIA

Calcutta is a modern city compared with the rest of India. It has
been built around old Fort William, which was the headquarters
of the East India Company 200 years ago, and is situated upon the
bank of the River Hoogly, one of the many mouths of the Ganges,
about ninety miles from the Bay of Bengal. The current is so swift
and the channel changes so frequently that the river cannot be
navigated at night, nor without a pilot. The native pilots are
remarkably skillful navigators, and seem to know by instinct
how the shoals shift. For several miles below the city the banks
of the river are lined with factories of all kinds, which have
added great wealth to the empire. Old Fort William disappeared
many years ago, and a new fort was erected a mile or two farther
down the river, where it could command the approaches to the
city, but that also is now old-fashioned, and could not do much
execution if Calcutta were attacked. The fortifications near
the mouth of the river are supposed to be quite formidable, but
Calcutta is not a citadel, and in case of war must be defended
by battle ships and other floating fortresses. It is one of the
cities of India which shows a rapid growth of population, the
gain during ten years having been 187,178, making the total
population, by the census of 1901, 1,026,987.

The city takes its name from a village which stood in the
neighborhood at the time the East India Company located there.
It was famous for a temple erected in honor of Kali, the fearful
wife of the god Siva, the most cruel, vindictive and relentless
of all the heathen deities. The temple still stands, being more
than 400 years old, and "Kali, the Black One," still sits upon her
altar, hideous in appearance, gorgon-headed, wearing a necklace
of human skulls and dripping with fresh blood from the morning
sacrifice of sheep and goats. She brings pestilence, famine, war
and sorrows and suffering of all kinds, and can only be propitiated
by the sacrifice of life. Formerly nothing but human blood would
satisfy her, and thousands, some claim tens of thousands, of
victims have been slain before her image in that ancient temple.
Human offerings were forbidden by the English many years ago,
but it is believed that they are occasionally made even now when
famine and plague are afflicting the people. During the late
famine it is suspected that an appeal for mercy was sealed with
the sacrifice of infants. Residents of the neighborhood assert
that human heads, dripping with blood and decorated with flowers,
have been seen in the temple occasionally since 1870. It is the
only notable temple in Calcutta, and is visited by tourists, but
they are allowed to go only so far and no farther, for fear that
Kali might be provoked by the intrusion. It is a ghastly, filthy,
repulsive place, and was formerly the southern headquarters of
that organized caste of religious assassins known as Thugs.

A little beyond the Temple of Kali is the burning ghat of Calcutta.
Here the Hindus bring the bodies of their dead and burn them on
funeral pyres. The cremations may be witnessed every morning
by anyone who cares to take the trouble to drive out there. They
take place in an open area surrounded by temples and shrines
on one side, and large piles of firewood and the palm cottages
of the attendants on the other. The river which flows by the
burning ground is covered with all kinds of native craft, carrying
on commerce between the city and the country, and the ashes of
the dead are cast between them upon the sacred waters from a
flight of stone steps which leads to the river's brink. There is
no more objection to a stranger attending the burning ceremonies
than would be offered to his presence at a funeral in the United
States. Indeed, friends who frequently accompany the bodies of
the dead feel flattered at the attention and often take bunches
of flowers from the bier and present them to bystanders.

The Black Hole of Calcutta, of which you have read so much, no
longer exists. Its former site is now partially built over, but
Lord Curzon has had it marked, and that portion which is now
uncovered he has had paved with marble, so that a visitor can see
just how large an area was occupied by it. He has also reproduced
after the original plan a monument that was erected to the dead by
Governor J. Z. Howell, one of the sufferers. You will remember
that the employes of the East India Company, with their families,
were residing within the walls of Fort William when an uprising
of the natives occurred June 20, 1756. The survivors, 156 in
number, were made prisoners and pressed into an apartment eighteen
feet long, eighteen feet wide and fourteen feet ten inches high,
where they were kept over night. It was a sort of vault in the
walls of the fortress, which had been used for storage purposes
and at one time for a prison. The company consisted of men, women,
children and even infants. Several of them were crushed to death
and trampled during the efforts of the native soldiers to crowd
them into this place, and all but thirty-three of the 156 died
of suffocation. The next morning, when the leader of the mutiny
ordered the living prisoners brought before him, the bodies of
the dead were cast into a pit outside the walls and allowed to
rot there. The monument to which I have alluded stands upon the
site of the pit. To preserve history Lord Curzon has had a model
of the old fort made in wood, and it will be placed in the museum.

Calcutta is a fine city. The government buildings, the courthouses,
the business blocks and residences, the churches and clubs are
nearly all of pretentious architecture and imposing appearance.
Most of the buildings are up to date. The banks of the river
are lined for a long distance with mammoth warehouses and the
anchorage is crowded with steamers from all parts of the world.
There is a regular line between Calcutta and New York, which, I
was told, is doing a good business. Beyond the warehouses, the
business section and the government buildings, along the bank of
the river for several miles, is an open space or common, called
the Maidan, the amusement and recreation ground of the public,
who show their appreciation by putting it to good use. There
are several thousand acres, including the military reservation,
bisected with drives and ornamented with monuments and groves of
trees. It belongs to the public, is intended for their benefit,
and thousands of natives may be found enjoying this privilege
night and day. An American circus has its tent pitched in the
center opposite a group of hotels; a little further along is a
roller skating rink, which seems to be popular, and scattered
here and there, usually beside clumps of shade trees, are cottages
erected for the accommodation of golf, tennis, croquet and cricket
clubs. On Saturday afternoons and holidays these clubhouses are
surrounded by gayly dressed people enjoying an outing, and at
all times groups of natives may be seen scattered from one end of
the Maidan to the other, sleeping, visiting, and usually resting
in the full glare of the fierce sun. Late in the afternoon, when
the heat has moderated, everybody who owns a carriage or a horse
or can hire one, comes out for a drive, and along the river bank
the roadway is crowded with all kinds of vehicles filled with
all sorts of people dressed in every variety of costume worn
by the many races that make up the Indian Empire, with a large
sprinkling of Europeans.

The viceroy and Lady Curzon, with their two little girls, come
in an old-fashioned barouche, drawn by handsome English hackneys,
with coachman, footman and two postilions, clad in gorgeous red
livery, gold sashes and girdles and turbans of white and red.
Their carriage is followed by a squad of mounted Sikhs, bronzed
faced, bearded giants in scarlet uniforms and big turbans, carrying
long, old-fashioned spears. Lord Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum
and the Boer war, appears in a landau driven by the only white
coachman in Calcutta. Lord Kitchener is a bachelor, and his friends
say that he has never even thought of love, although he is a
handsome man, of many graces, and has contributed to the pleasure
of society in both England and India. The diplomatic corps, as
the consuls of foreign governments residing in India are called
by courtesy--for all of India's relations with other countries
must be conducted through the foreign department at London--are
usually in evidence, riding in smart equipages, and they are
very hospitable and agreeable people. The United States is
represented by General Robert F. Patterson, who went to the civil
war from Iowa, but has since been a citizen of Memphis. Mrs.
Patterson, who belongs to a distinguished southern family, is
one of the recognized leaders of society, and is famous for her
hospitality and her fine dinners.

The native princes and other rich Hindus who reside in Calcutta
are quite apt in imitating foreign ways, but, fortunately, most
of them adhere to their national costume, which is much more
becoming and graceful than the awkward garments we wear. The
women of their families are seldom seen. The men wear silks and
brocades and jewels, and bring out their children to see the
world, but always leave their wives at home.

There are several sets and castes in the social life--the official
set, the military set, the professional people, the mercantile
set, and so on--and it is not often that the lines that divide
them are broken. During the winter season social life is very
gay. The city is filled with visitors from all parts of India,
and they spend their money freely, having a good time. Official
cares rest lightly upon the members of the government, with a
few exceptions, including Lord Curzon, who is always at work and
never takes a holiday. Dinners, balls, garden parties, races, polo
games, teas, picnics and excursions follow one another so rapidly
that those who indulge in social pleasures have only time enough
to keep a record of their engagements and to dress. The presence
of a large military force is a great advantage, particularly as
many of the officers are bachelors, and it is whispered that some
of the lovely girls who come out from England to spend a winter
in India hope to go home to arrange for a wedding. Occasionally
matrimonial affairs are conducted with dispatch. A young woman
who came out on the steamer with us, heart whole and fancy free,
with the expectation of spending the entire winter in India,
started back to London with a big engagement ring upon her finger
within four weeks after she landed, and several other young women
were quite as fortunate during the same winter, although not so
sudden. India is regarded as the most favorable marriage market
in the world.

Calcutta has frequently been called "the city of statues." I
think Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, the poet-viceroy, gave it that
title, and it was well applied. Whichever way you look on the
Maidan, bronze figures of former viceroys, statesmen and soldiers
appear. Queen Victoria sits in the center, a perfect reproduction
in bronze, and around her, with their faces turned toward the
government house, are several of her ablest and most eminent
servants. In the center of the Maidan rises a lofty column that
looks like a lighthouse. Its awkwardness is in striking contrast
to the graceful shafts which Hindu architects have erected in
various parts of the empire. It is dedicated to David Ochterlony,
a former citizen of Calcutta and for fifty years a soldier, and
is a token of appreciation from the people of the empire. The
latest monument is a bronze statue of Lord Roberts.

Facing the Maidan for a couple of miles is the Chowringhee, one
of the famous streets of the world, once a row of palatial
residences, but now given up almost entirely to hotels, clubs
and shops. Upon this street lived Warren Hastings in a stone
palace, and a little further along, in what is now the Bengal
Club, was the home of Thomas Babbington Macaulay during his long
residence in India.

The governor of the province of Bengal lives in a beautiful mansion
in the center of a park called "Belvedere," just outside the city.
There are few finer country homes in England, and associated with
it are many historical events. Upon a grassy knoll shaded by
stately trees occurred the historic duel between Warren Hastings,
then governor general of India, and Mr. Francis, president of
the council of state. They quarreled over an offensive remark
which Mr. Francis entered in the minutes of the council. Hastings
offered a challenge and wounded his antagonist, but the ball was
extracted and the affair fortunately ended as a comedy rather
than a tragedy.

There are many fine shops in Calcutta, for people throughout
all eastern India go there to buy goods just as those in the
northwestern part of the United States go to Chicago, and in the
eastern states to Boston, Philadelphia or New York. Of course, the
Calcutta shops are not so large and do not carry such extensive
stocks as some dealers in our large cities, because they are almost
entirely dependent upon the foreign population for patronage, and
that is comparatively small. The natives patronize merchants
of their own race, and do their buying in the bazaars, where the
same articles are sold at prices much lower than those asked
by the merchants in the foreign section of the city. This is
perfectly natural, for the native dealer has comparatively little
rent to pay, the wages of his employes are ridiculously small and
it does not cost him very much to live. If a foreigner tries to
trade in the native shops he has to pay big prices. Foreigners who
live in Calcutta usually send their servants to make purchases,
and, although it is customary for the servant to take a little
commission or "squeeze" from the seller for himself, the price
is much lower than would be paid for the same articles at one
of the European shops.

Occasionally you see American goods, but not often. We sell India
comparatively little merchandise except iron and steel, machinery,
agricultural implements, sewing machines, typewriters, phonographs
and other patented articles. One afternoon four naked Hindus went
staggering along the main street in Calcutta carrying an organ made
by the Farrand Company of Detroit, which has considerable trade
there. American pianos are widely advertised by one of the music
dealers. The beef packing houses of Chicago send considerable
tinned meat to India, and it is quite popular and useful. Indeed,
it would be difficult for the English to get along without it,
because native beef is very scarce. It is only served at the
hotels one or twice a week. That is due to the fact that cows
are sacred and oxen are so valuable for draught purposes. Fresh
beef comes all the way from Australia in refrigerator ships and
is sold at the fancy markets.

The native bazaars are like those in other Indian cities, although
not so interesting. Calcutta has comparatively a small native
trade, although it has a million of population. The shops of
Delhi, Lahore, Jeypore, Lucknow, Benares and other cities are
much more attractive. In the European quarter are some curio
dealers, who stop there for the winter and go to Delhi and Simla
for the summer, selling brocades, embroideries, shawls, wood and
ivory carvings and other native art work which are very tempting
to tourists. Several dealers in jewels from Delhi and other cities
spend the holidays in order to catch the native princes, who
are the greatest purchasers of precious stones in the world.
Several of them have collections more valuable and extensive than
any of the imperial families of Europe. Prices of all curios,
embroideries and objects of art are much higher in Calcutta than
in the cities of northern India, and everybody told us it was
the poorest place to buy such things.

The most imposing building upon the Chowringhee, the principal
street, is the Imperial Museum, which was founded nearly a hundred
years ago by the Asiatic Society, and was taken over by the
government in 1866. It is a splendid structure around a central
quadrangle 300 feet square with colonnades, fountains, plants and
flowers. Little effort has been made to obtain contributions from
other countries, but no other collection of Indian antiquities,
ethnology, archæology, mineralogy and other natural sciences can
compare with it. It is under the special patronage of the viceroy,
who takes an active interest in extending its usefulness and
increasing its treasures, while Lady Curzon is the patroness of
the school of design connected with it. In this school about three
hundred young men are studying the industrial arts. Comparatively
little attention is given to the fine arts. There are a few native
portrait painters, and I have seen some clever water colors from
the brushes of natives. But in the industrial arts they excel,
and this institute is maintained under government patronage for
the purpose of training the eyes and the hands of designers and
artisans. In the same group of buildings are the geological survey
and other scientific bureaus of the government, which are quite
as progressive and learned as our own. A little farther up the
famous street are the headquarters of the Asiatic Society, one of
the oldest and most enterprising learned societies in the world,
whose journals and proceedings for the last century are a library
in themselves and contain about all that anybody would ever want
to know concerning the history, literature, antiquities, resources
and people of India. Here also is a collection of nearly twenty
thousand manuscripts in Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Hindustani
and other oriental languages.

There is comparatively little poverty in Calcutta, considering
the enormous population and the conditions in which they live.
There are, however, several hundred thousand people who would
starve to death upon their present incomes if they lived in the
United States or in any of the European countries, but there it
costs so little to sustain life and a penny goes so far that
what an American working man would call abject destitution is
an abundance. Give a Hindu a few farthings for food and a sheet
of white cotton for clothing and he will be comfortable and
contented.

The streets of Calcutta, except in a limited portion of the native
section of the city, are wide, well paved, watered and swept. There
is an electric tramway system with about twenty miles of track,
reaching the principal suburbs, railway stations and business
sections, and whether Moline (Ill.) got it from Calcutta or Calcutta
borrowed the idea from Moline, both cities use the same method
of laying the dust. The tramway company runs an electric tank
car up and down its tracks several times a day, throwing water
far enough to cover nearly the entire street. Other streets,
where there are no tracks, are sprinkled by coolies, who carry
upon their backs pig skins and goat skins filled with water and
squirt it upon the ground through one of the legs with a twist of
the wrist as ingenious and effective as the method used by Chinese
laundrymen in sprinkling clothes. No white man can do either. The
Hindu sprinkler is an artist in his line, and therefore to be
admired, because everybody who excels is worthy of admiration,
no matter what he is doing. The street sprinklers belong to the
very lowest caste; the same caste as the garbage collectors and
the coolies that mend the roads and sweep the sidewalks, but
they are stalwart fellows, much superior to the higher class
physically, and as they wear very little clothing everybody can
see their perfect anatomy and shapely outlines.

Much of the road mending in India is done by women. They seem
to be assigned to all the heavy and laborious jobs. They carry
mortar, and bricks and stone where new buildings are being erected;
they lay stone blocks in the pavements, hammer the concrete with
heavy iron pestles, and you can frequently see them walking along
the wayside with loads of lumber or timber carefully balanced on
their heads that would be heavy for a mule or an ox. Frequently
they carry babies at the same time; never in their arms, but swung
over their backs or astride their hips. The infant population of
India spend the first two or three years of their lives astride
somebody's hips. It may be their mother's, or their sister's,
or their brother's, but they are always carried that way, and
abound so plentifully that there is no danger of race suicide
in that empire.

Next to the Sikh soldier, the nattiest native in India is the
postman, who is dressed in a blue uniform with a blue turban of
cotton or silk cloth to match, and wears a nickel number over
his forehead with the insignia of the postal service, and a girdle
with a highly ornamental buckle. The deliveries and collections
are much more frequent than with us. It is a mortification to
every American who travels abroad to see the superiority of the
postal service in other countries. That is about the only feature
of civil administration in which the federal government of the
United States is inferior, but, compared with India, as well
as the European countries, our Postoffice Department is not up
to date. You can mail a letter to any part of Calcutta in the
morning and, if your correspondent takes the trouble, he can
reach you with a reply before dinner. The rates of postage on
local matter and on parcels are much lower than with us. I can
send a package of books or merchandise or anything else weighing
less than four pounds from Calcutta to Chicago for less than
half the charge that would be required on a similar package from
Evanston or Oak Park.

The best time for a stranger to visit Calcutta is during holiday
week, for then the social season is inaugurated by a levee given
by the viceroy, a "drawing-room" by the vice-queen and a grand
state ball. The annual races are held that week, also, including
the great sporting event of the year, which is a contest for a
cup offered by the viceroy, and a military parade and review
and various other ceremonies and festivities attract people from
every part of the empire. The native princes naturally take this
opportunity to visit the capital and pay their respects to the
representative of imperial power, while every Englishman in the
civil and military service, and those of social or sporting
proclivities in private life have their vacations at that time
and spend the Christmas and New Year's holidays with Calcutta
friends. Moreover, the fact that all these people will be there
attracts the tourists who happen to be in India at the time, for
it gives them a chance to see the most notable and brilliant
social features of Indian life. Hence we rushed across the empire
with everybody else and assisted to increase the crowd and the
enthusiasm. Every hotel, boarding-house and club was crowded.
Every family had guests. Cots and beds were placed in offices
and wherever else they could be accommodated. Tents were spread
on the lawn of the Government House for the benefit of government
officials coming in from the provinces, and on the parade grounds
at the fort for military visitors. The grounds surrounding the
club houses looked like military camps. Sixteen tents were placed
upon the roof of the hotel where we were stopping to accommodate
the overflow.

Good hotels are needed everywhere in India, as I have several
times suggested, and nowhere so much as in Calcutta. The government,
the people and all concerned ought to be ashamed of their lack of
enterprise in this direction, and everybody admits it without
argument. There is not a comfortable hotel in the city, and while
it is of course possible for people to survive present conditions
they are nevertheless a national disgrace. Calcutta is a city of
more than a million inhabitants. Among its residents are many
millionaires and other wealthy men. It is frequently called "the
city of palaces," and many of the private residences in the foreign
quarter are imposing and costly. Hence there is no excuse but
indifference and lack of public spirit.

The Government House, which is the residence of the viceroy,
is one of the finest palaces in the world, and in architectural
beauty, extent and arrangement surpasses many of the royal residences
of Europe. None of the many palaces in England and the other
European capitals is better adapted for entertaining or has more
stately audience chambers, reception rooms, banquet halls and
ballrooms. It is truly an imperial residence and was erected more
than a hundred years ago by Lord Wellesley, who had an exalted
appreciation of the position he occupied, and transplanted to
India the ceremonies, formalities and etiquette of the British
court. The Government House stands in the center of a beautiful
garden of seven acres and is now completely surrounded and almost
hidden by groups of noble trees so that it cannot be photographed.
It is an enlarged copy of Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire, and consists
of a central group of state apartments crowned with a dome and
connected with four wings by long galleries.

The throne-room is a splendid apartment and the seat of the mighty
is the ancient throne of Tipu, one of the southern maharajas,
who, during the latter part of the eighteenth century, gave the
British a great deal of trouble until he was deprived of power.
The banquet hall, the council chamber, the ballrooms and a series
of drawing rooms, nearly all of the same size, are decorated in
white and gold, and each is larger than the east room in the
White House at Washington. The ceilings are supported by rows of
marble columns with gilded capitals, and are frescoed by famous
artists. The floors are of polished teak wood; the walls are
paneled with brocade and tapestries, and are hung with historical
pictures, including full length portraits of the kings and queens
of England, all the viceroys from the time of Warren Hastings,
and many of the most famous native rulers of India. In one of the
rooms is a collection of marble busts of the Cæsars. These, with
a portrait of Louis XV. and several elaborate crystal chandeliers,
were loot of the war of 1798, when they were captured from a
ship which was carrying them as a present from the Emperor of
France to the Nyzam of Hyderabad.

The palace cost $750,000 and the furniture $250,000, more than
a hundred years ago, at a time when money would go three times
as far as it does to-day. Lord Wellesley had lofty ideas, and
when the merchants of the East India Company expressed their
disapproval of this expenditure he told them that India "should
be governed from a palace and not from a counting-house, with
the ideas of a prince and not those of a retail dealer in muslin
and indigo."

Great stories are told of the receptions, levees and balls that
were given in the days of the East India Company, but they could
not have been more brilliant than those of to-day. The Government
House has never been occupied by a viceroy more capable of assuming
the dignities and performing the duties of that office than Lord
Curzon, and no more beautiful, graceful or popular woman ever sat
upon the vice-queen's throne than Mary Leiter Curzon. No period
in Indian history has ever been more brilliant, more progressive
or more prosperous than the present; no administration of the
government has even given wider satisfaction from any point of
view, and certainly the social functions presided over by Lord
and Lady Curzon were never surpassed. They live in truly royal
style, surrounded by the ceremonies and the pomp that pertain to
kings, which is a part of the administrative policy, because
the 300,000,000 people subject to the viceroy's authority are
very impressionable, and measure power and sometimes justice and
right by appearances. Lord and Lady Curzon never leave the palace
without an escort of giant warriors from the Sikh tribe, who wear
dazzling uniforms of red, turbans as big as bushel baskets, and
sit on their horses like centaurs. They carry long spears and
are otherwise armed with native weapons. Within the palace the
same formality is preserved, except in the private apartments
of the viceroy, where for certain hours of every day the doors
are closed against official cares and responsibilities, and Lord
and Lady Curzon can spend a few hours with their children, like
ordinary people.

The palace is managed by a comptroller general, who has 150 servants
under him, and a stable of forty horses, and relieves Lady Curzon
from the cares of the household. Lord Curzon is attended by a
staff of ministers, secretaries and aids, like a king, and Lady
Curzon has her ladies-in-waiting, secretaries and aids, like a
queen. People who wish to be received at Government House will
find three books open before them in the outer hall, in which
they are expected to inscribe their names, instead of leaving
cards. One of these books is for permanent residents of Calcutta,
another for officials, and another for transient visitors, who
record their names, their home addresses, their occupations,
the time they expect to stay in Calcutta, and the place at which
they may be stopping. From these books the invitation lists are
made out by the proper officials, but in order to secure an
invitation to Lady Curzon's "drawing-room" a stranger must be
presented by some person of importance who is well known at court.
At 9 o'clock those who have been so fortunate as to be invited
are expected to arrive. They leave their wraps in cloakrooms in
the basement, where the ladies are separated from the gentlemen
who escort them, because the latter are not formally presented
to the vice-queen, but they meet again an hour or so later in
the banquet hall after the ceremony is over.

The ladies pass up two flights of stairs into waiting-rooms in the
third story of the palace, pursuing a rather circuitous course over
about half the building, guided by velvet barriers and railings,
and at each comer stands an aide-de-camp or a gentleman-in-waiting,
to answer inquiries and give directions to strangers. When the
anteroom is at last reached, the ladies await their turns, being
admitted to the audience chamber in groups of four. They are
given a moment or two to adjust their plumage, and then pass
slowly toward the throne, upon which Lady Curzon is seated. The
viceroy, in the uniform and regalia of a Knight of the Garter,
stands under the canopy by her side. There is no crowding and
pushing, such as we see at presidential receptions at Washington
and often at royal functions in Europe, but there is an interval
of twenty-five or thirty feet between the guests. After entering
the room each lady hands a card upon which her name is written
to the gentleman-in-waiting, and, as she approaches the throne
he pronounces it slowly and distinctly. She makes her courtesies
to the viceroy and his lady, and then passes on. There is no
confusion, no haste, no infringement of dignity, and each woman
for the moment has the entire stage to herself.

On either side of the throne are gathered, standing, many native
princes, the higher officers of the government and the army,
the members of the diplomatic corps and other favored persons,
with their wives and daughters, and their costumes furnish a
brilliant background to the scene. The rest of the great audience
chamber, blazing with electric lights, is entirely empty. The
viceroy greets every lady with a graceful bow, and Lady Curzon
gives her a smile of welcome. The government band is playing
all this time in an adjoining room, so that the music can be
only faintly heard, and does not interfere with the ceremony,
as is so often the case elsewhere.

Having passed in review, the guests return to the other part of
the palace by a different course than that through which they
came, and find their escorts awaiting them in the banquet hall.
When the last lady has been presented, the viceroy and Lady Curzon
lead the way to the banquet hall, where a sumptuous supper is
spread, and the gentlemen are allowed to share the festivities.
The formalities are relaxed, and the hosts chat informally with
the guests.

[Illustration: THE PRINCES OF PEARLS]

It is a very brilliant scene, quite different from any that may
be witnessed elsewhere, particularly because of the gorgeous
costumes and the profusion of jewels worn by the native princes.
At none of the capitals of Europe can so magnificent a show of
jewels be witnessed, but the medals of honor and decorations
which adorn the breasts of the bronzed soldiers are more highly
prized and usually excite greater admiration, for many of the
heroes of the South African war were serving tours of duty in
India when we were in Calcutta.

The viceroy's levee is exclusively for gentlemen. No ladies are
expected, and a similar ceremony is carried out. It is intended to
offer an annual opportunity for the native princes, and officials
of the government, officers of the army, the Indian nobility and
private citizens of prominence to pay their respects and offer
their congratulations to their ruler and the representative of
their king, and at 9 o'clock on the evening appointed, two days
later than Lady Curzon's reception, every man of distinction in
that part of the world appears at the palace and makes his bow
to the viceroy as the latter stands under the canopy beside the
throne. It might be a somber and stupid proceeding but for the
presence of many natives in their dazzling jewels, picturesque
turbans and golden brocades, and the large contingent of army
officers, with their breasts covered with medals and decorations.
This reception is followed a few days later by a state ball,
which is considered the most brilliant function of the year in
India. Invitations are limited to persons of certain rank who
have been formally presented at Government House, but Lady Curzon
is always on the lookout for her fellow countrymen, and if she
learns of their presence in Calcutta invitations are sure to reach
them one way or another. She is a woman of many responsibilities,
and her time and mind are always occupied, but few Americans
ever visit Calcutta without having some delightful evidence of
her loyalty and thoughtfulness.

There were many other festivities for celebrating the New Year.
All the English and native troops in the vicinity of Calcutta
passed in review before the viceroy and Lord Kitchener, who is
the commander-in-chief of the forces in India.

In one of the parks in the city was a native fair and display
of art industries, and at the zoological gardens the various
societies of the Roman Catholic church in Calcutta held a bazaar
and raffled off many valuable and worthless articles, sold barrels
of tea and tons of cake, and sweetmeats to enormous crowds of
natives, who attended in their holiday attire. There was a pyramid
of gold coins amounting to a thousand dollars, an automobile,
a silver service valued at $1,000, a grand piano, a carriage
and span of ponies, and various other prizes offered in the
lotteries, together with dolls and ginger-cake, pipes and cigar
cases, slippers, neckties, pincushions and other offerings to
the god of chance. Fashionable society was attracted to the fair
grounds by a horse and dog show, and various other functions
absorbed public attention.

The great sporting event of the year in India is a race for a
big silver cup presented by the viceroy and a purse of 20,000
rupees to the winner. We took an interest in the race because Mr.
Apgar, an Armenian opium merchant, who nominated Great Scott, an
Austrian thoroughbred, has a breeding farm and stable of 200 horses,
and everything about his place comes from the United States. He
uses nothing but American harness and other accoutrements, and
as a natural and unavoidable consequence Great Scott won the cup
and the purse very easily, and his fleetness was doubtless due
to the fact that he was shod with American shoes. The programme
showed that about half the entries were by natives. His Royal
Highness Aga Khan, the Nawab of Samillolahs; Aga Shah; our old
friend of the Chicago exposition, the Sultan of Johore, and His
Highness Kour Sahib of Patiala, all had horses in the big race.
Some of these princes have breeding stables. Others import English,
Irish, Australian, American and Arabian thoroughbreds. There was
no American horse entered for the viceroy's cup this year, but
Kentucky running stock is usually represented.

There are two race tracks at Calcutta, one for regular running,
the other for steeple chasing, and, as in England and Ireland,
the horses run on the turf, and most of the riders are gentlemen.
A few professional jockeys represent the stables of breeders
who are too old or too fat or too lazy to ride themselves, but
it is considered the proper thing for every true sportsman to
ride his own horse as long as he is under weight. The tracks
are surrounded by lovely landscapes, an easy driving distance
from Calcutta, and everybody in town was there. The grand stand
and the terraces that surround it were crowded with beautifully
dressed women, many of them Parsees, in their lovely costumes,
and within the course were more than 50,000 natives, wearing every
conceivable color, red and yellow predominating, so that when one
looked down upon the inclosure from a distance it resembled a
vast flower bed, a field of poppies and roses. The natives take
great interest in the races, and, as they are admitted free,
every man, woman and child who could leave home was there, and
the most of them walked the entire distance from the city.

The viceroy and vice-queen appear in the official old-fashioned
barouche, drawn by four horses, with outriders, and escorted
by a bodyguard of Sikhs in brilliant scarlet uniforms and big
turbans of navy blue, with gold trimmings. The viceroy's box is
lined and carpeted with scarlet, and easy chairs were placed for
his comfort. Distinguished people came up to pay their respects
to him and Lady Curzon, and between visits he wandered about the
field, shaking hands with acquaintances in a democratic fashion
and smiling as if he were having the time of his life. It is
not often that the present viceroy takes a holiday. He is the
most industrious man in India, and very few of his subjects work
as hard as he, but he takes his recreation in the same fashion.
He is always full of enthusiasm, and never does anything in a
half-hearted way. Lord Kitchener came also, but was compelled
to remain in his carriage because of his broken leg. The police
found him a good place and he enjoyed it.

On the lawn behind the grand stand, under the shade of groups
of palm trees, tables and chairs were placed, and tea was served
between the events. Ladies whose husbands are members of the
Jockey Club can engage tables in advance, as most of them do, and
issue their invitations in advance also, so that Viceroy's day
is usually a continuous tea party and a reunion of old friends,
for everybody within traveling distance comes to the capital
that day. Every woman wore a new gown made expressly for the
occasion. Most of them were of white or of dainty colors, but
they did not compare in beauty or elegance with the brocades and
embroidered silks worn by bare-legged natives. Half the Hindu
gentlemen present had priceless camel's hair and Cashmere shawls
thrown over their shoulders--most of them heirlooms, for, according
to the popular impression, modern shawls do not compare in quality
with the old ones. Under the shawls they wear long coats, reaching
to their heels like ulsters, of lovely figured silk or brocade
of brilliant colors. Some of them are finished with exquisite
embroidery. No Hindu women were present, only Parsees. They never
appear in public, and allow their husbands to wear all of the
fine fabrics and jewels. With shawls wrapped around them like
Roman togas, the Hindus are the most dignified and stately human
spectacles you can imagine, but when they put on European garments
or a mixture of native and foreign dress they are positively
ridiculous, and do violence to every rule of art and law of taste.
Usually when an oriental--for it is equally true of China, Japan
and Turkey--adopts European dress he selects the same colors he
would wear in his own, and he looks like a freak, as you can
imagine, in a pair of green trousers, a crimson waistcoat, a
purple tie, a blue negligee shirt and a plaid jacket.

If you want to see a display of fine raiment and precious stones
you must attend an official function in India, a reception by
Lord or Lady Curzon, for in the number, size and value of their
jewels the Indian princes surpass the sovereigns of Europe. One
of the rajahs has the finest collection of rubies in the world,
purchased from time to time by his ancestors for several generations,
most of them in Burma, where the most valuable rubies have been
found. Another has a collection of pearls, accumulated in the
same way. They represent an investment of millions of dollars,
and include the largest and finest examples in the world. When
he wears them all, as he sometimes does, on great occasions, his
front from his neck to his waist is covered with pearls netted
like a chain armor. His turban is a cataract of pearls on all
sides, and upon his left shoulder is a knot as large as your
two hands, from which depends a braided rope of four strands,
reaching to his knee, and every pearl is as large as a grape.
You can appreciate the size and value of his collection when I
tell you that all of the pearls owned by the ex-Empress Eugenie
are worn in his turban, and do not represent ten per cent of
the collection.

Other rajahs are famous for diamonds, or emeralds, or other jewels.
There seems to be a good deal of rivalry among them as to which
shall make the greatest display. But from what people tell me I
should say that the Nizam of Haidarabad could furnish the largest
stock if these estimable gentlemen were ever compelled to go
into the jewelry business. We were particularly interested in
him because he outranks all the other native princes, and is the
most important as well as the most gorgeous in the array. His
dominions, which he has inherited from a long line of ancestors--I
believe he traces his ancestry back to the gods--include the
ancient City of Golconda, whose name for centuries was a synonym
for riches and splendors. In ancient times it was the greatest
diamond market in the world. It was the capital of the large and
powerful kingdom of the Deccan, and embraced all of southern
India, but is now in ruins. Its grandeur began to decay when the
kingdom was conquered by the Moguls in 1587 and annexed to their
empire, and to-day the crumbling walls and abandoned palaces are
almost entirely deserted. Even the tombs of the ancient kings,
a row of vast and splendid mausoleums, which cost millions upon
millions of dollars, and for architecture and decoration and
costliness have been surpassed only by those of the Moguls, are
being allowed to decay while the ruling descendant of the men
who sleep there spends his income for diamonds.

The magnificence and extravagance of these princes are the theme
of poems and legends. There is a large book in Persian filled with
elaborate and graphic descriptions of the functions and ceremonies
that attend the reception of an envoy from Shah Abbas, King of
Persia, who visited the court of Golconda in 1503. Among other
gifts brought by him from his royal master was a crown of rubies
which still remains in the family, although many people think
the original stones have been removed and imitations substituted
in order that the nizam may enjoy the glory of wearing them.
When his ambassador went back to Persia he was accompanied by
a large military escort guarding a caravan of 2,400 camels laden
with gifts from the nizam to his royal master.

The present capital of the province, the city of Haidarabad,
was founded in 1589 by a gentleman named Kutab Shah Mohammed
Kuli, who afterward removed his household there on account of a
lack of water and a malarial atmosphere at Golconda. He called
the city in honor of his favorite concubine. The name means "the
city of Haidar." The province includes about 80,000 square miles
of territory, and has a population of 11,141,946 of whom only
10 per cent are Moslems, although the ruling family have always
professed that faith.

The present nizam is Mahbub Ali, who was born in 1866, was partially
educated in England and is very popular with all classes of
people--particularly with those who profit by his extravagance.
The revenues of the state are about $20,000,000 a year, and the
people are very much overtaxed. The nizam's taste for splendor
and his desire to outdo all the other native princes in display
have caused the government of India considerable anxiety, and
the British resident at his capital, whose duty is to keep him
straight, enjoys no sinecure.

Haidarabad is one of the oldest cities in India, with a population
of 355,000, inclosed by a strong wall six miles in circumference.
The city stands in the midst of wild and rocky scenery and is one
of the most interesting places in India, because the nizam is
fond of motion and music and color, and has surrounded himself
with a large retinue of congenial spirits, who live at his expense
and pay their board by amusing him. As the most important Moslem
potentate except the Sultan of Turkey, he has attracted to his
service Mohammedans from every part of the earth, who go about
wearing their distinctive national costumes and armed with quaint
weapons--Turks, Arabs, Moors, Afghans, Persians, Rajputs, Sikhs,
Marathas, Pathans and representatives of all the other races
that confess Islam. His palaces are enormous and are filled with
these retainers, said to number 7,000 of all ranks and races, and
the courtyards are full of elephants, camels, horses, mounted
escorts and liveried servants. It reminds one of the ancient
East, a gorgeous page out of the Arabian Nights.



INDEX

Abu, Mount
Afghanistan
Afridis, the tribe of
Agra, fortress of
  religious celebration at
Agriculture
Ahmedabad, city of
Ajmere, city of
Akbar the Great
  tomb of
Allahabad, city of
Aligarh, city of
Amber, city of
Ameer of Afghanistan
Americans in India
American trade in India
Amritsar, city of
Architecture, Mogul
  Ahmedabad
  of India
Area of India
Art schools
Army, the

Banyan trees
Baluchistan
Banks of India
Barbers
Barbar, the Emperor
Baroda, state of
Bazaars, native
Bazaars of Delhi
Bearers, Indian
Benares, city of
Betel chewing
Bibles in India
Bird training
Birth rate
Black Hole of Calcutta
Body guard, Lord Curzon's
Bombay, death rate in
  city of
  residences of
  ghat-burning at
  Improvement Trust
  Monkey temple at
  old city of
  public buildings of
  railway station at
  statues in
  street-cars of
  University of
Bordeaux, Austin de
Botanical Gardens
Brahmins, the
Brahminism
Brahmin priests
Buddhism
Burning bodies

Cadet corps
Calcutta, city of
Calcutta, residences of
  Black Hole of
Canteen, the army
Caravans
Cashmere, province of
  shawls
Caste
Castle in Bombay
Catholic missions, Roman
Cave temples
Cawnpore, city of
Census of India
Christian population
Cities of India
Civil service, Indian
Coal mining
Coffee planting
College, the Moslem
  at Jeypore
Colleges
  the Phipps
Contortionists
Costumes, Hindu
Cotton trade
Council of India
Courts
Crime
Criminals, professional
Crops
  value of
Curzon, Lord
  Lady
Customs, religious
  social
Customs-house at Bombay
Cutch-Behar, Maharaja of

Dak bungalows
Darjeeling, city of
Dead, burning the
Death rate
  at Bombay
Deccan, the
Delhi, city of
  palaces of
  ancient
  tombs of
Docks at Bombay
Drawing room, Lady Curzon's
Durbar, the

East India Company
Education
Elephanta Island
Elephant riding
Elephants working
Ellora, cave temples at
Embroideries, Indian
Emigration
Epidemics
Etiquette in Calcutta

Fakirs, Hindu
Famines
Farming
Fattehpur-Sikri, city of
Frontier Question
Funeral customs

Ganges River
Gaya, town of
Ghats, burning
Girls, English and American
Goa, colony of
Gods, Hindu
Government house at Calcutta
  of India
Governor of Bombay
Guilds, Indian
Gurkas, the

Haiderabad, Nizam of
Hall of the Winds, Jeypore
Himalayas, the
Hodson, Colonel
Holiday week in Calcutta
Hotels of India
  of Delhi
  in Muttra
Hospital
Humayon, tomb of
Hume, Rev. R. A.
Hypnotism, Hindu

Idols
Illiteracy
Income tax
Indian Ocean, temperature of
Indigo
Infanticide
Irrigation in India

Jains, religious sect of
  temples of the
Jeejeebhoy, Sir Jamsetjed
Jehanghir, the Mogul
Jewels
Jewelry
Jeypore, city of
  Maharaja of
Jodpore
Juggernaut, the

Khyber Pass
Kipling, Rudyard
Kitchener, Lord
Kutab Minar, the

Laboring classes
Lahore, city of
Lamington, Lord
Land laws
Languages of India
Levees, the viceroy's
Literature, Hindu
Lucknow, city of

Magicians, religious
Manufacturing
Mark Twain, anecdote of
Marriage customs
Mayo College
Mendicants, religious
Minerals
Miriam, the Christian princess
Missions, American
Mizra, Gheas Bey
Mogul Empire
Moguls, the last of the
Mohammedans
Mohammedan College
Monkey temple at Bombay
Monsoons
Mortality from snake and tiger bites
Mosques in Delhi
Mountains of India
Museum, the imperial
Mutiny, the
Muttra, city of

Native princes
Nautch dancers
Nepal, state of
New Year Day in Calcutta
Nomenclature in India
Nur Jehan

Occupations
Officials, English and native
Opium trade

Palace, the viceroy's
Palaces, the Mogul
Parsees, the
Patterson, Consul-general
Peacock throne
Pearl carpet
Pearl Mosque
Peerbhoy, Adamjee
Peshawar, city of
Petit family of Bombay
Phipps, Henry
Pilgrims
Police
Politicians
Population of Bombay
  of India
  foreign
Portuguese colony
Postal service
Poverty
Princes, native
Progress of India
Prosperity of India
P. and O. Steamers

Quinine crop

Racing horses
  in Calcutta
Railways
Railway travel in India
  stations
  station at Bombay
Rainfall
Rajputs, the
Rajputana, province of
Ramadan, feast of
Ranjitsinhji, Prince
Rarjumund Banu
Readymoney, Sir Jehanghir
Red Sea, temperature of
Reforms in India
Religions of India
Residences of Bombay
Rice eating
Road, Great Trunk
Roberts, Lord
Ruins of Delhi
Rulers, native
Russians, fear of
  policy of 424

Salaries of officials
Schools, native
Servants, native
Shah Jehan
Shopping in India
Sights of Bombay
Sikhs, the
Simla, summer capital at
Siva, the demon god
Sleeping cars
Snakes
Snake charmers
Social customs of India
Society in India
Stables at Jeypore
Starvation
Steamers, P. and O.
Steamship passage to India
Street sprinkling
Sugar planting
Superstitions
"Suttee" forbidden

Taj Mahal
Tamerlane
Tata, J. N.
Taxes
Tea-planting
Telegraphs and telephones
Temperance in the army
Temples
  of Delhi
  of Ahmedabad
Tigers
Tiger catching
Timour
Thibet, invasion of
Thugs
  founder of the
Throne, the Peacock
Tomb of Akbar
Tombs of Delhi
Towers of Silence
Travellers, English and American
Trust of Bombay, the Improvement

Universities
University of Bombay
  Tata, the

Viceroy, authority of
  receptions of
Voyage to India

Wages
Water, impurities of the
  supply
Wedding customs
Wheat growing
Widows in India
Widow burning
Winter in India
Women of India
  of Bombay
  English and American

Xavier, St. Francis

Younghusband, Colonel





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