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Title: Gold, Sport, and Coffee Planting in Mysore
Author: Elliot, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1837-1914
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 "Gold, Sport, and Coffee Planting in Mysore" ***

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    I have much pleasure in dedicating this book to my friend SIR K.
    SHESHADRI IYER, K.C.S.I., Dewan of Mysore, and trust that it may
    be useful in making more fully known the resources of the State
    whose affairs he has for many years so wisely and ably


In the year 1871 I published "The Experiences of a Planter in the Jungles
of Mysore," and had intended to bring out a new edition of it, but, from
various causes, the project was delayed, and when I at last took the
matter in hand, I found that so many things had happened since 1871 that
it was necessary to write a new book. In this, hardly anything of the
"Experiences" has been reproduced, except a very few natural history notes
and the chapter on Caste, a subject to which I would particularly call the
attention of those interested in Indian missions.

I have been much assisted by informants too numerous for mention here, and
can only allude to those who have most conspicuously aided me. Amongst
these I am much indebted to my friend Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer, K.C.S.I.,
Dewan of Mysore, for access given me to information in the possession of
the Government, and for returns specially prepared for the book. From my
friends Mr. Graham Anderson and Mr. Brooke Mockett, two of the most able
and experienced planters in Mysore, I have derived much information and
assistance. I am particularly obliged to my friend Dr. Voelcker[1] for
many valuable hints, and the chapter on manures has had the advantage of
being read by him. For information as regards the history of coffee in
Coorg I am much indebted to Mr. Meynell, who represents the large
interests of Messrs. Matheson and Co. in that province, and indeed,
without his aid, I could not at all have done full justice to the subject.
To Mr. Grey, manager of the Nundydroog mine, I am indebted for information
as regards the gold mines, and for the kind assistance he in many ways
afforded me when I visited them last January. I am also obliged to Colonel
Grant, Superintendent of the Mysore Revenue, Survey and Settlement
Department, for information as regards game, and the proposed Game Act for

I had intended to add a chapter on the cultivation of cardamoms and
pepper, but have not done so, because, for the want of recent information
from those specially engaged in these cultivations, I could not feel
confident of doing full justice to the subject. I may, however, say that
as regards cardamoms, I have good reason for supposing that there is not
much to be added to the chapter on them which appeared in the

Though I have collected many experiences, I am of course aware that many
more remain to be collected, and I should feel particularly obliged if
planters and those who have any experiences to give me (natural history
and sporting information would be very welcome) would be kind enough to do
so. These I would propose to incorporate in an improved edition, which I
look forward to bringing out when a sufficient amount of additional
information has been collected. If those who have any information to give,
suggestions to make, or criticisms to offer, would be kind enough to
communicate with me, an improved edition might be brought out which would
be highly valuable to all tropical agriculturists, and all those
interested in the various subjects on which I have written.

My Indian address is Bartchinhulla, Saklaspur, Mysore State, and home
address, Clifton Park, Kelso, Roxburghshire.



[1] Dr. Voelcker, Consulting Chemist to the Royal Agricultural Society of
England, was, by the permission of the Society, employed for upwards of a
year by the Government in India; and his "Report on the Improvement of
Indian Agriculture" is an elaborate, work, of upwards of 400 pages, and
contains a large body of carefully digested information, remarks, and
opinions which will be of great value to the Government, and of much
practical value to planters, and all tropical agriculturists.



Myself and the route to Mysore in 1855.

The pioneer planters of Southern Mysore.

The life of a planter by no means a dull one.

Effects of English capital on the progress of the people and the
    finances of the State.

The value, in times of famine, of European settlers.

A deferred native message of thanks to the English public.

The causes that have led to an increase of famine and scarcities.

Measures to promote the digging of wells by the people.

A line of railway from Mysore to the western coast sanctioned.

Wanted, land tenures which will promote well digging and other
    irrigation works.

The late Dewan's opinions in favour of a fixed land tax.

Evidences of irrigation works made by occupiers being promoted by
    a fixed land tax.

Famine question of great importance to settlers in India.

The number of European and native coffee plantations in Mysore.

Probable annual value of coffee produced in Mysore. Manufactures
    in India.

Manufactures in Mysore.

Endeavours by the Dewan to develop the iron wealth of the

"The Mysore and Coorg Directory." Value of the Dewan's annual
    addresses in the Representative Assembly.

The Dewan's efforts to promote improvements of all kinds.

European settlers favourably received by officials of all

Hints as to representing any matter to a Government official.

Native officials are polite and obliging.


General description of the Mysore country.

The climate. A healthy one for Europeans.

The beautiful scenery of the western borderlands.

The falls of Gairsoppa.

Height of the falls; difficulty of getting at them; the
    Lushington, Lalgali, and Majod Falls might be visited-when on the
    way to Gairsoppa Falls.

The best time for visiting the falls.

Description of the falls.

Startling sounds to be heard at the falls.

To the bottom of the gorge below the falls.

Wonderful combinations of sights and sounds.

The scene on the pool above the falls.

The beautiful moonlight effects.

A flying squirrel; a tiger bounding across the road.

The Cauvery Falls and the route to them.

General description of the falls.

The Gangana Chuckee Falls.

The Bar Chuckee Falls.

The Gairsoppa and Cauvery Falls contrasted.

Interesting bridges built by native engineers.

Leisure, solitude, and repose necessary to enjoy scenery.


The early history of Mysore.

The Hindoo and Mahometan lines.

The Hindoo line restored by us in 1799.

The insurrection of 1830.

The Maharajah deposed and the country in 1831 administered by the

The State restored to native administration in 1881.

The people at first generally disliked the change; causes of

Value of an admixture of Europeans in the Mysore service.

The alleged breach of good faith as regards conferring
    appointments on natives in British territory.

The constitution of Mysore; terms on which it was transferred not
    to native rule but to native administration.

Mysore as practically under British rule as any part of British

After deducting sum allotted for Maharajah's personal
    expenditure, the remaining revenues to be spent on public
    purposes only.

The advantages possessed by settlers in Mysore.

The Mysore Representative Assembly.

The notification by which the Assembly was established, and the
    system of nominating members.

Contrast between it and the Egyptian General Assembly of the
    Legislative Council.

First meeting of the Assembly, Oct. 7th, 1881.

Rules of 1890 announcing a system of electing members in future.

My election in 1891 as a member of the Assembly.

Am appointed chairman of preliminary meetings.

Measures agreed to at the preliminary meetings.

Rules to regulate discussions in preliminary meetings.

Organization desired to be established; funds for working the
    proposed organization.

The lady students of the Maharanee's College.

The Assembly formally opened; the Dewan's address.

Gold mines, railways, roads; interference of Madras Government
    with proposed Mysore Irrigation Works.

Measure to promote digging of wells.

Value of the Assembly as a means of communicating intelligence
    amongst the people.

Forests. Elephants. Female education.

The Archæological Survey. The Census. The municipal elections.

Reform of religious and charitable institutions. An irregular
    meeting of members.

A marriage law proposed. Great excitement caused thereby.
    Proposal adjourned.

Proposal to store grain against times of famine.

Revenue should be remitted in full when there is no crop.

My speech in the Assembly as chairman of preliminary meetings.

Members called up in order to represent grievances and wants. The
    marriage question again.

Influence of public opinion as regards age for consummation of

Opinion of two native gentlemen as regards my speech.

An important concession gained by the representatives.

The admirable working of the Mysore Government. General
    appreciation of the Dewan's administration.

Representatives have no power and do not want any. Causes of the
    absence of any demand for parliamentary institutions such as
    those in England.

Absence of general interest in the Assembly. Causes of this.

Great value of Assembly in bringing rulers and ruled together.
    Such Assembly more necessary now than formerly. Causes of this.

The Indian Congress. Causes of the creation of.

Started in 1885 by a small number of the educated classes.

Seditious pamphlets circulated by the Congress.

Copies bought for the Athenæum Club.

Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, M.P. one of the sellers of the pamphlets.

Proceedings of the Congress legitimate till it fell under
    guidance of Mr. Hume. Excuses for Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji.

The composition of the first and second Congresses.

The third Congress. The members desire to make the laws and
    control the finances of India.

The Congress declares that as Indians in rural districts are not
    qualified to elect members, these should be elected by an
    electoral college composed of the flower of the educated classes.

As the desired powers are not likely to be obtained in India, the
    people of England must be made to believe that India is being

The Congress' schemes for bringing about a revolution in India.
    Native volunteers to be enrolled to bring pressure to bear on the
    Government. The Repeal of the Arms Act demanded.

The seditious pamphlets issued by the Congress.

The sums of money collected with the aid of the pamphlets.

Opinions of Congress that natives are wanting in the qualities
    necessary for governing India.


The advantages and pleasures of big game shooting.

Comparative risks from tigers, bears, and panthers.

Boars and other wild animals more dangerous now than formerly.
    Advantages of this for sportsmen.

The natural history of Mysore.

Elephants. Tigers much more numerous in former times in Mysore.

In a short time 118 caught in traps. Remarkable cessation of such
    captures. The balance of nature destroyed.

The spread of intelligence amongst wild animals. Tiger passes.
    Difference of opinion as to how tigers seize their prey.

The use of the paw in killing animals and people.

The carrying powers of tigers and panthers.

Reasons for not sitting on the ground when tiger shooting.

Illustration of risk of sitting on the ground.

Caution should be exercised when approaching a tiger supposed to
    be dead.

Another illustration of the risk of sitting on the ground.

Illustration of the importance of sitting motionless when obliged
    to sit on the ground.

An exciting rush after a wounded tiger.

Coolness and courage exhibited by a native.

Estimate of danger of tiger shooting on foot. Should not be
    pursued by those whoso lives are of cash value to their families.

People killed by wounded tigers. Difficulty of seeing a tiger in
    the jungle.

Distinguishing sight of natives superior to that of Europeans.

Tigers easily recover from wounds.

Effects on the nerves and heart from the roar of a wounded tiger.

Precautions that should be exercised by sportsmen with damaged

The lame tiger. Met in the road at night.

Tying out live baits for tigers.

Interesting instance of tiger stalking up to a live bait.

Another illustration of risk of approaching a tiger apparently

Importance of using a chain when tying out a bait. Sport spoiled
    from a chain not being used.

Tigers eat tigers sometimes. Illustration of this.

The tiger's power of ascending trees.

Interesting instance of a jackal warning tigers of danger.

Tiger put to flight by the rearing of a horse.

Effect on a tiger of the human voice. Tigers often undecided how
    to act.

Tigers form plans and act in concert. Illustration of this.

Tigers of Western Ghaut forests, if unmolested, rarely dangerous
    to man.

Very dangerous man-eating tigers have existed in the interior of
    Mysore. Man-eaters enter villages. A tiger tearing off the thatch
    of a hut.

Great courage and determination shown by natives in connection
    with tigers. Illustrations of this.

The life of a planter saved by a dog attacking the tiger.

Interesting behaviour of the dog after Mr. A. was wounded.

Treatment of wounds from tigers. A native recovers from thirteen
    lacerated wounds and two on the head.

A mad tiger. Position of body that should be adopted when waiting
    for a tiger. Importance of this.

Tiger purring with evident satisfaction after having killed a


Bear has two cubs at a time. Bears rapidly decreasing. Said by
    natives to be killed and eaten by tigers. Instances of tigers
    killing bears.

Bears dreaded by natives more than any animal in the jungle.
    Probable cause of their often attacking people. Illustration of

Attacked by an unwounded and unprovoked bear.

If suddenly attacked by an animal at close quarters rush towards

Wanton attacks made by bears on people. Approaching caves and
    getting bears out of them.

Great value of stink balls.

How not to attempt to get a bear out of a cave. Am caught by a
    hill fire.

Amusing incident at a bear's cave. A man wounded.

Value of having a good dog when out bear shooting. Am knocked
    down by a bear.

Panthers. Should be hunted with dogs.

Panther probably feigning death. A man killed.

The wild boar the most daring animal in the jungles. Illustration
    in point.

The great power of the wild boar. My manager charged by one.

Boars make shelters for themselves in the rains. The flesh of the
    boar not a safe food.

Jungle dogs. Said by natives to kill tigers.

The use, said by the natives to be made by the dogs, of their
    acrid urine.

A cross between the jungle and the domestic dog.

Curious incident connected with jungle dogs.

Great increase of jungle dogs. A reward should be offered for
    their destruction.

Many reported deaths from snake bites probably poisoning cases.
    Reasons in support of this view. From 1855 to 1893 only one death
    from snake bite in my neighbourhood.

The cobra not an aggressive snake. Unless hurt or provoked will
    probably never bite. Illustrations in support of this view.

Snakes keep a good look out. Tigers and snakes run away.

Many snakes are harmless, and some useful.

Wild animals probably require to be taught by their parents to
    dread man.

A tame stag. A tame flying squirrel.

A tame hornbill.

Probable cause of pets not caring to rejoin their wild congeners.

Some remarks on guns. The Paradox.


Unless molested the bison never attacks man.

An attempt to photograph a solitary bull.

Description of the bison.

Height of bull bison. Account of an interesting friendship
    between a tame sambur deer and a bull bison.

Bison are often attacked by tigers.

Interesting instance of a tiger stalking up to a solitary bull.

The tiger and bull knocked over right and left.

Precautions that should be taken when following up a wounded

A tracker killed by a bull. Following a wounded bull.

Stalking up to a herd. The value of peppermint lozenges.

How a wounded bull may be lost.

The value of a dog when following up a wounded bull.

Wonderful bounding power of the bison. A narrow escape from a
    charging bull.

Special Act required for preservation of cow bison.


The earliest tradition as regards gold in Mysore.

Explanation of gold being found on the ears of corn. Lieutenant
    Warren's investigations in 1800.

Native methods of procuring gold by washing and mining.

Depths to which old native pits were sunk.

Probable cause of the cessation of mining at considerable depths.

In 1873 leave first given to a European to mine for gold.
    Remarkable absence in Mysore of old records or inscriptions
    relating to gold mining.

Mr. Lavelle in 1873 applied for right to mine in Kolar.

Of the mines subsequently started all practically closed in 1882,
    except the Mysore mine, which began to get gold in end of 1884.

Had the Mysore Company not persevered the Kolar field would
    probably have been closed. Depths to which mines have been sunk.
    The Champion Lode.

General description of the Kolar field. Notes by a lady resident.

Life on the field. Gardening. Visitors from England.

The volunteers at the mines. Sport near the field.

Servants and supplies. Elevation and the climate. A healthy one.

Mining and the extraction of gold.

The rates of wages. No advances given to labourers.

Expenditure by the companies in Mysore in wages. Consequential
    results therefrom on the prosperity of the people.

Measures which the State should take to encourage the opening of
    new mines.

Royalty on mines that are not paying should be reduced or
    abolished. Act required to check gold stealing.

Some summary process should be adopted to check gold thefts.

Want of water on the field. Measures proposed for conserving it.

The want of tree planting. Other auriferous tracts in Mysore. Mr.
    R. Bruce Foote's report.

Brief analysis of Mr. Bruce Foote's report on the various
    auriferous tracts. The central group of auriferous rocks.

The west-central group.

The western group. Expects that many other old abandoned workings
    will be discovered in the jungly tracts.

An inexhaustible supply of beautiful porphyry near Seringapatam
    and close to a railway.


Valuable to rural populations.

My inquiry limited to its rural and practical effects on life.

Its moral effects as regards the connection of the sexes.

Its value in limiting the use of alcohol.

Morality in Manjarabad superior to that of England.

Widows may contract a kind of marriage. The value of caste in
    socially segregating inferior from superior races.

The mental value of the separation caused by caste.

The separation caused by caste has not hindered advancement
    amongst the rural population. The Coorgs an instance of this.

Disadvantages of caste as regards town populations.

Instances of the evils of caste amongst the higher classes in the

Inquiry as to how far caste has acted beneficially in opposing
    the existing interpretation of Christianity.

Worthlessness of pure dogmas when adopted by a degraded people.

Native Christians readily revert to devil worship in cases of
    danger or sickness.

Native Christians neither better nor worse than the low-classes
    from which they are usually drawn. Experience of the Abbé Dubois.

The upper class peasantry having to give up caste would be
    injured by being converted.

The town population would not be injured by conversion.

Causes of the outcry against caste.

Its alleged tendencies.

The way to retain the good and lessen the evil of caste.

To become a Christian our missionaries compel the entire
    abandonment of caste. Their version of Christianity wisely

Mischievous action of our missionaries as regards caste. Their
    erroneous views a bar to the progress of Christianity.

Bishop Heber's "Letter on Caste."

Bishop Wilson's fatal "Circular" requiring absolute abandonment
    of caste by Christians.

Secession of native Christians in consequence of the "Circular."
    Erroneous views contained in the Report of the Madras

Views of the Tanjore missionaries as regards caste.

Mr. Schwartz's opinions.

The Tanjore missionaries not unfavourable to the retention of
    caste by their converts.

Inquiry into the origin of caste.

No connection between caste and idolatry. They may and do exist

Caste as it exists in Ceylon.

The way in which caste probably did originate.

The Jews a strictly guarded caste.

Caste difficulties as regards taking the Sacrament.

Its sanitary advantages.

Caste no bar to the exercise of hospitality and charity.

Advantages of caste in increasing hospitality and charity.

Caste has a levelling as well as a keeping down tendency.

Instances of people rising into a superior caste.

Rigidity of caste laws much exaggerated. They vary in different
    places. Occasional violations of caste law condoned. Remarkable
    instance of this.

Infringement of caste when out tiger shooting.

Instance of variation in caste law. Caste apt to be made the
    scapegoat of every Indian difficulty.

Mr. Pope's remarks on the effects of caste.

Mr. Raikes's remarks on the evil effects of caste. Thinks that it
    is the cause of infanticide.

Instance to show that infanticide can exist amongst people free
    from caste. Polyandrous habits not necessarily a cause of

Summary of principal conclusions arrived at.

Curious customs of the Marasa Wokul tribe in Mysore.

The effect of caste on the transmission of acquired aptitudes.


Description and the history of Coorg.

Conquered and annexed by us in 1834. My first visit to Coorg in
    1857. The pioneer planters.

Planting without shade caused the failure of many of the

After shade was introduced coffee flourished.

European and native plantations. Their number and the probable
    yield from them. Expenditure per acre.

The kinds of manure used. Experiments by an analytical chemist.

Proportions of manure varied according to the condition of the
    coffee. The time in which manure should be applied. Applications
    of burnt earth.

Widespread results arising from the expenditure on plantations in

Rates of wages, and system of procuring labourers. Leaf disease
    and Borer.

Remedies experimented on as regards leaf disease and Borer.

Primary cause of the existence of so much Borer. The terms on
    which Government lands are sold for planting.

Reasons why certain of the reserved State forests should be given
    out for planting.

Cinchona and Ceara rubber planting tried and abandoned. Coffee
    seed introduced from Brazil, and other countries, without any
    apparent advantage. Liberian coffee tried experimentally.

The capital spent on labour and the consequential results of this
    on agriculture. My visit to Coorg in 1891.

The route from Mysore. The coffee works at Hunsur. Interesting
    adventure with a panther.

To Mr. Rose's estate near Polibetta. Description of Bamboo

Life in the Bamboo district. The club, church, and co-operative

Visits to plantations. Left for Mercara.

The Retreat. Mr. Meynell's house. Its kitchen arrangements, etc.

Mr. Mann's coffee garden at Mercara. The large profits from it.
    To the Hallery estate six miles from Mercara.

Visits to several estates. To the Coovercolley estate. Mr.

Left Coovercolley for Manjarabad in Mysore.

General observations on coffee planting in Coorg. Its flourishing
    condition. More attention should be paid to shade.

Defects as regards shade. More attention to it would lessen

Manures used on the best kept up estates.

The profits that may be expected from good, well-managed estates.
    The great want of a Game Preservation Act.


An agreeable life for an active intelligent man who must work

Qualities necessary to make a successful planter.

The work not hard. The climate agreeable and healthy. The
    elevation of the coffee districts above sea level.

The changes that may be taken in the slack season by planters.
    The durability of well-shaded plantations.

Shaded plantations a very permanent property. The profits of
    coffee. Case of an estate bought with borrowed money.

Analysis of yield, expenses, and profits on a Manjarabad estate.

Probable profits on estates in the northern part of Mysore.

From want of information coffee plantations in Mysore not
    saleable at good prices. Failure of coffee in Ceylon. This gave
    coffee generally an undeservedly bad name.

Early notices of coffee in India. Its early history in Mysore.

Failure of the variety of coffee first introduced.

The successful introduction of the Coorg variety of coffee.

Mysore coffee fetches the highest price in the London market.
    Original Mysore coffee land tenures.

The new Coffee Land Rules introduced in 1885.

In the south of Mysore all coffee land probably taken up. In
    north, land reported to be still available. Planters well
    satisfied with the Government.

Advances to labourers. Legislation as regards them much needed.

Proposed measure to meet the advances to labourers difficulty.

Legislation required to amend the extraditions laws.

The New Cattle Trespass Act. The want of a Wild Birds' Protection
    Act. The neglect of game preservation.

In consequence of game destruction tigers forced to prey heavily
    on village cattle. Great losses in consequence.

Cruelty of native hunters. Evidences of extermination of game

The want of a Government Agricultural Chemist. The discovery of a
    new hybrid coffee plant.

Enormous yield from it.


General remarks on the importance of shade.

The governing principle as regards shade for coffee.

The most desirable kinds of shade trees. Those of less desirable

The Jack. Its merits and defects.

The Attí. Good when young, less desirable when old.

The Noga. The objections to relying on this tree.

Other kinds of less desirable shade trees.

_Albizzia Moluccana._ Said to be a valuable tree for shade.

Methods adopted when forming a shaded plantation.

Great advantages of clearing without burning the forest.

The order in which shade trees should be planted.

The young shade trees require shade. The charcoal tree a good

The management of young shade trees.

The evils arising from excessive trimming of side branches of
    shade trees. Planting under the shade of the original forest

The value of leaving marginal belts of forest. The danger of a
    running fire.

The quantity of shade required for varying aspects and gradients.

The great differences between northern and southern aspects as
    regards heat.

Western and eastern aspects.

Importance of attending to the gradients, the quality of the
    soil, and its exposure to drying winds.

Elevation and rainfall govern quantity of shade that should be
    kept. The thinning, and lopping lower boughs of shade trees.

Much knowledge and experience required in judicious thinning.

More shade will be required as trees become lofty.

Importance of at once planting up spots where shade is deficient,
    in order to keep out the Borer insect.

Planting out young shade trees. The removal of parasites from
    shade trees.

Preparation of shade tree cuttings before planting out. How to
    grow young charcoal-tree plants. Valuable as nurses.


How shade complicates the economical and effective manuring of

Bulk manures as a rule should not be applied to land directly
    under shade trees, but to more open spaces.

Less manure should be applied to coffee directly under shade

Manure should be varied on different aspects. The quantity that
    should be annually supplied.

Bones may be seldom used if lime is regularly applied.

A considerable amount of manure required even though the loss
    from crops is small.

A test of land being sufficiently supplied with manure. The
    quantity of manure probably required.

The quantity of manure that should be put down at a time.

Danger from over-manuring, especially in ease of light soils.

Ridges should be more heavily manured than hollows. The time of
    year when manures should be applied.

Advantages of manuring at the end of the monsoon.

Bearing that the time of applying manures has on leaf disease.
    Mr. Marshall Ward's remarks as to this.

The various methods of applying manures.

In the case of steep land the manure should be buried in
    trenches. Farmyard manure. Its great value for coffee.

Substitutes for farmyard manure.

Value of forest land top soil as a manure, and as a substitute
    for farmyard manure.

The comparative cost of farmyard manure and top soil. Remarkable
    result from an application of pink-coloured soil.

If top soil costs the same as farmyard manure the former is
    better. Reasons for this being so. A compost of pink soil and
    manures may be made, which will equal good farmyard manure, and
    cost but little more.

The manurial value of pulp, and of dry fallen leaves.

Manurial value of green twigs of trees, ferns and wood ashes.

Night soil. Lime.

Bonedust. Fish manure.

Oil-cakes. Proportion of phosphate of lime in castor cake.

Nitrates of potash and soda.

Potash. A manure of doubtful value in the case of Mysore soils.

Attempt to ascertain value of potash as a manure for coffee.

How to grow young plants in old soils. Coprolites, discovery of,
    in Mysore.

An agricultural chemist wanted for the province. A careful record
    should be kept of manure applied.

Bringing round a neglected plantation. Steps that should be

Manurial experiments.

Native manurial practises should be studied. Application of
    various soils as top dressing by native cultivators. The best and
    most economical way of manuring coffee has yet to be discovered.

Manurial experiments need not be costly.


The selection of seed.

Irrigated coffee near Bangalore. Mr. Meenakshia's gardens. The
    selection of a site for a nursery.

The best time for putting down the seed.

Plants should be grown in baskets. The pits for vacancy plants.

Topping. The best heights for.

The time when trees should be topped.

Handling and the removal of suckers. Its importance as regards
    rot and leaf disease.


Management of pruning, with reference to rot and leaf disease.

The removal of moss and rubbing down the trees. The cultivation
    of the soil.

Difficulties connected with the proper cultivation of the soil.

The best tools for digging. Renovation pits.

Renovation pits valuable as water-holes. Their value in
    connection with water conservation.


Leaf disease, or attacks of _Hemeleïa Vastatrix_.

Mr. Marshall Ward's report on leaf disease in Ceylon. Leaf
    disease probably always existed in Mysore. Said to have caused
    much loss on some estates.

Losses of leaves from other causes commonly attributed to leaf
    disease. No reason to fear it if land is well cultivated,
    manured, and shaded. Evidence that shade can control leaf

Bad kinds of shade trees cannot control, but increase leaf

Conditions under which leaf disease is liable to occur in the
    cases of good soil under good shade trees.

The importance of manure and cultivation with reference to leaf
    disease. Mr. Graham Anderson's, Mr. Marshall Ward's and Mr.
    Brooke Mockett's opinions. The Coorg plant not so liable to be
    attacked as the Chick plant.

The Borer insect.

Borer is worst under bad kinds of shade trees, but can be
    controlled by good caste trees.

Conditions favorable to attacks of the Borer.

Reasons for thinking that the usual practice of destroying all
    bored trees is of little use.

The Borer can only be suppressed by adequate shade. Rot, or
    _pellicularia koleroga_. Aggravated by want of free circulation
    of air.

Measures for lessening rot. Importance of meeting monsoon with
    mature leaves on the coffee trees.

Green-bugs. None in Mysore, Receipt for killing them used on
    Nilgiri Hills.


Much uncleared land available in northern part of Mysore.

The various classes of forest lands.

Much land unsuitable from over heavy rainfall. Mr. Graham
    Anderson's return of rainfall. His interesting memorandum.

Elevation of plantations above sea level. With a few exceptions
    not much difference in value of the coffee of various estates.

The especial importance of aspect in Mysore.

The most favourable gradients. Various kinds of soil.

Comparative healthiness of the different coffee districts in

Various considerations to be taken into account when valuing

An old established estate may not necessarily be an old

The quality of the shade ought largely to affect a valuation of a

Facilities that should be considered when valuing a property.

Impossible to offer opinion as to value of coffee property, till
    facts as regard it are widely known, and the line is opened to
    western coast.


Inferior parts of estates should be thrown out of cultivation.

The losses caused by giving advances.

Advances not so necessary as formerly, as labour rates are higher

Advances to Maistries to bring labour.

Minor sources of loss. The order in which the various works
    should be performed.


"The fact is, we all require a little looking after."

Advisable to give manager an interest in the estate. Managers for
    estates in Mysore require to be very carefully selected.

A clear understanding essential between proprietor and manager.

Powers of attorney should be carefully drawn up. The proprietor
    entirely in the power of the manager.

The value of the eye of the owner. Every estate should have an
    information book.

Points to be entered in the information book.

Hints to managers.


The best form of bungalow.

The kitchen arrangements.

The aspect of the bungalow and ground around it.

Cash value of the amenities of an estate. The flower garden.

Building materials.

How to keep out white ants.

Coolie lines.

Tree planting for timber and fuel.

Precautions for the conservation of health.

Hints as regards food, and the table generally.

Suggestions as to books and newspapers.

Importance of having some interesting pursuit.

The minor amenities of an estate.

The conditions of a planter's life now ameliorated by railways.

Mysore out of the reach of House of Commons faddists. Advantages
    of this.


On June 26th, 1893, gold standard introduced and mints closed to
    free coinage of silver.

Movement originated in India by the servants of Government, and
    from no other class whatever.

Some merchants afterwards joined in the agitation. Gold to be
    received at the mints at a ratio of 1s. 4d. per rupee.
    Sovereigns in payment of sums due to Government to be received at
    the rate of fifteen rupees a sovereign.

Cash effects of the measure. For benefit of English reader
    figures given in pounds sterling, a rupee taken at 2s. Rupee
    prices little changed in India, China and Ceylon. Difficulty of
    forming exact estimates as to this.

If gold value of silver can be forced up from 1s. 3d. to 1s.
    4d., Indian Government will gain about one and a half million
    sterling on its home remittances, and the people lose about seven
    millions on their exports.

The Indian Finance Minister contemplates a rise to 1s. 6d.

A rise to 1s. 6d. would give the Exchequer a gain on home
    remittances of £4,500,000 and entail on the people a loss
    £21,000,000, equal to a tax of 21 per cent. on the exports of
    India. Effects of this on the producers.

The producers of coffee in Mysore alone would lose £56,000 a year
    were exchange forced up to 1s. 4d., and £156,000 a year were it
    raised to 1s. 6d. All producers in other parts of India of
    articles of export would be similarly affected.

If the rupee is artificially forced up by the State, the shock to
    confidence will repel capital and injure credit. The first effect
    will show itself in a lessened demand for labour.

The effects of increased employment on the finances. The bearing
    of the measure on famines and scarcity. It will intensify the
    effects of both, and make them more costly to the State.

The measure has arrayed all classes against the Government,
    except its own servants and a very few of the merchants.

The effects of the measure on the tea-planters of India and
    Ceylon. It must heavily affect both. If Ceylon establishes a
    mint, tea-planters there will have advantages over their rivals
    in India.

Coffee planters of India and Ceylon will he prejudicially
    affected in their competition with silver-using countries. Evil
    effects of the measure on the trade, manufactures, and railways
    of India.

The measure rotten from financial, political, and economical
    points of view.

The Viceroy and the supporters of the measure have admitted that
    it must be injurious to the producers of India. Sir William
    Hunter's admirable survey of the former and present financial
    condition of India.

The Viceroy has publicly declared that cheap silver has acted as
    "a stimulus" to the progress of India.

The unfair action of Lord Herschell's Committee. Not a single
    representative of the producing classes examined. But the
    majority of witnesses were dead against the monetary policy of
    the Government. The Currency Committee reported against the
    weight of the evidence. The most important points not inquired
    into at all by the Committee.

The Indian Government and Currency Committee financially
    panic-stricken, and in dread of effects of repeal of Sherman Act.
    The financial condition not such as to warrant panic. Taxational
    resources not exhausted.

Sir William Hunter's statement proves that the financial
    conditions were full of hope. The dread that the repeal of the
    Sherman Act might reduce rupee to 1s. Examination of the
    subject on that supposition.

By a rate of 1s. a rupee the Government would lose about seven
    millions on its home remittances, and the people of India gain
    fourteen millions on their exports. Mr. Gladstone's Government
    adopted Home Rule Bill, and Currency Measure in one year. Both
    forced on by tyrannical action. Gladstonian action as to Opium
    Commission equally tyrannical.

The monetary measure a policy of protection for the benefit of
    the silver-using countries that compete with India.

Some of the evils the measure, if successful, must cause. The
    Indian Finance Minister declared that "it ought not to be
    attempted unless under the pressure of necessity." No necessity
    arisen. An independent body wanted to efficiently check the
    Government. The Duke of Wellington's opinion.

India and Mexico compared. Mr. Carden's Consular Report.

Cheap silver advantageous to Mexico. The losses to the Government
    and railways which arise from gold payments are, comparatively
    speaking, a fixed quantity, while the gain to the people from
    cheap silver, produces consequential benefits far beyond reach of
    calculation. These remarks equally applicable to India. Wanted, a
    Government that can see this.



As I now turn my thoughts back to the year 1855, when, being then in my
eighteenth year, I sailed for India to seek my fortunes in the jungles of
Mysore, it is difficult to believe that the journey is still the same, or
that India is still the same country on the shores of which I landed so
long ago. But after all, as a matter of fact, the journey is, practically
speaking, not the same, and still less is India the same India which I
knew in 1855. For the route across Egypt, which was then partly by rail,
partly by water, and partly across the desert in transits, the bumping of
which I even now distinctly remember, has been exchanged for the Suez
Canal, and the frequent steamers with their accelerated rate of speed have
altered all the relations of distances, and on landing at Bombay the
traveller of 1855 would now find it difficult to recognize the place. For
then there were the old fort walls and ditches, and narrow streets filled
with a straggling throng of carts and people, while now the fort walls and
ditches no longer exist, and the traveller drives into a city with public
buildings, broad roads and beautiful squares and gardens, that would do
credit to any capital in the world, and sees around him all the signs of
advanced and advancing civilization. Then as, perhaps, he views the scene
from the Tower of the Elphinstone College, and looks down on the
beautiful city, on the masts of the shipping lying in the splendid
harbour, and on the moving throngs of people to whom we have given peace
and order, what thoughts must fill his mind! And what thoughts further, as
on turning to view the scene without the city he sees on one side of it
the tall chimneys of the numerous mills which have sprung up in recent
times, and which tell of the conjunction of English skill and capital with
the cheap hand-labour of the East--a combination that is destined, and at
no very distant period ahead, to produce remarkable effects. But I must
not wander here into the consideration of matters to which I shall again
have occasion to refer when I come to remark on the wonderful progress
made in India in recent years owing to the introduction of English skill
and capital, and shall now briefly describe my route to the western
jungles of Mysore.

When I landed in Bombay, in 1855, the journey to the Native State of
Mysore, now so easy and simple, was one requiring much time and no small
degree of trouble, for the railway lines had then advanced but little--the
first twenty miles in all India having been only opened near Bombay in
1853. A land journey then was not to be thought of, and as there were no
coasting-steamers, I was compelled to take a passage in a Patama (native
sailing craft) which was proceeding down the western coast with a cargo of
salt which was stowed away in the after-part of the vessel. Over this was
a low roofed and thatched house, the flooring of which was composed of
strips of split bamboo laid upon the salt. On this I placed my mattress
and bedding. My provisions for the voyage were very simple--a coop with
some fowls, some tea, sugar, cooking utensils, and other small necessaries
of life. A Portuguese servant I had hired in Bombay cooked my dinner and
looked after me generally. We sailed along the sometimes bare, and
occasionally palm-fringed, shores with that indifference to time and
progress which is often the despair and not unfrequently the envy of
Europeans. The hubble-bubble passed from mouth to mouth, and the crew
whiled away the evening hours with their monotonous chants. We always
anchored at night; sometimes we stopped for fishing, and once ran into a
small bay--one of those charming scenic gems which can only be found in
the eastern seas--to land some salt and take in cocoa-nuts and other
items. As for the port of Mangalore, for which I was bound, it seemed to
be, though only about 450 miles from Bombay, an immense distance away, and
practically was nearly as far as Bombay is from Suez. At last, after a
nine days' sail, we lay to off the mouth of the harbour into which, for
reasons best known to himself, the captain of the craft did not choose to
enter, and I was taken ashore in a canoe to be kindly received by the
judge of the collectorate of South Kanara, to whom I had a letter of

After spending some pleasant days at Mangalore I set out for Manjarabad,
the talook or county which borders on the South Kanara district--in what
is called a manshiel--a kind of open-sided cot slung to a bamboo pole
which projects far enough in front and rear to be placed with ease on the
shoulders of the bearers. Four of these men are brought into play at once,
while four others run along to relieve their fellows at intervals. I
started in the afternoon, and was carried up the banks of a broad river by
the side of which hero and there the road wound pleasantly along. In the
course of a few hours night fell, and then all nature seemed to come into
active life with the hum of insects, the croaking of frogs, and various
other indications of an abounding animal life. Presently I was lulled to
sleep by the monotonous chant of the bearers--sleep only partially broken
when changes of the whole set of bearers had to be made--and awoke the
following morning to find myself some fifty miles from the coast, and
amidst the gorges of the Ghauts, with vast heights towering upwards, and
almost all around, while the river, which had now sunk to what in English
ideas would still seem to be one of considerable size, appeared as if it
had just emerged from the navel of a mountain-barrier some miles ahead.
After a few miles more we passed the last hamlet of what was then called
the Company's Country, and leaving the inhabited lands--if indeed in a
European sense they may be called so--behind us, began to ascend the
twenty miles of forest-clad gorges which lead up into the tableland of
Mysore. The ascent was necessarily slow, and it was not till late in the
afternoon that I saw, some 500 feet above me, and at a total elevation of
about 3,200 feet above sea-level, the white walls of the only planter's
bungalow in the southern part of Mysore. To this pioneer of our
civilization--Mr. Frederick Green, who had begun work in 1843--I had a
letter of introduction, and was most kindly received, and put in the way
of acquiring land which I started on and still hold. To the south, in the
adjacent little province of Coorg--now, as we shall afterwards see, an
extensive coffee-field--the first European plantation had been started the
year before, i.e., 1854, while to the north some fifty to seventy miles
away the country was, in a European sense, occupied by only three English,
or, to be exact, Scotch planters. In 1856 I started active life as a
planter on my own account, about twelve miles away from the estate of Mr.
Green, while in the same year two other planters--Scotchmen by the
way--made their appearance. The southern part of Mysore was thus occupied
by four planters, and we were all about twelve miles from each other. It
is difficult to conceive the state of isolation in which we lived, and as
we were all Europeanly speaking single handed, and could seldom leave
home, we often had not for weeks together an opportunity of seeing a
single white face, and so rare indeed was a visit from a neighbour that,
when one was coming to see me, I used to sit on a hill watching for the
first glimpse of him, like a shipwrecked mariner on a desert island
watching for the glimpse of a sail on the horizon. As for the Indian
mutinies, which broke out the year after I had started work, they might
have been going on in Norway as far as we were concerned; none of us at
all appreciated the importance and gravity of the events that were
occurring, and one of my neighbours said that it was not worth while
trying to understand the situation, and that we had better wait for the
book that would be sure to come out when things had settled down. And the
native population around us appeared to know as little of the mutinies as
we did. They seemed to be aware that some disturbance was going on
somewhere in the north, and that represented the whole extent of their
knowledge of the subject.

I have described our life as having been one of great isolation so far as
European society was concerned, but I never felt it to be a dull one, nor
did my neighbours ever complain of it, though we only took a holiday of a
few weeks in the year. But we had plenty of work, and big game shooting,
and the occupation was an interesting one, and as I even now return with
pleasure every winter to my planter's life, this proves that my earlier
days must have left behind them many pleasant associations. And the
occupation and sport were really all we had to depend on. We had few
books, nor any means of getting them, for I need hardly say that pioneer
planters, who have to keep themselves and their coffee till the latter
comes into bearing, cannot afford to buy anything that can be dispensed
with. But after all this perhaps was no disadvantage, for, as a great
moral philosopher has pointed out, nothing tends to weaken the resources
of the mind so much as a miscellaneous course of reading unaccompanied (as
it usually is, I may remark) by reflection. The management of people, the
business of an estate, the exercise of the inventive powers, the
cultivation of method, the sharpening of the observing and combining
faculties, which are so well developed by big game shooting, yield real
education, or the leading out and development of the mental resources,
while books provide the individual merely with instruction which has often
a tendency to cramp and even to fossilize the mind.

I have said at the outset, that the journey to India is not the same as it
was in 1855, and that still less is India the same India, and I may
certainly say that still less is Western Mysore the Western Mysore of
1855, except that its beautiful scenery is as beautiful as ever. For our
planting is not like that of Ceylon, where the planter, like the locust,
finds a paradise in front to leave a desert in his rear--a desert of bare
lull sides from which the beautiful forest has been entirely swept away,
while the most valuable constituents of the soil have been washed down to
the river beds. And when standing in 1893 on a lull in my district of
Manjarabad, and looking around, I can see no sign of change in the
landscape from the days of 1855, except that the woodland paths leading
from village to village are much more distinctly marked, owing to the
great increase of labourers employed in the numerous native and European
plantations, which now stretch in an unbroken line along all the western
border of Mysore. And no sign of change is apparent, because all the
coffee is planted either under the shade of the original forest trees, or
under the shade of trees which have been planted to take their place. But
all else is practically and largely changed by the agency of a universal
progress, which has been brought about by British government and the
introduction of British capital, skill, and energy. And this progress, I
am glad to be able to say, has benefited all classes of the community, and
the labouring classes by far the most of all, and the results as regards
those are so striking, so interesting, and so much more widely diffused
than could at first sight be thought possible, and are, as I shall show,
of such vast importance to the finances of the State, that they are well
worthy of special attention. Had the Government been aware of the enormous
financial value to the State of the introduction of English capital, I
feel sure that much greater efforts would have been made to stimulate
European enterprise, and that the progress of India would have been much
accelerated all along the line.

When I started my plantation in 1858, the pay of a labourer was 2 rupees 4
annas (4s. 6d.) a month. It is now, throughout the numerous plantations
in Mysore, from six to seven rupees a month, and a labourer can live on
about two rupees a month. Such a statement made of any country would
indicate a satisfactory degree of progress; but whereas in England it
would simply mean a greater ability in the working classes to live in an
improved condition, and perhaps some improvement in the condition of the
shopkeepers with whom they dealt, in India it means the creation of a
social and ever wide-spreading revolution. For when in India capital is
introduced, and employment on a large scale is afforded to the people, the
poorer of the peasant classes are at once able to free themselves from
debt, and the labourers soon save enough money to enable them to start in
agriculture, coffee culture, or any culture within, their reach. The
result of this, in my experience, has been most remarkable. When I started
in Manjarabad, for instance, the planters relied solely on labour procured
from the adjacent villages. But now the local labourer is almost a thing
of the past, for he has taken to agriculture and coffee culture, and now
only occasionally works for a short time to earn some money to pay his
taxes. When this change began, the planters had of course to go further
afield for labour, but merely to produce over again a similar result by
enabling labourers from distant villages to do what the local labourers in
the coffee districts had done, and thus for labour we have to operate on
ever-widening circles, till at last I have heard it remarked that the
Kanarese language is often of little use, and the native overseers on my
estate have complained that they now often cannot make the labourers
understand them. And this of course is not surprising, as at one moment
the overseer may have to deal with labourers from any one of the villages
between Mysore and the Western Sea, and at another with people from
villages in the Madras Presidency, far away on the route to the Bay of
Bengal. Field after field, and village after village, has thus been
irrigated by that capital for which India thirsts, and which, as we have
seen, produces such wide-spreading social effects on the welfare of the
people, and, consequently, on the resources of the State--enabling land to
be more largely and fully developed, wells to be dug, gardens to be made,
and the people to pay with greater ease the demands of the Government. But
there is yet another point of great importance to notice as regards the
introduction into India of European capital, with its accompanying
effects--effects which largely enhance its value--namely, those arising
from setting the natives practical examples of both method, skill, and
energetic action. I allude to the bearing of these forces upon famine--a
subject well worthy of some passing remarks, more especially because in
Mysore we can furnish proofs of the value in times of famine of having
Europeans settled in the country.

The actual money value of the infuse of English capitalists, and its
bearing on the resources of the State, and in enabling the people the
better to contest with famine and scarcity, is sufficiently apparent, but
it was only when the terrible famine of 1876-77 (which cost Mysore the
loss of about a fifth of its population, an immense sum of money, and
crippled its resources for years) broke out that the value of having a
European agency ready at hand to grapple with famine, and honestly
administer the funds available, was absolutely proved. It would be tedious
to go into this subject at any length, indeed I have not space to do so,
and I can only say that, as far as I could learn, the only satisfactory
treatment of the great famine was that initiated and carried out by the
planters, or, to be at once just and exact, I should rather say that the
system adopted was initiated by one of our leading planters--Mr. Graham
Anderson--who, and entirely at his own cost, was the first to start and
maintain on his estate a nursery for children. He saw that if the parents
could only be relieved of their children the former could work and be able
to maintain themselves, while all their efforts would be insufficient to
maintain at once themselves and their children. The nursery system that
was then initiated by Mr. Anderson, was adopted by other planters who were
subsequently aided by the assistance of money from the Mansion House Fund,
and Mr. Anderson was formally appointed by the Government as President of
the relief operations in the Southern Mysore coffee district, and, owing
to his energy, example, and administrative still, most satisfactory
results were obtained. I have before me, and written by Mr. Anderson, a
full account of all the famine relief operations he had charge of, showing
the assistance afforded by the planters in employing labour from which,
owing to the weakness of the people, very little return could be got; and
moreover by sheltering in their lines the wandering starvelings who were
moving about the country. I can only regret that want of space prevents my
going into the subject more in detail. I must, however, at least find room
for his concluding remarks, in order to deliver for him a message he has
long been desirous of sending to those of the English public who
subscribed to the Mansion House Fund.

"If there is one thing," writes Mr. Anderson, "I am certain of it is this,
that although some people think that natives have no gratitude, there has
never been anything concerning which the natives have been so loud in
their praise as the unbounded generosity of the London public, who in time
of fearful distress came forward with money to feed and clothe hundreds
and thousands of starving poor. Many a poor woman and man have asked me to
express blessings to 'the people of my village' who rescued them in their
dire distress. Perhaps you can give this message, which, as an outsider, I
have never had an opportunity of doing." I only wish I could add that the
gratitude of the Government was equal to that of the natives. Yes, Mr.
Graham Anderson was an outsider, and the Government (Mysore was under
British rule at the time) was evidently determined that he should remain
so in the fullest sense of the word, for he never even received a letter
of thanks for his valuable and gratuitous services, or the smallest notice
of any kind. I have no hesitation in praising most highly the action of
the planters, because, though one of them, I was not in India at the time,
and, though my estate manager took an early and active part in relief
operations, I had nothing personally to do with the famine relief work.

The subject of famines is of such vast importance to the people, the
Government, and all who have any stake in India, that I think it well to
offer here some remarks on them, and also suggest some measures for their
prevention, or perhaps I should rather say for their mitigation.

The causes that would lead to an increase of famines in India were fully
pointed out by me in 1871 in the "Experiences of a Planter," in letters to
the "Times," and in the evidence I gave when examined by the India
Finance Committee of the House of Commons in 1872. There were two
principal causes--the spread of the use of money instead of grain as a
medium of exchange, and such a restricted development of communications
that, while these were sufficient to drain the countries in the interior
of their grain, they were not sufficiently developed to enable the grain
to be brought back again in sufficient quantities when it was necessary to
do so in times of famine. Till, then, communications were developed to an
adequate extent, it was quite clear that India would be much more exposed
to risk from famines than she was in the days when grain was largely used
as a medium of exchange, and when, besides, grain, from the want of
communication, was largely kept in the country. The people, in short, in
the olden days, and even for some time after I landed in India, hoarded
grain, and in times of scarcity they encroached upon their supplies of
buried grain, whereas now they hoard money, which in time of famine can go
but a very short way in buying grain. The statement that an increase of
famines would be sure to ensue from the causes above indicated is amply
corroborated by the facts. There is no evidence to show that droughts have
increased, but there can be no doubt that in comparatively recent times
famines and scarcities have. And in looking over the list of famines from
1769 to 1877, I find that, comparing the first 84 years of the period in
question with the years from then up to 1877, famines have more than
doubled in number, and scarcities, causing great anxiety to the State,
seem certainly to be increasing. That the latter are so we have strong
evidence in Mysore, and in looking over the annual addresses of the Dewan
at the meeting of the Representative Assembly of Mysore, I am struck with
the frequent allusion to scarcities and grave apprehensions of famine. In
his address of 1881, only four years after the great famine of 1876-77,
the Dewan refers to "the period of intense anxiety through which the
Government and the people have passed owing to the recent failure of the
rains. But," he adds, "such occasional failure of rains is almost a normal
condition of the Province, and the Government must always remain in
constant anxiety as to the fearful results which must follow from them."
In his address of 1884 the Dewan says that "the condition of the Province
is again causing grave anxiety." In the address of 1886 the Dewan says
"this is the first year since the rendition of the Province (in 1881) in
which the prospects of the season have caused no anxiety to the
Government." But in the address of 1891 lamentations again occur, and we
find the Dewan congratulating the members on the narrow escape, owing to
rain having fallen just in time, they had had from famine. But our able
Dewan--Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer, K.C.I.E.--has taken measures which must
ultimately place the Province in a safe position, or at least in as safe a
position as it can be placed. He has seen, and it has been amply proved by
our experience in the Madras Presidency during the famine of 1876-77, that
the only irrigation work that can withstand a serious drought is a deep
well, and he has brought out a most admirable measure for encouraging the
making of them by the ryots. The principal features of this are that
money, to be repaid gradually over a long series of years, is to be
advanced by the State on the most easy terms, and that, in the event of a
ryot taking a loan, and water not being found, or found in inadequate
quantity, the Government takes upon itself the entire loss. But the
results from this highly liberal and valuable measure cannot be adequately
arrived at for many years to come, and in the meanwhile the risks from
famine go on, and as the Dewan has seen that these can only be immediately
grappled with by an extension of the railway system, he has always been,
anxious to make a line to the western frontier of Mysore, if the Madras
Government would agree to carry it on to Mangalore on the western coast.
But the Madras Government felt itself unable to find funds to carry out
the project, and hence Mysore, all along its western frontier, was, from a
railway point of view, completely imprisoned, and there seemed to be no
prospect of anything being done to connect the Province with the western
seaboard for many years to come. However, a Mysore planter last year
sought a personal interview with Viscount Cross, the Secretary of State
for India, who has always taken a great interest in railway extensions,
and the result of this was that Lord Cross initiated action which resulted
in prompt steps being taken. Early this year a preliminary survey of the
route from a point on the line in the interior of Mysore, _viâ_ the
Manjarabad Ghaut, to Mangalore was made, and I am in a position to state
that the completion of this much and long-wanted line may be regarded as a
thing of the near future. After this line has been made a line will be
constructed from Hassan to Mysore, _viâ_ Holî Nursipur, and Yedatora, and
from Mysore a line will be run, _viâ_ Nunjengode[2] to Erode, the junction
of the Madras and South Indian Railways. I may mention here that Sir
Andrew Clarke, in his able Minute of 1879 on Indian Harbours, says that
"Mangalore undoubtedly admits of being converted into a useful harbour,"
though he adds that "the project may lie over until the prospects of a
railway connecting it with the interior are better than at present." As
the immediate prospects of a line being made are quite secure, it is of
great importance to call attention to this matter now, as it is to the
manifest interest of both Governments that the harbour of Mangalore should
be improved as soon as possible.

After having done so much to contend against famine-producing causes, it
may seem that the Dewan might rest and be thankful; but it must be
considered that, though railways will undoubtedly enable the State to save
life, it will have to pay a ruinously heavy charge whenever a widespread
and serious drought occurs, and, sooner or later, it seems inevitable that
such a drought must occur. And it is therefore perfectly evident, that
without the extension of deep wells the province cannot be placed in a
thoroughly sound financial position. It is, then, of obvious importance to
remove at once the great obstacle that stands in the way of the rapid
addition to the number of deep wells. That obstacle, and a most formidable
obstacle it is, as I shall fully show, lies in the fact that the present
form of land tenure in Mysore (under which also about four-fifths of the
land of British India are held) does not provide a sufficient security for
investors in landed improvements. By the existing tenure the land is held
by the occupier from the State at a rental which is fixed for thirty
years, and after that it is liable to augmentation. The Government, it is
true, has declared that it will not tax improvements, and that, for
instance, if a man digs a well no augmentation of rent will be demanded
for the productive power thus added to the land, but it has reserved to
itself wide powers of enhancing the rent on general grounds, such as a
rise in prices, improved communication, etc., and to what amount the
enhancement may go the ryot cannot tell. And hence we find that the
representatives in the Mysore Assembly have repeatedly argued that it is
owing to the uncertainty as to what the rise of rent may be at the close
of each thirty years' period that improvements are not more largely made,
and have therefore prayed for a permanently fixed assessment. Now I am not
prepared to say that, for the present at any rate, it would be wise to
grant a fixed assessment on all lands, but I am quite sure that it would
be wise to grant, for the irrigable area watered by a well dug at an
occupier's expense, a permanent assessment at the rent now charged on the
land. The Government, it is true, would sacrifice the rise it might obtain
on the land at the close of each lease, but, as a compensation for
this--and an ample compensation I feel sure it would be--the State would
save in two ways, for it would never have to grant remissions of revenue
on such lands, as it now often has to do in the case of dry lands, and
with every well dug the expenditure in time of famine would be diminished.
Such a measure, then, as I have proposed, would at once benefit the State
and draw out for profitable investment much capital that is now lying
idle. There is nothing new, I may add, in this proposal, for it was
adopted by the old native rulers, who granted fixed tenures on favourable
terms to those making irrigation works at their own expense. An
English-speaking Mysore landholder once said to me, "I will not dig wells
on my lands under my present tenure, but give me an assessment fixed for
ever, and I will dig lots of wells." The present landed policy of the
Indian Government[3] is as shallow as it is hide-bound. It wants, like a
child, to eat its cake and still remain in possession of the article. It
is most anxious to see private capital invested in land, and it still
wants to retain the power of every thirty years indefinitely augmenting
the land revenue on general grounds. Surely it must be apparent to minds
of even the humblest calibre that these two things are utterly

I may mention that there is a strong party in India in favour of granting
at once a permanent assessment at the existing rate of rent for all lands,
and in reference to this point it may be interesting to give the following
passage from a letter I once received from the late Prime Minister of
Mysore, Mr. Rungacharlu, the minister who started the first Representative
Assembly that ever sat in India:

"As you know," he wrote, "I hold decided views on the subject, and the
withholding of the permanent assessment is a serious injury to the
extensive petty landed interests in the country, and is no gain whatever
to the Government. Nearly the whole population of the country are
agriculturists, and live in one way or another upon the cultivation of the
land. The effect of a permanent settlement will therefore create a greater
feeling of security, and to encourage the outlay of capital and labour on
land will be beneficial to the entire population. It will thus be quite a
national measure reaching all, and not in the interests of a few, and is
calculated to develop the capabilities of the land to the utmost. The
prospect of the Government ever being benefited by the reservation of an
increase of assessment on the unearned increment is a mere dream. Such
increase is sure to be resisted or evaded, occasioning meanwhile great
discontent. The Government may confidently look to the development of
other sources of revenue from the increased prosperity of the people."

But whether the best remedy lies in granting, as I have proposed, a fixed
assessment on land brought under well-irrigation at owners' expense, or in
granting a permanent assessment for all lands, or, perhaps, in extending
the period of lease from thirty to sixty years (and the last proposal
would answer fairly well), one thing is certain, and that is, that under
the thirty years' tenure system it is impossible to expect such a
development of the landed resources of India as will secure the Government
from the vast financial losses caused by famine, or at least reduce these
losses to a moderate amount. And we have ample evidence to prove that,
where adequate security exists, private enterprise will be sure to step in
and carry out most extensive and important irrigation works. This has
been particularly shown in the proceedings of the Government of the
North-West Provinces and Oudh, where the condition of things in the
permanently settled districts has been contrasted with that in the
temporarily settled, or thirty year leasehold districts. I have no space
to go into the details. They would only weary the general reader, and it
is sufficient to say that in the permanently settled districts there has
been an immense progress in irrigation carried out by private enterprise;
and that, to quote from the proceedings:--"Throughout the whole tract
there have been occasional periods of agricultural distress, but it has
always been in a mild form, and for a century famines such as have
occurred in other parts of India have been unknown." In short, private
enterprise, backed by a fair assessment fixed for ever, has driven famine
from the tract in question, and this will occur in other parts of India if
the Government will only grant tenures sufficiently safe to induce the
people to invest their money in wells and permanent improvements. And if
further proofs are needed, we have only to turn to Mr. Gribble's valuable
memorandum on well irrigation, which is published in the proceedings of
the Famine Commission.

In concluding my remarks on famines, I may say that the whole question
regarding them is of the greatest practical importance to all employers of
labour in India. Our labour market in Mysore was enormously injured by the
great famine of 1876-77, when the loss of population amounted to about a
million, and when, through the agency of railways, loss of life can be
averted in the future, it will only be averted at such a cost as will
cripple the resources of the State for years to come, and so lessen its
powers for maintaining roads and other works in an efficient state, and
developing the resources of the country. The whole of the evils arising
from famine then can only be averted by a full development of well
irrigation, and this and the development of the landed resources of the
country in general can only be effected through the agency of improved
tenures. This is a point which all individuals having a stake in India
should continuously urge on the attention of the Government.

The reader will remember that when I started in Mysore in 1856, there were
only seven European planters in the province. I have lately endeavoured to
ascertain the number there are at present, and the Dewan, to whose
kindness I have been much indebted for information when writing this book,
has supplied me with a specially drawn up return, showing all the
information available as regards coffee from the year 1831 up to 1890-91,
and by this it seems that there were in 1890-91 662 plantations held by
Europeans in Mysore, but there are no means of ascertaining the number of
planters. I have referred the return to one of the oldest and most
advanced planters, and in his reply he says, "It is impossible to say
exactly how many landowners the 662 plantations represent, as several of
the plantations in many cases go to make up what we call an estate, but I
should not imagine that the number would be more than 300, and in that
calculation I have allowed for there being partners in many of the
properties." The area held by Europeans was 49,862 acres, and some
increase has no doubt since been made to this.

The native plantations amounted to 27,180 in number in 1890-91, with an
area of 96,814 acres, but many of these so-called plantations only consist
of small patches of coffee. The total area of European and native holdings
in 1890-91 was 146,676 acres. There are no means whatever of ascertaining
from the returns at my command even approximately the amount of coffee
produced. A reasonable calculation, however, based on a general knowledge
of the circumstances, makes it probable that the European production of
coffee may be put down at about an average of 120,000 cwts. a-year, and
the native production at about 172,000 cwts., and if we put the average
value of both as low as £3 a cwt. this would make the annual value of the
coffee amount to £876,000. I now proceed to close this chapter with some
remarks on manufactures in Mysore.

Many years ago I heard the late Mr. Hugh Mason (formerly President of the
Manchester Chamber of Commerce) speak at a meeting of the Society of Arts
on the manufacturing prospects of India, and, after reviewing the general
situation, he said that it is difficult to see what other advantages India
could require in order to raise itself into the position of a great
manufacturing country. It is true, he said, that the operative there
cannot do as much as the operative hero, but, he continued, I can remember
the time when the operative here could not do nearly as much as he can do
now, and there is no reason to doubt but that a similar improvement would
take place in the case of the Indian operative. And when this improvement
takes place, and India becomes more known and developed, her great
manufacturing capabilities will become fully apparent. India has two very
great advantages. She has an abundant, docile, and orderly population, and
she obtains from the sun an ample supply of that heat which has to be paid
largely for here. When, then, the Indian operative attains to an advanced
degree of proficiency--and to this he undoubtedly will attain--the
greatest labour competition that the world has ever seen will begin--a
competition between the white labourer who requires to be expensively fed,
warmly clothed, and well shod, and housed, and the black or brown skinned
man who can live cheaply, and work naked, and who is as physically
comfortable in a mere shelter as his rival is in a well built dwelling.
The Indian peasant already, in the case of wheat, undersells the English
farmer, and it seems merely a question of time as to when the Indian
operative will undersell his Lancashire rival, and when perhaps calico
will come to England, as it once did, from Calicut. And no doubt, some
such thoughts were passing through Cobden's mind when he once said, "What
ugly ruins our mills will make." We are, however, a considerable way from
such remains as the reader will see if he consults the interesting paper
on "The Manufactures of India," read by Sir Juland Danvers at a meeting of
the Society of Arts on the 24th of April last, and by this it appears that
the imports of cloths of English manufacture have increased in recent
years. Still India is progressing, and there are now a total of 126 cotton
mills in all India. Of these one is in Bangalore, and was opened in 1885.
The Mysore Government took 250 shares in it, and to enable the Company to
extend the buildings, subsequently lent it on easy terms two lakhs of
rupees. There is also another company at work in Bangalore which started
as a woollen factory, but which has now set up machines for spinning
cotton. The efforts made to push forward industries of all kinds in Mysore
are highly creditable to the administration, and I find numerous
references in the annual addresses made by the Dewan at the meeting of the
Representative Assembly to the desire of the Government to foster any kind
of industry that is likely to afford increased employment to the people. A
long reference is made in the Dewan's address of 1890, to the endeavours
made by the Government to open up the iron wealth of the province, and it
was then in correspondence with a native gentleman who had proposed to
start iron works in the Malvalli Talook of the Mysore district. The
Government, it appears, were prepared to grant most liberal concessions as
regards the supply of fuel. But I regret that I have no information as to
whether these proposed works have or have not been started. For the
information of those who might be inclined to embark in this industry I
may mention that a copy of the Dewan's annual addresses always appears in
the "Mysore and Coorg Directory," which is a most valuable compilation on
all points of importance relating to those provinces. These annual
addresses are admirably drawn up and are most interesting to read. The
attention shown to the many various points treated of is most remarkable.
Nothing seems too great and nothing too small for notice by the Dewan, and
it is this even attention all along the line that shows the fine
administrator. As one instance to the point I may mention that when
attending as a member of the Representative Assembly at Mysore in 1891, I
happened to meet the Dewan and some of his officers in the veranda outside
the great hall where our meetings were held, and his attention was
attracted to a coffee peeler--the invention of a native who thought this a
good opportunity for introducing his machines to the notice of the public,
and had some cherry coffee at hand to show how they worked. The Dewan at
once inspected the machine, saw the coffee put through, and himself turned
the handle, and was so satisfied that he ordered some of the machines to
be bought and sent for exhibition to the head-quarters of the coffee
growing Talooks, or counties, and in his address of 1892 he reports that
the machines had been found to be much in favour with the planters who had
used them. The state of the box is the best evidence of the goodness of
the gardener. But it is time now to draw this chapter to a close. I must,
however, find room for a few remarks which will show those who might be
inclined to settle in India that their interests are sure to be well
attended to by the Government.

During my long Indian experience I have had occasion to represent
grievances and wants to Government officers, from district officers to
high Indian officials, to officials at the India office, and to more than
one Secretary of State for India, and am therefore able to testify
directly to their admirable courtesy, patience, and consideration. In the
ordinary sense of the word, the planters in the various parts of India are
not represented, but as a matter of fact their interests are most
efficiently represented, for the officers of the Government, whether
civilians or soldier-civilians (and when Mysore was under British rule I
had practical experience of both), are distinguished by an amount of
energy, industry, and ability, to which I believe it is impossible to find
a parallel in the world, and combined with these qualities there is
everywhere exhibited a conscientious zeal in promoting in every possible
way the interests of the countries committed to their charge. And these
officers know that they are at once the administrators and rulers of the
land, and, as there is no representative system such as we have in
England, freely admit that to them the people have a right to appeal in
all matters affecting their interests. This right of personal appeal
planters most freely exercise, and in this way are sure, sooner or later,
and often with very little delay, to obtain the supply of wants or the
redress of grievances. And here I may offer in conclusion one useful hint.
The time of officials, and especially of high officials, is very valuable,
and every effort should be made to avoid putting them to trouble that can
be avoided. The subject to be brought forward should be carefully thought
out, and put in the form of a memorandum. This in some cases it is
advisable to forward by letter when asking for an interview, while in
other cases I have thought it more advisable that the memorandum should be
taken with one and read to the official, as this gives a good opportunity
for discussing the points in regular order. In the latter case, at the
close of the interview, the official will probably ask that the memorandum
may be left with him for reference, but it is then better to ask to be
allowed to send a well-written copy by post, as this gives an opportunity
for making clearer any points that may have been discussed at the
interview, and which may require further explanation. It is well always to
bear in mind that all high officials, and the heads of districts, are
representatives of the Crown, and as such are entitled to a due amount of
deference and formality when being personally addressed, or addressed by
letter. These are points which are sometimes not sufficiently taken into
account by inexperienced persons.

I need hardly say that the remarks last made apply equally to native
officials either in Mysore or elsewhere.

In conclusion, I may mention that I have always found the native officials
to be most polite, considerate, and obliging, and such, I feel sure, is
the general experience of those who have been brought in contact with


[2] When this line is finished the planters of Mysore will have an easy
and very direct route by rail to the Nilgiri Hills, and this will be of
immense advantage to themselves, and especially to their families.

[3] It has imposed this policy on Mysore, and by the terms of the deed of
transfer to the Rajah, no alteration in the tenures can be made without
the consent of the Supreme Government.



Mysore is a tract of country in Southern India approximating in area to
Scotland, and with a general elevation of from two to three thousand feet
above the level of the sea. It is commonly spoken of as the Mysore
tableland, but this is rather a misleading description if we adopt the
dictionary definition of the word tableland as being "a tract of country
at once elevated and level," for, though there are in the interior of the
province considerable stretches of rolling plains, the so-called tableland
presents to the view a country intersected at intervals, more or less
remote, with mountain chains, while scattered here and there in the
interior of the plateau are isolated rocky hills, or rather hills of rock,
termed droogs (Sanscrit, durga, or difficult of access) which sometimes
rise to a total height of 5,000 feet above sea level. The surface of the
country, too, is often broken by groups, or clusters of rocks, either low
or of moderate elevation, composed of immense boulders, the topmost ones
of which are often so finely poised as to seem ready to topple over at the
slightest touch. The highest point of the plateau is about 3,500 feet, and
is crowned as it were by the fine bold range of the Bababuden mountains,
which have an average elevation of about 6,000 feet. There are three
mountains in Mysore which exceed this elevation, and the highest of them,
Mulaìnagiri, is 6,317 feet above the level of the sea. The province,
which is completely surrounded by British territory, is flanked on the
west and east by the Ghauts, or ranges of hills up the passes through
which the traveller ascends on to the tableland, and on the south it is,
as it were, pointed off by the Nilgiri hills. The greatest breadth of
Mysore from north to south is about 230 miles, and its greatest length
from east to west is 290 miles. On the western side one part of the
province runs to within ten miles of the sea, though the average distance
from it is from thirty to fifty miles. The nearest point to the sea on the
eastern side is about 120 miles, and the most southerly extremity of the
tableland is 250 miles from the most southerly point of India.

As regards climate, cultivation, and the general appearance of the
country, Mysore may be divided into two very distinctly marked tracts--the
forest and woodland region which stretches from the foot of the Western
Ghauts to distances varying from about twenty to as much as forty-five
miles, and the rolling and comparatively speaking treeless plains of the
central and eastern parts of the province, which are only occasionally
broken by tracts which have some of the characteristics of both. In the
western tract are numerous plantations of coffee and cardamoms, and the
cereal cultivation consists mainly of rice fields irrigated from perennial
streams; while in the central and eastern parts of the tableland, which by
far exceed in area the woodland tracts of the west, the cultivation is
mainly of the millets and other crops which do not depend on irrigation,
though these are interspersed at intervals, more or less remote, with rice
fields, the water for which is chiefly derived from tanks, or artificial
reservoirs. The rainfall, temperature, and quality of the atmosphere in
the western tract varies considerably from those of the open country of
the interior. The rainfall of the first varies from sixty to one hundred
inches, and, on the crests of the Ghauts, is probably often about 200
inches,[4] while in the interior of the province the rainfall is probably
about thirty inches on the average. The temperature of the western tract
too is naturally much damper and cooler than that of the rest of the
tableland, and at my house within six miles of the crests of the Ghauts at
an elevation of about 3,200 feet, the shade temperature at the hottest
time of the year and of the day rarely exceeds eighty-five, and such a
thing as a hot night is unknown, as the woodland tracts are within reach
of the westerly sea breezes, while in the interior the climate is much
hotter and drier, and the maximum day temperature of the hot weather is
about ninety, and, in very hot seasons, about ninety-five. In the woodland
tracts the cold weather and the monsoon months have a very pleasant
temperature, and then flannel shirts and light tweeds--in short, English
summer clothing--are used, and a blanket is always welcome at night. The
climate of Mysore is considered to be a healthy one for Europeans of
temperate habits, and who take reasonable care of themselves. As we are
now hearing so much of cholera in Europe, it may not be uninteresting to
mention that, though the province was under British administration from
1831 to 1881, and there have since been a considerable number of European
officials in the employ of the now native government of Mysore, only one
European official has died of cholera during that period, and that, though
there are a considerable number of planters, only one has been reported to
have died of the disease, though his, I am told, was a doubtful case.

I have said that there are marked differences between the western tracts
and the remainder of the province, but the most marked difference of
course between the forest and woodland country of the west, and the
country to the east, lies in the scenery of the two tracts, for, though in
the latter case there are occasional bits of attractive landscape, and
partially wooded hills, there is nothing at all to compare with the grand
forest scenery of the Western Ghauts, or the charming park-like woodlands
which stretch into the tableland at varying distances from the crests of
the frontier mountains. Everyone who has seen the latter has been struck
by their extraordinary and diversified beauty, and last year a friend of
mine, who had for a considerable time been travelling all round the world,
said to me, as he rode up to my house, "After all I have seen I have seen
nothing to equal this." But this, I must add, was the very best of our
Western Ghaut park scenery which is mostly contained in the talook or
county of Manjarabad which stretches for about twenty-five miles along the
western frontier of Mysore, a tract of country so beautiful that the
laconic Colonel Wellesley (afterwards the great Duke of Wellington), who
rarely put a superfluous word into his dispatches, could not refrain from
remarking in one of them on the beautiful appearance of the country.[5]
There are two things especially remarkable about this tract. The one is
that throughout the best of it there is nothing distinctively Indian in
the scenery. Bamboos are rare, and in much of the tract entirely absent,
and as the palm trees are always concealed in the woods there is nothing
to connect the country with the usual feature of Indian woodland scenery.
Another point most worthy of notice is that the scenery which appears to
one seeing it for the first time to be entirely natural, is in reality
very largely the creation of man. And it has been much improved by his
action for, as you leave Manjarabad to go northwards the jungle becomes
too continuous, and it is the same if you go southwards into the adjacent
district of Coorg, and when you compare the last mentioned tracts with
Manjarabad you then begin to realize the fact that nature, if left to
herself, is apt to become a trifle monotonous. But in Manjarabad man has
invaded nature to beautify her and bring her to perfection--cutting down
and turning eventually into stretches of grass much of the original
forest--leaving blocks of from 50 to 200 acres of wood on the margin of
each group of houses, clearing out the jungle in the bottoms for rice
cultivation and thus forming what at some seasons appear to be bright
green rivers winding through the forest-clad or wooded slopes, and here
and there planting on the knolls trees of various wide-spreading kinds.
And yet from the absence of fences, and of cultivation on the uplands, the
whole scene appears to be one of Nature's creations, and all the more so
because no houses nor farm-buildings are visible, as these are hidden
amongst the trees on the margins of the forest lands. Then this long tract
of beautifully wooded and watered country is fringed on its western border
by the varied mountain crests of the Western Ghauts, while on the east it
is traversed by the Hemavati river which is fed by the numerous streams,
and brawling burns which descend from the frontier hills. But though
Manjarabad has combinations of charms unrivalled in their kind, we must
not forget that an examination of of them by no means exhausts the scenery
of the Ghauts, for, on the north-western border of Mysore are the falls of
Gairsoppa. Often had I read descriptions of them which I once thought must
have been too highly coloured, but when I visited the falls some years ago
I found that the accounts I had read were not only far below the reality,
but that the most important parts of the wonderful combinations of the
scenes had either never been noted, or been quite inadequately recorded.
I do not now profess to give anything approaching an adequate account of
them. Nor indeed do I think it would be possible to do so. But what
follows will I think at least be of advantage in directing the attention
of the traveller to the best way of observing the varied scenes, and
noting the wonderful musical combinations, which are to be heard at these
marvellously beautiful falls.

The falls of Gairsoppa are on the Sarawati, or Arrowborn[6] river, which,
rising in the western woodland region of Northern Mysore, flows north-west
for about sixty-two miles, and then, turning abruptly to the west,
precipitates its waters over cliffs about 860 feet in height. When the
river is at the full in the south-west monsoon an immense body of water
rushes over the precipice, and from calculations made by some engineers,
and which are recorded in the book at the Travellers' Bungalow, the volume
and height of fall at that time, if taken together, would give a force of
water about equal to that of Niagara. But, however that may be, a glance
at the high water marks, and a knowledge of the immense rainfall on the
crests of the Ghauts during the monsoon months, makes it certain that, at
that time of year, the amount of water must be very large. At that season,
though, the falls are almost invisible, as they are concealed by vast
masses of mist and spray, and even were they visible, as the water then
stretches from bank to bank, there would only be one vast monotonous fall.
But after the heavy monsoon floods are over, the river above the
falls-shrinks back as it were into a long deep pool which lies at a
distance of several hundred yards from the brink of the precipice, and
from this pool the water of the river then escapes by four distinct rapids
which have cut their way to-the brink of the precipice, and fall over the
cliffs in four distinct falls, each one of widely different character
from the others. The falls at this season are only 834 feet high, but when
the river rises to the full the fall, as I before mentioned, must be about
860 feet, or approximating in height to the loftiest story of the Eiffel
Tower. Across the rapids light bridges of bamboo are thrown, at the end of
each monsoon. There are thus two ways of crossing the river--one by the
pool above the falls where there is a ferry-boat which can take over
horses as well as people--the other by the bridges of the rapids--and it
is necessary to cross the river because the only bungalow is on the north,
or Bombay side of the river, and the best point for seeing the falls is on
the southern side. The only way too of reaching the bottom of the falls is
by the southern side.

The only objection to these falls is the difficulty of getting at them,
owing to their being quite out of the usual travellers' route, and that is
why they have, if I may judge by the travellers' book at the bungalow,[7]
been, comparatively speaking, rarely visited. Then there is no railway
nearer than about ninety miles, and though the falls are only thirty-five
miles from the western coast, steamers do not call at the nearest port to
them. Nor is it at all even probable that any line will ever be brought
nearer to the falls than about sixty miles. It is, too, rather
discouraging to have the prospect of a ninety mile road journey to see the
falls, and then return by the same route. But I would suggest that a
traveller might make a very enjoyable trip by going from Bombay to Hoobli
on the South Maharatta line, and, on the way to Gairsoppa visit the
Lushington Falls which are about 400 feet in height, the Lalgali Fall
which has a series of picturesque rapids and cascades, with a total fall
of from 200 to 300 feet, and the Majod falls where the Bedti-Gangaveli
river forms a picturesque waterfall leaping in a series of cascades over
cliffs varying in height from 100 to 200 feet in height, and together 800
feet high. I have not visited any of these last named falls. An account of
them and other places of interest in the Kanara district is given in the
"Bombay Gazetteer" for Kanara,[8] which gives a complete history of this
interesting district, and is a book which the traveller should buy, as it
is well worthy of a place in any library. I now proceed to give an account
of my visit to the Gairsoppa Falls.

On the 12th of January, 1886 (I should not advise the traveller to visit
the falls earlier than November 1st nor later than the middle of January,
as the water lessens after the latter date), I arrived at the Travellers'
Bungalow at the Falls, after having travelled there by the coast route
from Bombay, which I found so troublesome that I cannot recommend its
adoption. The bungalow, which is about thirty-five miles from the western
coast, and on ground 1,800 feet above sea level, is situated in a truly
romantic spot (in fact rather too romantic if we take the possibility of
an earthquake into consideration), for it is close to the edge of a gorge
900 feet deep, and in full view of the face of the precipice over which
the waters of the Arrowborn river precipitate themselves on their way to
the western sea. To north, south, east, and west stretch hills and vales
for the most part covered with the evergreen forest, and only here and
there showing grassy slopes and summits. On the opposite side of the gorge
as you peer down into it you can see emerging from the edge of the jungle
about half way down from the top of the side of the gorge what looks like
a long ladder of stone, but which really consists of the rough steps by
which alone the bottom of the falls can be reached.

On the following morning I proceeded to cross the river by the bridges
over the rapids. The first rapid is that of the Rajah Fall, the water of
which shoots sheer from the cliff, and, without even touching a rock,
falls 830 feet into a pool 132 feet deep. After crossing the bridge you
sometimes walk through, and sometimes clamber over, the vast assemblage of
rocks and huge boulders which form the bed of the river, and are deeply
submerged when the river is full. The sight here is extremely curious and
interesting as, after leaving the bridge of the Rajah rapid, there are
about 1,000 feet of rock and boulders to pass through or over before you
reach the next rapid, and, when half way, there would be nothing to show
that you were not wandering through a mere wilderness of rocks were it not
for the unceasing thunder, far below, from the bottom of the Rajah Fall.
The next rapid to be crossed is that of the Roarer, which takes, before it
goes over the precipice a most singular course--first flowing into a basin
at the edge of the cliff, and then leaving this in a northerly direction,
after which it rushes down a steep stony trough to fall into the same deep
pool which receives the water of the Rajah Fall. After crossing the bridge
of the Roarer rapid the bed of the river has again to be traversed and at
a distance of about 700 feet you reach the rapid of the Rocket. This is a
fall of wonderful beauty, for the water projects itself sheer from the
cliff to fall about 100 feet on to a vast projecting piece, or rather
buttress of rock, which causes the water to shoot out into a rocket-like
course from which are thrown off wonderfully beautiful jets, and arrowy
shoots of water, and spray, and foam, which seem to resemble falling stars
or shooting meteors. You then pass over another section of the river bed
for about 500 feet till you reach the rapid, or rather stream, of the la
Dame Blanche Fall which glides gently over the precipice in a broad
foaming silvery sheet. From the first rapid to the last the distance is
about 733 yards. I have met with no estimate of the total width of the
fall when the river is in full flood, but it can hardly be less than half
a mile wide, and the depth of the water, as one can see from the high
water mark, must be very great. It is interesting to note on the tops of
the boulders here and there the circular stones that have, during each
monsoon, been whirling round and round, each one in its own pothole.

After crossing the last bridge you then walk over the rocks into the
forest beyond and strike the path which leads down through the forest on
the Mysore side of the river, to a point called Watkin's platform--an
open-sided shed about 100 feet below the top of the falls, and which
commands a view of the gorge below the falls, and a fair, though rather
distant view of the falls. When approaching the platform I was positively
startled by a vast shrieking clang which suddenly burst on the ear and
seemed to fill the air. This I afterwards found had come from the
semi-cavernous gorge of rock about half a mile away, into which fall the
waters of the Rajah and Roarer rapids, and though I afterwards heard
somewhat similar sounds issuing from these falls, I never heard again
anything approaching to this singular and startling burst of sound. These
sounds have often been remarked upon, but no one seems to have attempted
to trace their cause, but they most probably arise from the escape of air
which has been driven by the falling waters into some deep fissures of the

Having thus taken a general view of the situation, I then returned to the
bungalow for breakfast, and in the afternoon at about two o'clock returned
to Watkin's platform by the route of the ferry across the pool, and, with
my companion, set out for the foot of the falls, first of all by a steep
winding path, and then by a flight of very rough and uneven steps which
had been formed by placing stones in places on and between the rocks. When
descending, we often paused to view the constantly changing scene, for,
as we got lower and lower, the rainbow hues across each fall, which were
at first widely broken by the masses of cliff stretching between the
falls, came closer and closer, till at last, when we reached the region
where the spray of all the falls was mingled, the iris hues stretched
across the gorge in an unbroken band of colour. At length, as we neared
the foot of the fall, we reached a small open-sided shed, which had
recently been erected on the occasion of the Maharajah of Mysore's visit.
From this, which was probably fifty feet from the bottom of the gorge and
about 100 yards from the falls, an admirable view was obtained of the
entire situation, and we began to realize how impossible it is to form any
adequate conception of the falls from the top, or from the higher sides of
the gorge. We next descended to the bottom of the gorge, where the ground
is strewn with vast boulders of rock, which had evidently fallen from the
cliff as it had been eaten back by waters toiling through countless bygone
ages. Many of these masses of rock lie at some distance from the foot of
the falls, and on the partially decayed surfaces of some of them
vegetation had evidently been flourishing for an indefinite period of
time. Huge masses of rocks and boulders, as you look down the river, seem
almost to block up its route towards the western sea, and indeed so
completely seem to fill up the pass, that one seemed to be standing at the
bottom of a rock-bound hollow which had been excavated by the agency of
Nature, after a toil through periods of time far beyond the calculations
of man.

As I found that the rocks at the foot of the falls were covered with a
slimy mud, and as I was suffering slightly from a damaged foot, I
presently returned to the shed, while my companion proceeded to explore
the bed of the gorge further down the river. The floor of the shed had
been strewed with straw, and I lay down at full length, partly to rest
and partly to examine the situation more minutely, for the height is so
great that it is impossible adequately to survey the scene in any other
position. And then, when you have stillness and solitude, and when the
body is in complete repose, there pour in on eye and ear floods of
impressions so quickly varying that the mind feels quite unable to record
them, and there is finally nothing left behind but a vague and
indescribable sensation of all that is grand and beautiful and melodious
in nature. For there are vast heights and gloomy depths and recesses, and
varied forms of falling waters, and in the general surroundings everything
to convey exalted ideas of grandeur to the mind, but grandeur accompanied
by exquisite beauty, in colour, in the graceful movement of animal life,
and in the varying sounds of falling waters--the charm of the iris hues
which ever beautify the falling waters--beauty in the varied colours of
the rocks, and in the plants and ferns growing in the fissures of the
cliff--beauty in exquisite forms of motion--of water varied in countless
ways as it descends from the four separate falls--beauty in the unceasing
movements of countless swallows, mingled here and there with specimens of
the Alpine swift and the pretty blue-hued rock pigeons, which build their
nests on the ledges of the cliffs, and are constantly to be seen flying
across the falls. Then there are the unceasing and ever varying sounds of
falling waters, grand in their totality, grand and melodious in their
separate cadences--the deep bass of the Rajah, sometimes like cannon
thundering in the distance, and sometimes like the regular tolling of some
vast Titanic bell; sounds of most varied and brilliant music from the
Rocket; the jagged note of the Roarer, as its waters rush down their
steep, stony trough; the eerie and mysterious sounds which, sometimes like
a mingling of startling shrieks and clangs, and sometimes, to the active
imagination, like the far-off lamentations of imprisoned spirits,[9]
occasionally rise from the semi-cavernous chasm which has been hollowed
out behind the great pool beneath the cliff; the gentle murmuring note of
the White Lady Fall, tangled threads of sound from which fall in fitful
cadences on the ear as the wind rises and falls athwart the falls; and
lastly, but by no means leastly, the undulating and endless varieties of
sounds which, having broken away from their original source, are ever
wandering and echoing around the rock-bound gorge. Beautiful indeed and
altogether indescribable are the elements of melody which are created by
the falling waters of the Arrowborn river!

And the music, too, seemed to be for ever varying, for the choral odes
which were sweetly chanted to the ear were not perpetually continuous, and
at times, owing to some change in the direction of the wind as it swirled
around the gorge, the choral element was subordinated to the deep thunder
of the Rajah Fall, or the vague tumult of startling discords which arose
at intervals from the semi-cavernous walls of the pool into which plunge
the waters of the Rajah and Roarer Falls. And then these sounds would
gradually lose their predominance, and the more uniform sounds in which
all the four falls joined would once more fill the air and charm the ear.
And thus the attention could never be lulled to sleep, for here monotony
was not, and the mind was always kept in an attitude of expectancy for the
variations in the music which were sure to come, and, so far as they
reached the ear, were never the same combinations of sounds that had been
heard before. All the elements of melody were here, indeed, in profuse
abundance, and it seemed as if they only required to be caught by some
master hand and strung into methodical musical combinations to yield to
the mind and feelings those exquisite sensations which music alone can in
any effective degree convey.

And besides the effects we have noticed, there is the motion of colour
constantly, though gradually, shifting and altering, for, as the sun
declines, the rainbow hues move steadily upwards on the face of the falls,
and the colours of the rocks, which are of varying shades of purple and
yellow, continually alter in character with the sinking day. But the
finest combined effects of beauty and grandeur are, perhaps, most fully
felt when, late in the afternoon, the eye wanders delighted over the vast
combination of lofty cliffs and falling waters to rest finally far above
on the iris tints of the Rajah and Roarer Falls, through the colours of
which myriads of swallows incessantly wheel on lightsome wing, mingled
with the quick, darting movement of the Alpine swifts, and the gentle
flight of the blue rock pigeons, which occasionally wing their way through
the mazy throng. For there the eye is ever delighted with the charm of
colour and of those endless variations of graceful movement which
continuously convey pleasurable sensations to the mind. But how could eye
or ear ever tire of those rare combinations of form, colour, motion and
rhythmic sounds which fill the mind with an exalted sense of feeling and
of pleasure, and the conscious heart with exquisite sensations far beyond
the power of language to describe?

Presently my companion returned and aroused me from my state of dreamy
pleasure, and I turned reluctantly away from the scene as the rainbow
colours were, with the sinking sun, beginning to disappear from the
topmost heights of the falls.

Delightful indeed were the brilliant and varied scenes I have been
attempting to describe, and after them the remainder was by comparison
tame, but still I found that, as I took a canoe the following evening and
rowed up the forest-margined pool from which the rapids emerge, that the
minor scenes at the falls have exquisite charms of their own. And then it
was that I realized that, varying though the scale may be, there is
everywhere about the falls the same beauty of detail and beauty of
combined effect, and that, too, unaccompanied by a single jarring note.
For nowhere can you say, as you can often say in viewing scenes elsewhere,
"leave out this, or alter that, and the scene would be perfect," and in
none of the scenes about the falls does anything poor, or base, or mean,
or uninteresting strike the eye, and as I rowed slowly up the pool I felt
that the mind was both charmed and soothed by the exquisite repose of the
scene, which is only broken, if indeed it can be said to be broken, by the
beautiful birds and gaily painted kingfishers which occasionally wing
their way across the water, or flit along the margin of the forest-clad
shore. As you look towards the West the eye wanders over the wild
assemblage of water-worn rocks and boulders which intervene between the
pool and the head of the falls, to rest finally on the distant hills,
covered mostly to their tips with the evergreen forest, while on looking
up the river you see that it is flanked by woods on either hand, and as
you lose sight of the water as it bends towards the south, the eye glances
upwards to hills of moderate height, wooded in the hollows, and showing on
the ridges grassy vistas dotted with occasional trees.

On returning, I went lower down in the pool than the point I had started
at, and passed a number of rocks worn into all sorts of curious shapes,
and one of these leaned, like some gigantic Saurian, over the flood. As we
neared the rapids, one felt that one would by no means like to run any
risk of being drawn into one of them, and I was by no means anxious to go
nearer to them than the boatmen, wished. One of them told me that the
natives sometimes descended the cliffs between the Roarer and the Rocket
Falls in order to carry off the fledglings from the nests of the blue rock
pigeons, and said that several lives had thus been lost. He said that
there was no way of reaching the bottom of the cliff, and rather quaintly
added, "Those who came up again came up, and those who did not, died." He
said that some European had once put what was evidently dynamite into the
pool. A great explosion followed, which killed a large number of fish,
many of which were washed over the falls.

In the evening I sat for a long time in the bungalow veranda smoking my
cigar, and looking dreamily out at the moonlit falls, and observing from
time to time the scenic changes that were produced by the great masses of
mist which drifted up the gorge below me to be dispersed as they touched
the cliffs, and presenting, as they did so, most charming pictures. In the
morning, too, beautiful effects were to be seen, as masses of mist arose
from the chasm of the Rajah to flit in fleecy fragments across the face of
the falls. But the scenes about this spot are of endless variety, and I
must allow myself to mention only one more, which my companion saw one
morning from Watkin's platform when the iris hues were on the pool below
the falls, which, as the spray fell into it, seemed like a mass of golden
water dotted all over, as if yellow tinted rain were falling into it. On
some occasions visitors have illuminated the falls with fireworks, and by
floating over the falls ignited bundles of straw soaked in paraffin, and I
regret that I had not thought of following their example.

Next morning I set out on a drive of about 150 miles to my plantations in
Manjarabad. As we left the falls, we passed, and close to the river pool
above them, a tree covered with fruit which was being eaten by green
pigeons and other birds, and on looking up into it I was surprised, as it
is an animal of nocturnal habits, to see a large and beautiful flying
squirrel peering at me with a quiet but by no means apprehensive eye. I
was strongly tempted to shoot it for the sake of its skin, but my
companion, who had been much affected by the beauties of the falls, said
that it would be a sacrilege to shoot anything so near them. So I spared
his feelings and the poor squirrel, and am now very glad to think that I
did so. I may here mention that the traveller, though he sets out early in
the morning and late in the afternoon, very rarely sees anything in the
shape of big game, even though the jungles he may be driving through may
abound with it, and the sole exception I can remember, after numerous
journeys through them, occurred on the occasion of my drive home from the
falls, when, early one morning, a tiger bounded across the road at a
distance of about 100 yards ahead. It is also worthy of remark that you
very seldom see a snake, and, though I landed on the Western coast at
Carwar and travelled by easy stages by way of the falls to my estate, I
did not see a single snake during the whole course of the journey.

As it is probable that this account of the Gairsoppa Falls may induce
travellers to visit them, I think it may be useful to give an account of
the Cauvery Falls on the southern frontier of Mysore, which are well
worthy of a visit, and easily accessible. The best time for visiting them
is generally said to be August, or not later than the middle of September,
though when I visited them on the 25th of that month last year, the river,
though not in full flood, had an ample supply of water in it, and, from
Mr. Bowring's description of his visit to them on November 21st,[10] there
must still, up to that date, be a considerable flow in the river. From my
own experience, I feel sure that the best time to see these falls is after
the great floods have subsided, as the water then is clear, or nearly so,
and the effects, as in the case of the Gairsoppa Falls, are far more
varied and brilliant. There is one point I would here particularly impress
on the traveller, and that is, that when visiting falls such as those of
Gairsoppa and the Cauvery, which present a great variety of scenic
effects, and are not merely monotonous single masses of water, he should
devote at least two clear days to them, i.e., he should arrive on one
day, remain two days, and leave on the fourth day. He should also select a
time when there is a sufficiency of moonlight. I was particularly
impressed with the first point, because I most thoroughly enjoyed my visit
to Gairsoppa as I had two clear days there, whereas my visit to the
Cauvery Falls was attended with that sense of hurry which, if not
destructive of all enjoyment, leaves behind on the mind a feeling that
many points in the scenes must have been either missed or quite
inadequately observed. The account of my visit to these falls, however,
may at least be useful in showing a traveller short of time how to visit
them with the least possible expenditure of it.

I left Bangalore, then, on the morning of Thursday, September 24th, 1891,
by the 8.20 a.m. train, for the Mudoor Railway Station, on the lino to
Mysore city, and arrived there shortly after midday. I then had luncheon
at the station, and left for the Malvalli Travellers' Bungalow at a little
before three, in a carriage I had sent on from Bangalore with two pairs of
horses (it is advisable to have an extra pair posted), and arrived at my
destination shortly after five. To this bungalow, which is about fourteen
miles from the falls, I had previously sent on with my native servants
bedding and mosquito curtains, and the means necessary to prepare meals
for the party. Reports had reached us of creeping things being abroad in
this bungalow, and my servant had been particularly enjoined to look out
for, and, as far as possible, guard against them. This he had done by
putting the bedsteads in the sun and doing what further he could. But
notwithstanding his assurances of safety, one of the ladies of the party
insisted that, from all she had heard, there must be creeping things
somewhere about. The servant listened with an air of respectful attention
to all she had to say, and, when she had quite done, said with quiet
persistence, and much to our amusement, "What Missus says is true, but
there are no bugs," and I am glad to say that he was justified in making
the assertion. We rose very early the following morning, started at 4.20,
at 6.20 arrived at the bungalow near the falls, and, after a little delay
to get a cup of tea, drove at once to the nearest fall. But I must here
pause for a few moments to describe the general situation of the river,
the islands formed by its splitting into two distinct branches, and the
position of the fall--a total situation which is not easily comprehended
without the aid of a map.

The Cauvery Falls are on the river of that name, which rises in Coorg,
and, after a run of 646 miles to the south-east, falls into the Bay of
Bengal about midway between Madras and Cape Comorin. Before reaching
Seringapatam (which is on an island in the river) it is joined by the
Hemavati which rises to the north of Manjarabad and, as we have seen,
skirts the eastern border of that talook, or county. As the Hemavati sends
down a large body of water the source of which is more distant from the
sea than the spot in Coorg which is called the head of the Cauvery, I may
remark in passing that it is singular that the latter should have been
regarded as the source of this fine river, which really rises in Mysore.
But, rise where it may, it at last arrives at a point on the southern
frontier of Mysore where the bed of the Cauvery splits into two channels
and forms the island of Hegora, which is about three miles long, and from
a quarter of a mile to a mile wide, and, by a rather curious, coincidence,
almost exactly the size of the island on which the fortress of
Seringapatam has been built. The northern branch of the river washes the
Mysore frontier and this, after about two miles, again divides, or rather
a small branch diverges to the north and, forming a loop, cuts away from
the mainland the island of Ettikoor, and there falls into the northern
branch of the river by various cascades, and just below the point where
the falls on the main northern branch occur. This group of falls is called
Gangana Chuckee.

The southern branch of the river on the Madras side flows as a single
stream for about half a mile, and then splits off some of its water into
various channels, but forming nothing worthy of the name of an island till
it severs from the mainland the island of Hegora, a strip of land about
two furlongs at the widest, and less than a mile in length. To the south
of this the main body of the water goes to form lower down the fine series
of cascades and falls called the Bar Chuckee, while a comparatively small
body of water goes to the left to form the pretty series of cascades and
steep runnels of water which fall, though at a different point of the
compass from the main falls, into the wide pool at the foot of the Bar
Chuckee Falls. After this necessary digression I now proceed to narrate
what I saw and did.

I drove, then, after a short delay at the bungalow, to the Gangana Chuckee
Falls, passing on the way the temple of Sivasamudrum, and various
buildings connected with it, and leaving the carriage, walked down towards
the falls, passing on the right Pir's Tomb, the grave of a Mahometan
priest of that name, and went to a point just below it, from which a fine
general view of these falls and the river can be obtained. Glancing
upwards, the view of the river, as the waters race down their steep stony
bed towards the falls amidst numerous projecting rocks, is extremely grand
and picturesque. Then at a point just below the spot I was standing on,
the water plunged down a nearly precipitous descent, from which it
apparently (for the spray prevented one seeing exactly) fell
perpendicularly into the pool below, sending up as it did so gossamer
veils of spray full of fleeting, faint, and ever varying iris hues. This
pool is flanked, and probably about 100 yards below the foot of the
previously mentioned fall, on the northern side by a precipice about 250
feet high, down which, in four separate cascades, falls the water of the
branch of the river which cuts off the small island of Ettikoor. On the
side of the precipice next to the great fall of the main river stands a
piece of tree-clad rocky ground, apparently about 50 feet higher than the
precipice, and this is flanked by a rapid at the top, passing into a
cascade lower down, which then held but little water, but which in floods
must add much to the beauty of the scene. After viewing the scene for
sometime, I returned to the carriage, and drove across the island to visit
the Bar Chuckee Falls, and left the carriage at a point where the road
begins to descend into the valley into which the southern branch of the
river precipitates itself. I then advanced to a point on the right of the
road from which a fine general view can be obtained, though it is rather
too distant as regards the main body of the falls, and, as I reached the
point in question, came suddenly into view of such a number of separate
falls and cascades that a description of them is extremely difficult. For,
on the opposite side of the valley, I counted no less than thirteen, which
leap partly over one side of a horseshoe shaped precipice which had
evidently, from the huge boulders in the channel below, been eaten back
into the side of the precipice, and partly shoot out through various
hidden channels which the waters have deeply cut through a huge
semicircular platform of rock which overhangs the valley below. As they
thus shoot out the effect is extremely striking and picturesque, and their
resemblance to the spokes of light from a star no doubt caused the natives
to give the very appropriate name of Chuckee (pronounced
Chickee--Kanarese for star) to these beautiful falls. This semicircular
platform of rock stands on one side of the river-bed, next to this we have
the horseshoe-shaped precipice I have mentioned, and next to that again,
as it were by way of quietly beautiful contrast, there is a vast sheet of
steeply sloping rock, which is completely covered by a thin coating of
white, and everywhere foaming water. When the river is at the full this
fine series of falls and cascades vanishes, and is replaced, as in the
case of the falls at Gairsoppa, by one great fall about half a mile wide.

After looking at this beautiful scene, the eye wanders next over some
jungle-clad slopes on the western side of the main falls, to dwell on a
series of cascades and racing waters which descend through channels
flanked on either side by scrubby plants and trees--a series which arises
from a branch which diverges about a mile higher up the river, and the
cascades and runnels of water of which are scattered round precipitous
slopes right up to, and immediately below, the point on which I was
standing. All the falls and cascades unite in a pool below of great width,
from which the water escapes through a narrow gorge, to join, further
down, the river branch on which are the Gangana Chuckee Falls. The general
effect here appears to be that you are looking at falls and cascades
proceeding from two different rivers, the one flowing from the south and
the other from the west, and the effect is the same at the first described
falls. The general height of all the falls is said to be from 200 to 250
feet, and in Mr. Bowring's "Eastern Experiences" 300 feet, but I can find
no account, and could hear of no particulars, as to when or how
measurements were taken, as in the case of the falls at Gairsoppa, which
were carefully surveyed by officers of the Indian Navy. I was particularly
struck with the absence of bird life at these falls, and only saw two
small birds, and one hawk, and a small flight of what in the distance
appeared to be pigeons, which alit on a rock at the foot of one of the

It is impossible to refrain from contrasting these falls with those at
Gairsoppa. The Cauvery Falls have indeed much beauty and grandeur in
river, and varied waterfall scenery, and had I not seen the Gairsoppa
Falls I should have thought that it would have been difficult to find
anywhere in the world scenes more varied and beautiful. But the beauties
of the falls of Cauvery are set in comparatively speaking sterile
surroundings of rock and scrubby jungle, trees and shrubs scattered over
ground partly undulating, and partly over hills of moderate height and
uninteresting form. Then the grandeur arising from their great height, and
the charms of the varied sounds of the falls of Gairsoppa, and the
marvellously beautiful effects of graceful bird life wheeling and darting
amidst the iris hues of the falls, and the setting of the whole scene
amidst the tropical wealth of the evergreen forest of the Western Ghauts,
afford combinations which far exceed those of the Cauvery Falls. I have no
hesitation in saying, as a traveller to the falls of Gairsoppa has said
before, that they alone would repay one for all the trouble of the voyage
to India. But, beautiful and grand as they undoubtedly are, I cannot quite
say the same of the Cauvery falls, though I can with confidence say that
if the traveller leaves India without seeing them he will certainly have
missed one of the scenes best worth seeing in it.

After spending some time at the Bar Chuckee Falls I then drove back to the
bungalow and, leaving the carriage there, walked rather more than half a
mile to the bridge which connects the island with the Madras side of the
river, and which I closely examined, as it is a most curious and
interesting specimen of the work of native engineers, and as it has
withstood the floods of about seventy years, one of which passed over the
roadway of the bridge to a depth of three feet, is most highly creditable
to native workmanship. A similar bridge connects the island with the
Mysore side of the river, and both bridges were repaired at his own cost
by a native in the employ of the Mysore Government, who in recognition of
this important work, received from the British Government, for himself and
his heirs (who are bound to keep up the bridges) land yielding an annual
revenue of £800, and of £900 from the Mysore Government.

The bridge I now proceeded to examine. It is built entirely of stone
without any mortar or cement, and is supported on two rows of single block
stone pillars standing on slabs of stone placed on the river bed. Those
pillars are about nine feet high and eight feet apart. On the top of each
pillar is first of all a thick block of stone projecting about eighteen
inches from the pillar on its upper and lower sides. Then on this was a
rather thicker block of stone, and on the top of all cross beams of solid
single stones had been laid, and from one cross beam to another were solid
and closely put together slabs of stones, some of which were eighteen
inches wide, and some rather wider, thus making a roadway above so narrow
that two carriages cannot pass each other. In order to strengthen the
pillars and keep them in position, a flat slab of stone had been laid on
the bed of the river, from the base of the lower pillar to within about
two feet of the upper one, and between the end of this slab and the pillar
a thick, high block of stone had been wedged. In this bridge there were
109 pairs of pillars, giving a total length of about 1,000 feet. I was
struck with the difference in the age of the pillars, and with the fact
that, whereas some were plain, roughly hewn pillars, others, which had
been dressed and chiselled into various forms, were evidently of great
antiquity, and I was subsequently informed by the clerk of the proprietor
of the island that the latter had been procured from ruined temples in
the neighbourhood. These bridges at first sight seem to be curved in a
slight loop up the stream, but a closer examination shows that they have
been built in several lines, first slightly up the stream and then
advancing by several straight lines to a blunt arrow-like point in the
centre of the river, and this was evidently to enable the bridges the
better to resist the heavy floods, one of which, as I have previously
mentioned, went no less than three feet over the roadway. As you stand on
the edge of the river and look along the centre of the rows of pillars the
effect is very curious, as they then present the appearance of a long
colonnade of pillars of various shapes, with a flat roof of solid slabs of
stone overhead.

After thoroughly inspecting the bridge, I lay for some time in the shade
of a tree which stood on the bank of the river about fifty yards below the
bridge, and awaited the arrival of the carriage, which I had sent for as
the day was getting hot, and as I thus lay languidly observing the long
colonnade, and the water which rapidly flowed between the pillars, and
looked up the river as it stretched away to the north-west, and enjoyed
the cool air which gently moved along the water, I felt a quiet sense of
enjoyment which gave me a greater, and certainly a more lasting, sense of
pleasure than I had experienced when visiting the beautiful falls I have
just endeavoured to describe. I mention this for the moral, which is, that
to enjoy scenery the body must be comfortable and in complete repose. I
would also add that you must be alone, or practically alone, by being out
of sight or hearing of your companions. Presently I was aroused by the
rumble of the carriage, and, collecting my party, returned to the bungalow
for luncheon. At about half past four the carriage was brought round, and
we drove to our temporary home to dinner, and on the following day reached
Bangalore at two o'clock, the whole trip having thus occupied about sixty


[4] No less than 291.53 inches fell this year, between April and the last
day of September, at a Cardamom plantation on the crests of the Ghauts.

[5] After the fall of Seringapatam some further military operations were
necessary in Manjarabad, and some of Colonel Wellesley's letters were
written within a few miles of my bungalow.

[6] So called from its flowing from a source which was supposed to have
been formed by a stroke of Rama's arrow.

[7] All travellers are obliged to record their names in these books, and
state the time they have stayed, and the sums they have paid for the use
of the bungalow.

[8] "Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency," vol. xv. Kanara, Bombay. Printed
at the Government Central Press, 1883.

[9] The native idea.

[10] "Eastern Experiences," by L. Bowring, C.S.I.; Henry S. King and Co.,
London, 1871. Before visiting Mysore the traveller should certainly buy or
consult this book.



In my last chapter I gave a description of Mysore and its waterfalls. In
the present chapter I purpose very briefly remarking on its history,
government, and representative assembly, and shall conclude by contrasting
the last with the so-called National Indian Congress.

In his Report of December, 1804, the Acting Resident of Mysore, Colonel
Mark Wilks, observed that "the territories composing the present dominion
of His Highness the Rajah of Mysore had, from the remotest periods of
tradition, been held by a number of polygars and petty Rajahs, whose
possessions were incessantly enlarged, diminished, or alienated, by a
series of revolutions which it would perhaps be impossible to trace, and
unprofitable to describe," and it is interesting to note how little, at
that time, seems to have been known about the history of the kingdoms we
conquered. But all doubts as to the early history of Mysore have now been
removed, and the reader will find in Mr. Rice's admirable gazetteer of
Mysore a minute history of the country accompanied by coloured maps which
show at a glance the numerous transitions which the territories now
comprised under the head of Mysore have undergone in former times, but as
I think that it would certainly be unprofitable to describe these
transitions here I shall content myself with a bare enumeration of those
leading facts which are necessary for a general comprehension of the
situation. All, then, that the reader requires to know is, that a line of
Hindoo Rajahs which once reigned over a very limited portion of Mysore
gradually acquired about half of it; that a descendant of their line was
set aside by the Mahometan usurper Hyder Ali (an able soldier of fortune,
who had risen to the chief command of the army); that he conquered the
remainder of the present territory and ruled it from 1761 to 1782; and
that after his death he was succeeded by his son Sultan Tippoo, who on May
4th, 1799, lost his life at Seringapatam, and with it all the territories
acquired by his father, thereby fulfilling what Hyder Ali said when he
observed to his son one day, "I was born to win and you were born to lose
an empire." The subsequent history of the province is soon told. After the
fall of Seringapatam it was resolved to place a descendant of the old
Hindoo line on the throne, and Krishna Rajah Wodeyar--then about five
years old, became Maharajah of Mysore, with Purnaiya (formerly prime
minister of Tippoo) as Dewan and Regent, and Colonel (afterwards Sir
Barry) Close as Resident, while Colonel Arthur Wellesley (afterwards Duke
of Wellington) commanded the division. Under the new Government all at
first went well, and in 1804 the Governor-General declared that during the
past five years "the affairs of the Government of Mysore had been
conducted with a degree of regularity, wisdom, discretion and justice
unparalleled in any native state in India." But, unfortunately for himself
and his subjects, the Maharajah, in 1811, began to rule, and Purnaiya, the
able prime minister, retired, and soon afterwards died. Then followed a
long period of misgovernment, which culminated in the insurrection of
1830, to put down which the aid of British troops had to be called in. A
formal inquiry was then made by the British Government, and the result of
this was that it was determined to transfer the entire administration to
British officers, and put the Maharajah on an allowance for his personal
expenditure. At first two commissioners were appointed to administer the
government, but this was found to be inconvenient, and in April, 1834,
Colonel (afterwards Sir Mark) Cubbon was appointed as sole commissioner
for the province. He occupied the post till February, 1861, when he
retired, and when on his way home died at Suez at about seventy-seven
years of age, having spent the whole of the previous years of the century
in India. He was succeeded by other able commissioners, and nothing of any
political importance happened in the province till June, 1865, when the
Maharajah adopted as his heir a scion of one of the leading families of
his house. It was for some time doubtful whether the Government would
recognize the adoption, as, after the death of the Maharajah, it had been
generally assumed that the province would be annexed, but in April, 1867,
the Home Government decided that it should be recognized, and on September
23rd, 1868, six months after the death of Krishna Rajah, his adopted son,
Chama Rajendra Wodeyar Bahadur, at that time between five and six years
old, was duly installed at Mysore, and it was then decided that the
country should remain under British administration till the Maharajah came
of age. His Highness attained his majority at the age of eighteen, on the
5th of March, 1881, and was formally installed on the throne on the 25th
of that month, and thus the province, after having been directly
administered by the British for almost exactly fifty years, was handed
over, not as we shall afterwards see, to native rule, but to native

And here a rather interesting question naturally arises. How was such a
change--one quite unique in the history of India--received by the
inhabitants of the country? So far as the planters (of whom I am one of
the oldest, having settled in the province in 1855) are concerned, I do
not think they have been in the slightest degree affected. They were all
well satisfied with the English administration, and I think they are
equally well satisfied with the present native administration. In fact,
there is no change perceptible, except that the criminal administration,
has somewhat fallen off, and it certainly has been occasionally found that
an answer from a native official sometimes resembles death--you think it
is never coming and then it comes when least expected. But I must confess
that, as regards answers to communications, I have heard of similar
complaints made by the former Mysore Government against the Supreme
Government, and of a like complaint made by the latter against the Home
Government. But, though the change was regarded with indifference by the
settlers in the province, and was indeed of obvious advantage to them, as
there is no income-tax, and the finances are flourishing, it was not at
all acceptable to the native population in general, and the native
officials were quite aware that the new administration was not popular. I
made frequent inquiries as to the cause of this, not only from natives in
my own neighbourhood, but from those I met when travelling by easy stages
from the Gairsoppa Falls in the north-western corner of the province to my
estates in Southern Mysore, and found that the universal complaint was
that there was a want of Daryápti, or active inquiry into grievances, and
one of my old native neighbours was loud in his praises of the palmy days
of Sir Mark Cubbon. I confess, however, that though there may have been
some grounds for complaint as regards "inquiry," owing to the greater zeal
and personal activity of Englishmen, I do not think that there were any
real grounds for dissatisfaction, and feel sure that the unpopularity of
the new administration was owing partly to the fact of the country, at the
time of the rendition, not being in a very prosperous condition, partly to
the strong conservative instincts of the natives, and partly, perhaps, to
their being under some apprehension that the abuses of the old native
government might possibly be revived. But, however that may be, from
inquiries made when last in India, and especially from the absence of any
reference to the subject in the many conversations I had with natives of
all classes, I believe that the unpopularity of the new administration,
which at first undoubtedly existed, has now quite passed away.

It may be as well to mention here that, though the administration is now a
native one, there are still, in the Mysore service, about thirty-five
Englishmen in the various departments of the State, and that the most
friendly relations exist between them and the native officials. I feel
sure, too, that the value of an admixture of Englishmen in the
administration is fully recognized by the native officials. As regards
brain power they equal Englishmen, and indeed are often superior to them,
but the classes from which the native officials are mainly drawn are, as a
rule, deficient in that physical vigour which is required for executive
work, as one of the native officials, who himself was an exception to the
rule, once told me, "and therefore," he added, "we must have an admixture
of natives and Europeans in the service." I must, however, observe that,
though his remark is true as regards the Brahminical classes from which
the officials are mainly taken, I think it probable that, when education
spreads, there will ultimately be found amongst the hardy peasantry of
Mysore a fair proportion of individuals who will have a sufficient degree
of physical vigour for executive work. In confirmation of the remark I
have made as to the want of executive vigour on the part of native
officials, a defect which would be equally apparent in us were our energy
not kept up by fresh importations from home, I may mention that, under the
new regime, there has been a distinct falling off in the up-keep of
roads, and in the detection of crime.

In connection with this subject I may make a passing remark on a point
which has not hitherto been noticed, so far as I am aware, by previous
writers. It has constantly been asserted by natives that we have not kept
faith with them as regards opening to them many appointments in the public
service which are at present reserved for Englishmen. I would call
attention to the fact that one of the passages so often quoted contains
really no general promise of employment. This passage--taken from a clause
in the East India Act, passed in Parliament, 1833--merely says "That no
native of the said territories, nor any natural born subject of his
majesty resident therein, shall by reason _only_ of his religion, place of
birth, descent, colour, or any of them, be disabled from holding any
place, office, or employment under the said company." "By reason _only_."
Yes, but this does not bar disqualification for other reasons, as for
instance the want of physical vigour to which I have alluded. Then mark
the careful limitation contained in the often quoted passage from the
Queen's proclamation of 1858, which sets forth that "It is our further
will, that, _as far as may be_, our subjects, of whatever race or creed,
be freely and impartially admitted to office in our service, the duties of
which they may be qualified, by their education, _ability_ and integrity,
duly to discharge." But natives have not, generally speaking, the ability
to discharge executive duties requiring much physical vigour, and no one
is more ready to admit that than the best among the natives. But besides
executive efficiency there is the fact that the mere sight of the zeal,
energy, and general interest in progress exhibited by the English is to
the natives around them an education worth all the book instruction we
have imported into India. We cannot have too much of this leavening
element, and the effects of it are everywhere apparent. It is extremely
striking in the coffee districts, where many native planters have been,
much improved as regards go, and a desire to adopt improvements, since
Europeans have settled more freely amongst them.

But it is time now to turn to the subject of the constitution of Mysore--a
subject which, I need hardly say, is of the greatest practical importance
to those who hold, or may think of acquiring, property in the province.

The Instrument of Transfer, then, as it is officially called, by which
Mysore was made over to native administration on the 25th of March, 1881,
begins by declaring the installation of the Maharajah and his power to
rule under certain general conditions, which are--(1) That the Maharajah
and those who are to succeed him in the manner hereinafter provided, are
to hold possession of and administer the province as long as they fulfil
the conditions laid down in the Instrument of Transfer; that (2) the
succession should devolve on the Maharajah's lineal descendant, whether by
blood or adoption, except in the case of disqualification through manifest
unfitness to rule; and that (3) the Maharajah and his successors shall at
all times remain faithful in allegiance and subordination to the British
Crown, and perform all the duties which, in virtue of such allegiance and
subordination, may be demanded of them. Then follow clauses with reference
to the subsidy to be paid to the British Government for protecting and
defending the province, military stipulations, foreign relations, coinage,
railways and telegraphs, and extradition, and as regards the last, it is
declared that plenary jurisdiction over European British subjects in
Mysore shall continue to be invested in the Governor-General in Council,
and that the Maharajah of Mysore shall only exercise such jurisdiction in
respect to European British subjects as may from time to time be delegated
to him by the Viceroy. Then with reference to "Laws and Settlements," it
is declared that those in existence at the time of the transfer must be
maintained, and that the Maharajah of Mysore "shall not repeal or modify
such laws, or pass any laws or rules inconsistent therewith," and that no
material change in the system of administration as established previous to
the date of the transfer shall be made without the consent of the Viceroy.
And finally, under this head, it is declared that all title-deeds granted,
and all settlements of land revenues in force on March 25th, 1881 (the
date of the transfer), shall be maintained, excepting so far as they may
be rescinded or modified either by a competent court of law or with the
consent of the Governor-General in Council. Lastly, under the heading of
"British Relations," it is declared that "the Maharajah of Mysore shall at
all times conform to such advice as the Governor-General in Council may
offer him with a view to the management of the finances, the settlement
and collection of the revenues, the imposition of taxes, the
administration of justice, the extension of commerce, the encouragement of
trade, agriculture, and industry, and any other objects connected with His
Highness's interests, the happiness of his subjects, and his relations to
the British Government." And, "In the event of the breach or
non-observance of any of the foregoing conditions," the Governor-General
may resume possession of Mysore and administer it as he thinks fit. Such,
then, is a brief summary of the Constitution of Mysore; and it is most
necessary to dwell on it with some degree of minuteness in order to show
those Englishmen who are interested in Mysore, or who may be desirous of
settling there, that they and their possessions in that country are as
practically under British rule as they would be in any part of British

I have previously pointed out that there is no income-tax in Mysore. I
have also alluded to the fact that, as the finances are in a flourishing
condition, and, beyond the subsidy annually levied, are free from any
obligation to contribute to the general expenditure of British India,
there are ample and certain means available for developing the resources
of the country. And that these means shall be devoted to that end
exclusively, I would call particular attention to the fact that it has
been laid down by the British Government that, after deducting the amount
set apart annually for the personal expenses of the Maharajah, the
remaining revenues of the province are to be spent on public purposes
only, under a regular system of an annual budget appropriation, and the
proper accounting for such expenditure. So that, taking all the
circumstances into consideration, it is clear that the settlers in Mysore
have advantages over any other settlers in India. The taxes they pay on
their lands are fixed and most moderate in amount, they have every
security that capital can enjoy, and they are living in a country which,
after an ample expenditure on public works of all kinds, has an ample
annual surplus. But, besides those circumstances, the settlers in the
province, and the inhabitants as well, have another advantage which must
by no means be lost sight of, for Mysore has a Representative Assembly,
which sits once a year, and which affords a ready means for publicly
ventilating any grievance, or making known any want which may be felt by
the community; and as there is no institution exactly like it in the
world, I propose to describe the constitution of the Assembly and its
proceedings with some degree of minuteness.

The Mysore Representative Assembly, then, which was originated by Mr.
Rungacharlu, the first Prime Minister of Mysore, was inaugurated on the
25th of August, 1881, or about five months after the accession of the
Maharajah, by the following notification:

"His Highness the Maharajah is desirous that the views and objects which
his Government has in view in the measures adopted for the administration
of the Province should be better known and appreciated by the people for
whose benefit they are intended, and he is of opinion that a beginning
towards the attainment of that object may he made by an annual meeting of
the representative landholders and merchants from all parts of the
Province, before whom the Dewan will place the results of the past year's
administration, and a programme of what is intended to be carried out in
the coming year. Such an arrangement, by bringing the people into
immediate connection with the Government, would serve to remove from their
minds any misapprehension as regards the views and action of the
Government, and would convince them that the interests of the Government
are identical with those of the people.

"The annual meeting will be conveniently held at Mysore immediately after
the close of the Dassara festival, which occasion will offer an additional
inducement to those invited to attend the meeting. For the present the
Local Fund Boards of the several districts will be asked to select from
amongst themselves and others of the district the persons who are to be
deputed to represent their respective districts at the meeting. In order
to represent the landed interests of all the Talooks (counties), as well
as the interests of trade, there should be sent one or two cultivating
landholders from each Talook, possessed of general influence and
information amongst the people, and three or four leading merchants for
the district generally. A list of them should be sent beforehand to this
office, in order to arrange for their accommodation in Mysore. They may be
allowed a small sum from the local funds to meet the actual expenses of
their travelling."

The Assembly thus constituted was, as will have been perceived at a
glance, a purely consultative body, and had no power whatever except (and
a highly important exception it is) that of publicly stating to the rulers
of the country all the grievances and wants of the people. The only
institution that I can hear of that at all resembles it is the Egyptian
General Assembly of the Legislative Council, but that, though a
consultative, and not at all a law-making body, has the power of putting a
veto on any new tax proposed by the Government. In constitution, too, it
differs widely from the Mysore Assembly, as the ministers have seats in
it, while in Mysore no Government official can be a member of the
Assembly. I may mention here that the Egyptian Assembly was initiated by
Lord Dufferin in May, 1883, and I would refer those interested in the
creation of representative institutions to his Report, No. 6 (1883), and
to the Report on Egypt, No. 3 (1892), by Sir Evelyn Baring (now Lord
Cromer), both being Blue Books presented to the Houses of Parliament. It
is interesting to note here that whereas Lord Dufferin took the first step
in the direction of representative institutions by uniting, in the same
assembly, Government officials, and members elected on the broad basis of
manhood suffrage, the native statesman began by carefully excluding the
officials, and allowing only the middle and upper classes to have anything
to do with the Assembly.

The first meeting of the Mysore Representative Assembly took place on
October 7th, 1881, when 144 members attended. The Dewan first of all read
the annual report on the administration of the province, and after that
the members were called up in succession and asked to state their
grievances and wants. At the end of the session the Dewan's annual
statement, or report, and an account of the proceedings of the Assembly,
are printed in English and in Kanarese.

The Assembly, as we have seen, consisted of members partly appointed by
the Local Fund Boards, and partly of members nominated through the agency
of Government officials, but at the conclusion of the Dewan's address of
October 28th, 1890, an important change in the constitution of the
Assembly was announced, and a new body of rules was issued. By these all
members were in future to be elected, and the qualifications entitling a
man to vote for, or be elected a member for a county (talook), were (1)
the payment of land revenues, a house and shop tax to the amount specified
in the schedule[11] for each county; (2) the ownership of land to the
value of 500 rupees a year, accompanied with residence in the county; and
(3) any resident in a county who is a graduate of any Indian university is
declared to be a duly qualified person. Those so qualified were to meet on
a certain day, of which a month's notice was to be given, and elect
members from amongst themselves. 212 members from the counties were to be
thus elected. The cities of Bangalore and Mysore return four members each,
and these must either pay a house or shop tax of twenty-four rupees, or be
a graduate of any Indian university; the nine Local Fund Boards return two
members each; the eighty-nine municipalities one for each municipality,
and associations representing approved public interests, and of not less
than 100 members, and also associations of smaller numbers, but recognized
by Government--as for instance the Planters' Associations--may depute one
member each, and the total of all the members is estimated at 351. By Rule
6 it is declared that "As the object of the Assembly is to elicit
non-official public opinion, no person holding a salaried appointment
under Government shall vote for, or be returned as, a member of the
Assembly." By Rule 7, each member is to prepare and forward to the deputy
commissioner a memo describing seriatim the representations and
suggestions he may desire to make at the meeting of the Assembly; and by
Rule 9 the memoranda are to be forwarded, with the deputy-commissioner's
remarks, to the Chief Secretary to Government. By Rule 10 all the members
are to hold a formal meeting at Mysore not less than three days before the
meeting of the Assembly, and should they decide at this preliminary
meeting to bring forward at the Assembly any subjects not mentioned in the
memoranda previously sent in by members, a supplemental list of such
subjects must be sent in to the Chief Secretary.

When announcing the adoption of these new rules, the Dewan alluded to the
fact that the constitution now given did not insure a full popular
representation, and stated that numerous practical difficulties stood in
the way of widening the representation. Finally he concluded by observing
that, "It is His Highness' sincere hope that the privilege he has now been
pleased to grant will be exercised to the fullest extent, and in the most
beneficial manner possible, and that it will be so appreciated by all as
to enable His Highness gradually to enlarge the circle of electors, so as
to give wider effect to the principle of representation in the
constitution of this Assembly."

To this, the first elected Assembly that ever sat in India, I was returned
as representative of the South Mysore Planters' Association. On the 11th I
proceeded to the city of Mysore, and on the 12th of October, 1891,
attended the preliminary meeting of members, which was held in the
Rungacharlu Memorial Hall--a fine building with a large hall, which has a
wide daïs at one end, and a, very wide gallery running along three sides
of the hall. The meeting was held at 8 a.m. in the body of the hall,
where I found that a considerable body of people, who I presume were
mostly representatives, were present. The hall was arranged with benches,
very much as most modern churches are, and just below the daïs was a long
table with chairs on one side of it. It was proposed that I, the only
European present, should take the chair, and I accordingly did so, being
supported on either hand by two members who had a fluent command of
English, and what was of more importance to me, of Kanarese, for, though I
had a colloquial knowledge of that language, I had not such a command of
it as was necessary for satisfactory public speaking. I accordingly read
out in English (which a certain number of the audience knew) each, measure
I proposed, and then informed the audience in Kanarese that one of the
members would explain the subject in that language, and I found that this
arrangement answered all practical purposes. The following measures had
been drawn up by me previously in Bangalore after consultation with some
leading members of the Assembly, and were printed and circulated amongst
the members present, and it may not be uninteresting to give some of them

The first point taken up related to measures for the prevention of famine,
and, after some discussion, four proposals were unanimously agreed to, all
of them for the promotion of the digging of wells either by private
enterprise or through the agency of the State. The next point related to
fuel and fodder reserves, which it was agreed should be established on the
lands of all villages, or near all villages, wherever land suitable for
the purpose could be found. We then turned to a bill I had laid on the
table with reference to advances to labourers--an important and difficult
subject--when it was agreed that it should be referred to the Planters'
Association for consideration. An amendment on the waste land rules for
planting trees for timber and fuel was then considered and agreed to.
After this it was resolved that a Government agricultural chemist Ought to
be appointed, who would be competent to advise on agricultural practice,
cattle disease, etc., and give lectures on such subjects. We then took up
the subject of British interference with proposed irrigation works in
Mysore, and resolved that the Mysoreans should be allowed to have the full
use of the water of Mysore for irrigation purposes, and be free from any
interference as long as the water, or what is left of it, is returned to
its original channel. The subject of extradition was next considered, when
the representatives resolved that (1) complete reciprocity should be
granted between British and Mysore territory as regards warrants, and (2)
that British jurisdiction over railways in Mysore should be given up, or
at least as regards all matters of theft. It was next decided that at the
close of the session the representatives should continue in office till
new members were elected. After this it was agreed that Government
agricultural banks should be introduced. Then the representatives, having
sat for about four hours, adjourned till the following day.

On the 13th we met again accordingly at 8 a.m., and on this occasion sat
in the gallery, which was quite wide enough to accommodate the members. It
was proposed that I should take the chair, and I did so, and opened the
proceedings by introducing rules to regulate the discussion. These were
that the introducer of a proposed measure should be allowed ten, and a
discusser five minutes; that no one should interrupt or rise to speak
before the previous speaker had sat down, and that a discusser could only
be heard once. These rules were agreed to, and I found the last two of
great advantage in managing the proceedings. The first two, I was glad to
find, were hardly necessary, as anything in the shape of the British, or,
worse still, the Irish wind-bag, did not appear to exist amongst the

The next subject taken up was that of organization, and on the assumption
that the Government would grant our prayer that the present members should
not be dismissed at the end of the session, but should continue to be
representatives till their successors were elected, it was resolved that
there should be a standing central committee of the Assembly, and also
district and county committees, and it was agreed that the first should
consist of twenty-two members--for Bangalore and Mysore city six members
each, one from each district, and one from each coffee planters'
association. Seven members to constitute a quorum. The district committees
were to consist of one from each county, and two from the head-quarters of
the district, five being a quorum, and the county committees of three
members. We then agreed to the members who were to form the central
committee and district committees, and, after that, that the Maharajah
should be formally thanked for his action on his part as regards the
Assembly, and that it should be prayed that the measures now asked for
might be granted. And finally, it was arranged that the standing central
committee should draw up an address to the Maharajah, embodying the views
and wishes of the representatives.

The meeting terminated at about 11 a.m., and immediately afterwards the
central committee sat upstairs in a room at an angle of the building, when
I was appointed chairman. We first took up the question of funds, and I
suggested that each member of the Assembly should subscribe one rupee.
This was agreed to, and I at once put a rupee on the table, and presently
there were about fifteen added, and a list was made out of those who had
paid. We then agreed that an address should be presented to the Maharajah
after the termination of the meetings of the Assembly, and afterwards it
was arranged that Mr. C. Rangiengar, B.A., Advocate, Mysore, should be
secretary to the central committee, spend the funds at his discretion for
printing and advertising, and render an account once a year.

The next day was a _dies non_ as regards the Representative Assembly, but
by no means so as regards the Rungacharlu Hall, which at eight in the
morning presented a most interesting appearance, being filled with a large
assemblage of native ladies who had met together to witness the giving of
the prizes to the lady students of the Maharanee's College. The Maharajah
presided on the occasion. Besides prizes for educational proficiency,
there were others for music and singing, and the winners of these played
and sang on a platform below, on one side of the daïs. One of the
musicians, a tastefully-dressed young lady of thirteen, was a
granddaughter of Mr. Rungacharlu, the first Prime Minister of Mysore. One
of the prize-takers was a widow--plainly dressed as widows should be--and
as she came forward there was a loud clapping of hands from the women
spectators in the gallery. I found, on inquiry, that the reason of this
demonstration was that she had lately given a lecture which had been much
appreciated by the students. I have no space to give an account of the
proceedings, though I hope to do so on some future occasion, and can only
say that a more interesting and picturesque assemblage it would be
difficult to imagine.

On the day following, October 15th, the Assembly was formally opened at
twelve, when the Dewan presided at a table on the raised platform. He was
backed and flanked by the principal European and native officers of State,
while on his right sat Sir Harry Prendergast, V.C., the Resident at the
Court of Mysore. The English representatives, five in all, one of them
representing the gold mining interests of the province, had seats on the
platform, and so had as many representatives as there was room for. The
remainder occupied the body of the hall. The Dewan then opened the tenth
annual meeting of the Representative Assembly of Mysore, by reading the
already printed annual administration Report of the Province, and it may
not be uninteresting to quote the opening sentences of it:


    "By command of His Highness the Maharajah, I have much pleasure
    in welcoming you to this Assembly, which meets here to-day for
    the first time under the election system sanctioned last year.
    You come here as the duly elected representatives of the
    agricultural, the industrial, and the commercial interests of the
    State. Last year, when His Highness was pleased to grant the
    valued privilege of election, he was not without some misgivings
    as to how the experiment would succeed, but it is most gratifying
    to His Highness that, though unused to the system, the electoral
    body has been able, in the very first year of its existence, to
    exercise the privilege with so much judgment and sense of
    responsibility as to send to this Assembly men in every way
    qualified to speak on their behalf. That men representing the
    industry and the intellect of the country should have already
    taken so much interest in the scheme augurs well for the future
    of the institution. His Highness asks me to take this opportunity
    publicly to acknowledge the expressions of warm gratitude which
    have reached him from all sides for the privilege of election
    granted last year."

The Dewan then proceeded to make his statement of the Revenue and
Expenditure of 1890-91, by which it appeared that the Revenue for that
period--the largest ever realized by the State--was 145 lakhs of rupees,
or, at par,[12] £1,450,000, and the account showed a surplus of 23 lakhs,
or £230,000; but from this had to be deducted a sum for expenditure on
new railways, which reduced the surplus, or rather, disposed of it to such
an amount as to leave a balance of 12-1/2 lakhs, or £125,000. The budget
was then taken up in detail, and the Dewan showed in the most lucid manner
the financial position as regards the various heads of receipts and
expenditure, all of which I shall pass over except that relating to gold,
which the reader will probably find interesting, for, as the Kanarese
proverb says, "If gold is to be seen, even a corpse will open its mouth."
There was, then, an increase in State receipts from gold mining dues to
the extent of 37,000 rupees in the amount of royalty, while "Premia and
deposits on leases" brought in 71,000 rupees. The mines in the Kolar gold
field during 1890 extracted 106,903 ounces of gold. Three of them--the
Mysore, Ooregum, and Nundydroog--showed a considerable increase in
production over the previous year. The first increased from 49,238 oz. to
58,183 oz.; the second from 16,437 oz. to 27,351 oz., and the third from
6,129 oz. to 15,637 oz.

The Dewan then called the attention of the Assembly to the working of some
of the principal departments of the State, beginning with the railways,
and, after giving a very satisfactory account of the progress made,
concluded this branch of his subject by observing that "As regards our
main railway policy there will be no pause in the course of development,
and should our financial condition continue to improve, the next decade
will see the Province intersected with lines which, in the decade
preceding the rendition, were only thought of as remote possibilities." He
next remarked on other public works, and showed that in the last ten years
no less than 471 miles of entirely new roads had been opened up, while 218
miles of incomplete roads, which had been inherited at the time of the
rendition, had been brought up to standard. Then he turned to irrigation,
and stated that the large irrigation works commenced in former years were
advancing towards completion. And here the Dewan alluded to a matter of
the greatest importance, and to which I shall again return further on. It
appears that the Supreme Government had actually put a stop to certain
irrigation works begun by the Mysore Government on the ground that these
would lessen the supply of water from Mysore to British territory. As to
this the Dewan now observed on "The difference which had arisen with the
Madras authorities as to the rights of Mysore to the full use of its
drainage areas." The case had been laid before the Government of India,
and the Dewan said that "the basis for a solution of the difficulty has
been arranged with the Madras Government in a way that is likely to remove
to a considerable extent the check that the progress of our irrigation
works had received in tracts bordering upon the Madras Presidency."

The subject of well irrigation too had not been neglected, and the Dewan
pointed out that its protective value in times of drought is far superior
to tank irrigation, and observed that, "During the last famine the only
oases in the midst of the general desolate appearance of the country were,
besides the tracts watered by our river channels, those special regions
favoured with well irrigation." So important was well irrigation, that the
Government had resolved to make advances to ryots willing to construct
them, at a low rate of interest, and repayable by easy instalments in a
long series of years. In the event of water not being found, or found in
insufficient quantity, the Government had undertaken the risk of failure,
so that the farmer was placed beyond all risk of loss. And, in order to
facilitate the progress of such works, a special officer had been
appointed to give the advances on the spot, so as to avoid the delay
caused by the usual circuitous official correspondence.

I may here pause for one moment to remark on the great value of the
Assembly as regards any new measure like the one just alluded to, for it
often happens that from the scarcity of newspapers, and the inability of
the poorer ryots to purchase them, measures of great value are not taken
advantage of, or only are so after a long delay. Now an assembly like that
of Mysore provides an excellent means for distributing information on all
Government matters, and in one part of his address the Dewan particularly
requested the representatives from two important districts to explain
fully to the people certain matters, the particulars of which I cannot,
for want of space, give here.

The Dewan then went into the interesting subject of Forests, and it was
satisfactory to notice the progress that had been made in planting, and
that sandal wood had year after year been yielding an increased revenue.
The transition from forests to elephants was natural, and during the year
70 had been caught. Some died after capture and others were liberated. Of
the 44 retained, 41, of which 14 were tuskers, were sold for 50,705
rupees. Having fully discussed the elephants, the Dewan turned next to
education, and here he was able to record marked progress in every
direction, and especially in female instruction. There were now 97 girls'
schools in the province, and an important change had been made as regards
their immediate supervision, which was now exercised by local committees.
"The committees," said the Dewan, "have been given large powers of
management, and the initiative rests, in almost all cases, with them,
subject to the approval of Government." The object of this of course was
to interest the people in the subject, and the Dewan observed that "Female
education cannot become firmly established in the country until the people
begin to look upon the education of their girls, whether children or
adults, as necessary, and as obligatory as that of their boys. The
Government have thought that the best way of securing this result in the
infancy of female education is to leave as much as possible to the
intelligent and sympathetic guidance of local committees." After alluding
to the results of the archæological survey, and dwelling on the fact that
during the past year 1,500 inscriptions were secured, some of which were
of great value and interest, the Dewan then took up the subject of excise,
and went into the reforms he proposed to institute as regards that
department. The census of Feb. 26th, 1891, was next alluded to, and by
this it appeared that, including the civil and military' station of
Bangalore, the population returned was 4,943,079 as compared with
4,183,188 in 1881, and 5,055,412 in 1871. The increase during the last
decade was thus very considerable, but Mysore has still some progress to
make before it can bring up its numbers to the census return of 1871,
nearly a million of persons having been swept away in the disastrous
famine of 1876-77. The municipal elections were next alluded to, and it
was announced that the cities of Bangalore and Mysore were to have an
extension of the electoral system. The important subject of the reform of
religious and charitable institutions (there had been several
representations made as regards these in previous years by members of the
Assembly) was next taken up, and it was announced that a specially
qualified officer had been appointed to "inquire into the subject on the
spot, and to carry out the needed reform in the case of each institution
under the general and special orders of Government, and, when once all
institutions are thoroughly reformed and placed upon a sound and efficient
footing, the future management of them on the lines laid down will, as
heretofore, have to be carried on by the local executive authorities."
After alluding to some contemplated reforms in the Civil Service of the
province, the Dewan concluded his able address by alluding to the
apprehensions of famine which had been consequent on the failure of the
rains, and congratulating the members on the fact that owing to good rain
having fallen only a fortnight ago, the threatened danger had now passed

After the conclusion of the Dewan's address I then rose, and, as chairman
of the preliminary meetings of representatives, alluded to the subject of
the organization of committees which we desired to carry into effect, and
urged that, as far as possible, members should avoid going into petty
local grievances, and devote their attention to those large general
questions which affect the whole province. After I had sat down a
translation of the Dewan's address was then delivered in Kanarese, for the
benefit of the representatives who did not understand English, and the
Assembly afterwards adjourned till the following morning.

After the Assembly had adjourned the members of the central committee met
in a private room, and we agreed on the terms of the address to the
Maharajah. Then we returned to the Hall, as it had been thought advisable
to take up several matters which had not been discussed at our first
preliminary meeting, and it was again proposed that I should take the
chair. The first proposal made was that members, instead of being annually
elected to the Assembly, should be elected for three years, and this was
unanimously carried. A leading native member next rose and proposed that
no girl under ten years of age should be given in marriage. Then ensued a
scene of excitement that baffles description. The representatives who, the
moment before, had been quite calm and collected, and who looked so
passive that it seemed that nothing could have aroused them from a
condition of profound composure, became suddenly electrified. A burst of
tongues arose simultaneously all over the Assembly. Several members got up
and tried to speak at once, and one of these (I think I see him now), a
tall, stout, elderly man with a voice of thunder, and his appearance much
accentuated by an enormous bamboo pen which he had thrust behind his ear,
entered into an altercation with the proposer of the motion. I had no
president's bell, and if I had had one I am sure I might have rung it in
vain, and I thought it best to sit still for a little time, and let the
representatives liberate their minds. Presently, and the moment I saw the
first signs of an abatement of the excitement, I rose, and, with a slight
signal of my hand quieted the audience, and observed that, as this was a
subject as to which there was evidently much difference of opinion, and as
it was very desirable that, as regards the measures proposed at our
preliminary meetings,[13] there should be a complete unanimity of opinion,
I begged leave to suggest to the meeting that the subject might be
adjourned, and, if desired, brought up at the next day's meeting of the
full Assembly. This was agreed to, and a member then proposed that two
seers of grain (about equal to four lbs.) should be contributed yearly by
each ryot, and stored up in a public granary against times of famine.
This, I confess, I thought, and still think, a sensible proposal, as, in
the first burst of a famine it is very desirable, till trade operations
from a distance get under weigh, that local supplies should exist, but,
after some discussion, I found that the proposal met with such small
approval, that I did not think of putting it to the meeting. It was next
proposed, and as can easily be imagined, carried unanimously, that where,
from the failure of the rains, there was absolutely no crop whatever, a
remission of the assessment should be granted. Finally it was agreed that,
at the opening of the Assembly on the following morning, I should bring up
and speak on all the points that had been agreed to at the meetings over
which I had presided, and the meeting broke up at three o'clock. After it
was over several of the representatives expressed to me their gratitude
for the interest I had shown in the affairs of Mysore, and from the
numerous evidences I subsequently had of the appreciation of the natives,
I felt most amply repaid for the trouble I had taken.

On the following morning, Friday, Oct. 16th, the Assembly met at eight
o'clock, and I was called on to proceed with my address as chairman of the
preliminary meetings, and though I spoke as briefly as possible on each of
the points which had been agreed to, my speech lasted for one hour and
twenty minutes. After it was over the Dewan asked if any member desired to
speak on any of the points I had brought forward, but no one rose to do
so, which was satisfactory evidence that complete unanimity had existed as
regards the various points, and that I had correctly conveyed the opinions
of the representatives. The Dewan then called upon each representative in
turn to state any grievances, or make known any wants which his
constituents had desired him to represent, and a great many local wants as
regards roads, hospitals, telegraphs, etc., were brought forward. The
subject that excited most interest, and afforded some amusement, was that
of the age at which girls should be given in marriage, which had been
brought forward at the meeting of the day previous. Some discussion ensued
regarding it, when it appeared that the point as to which the
representatives were really most concerned, was that of elderly men who
had no children marrying again and again with the hope of getting them,
regarding which one of the representatives said to me in conversation, "We
object to old fogies marrying young girls." The point was especially urged
by one member, who argued in the most serious manner that, if a man when
in the prime of life had no family there was little likelihood of success
when he was between sixty and seventy years of age. This remark was
received with general laughter, and shortly afterwards the Dewan made a
judicious reply on the whole question, and said that, in his opinion, the
interference of the Government was inadvisable, and that the question was
one that ought to be settled by the people consulting privately on the
subject. Then the Assembly turned to other matters, and finally adjourned
at midday.

I may here mention that I subsequently had some conversation with natives
regarding the marriage question, especially as to the age for
consummation, when I found that the pressure of public opinion, and the
various discussions on the subject, which had appeared in the newspapers,
had already produced a considerable effect in delaying the time for
married girls leaving the paternal roof to join their husbands.

It may perhaps be not uninteresting to mention too that, on the afternoon
of the day on which I made my speech I fell in with two native gentlemen
who spoke to me about it. What I found had been particularly appreciated
(and very naturally so as water is of such vital importance in India), was
the firm protest I had made against the Supreme Government restricting the
Mysoreans as to the use, for irrigation, of the waters of Mysore on the
ground that a more extended use of them would lessen the supply to the
adjacent British territory. In the course of my speech, I made a very
telling point by supposing, for the sake of argument, that Mysore had, as
had been originally proposed, been annexed, and made an integral part of
the Madras Presidency. In that case, I asked, would the Government have
limited the supply of the water to the Mysore part of the presidency in
order to improve the more distant irrigated tracts in other parts of
British territory? I then argued that the British Government would
certainly not have done so, seeing that, to have so acted would have
diminished the means available for contending with famine, for, as I
fully urged, it is perfectly well known that the further the water travels
the greater is the waste from percolation and evaporation, and the smaller
the amount of land it can irrigate. If, then, the British Government would
not have so acted had Mysore been annexed, what right, I asked, had it to
interfere with Mysore regarding the use of its waters, and thereby to
increase the risks of famine in that country? It was no wonder, I
continued, that an English officer in the Mysore service had been heard to
say that he supposed Mysore would not be allowed to plant a tree, in case
it might precipitate some moisture that might otherwise pass over into
British territory.

I may here mention another remark which the above mentioned native
gentleman made as regards my speech. "It was not so much the speech as the
sense of fairness, and frankness, and sincerity which you showed that
impressed us." This remark showed, as I have often found, that the common
idea of natives always having recourse to flattery is a mistaken one, and
it was rather interesting to find the ideas of ancient times repeated by
one who could have heard hardly anything in the way of public speaking.
The reader may remember how Quinctilian in effect said that there is no
instrument of persuasion more powerful than an opinion of probity and
honour in the person who undertakes to persuade, and how it has been
pointed out that the powerful effect caused by the speaking of Pericles
really lay in the confidence which the people reposed in his integrity.
But it is time now to turn to the proceedings of the Assembly, which had
been adjourned to Saturday, October 17th.

On that day, then, we met at 8 a.m., and it was proposed by one of the
representatives that the collection of the land revenues should in future
be postponed till after the harvest, as the present times of collection
were inconvenient to the cultivators and often compelled them to borrow
money, or mortgage their crops in order to find money to meet the
Government demands. The change asked for was warmly urged by the speaker,
who gave very convincing reasons, which I have no space to repeat here, in
favour of the proposed alteration. After this speech was over the Dewan
turned to the head revenue officer and consulted him, and also two English
officials of great experience. I did not look at my watch, but I am sure
the consultation did not last five minutes. The Dewan then turned to the
Assembly and said, "This proposal is granted," and the decision was
received with loud applause. The chief revenue and settlement officer
afterwards told me that this was the most important point ever gained by
the Assembly.

I may pause here to remark that what I saw and heard at the Assembly,
combined with what I previously knew of the Mysore Government, satisfied
me that a more perfect form of government does not exist in the world.
Here, as we have just seen, was a most important measure gained for the
country after what was really a very short consultative meeting between
the ruler and the ruled. The ruler--in other words the Dewan--was sitting
like a judge on the bench, patiently listening to and taking notes of the
various wants of the people as the representatives came
forward--occasionally consulting with his officials--granting some things,
absolutely refusing others, and announcing sometimes that the subject
brought forward would be taken into consideration, while the
representatives seemed to be perfectly satisfied that the ruler would
willingly do, and was willingly doing, the best he could for the common
interest. I may mention that I was particularly struck with the dignified,
gentlemanly and friendly manner of the Dewan when consulting his English
officials, and there was evidently a mutual appreciation existing, which I
had afterwards distinct knowledge of when I subsequently heard some of
these officials alluding, in private conversation, to the Dewan. I have a
great dislike to the idea of being thought guilty of flattery, but I
cannot refrain from recording the remarkable fact that (and how rarely can
this be said of any public man), while I have heard much in favour of the
Dewan, I have never heard a single deprecatory remark made concerning his
administration of the province, either by natives or Europeans. Mysore is
indeed extremely fortunate in having such a man as Mr. Sheshadri Iyer,
since made Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer, K.C.I.E., at the head of affairs. He has
already been granted an extension of the usual period of office (five
years), and it is to be hoped that the very doubtful practice of selecting
a new man for this important office, even though there may be a valuable
one at the helm, may be put aside for at least some years more.

The Assembly sat on the two following days, and was concluded by the
presentation of an address to the Maharajah, thanking His Highness for
having instituted an elected Assembly, and praying that the various wants
brought forward might meet with favourable consideration. In all, the
Assembly, inclusive of the preliminary meetings of the representatives,
sat for eight days, and though there was much earnestness in discussion,
and much difference of opinion, not a single case of an exhibition of ill
feeling occurred, with the exception, as we have seen, of the occasion
when the marriage question was brought forward, though that may be called
an exhibition of warm and excited feeling rather than ill feeling.

As the reader will remember, the representatives have no power whatever,
except, and a very important exception it of course is, of ventilating in
public, and in the presence of the Dewan and the leading officers of
State, whatever grievances and wants they may desire to call attention to,
and the machinery for this ventilation is now so complete that the
requirements even of those inhabiting the most inaccessible corners of
the province can be readily made known to the Government. And now this
question naturally arises. When, if ever, is it probable that this
Assembly will demand for itself some direct power of controlling, or
directing the Government? As far as I could see at the time, or can see
now, the Assembly is never likely to ask for any power whatever, and I
confess that I was much struck with the fact that, though I had many
private conversations relating to the Assembly, both with natives and
Europeans, I never expressed myself, nor did I ever hear anyone express, a
desire that the Assembly should have any power. But after a little
reflection, the explanation of the absence of any such demand seems to be
extremely obvious, for if we look into the history of all parliamentary
institutions such as we have, we shall find that they have arisen
primarily from misgovernment, and I say primarily because such
institutions in the United States and in our colonies are merely
inheritances from the forefathers of the English founders of these
countries. The insuperable difficulty, then, in the way of those who
desire to create parliamentary institutions in India is, that there is no
misgovernment on which to start them, and that is why the Indian National
(so called, for there is nothing really national about it) Congress have
found it advisable, as a preliminary step, to try and persuade the people,
with the aid of lying and seditious pamphlets, that they are misgoverned.
If indeed I were the absolute monarch of Mysore I could certainly, I feel
sure, create Parliamentary Institutions, but only in one way that I can
think of. I should misgovern the country and worry and oppress the people,
and at the same time keep the Assembly going, and after a time I should
thus create a desire on the part of the representatives to have some means
of keeping me in check. But at present there is no one to keep in check.
The Government is really too good for the creation of any desire for
change. For the ruler of Mysore is not only desirous of meeting the people
half way, but even of anticipating their wants, and the people have a
ready means of making their wants known. And, when making known these
wants, their representatives are not only free from the expense and
annoyances to which Members of Parliament are exposed, but have a most
enjoyable time of it as well, for the Assembly is held at the time of the
great annual festival of the Dassara, when there are wonderfully
picturesque processions, illuminations, and displays of fireworks. In
fact, were it not for these attractions, I feel sure that it would be a
difficult matter to get the representatives together, because, though they
are of course easily able to find many wants, there are no grievances so
real as to make the people generally take much, or indeed any, interest in
the proceedings of the Assembly, and in this connection I may mention the
following confirmatory facts.

On the morning following the breaking up of the Assembly I left Mysore to
make a tour in Coorg to visit the plantations in that district, and drove
first of all sixteen miles to breakfast at a Travellers' Bungalow on the
main road. While breakfast was being prepared I went for a stroll, and
fell into conversation with the first native I met, who, I found, was,
with the aid of a number of labourers, working a plantation of palms and
fruit-trees at a short distance from the bungalow. I expressed a wish to
see the plantation, and, when on our way there, told him that I had just
been attending the Representative Assembly at Mysore. Just imagine my
feelings, when he told me that he had never heard of it, nor indeed when
he did hear of it did he ask me a single question about it. And yet we
were only sixteen miles from the capital, and on one of the main roads of
the province. He was, too, a man of fair intelligence and, though we
conversed in Kanarese, he told me that he knew some English, which proved
that he was a man of a certain degree of education. On my return to my
estates I found that, though the natives had heard of the Assembly
(probably because the native representative lived within a few miles of my
house), no one seemed to take any interest in its proceedings, and I do
not remember having been asked a single question with reference to it. The
explanation, of course, of this state of things is that the people are
perfectly contented, and satisfied with the steady progress they see going
on around them. There is therefore no demand[14] for representative
institutions, or the acquisition of power by the people, for while they
see abundant signs of progress, there is no oppression, and therefore
there are no real grievances. But, though there is no such demand, I must
caution the reader against supposing that I do not attach much importance
to the Assembly as a highly valuable means of bringing the people and
their rulers into friendly touch with each other, and as a most useful
means of inter-communication regarding every fact that it is important for
the ruler and the ruled to know. Such an assembly is indeed of the highest
value, and I have no doubt that a similar kind of assembly would be
valuable in many parts of India. And such assemblies will in the future be
far more necessary and valuable than such institutions would have been in
the past, because, in former times, the rulers, not being nearly so much
burdened with office and desk-work as they now are, had far more leisure
time to mix with the people, and hear from them the expression of their
wants or grievances.

I have alluded previously to the lying and seditious pamphlets which have
been circulated by the so-called Indian National Congress (and I say
so-called because, as we shall see, there is really nothing national about
it), and allude to them again partly in order to point out that they are a
most cheering evidence of the universal good government in India, because,
had it been really ill governed, there would have been no occasion to
issue the pamphlets in question. The fact is, that the agitators of the
Congress found it necessary to create a case as a ground-work for
demanding representative institutions for India, and began by imitating
the action of the Irish agitators. And here, for the benefit of those who
have not had time to study Indian affairs, it may be as well to give a
brief description of the Indian Congress, more especially as those who
know but very little of India may confound it with the kind of assembly we
have in Mysore, and which I have suggested for adoption in other parts of

When I was passing through Poona in the year 1879, I was called upon by
seven leading members of the native community who knew of the interest I
had taken in Indian affairs, and in the course of our conversation they
made some remarks on the desire of the educated natives for some share of
political power. I then explained to them that, as it was clear that India
was entirely unfit for representative institutions, the only result would
be that power would be transferred from a limited class of Englishmen to a
very limited class of natives, which would be of no advantage to the
country whatever. My remarks were followed by a dead silence which was
broken by one of them saying, in a desponding tone, "you have educated us,
and you have made us discontented accordingly," thus illustrating very
forcibly what I suppose Solomon meant when he said, "He that increaseth
knowledge increaseth sorrow." But, however that may be, the utterance of
the native in question explains the origin of the Indian Congress which
was started in 1885 by a small number of the educated classes who began to
climb the political tree with considerable vigour, illustrating as they
did so the native proverb which tells us that "The higher the monkey
climbs the more he shows his tail." And, in fact, the members of the
Congress showed theirs so completely when they climbed to the top of their
political tree at Madras in 1887, that their proceedings would be hardly
worth noticing were it not that they might be the means of prejudicing the
proper claims of the natives to consultative assemblies like the one we
have in Mysore. With people less advanced as regards common sense than the
natives of India, and also less suspicious of the educated classes, the
Congress wallahs, as they are sometimes called, might have done some
mischief, but the only harm they have really done, and I consider it no
small harm, is to lower the educated natives in general in the ideas of
those who have not had an opportunity of knowing the best of them, and so
appreciating their admirable abilities and calm common sense. For when the
public knows, as all those who have paid any attention to the subject do
know, that the members of the Congress are now selling pamphlets which are
intended to bring the Queen's Government into hatred and contempt, its
opinion of the educated natives of India is not likely to be a high one.
And in order to make quite sure that the Congress is still selling the
pamphlets in question, I suggested to the secretary of the Athenæum in
June, 1892, to purchase for the library of that club (and he accordingly
did so), from the Indian Congress office in London, a copy of the Congress
proceedings with which the pamphlets in question are bound up. And it may
not be uninteresting to note here that Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, M.P., as a
leading member of the Congress, is therefore one of the sellers of the
pamphlets. It is, however, only fair to add, as an excuse for Mr.
Dadabhai Naoroji and his misguided associates, that they have, after all,
only followed on the track of the Irish agitators, and no doubt consider
that the preaching of sedition against the Government to whom they owe so
much is the proper course to pursue when aiming at political power. And as
an extenuation of their action it should also be considered that the
members of the Congress, who at first were acting in a perfectly
legitimate manner, eventually fell under the guidance of a retired member
of the Indian Civil Service--a certain Mr. Hume--who seems to have lodged
some of his own extravagant ideas in the heads of the raw and
inexperienced members of the Congress, and who is supposed to be the
author of the seditious pamphlets. And now let me give a brief account of
the Congress, and its aims and views.

The first Congress, which met in Bombay in December, 1885, consisted of
seventy-eight persons, who came from twenty-five places. They were neither
elected nor delegated, and how they came together does not appear in the
published proceedings of the Congress. The principal resolution passed on
the occasion related to the reforms of the various Indian Councils.

The second Congress, which was composed of 440 persons, who were partly
elected and partly delegated, and of persons who could produce no evidence
of being one or the other, met in Calcutta in December, 1886, and (p. 10
of Report of 1887) "passed a series of resolutions of the highest
importance," which is undoubtedly true, as the result of them would, if
carried into effect, practically be to substitute the rule of the Congress
for that of the Queen. This change was proposed to be effected by
reconstituting the Provincial, Legislative, and Governor-General's
Council, enlarging them, and giving "not less than one half" (p. 217 of
Report of 1887) of the seats to members elected through the agency of the
Congress. This proposed measure was justly considered by the delegates to
be the key of the position, as we shall more fully see when we come to the
consideration of the proceedings of the next Congress.

This, the third Congress, met at Madras in December, 1887, when 604
delegates (a large number of whom were lawyers and newspaper editors), who
"were appointed either at open public meetings or by a political or trade
association," assembled and passed no less than eleven resolutions. The
second, fifth and eighth of these are worthy of notice, as also are the
seditious political pamphlets previously alluded to, which, for convenient
reference, are bound up with the report of the proceedings.

The second resolution (p. 82 of Report of 1887) reaffirms the resolutions
of the two previous Congresses, which demand the expansion and reforms of
the various Indian Councils. Here the first speaker (p. 83) was a Mr.
Bannerjee, a newspaper editor, who in his introductory remarks in support
of the resolution assured the delegates that "the dream of ages is about
to be realized." We are not the legislators of the country, he further on
remarks, "though we hope to be so some day when the Councils are
reconstituted," and eloquent was the language of the speaker when he
subsequently dwelt on the fact that the power of making the laws would at
once give them every reform they could desire. Mr. Bannerjee was succeeded
by other native speakers, who dwelt warmly upon the advantages of
representative institutions, and these were followed by Mr. Norton,
Coroner of Madras, who most highly extolled the resolution. "That," he
said, "is the key of all your future triumph" (p. 90), and further on in
his speech he urges them to persevere up to the day "when you shall place
your hand upon the purse strings of the country and the government," for,
he continued, "once you control the finances, you will taste the true
meaning of power and freedom."

And here, after all the talk about the value of representative
institutions, and just as the Congress seemed to be on the verge of
recommending parliamentary institutions such as we have, the members
suddenly wheeled about and practically declared that India was unfit for
them by deciding (p. 91) that, as the rural districts might not elect
suitable members, the so-called representatives of the people were to be
nominated by an electoral college, which was to be composed of members
sent up from the various district and municipal boards, chambers of
commerce, and universities. The power of election was thus to be
conferred, to use Mr. Norton's words, on "a body of men who would
practically represent the flower of the educated inhabitants." These views
were much applauded by the delegates, who thus ratified the system of
nominating the so-called representatives, and which system, I may add, is
carefully laid down in Clause 2 of Resolution IV. of 1886 (p. 217). Having
thus most practically declared that India is quite unfit for
representative institutions in the ordinary sense of the word, Mr. Norton
proceeded to point out that, as the desired power for reconstituting the
government is not likely to be obtained in India, they must work on the
people of England, who at present believe, he says (p. 92), that the
Indian Government is "being beneficiently carried on." "You must disturb
that belief," he continued. In other words, he might have said, you must
do what the Parnellites did, or attempted to do, in England. And
accordingly the Congress wirepullers have set up an agency in London, and
have posted placards purporting to be an appeal from 200 millions of India
to the people of England.

But after all, the desired majority in the Indian Councils, which the
delegates rightly declared to be the key of the whole position, would be
insufficiently supported without an army and an armed population at the
back of it, and all in sympathy with the native soldiers in the English
service. These wants, however, are carefully attended to in Resolutions 5
and 8, which we will now briefly glance at.

Read by itself, the Fifth Resolution seems to be harmless, and even
laudable, for it expresses a desire (p. 123) for "A system of volunteering
for the Indian inhabitants of the country such as may qualify them to
support the Government in a crisis." But the writer of the introductory
article to the Report (p. 48) shows the great value the force would be in
bringing pressure to bear on the Government, and points out that, with
250,000 native volunteers, with many times that number trained in previous
years, and backed by the whole country, and with all the native troops (p.
49) more in sympathy with their fellow-countrymen than with the English,
the present system of government would be impossible. And it is further
pointed out in the introductory article that "This means a revolution--a
noiseless bloodless revolution--but none the less a complete revolution."
Then the writer reckons that these volunteers "will be backed by the whole
country," and this naturally leads to the consideration of the Eighth
Resolution, for the backing would obviously be of much greater value were
the whole population armed.

This Resolution (p. 147) demands the repeal of the Arms Act on account of
the "hardship it causes, and the unmerited slur which it casts on the
people of this country." Now as any respectable person can obtain a
license to carry firearms for under 4s., and as cultivators are granted
licenses gratis in order that they may, free of all charge, defend
themselves and their crops from wild animals, and as we know further from
the great number of licenses granted that there can be no difficulty in
obtaining them, it is evident that there can be no hardship in connection
with this Act--a conclusion which is further confirmed by the fact that,
in consequence of the number of guns in the hands of natives, wild animals
are becoming rarer, and, as I can personally testify, have in many cases
been almost completely exterminated. And if we consider further that the
necessity for taking out a license in India can inflict no greater slur
than is cast on the English in England by their having to take out gun
licenses, it is evident that the vehemently expressed desire for the
repeal of this Act is only explicable when read along with the previously
quoted remarks with reference to the native volunteering and the armed
population in sympathy with them at their back, and with the detonating
matter which appears in those seditious pamphlets to which I shall now
briefly refer.

These pamphlets, or rather translations of them, are printed at the close
of the Report of 1887, and complete our view of the situation, which may
be shortly described by saying that, while the delegates in the van
deliver speeches for English consumption full of expressions of loyalty
and praises of our rule, the wirepullers in the rear are distributing
pamphlets amongst the people in which all expressions of loyalty are
absent, while all the evils the people suffer from are attributed to our
Government, and the Queen's English officials are held up to execration as
types of everything that is at once brutal and tyrannical. The second
pamphlet gives us a dialogue between a native barrister, and a farmer
called Rambaksh, and between them as much evil is said of us and our rule
as can well be packed into so short a space. As an instance of the way in
which the English officials ill-treat the natives, Rambaksh declares that
because on one occasion he had not furnished enough grass for the horses
of the collector--Mr. Zabardust (literally a brutal and overbearing
tyrant), he had been struck by the Sahib over the face and mouth, and that
by his orders he (Rambaksh) had been "dragged away and flogged till he
became insensible. It was months before he could walk" (p. 209 of Report).
Then the India of the present is contrasted with what India would be if it
were under the rule of the Congress, and an allegorical comparison is made
between the village of Kambaktpur (the abode of misery) and that of
Shamshpur (the abode of joy). The moral is that British rule, which is
typified by the former, is making the people poorer and poorer, that
through it land is going out of cultivation, that oxen for the plough are
becoming scarce, that the villages are going to ruin, and that nothing
nourishes except the liquor shops in which the Government encourages
drinking, while the very irrigation works we are providing as a protection
against famine are described as an evil, and a mere pretext for extorting
more money from the people. The village of Shamshpur (the abode of joy),
on the other hand, is described in glowing colours, and we need hardly say
is the home of the institutions to be introduced by the Congress. The only
conclusion to be drawn from all this by the masses of India is, that the
sooner they rebel against the existing rule, and substitute for it the
rule of the Congress, the sooner will they leave the abode of misery, and
enter the abode of joy, where all the delights to be provided by the
Congress will be theirs. The imaginary dialogue concludes (p. 214) with a
demand for money to carry on the work, and the barrister suggests to the
farmer various injurious means for the collection, which Rambaksh promises
to carry out. He then tenders payment of some fees previously owing to the
barrister, who indeed receives the money, but magnanimously declares his
intention of enrolling Rambaksh as a member of the association, and paying
in the fees as a contribution from Rambaksh. "Blessed are the earnings of
the virtuous which go to the service of God," said the barrister, and with
this pious utterance the dialogue closes.

With the aid of these pamphlets in dialogue form, it appears, from the
statement in the introductory article of the Report, that the emissaries
of this Indian League have been gathering in money from the poorest
classes in India, down even to coolies. No less than 5,500 rupees, it
appears (p. 11), were collected from 8,000 persons, in sums varying from 1
anna to 1 rupee 8 annas, and some 8,000 rupees were contributed in sums of
from 1 rupee 8 annas to 30 rupees. But it is unnecessary to pursue further
the work of the Congress, and it is sufficient to say that its proceedings
were lately brought before the House of Commons, and that the action of
Mr. Hume, in writing and publishing a kind of proclamation of a most
objectionable character in connection with the Congress, was denounced in
the House of Commons in strong terms. It is time, however, to close these
brief remarks on the Indian Congress. It still exists, but in a
languishing form, and will probably gradually disappear. It has sought to
bring the Queen's Government into hatred and contempt. The only effect it
has had is to bring the educated classes of India into ridicule and
contempt in the minds of those who are imperfectly acquainted with them,
and perhaps to delay the extension of those Representative Assemblies
which are so well suited to the requirements of the inhabitants of India,
and the value of which I trust I have sufficiently shown.

Since this chapter was written I have met with a passage in one of the
speeches of a member of the Congress which is highly creditable to the
candour of the Congressionists, and which proves that we are quite right
in keeping in our own hands all, or nearly all, important executive and
governing power. The passage occurs in the Fourth Report of the Indian
National Congress (p. 49), and one of the members said on this occasion:

"But it is a fact, which no one present will call in question, that what
preponderates in the national character is quiescence or passivity, the
active virtues being thrown into the background, or remaining in a state
of dormancy." And further on the speaker says, "The virtues we are sadly
deficient in are courage, enterprise, the will to do and the heart to do."

These remarks, which were received with assenting cheers, should be read
in connection with those made on the Queen's Proclamation in the earlier
pages of this chapter.

I may observe finally that if the above-mentioned qualities are, as the
native speaker complains, deficient, it is simply because the climate of
India is not favourable to their production. As an Indian gentleman once
said to me in London, "Here I am glad to go out for a walk. In Madras I
find it an exertion to walk across a room." That explains our presence in
India, and the necessity for keeping all important active work in our own
hands. The natives are not at all to blame for being deficient in the
active virtues. We ourselves, our bull-dogs, and our vegetables would
alike decline without constant renewal by fresh importations from England.


[11] The landed qualification varies from 100 rupees to 300 rupees, and
the house and shop qualification from 13 rupees to 18 rupees. This
arrangement has evidently been made to suit the wealth or poverty of
particular parts of the country. This seems to be rather an inconvenient
system, and it is difficult to see why the lower rates of qualification
should not be made universal.

[12] For all practical spending purposes in India the rupee may be
reckoned at par. It is only when it requires to be turned into gold for
the purchase of articles in England that its gold value must be taken into

[13] The meeting now held was, I am aware, quite out of order, but as the
Assembly had taken a new departure some laxness was permissible at first.

[14] On looking at the Government Report of the proceedings of the
Assembly for 1891 (which I may observe was not published till the year
following), I find that, though 340 members were elected, only 262
attended. No less than seventy-eight members failed to put in an
appearance, and the only probable explanation of this that I can give is
that these members felt that they had nothing in particular to represent
to the Government, and therefore thought that they might much better
remain at home.



After the numerous books that have been written on Sport in India, a
chapter on this subject might at first sight seem superfluous. So might,
at first sight, another novel full of what has been written thousands of
times before about love. And yet we never tire of hearing or reading of
either, and naturally, for both appeal to the imagination, and carry the
mind far away from business or carking cares, or, in other words, that
proverbial smoky chimney with which every house is provided. And if the
mere reading of love or sport makes men and women feel better because it
takes them away from themselves (we should have no mirrors in our rooms),
what must the reality of either be? For both dart through the system with
electric and delight-yielding force, and produce effects which, to those
who have not experienced them, are wellnigh incredible. And, as regards
big game shooting in particular, the effects are so astonishing that one
almost ceases to believe in them till another experience proves over again
that sport, or even the prospect of sport, can effect miracles, or at
least that it can cause an alteration in the system through the action of
the mind. And, some eighteen months ago, I realized this most vividly when
feeling much out of sorts, and indeed unfit for anything. For just at the
time of my deepest depression, news came in that a tiger had killed two
cattle in my plantation, and, what made the news much more acceptable,
two trespassing cattle--animals which are the plague of a planter's life.
The news acted like a charm. I at once felt slightly better, better still
when I arrived at the spot and saw the traces of the cattle having been
dragged along the ground, and the bodies of the slain--one more than half
eaten and the other untouched--and almost well when I returned to the
bungalow to make preparations for hunting up the tiger. There is no tonic
half so good as news of a tiger, and I feel that even news of a bear would
rival in a great many cases all that a doctor could do for me. But, though
tiger shooting is a valuable and delightful sport, it is equalled if not
eclipsed by stalking on the mountains amidst the beautiful and splendid
scenery of the Western Ghauts, when you traverse the forest-margined open
lands rifle in hand, feeling that everything depends upon yourself, and
followed by a tried and experienced shikari on whose keen sight and
coolness you can thoroughly rely. There are natives of course and natives,
just as there are Europeans and Europeans, but there are natives who have
been gifted with the greatest daring, coolness, and the promptest presence
of mind, and who are capable of much personal devotion to those who know
how to treat them. I was fortunate enough to have one of these in my
service, and to no sporting scenes in life can I look back with greater
pleasure than when I was able, with my trusted native follower, to spend
delightful mornings and evenings, and at certain times whole days, in
stalking bears, bison, and sambur in the Western Mysore mountains. Danger,
too, there was at times, and quite sufficient to give a pleasing amount of
adventurous feeling to the sport. Indeed, without this moderate degree of
danger the sport would have been of quite a different kind, for is it not
evident that all sport is to be divided into two widely different
classes--sport in which you are liable to be attacked, and sport where
the attack is all on one side? It is, in short, the danger, or the
possibility of danger, which is the vital elixir of big game shooting, and
which gives one, too, an opportunity of knowing oneself, and gauging one's
presence of mind, or the want of it, as the case may be. But what, after
all, is the amount of danger? That depends very much on the experience of
the sportsman. You may make big game shooting as dangerous as you please,
and by following up a wounded bear or bison in a careless manner meet with
an accident, but if proper precautions are taken, the danger of following
up these animals is by no means so great as is generally supposed. But,
though that is so as regards bears and bisons, I must caution the reader
against supposing that there is not considerable risk in following up
wounded tigers on foot, and there can be no doubt that, as Sir Samuel
Baker says, following a wounded tiger into the jungle on foot is a work of
extreme danger. But even this may be largely diminished if proper
precautions are taken, though it must be admitted that, from the great
difficulty of distinguishing a tiger lying amongst dried forest leaves,
there must be a considerable amount of risk, though the amount of it is
rather difficult to determine, but I may mention that though I suppose
upwards of forty tigers have been killed in the neighbourhood of my
plantation, only two natives have been killed when out shooting. Besides
these accidents, one man recovered from thirteen lacerated wounds, and
another was deprived of his ear and cheek by the blow of a wounded tiger's
paw. As regards the comparative risks to life of tigers, bears, and
panthers, I have only been able to meet with one return which throws any
light on the subject--a return which confirms the native view as to the
bear being more dangerous than the tiger, and the panther much less
dangerous than either. The return in question is to be found in the "North
Kanara Gazetteer," and was supplied by the late Colonel W. Peyton, who
wrote the section on Wild Animals. From this it appears that in North
Kanara, during the twenty-two years ending 1877, 510 tigers were killed
and 44 persons killed by them, one of whom was Lieutenant Power, of the
35th Madras Infantry. Between the years 1856 and 1882 51 bears were killed
and 22 persons killed by them, one of whom was Lord Edward Percy St. Maur,
second son of the Duke of Somerset. Between the years 1856 and 1877 805
panthers were killed and 22 persons killed by them. From these returns it
would appear that the bear is about four times as dangerous as the tiger,
that the tiger is about three times as dangerous as the panther, and that
the bear is about fourteen times as dangerous to man as the panther. As
regards comparative destructiveness to animal life, I may observe in
passing that the tiger seems to be more troublesome than the panther, and
that Colonel Peyton records between 1878 and 1882 4,041 deaths of cattle
killed by tigers against 1,617 killed by panthers. The bison (_gavoeus
gaurus_) would appear to be very seldom dangerous to man, if I may judge
by the fact that in his long experience Colonel Peyton does not record a
single death from the gaur, though he observes that it frequently charges
when attacked. In my part of Mysore I have heard of but one death, which
occurred in the case of a native who was tracking a bull which had been
wounded by one of my managers. The wild boars, I may here add, seem to be
now, from being much hunted, no doubt, more dangerous than they were in
former years. Within the last two years in my district five persons were
severely wounded by them, of whom three died. But it is natural that all
wild animals should become more dangerous the more they are hunted, and,
rather to my amusement, my old shikari, to whom I have previously alluded,
complained in a querulous and aggrieved tone that every animal--even the
sambur deer--seemed to charge one nowadays. And this is a fact worth
recording, and if wild animals are declining in numbers, it is some
comfort to think that the sport to be had from the remainder will improve.
But it is time to close these rather desultory remarks, and treat the
subject in a systematic manner, and I now proceed to say (1) something as
regards the natural history of Mysore, and (2) something as to the big
game shooting of the Province. I may here mention that all the anecdotes
given will either be interesting from a natural history point of view, or
told with the view of illustrating points likely to be of use to the
inexperienced sportsman.

As the author of the Gazetteer of the Province, in his opening sentence on
the fauna of Mysore, says with much truth, that "Nothing less than a
separate treatise, and that a voluminous one, could do justice to the
marvellous wealth of the animal kingdom in a province under the tropics
marked by so many varied natural features as Mysore," I need hardly say
that I have only space to make a cursory allusion to the subject. The
varieties of animals, reptiles, birds, fish, and insects are indeed very
numerous, and though Mr. Rice informs us that he has only made an attempt
to collect the names of the main representatives, he enumerates no less
than 70 mammals, 332 birds, 35 reptiles, 42 fishes, and 49 insects, though
only the leading families of the last are given, and many kinds of fish
have not been identified. But, though I cannot, as I have said, go at any
length into the subject, I can at least, give the names of the animals and
birds which are of more or less interest to sportsmen, and perhaps touch
upon some which are mainly of interest to the naturalist. There are then
to be found in Mysore, elephants, tigers, panthers, hunting leopards,
bears, wolves, jungle-dogs, hyenas, and foxes. Amongst the graminivorous
animals I may mention the _gavoeus gaurus_, commonly called bison (a
name to which I shall adhere as it is the one in common use), the sambur
deer, the spotted deer, the hog deer, and the barking deer or jungle
sheep. There are four kinds of antelopes, the nilgei, four-horned
antelope, the antelope, and the gazelle. Of the birds, I may mention 12
varieties of pigeons, 2 of sandgrouse, 2 of partridges, 8 of quail,
peafowl, jungle-fowl, spenfowl, bustard, floriken (a kind of bustard),
woodcock, woodsnipe, common snipe, jacksnipe, painted snipe, widgeon, 4
kinds of teal, and 5 of wild ducks. I may mention that there are 9 kinds
of eagles, 20 kinds of hawks, and 13 varieties of owls. As regards
reptiles, crocodiles are the only ones that sportsmen take any interest
in, and they are to be found in many of the rivers of Mysore. Fish of
various kinds are to be found in the numerous large tanks in Mysore,
though I may add, that some of these pieces of water would elsewhere be
called lakes, as they are sometimes upwards of twelve miles in
circumference. The well-known mahseer abounds in the rivers of the Western
Ghauts of Mysore, and gives excellent sport, and in the opinion of some
anglers, superior to salmon fishing. I have said in my first chapter on
coffee, that the life of a planter to any one fond of nature and an open
air life is an agreeable one, so agreeable that, though from accidents of
fortune no longer dependent on coffee, I still find it the most pleasant
life in the world, and return to it annually with pleasure, and I think
that the mere enumeration of the varied forms of animal life, which are so
interesting both to the sportsman and the naturalist, will go far to
justify my conclusions. Having thus glanced at a part of the fauna of the
province, I now proceed to the big game shooting section of my chapter,
but, before doing so, I may mention that it is stated in the "Mysore
Gazetteer" (Vol. II., p. 13) that, according to old legends, the lion was
once to be found in the Province.

Of elephants, and elephant shooting, I have had no experience. In Mysore
and in British India they are reserved by the State which, from time to
time, captures the elephants by driving them into large inclosures, and
there is a record of one of the sales of captured elephants in my second
chapter. But the reader need not regret my want of experience here, as it
would be difficult for any one to add to the admirable and exhaustive
account of elephants and their ways which is to be found in the late Mr.
Sanderson's[15] admirable work. His death is really much to be lamented,
for he was not merely a destructive sportsman, but an intelligent and
sympathetic observer of the wild animals he lived amongst, and I think I
am only repeating current opinion when I say that a more admirable and
interesting work of its kind never was written. Mr. Sanderson, I may
mention, was specially employed by Government to superintend the capture
of herds of elephants, and also to hunt man-eating tigers, and tigers of
obnoxious character.

Tigers, as to which I shall have, I am afraid, rather too long an account
to give, are fairly numerous in the forests of the Western Ghauts, and
some other parts of the country, if I may judge by the fact that rewards
were paid for 68 in 1874, and for 100 in 1875, but in former times they
were much more numerous in certain parts of the province, a fact which is
testified to by General Dobbs, who when a young man was in civil employ in
the Chittledroog division of Mysore in 1834. He mentions in his
"Reminiscences of Life in Mysore"[16] that his division was infested with
wild beasts and, to reduce their numbers, he obtained from one of the
officials a plan of a pit 12 feet long, 12 feet deep, and 2-1/2 feet wide,
closed with brushwood at both sides and one end. Wooden spikes were fixed
at the bottom, and the top of the pit was covered over with light
brushwood. A sheep or goat was then tied inside at the closed end, where
there was standing place left for it. As tigers usually spring on their
prey they are thus sure to fall through the light brushwood into the pit.
"In a short time," writes the general, "48 royal tigers were thus
destroyed, four of which were brought to me on one morning. Mr. Stokes,
the superintendent of the Nuggur division, obtained from me the plan of
these pits, and in an equally short time caught upwards of 70 tigers. Now
comes a circumstance which I can vouch for, but cannot explain. In a short
time the success in both divisions terminated, and never again did a tiger
fall into one of these pits, though numbers of tigers continued to infest
the country." One result of the success obtained is worth recording. The
balance of nature had been destroyed; the tigers to a great extent lived
on wild pigs, and these, after the destruction of the tigers, multiplied
so rapidly that the general records that there was an increased
destruction of extensive sugar plantations. And I may note in passing,
that the balance of nature may equally be destroyed from the other end of
the line, and tigers made much more destructive than they otherwise would
be. This is remarkably so near the western passes of Mysore, for never
were tigers more numerous or destructive than they have recently been in
my neighbourhood, and this is clearly to be traced to the great
destruction[17] of deer, pigs, and bison by the natives in the immediate
vicinity of the great forests, a subject to which I shall afterwards have
occasion to allude.

The sudden spread amongst the tigers of the news about these pits is
really very remarkable. We know that animals and birds are taught by
example and experience to avoid certain dangers--that birds, which are at
first killed in considerable numbers by telegraph wires, gradually learn
to avoid them, and that hares which are at first excluded by rabbit
netting in the course of time take to jumping it, but it is certainly
impossible to explain by anything we know as regards the spread of
experience amongst animals as to how the news could spread amongst the
tigers, over a tract of country about half as large as Scotland, for traps
were set in two out of the four divisions into which Mysore was then

It has often been a subject of remark that tigers, without any motive that
we can even guess at, avoid certain parts of the country which, to us,
seem to be equally favourable to them. This is remarkably so in my
district in Mysore, parts of which, apparently quite as suitable for
tigers as other parts, have never been known to hold one. It is also
remarkable that they invariably cross from one range of hills to another
by almost exactly the same route, at least such is my experience. These
tiger passes as they are called by the natives are well known to them.
There is one about a mile and a half to the north of my bungalow, and
another at about the same distance to the south, and between these two
points I have never heard of the track of a tiger being seen except on one

It seems singular that, as so much has been written about tigers, there
should be any dispute as to the way in which the tiger usually seizes its
prey, but I find that Mr. Sanderson differs widely from Captain Forsyth,
and Captain Baldwin and others, and says that, though the tiger does
occasionally seize by the nape of the neck in the case of his having to
deal with very powerful animals, his usual method is to seize by the
throat; and another sportsman of great experience tells me that, though he
has seen hundreds of kills, the seizure was always by the throat. In my
part of the country it is so much the usual method for the tiger to seize
by the nape of the neck, that a native, when asked if he is sure that it
was a tiger and not a panther, always puts his hand to the back of his
neck, and if he says that the animal was seized by the throat, we
invariably assume that the seizer is a panther. As Mr. Sanderson was a
most careful observer, I cannot doubt the correctness of his experience,
and as little can I doubt the experience in my neighbourhood. But this
apparent discrepancy may easily be explained, and I regard it as probable,
or even quite certain, that tigers may vary their method of attack in
accordance as they live mainly on game or mainly on village cattle. In the
case of a bison, a wild boar, or of a large and powerful village buffalo,
Mr. Sanderson admits that the seizure is by the nape of the neck, and that
no doubt is the rule with the forest tigers, such as those that have been
killed near my estate, and which have lived mostly upon game, but I can
easily conceive that tigers that have lived on village cattle would attack
in a different way.

There is also another difference between Mr. Sanderson and other sportsmen
as to the tiger killing animals with a blow of its paw. Mr. Sanderson does
not in the least believe that the paw is so used, but Captain
Williamson[18] considers the paw as "the invariable engine of
destruction." "I have seen," he says, "many men and oxen that had been
killed by tigers, in most of which no mark of a claw could be seen." I
have not paid much attention to this subject, but I do recollect one
instance of a bullock that had been killed by a blow of the paw, as I
remember being struck by the fact that there was no apparent cause of
death, but on a closer examination I found a wide bruise, evidently from
the tiger's paw, on the side of the head. A friend of mine of great
experience tells me that he has known of animals being killed by a blow
of the paw. That men are commonly killed by a blow of the paw on the head
I have little doubt. Captain Williamson mentions a case that occurred in
his presence, and I knew of a doctor who had examined seven bodies, and in
each case the skull had been fractured by a blow of the paw. General
Rice,[19] when giving an account of the seizure of Cornet Elliot, mentions
that he had a narrow escape from a blow of the tigress's paw, which he
guarded off with his uplifted rifle. The stock of the rifle was marked
with the claws, while the trigger and guard were knocked completely flat
on one side, so that the gun was useless until repaired. There is no
doubt, then, that the tiger can, and does sometimes, use his paw with
deadly effect, though I have little doubt that he prefers to use his
teeth, as the shock of a blow to the paw must, in the case of a bullock at
any rate, be very considerable.

The carrying power of tigers is very great, and has often been remarked
on, but it has been doubted whether they often carry off an animal without
some part of it dragging on the ground. Mr. Sanderson gives some instances
of their doing so; and I have known of one instance in my neighbourhood
where a tiger after killing a bullock took it into the jungle and carried
the carcase along the trunk of a tree which had fallen across a ravine.
But considering its size, the dragging power of a panther is much more
remarkable, and it seems to carry off a bullock as easily as a tiger does.
On one occasion a panther killed a donkey close to my bungalow, and
carried it off, and had even attempted to jump up the bank of an old ditch
with it, which was five or six feet high, but had failed in the attempt
and abandoned the carcase. But why the panther did not drag the donkey
down to another part of the jungle, where it could easily have dragged the
carcase into it, is difficult to conceive, unless we suppose that these
animals have not, after the failure of one plan, mind enough to try
another. Perhaps this is so, or that they take the pet in a case of
failure and go off in disgust. I imagine that this kind of feeling must
influence tigers, for I once found an uneaten carcase of a bullock wedged
between two rocks. A tiger had killed, high up on a mountain side, and
taken the carcase into the nearest ravine, evidently with the view of
dragging it towards the water further down the hill. On his way he had to
pass through a narrow passage between two rocks, and here the carcase
stuck fast, and he had in vain tried to pull it through, but it had never
occurred to him to pull it out backwards (which he might easily have done
when the carcase was only slightly wedged) and try another route. But,
after all, we must not be surprised, at this, as even the human animal
does not always readily find the solution of a fresh difficulty. Tigers,
it is well known, are good swimmers, and seem to have no difficulty in
taking the carcase of a bullock with them, if I may judge by the fact,
which was told me by a friend, that a tiger once swam eighty yards across
a river in the northern part of Mysore, taking with it the carcase of a
newly killed bullock.

Tiger shooting in the Western Ghauts is always carried out without the aid
of elephants, and it is seldom that one can obtain, even for the first
shot, a fairly safe position. Colonel Peyton, whom I have previously
quoted, says that a man is not safe under sixteen feet from the ground,
but it is seldom that such an elevation can be obtained, as the country is
so steep that, though you have a fair drop on the lower side of the tree,
a tiger from the upper side may easily spring on to you, and is then
generally on your level, or even higher. Of course you select a tree
where, in theory, the tiger must come on the lower side, but tigers will
often take most eccentric courses, and last year, after having taken up a
position on a tree which had a drop of eight feet on the lower side, and
where it was assumed by all of us as certain that the tiger would pass
lower down the hill, it came on the upper side, on rather higher ground
than the cleft I was sitting on, and so close that I could have touched it
with a spear, and had I not fatally crippled it at the first shot, it
might easily have jumped on to me. But I entirely agree with Colonel
Peyton that it is always best for several reasons to get into a tree, even
though it may not be a high one, or indeed into a scrubby tree so low that
your feet are only some five feet from the ground. In the first place, you
can command a wider view, then you are concealed, and can let the tiger
pass your line, and as the tiger could pass under your feet you are not in
his way, and there would be little chance, if you reserved your fire till
he had passed, in his either attacking you or being driven back on the
beaters. Colonel Peyton, whom I quote with great confidence, is in favour
of a bamboo ladder with broad rungs to sit on, and which will enable you
to have your feet eleven feet from the ground. To illustrate the risk of
sitting on the ground, I may mention the following incident:

Many years ago news was brought that a tiger had killed cattle some six or
seven miles off. The distance was considerable, the news came late, and it
was, I think, about three in the afternoon when I reached the spot. The
beaters were all ready and impatient, no doubt, owing to being kept
waiting so long, and as I did not wish to delay them, and had no ladder,
and there was no suitable tree, I took a seat on the ground behind a bush
which lay on one side of, and about twenty yards from, a depression in the
land through the bottom of which, by all the laws of tigers, the tiger
ought to have passed to the main forest beyond. I had no sooner seated
myself than I saw, from the lay of the ground, that if the tiger should
happen to break at a point in a line with my bush he would probably gallop
on to the top of me before it would be possible to make more than a snap
shot. I at once left the spot and climbed a small tree on the opposite
side of the depression, and this enabled me to have my feet some five feet
from the ground. Presently the beat began, and with a roar, and an evident
determination to charge anything in his way, a very large tiger broke
cover at full speed and went exactly over the very spot of ground I had
been sitting on. At the pace he was coming at I do not indeed think he
could have stopped himself, and I hardly think I should have had time to
fire, and I have often wondered what would have happened had he galloped
on to myself and my man. However, as it was, I was all right, fired just
as he passed the bush and knocked him over with one shot, and put another
into him as he got half up and struggled into the jungle, apparently with
his back broken, and lay down about a few yards aside of it. And now by a
curious coincidence we just missed what must have been a very serious
accident, and this is well worth mentioning, as it confirms what another
writer has said as to the care that should be used in approaching a tiger
supposed to be dead.

After the beat was over the beaters rushed up, and one of the natives, who
had no doubt seen the tiger from a point on the hill above, said, "His
back is broken, and he must be dead; let us go in and drag him out."
Feeling that it would be better to wait a little longer to make quite
sure, I said, just to quiet them, "Stand the people in line and count them
for the division of the reward." I had not counted more than five when up
got the tiger close to us with a startling roar, and I then experienced
what Colonel Peyton has said, namely, that there are very few even of the
stanchest sportsmen who will not draw back a pace or two at the sudden
roar of a wounded tiger. On this occasion I removed more than that, for I
at once seized a rifle and ran several yards up the hill to gain the
advantage of the ground, and I need hardly say that there was a slight
scatter amongst the unarmed natives. But as the tiger did not charge out,
I saw that he was probably off, and at once ran down the side of the
jungly ravine to head him, and at the first break in the jungle got up
into a tree. The tiger almost immediately appeared on the opposite side of
the ravine, going steadily along, and showing no signs of being wounded
whatever, and I fired at, but missed him, partly on account of my awkward
position in the tree and partly from excitement. Then I ran on to the next
open break in the jungly ravine, and again got up into a tree. By this
time the beaters came up in the rear of the tiger, who refused to go
further down the ravine, or was unable to do so, and the natives sent to
me to go up and attack the tiger in the jungle, to which I replied by
requesting them to be good enough to forward the animal to me. However, as
he refused to move, and it was getting late, I went up the ravine, and
they pointed out the tiger, which was lying on its side. I fired a shot at
it, when it got up, then I fired another at once, and it fell and died
almost immediately. This was by far the largest tiger ever killed in our
district, and an old sportsman who had seen much of shooting during a long
residence in India told me that he was sure he had never seen a larger
skin, and did not know that he had ever seen one as big. As evidence of
size, he attached, I may mention, great importance to the width of the
skin of the tail just at its junction with the body. The paws of this
tiger, too, were remarkably larger than those of other tigers. I found
that the first bullet had taken effect in the neck, which it had no doubt
grazed with sufficient force to paralyze the tiger for a time, and Colonel
Peyton records a similar case where great risk had been incurred from
approaching a tiger apparently dead, but where the spine had been merely

What I have previously mentioned illustrates one danger from sitting on
the ground, and I may give another instance which occurred to me in 1891.
I had gone after a tiger, and my shikari had prepared an excellent seat on
a tree at an absolutely safe height. The tiger, however, had shifted his
ground, it appears, to an adjacent jungle. This consisted of one long and
rather deep ravine, with several spurs at which the tiger might break. It
had several times previously happened that tigers had come up the bottom
of this ravine, and I had once killed one there from a tree in the jungle,
but the trees so situated are difficult to ascend, and we did not wish to
make a noise nor to waste time by making a ladder, so I determined on
sitting on the ground in the jungle, about twenty yards from the bottom of
the ravine, and made myself perfectly comfortable. While keeping an eye on
the bottom of the ravine up which the tiger was expected to pass, I was
suddenly startled by a roar from some little distance behind us. My old
shikari at once saw the danger we were in, and looked extremely disturbed,
and no wonder, for he saw at once that the tiger had been driven back by a
stop at one of the spurs, and might come down on us from behind, so that
we should have had no chance of seeing him till he was almost on the top
of us, and as a matter of fact he did pass down into the ravine rather
higher up and just out of our sight, and from this we failed to dislodge
him. On the whole, for every reason, I am much against sitting on the
ground. You are liable to be run into sometimes, as we have seen, and at
others you are not high enough up to command the ground, and there is a
greater chance of driving a tiger back on the beaters. There are, however,
occasions when one must sit on the ground, and if you have occasion to do
so, it is of course advisable always to try and get about twenty or
thirty yards on one side of the course the tiger is likely to take, and
always let him pass your line of fire before firing. It is also of great
importance to have as your second man one who can remain absolutely
motionless when a tiger is advancing towards him. To illustrate the
importance of this I may mention the following incident:

I was posted one day in a tree, when the tiger charged back through the
beaters with a roar, and I had at once to get down and run to another
point of the jungle to cut him off. I then tried to get up a tree on the
grass land near the edge of the jungle, and next tried another a little
further off, but could not got up into it, and when the beat recommenced
there was nothing for it but to sit down beside a bush about one hundred
yards from the jungle, and on ground on almost exactly the same level as
the tiger would have to traverse. But this bush was so small that it only
partially concealed me, and the entire body of my native second gun-bearer
was exposed to view. This man fortunately had a most remarkable power of
sitting absolutely motionless under any circumstances which required
stillness. I also was fully prepared to remain quite still, and arranged
myself so as to fire at the tiger when he was exactly in front of me. It
was interesting to observe what followed. The tiger was evidently an old
hand. He had anticipated our plan, and charged back through the beaters,
as we have seen. He had also evidently anticipated the alterations we
should probably make, and when the beat recommenced he cautiously emerged
from the jungle and looked up (it is a rare thing for a tiger to do this)
into the tree near the edge of the jungle into which I had tried to climb.
He seemed then to be quite satisfied that all danger was at an end, and
strolled leisurely towards us. As he was passing the point which put the
whole bush between me and him, I cautiously levelled my rifle, which I
already had in almost exact position to fire, so that when he came into my
full view I had the sight on the second stripe behind the shoulder. By a
curious coincidence he stood quite still when he came into my full view,
and, as he was only about twenty yards away, presented a very fine sight.
But I reserved my fire till he had moved forward a pace or two, and then I
fired, and on he bounded. Then followed one of those picturesque,
exciting, and somewhat amusing scenes, which can only occur in tiger
shooting on foot. For the leisurely proceedings of the tiger had given the
beaters time to get to the end of the cover just as I was firing at the
tiger, and as I ran round the hillside to the other side of a ravine which
ran down the hill, they ran forward so rapidly and plunged so suddenly
into the jungle, that the tiger came out just below me. I fired at him,
and so did one or two of the natives who had run up to join me, and the
tiger fell dead in the air in the middle of a long bound. But running and
excitement are not favourable to accuracy of aim, and the tiger, on this
occasion, was struck by only one ball, and, strange to say, in the sole of
the foot, and the only bullet-mark on his body was from my first shot at
him. My account of the incident may be valuable to an inexperienced
sportsman, and illustrates also the peculiar disadvantage of sitting on
the ground, because if the tiger had walked straight up to me, and I had
fired at him in the face, which I should have been obliged to do, he
would, if not killed outright, probably have either gone back amongst the
beaters, or charged me.

I have alluded to my second gun-carrier on this occasion as being a man
who had the greatest power of remaining still under all circumstances, out
shooting, when it was necessary to do so, and I may also mention that he
was a man who combined the greatest coolness with the greatest daring. He
was of a Hindoo peasant family, entered my service as a workman, rose to
be a duffadar or overseer, and for many years has been head overseer on my
coffee estates, and he is as good as a planter as he is as a shikari. I
could give many instances of his cool daring. On one occasion a wounded
tigress--it was the cold weather season, when everything was still green
about the edges of the jungle--went into a ravine which was flanked by a
great bed of ferns about five feet high. The natives looked at this bed
into which the tigress had disappeared with considerable doubt, and one of
them said, "How is anyone to go in here?" "I will show you," said Rama
Gouda quietly, and he picked up several large stones, threw them into the
ferns, and then plunged into them. I afterwards killed the tiger on foot
in the ravine, but of course he ran the risk of coming upon it in the
ferns. But the coolest thing I ever knew him to do was when a manager of
mine wanted to fire at a tiger as it was approaching him. It was in the
days of the muzzle-loaders, and as Rama Gouda knew that to speak would be
fatal, he quietly but firmly put both his fingers on the caps when my
manager presented the gun at the tiger, and kept them there till the tiger
had reached the proper point for action. Then he withdrew them, and my
manager killed the tiger. It is contrary to all rule, on account of the
beaters, to fire at a tiger till he has passed you, and as the manager and
Rama Gouda were seated on the ground, if the tiger had been fired at face
to face an accident might have occurred. On only one occasion did I ever
see him disturbed, and that was when he took up a position at a beat for
big game. Presently he heard a hiss, and on looking round found a
reared-up cobra about to strike at his naked thigh. He saved himself by a
jump on one side, but he showed by his eye when he mentioned the
circumstance that he had been somewhat commoved.

The natives have an idea that a tiger will not attack a group of from
four to five people massed together, and in 1891 four or five unarmed
natives proposed that I should sit on an absolutely bare piece of ground,
and that they should sit round me, and that the tiger should be driven up
to us. But this offer, and more especially as I had only one gun, I
declined, with thanks, unless they could find a small bush or piece of
rock to sit behind, and as neither could be found, I took up a position on
a steep hillside and on a scrubby tree, which I thought safe enough, as I
assumed that the tiger would pass on the lower side of it, but it
approached close on the upper side, and on rather higher ground, and could
easily have sprung on to me, as it was not more than fifteen feet distant,
thus again illustrating how difficult it is in a hilly country to get into
a reasonably safe position. Altogether, the risks of tiger shooting in a
hilly country where elephants cannot be used, and where you may have to
run to cut off a wounded tiger or follow one into the jungle, is attended
with risk even to the most experienced. The amount of that risk is
difficult to determine, but I may say generally it is such that while
bachelors, or married men of independent means whose families are well
provided for, in short, people whose lives are of no cash value, may
freely go into the jungle on foot after wounded tigers, and generally
throw themselves in the way of the animals, I do not consider it right for
a married man, whose family is dependent wholly or partially on his
exertions, to go after tigers on foot, or without the aid of elephants,
for though a man may resolve to stick to safe positions, they are often
difficult and sometimes impossible to find, and the excitement soon does
away with all feelings for one's personal safety.

Though I have no doubt that it is, generally speaking, true that a tiger
will not attack a group of four or five people, I am not at all sure that
this is correct as regards a wounded tiger, and a tiger I had wounded once
sprang into a party of I should say at least twenty people, and killed
one of them--at least the poor man died in the course of a few hours. I
always regretted that I did not obtain and preserve his belt. At the back
of it was the iron catch with which to hitch his wood-knife, and the
tiger's tooth had grazed one side of the iron, and cut it as if one had
worked at the iron with a steel file. Another instance too occurred of a
tiger attacking a party, or at least one of a party which was approaching
a tiger. Several tigers, it appeared, had been marked down, and the jungle
in which they were was surrounded by nets. This was done in Mysore on the
arrival of the Russian princes some years ago, but one of the tigers had
managed to elude the shooters, and, as the native magistrate of the
district was anxious to have it killed, a sporting photographer who was
there undertook to look it up. As they approached the thicket in which the
tiger was concealed the tiger rushed out with a sudden bound, aimed a blow
with its paw at the leading native, tore his scalp right off and flung it
on to a bush, bit the man in the arm, and retreated into the thicket with
such suddenness that no one had time to fire. The poor man afterwards

The great danger from following up wounded tigers on foot in the jungle
arises from the extraordinary difficulty of seeing the animal when it is
lying amongst dry fallen leaves, into which the body partially sinks, and
this is more particularly the case if there is a flickering sunlight
coming though the branches of the jungle trees. In one case of this kind,
though I could see the tiger when it half raised itself up--it had been
wounded in the back--I failed to pick it up the moment it sank back into
the leaves; and my shikari told mo of another similar case he had seen
when there was a similar flickering light. But even without that source of
confusion to the sight a tiger is extremely difficult to see, as difficult
as a hare in a ploughed field, or perhaps more so. On one occasion Rama
Gouda said to me, when we were attacking a wounded tiger, or rather
tigress in the jungle, "There is the tiger." "What!" I said, "that thing
looking like a stone?" The light was bad. We both supposed it to be dead,
but I said, "I suppose I had better take a shot at it," and did so, and,
when the smoke cleared away, found that the tiger had removed. Then a
native went forward and gently parted the reeds with his hands, and showed
me the tigress--which had moved about twenty yards--on her side, and
evidently in a dying condition. She was now only a few yards from me, and
I fired at her, and she rolled over and died. As it happened, I do not
think that I ran much risk, but one never can exactly tell how much
vitality a dying tiger has, and in the case previously alluded to I have
no doubt that the tiger must have died immediately after he made his fatal
attack on the party.

It is owing obviously to their great power of concealment that tigers are
so very rarely ever seen by accident, and Mr. Sanderson says that during
some years of wandering in tigerish localities he has only come upon them
accidentally about half a dozen times, and my own experience, and that of
other sportsmen to whom I have spoken, quite confirms this. But I am
persuaded that a native can see a tiger much more readily than a European,
and the former have, I think, much better distinguishing power. For
instance, a European has great difficulty in seeing a green pigeon in a
green tree till the bird moves, while a native seems to have no such
difficulty. My own sight is, or rather was, very good, but I found on one
occasion, when I was stalked by a tiger, that it was most provokingly
defective as compared with that of a native. The incident occurred in this
way. In cloudy weather, during a break in the monsoon, I was beating a
ravine for game, and had sent my second gun-carrier with the beaters. As
the beat was drawing to a close, I heard a sambur deer belling at the head
of a ravine, about a few hundred yards from the termination of the jungle
we were beating. As I thought I might get a shot at it, I went across the
grassland in the direction of the sound, and up to within about ten yards
of the edge of the jungle, the fringe of which at that point projected a
little. I could see nothing, but as the people were coming my way in any
case, I remained where I was. The first person to arrive was a very plucky
Hindoo peasant--a keen sportsman and splendid stalker--and when he almost
touched me he at once pointed and said "There is a tiger." I put my rifle
to my shoulder, and said to him "Where?" "There," he said, and as he put
his hand on my shoulder I could feel it trembling with excitement. Alas, I
could not make out the tiger; but, after all, that was not so very
wonderful, as the day was dark, and the underwood fringe rather thick, but
the tiger actually managed to back gradually away without my being able to
see him. He had evidently been stalking the sambur, which had uttered the
note of alarm I had heard, and no doubt seeing that there was something at
the edge of the jungle, had crawled to the edge, and there lain down
within ten or twelve yards of me.

Tigers seem to recover easily from wounds, and so completely, that no
trace of a bullet having entered the body can be found. On one occasion I
shot a tiger, and when the skin was being removed we perceived a lump on
the inner side of it. This we opened, and found that it contained a bullet
which a brother of mine had fired into the tiger about a year before. We
had no difficulty in identifying the bullet, as no other rifle in the
country had anything like it. The tiger was perfectly well and fat, and
had not a mark on it of having been previously wounded, and yet the bullet
had gone close to mine, which proved fatal to the tiger. In 1891 I killed
a tiger, which had evidently, from his action, been hunted before. He was
in unusually good condition, and yet had a piece of lead in him, which
appeared to be a fragment of an express bullet. But a friend of mine tells
me that he has often found old bullets in tigers. It is a surprising thing
that tigers and panthers seem often to be little influenced by wounds, and
I have heard of one case of a panther, for which a sportsman was sitting
up, which returned to the kill after being wounded and fired at several
times. A friend of mine was once out small game shooting on the Nilgiris
when a tiger seized one of his dogs. He at once put a ball cartridge into
his smooth bore, had a beat, and wounded the tiger. On the following day
he returned to the spot with his rifle, and again beat the jungle, when he
killed the tiger, which had returned and finished the dog, and then found
that the bullet of the day before, which had struck the tiger in the
chest, had travelled nearly the whole length of the body. I recollect once
shooting a spotted deer which had a matchlock ball lying up against its
liver, and pressing on it, but the deer, though it had good horns, was
rather a stunted animal.

I have previously remarked that, in the opinion of Colonel Peyton, even
the stanchest sportsman when on foot in the jungle, is liable to be
startled by the sudden roar of a wounded tiger close at hand, and so much
so as even to draw back for a pace or two, but he says that the effect is
only momentary. In 1891 I again had an opportunity of observing the
effects on myself and others of the roar of a wounded tiger in the jungle,
but on this occasion, though I confess I was very considerably startled,
and generally commoved for a moment, as I had expected to find the tiger
dead, I did not step back a pace, nor did the stanchest of the natives who
were with me, though a certain number climbed right up to the tops of
trees. As it happened, there was, after all, no danger, for the tiger had
been damaged in the back, and I soon dispatched it. The effect of the roar
of a tiger is really very remarkable, and of this the animal itself seems
to be well aware, for the tiger I have just alluded to--evidently an old
hand, from the trouble he had given us and the cunning he had
displayed--remained in the open, or came out into the open as the beaters
approached, then roared at them and afterwards retreated into the
jungle--a narrow ravine in which he seemed determined to remain, though
shots were fired into it, and in which I think he would have remained had
not the beaters charged into it in a body in the most plucky manner. A
friend of mine also met with a similar instance, where a tiger came
out--confronted the beaters and roared at them. The beaters may see the
tiger, and quite close, and yet not be much disturbed, but a roar even a
good way off has on them a disturbing effect, though it is difficult to
see why the nerves should be affected more easily through the medium of
the ears than the eyes. I may here mention that, when the sportsman has a
damaged heart, the roar of a wounded tiger, at least if the shooter is on
foot in the jungle, is apt to produce a slight flutter of that organ,
though that, too, like the effect alluded to by Colonel Peyton, is
momentary. Having had for some years a rather damaged heart, I was
interested in experimenting as regards the effects of tigers on its
action, but could come to no very distinct conclusion. I was once in an
extremely insecure position on a conspicuous cleft of a bare tree, with my
feet not more than seven or eight feet from the ground, when the tiger
galloped into the arena as it were in the most sudden manner, and passed
within fifteen feet of me. I knocked him over with a ball in the back at
the second shot--the first, from the awkward position I was placed in,
having either missed, or done him little harm. The tiger then lay on his
side, with his head turned backwards and resting on his shoulder. He kept
his eye on me, and I kept mine on him, and I did not fire again, as my
second gun native (we had never expected the tiger to be where we found
him, and were on our way home) had seated himself on another tree. In a
low tone he said to me "Load, load!" but the moment I took my eye off the
tiger to do so he began to wriggle into the jungle, and I only got a snap
shot at his hind leg. Now when the tiger roared, which he did as he
approached me, and he lay watching me, I felt no sensation of the heart,
though I felt a distinct flutter when loading and when the tiger was
wriggling away. On the following day, however, I felt my heart to be
rather the worse, but I attributed this to exposure to the sun. On another
occasion, which occurred shortly afterwards, I shot a tigress so close
that I could have touched her with a spear, and she was on rather higher
ground than myself, but on this occasion neither when I fired, nor when
she fell, and turned her head to me and showed me all her teeth, did I
experience any heart effect whatever. I must say, though, that I had my
attention strongly turned to the necessity of not allowing myself to be
excited, in case it should be bad for my heart, and the power of the will
must no doubt have much effect in controlling the action of the heart.
Anyone who has anything the matter with his heart should take digitalis
before going out, and also take a few doses of this tonic with him, as
well as some very strong beef-tea. He should also endeavour to go after
the tiger in the morning or late in the afternoon, and lie in a cool place
in the jungle in the heat of the day, as I am quite sure, from my own
experience, that exposure to much sun heat is bad for the heart. As heart
disease, from the excitement of life, is becoming more common, these hints
may be useful.

Since writing the preceding, I went out after a tiger near my house,
where I was placed on a tree quite out of the reach of a tiger--in fact it
was too high, and showed me the great disadvantage of being more than say
fifteen feet from the ground. The beat was a peculiar one, and I was
posted just inside the jungle. The beaters were rather long at their work,
and I had fallen into a reverie, from which I was aroused by three roars
of a tiger just behind me, and the roars were not charging roars, but of a
character which meant, in tiger language, that people had better look out.
Now the tiger was below me, and I was as absolutely safe as a man at home
in his armchair, and yet I felt my heart throb quickly. The explanation of
this no doubt was that I had forgotten to take my dose of digitalis before
starting. Being in the jungle I was under great disadvantages from having
to shoot through the underwood, and, though I knocked over the tiger, and
there was plenty of blood to prove it, we lost him.

This tiger is known as the lame tiger from being so in the right fore
leg--the result of an old wound probably--and some ten days after my
wounding him a curious coincidence happened. A young married lady, who was
at the time on a visit to my bungalow, had expressed a great wish to see a
tiger, and, when leaving for Bangalore in her bullock coach between nine
and ten o'clock one night, very nearly saw the lame tiger. He was standing
in the road some miles from my house, at a sharp bend where the road
deflects abruptly to cross a Nullah, and waited till the coach got within
ten or fifteen yards of him, whereupon, after delivering three moderate
growls, he limped down off the road, and stood for a moment looking at the
coach and bullocks.

All sportsmen must regret the necessity for tying out live bait for
tigers, but this is really a fully justifiable proceeding, as thereby an
immense amount of pain is saved to animal life in general, and an immense
sum of money to the native population. The destruction of cattle by
tigers is really enormous, and, I believe, far exceeding that reported to
Government, and it is so mainly because the tiger is only allowed to eat a
fraction of what he kills, as the moment that news of a bullock being
killed reaches the village, the low class natives at once proceed to the
spot, drive away the tiger, and carry off the beef. And this is only
prevented when an English sportsman is within reach, in which case the
cattle owners prevent the people from touching the carcase. It is often
very annoying when tying out baits for tigers, to find them destroyed by
panthers, as the panther, of course, from his habit of climbing trees, and
concealing himself in the foliage, and from a kind of general facility
that he seems to have for getting out of the way, is a difficult animal to
find, in fact so much so, that I latterly would never go out after one,
unless it had killed quite close at hand. In 1891 I was once much annoyed
to find that a new kind of bait with an additional attraction had been
quite ruined by a panther. This attraction consisted of a goat picketed in
an open-topped (that was the mistake, it ought to have been closed) wooden
cage which was placed in the branches of a tree, on the edge of the
jungle, and about fifteen feet from the ground, while a bullock was
picketed on the ground in the open land, about twenty yards away. The
theory was that the, to a tiger, attractive aroma of the goat would be
widely diffused, and that he might, too, further attract the tiger by his
cries. News (false as it afterwards turned out to be) was brought in that
a tiger had killed the bullock, and I toiled up on to the mountain some
seven miles away from my bungalow, merely to find that a panther had
killed the bullock and that my goat was hanging dead by the neck outside
the cage just like a carcase in a butcher's shop. The panther had seized
the goat, killed it, and jumped out of the cage with it, and had either
not sense enough to cut the rope with his teeth, or had his suspicions
aroused from finding the animal tied. To show that the suspicions of an
animal can thus be aroused, I may mention the following incident, which is
also especially interesting as showing the great skill of the tiger as a
stalker and the singular power he has of stepping noiselessly on dry
leaves, and his power to do mischief after being apparently shot dead. But
before doing so I may mention rather an interesting circumstance. Besides
the bait killed by the panther, I had two bullocks tied out in the
neighbourhood, and as I did not care much for that part of the country,
ordered them to be released and brought home with us. I was much struck
with the earnest and business-like air with which these poor animals,
which had spent some miserable nights in the jungle, expecting every
moment to be killed by a tiger, trotted along, on a line often parallel
with the party, and it somewhat reminded me of a picture I had seen in an
illustrated paper, of the hunted deer amicably trotting home with the
hounds and huntsmen. The fact was that they were determined to get home in
good time, for fear, I suppose, of being shut out of the cattle shed, and
though, just as they neared the shed, the remainder of the herd, which had
been out grazing in the neighbourhood, appeared within twenty yards, the
liberated baits got first into the shed. And now for my story showing how
easily the suspicions of the tiger are excited.

A near neighbour of mine--at least he lived ten miles off---was much
annoyed by tigers which, from the continuous nature of his large block of
evergreen forest land, he could only get at by sitting over a bait. On one
occasion he had tied out a bullock, in a piece of land of a few acres
which he had cleared in the middle of the forest, and concealed himself on
a tree. It was during the day, and the ground was covered with dried
leaves which are so brittle in the hot weather that even the scratching,
or walking of a bird can be heard some way off. Presently a large
tiger--my friend knew that he was about--made his appearance and commenced
a stalk so elaborate and careful that my friend declared it would have
been worth 1,000 rupees to a young sportsman to have witnessed it. He put
every paw down so carefully, gradually crushing the leaves under it, that
my friend, though quite close to the tiger, could not hear a sound.
Between the tiger and the bullock was the butt, about four feet high, of a
felled tree, with long projecting surface roots, and this saved the tiger
much trouble, for he got on to one of the roots, and carefully balanced
himself on it, and so without noise was able to walk quickly along till he
came to the butt which he seemed to wind round like a snake, and he then
got on to a corresponding root on the other side, and walked along that.
In short, he approached so gradually and noiselessly, and his colour
against the brown dry leaves was so invisible, that he got quite close to
the bullock before it perceived him. The moment it did so it charged, but
the tiger, avoiding the horns, swung round the back of the bullock, and
then sat up and put both its paws on its neck evidently to drag it down,
but it then perceived that the animal was tied, and at once turned and
sprang into the forest with such rapidity that my friend did not fire. He
however sat patiently on, and after a considerable time the tiger
reappeared, went through the whole stalking performance as carefully and
exactly as before, and was seen and charged by the bullock as before. But
this time the tiger was in earnest and seized the bullock. There was a
struggle, the rope broke, and the bullock dropped dead, and then the tiger
stood for a few seconds, a magnificent figure in the bright sunlight,
looking all round as it were for signs of danger. Whether the tiger saw or
smelt my friend is uncertain, but it suddenly lay down behind the bullock,
interposing the carcase between itself and my friend, and resting its
head on the body. As it is always more or less precarious to fire at the
head of an animal where it may suddenly move my friend waited to get a
body shot, but as the tiger had evidently no intention of moving he fired
at the head and the tiger was apparently shot dead on the spot. But my
friend, who was an experienced sportsman, waited a little, and in the end
thought it safe to fire another shot before going up to the tiger. He did
so, when the tiger sprang up and went off into the forest at full speed,
and fell and died at some little distance away. The first bullet had
struck the tiger below the eye, but had been deflected, and was found
lodged in the jaw. My friend thinks that it would have proved fatal to the
tiger, but that is doubtful, as tigers make such wonderful recoveries from

In tying out baits it is very important to use a chain instead of a rope,
as the tiger will commonly cut the latter and carry off the carcase, and
it is sometimes desirable, or even necessary in some cases, to sit over
the carcase and await the return of the tiger. The latter is always the
case where there are great continuous forests, where tigers cannot be
isolated, or successfully pursued, unless one has an army of men and many
guns. This form of sport, which Mr. Sanderson speaks highly of, I can
imagine may be very interesting, but it is also very tiresome and
tantalizing. A great many years ago I remember trying it for two nights,
but without any success, and never again tried it till some years ago,
when I made an attempt in one of the forests at the foot of one of the
passes leading down to Mangalore. My people had no experience in the
matter either, still we might have been successful had the carcase been
chained. I took down a small herd of cattle from my plantations, and
ordered some baits to be tied one evening, and early the following morning
went round to look at them. In the first case we found that the rope had
been cut and the bullock carried off and deposited in a depression in the
ground about fifty yards away. The carcase was untouched. In the next case
we found that the rope, which was a very strong jungle creeper as thick as
a large-sized rope, had not been cut, but that the animal had been killed,
and merely a few steaks as it were eaten from the rump. In the third case
we found that the bullock, which had evidently been the first one seized,
was about half eaten. In the fourth case the bullock, which was an old
one, had not been touched. I think my people made a great mistake in tying
out so many cattle so close together--they were not one hundred yards
apart--still this certainly made matters more sure from one point of view,
as a tiger crossing the country might have missed one bait, whereas he
could hardly have missed four, but his having killed three baits made our
proceedings a little mixed. I first ordered the surviving bullock to be
taken home, and two of the carcases to be dragged away to a considerable
distance, and resolved to sit over kill number two, as it was the best
animal, and in the most convenient position, but unfortunately I ordered
two of my people to take a seat on a tree near the place where number one
had been killed and carried off, and the tiger, which went there first,
looked up and saw them and growled. His suspicions of course were aroused,
and the result was that he did not come at all to the kill I was sitting
over--at least while I was there. After it was too dark to see to shoot I
went home, and returned the following morning, when I found that the tiger
had returned, cut the rope, and carried off the bullock to a distance of
about two hundred yards, and eaten a good deal of it. I organized a small
silent beat of a section of the forest, but nothing came of it. My head
man then resolved to prepare a watching place in a tree near the carcase,
and this time I resolved to follow Mr. Sanderson's advice, and begin to
watch quite early in the afternoon. My man finished his arrangements by
about midday, and, after breakfasting at home, I returned with him to the
spot at about three o'clock. Horror of horrors, the carcase was gone
again. My head shikari--the Rama Gouda, whom I have previously noticed as
being such a cool and daring fellow--was enraged beyond measure. He at
once, without saying a word, cut a creeper from the nearest tree, and
without even a gun in his hand set off on the trail, but not, I observed,
before gun-bearer number two, also a daring fellow, had looked at him with
an inquiring eye, as much as to say, "are you not a trifle rash?" I
followed Rama Gouda, though I was not quite sure of the prudence of our
proceedings, and presently we perceived by the chattering of a squirrel
that the tiger was moving along close to us. Then we came to the carcase,
of which there was now only about half left, and from the tracks about it,
and the quantity of flesh eaten, Rama Gouda was satisfied that the tiger
must have watched him making his preparations and then carried off the
carcase the moment he had left. Rama Gouda now lashed the creeper to the
bullock's horns, and, with the aid of the second man, proceeded to drag it
back to the watching place he had prepared, and which was about one
hundred yards away. By this time, the hinder part of the bullock had been
eaten and only the fore part was intact and the carcase smelt horribly.
There was something so ludicrous in the whole thing that I could not, and
much to Rama Gouda's surprise, help laughing. The unfortunate animal had
first been driven thirty miles from his home into these remote forests,
then killed, then his remains were carried off as we have seen, and then
again carried off, and now what was left was being dragged back again to
the watching place. Rama Gouda soon arranged matters to his satisfaction
by restoring the remains to their original position, but certainly not to
mine, for there presently arose a most asphyxiating stench, which seemed
to fill the entire air, and reminded one of what soldiers must often have
experienced in our eastern campaigns. We waited till it was too dark to
see to shoot and then went home, and early next morning I had to start for
the coast, and thus ignominiously ended the only attempt of the kind I
ever made. The tiger was evidently an old hand and was playing a regular
game of hide and seek with us. The great error made was the neglect of Mr.
Sanderson's advice as to chaining the bait in the first instance. Some
tigers always carry off the carcase each time they visit it, and a friend
of mine told me that when he was once sitting over a carcase, the tiger
made a sudden rush, picked up the carcase in the course of it, and made
off so suddenly that he had no time to fire.

I can easily understand that, as Mr. Sanderson says, there is a
considerable charm and interest connected with this method (and in some
cases it is the only method) of pursuing tigers, but I can see that it
requires much experience, caution, and patience, and I would particularly
advise those interested in this matter to consult Mr. Sanderson's valuable

I have often found in conversation that people are surprised to find that
tigers eat tigers when a suitable opportunity for doing so presents
itself, but considering that man still, in some parts of the world, eats
his fellow man, it seems to me extremely natural that a tiger should eat a
tiger. I have, however, only met with one instance which occurred in my
neighbourhood, and in this case I am strongly inclined to think that the
eaten tiger was first of all killed. The incident occurred in this way.
Shortly before my arrival in India one winter, my manager wounded a tiger,
but I do not think very severely, as the tiger not only travelled at least
two miles, but ascended a mountain up to a considerable elevation. Along
one side of the mountain is a rather long strip of forest, which is a
favourite place for tigers either to pass through or lie up in, as it is
quite out of any village-to-village route, and had the tiger been hard hit
he would certainly have remained there. But not only did he not do so, but
skirting the jungle, or passing through it, he climbed up a steep ascent,
evidently with the view of going into the next valley, and near the top of
the ascent his living history ends. Knowing from the direction taken by
the wounded tiger that he would probably be in the jungle on the mountain
side, my manager had it beaten on the day following, when a tiger came out
which he took to be the wounded tiger, and which he killed. It then turned
out that it was not the wounded tiger, but a fresh tiger with the wounded
tiger, or nearly all the meat of it, inside him, and all that was
recovered was the head and the skin of the chest, which I saw after my
arrival, and which was sent in to Government for the reward, and by the
size of the head it must have been a fine tiger. When I visited the jungle
in 1891, I carefully cross-examined the natives in the matter, and they
said that they could not say whether the tiger had died from wounds or
whether he had been killed by the tiger that had carried off and eaten the
body, but they were positive that it was a tiger that had eaten the body,
from the tracks, for the body had been taken down to water, on the margin
of which no other tracks but those of a tiger were visible, and these were
clearly defined. They could also be distinctly traced from the place in
the open grassland whence the body was carried. Taking all the
circumstances into consideration--the distance travelled, the steepness of
the ground, and the fact that the tiger passed a favourable jungle for
lying in, I am strongly of opinion, in fact, I consider it almost certain,
that the wounded tiger must have been dispatched by the other tiger, which
was hungry and could not resist the smell of the blood. There is nothing
remarkable in a tiger eating a tiger found dead, and I have read and heard
of instances of this, and also of tigers fighting, and the vanquished
tiger being eaten.

It is a common idea that tigers cannot climb trees, but this has arisen
from the fact that they have seldom occasion to do so. Mr. Sanderson
mentions the case of a tigress having been seen to climb a tree in a wood
on the Nilgiri Hills, and though he has never seen a tiger in a tree
himself, deprecates the idea of there being anything impossible in the
matter, and if we come to consider that the large forest panther, which
commonly ascends trees, is really often nearly as heavy as a small-sized
tigress, there is nothing at all improbable in the tiger doing so. I
myself have never seen a tiger in a tree, but one of my managers did, who
once went out after a tiger which he had wounded. He then ran on to cut
him off, and tried to get up into a tree, but not succeeding in the
attempt, went and took a seat some way off on the hillside. The tiger
presently emerged from the jungle, went to the tree and began roaring and
scraping at the ground, and he must have either smelt traces of the
manager or seen him trying to get up into it, and concluded he was there.
However, he deliberately went up the tree paw over paw, and got into a
cleft of it and looked about in the tree, and then came down backwards,
and was shot in the act of descending. I sent and obtained measurements of
this tree, the stem of which was 16-1/2 feet up to the first branch. The
tiger climbed up so far, and looked around in the tree. Another case was
told me by Rama Gouda, to whom I have previously alluded, of a wounded
tiger going up a tree to get at a beater, whom he nearly reached. In the
case just mentioned, the tiger rose on its hind legs and deliberately went
up paw over paw, but in the second, started with a spring up the stem of
the tree, and then ascended in the same way as the first tiger did.

There is a common idea that jackals attach themselves to tigers, and are
useful in warning them of danger, and I have been informed by an
experienced sportsman that they always howl when they find a bait tied out
for a tiger, and, it is supposed, with the view of informing any tiger
within hearing that there is a bullock all ready for him. I have never
heard but one confirmatory instance of the former, which was told me by a
planter on the Nilgiri Hills, who was opening some new land in quarters
occasionally visited by tigers. One evening, after the day's work was
over, he went out accompanied by a kangaroo dog, and took a seat on the
hillside to enjoy the view. Immediately below him ran a jungly ravine, and
behind him the hill rose sharply. He had no gun with him, not expecting
any game so close to his new abode, and now, to his dismay, a large tiger
emerged from the shola at a point between him and his bungalow. As the
grass was long at that season, the tiger did not perceive my friend (and,
as I have previously shown, tigers, and I believe all animals, do not
readily perceive any non-conspicuous object which is not in motion), who,
as may be supposed, sat as close and still as possible, and beckoning to
the dog, held him fast by the collar. The tiger lay down in the grass, and
was presently followed by another tiger, which lay down in front of the
first and rolled over on its back. This was pretty well for a beginning,
but presently, one after the other, emerged three smaller tigers, which
also took their seats in the grass. Here then was a nice family to have
between one and one's dinner. The sun presently set, and the prospect of
darkness was not encouraging. My friend naturally waited for the tigers to
go, and no doubt devoutly hoped that they would not come his way, but time
seemed to them to be of no importance, and they showed not the slightest
disposition to move. Presently there came on to the ridge of the hill
above a jackal, which looked down upon the party and then set up a most
unearthly howl. The three smaller tigers, evidently young and
inexperienced animals, took no notice of the protestations of the jackal,
but the two larger tigers at once got up and took a long steady look at
him, and the jackal moved restlessly about and seemed to redouble his
efforts to attract the attention of the tigers. The larger tigers now
seemed satisfied that some danger was at hand, and to the immense relief
of my friend, walked down into the jungle, followed by the three smaller
tigers. After waiting a little my friend got up and proceeded homewards,
and, he said, "I am not ashamed to own that, after passing the place where
the tigers had disappeared from view, I fairly ran for the house." The
most interesting experiences one hears of tigers and other wild animals
are, as may be supposed, not from sportsmen engaged on shooting
expeditions, and who have killed much game, but from pioneer planters and
others whose business lies in tigerish localities, and that is why Mr.
Sanderson's book is so particularly interesting. My friend told me when I
last met him that he had only killed two tigers, but that he had had
occasionally some unexpected interviews with them. One of these was
interesting as showing that a tiger does not like the rearing of a horse.
My friend was riding across the country one morning when he came suddenly,
at the edge of a shola, on a tiger, which at once crouched as if to
spring. The horse, an Australian, wished to turn, but my friend, being
afraid that the tiger might then spring on him, turned his horse's head
towards the tiger and touched him with the spur. This caused the horse to
rear, and the moment he did so the tiger turned tail and ran off. We have
seen that man does not relish the roar of a tiger, and it may be
interesting to record one instance where a single tiger was commoved and
put to flight by the yell of a single man. He was a planter on the
Nilgiris, and the brother of a friend of mine, and was in the habit of
going out at the end of his day's work with a book and a gun, and seating
himself on the hillside to look out for sambur deer. On one occasion he
was thus sitting in the long grass when he heard something coming through
it. This turned out to be a large tiger which came into view suddenly, and
quite close, as may be supposed from the fact that the planter was sitting
in long grass. The tiger at once crouched, and the planter was afraid to
raise his gun, as it was probable that the animal might spring at him
before he was ready to fire. Tiger and man thus looked at each other in
silence. Mr. B. had heard of the effect of the human eye, and he threw
into his the fiercest glare he could, but found that the tiger returned
his glance quite unmoved. Then he thought he would try the effect of the
human voice, and gathering himself together uttered the most awe-inspiring
yell he could command. The tiger at once rose to his legs and turned his
body half round. This was encouraging, and he emitted another yell, when
the tiger went off.

There can be no doubt that tigers, like men, are often very undecided how
to act, and it would be interesting if we could penetrate their state of
mind. Shall I attack, or shall I do nothing? and in the end, after long
deliberation, the tiger will determine on doing nothing, and walk off. Of
his state of mind the following is an instance. On one occasion I left my
pony on the side of a hill just outside the forest, and went for a stalk
over the mountain above. I could see nothing, and thought it would be well
to take a seat and wait in case any game might turn up. I had not been
seated more than a few minutes when one of my people, pointing downward,
said, "There is a tiger," and we could see him at the foot of the hill
about quarter of a mile away, walking steadily across a piece of open
land to the forest beyond. Just as he disappeared my horse-keeper came up
alone, and evidently in a most agitated state, and no wonder, for we had
no sooner got out of his sight when, a tiger appeared from the jungle and
lay down on the ground just above the pony and crouched. The horse-keeper
had another man with him, but he not unnaturally said that he was afraid
to come and tell us, as he thought that there was safety in numbers, and
that the tiger might attack the pony if it was left with only one man. The
tiger must have thus remained in a state of low doubt for at least half an
hour. Finally he got up and left them, and, from the direction he took,
was evidently the identical tiger which we had seen from the hill top.

Tigers, like wolves and other animals, form plans, communicate them to
their companions, and conjointly carry them out. A friend of mine was once
the subject of an excellent instance of this. He was out stalking one day,
and with his glass was scanning the country carefully, when he made out a
long way off, in a piece of open grassland which was surrounded by forest,
three tigers looking in his direction. They evidently saw that there was
something on the hillside, but the distance was, for them, too great to
make out what. After steadily looking at him some time the tigers
evidently formed their plan of operations, and plunged into the forest
towards him. The tigers had taken my friend and his man for game of some
kind, and had determined on a united stalk and drive, and, when they
appeared, two remained at the edge of the jungle, while the third made a
circuit evidently with the view of coming upon the supposed game from
above. But presently they discovered their mistake and went off.

These forest tigers are rarely dangerous to man unless attacked, and in
my part of the country they never are so. However, there is no rule
without an exception, and when making this assertion to some natives in my
neighbourhood many years ago, one of them said, "I am not so sure about
that. A tiger ate an aunt of mine not far from here some years ago." But
that is the only instance I ever heard of in my neighbourhood, and even by
tradition there were no instances of deaths from tigers, and it is also
remarkable how in some cases tigers, when there is plenty of game, live
for years near cattle without touching them. I was particularly struck
with this in the case of a family who lived quite isolated at the crests
of the Ghauts, and the head of it told me that, though tigers were often
about they never touched his cattle. There is an amusing story told in "My
Indian Journal"[20] (a charming book which everyone should read who is
interested in India) of a native who was ready enough it appears to track
down tigers to be shot by others, but who by no means wished that any of
his family should interfere. On one occasion Colonel Campbell found him
belabouring his son with a stout bamboo, and on inquiry learned that the
said son had killed a tiger. The father said it was all very well for
people who lived in the open country, but with him the case was quite
different, as he lived on sociable terms with the tigers in the jungle,
had never injured them nor they him, and while there was peace between
them he could go amongst them without fear, but now that his rascally son
had picked a quarrel with them, there was no knowing where the feud might

I have mentioned a case of tigers not interfering with cattle when there
was plenty of game, but I should add that this was many years ago, when
the natives had not so many guns as they have now. The rice-fields have
been abandoned and the house of course deserted, and of recent years the
tigers have changed their ways, for, ten years ago, I killed a tigress
close to the site of the abandoned house, in the neighbourhood of which it
had been killing cattle.

I have said that forest tigers are rarely dangerous to man, and by that I
mean the tigers inhabiting the long range of forests stretching along the
south-western side of India at varying distances from the sea, but in the
interior of Mysore very dangerous man-eaters have existed, and I have been
shown places which people made up parties to cross. One man-eater, at
least--for it was assumed that the deaths were the work of one
animal--killed, I am informed on good authority, about 500 people. Two
tigers were killed at one time, and after that the slaughter of human
beings ceased, though it was never ascertained which was the culprit.
There is no man-eater at present in Mysore. Mr. Sanderson says that bold
man-eaters have been known to enter a village and carry off a victim from
the first open hut. The boldest attempt I ever knew of was mentioned to me
by my Nilgiri planter friend, and it occurred in this way. In the middle
of the night there were loud cries of "Tiger!" from a hut near his house
which was occupied by some of his people. He always kept a loaded gun near
him at night, and at once rushed out and fired, when two men came up to
the bungalow and declared that a tiger had begun to claw the thatch off
the roof of the hut in order to get at them. This was alarming to the
planter, as, if proved, many of his people might have left the place, and
he told the men to sleep in his veranda, and that he would see in the
morning if their story was true. He then went to bed and rose very early
the following morning, before anyone was about, and found that the story
was quite true, and saw the tracks of the tiger. These he carefully
obliterated, and then went back to bed. Then when he rose at his usual
time he roused the men and asked to be shown the track of the tiger. This
of course they could not do, and he laughed off the whole story, and
treated it as a fanciful illusion. I find many stories in sporting books
of the great courage and determination often shown by natives in
connection with tigers, but my Nilgiri planter friend told me one which
was really astonishing. A tiger one day had carried off a Toda cattle
herd, and his friend or relative was determined to recover the body, and
was about to proceed single-handed and unarmed into the jungle with this
view. My friend saw that he could not prevent him, and as he did not like
to let him to go in alone, went with him. They went in accordingly, and
presently heard the tiger crunching the bones of his unfortunate victim,
but when the tiger heard them approaching he retired, and the Toda
recovered what was left of the body. There can be no doubt, however, that
the death of one of a party does exercise a chilling effect on the zeal of
the natives, or at least on a considerable proportion of them, but after
all this is not surprising, as I have found a similar coldness coming over
my own proceedings when a tiger has retorted with effect on his pursuers.
On the occasion I am now alluding to an unfortunate report had spread that
a tiger I had wounded had left the jungle in which we found him, and
whither he had retreated. I had wounded the tiger in the evening, and we
went to look him up next morning, and the beaters, influenced no doubt by
the report in question, went into the jungle in a body in a careless
manner, and without sending men up trees to keep a look out ahead.

The tiger waited till the whole party was within springing distance, and
then with a tremendous roar which I clearly heard at my post some way off,
charged, and buried his deadly fangs in the back of an unfortunate Hindoo
peasant who was leading the way. The poor fellow was carried out of the
jungle in an evidently dying state, and a caste dispute arose over him,
the particulars of which I have given in my chapter on caste. After doing
what we could for him we placed him on a rough litter and he was carried
to the rear. I confess that after such an exhibition of temper on the part
of the tiger and the nature of the jungle I, being Europeanly speaking
single-handed, was not so very comfortable at the idea of approaching him,
but luckily a toddyman who had run up a tree (these men are wonderful
climbers) when the tiger charged, and was afraid for some time to come
down, now emerged from the jungle, and reported that he could see the
tiger from the tree he had climbed into. This of course much simplified
matters, and I at once proceeded into the jungle, but only about ten
people, mostly my own followers, cared to accompany me. As it happened, we
after all ran no risk whatever, as the tiger was dead, though he was lying
with his head on his paws in such a life-like position that we fired a
shot into him to make sure. When we were skinning him the poor man
expired. In the same jungle, I think about a year afterwards, an English
visitor at my house wounded a tiger, which went into one of those reedy
and cactus-grown bottoms which make tiger shooting on foot so dangerous. I
then declared that none of my people should go into this, and that they
might return the next day and see if the tiger was dead (by no means an
absolutely safe proceeding even then as we have seen). Much to my
amusement a lean toddy drawer of mine, an excellent shikari, went a few
yards into the swampy ground, got on to a small boulder of rock, squatted
down, took out his betel bag, threw some betel into his mouth preparatory
to chewing, and then held out his long skinny arm and forefinger and said,
"Look! A tiger made a meal of a man close to this last year. Let everyone
therefore be careful and get up into trees, and mind what they are
about." The next day the tiger was found dead quite close to the rock he
had been squatting on. A most remarkable instance of courage on the part
of a native occurred when a brother planter of mine was out tiger shooting
on the Ghauts to the north of my abode. A tiger flew at a Hindoo
peasant--a first-rate plucky sportsman, and as the tiger charged, the man
struck at it with his hacking knife (a formidable weapon in the hands of a
man who knows how to use it, and used to cut underwood, and thick boughs
of trees), with the result that the tiger's skull was split open and the
animal killed on the spot. The native was thrown backwards with great
force, and his head came in contact with a stone. He got up, and by this
time was surrounded by the people, when, holding out his hand, he said,
"Look here," and then paused. Everyone expected some remark about the
tiger, but, amidst general laughter--for the natives have a keen sense of
humour--he continued, "There will be a bump on my head to-morrow as big as
a cocoanut." And now, as we have heard so much of the courage of man, it
is time that the dogs should have their turn, and I will conclude these
reminiscences with an account of how a dog saved the life of the brother
planter to whom I have just alluded. I was so much interested in the story
that I wrote down the particulars in my diary at the time and read them
over to my informant to make sure they were right. I give the account
verbatim as I took it down at the time.

Mr. A. told me that he once wounded a tiger which afterwards sprang on
him, knocked him down, and seized him by the hand and arm. With Mr. A. was
a large dog, half mastiff and half polygar (a savage and rare native
breed), which at once attacked the tiger, and diverted its attention from
Mr. A. After driving off the dog the tiger again returned to Mr. A. and
commenced to worry him, but was again attacked by the dog. The dog was
thus driven off about three or four times by the tiger. The tiger was all
this time losing strength from his wounds, and the last time he returned
to Mr. A., died on him. The dog was uninjured. Now comes the most curious
and interesting part of the story.

The dog, which was not affectionate generally, and indifferent to being
noticed, belonged to Mr. A.'s brother, and had previously taken no
interest in anyone but his master, but after this event, he refused to go
home with his master, and stuck closely to the wounded man, and when some
carbolic was applied by Mr. A.'s brother which caused pain to the wound,
the dog began to growl and showed signs of displeasure. The dog would not
allow anyone to come near Mr. A. except his own special servant, and lay
under the bed with his nose sticking out, and keeping close guard. When
Mr. A. was carried to the doctor some thirty-five miles away the dog went
too, and on the doctor applying carbolic, and setting the bones, which
caused pain, the dog at once seized the doctor by the leg. (Evidently
looking on him as tiger No. 2, I suppose.) In about three months Mr. A.
was quite cured, and after that the dog lost all interest in him, and
returned to his master; and if he met Mr. A. by chance, merely
acknowledged him by the faintest wag of his tail. A year afterwards this
dog, happening to meet the doctor, whom he had not met since, at once flew
at him and seized him by the trousers.

One great danger attending the bite of a tiger is that of blood-poisoning
from the frequently foul state of the animal's jaws, and it is, of course,
of great consequence to cleanse wounds as soon as possible and apply
carbolic. An engineer in the northern part of Mysore a good many years ago
was bitten on the thigh by a tiger, and so little hurt that he walked home
and went on with his business as usual, but a few days after he was
suddenly taken ill and very soon died. Of course there may happen to be no
foul matter about the tiger's mouth, and a Hindoo peasant wounded when I
was out with no less than thirteen wounds in the arms--several of them
double wounds as the man had thrust his locked arms into the tiger's mouth
to keep him off--completely recovered. He goes by the nickname of Tiger
Linga Gouda, and I always make a point of sending for him when I visit
Mysore. On one occasion I was showing the marks of the wounds to a lady,
and said that there were thirteen wounds. "Thirteen," echoed Linga Gouda,
"There were fifteen, and you have forgotten those two on the head, and I
slept on your bed too," he added with an air of great satisfaction--in
fact he seemed to attach more importance to that than to anything
connected with the transaction. I had given him up my bed because it was a
broad one, and so most convenient for resting his lacerated arms. The
natives were certain that he would die, and I felt a great triumph in
bringing him round. The great thing with wounds of that kind is of course
to cleanse them well, and apply carbolic if you have it (I had none on
this occasion) and afterwards cover the wounds with damp lint, which
should be kept constantly moist by frequent applications of water. This
was done in the case I have alluded to. The arms, of course, swelled
greatly, and the heat arising from them was very great, hence the need for
the constant application of water. The flow of blood from the arms was
checked by a tourniquet.

I never but once heard of a mad tiger. This animal was made over in an
inoculated condition by a friend of mine to the Garden in Bangalore. He
had caught it when out tiger shooting, and, when on the way to Bangalore,
he had chained it outside his tent where it was attacked and bitten by
what turned out to be a mad Pariah dog.

Before concluding this chapter I must say a few words, which perhaps
ought to have been said at an earlier period, as regards one of the most
important points of tiger shooting--i.e., that of taking up such a
position as will enable you to fire to right or left without moving your
body, or rather I should say without moving it more than in a most
infinitesimal degree, for, as I have previously shown, it is movement of
any kind which alone readily attracts the attention of an animal. It is
evident that, if you sit facing the point from which the tiger is
expected, though you can readily fire at him without moving if he passes
to your left (and, as has been shown, you should not fire till he is just
passing you) you cannot do so if he passes to your right without turning
your whole body half round in that direction--a movement which might catch
the eye of the tiger. To surmount this difficulty Sir Samuel Baker has
invented a small stool with a revolving top, which is no doubt air
excellent thing if there is time to erect a suitable platform on which to
support the stool, but it often happens that positions have to be taken up
in a hurry, and that you have to sit on the fork of a branch, or on the
ground behind a bush or rock, where the tiger may pass on either side. In
such cases the shooter should sit facing nearly full face to the right, as
he can, with hardly any perceptible movement of his body fire readily to
his left, and he should instruct his man with the second gun to point with
his finger in order to indicate the side on which the tiger is

In all the books I have read about tigers I have never met with an
allusion to tigers purring like cats from satisfaction, but a brother
planter informs me that he heard a wounded tiger, that had killed one of
the natives who was following him up, purr for several minutes, as he
described it, "like a thousand cats." The evening was closing in when the
accident occurred and as the jungle was thick nothing could be done. On
the following morning the man and the tiger were found lying dead

Of all sports tiger shooting affords the most lasting satisfaction, and it
is especially interesting when one lives in tigerish localities where one
has more leisure and opportunity for going into all the details of this
delightful sport, and where a knowledge of the people and their language
makes the sport so much more agreeable, and one's acquaintance with the
ground enables one to take an active and intelligent part in regulating
the plan of operations when a tiger has killed. Then in the case of an
animal so destructive it is seldom possible to feel any commiseration,
though I have done so on certainly one, or perhaps two occasions. Against
many sports something may be said, but that is impossible as regards tiger
shooting. The tying out of live baits may be objected to, but after all
the tooth of the tiger is to be preferred to the knife of the butcher.


[15] G. P. Sanderson's "Thirteen Years among the Wild Beasts of India,"

[16] "Reminiscences of Life in Mysore, South Africa and Burmah." By
Major-General R. S. Dobbs. London, Hatchards, Piccadilly, 1882.

[17] _Vide_ Appendix C.

[18] "Oriental Field Sports." By Captain Thomas Williamson, London, 1807.

[19] "Tiger Shooting in India; Experiences 1850 to 1854," by William Rice,

[20] "My Indian Journal." By Colonel Walter Campbell. Edinburgh, Edmonston
and Douglas, 1864.



The Indian black bear (_ursus labiatus_), we are informed by Jerdon, is
found throughout India and Ceylon, from Cape Comorin to the Ganges,
chiefly in the hilly and jungly districts. The bear, unlike the tiger,
which has sometimes five cubs, appears never to have more than two cubs,
and I have not been able to hear or read of their ever having more. We
have no means of knowing how often they breed, but I imagine that they
must seldom do so, and that that is why they are so soon almost
exterminated. As I never kept a game diary on my estate (which I now much
regret), I have no idea how many have been killed from it, but I am sure
we have killed a smaller number of bears than of tigers, and yet the bear
is now rarely seen or heard of in my neighbourhood, while we hear as much
of tigers as ever, and indeed quite recently a great deal more, for last
year they were apparently more numerous than they have ever been in the
tiger range of my district; and I say apparently, because, from the
destruction of game, the tigers have naturally been compelled to live more
upon cattle. It is alleged by the natives that the tigers kill and eat the
bears. Mr. Sanderson notices this in his work, and gives one reported
instance of it, but I have never known of one in my part of the country. A
friend of mine, formerly in the employ of the Mysore State, told me that
he knew of two cases in the North-Eastern Division, of tigers killing
bears, but in neither case did they eat them. In the first case the bear
and tiger had met at a watering-place, and in the second in the jungle.
Mr. Ball, in his "Jungle Life in India,"[21] tells us that he once came
across the remains of a bear which the natives said had been killed by a
tiger, and that a native shikari had sat over the carcase with the hope of
getting a shot at the tiger. We have no returns as regards bears in
Mysore, but in the adjacent Bombay districts--Kanara and Belgaum--Colonel
Peyton tells us, in the "Kanara Gazetteer," they are fast becoming rare,
except near the Sahyadris, and even there are no longer numerous. In
Belgaum, between 1840 and 1880, he tells us that no fewer than 223 bears
were killed. The steady decline of the numbers of the bears is shown by
the fact that 137 were killed between 1840 and 1850, 51 between 1850 and
1860, 32 between 1860 and 1870, and 3 between 1870 and 1880. In Kanara 51
bears were killed between 1856 and 1882, so we have a total then of 274
bears for these two districts alone. As regards big game, the first comers
obviously have the best of it.

Colonel Peyton tells us that the bear is, of all animals, most dreaded by
the natives. There can be no doubt, he says, that an untouched bear will
often charge, while a tiger will rarely do so, and there are numerous
instances of people having been mauled and sometimes killed by them. I
imagine, though--in fact, I am sure--that this must often occur from the
bear constantly keeping his head down, evidently smelling and looking for
things in or on the ground. All other game animals have some motive for
looking ahead and around--deer and bison for their enemies, and tigers for
their prey. But the bear lives on insects and fruits, and flowers and
honey, and as he is not apprehensive of being attacked by any animal, has
no motive for keeping a lookout, and so does not do so. He may thus, and
no doubt often does, run into a man, under the mistaken idea that the man
is running into or attacking him, and then the bear, naturally, does the
best he can. I can give a remarkable confirmation of this view.

One day, in a break in the monsoon, when the game lies much out of the
forest, I was out in the mountains with my manager for a general stalk,
when we saw, some way ahead of us, a bear walking along. We quickly formed
a plan of operation, and it was arranged that I should make a circuit and
get between the bear and a jungly ravine he appeared to be making for, and
that my manager should follow on the track of the bear, which would thus
be pretty certain to be overhauled. The bear was pottering along as bears
do, and I had no difficulty in getting between him and the jungle he was
approaching, and the moment I did so I advanced a little towards him. When
the bear got within shooting distance--about fifty yards--I stooped down
and moved a little on one side so as to get off his direct line, with the
view of getting a side shot, but just as I did so he accidentally altered
his route, thus bringing himself again head on to me. Then I manoeuvred
again to get out of his line, but the bear also altered his line, and as
by this time he was getting rather too close--i.e., about ten yards
off--I stood up and took a steady shot at his head and dropped him dead.
Now, strange to say, I do not believe that the bear ever saw me at all,
and he could not wind me, as the south-westerly wind was blowing strongly
from him to me, and yet, as the grass at that season was by no means long,
he had no more difficulty in seeing me than I had in seeing him, and he
probably would have walked right up to me. This instance is, I think,
interesting, and goes far to explain the numerous accidents in connection
with bears. Still there can be no doubt that, as Colonel Peyton says, an
unwounded and untouched bear will deliberately attack people when there is
no occasion for his doing so, and that too, under circumstances where no
other animal would make an attack, and of this the following little
incident will serve as an illustration.

On one occasion a bear was reported on a jungly hill about a mile from my
bungalow, and as I was young and inexperienced then, I said that I would
lie on the ground till I heard the beaters, and then stand behind a tree.
I was alone, and had only a single barrelled rifle, which I laid on the
ground beside me. As the cover was rather a large one, I had no reason to
expect anything till I could at least hear the beaters in the distance,
and I lay leaning on my elbow and thinking of I cannot now remember what,
when on chancing to look up I saw a large bear standing at the edge of the
jungle about twenty yards away. The moment I moved he charged, and I at
once seized my rifle, sprang up and charged the bear at an angle (there
was no time to fire), and made for the jungle from which he had emerged. I
just missed his nose, and he followed me for a few paces as I ran towards
the jungle from which he had come, which I did knowing that he would not
be inclined to go in that direction. Then, having thus cleared me out of
the way, he turned, and resumed his original route, and as he was
disappearing into the next jungle I fired at him, but the charge must have
had a discomposing effect on my shooting, for I missed the bear
altogether. Now, as the beaters were far away and not within hearing,
there was no occasion for the bear to have attacked me, and there was
ample room for him to have altered his line. In fact, unless closely
pressed by beaters, no other unwounded animal would have so acted. It will
be observed that the bear, after having pursued me for a few yards, turned
and went on his way, but had I not been nimble--in other words, had I been
completely invested by the bear and thrown down--he might, as the natives
would phrase it, have made my wife a widow. It is commonly supposed that,
when making an attack, the bear stands on its hind legs, and thus gives
the sportsman a good chance of killing him with a shot in the chest, but
this is not my experience, and, though instances of the kind may have
occurred, I should not advise the sportsman to count on any such delay in
the proceedings of an attacking bear.

The preceding illustration, I may point out, affords a useful lesson. If
so suddenly attacked by a wild animal that you have no time to fire,
always rush towards it, and to one side, so that you may, as it were,
dodge past it. This will enable you to gain ground on it, and room to turn
round and fire.

I may observe that Mr. Ball, in his "Jungle Life in India," gives several
instances of natives being wantonly attacked by bears, and Colonel
Campbell[22] gives one remarkable instance of two bears attacking a party
of his people, who were on the march through the jungle in Belgaum in
charge of his horses, one of which was so severely wounded by one of the
bears that the life of the horse was despaired of for some days. The
Colonel was determined to be avenged on the bears, had them marked down,
and, with the aid of his friends, bagged them both, but not before one of
the bears had thrown down one of the party, who ran a great risk of being
killed. The determination of the bear in following up his assailant was
in this instance very great.

I may here observe that some little caution is required in approaching,
and looking into caves, and examining the entrances for tracks of bears,
and the person doing so should be fully prepared for a sudden charge out
of the cave, and be ready to jump on one side. No cave should be
approached with the assumption that it is not at all likely that a bear
will be at home, and especial care should be taken in the case of a cave
with a drop in front of it over which a person might be hurled by a bear
charging suddenly out. To get a bear out of a cave is often no easy
matter, and different caves require, of course, different treatment. In
some cases the bear may be poked out with the aid of a long pole, and when
this is done the operation is both interesting and amusing, but care must
be taken to see that you have a man who understands bears, and knows by
the character of the growl when the bear really means to charge out into
the open, and also that the man with the stick can readily get out of the
way, which he cannot do in the case of every cave. The native with a long
pole, or rather stick, usually commences with a quiet nervous sort of
poke, which awakes the bear out of his midday slumbers and causes him to
rush at the stick with a furious growl. But this is merely a
demonstration, and the experienced native does not expect a charge, though
I need hardly say that he is well prepared to get out of the way. Then the
native commences to poke away in a more pronounced style, and at the same
time excites himself by calling in question the purity of Bruin's mother,
his female relations, and even those of his remote ancestors, to all of
which the bear responds by growls and rushes at the stick. At last his
growls and rushes at the stick become fierce and menacing, and all of a
sudden the experienced Hindoo, who by some instinctive knowledge is able
to gauge the charging moment, drops the stick and scuttles out of the way,
and the bear dashes headlong from the cave to be killed, or to make good
his escape, as the case may be. Poking a bear out of a cave is rather a
severe trial of one's nervous system, and if anyone doubts that he has
only to try it for himself, as it will perhaps show the individual that we
seldom rightly estimate the amount of nerve which we often expect natives
to show. I think I was never more startled in my life than I was one day
when I put my ramrod (it was of course in the muzzle loading days) into
the very narrow mouth of a cave in which I thought there was little chance
of Bruin being at home. A she-bear however was within, and all the fiercer
as she had cubs, but luckily she did not charge out, and I need hardly say
that I promptly drew back. Sometimes a cave may be so deep and tortuous
that the bear cannot be got out with the aid of a pole, and to meet such
cases I had stink balls made, as bears have very fine olfactory nerves and
seem particularly to object to disagreeable smells. These balls were
composed of asafoetida, pig dung, and any other offensive ingredient
that suggested itself to me at the time, and made up into about the size
of a cricket ball and then dried in the sun. The ball was, when required
to drive a bear out of a cave, impaled on the end of a long pole and
surrounded by dried grass, or any other inflammable material which was at
hand, and this being ignited the pole was thrust as far as possible into
the cave. This I found to be a highly successful plan, and I may mention
in passing that I have met with no account in the many sporting books I
have read of this being done previously. Sometimes large fires are lit in
the mouth of a cave with the view of smoking a bear out, but this is
rather a cruel process which I do not recommend. In some cases of
peculiarly shaped and situated caves it is, however, the only practicable
plan, but where adopted the bear should not be put to more inconvenience
than is necessary to drive him out. A large fire should be lit at the
entrance, and when the cave has got filled with smoke all the blazing
fragments of wood should be removed from the entrance, and in doing this
the people should talk loudly and make as much noise as possible, and
afterwards retreat to a distance from the cave leaving the sportsman with
his spare gun-carrier to sit just above the entrance to the cave. The bear
finding that, as he erroneously supposes, every one has gone away, and
being naturally desirous of quitting such uncomfortable quarters will,
after a short time, come cautiously out and may thus be easily shot. It is
very important to have a couple of bull-terriers when out bear shooting as
they are most useful in bringing a wounded bear to bay.

In considering these remarks upon the various ways of getting bears out of
caves it may be useful to show how not to attempt to get a bear out of a
cave, and the connecting circumstances will also be useful to anyone who
may be overtaken by a hill fire.

On one occasion many years ago news was brought in that a bear had been
marked down into a small and very narrow mouthed cave on a bare hillside,
and I accordingly proceeded to the spot. The whole mountain was at that
time covered with long grass, and as the cave was closely surrounded by
it, and the bear if poked out in the usual way would rush into the grass
and thus give a bad chance to the shooter, I devised what I thought, and
what at first appeared to be, an excellent plan for meeting the
difficulty. This was to set fire to the whole hill just below the cave,
and my theory was that, as the cave was a small one, the heat of the fire
and the smoke would cause the bear to quit the cave after the fire had
passed over it. The wind was, when we lit the fire, blowing from east to
west and I perched myself on a pile of rocks rather above, and to the
east of the bear's cave as, when leaving it, he would naturally go in a
direction opposite to that of the fire, in which case he would pass within
easy shot of my position. With this, distinctly original conception I was
highly pleased and watched the progress of the terrific conflagration that
ensued with interest and satisfaction. How it roared and leapt as it
consumed the long dried grass, and how soon would the bear be likely to
make its appearance! It reached the long grass around the cave and
proceeded to sweep along the hill, away from me, and flying before the
easterly wind. Presently there was a dead lull. A few seconds more and the
whole position was reversed. I had quite forgotten that, at that season of
the year, and that hour of the day, the east wind dies down, and the
westerly sea breeze comes in, and in an instant I was caught in my own
trap. First of all I thought I would screen myself behind one of the rocks
and remain where I was, but I was of course speedily enveloped with masses
of smoke, and then I thought I would get down and run; first of all,
however, I peeped over the rock, but merely to perceive a terrifying mass
of roaring red flames rushing towards me, and this finally determined me,
and I stuffed my handkerchief into my mouth and held on. As I had of
course leggings and was fully clothed I had much the best of it, but my
shikari with his bare limbs got a pretty good roasting. But the fire
seemed no sooner to have reached us than it was swept onwards quite away,
and I was astonished at the pace it travelled, which one can have no idea
of when one witnesses these conflagrations, as one usually does, from a
distance. Beyond feeling as if my lungs were on fire for a day or two
afterwards I experienced no ill effects from my temporary roasting, but
the experience I had was quite sufficient to show me the amount of
inconvenience a bear must suffer from being smoked out of his cave, and,
as I have previously pointed out, no more fire should be lit at the
entrance of a cave than is necessary to make it desirable for the bear to
leave it, which, as I have shown, he will soon do, if the people retire to
a distance. As for our bear, he probably knew far more about these hill
fires and the sudden changes of wind than I did, and had not the slightest
idea of coming out for some time, and I therefore had to introduce to his
notice one of my stink balls, which had the effect of bringing him out. By
way of a change I had intended fighting it out with the bear without
firing, and told a native to attack the bear with my spear when he
emerged, while I proposed, if he lodged his spear, to attack with the
bayonet of my Enfield rifle. But the spear came into contact with a bone
in the bear's back, and thus the point was broken off, and seeing that my
man had not lodged his spear I fired and killed the bear. From my
subsequent experience of the great power of the bear I am now glad that
the spear was not lodged.

Bear shooting from caves I have found to be a most interesting and
sometimes most entertaining and even amusing sport, while it is attended
with a sufficient amount of danger for all practical purposes. You never
get a laugh out of a tiger shikar, but you sometimes do in connection with
bears, and the following is at once an instance in point, and will besides
illustrate the danger of approaching a cave which is perhaps rarely
inhabited by bears, as also the surprising promptness of the bear in
action. And I say surprising, because from his shambling gait, general
deliberation of movement, and the clothing of long black hair which hides
the powerful form and limbs, his activity and quickness of movement when
aroused is astonishing to those who have no experience of bears. But to
proceed with my story.

One day, when returning from shooting in the mountains, we happened to
pass a bear's cave which was rarely inhabited--at least on former
occasions when we examined it we had found no traces of bears, nor had one
ever been marked into it that I was able to hear of, though the cave had
the reputation of being occasionally used by bears. The cave was in a
beehive-shaped pile of rocks standing on, or rather projecting from, a
steep hillside. From the upper side it is easily approached, but to get at
the mouth of the cave you have to step down, as it were, from the roof of
the beehive on to a ledge of rock about six feet wide, below which there
is a drop of ten or twelve feet. From the absence of any signs of bears
about the roof of the cave I assumed that the cave was as usual
uninhabited, but I thought I would gratify my curiosity by looking into
it, so I got down on to the ledge, and was imprudent enough to leave my
guns with the people on the roof above. As there were no signs of bears on
the ledge or at the entrance, I told one of the natives to go in and take
a look at the cave, but he had only penetrated a few feet from the
entrance, which was about five feet high, than with three furious growls a
bear charged headlong, and drove the intruder out with such force that he
was shot clean over the ledge, and alighting (luckily) on his side, rolled
some way down the steep hillside at the bottom of the drop. Bruin then
with wonderful readiness knocked down the other man, who had not presence
of mind enough to get out of the way, and after inflicting a scalp wound
on the back of his head, dropped over the ledge, and got off unharmed
amidst several shots which were fired at him by the people above, who of
course from their position could not see the bear till he had got to a
considerable distance. In the confusion that had occurred amongst the
people left on the roof of the cave, who were as much unprepared for a
bear as I was, some one had jostled my principal shikari--a testy and at
times rather troublesome old man, but a most keen sportsman--and, to the
great delight of every one, his shins had in consequence been barked
against a sharp piece of rock. All the sympathy that ought to have been
devoted to the wounded man he diverted to himself by the tremendous fuss
he made about his injured shins, and this, and the chaff he had to sustain
in consequence, quite rounded off the affair, and we all went home in high
good humour, and the wounded man for years afterwards used to show his
ear-to-ear scar with considerable satisfaction. Some people might have
objected to the escape of the bear, but I confess that I did not grudge
him the victory he had earned so well, and we consoled ourselves further
with the reflection that we would get the better of him next time. Before
concluding the subject of bears, I may give another incident which was
rather amusing, and the narration of which may be of use as illustrating
one or two points which are worthy of notice, and especially the advantage
of having a good dog with one.

On a mountain-side about five miles from my house is a rather large cave
of considerable depth--so deep, at least, that the longest sticks would
not reach to the end of it, and as we could get the bear out in no other
way, I lit a large fire at the entrance, and, after some time, sent all
the people away to a distance, and, with a single man to hold a second
gun, sat over the mouth of the cave. The result that I anticipated soon
followed, and, imagining that we had given up our project in despair, and
being naturally desirous of leaving such uncomfortable quarters, Bruin
presently appeared looking cautiously about. The smoke prevented my taking
a very accurate shot. However, I fired, and wounded the bear somewhere in
the throat, though not fatally, and he plunged into a jungly ravine close
to the cave, pursued by my bull terrier, an admirable and very courageous
animal, which attacked the bear, and detained him sufficiently long to
give me time to run to the other side of the ravine, and so get in front
of the bear. A hill-man accompanied me, armed with a general officer's
sword which I had brought out--why I really forget now, for it was
anything but sharp, which I now regret, as it would have been interesting
to see the effect of a really sharp sword on a bear's back. The bull
terrier now rejoined me, and, in company with two additional natives who
had run after us, I got on a piece of rock about three feet high. The man
with the sword stood on my right, and the two natives--who were
unarmed--on my left, and in this order we awaited the arrival of the bear.
Sore and angry, he presently emerged from the jungle at a distance of
about twenty-five or thirty yards further down the slope of the hill. I
fired at and hit him, and he then turned round, took a look at us, and
charged. As he came on I fired my remaining shot. Then the man with the
sword struck the bear a tremendous blow on the back (which I think would
have stopped the bear had the sword been sharp), and in a second more old
Bruin had thrown the whole of us off the rock on to the ground behind it.
There we were then--four men, a wounded bear, and a bull terrier, all
mixed up together. However, the man with the sword laid about him most
manfully, and the bear, either not liking the situation, or being
exhausted with his wounds and efforts (more likely the latter), retreated
into the ravine out of which he had emerged. Into this we presently
followed him, and after another shot or two he expired, and I have the
skin at homo with the mark of the sword-cut on the back. It had cut
through the shaggy hair, and only penetrated the skin sufficiently to
leave a scar. The man who had shown so much pluck was a young farmer from
the adjacent village, and I at once offered him the sword with which he
had defended me. But he seemed to think he had done nothing, and
positively declined it, saying that his neighbours would be jealous of his
having such a fine-looking thing. I had, however, a knife made after the
native fashion, and afterwards gave it to him in commemoration of the

In Mysore there are two kinds of panthers. One, the largest of the two, is
called by the natives the Male Kiraba, or forest panther, and confines
itself generally to the forest regions, while the smaller kind haunts the
neighbourhood of villages. The black panther, which is of rare occurrence,
is merely an offshoot of the other varieties. The panther, in consequence
of its tree-climbing habits, and general aptitude for suddenly
disappearing, is of all animals the most disappointing to the sportsman,
so much so, indeed, that I soon gave up going out after them. Though it
has great strength, and from the amazing suddenness of its movements,
great means at its disposal for making successful attacks on man, it
seems, unlike the tiger, bear, and wild boar, to have no confidence in its
own powers, and though in one sense showing great daring by attacking dogs
even when they are in the house and quite close to people, is, when
attacked itself, of all animals the most cowardly--a fact which the
natives are well aware of, and which is proved by the small number of
people killed by panthers in proportion to the number of them accounted
for. The only way of insuring success when hunting panthers is to have a
small pack of country-bred dogs of so little value that when one or two of
them may chance to be killed by the panther the matter is of little or no
consequence. The pack will soon find the panther, and perhaps run him up a
tree, and thus give the sportsman a good, or rather certain chance of
killing the animal. In this way a manager of mine was very successful in
bagging panthers. I have some reason to suppose that the panther, when
severely wounded, sometimes feigns death, and give the following incident
with the view of eliciting further information on the subject.

Two natives in my neighbourhood once sat up over a kill, and apparently
killed a panther--at least it lay as if dead. They then with the aid of
some villagers, who afterwards arrived on the scene of action, began to
skin the panther, and the man who had wounded it took hold of the tail to
stretch the body out when the panther came suddenly to life, and bit the
man in the leg. One of the people present then fired at the panther,
apparently killing it outright. The man, who had been only slightly
bitten, then again took the animal by the tail, a proceeding which it
evidently could not stand, for this time it came to life in earnest, and
inflicted a number of wounds on the man at the tail. The natives then
attacked it with their hacking knives, and finally put an end to it. The
dresser of my estate was sent to the village, which was about six miles
away, to treat the wounds, but the unfortunate man died. I may add that
this is the only instance I have known of a man being killed by a panther
in my neighbourhood.

I now turn to an animal which is really dangerous, and I think more daring
than any animal in the jungles--the wild boar--and whatever doubts the
panther has of its own powers, I feel sure that the boar can have none--in
fact its action is not only daring, but at times even insulting. To be
threatened and attacked in the jungle one can understand, but to be
growled at and menaced while on one's own premises is intolerable. I never
but once heard the deep threatening don't-come-near-me growl of the wild
boar (and in the many sporting books I have read I never met with any
allusion to it), and that was some years ago, within about ten or fifteen
yards of my bungalow, and the incident is worth mentioning as showing the
great daring and coolness of the wild boar.

One evening at about seven o'clock, and on a clear but moonless night, I
went into the garden in front of my house. This is flanked by a low
retaining wall some three or four feet high--a wall built to retain the
soil when the ground was levelled--and below this a few bushes and plants
had sprung up close to the bottom of the wall. In these I heard what I
supposed to be a pariah dog gnawing a bone, and, in order to frighten it
away, I quietly approached within a few yards of the spot, and made a
slight noise between my lips. I was at once answered by a low deep growl,
which I at first took to be the growl of a panther, and I then walked back
to the bungalow and told my manager to bring a gun, telling him that there
was either a large dog (which on second thoughts appeared to me most
probable), or some animal gnawing a bone. We then quietly approached the
spot where we could hear the gnawing going on quite plainly about five
yards off. By my direction he fired into the bushes, and we then stood
still and listened, and presently heard what was evidently some heavy
animal walk slowly away. On the following morning I sent my most
experienced shikari to the spot, and he reported that the animal was a
wild boar, which had been munching the root of some plant, and the soil
being gravelly, the noise we had heard proceeded from the chewing of roots
and gravel together. This boar then had not only refused to desist from
his proceedings when I was within five yards of him, but had even warned
me, by the low growl afore mentioned, that if I came any nearer serious
consequences might ensue. On the following day I assembled some natives
and beat a narrow jungly ravine below my house, at a distance of about,
fifty yards from it, and there came out, not the boar, but his wife with a
family of five or six small pigs. She was shot by a native, and the young
ones got away, but the boar either was not there, or, more probably, was
too knowing to come out. He did not, however, neglect his family, but in
some way best known to himself, collected them together, and went about
with them, as, a day or two afterwards, he was seen with the young pigs by
my manager, and their tracks were also to be seen on one of the paths in
my compound, or the small inclosed park near my bungalow. This boar
afterwards became very troublesome, ploughed up the beds in my rose garden
at the foot of my veranda stops, and even injured a tree in the compound
by tearing off the bark with his formidable tusks. But, daring though he
was, he was once accidentally put to flight by a slash of an English
hunting whip. The boar, it appears, was making his round one night when my
manager, hearing something moving outside his bath-room, and imagining it
to be a straying donkey--we keep some donkeys on the estate--rushed out
with his hunting-whip, and made a tremendous slash at the animal, which
turned out to be the boar, so startling him by this unexpected form of
attack, that he charged up a steep bank near the house and disappeared.
This boar was afterwards shot by one of my people in an adjacent
jungle--at least a boar was shot, which we infer must have been the one in
question, as since then my garden has not been disturbed. The boar is more
dangerous to man than any animal in our jungles, and I have heard of three
or four deaths caused by them in recent years in my district. The natives,
however, say that, till he is wounded, the tiger is less dangerous than
the boar, but that after a tiger is wounded, he is the more dangerous of
the two; and I think that this is a correct view of the matter. The boar
has a most remarkable power of starting at once into full speed, and that
is why his attacks are so dangerous. In countries inhabited by wild boars
it is very important to be always on the alert. As an illustration of
this, and also of the great power of the boar, and of his sometimes
attacking people without any provocation on their part, I may mention the
following incident.

When I was walking round part of my plantation one morning with my
manager, and we chanced to stand in a path for a few moments (I forget now
for what reason), my dogs went down the hill into the coffee, and appear
there to have disturbed a boar. Luckily for myself, I always keep a sharp
look out, and my eye caught a glimpse of something black coming up amongst
the coffee. In a single second a boar appeared in the path some twenty
yards away. The path sloped downwards towards me, and at me he came, like
an arrow from a bow. As there was no use in my attempting to arrest the
progress of an animal of this kind, I stepped aside and let him into my
manager, who, luckily for himself, was standing behind a broken off coffee
tree, which stood at a sharp turn in the path some yards further on. The
result was very remarkable. The boar's chest struck against the coffee
tree and slightly bent it on one side. This threw the boar upwards, and,
of course, broke the force of the charge, but there was still enough force
left to toss my manager into an adjacent shallow pit with such violence
that his ear was filled with earth. I was now seriously alarmed, as I had
no weapon of any kind, but luckily the boar went on. His tusk, it
appeared, had caught the manager--a man of about six feet, and thirteen
stone in weight--under the armpit, but had merely torn his coat. We
organized a beat the same afternoon, and killed the boar, which was
suffering from an old wound, and this no doubt accounted, in some degree,
for his sudden and gratuitous attack. Tigers often attack the wild boar,
and there are often desperate battles between them, and well authenticated
instances have been known of the boar killing the tiger. I have never met
with one in my neighbourhood, though I once aided in killing a tiger which
had been ripped in several places by a boar. As it is impossible in
jungly districts to ride the wild boar, he is invariably shot, except
when, in the monsoon rains, he is occasionally speared. At that season the
wild pigs make houses, or rather shelters, for themselves by cutting with
their teeth and bending over some of the underwood, and under these they
repose. When such shelters are discovered, a man approaches them
cautiously and drives his spear through the shelter into the boar's back.
I have never seen this done, but have often heard of its being done where
I lived in former days, during the rainy season.

Boar's head pickled in vinegar and garnished with onions makes a good
dish, especially after harvest, when the pigs are in good condition, but,
from what I have known of the habits of the wild boar, I do not think I
should ever be inclined to partake of it again, and certainly not when
cholera is about. A neighbour of mine told me that when he was once
beating a jungle for game the natives backed out of it with great
promptness, having come upon wild pigs in the act of devouring the dead
bodies of some people who had died of cholera. I may mention that it was
customary in former times, and doubtless is so still to some extent, to
deposit the bodies of cholera victims anywhere in the jungle, instead of
burying them in the ordinary way. An official of the Forest Department
told me that, passing one day near the place where the carcase of an
elephant lay, he had the curiosity to go and look at it. To his
astonishment he found the flanks heaving as if the elephant were still
alive, and while he was wondering what this could mean, two wild boars,
which had tunnelled their way in, and were luxuriating on the contents of
the carcase, suddenly rushed out. From what I have hitherto said it seems
plain that wild boar is not a safe article of food, unless, perhaps, when,
it inhabits remote jungles where foul food can rarely be met with. I have
never made any measurements of wild boars, but Colonel Peyton--a
first-rate authority--writing in the "Kanara Gazetteer," says that some
are to be found measuring forty inches high, and six feet long.

The jungle dog (_kuon rutilans_) is a wolfish-looking-dog of a golden
brown colour, with hair of moderate length, and a short and slightly bushy
tail. It hunts in packs of seven and eight, and sometimes as many as
twenty and even thirty have been reported. In my neighbourhood I have
never actually known them to attack cattle or persons, but Colonel Peyton
tells us, in the "Kanara Gazetteer," that they grew very bold in the
1876-77 famine, and killed great numbers of the half-starved cattle which
were driven into the Kanara forests to graze, and since then a reward of
10 rupees has been paid for the destruction of each fully grown wild dog.
Colonel Peyton alludes to the native idea that these dogs attack and kill
tigers, but says that no instance of their having killed a tiger is known.
At the same time it is, he says, a fact that the tiger will give up his
kill to wild dogs, and will leave a place in which they are present in
large numbers. Some years ago I beat a jungle in which a tiger had killed
a bullock, and in which another tiger had on a former occasion lain up,
but the tiger was not there, and a number of jungle dogs were beaten out.
We afterwards found the tiger in a jungle about a mile away, and he had
evidently abandoned his kill, for no other reason, apparently, than
because of the presence of the dogs. An old Indian sportsman tells me of a
very widespread native tradition as to the action of these dogs previous
to attacking a tiger. Their belief is that the dogs first of all micturate
on each others' bushy tails, and, when rushing past the tiger, whisk their
tails into his eyes and thus blind him with, the objectionable fluid,
after which they can attack him with comparative impunity. A forest
officer informs me that the Gonds have a somewhat similar tradition, and
that they believe that the dogs first of all micturate on the ground
around the tiger, and that the effluvium has the effect of blinding
him.[23] The late Mr. Sanderson, in his "Thirteen Years amongst the Wild
Beasts of India," mentions an instance reported to him by the natives of
their finding a tiger sitting up with his back to a bamboo bush, so that
nothing could pass behind him, while the wild dogs were walking up and
down and passing quite close to him, evidently with the view of annoying
the tiger, and the position then taken up by the tiger seemed to show that
he was apprehensive of an attack. From his experience of the great power
of the wild dog, Mr. Sanderson entertained no doubt that they could kill a
tiger, though he knows of no instance of their having done so. The old
Indian sportsman above alluded to told me of a case where a tiger had been
marked down by native shikaris, and where they afterwards found wild dogs
eating the carcase of the tiger, which they had presumably killed, but I
cannot find any account of the dogs having been seen in the act of killing
a tiger, though I can easily conceive that a hungry tiger, and an equally
hungry pack of wild dogs may have come into collision over a newly killed
animal, and that the dogs may then in desperation have killed the tiger.

A Coorg planter who has had opportunities of observing the habits of those
dogs, tells me that when hunting a deer they do not run in a body, but
spread out rather widely, so as to catch the deer on the turn if it moved
to right or left. Some of the dogs hang behind to rest themselves, so as
to take up the running when other dogs, which have pressed the deer hard,
get tired. He once had a bitch the product of a cross between a Pariah and
a jungle dog. When she had pups she concealed them in the jungle, and in
order to find them she had to be carefully watched and followed up. She
went through many manoeuvres to prevent the discovery of her pups, and
pottered about in the neighbourhood of the spot where she had concealed
them, as if bent on nothing in particular. Then she made a sudden rush
into the jungle and disappeared. After much search her pups were found in
a hole about three feet deep, which she had dug on the side of a rising
piece of ground. The bitch did not bark--the jungle dog does not--and the
pups barked but slightly, but the next generation barked as domestic dogs

Many years ago I met with a very singular and puzzling circumstance in
connection with jungle dogs. I had offered a reward of five rupees for a
pup, and one day several natives from a village some three or four miles
away, brought me a pup--apparently about six or eight months old. This, it
appears, they had caught by placing some nets near the carcase of a tiger
I had killed, and on which a pack of these dogs was feeding. They drove
the dogs towards the nets, which they jumped, but the pup in question was
caught in the net. My cook now appeared on the scene and declared that the
pup belonged to him, and that he had brought it from Bangalore, and on
hearing this I declined, of course, to pay the reward. As I had never, and
have never, seen a jungle dog pup, I neither could then, nor can now,
undertake to say whether the pup was a wild one or not, though it seemed
to me that it might have been a kind of mongrel animal with a good deal of
the pariah dog in it. The natives then requested the cook to take the pup
and pay them five rupees for their trouble. This he declined to do, and
they then said they would take it back to the carcase of the tiger and let
it go. This they did, and the pup was never heard of again, and I assume
that it must have rejoined the wild dogs. As my cook had no conceivable
motive for falsely asserting that the dog was his, I can only assume that
the animal had strayed away and joined the pack of wild dogs.

There is no reward for killing wild dogs in Mysore, as is the case in the
Madras Presidency, and I should strongly advise that one should be given,
as from the great destruction of the game, on which they at present live,
these animals will soon become very destructive to cattle, and possibly,
or even probably, dangerous to man. And it is the more important to attend
to this matter at once, because I find, from Jerdon's "Mammals of India,"
that the bitch has at least six whelps at a birth, and he mentions that
Mr. Elliot (the late Sir Walter) remarks that the wild dog was not known
in the Southern Maharatta country until of late years, but that it was now
very common; and he adds that he once captured a bitch and seven cubs, and
had them alive for some time. No one has any interest in killing these
jungle dogs, and until a reward is offered for their destruction, they
will go on increasing at an alarming rate.

I now pass on to offer some remarks on snakes, and especially on the great
number of deaths said to be caused by them, and I say said to be caused by
them, because I have good reason to suppose that the immense number of
deaths (sometimes returned at 17,000 or 18,000 for all India) reported as
being caused by them, are really poisoning cases which are falsely
returned as being due to snake bite. When mentioning this surmise on
board of a P. and O. ship to two civilians, they demurred to the idea, and
I then asked them if they had ever known within their own cognizance of a
man being killed by a snake--i.e., either seen a man fatally bitten, or
who had been fatally bitten. They never had, and that too during a service
of about twenty-four years. I then, out of curiosity, made inquiries
through all the first-class passengers, and at last met with one lady who
had a gardener who had been killed by a snake. I also got my English
servant to make a similar inquiry in the second-class, and no passenger
there had known of a case, though one of them had been engaged in
surveying operations for ten years. My attention has been particularly
called to this subject in consequence of my own long experience, which
stretches back to the year 1855, and, though cobras have been killed in
and around my house, and in the plantations, I have not only never known
of a death from snake bite on my estates, but have, since the date
mentioned, never heard of but one case in my neighbourhood, and that was
of a boy who was killed by some deadly snake about four or five miles from
my house. I made inquiries in Bangalore on this subject. Now Bangalore is
a place which always had a bad reputation as regards cobras. The
population is large, and there are, of course, numerous gardens, and many
grass cutters are employed, and the occupations there of a large number of
people are such as to make them liable to risk from snake bite; and yet,
in the course of the year, there had only been, three cases of snake bite.
How is it then that such an infinitesimal number of the cases reported on
occur within the cognizance of Europeans? And unless some competent
observer is at hand to determine the cause of death, what can be easier
than to poison a man, puncture his skin, and then point to the puncture as
an evidence that the death was caused by snake bite?

Of one thing I feel certain, and that is, that the cobra is a timid snake,
that it is not at all inclined to bite, and unless assailed and so
infuriated, will not bite, even if trodden on by accident, as long as the
snake is not hurt, which, of course, it would not be if trodden upon by
the bare foot, and that is why, I feel sure, I have so rarely heard of a
man being bitten by a snake during my long experience in India. I can give
a remarkable confirmatory instance, which happened at my bungalow some
years ago. My English servant had got his feet wet one morning, and had
placed his shoes to dry on a ledge of the bungalow just above the place
where the bath-room water runs out. At about three in the afternoon he
went in his slippers round the end of the bungalow to get his shoes, and
trod on a cobra which was lying in the soft and rather muddy ground
created by the bath-room water. He had stepped on to about the middle of
the snake's body, but probably rather nearer the tail than the head. The
cobra then reared up its body, spread its hood, hissed, and struggled to
get free, while my servant held up his hands to avoid the chance of being
bitten, and he said that he could see that the afternoon sun was
illuminating the interior of its throat, but he was afraid to let it go,
thinking that it would then be more able to bite him. This, however, he is
quite positive it never attempted to do, and after some moments of
hesitation he jumped to one side, and the snake, so far from offering to
bite when liberated, went off in the opposite direction with all speed. I
am sure that wild animals perceive quite as readily as tame ones do the
difference between what is purely accidental, and what results from malice
prepense. The snake must have perceived that its being trodden upon was a
pure accident, and, as it was not hurt, did not bite. A Brahmin once told
me of a somewhat similar case, where his mother, seeing what she supposed
was a kitten in a passage of the house, gave it a push on one side with
her foot. It turned out to be a cobra, which spread its hood and hissed,
but never offered to bite her. Colonel Barras, the author of some charming
natural history books, told me that he quite agrees that the cobra is
disinclined to bite, and pave me a practical illustration of this which
had fallen within his own observation. On one occasion, when some of my
coolies were crossing a log, which was lying on the ground, my overseer,
just as they were doing so, observed that under a bent-up portion of the
log there was a cobra. He waited till all the coolies had crossed over and
moved on, and then stirred up the cobra and killed it. I mention these
instances to show that it is probably owing to the fact of the cobra not
being at all an aggressive snake, and not being given to bite unless
attacked, or hurt, that no death has occurred on my estates, or in my
neighbourhood during such a long period of time.

But there is probably another reason, which has not, that I am aware of,
been taken into account by previous writers, and that is that snakes keep
a much better look out, and perceive the approach of people from a much
greater distance than is usually supposed. I was much struck with this
fact on two occasions this year. In one case I was walking along a foot
road in my compound, and on going round a bend of the road saw, about
thirty yards away, a snake in the road with its body half raised, and
evidently in an on-the-look-out attitude, and the moment it perceived me
it lowered its body and went off through the long grass. In the other case
I saw a snake on bare ground upwards of 100 yards away which had evidently
seen me, for it made off in the way which a disturbed snake always does. I
was this year surprised to hear tigers and snakes classed together as to
running away by a toddy-drawer--a class of people who are often out in the
jungle at dusk, and sometimes later. I had made a new four feet trace of
about a mile long along a beautiful ridge which connects my estate with an
outlying piece of the property, and unfortunately mentioned to my wife
that at the end of the path tigers crossed over occasionally (it was a
tiger pass as the natives call it), and she objected to go there late in
the evening. Being desirous of going to the end of the path one evening, I
called to a toddyman in my employ and told him to accompany us, telling my
wife that he was a timid creature and not likely to incur any risk he
could avoid. I mentioned to him the apprehension of the lady, when he
said, "Tigers and snakes run away," and he seemed to have no apprehension
as regards either of them, though part of the land in which he cut toddy
trees was on the tiger pass. And I may mention that I this year wounded a
tiger within fifty yards of the pass, and on the following morning saw the
tracks of a tiger and tigress (the track of the latter is easily to be
distinguished as it is longer and narrower than that of the male) in the
jungle adjoining the end of the foot road alluded to.

As many Europeans kill all snakes they meet with, it is well to mention
that the tank snake--a large snake often from nine to ten feet long--is
not only harmless but useful, as it lives so largely on rats and mice, and
is in consequence sometimes called the rat snake. On one occasion a
manager shot one of these snakes near my house, and it had a rat in its
mouth when killed, and such snakes, so far from being killed, ought to be
carefully protected. I was this year rather interested in observing the
proceedings of one of these snakes when followed up by two dogs of mine in
the open. First of all, it made for a clump of two or three scrubby trees,
and, apparently first fastening itself by the neck to a stump, lashed out
with its tail. Then when the dogs came closer it again made off through
the grass, but on being overtaken by the dogs must have either bitten one
of them, or lashed it with its tail, as the dog gave a sharp cry and
retreated. On a previous occasion one of these snakes bit a dog of mine,
and it was not in the slightest degree affected. These snakes travel at a
fair pace, and I found by trotting along parallel to one that it can move
at the rate of the moderate jog trot of a horse, and apparently keep up
this pace with ease. But, though it would be easy for me to write more
about snakes, the reader has probably heard enough of them, and I hope has
learnt some facts of practical importance by the way, and I shall now
offer a few remarks on jungle pets.

It is commonly supposed that wild animals naturally or instinctively dread
man, but it seems to me that, though no doubt a certain degree of dread of
man may have been, after having been acquired by experience, transmitted
to the offspring, wild animals require to be taught to dread man by their
parents, for we find that if animals are caught when very young and are
not confined in any way, they not only do not dread man, but eventually
prefer his society to that of their own species.

The first instance I have to notice of this is in the case of a spotted
deer stag which belonged to a neighbour of mine. This animal, which had
been caught when a fawn, used to accompany the coolies in the morning and
remained with them all day, but in the evening it went into the jungle
regularly and disappeared for the night, and again turned up at the
morning muster with unfailing regularity. It thus roamed the jungle all
night, and remained with man all day. At last it became dangerous to man,
as tame stags often do, and had to be shot.

Another still more extraordinary instance was in the case of a pet of my
own--what the natives call a flying cat, but in reality a flying squirrel
(_Pteromys petaurista_)--an animal that sleeps all day and feeds at night
(though on one occasion, mentioned in a previous chapter, I saw one
feeding on fruit at about seven one morning), and is in habits somewhat
like the bat, though clearly of the squirrel order. Its wings, if indeed
they may be called such, consist merely of a flap of skin stretching from
the fore to the hind legs. When at rest this flap, as it folds into the
side, is not very noticeable, and the animal presents, when on the ground,
or on the branch of a tree, the appearance of a very large, grey furred
squirrel. It cannot, of course, rise from the ground, but, when travelling
from tree to tree, it spreads its flap, or perhaps rather sets its sail,
by the agency of osseous appendages attached to the feet, but which fold
up against the leg when the animal is at rest, and starts like a man on
the trapeze--descending from one point to rise again to about a similar
level on the next tree, but when the flight is extended (Jerdon, in his
"Mammals of India," says he has seen one traverse in the air a distance of
sixty yards) the squirrel reaches the tree very low down. When clearing
the forest these squirrels often emerged from their holes in the trees and
gave me good opportunities of observing their movements, and I feel sure
that I have seen them traverse distances of at least 100 yards. One of
these squirrels was brought to me when it was about half grown, and came
to consider my house as its natural home. It soon discovered a suitable
retreat for the day in the shape of an empty clothes-bag hanging at the
back of a door, and in this it slept all day. It came out at dusk, and
used often to sit on the back of my high backed chair as I sat at dinner,
and then I gave it fruit and bread. After dinner away it went to the
jungle, and I seldom saw anything more of it till very early in the
morning, when it used to enter the house by an open swing window, get on
to my bed, and curl itself up at my feet. When I rose my pet did so too
and betook itself to the clothes-bag, and there spent the day, to go
through the same round the following night. This very pretty and
interesting animal met with the common fate of defenceless pets, and was
killed by a dog as it was making its way to the jungle one evening.

A third instance I may give as regards the way in which wild animals
readily become domesticated, and eventually seem to prefer the society of
man to that of their own species. In this case my pet was a hornbill, a
bird of discordant note, and with a huge beak, and a box-like crowned
head. This creature was also totally unrestrained, but showed a most
decided preference for the society of man. One day it joined some of its
species which made their appearance in the jungle near my house, but soon
got tired of or disgusted with them, and speedily returned to the
bungalow. It used to swallow its food like a man taking a pill, and it was
surprising to observe the ease with which balls of rice of about the size
of two large walnuts were dispatched. On one occasion it flew off with my
bunch of keys, but was luckily seen by my servant, who gave the alarm. The
bird threw back its head the moment it alighted on the first convenient
branch, and it was only from the ring sticking in the front of its beak
that it was prevented from swallowing the entire bunch. Finding my people
close upon it, the bird flew away to a piece of forest some hundreds of
yards away, where it seemed to take a most aggravating pleasure in
dangling my keys from the tops of the loftiest trees, and it was some time
before it let them drop, which I conclude it at last did merely because it
could not swallow them.

Now, though none of the pets I have mentioned were made miserable by
restraint, and evidently must have found themselves perfectly happy in the
society of man, it is very remarkable that, though all of them must have
had (and the bird certainly had) frequent opportunities of making the
acquaintance of their species as they roamed the jungle at night, they
regularly returned to the society of man. I can only conjecture that the
force of habit must have, as it were, chained them to the place they had
become accustomed to. It is difficult to guess at any other reason than
the force of habit, but it is just possible that the following fact may
have something to do with their neglect of their own species. It is well
known that a great many animals and birds refuse to, or cannot, propagate
their kind when in a state of confinement. Now these pets of mine, and the
stag which belonged to my neighbour, were not indeed confined in any
sense, but it is just possible that the altered conditions under which
they lived may have acted on their animal desires, and so have rendered
them indifferent to the society of their species. Or perhaps it is
conceivable that, in consequence of their living in or about an inhabited
dwelling, they may have contracted bodily impurities which may have been
perceptible to their wild congeners.

I had here intended to close this chapter, but a few lines more must be
devoted to guns, or rather to a gun, for the general opinion in India now
seems to be that only one gun is necessary for shooting shot and ball--at
least for all shot shooting and ball shooting in the jungly countries.
That gun is the widely-known Paradox, which, up to 100 yards, is as
accurate as a double rifle, and even at 150 yards makes very fair
practice. This gun was a good many years ago recommended to me by Sir
Samuel Baker, and I found it to be such an excellent weapon that I now use
no other. The great advantage of the Paradox is that the gun is a good
shot gun, and gives a pattern quite equal to the best of cylinder guns,
and of course comes up to the shoulder so readily that the sportsman can
take snap shots as well as with any other fowling-piece. The immense
advantage of this in a jungly country, and in one with long grass, must be
readily apparent to anyone accustomed to shoot in such regions, where you
often require to be able to fire as sharply as you do at a snipe rising
just within range.

I am informed by Messrs. Holland and Holland, of 98, New Bond Street (the
makers of the Paradox guns), that the Paradox system of ball and shot guns
was the invention of Colonel Fosbery, V.C. Originally it was intended for
the ordinary 12-bore guns, but its principle has now been applied to
smaller weapons, such as those of 20 bore, and also to heavy guns of 8 or
10 bore for attacking elephants, bison, and other very large game. Guns of
the two last-named bores are from two to three pounds lighter than rifles
of similar bores, and the increased handiness caused by the diminution of
weight is of course of immense advantage. Messrs. Holland and Holland
inform me that they have made many experiments with the 8-bore Paradox
against the 8-bore rifle, and in every case have obtained higher velocity
and greater penetration with the Paradox. The new 10-bore is almost a 9,
and practically is big enough for any game. It shoots 8 drams of powder,
and a fairly long conical bullet, and its weight is about 12-1/2 lbs.
Messrs. Holland and Holland have invented a new steel bullet for these
guns, and with this the penetration is very great. The 20 and 16-bore
Paradox guns weigh from 6-1/2 lbs. to 7 lbs., and are largely used on the
Continent for shooting wild boar, bears, and other large game. Nearly all
these guns are made with hammers, because as a rule sportsmen travelling
in wild countries prefer to have the old-fashioned hammer guns, which are
so universally understood, instead of a hammerless gun, which cannot be so
easily repaired should it break down in any part. Messrs. Holland and
Holland inform me that for the ordinary 12-bore Paradox weighing 7 lbs.
the usual charge of 3 drams is all that is necessary for soft-skinned
animals such as tigers, leopards, and bears, but they also make a heavier
12-bore, weighing from 8 lbs. to 8-1/2 lbs., and shooting 4 or 4-1/2
drams of powder, but generally recommend the usual 7 lbs. Paradox, and,
from my experience of the latter with tigers, I do not think one could
desire a better gun for all jungle shooting, though I need hardly add that
for antelope shooting on the plains a long range rifle is desirable.


[21] "Jungle Life in India, or the Journeys and Journals of an Indian
Geologist," by V. Ball, M.A. London, Thos. De La Rue and Co., 1880.

[22] "My Indian Journal," by Colonel Walter Campbell. Edinburgh, Edmonston
and Douglas, 1864.

[23] In Jerdon's "Mammals of India" it is stated that in Nepaul the wild
dogs, whose urine is said to be peculiarly acrid, sprinkle it over bushes
through which an animal will probably move with the view of blinding their
victim. Jerdon certainly disbelieves the native story of their capturing
their prey through the acridity of their urine. It seems to me not
improbable that the wild dogs may have become aware of the offensive
character of their urine, and in passing near a tiger might discharge some
of it with the view of annoying the tiger and driving him away, and also
perhaps as a mark of contempt, and that this probably was the origin of
the widely spread story I have alluded to in the text.



Though at the risk of being thought sentimental, I cannot say that I
approach the subject of bison shooting with much satisfaction, except,
perhaps, in the thought that what I am about to write may be the means of
prolonging in some degree, however infinitesimal, the existence of the
race of these splendid animals, for I am afraid that nothing that anyone
could write would prevent their numbers from being steadily diminished,
and diminished, too, in some cases even by people who call themselves
sportsmen; for one rather well-known writer has not only killed cow
bisons, but actually published the fact--a thing that he certainly would
not have done had the custom of shooting them not been common in some
parts of India. I am happy to say that I never saw a dead cow bison, and
in my part of Mysore, in the course of upwards of thirty-seven years'
experience, I have never heard of more than two or three cows having been
killed. Anything more foolish and barbarous than the killing of cow bisons
cannot be conceived, for there is not a more harmless and inoffensive
animal in the jungle than the bison--harmless because it seldom
attacks[24] crops (I have never known of more than one instance of their
doing so), and inoffensive because, if not molested, it never attacks man;
and Mr. Sanderson, in his admirable work entitled "Thirteen Years amongst
the Wild Beasts of India," declares that even solitary bulls, which are
supposed to be dangerous, even if not molested, are not really so, though
in the event of a native coming suddenly on a bull in the long grass, he
admits the bison may spring suddenly up and dash at the intruder to clear
him from his path. He has a most sympathetic chapter on these noble
animals, and has enjoyed from an elephant's back the best opportunities of
observing them, as the bison does not fear the elephant, in whose company
indeed it is often found to be, and after having thus observed a herd of
bison grazing, he says that he has "often left the poor animals
undisturbed." Laterly he never thought of attacking herd bison, as it is
often difficult to get a shot at the bull of the herd, and confined his
shooting to those old solitary bulls which have been turned out of the
herds by younger and more vigorous animals. These ought alone, indeed, to
be the object of pursuit, and it is one usually carried on under such
circumstances and amidst such splendid scenes that the sport is very
attractive, and the pursuit of the solitary bull, writes Mr. Sanderson,
can never, he imagines, pall on the most successful hunter. Perhaps this
is true, but after having killed, say six solitary bulls, I think that a
sportsman ought to be content for the rest of his life. A young forest
officer lately told me that, having killed about that number, he had
announced to his friends his intention of not killing any more. Shortly
afterwards he fell in with two bulls who were engaged in a fierce battle
with each other, and he might easily have shot one or perhaps both of
them, but he had strength of mind to resist the temptation, a fact which,
if known, would certainly entitle him to advancement in the service.

I have said that the bison, unless molested, will never attack man, and I
was so confident of this that I once sent a highly valued European in my
employ, to photograph a solitary bull, merely sending with him a native
with a gun, and with instructions to fire in the event of the photographer
being attacked. I selected a small piece of open swampy grass ground in a
detached piece of jungle through which solitary bulls often passed, and
knowing the direction of the wind at that season of the year, had no
difficulty in avoiding any chance of the bull winding the photographer.
The camera was placed on the edge of the jungle, and presently a bull came
slowly grazing along the swamp, when he unluckily looked up to find the
photographer just taking the cap off, within about ten paces. Never was
there anything more annoying, and the thing would have been a magnificent
success had my man been provided with the instantaneous process. But he
was not, and the bull turned and fled through the mud with a most
tremendous rush, having, I suppose, taken the lens for the glare of the
eye of some new kind of tiger. The sudden change in the appearance of the
bull was described to me as being most remarkable, for as he grazed
quietly along he appeared to be one of the most harmless and domestic of
animals, while the moment the sight of the camera fell on his astonished
vision he was at once transformed into the wildest looking animal

It is difficult to believe that big game in remote spots can perceive
whether a man means to harm them or not, but it is remarkable that when on
his way to the jungle alluded to, the photographer passed two sambur deer
in the long grass, and at no great distance away, and saw them still lying
there on his return. A bear was also rolling and grunting in the jungle
close to him as he was waiting for the bull. On his return to the hut (put
up for the occasion about a mile away) he was amused to find the native
servant I had sent with him seated between two roasting fires which he
imagined, and perhaps not without reason, would prevent his being attacked
by a tiger. During the absence of my amateur photographer either a tiger
or panther had passed close to the hut.

The photographer returned to the swamp on the following morning, but no
bull arrived, and I gave up the attempt to obtain a photograph of a bison.
But it is time now to describe the bison.

The Indian bison (_Gavoeus Gaurus_, sometimes called the Gaur) is the
largest member in the world of the ox tribe. It is quite free from mane or
shaggy hair of any kind. The cows are of a dark brown, while in mature and
old bulls the colour approaches to black. The legs from the knee downwards
are of a dirty white (I once saw two bison with apparently blue legs, the
colour being caused by standing on ashes, and this gave them a very
remarkable appearance), and so is the forehead. The bison has no hump. It
has a marked peculiarity in the shape of the back from the dorsal ridge
running with a slight upward slope to about the middle of the back and
then dropping suddenly towards the rump. Mr. Sanderson has never shot a
bull more than six feet in height at the shoulder (if measured at the top
of the dorsal ridge the height would of course be more), but Jerdon the
naturalist, quoting Elliot (the late Sir Walter, a very careful observer)
mentions six feet one-and-a-half inch as the height of one. I have
generally found that an average sized bull is six feet, but I once killed
one that was seven feet, and a neighbour of mine who has seen a great deal
of bison shooting has killed one of similar height, and he informs me that
he is positive that he has seen a larger bull than either of these very
exceptional animals.

Bison herds generally number about twelve or fourteen, and I have never
seen one of more than twenty-three, but at certain seasons they
congregate in considerable numbers and again separate into small herds.
They lie at night in a compact circle so that if attacked by a tiger they
are ready to oppose at once a good front to the enemy. They seem to be
quite aware that if they were to lie scattered about a tiger might
suddenly spring upon one of them.

The bison has never been kept long in captivity, and there is only one
instance of its having been so, and that is in the case of a bull bison
now in possession of His Highness the Maharajah of Mysore. The history of
this animal, and more especially of the warm friendship that sprung up
between it and a doe sambur deer, is extremely interesting. I took down
the following from my neighbour Mr. Park, and read over to him the account
I now give.

It appears then that Mr. Park when out shooting some years ago, caught a
male calf bison which was supposed to be about three days old. About a
week afterwards a young doe sambur, which was being pursued by jungle
dogs, rushed into one of the labourer's huts and was secured. It was then
resolved to keep the deer as a companion for the bison, and the two were
kept together, though they were never shut up. They were first of all fed
on milk, and then allowed to graze, and soon became quite inseparable
companions. They were fed at twelve o'clock and at four in the afternoon,
and seemed to know their feeding time exactly. When about two years old it
was resolved to fit the bison with a nose rope, and for this the nose had
of course to be bored. He was tied up to a tree to be operated on and,
after the hole was bored, he was liberated, when he rushed all over the
ground adjacent to the house bellowing with rage--the only time, I may
add, Mr. Park ever heard him bellow. After this he was regularly led out
to graze by a man who trained him, by pulling the nose rope, to go in one
direction or another. After this he was fed on gram (a kind of pea). When
thus led out to graze the sambur sometimes remained behind, but seemed to
have no difficulty in finding the bull even though it had been taken to a
considerable distance. It would hold up its nose to catch the scent and
then go off on the track. When the bison occasionally missed the doe he
would wander about in search of her, but seemed to have no power of
following her by scent--a power which she evidently possessed and
practised. When the doe bathed in the river and splashed up the water with
her fore feet the bull would stand upon the bank watching her proceedings
with evident interest and curiosity, but did not himself bathe, nor appear
to have any desire to go into the water. The bison, however, seemed to
enjoy the cooling effect of the heavy monsoon rains, and no doubt thought
that a shower bath of some hundreds of inches was quite enough for the
rest of the year.

When the bull was about three years old it was presented to the Maharajah
of Mysore, and sent off to the nearest railway station some sixty miles
away. Some time after he had left, the doe discovered his absence, and
then, in her usual way, went about holding up her nose in order to
discover the direction in which he had gone. Presently she hit off the
route and, setting off in pursuit, overtook her old companion after he
gone about five or six miles, and, though the doe had not been given to
the Maharajah, she was allowed to accompany the bull. When the doe
overtook the bull he showed the greatest signs of pleasure at her arrival,
and the two travelled happily along to Mysore.

I saw the bison at Mysore in 1891, when it looked remarkably well and
happy, though the doe was not with it at the time. I was since glad to
hear from a friend, who had seen them last October, that these strange and
inseparable companions are in excellent health. It was very fortunate that
the doe accompanied the bull, as I think it probable that the latter
would have pined away and died, as the bison seems hitherto always to have
done in captivity.

Bison are often attacked by tigers, and I once found the remains of one
that had been killed by a tiger. It had been killed on the grass land
between two and three hundred yards from the jungle, and I was much struck
by the fact that the tiger had separated the head from the body and
carried it into the forest, where I found the skull. It appeared to be
that of a fair sized bull. But the largest bulls are sometimes killed by
tigers, though I imagine that this must be rare, or we should not find
very old bulls in a country where tigers are plentiful. A tiger I believe
sometimes tires out a bull by inducing him to charge again and again till
he is quite worn out, and sometimes, I am informed by an experienced
sportsman, two tigers will join in attacking a bison, and have been known
to hamstring it. I have been told by a toddyman who lived on the edge of
the forest region, that in a valley near his house he had seen a tiger
worrying a bison and inducing it to charge for nearly a whole day and
ultimately killing it. But sometimes the bison succeeds in driving off the
tiger, which then slinks away. About two years ago an interesting
illustration took place of this, which was witnessed by a neighbour of
mine, who found that when stalking a bull bison he had a fellow stalker in
the shape of a tiger. The incident was at once rare and interesting--in
fact, so far as I know, quite unique--and I asked my friend to write me an
account of it for publication in my book.

"When I was returning," writes my friend Mr. Brooke Mockett, "one day in
the beginning of the monsoon of 1891, from visiting a plantation of mine
near the Ghauts, I deflected somewhat from my route to visit an adjacent
range of minor hills, and presently entered a shallow valley, on the
opposite side of which the forest land was fringed with some scrubby
bushes mingled with ferns, outside of which was a stretch of open grass
land. As I entered the valley I saw on the opposite side of it a solitary
bull bison grazing along towards the open grass land. This, at the rate he
was moving, he would soon reach. I therefore took up a position so as to
get a shot at him when he got fairly into the open land, where he would be
immediately below and opposite to me. Two Hindoo ryots--always called
goudas in Manjarabad--from a neighbouring village were with me, and were
keeping a sharp look out. We were all quite concealed in the long grass.
Presently one of them whispered, 'Look, look, there is a tiger stalking
the bison,' and, after peering into the bushes for a few seconds, I at
last made out the tiger, which was about 200 yards further along the
valley to the east of the bison, towards which it was stealthily creeping.
I at once decided not to interfere at present, but to leave the animals
alone and watch the result. The tiger struck me as being a small one, and
the goudas thought so too. It was probably the same one that had some
weeks before killed a three-parts-grown bison, the remains of which we saw
when on the way to the spot. The bull was a magnificent animal, and just
in his prime. It was a most exciting scene; the ponderous bull grazing
quietly along the valley in utter ignorance of danger, and feeding so
industriously that he never once lifted his head from the ground, while
the tiger crawled towards him in a manner that was exquisite to see. Belly
to the ground, its movements resembled rather those of a snake than an
animal as it wound its way through the scrub, gliding through the ferns,
and taking advantage of all the bushes. Occasionally it sat up to peer
cautiously at the bull, and then sinking down it again glided on. Except
now and then, when the bushes were low, I doubt if it could see the bull,
nor could the latter scent the tiger, for the bull was feeding down the
valley in the teeth of the strong monsoon winds, and the tiger was
following in its tracks.

"As the two goudas sitting with me in the long grass observed the
movements of the tiger, they could not contain their indignation. No doubt
they thought of the many cattle they had recently lost, and, connecting
the present revelation of the tiger's mode of proceeding with the
slaughter of their buffaloes, they relieved their feelings by uttering
_sotto voce_ the most virulent abuse of the tiger, its wife, and its
female relations in general, and every fresh movement of the tiger drew
from them some extremely powerful and untranslatable epithets. The
temptation to fire at the tiger was very great, but I refrained, as every
moment brought them nearer to me, and it seemed certain that the fight
must come off just below the ground I was seated on.

"The scene was now an extremely exciting one, for the animals were about
200 yards from us, the bull having fed to within fifty yards of the open
grass, and the tiger having crept so close to him that every moment we
expected something to happen. We saw the tiger crawl right up to the bull,
and it seemed to get actually within a yard of it, and yet it did not
spring. A few seconds more passed, and then the bull, suddenly becoming
aware of the tiger's presence, made a rapid rush forward into the open
grass land outside of the scrub. Then he pulled up at a distance from it
of about sixty yards, and faced round in the direction of the tiger. Had
he liked, he might have gone away altogether; but, far from showing fear,
he was furious, and looked superb as he shook his head and snorted with
rage. Then for about two minutes he stood as still as if carved of stone,
evidently straining all his senses to discover the tiger, after which he
made a terrific charge up to the edge of the scrub, where he pulled up and
again snorted, and shook his head. If ever a bison meant business he did,
and could he have seen the tiger he would have certainly tried to kill it,
but it was hiding in the scrub and was invisible to him, though we could
just make out its golden red skin.

"The sight of the infuriated bull within a few yards was altogether too
much for the tiger, which now turned and commenced to sneak off with
astonishing rapidity, keeping completely out of the bison's sight, and
looking like the most abject wretch imaginable. My goudas became frantic
at this, and seeing that there was now no chance of a fight between the
bull and the tiger, I rushed along the hill with the view of trying to get
a good shot at the latter, but this I found would be impossible, so I
rested my rifle on a stamp, and, as he moved through the scrub, took a
long shot, which knocked him off his legs, and we saw him partly roll and
partly scramble into the dense jungle below. A shout of 'The bull is
going,' from the goudas, made me look back, and just as he was starting I
hastily fired my second barrel into his shoulder and dropped him dead. We
then went to look for the tiger, but, most unfortunately, the rain, which
up to this time had kept off, descended in torrents, and the whole country
became enveloped in dense mist. We found the spot where the tiger had been
knocked over, and the goudas soon discovered cut hair (by the bullet), a
sure proof of a hit. We could see where he had rolled down, the slope to
the thick forest, crushing the ferns, and tearing up the ground with his
struggles, but the blood was of course washed away by the tropical rain
torrents. Within the forest, which was almost impenetrable, all was dark
as night, and as no track could be seen, and we were soon all drenched to
the skin, it was impossible to do anything more, and I was compelled to
give up the pursuit. Why the tiger, after getting so close to the bison
did not attack, it is impossible to say, but the men who accompanied me
were of opinion that, owing to the bison being partly hidden by the
scrub, the tiger could not gauge its size till quite close to it, and then
was afraid to attack such a large bull."

I think that their surmise is correct, and as I have before suggested, I
think that these very large bulls are but rarely attacked by tigers, for
my experience shows that solitary bulls are easily stalked, to within
quite close distances, and, were the tigers easily able to kill them, I
feel sure that a solitary bull would very seldom be found.

I have said that the bison is a harmless animal, but this of course is
only when you keep away from it, and a wounded bison should be approached
and tracked up with caution, and in no case should a single tracker follow
up a wounded bull. He should always have a companion to keep a general
look out in case of the bull suddenly charging the tracker when he is busy
following the trail. On one occasion a manager of mine went out shooting,
wounded a bull, and then went round to a point to cut him off, and sent in
the only man he had to follow up the track and drive the bull on. He
waited for some time and then shouted, but received no answer, for the
poor tracker was dead. He had evidently been charged by the bull when he
was busy tracking it, and was taken by surprise. By a curious coincidence
my manager had dreamed the night before that he had gone out with this
tracker, that he had been killed by a bull, and that the body was found
extended in the position in which it was ultimately found on the following

Close to the place where the man was killed we had a capital illustration
of the need for keeping a good look out when tracking. When out shooting
one evening with a friend, we wounded a solitary bull (which I have reason
to suppose was the same bull that killed the tracker), and on the
following morning took up his track, which led down into a spot in the
forest where, from some trees probably having been blown down in former
years, there was a little thicket of small trees and underwood. Into this
the bull had gone, and we soon found where he had been lying, and were
proceeding to take up the track again, when one of our men, who stood a
little way behind, and luckily, was looking about, said "There's the
bull." He had evidently heard us coming, got up, gone ten yards away, and
was waiting for a favourable moment to charge, and, had he done so when we
were in the thicket, he probably would have killed one of the party. My
friend, who was an old hand, and of course saw the danger at a glance,
cleared out of the thicket with wonderful alertness, and the rest were not
slow to follow his example. We then passed round the upper side of the
thicket, and came down upon the bull in the more open forest, and soon
killed him. Just as we had done so, news came that a herd of bison was
grazing on a ridge about half or three-quarters of a mile or so away, and
as our pursuit of them elucidates some points of practical importance, I
give a short description of the stalk and its accompanying circumstances.

The herd of bison, it appears, were just outside a jungly ravine which ran
up from the main forest through the grass land. The jungle terminated just
below a ridge of hill, along which we approached the spot. Overhanging the
hollow were some rocks which afforded us a convenient place to creep
behind, and presently we lay down there, looking at the herd, which was
below us, and about a hundred yards away. And then we found (as Mr.
Sanderson so often did that he at last gave up attacking herd bison) that
it was impossible to fire at the bull, as he was screened by the cows. How
long we lay watching I cannot exactly tell, but as the day got hotter the
bison began to move, and then we had a chance of firing at the big bull.
The herd, bull included, then entered the jungly ravine, and presently
reappeared a little further down and on the right of the ravine with a
calf which had evidently been left in the ravine, and filed along the
slope. The bull, however, had remained behind. Now comes a point of great
importance in following up big game, and which, curiously enough, has
never been noticed hitherto, at least I have not been able to meet with
any reference to it in the many big game shooting books I have looked at.
If an animal is wounded, it is a common practice to follow it up at once,
the result of which is that it will often go off to a considerable
distance (which is often highly inconvenient) and frequently be lost. But
if, instead of following the startled animal at once, a perfect silence is
maintained, and you remain where you are, the animal, the moment it is
inside the jungle, will stand to listen, and if it can neither hear nor
see anything, will probably lie down to recover from the shock, and if it
does so, will very probably not rise from the spot for a considerable
time. You have thus an opportunity of getting ahead of your quarry and
coming back to the margin of the forest from a direction opposite to that
from which it naturally expects danger, and it will thus have to pass you
again in order to get further into the forest, and you will then, as I
have known from experience, get another shot. On this occasion it was of
great importance to get between the wounded bull and the main forest
towards the foot of the Ghauts, and we accordingly resolved to go down the
grass land on the outside of the jungly ravine, enter it a good way down,
and lie up to rest for some time, and then look up the wounded bull.

And now I received a lesson that I shall never forget. We had taken our
early toast and tea, and had intended returning to breakfast, but we had
been decoyed by the sport so far from home, and the weather was so hot,
that we could not face the task of toiling back in the heat of the sun,
and besides, we had our wounded bull to look up. The prospect of remaining
all day without food was not pleasant, but luckily I had a few small
biscuits in my pocket. Then we were afraid to drink the water, as at that
season it is not considered to be wholesome. "Ah," said my friend, after
fumbling in his pocket, "we are all right. I have got one peppermint
lozenge. We will divide it into four parts, and it will last the day."
This was my first introduction to the great practical value of the
peppermint lozenge in taking away the sensation of thirst, and in hot
climates I now never go without them. But they should be made at a good
chemist's, as the peppermint then has none of that nauseous, or, at any
rate, very disagreeable, smell which accompanies ordinary peppermint
lozenges. They are also very useful in travelling, and in India I always
carry them, as, if kept out longer in the morning than usual, they at once
banish hunger and thirst, and are, besides, very refreshing, and I feel
sure would be invaluable in the case of troops marching in hot weather,
and where good water is not to be had. They are also very useful when
going out after a tiger, and when news of one is brought in my first order
is to put up two peppermint lozenges. Another point of value I may here
mention. Always, if there is a chance of your being kept out late, take a
lantern and matches. We experienced the evil of the neglect of this
precaution when returning home. You may have starlight outside the forest,
but darkness within, and a lantern is, of course, a great aid, and it is
so even when there is moonlight, as you may be either on the wrong side of
a ridge or have to pass through dark bottoms. But now as to the pursuit of
the bull.

After resting for several hours we took our way up the ravine in the
direction of the point at which the bull entered it. And here we made a
cardinal mistake, for we went together, whereas had one of us remained on
the grass land outside, we should almost certainly have got the bull. We,
however, omitted to take this precaution, and proceeded up the ravine to
within about fifty yards of the spot where the bull entered, when up he
got close to us, but without our being able to see him, and went out of
the ravine on to the grass land and down into the main forest beyond, into
which we had neither time, strength, nor inclination to follow him. The
preceding will be a good lesson to any young sportsman, firstly, as to the
value of not following up a wounded animal at once, and, secondly, as to
taking every kind of precaution when you do. How often is sport spoiled
from the want of appreciating the truism that a wall is no stronger than
its weakest point. The importance of carefully guarding and refusing to be
decoyed away from the pass into the main forest is of such consequence
that I proceed to enforce it with another illustration.

One day I found a fine bull grazing on the margin of a piece of detached
jungle some five or six acres in extent; I got between him and the main
forest, to which he would of course fly, fired at him, and he went at once
into the ravine, or rather jungle-clad hollow, in front of him. I then ran
to the only pass from it into the main forest, and told the two people who
were with me to follow on the track of the bull, at which I should thus
have been able to get another shot in the event of his having strength
enough to leave the five or six acres of jungle he had entered. I waited
for a considerable time, and at last went up the hill with the view of
seeing what my people were about, and called out, to be answered by one
man on the top of a hill on the other side, and by another from the top of
a tree, who said that the bison had attacked them, and that one of them
had run out of the jungle and the other up a tree. I called out to the
man on the grass land to go and fetch a dog and some people from the
village, and again returned to my pass, for had the bull once got down
into the main forest-which led to the foot of the Ghauts, we should
probably have lost him. After rather a long interval some natives appeared
with a dog, and I told them to drive the ravine, and soon there ensued a
series of charges, accompanied by the barking of the dog, and a general
state of confusion, from, which it was evident that the bison had lots of
go in him. Still I clung to the pass. At last my patience was worn out,
and I went to look up the bull in the jungle. Horror of horrors! he made
off in the very direction of the pass into the main forest, and had it not
been for the dog we should probably have lost him, but I at once set on
the dog, and this had the desired effect of making the bull turn, when he
came towards us, looking for some one to charge. When he was a few yards
from me I gave him a shot which turned him aside, and as he deflected he
presented a good shot, and was soon killed.

The jumping, or rather bounding power of the bison is wonderful, and I was
accidentally caused to ascertain it in this way. One evening, just at
sundown, I found a bull in a very unexpected place, high up on a mountain,
with very precipitous sides. He was on the edge of a piece of jungly,
swampy land, about half an acre in extent, and when I fired at him he went
into this, and I sent my second gun man round to drive him out. He soon
appeared, took one look at me at a distance of about fifty yards, and then
charged with wonderful suddenness. I was young and active then, and ran
sideways to the only tree--a small one on the open land--but I had just
time to save myself, for the bull, having struck or grazed the tree with
his shoulder, fell at my feet, and as he rose, his horn caught my coat
about the armpit and tore a hole in it. He galloped towards me with his
nose up, but lowered his head as he approached me, evidently to clear me
away. He, of course, was up again in a second, and disappeared over the
crest of the hill. The ground I was standing on sloped only slightly
upward towards the point at which the bison emerged, there being at the
spot a length of about eighty yards of comparatively flat land, which, of
course, accounted for the swampy ground, which, by the way, had been
partly created by the natives having at some remote time formed a small
tank there. Well, the following morning I went to the spot with an English
sporting companion, and said, "This is the place where I was charged."
"But," he said, and so said the natives with him, "there has never been a
bison here at all," and as there had been some rain the day before, the
tracks would, of course, have been plainly visible. As it turned out, we
happened to be standing between the tracks, and on measuring the distance
between them, we found that the bull had covered twenty-one feet from
hind-foot to hind-foot, and that, too, on ground which, as we have seen,
sloped but very slightly.

I cannot conclude this chapter without urging sportsmen to use every means
in their power which can aid in the preservation of these harmless and
interesting animals; and I trust that every effort may be made not only to
obtain a Game Preservation Act for India, but to have a special clause
inserted in it with reference to cow bisons, and the imposition of a heavy
line for killing one of them. Is not the intelligent preservation of game
one of the most prominent signs of advancing civilization?


[24] In Jerdon's "Mammals of India," Roorkee, 1867, p. 304, however, I
find that it is stated that the bison do ravage the fields of the ryots,
but Mr. Sanderson has no mention of their doing so, and he had the best
opportunities for observation.



Gold mines are as uncertain as women, and yet from either it seems
impossible to keep away. Perhaps it is this very uncertainty which
constitutes the chief charm of both. But, however that may be, it is
certain that about gold in general, whether visible or prospective, there
is such a degree of attractiveness that, as the Kanarese proverb puts it,
if gold is to be seen even a corpse will open its mouth; and I feel sure
as I write, that in this chapter at least I can count not only on
attention, but on a general attitude of expectancy in the mind of the
reader. And from one point of view he will be fairly satisfied, for the
history of gold mining in Mysore has quite a romantic cast, and in the
hands of a skilful novelist, there might be extracted from it much
literary capital. The foremost fact indeed which I have to give has almost
a sensational flavour, and at first sight seems a mere dream. We often
read of fields of golden grain, but that corn should ever, by any process
of nature, have on its ears grains of gold, seems beyond belief. And yet
the fact of grains of gold being found on the ears of the rice plants is
probably the very earliest tradition connected with gold, and it is not
improbable that the circumstance may have been one of the means of calling
attention to the existence of gold in Mysore. An account of this tradition
is to be found in the "Selections from the Records of the Mysore
Government,"[25] and from them it appears that Lieutenant John Warren,
when he was employed in surveying the eastern boundary of Mysore in 1800,
was told by a Brahman that "In prosperous years when the gods favoured the
Zillah of Kadogi (a small village on the west bank of the Pennar river,
Hoskote Talook, 15 miles from Bangalore) with an ample harvest now and
then grains of gold were found on the ears of the paddy (rice plants)
grown under the tank lying close to the north of that village." And in
this connection I may mention that, when visiting the Kolar mines last
January, I found, in the course of a conversation with the head man of the
village of Ooregum, that he was aware of this tradition, and that grains
of gold were said to have been seen on the rice plants at a village about
fifteen miles distant from his own. The explanation of this is extremely
simple, as the rice plants are usually grown in nurseries and transplanted
in bunches of several plants, after which the fields are flooded, and in
heavy floods (and this accounts for the gold having been found in the
years which are prosperous from the abundant rain) the plants would often
be quite submerged. With the water no doubt came grains of gold, which
were deposited on the rice plants, and as these grew, the grains of gold
would naturally rise with them, and thus often be found adhering to the
roughly-coated grain.

After the attention of Lieutenant Warren was called to the subject, he
seems to have taken some trouble in investigating it, and having heard a
vague report that gold had been found in the earth somewhere near a small
hill about nine miles east of Budiakote, offered a reward for information
regarding this, and shortly afterwards a ryot of the village offered to
show him the place, which was close to his village. He visited the spot
in question on February 17th, 1802, "when the women of the village were
assembled, and, each being provided with a small broom and vaning basket,
and hollow board to receive the earth, they went to a jungle on the west
of the village. Here they entered some small nullahs, or rather breaks in
the ground, and removing the gravel with their hands, they swept the earth
underneath into their vaning baskets, by the help of which they further
cleared it of the smaller stones and threw it into the hollow board above
mentioned. Having thus got enough earth together, they adjourned to a tank
and placed the hollow boards containing the earth in the water, but just
deep enough for it to overflow when resting on the ground, and no more.
Then they stirred the earth with the hand, but keeping it over the centre
of the board, so that the metal should fall into the depression by its own
weight, and the earth wash over the edges. After a few minutes' stirring,
they put the metallic matter thus freed of earth into a piece of broken
pot, but only after examining it for gold, which they did by inclining the
board and passing water over the metallic sediment which adhered to it.
They thus drove the light particles before the water, leaving the heavier
metal behind just at the edge where it could easily be seen, however small
the quantity." Lieutenant Warren, having afterwards heard that gold was
extracted from mines near Marikoppa, three miles from Ooregum, visited
four of the mines, the descent into which was made by means of small foot
holes which had been made in their sides. The first was two feet in
breadth and four in length with a depth of about thirty feet, and in
distance fifty feet (of galleries I presume), the others were from thirty
to forty-five feet deep. "The miners extracted the stones (how we are not
informed) and they were passed from hand to hand in baskets by the miners
who were stationed at different points for the purpose of banking the
stones. The women then took them to a large rock, and pounded them to
dust. The latter was then taken to a well and washed by the same process
as that used when washing the earth for gold, when about an equal quantity
of gold was found to that procured from an equal quantity of the
auriferous earth."

The only people, writes Lieutenant Warren, who devote their time to
searching-for gold are Pariahs, who work as follows. "When they resolve on
sinking a mine, they assemble to the number of ten or twelve from
different villages. Then they elect a Daffadar, or head man, to
superintend the work, and sell the gold, and they subscribe money to buy
lamp oil, and the necessary iron tools, then partly from knowledge of the
ground, and partly from the idea they have, that the tract over which a
peacock has been observed to fly and alight, is that of a vein of gold,
they fix on a spot and begin to mine."

Such, then, was the condition of gold mining in Mysore about the end of
the last and the beginning of this century, but in ancient times mining
was carried on by the natives to very considerable depths, and I am
informed by Mr. B. D. Plummer, who has had ten years' experience of mines
at Kolar, and worked the Mysore and Nundydroog mines, that the old native
workings went down to a depth of about 260 feet. These, which were all
choked up, were followed down to the bottom, and valuable lodes were found
at about 150 to 260 feet. Nothing was found in the old native workings,
but remains of old chatties (earthenware pots) and the wooden props put in
to secure the sides. The native workings, in the opinion of Captain
Plummer, were evidently carried on with skill and efficiency, and appear
to be of great antiquity. Large quantities of water were found, requiring
pumping machinery working day and night for its removal. How the natives
in olden times got rid of the water is not known. It is supposed that
they must have done so by chatties, and by hand, with the aid of large
numbers of people. As no native iron tools[26] were found in the cases of
the two above-mentioned mines, it is evident that they were deliberately
abandoned, either from excess of water in them, or some unknown cause. As
the lodes they worked at the depths they reached were rich, it is probable
that the miners could no longer contend with the difficulty of removing
the large quantities of water. I am informed by Mr. Plummer that the main
lodes where the natives have formerly worked have, in nearly every case,
proved successful. Mr. Plummer has examined other districts in the
province, extending more than 100 miles north of Mysore city, and thinks
that there is a very large mining future for the Mysore country. I am
informed by one of the mine managers that from the quantity of charcoal
found in the old native workings, it is probable that the natives first of
all burnt the rock so as to make it the more easy of extraction, just as
they now burn granite rock in order the more easily to split off the

As the facts connected with these mines were brought very fully to the
notice of the Government at such an early date, it at first sight seems
strange that we have to skip over a period of about seventy years till we
again meet, in the "Selections" previously quoted from, any further notice
of the mines; but the neglect of them was evidently owing to the similar
neglect of coffee and other industries, which might have been pushed
forward at a much earlier date, and most certainly would have been, had
the Government taken pains to see that the information so frequently
obtained was published in an available and readable form, instead of being
buried in the various offices of the State. That more efforts were not
made in this direction was probably owing to the fact that the Government
officers did not perceive the widespread effect that the introduction of
European capital would have on the agriculture of the country, and,
consequently, on the finances of the State--a subject referred to in my
introductory chapter, and to which I shall again allude in the chapter on
Coorg--while they were under the erroneous impression that Europeans would
probably be a cause of annoyance to the Government and the people. We find
a characteristic survival of the last idea in the "Selections," and in
Clause X. of the conditions under which, in 1873, the first leave to mine
was granted by the Government of Mysore, it is declared that, "In the
event of the grantee causing annoyance or obstruction to any class of the
people, or to the officers of Government, the chief commissioner reserves
the power of annulling the mining right thus granted." But such
apprehensions, I need hardly say, have long since passed away, and
certainly within my long experience they never existed in Southern India
in the case of the planters who, as a body, have always been encouraged by
the State, and have always got on well with it and the people, though, of
course, as in all countries, there are occasionally individuals who cannot
bring themselves into harmony with any person, or condition of things.

And now, before proceeding with my narrative of gold mining in Mysore, I
pause for one moment to note the rather remarkable fact that it seems
impossible to find in old records or inscriptions any reference to gold
mining in Mysore.[27] As to this I have made diligent inquiry, from the
librarian of H. H. the Maharajah, from a member of the Archæological
Survey of Mysore, and in every quarter that occurred to me. I was informed
by a European resident at Bangalore that, at the Eurasian settlement near
that city, there is a stone pillar with an inscription said by tradition
to relate to gold mining, but I can hardly suppose it possible that this
could have escaped the notice of the officers of the Archæological Survey.
One of the officers of this department informed me that, in consequence of
the absence of traditions regarding gold mining, he inferred that mining
in Mysore must have been carried on from very remote times. But it is time
to proceed with the history of mining in Mysore.

It appears, then, from the "Selections," that a Mr. Lavelle on the 20th of
August, 1873, applied for the right to carry on mining operations in
Kolar. Two years previously he had examined portions of the Kolar district
(without any grant it would seem, from no mention of one being made), and
found three auriferous strata, in one of which he sunk a shaft to the
depth of eighteen feet, and found gold increase in quality and size as he
went downwards. In the event of a mining right being granted he proposed
to begin work again in November. After some correspondence came a letter
from the chief commissioner, dated September 16th, 1874, submitting
conditions (which must be regarded as final) as the basis of an agreement
(to be afterwards legally drawn up) to be entered into between the
Government and Mr. Lavelle. It is unnecessary to recapitulate all the
conditions; suffice it to say that the right to mine in Kolar was to
extend over twenty years, and that a royalty of ten per cent. on all
metals and metallic ores, and of twenty per cent. on all precious stones,
was to be paid. On September 20th, 1874, Mr. Lavelle accepted the terms,
but what he did or did not do as regards mining does not appear in the
"Selections," and I find it merely stated therein that on March 28th,
1876, leave was given him to transfer his rights to other parties. It,
however, appears from a statement made by Mr. Lavelle in 1885 to the
special correspondent of the "Madras Mail,"[28] that a small syndicate was
formed, and some work carried on in the native style, though little
success seems to have been met with, and the work was abandoned. About a
year afterwards it was again recommenced by Mr. Lavelle, who in the
meanwhile had been prospecting in other parts of Southern India, and he
succeeded in once more attracting attention to the Kolar field, and
subsequently various companies were formed, but so disappointing were the
results obtained that all were practically closed in 1882, except the
Mysore mine, which was working to a small extent. In February, 1883, the
Nundydroog mine was ordered to be closed, and almost every other mine was
in a state of collapse. Caretakers were put in and only a little work
done. Early in 1884, when only twelve or thirteen thousand pounds of their
capital were left, the Mysore shareholders were convened. Some were for
closing at once and dividing the remaining capital, but, acting on the
advise of Messrs. John Taylor and Sons, of 6, Queen Street Place, London,
it was, fortunately for the province of Mysore, determined to spend it on
the mine. The shares were then as low as tenpence. The company began to
get gold about the end of 1884, and the prospect improved so much that the
Nundydroog mine in May, 1885, was enabled to raise money on debentures,
and so to again carry on work. If the shareholders of the Mysore company
had not persevered, it is almost absolutely certain that the whole of the
Kolar gold field would have been permanently abandoned. This is just one
of those cases which cheer the sinking hopes of shareholders, and attract
vast sums of money to gold mines; and no wonder, when we find the chairman
of the Mysore company apologizing lately because he could not declare a
dividend of more than fifty per cent.; that up to the end of 1892 the gold
sold by the company realized £1,149,430 2s. 1d., and that the total sum
paid in dividends amounted to £602,156 10s. 6d.

The Mysore mine had been sunk to a depth of about 200 feet when it was
proposed that the project should be abandoned. Just below this depth the
miners struck the Champion lode on which the Mysore, Ooregum, Nundydroog,
Balaghaut, and Indian Consolidated Companies are working. The Mysore mine
has now been sunk to a depth of over 1,200 feet, Ooregum 850 feet, and
Nundydroog over 860 feet. The lode is not richer per ton, as is commonly
supposed, on greater depths being reached. The yield per ton is probably
about the same, though from larger quantities being taken out, and the use
of the rock drill, which causes a large extraction of country rock, the
product per ton of quartz is apparently smaller. The specimens now found
are as good as ever.

The circumstances of the Champion lode are briefly these. In the interior
of a surrounding of granite there is a great basin of hornblende rock of
schistose character, and through this, at an angle of about forty-five
degrees, runs the lode. This is not of continuous thickness. In some
places it is four or five feet wide, in others runs down to an almost
vanishing point, and then again thickens. In the case of the mines now
working on this lode, the basin of hornblende is more than two miles in
width, and is possibly many thousands of feet in depth, so there seems to
be a reasonable prospect of there being a long future before the workers
on the Champion lode.

The Kolar gold field is about seven miles in length, and averages about
two to three miles in width. There are in all fourteen mines, but two of
them are practically stopped. The general appearance of it is at present
by no means attractive, as the land is rocky and sterile, and unfavourable
to the growth of trees, but, from the appearance of some of the Baubul
trees, I feel sure that if large pits for the trees were dug, and filled
with soil from the low-lying ground, a great deal might be done to
beautify the field, by planting here and there groups of Baubul and other
hardy trees indigenous to the locality. As I thought it would be
interesting, and perhaps useful, to give some idea of life on the fields,
I asked one of the ladies resident there to supply me with some notes for
publication, and her observations on the situation from a social and
general point of view are as follows.

"You ask me for some notes on the field, and I may begin by telling you
that we usually rise about half-past six, when the menkind go off to their
offices, or underground, as the ease may be. We have tiffin between twelve
and one, and dinner at half-past seven. Breakfast is generally at about
eight, and the managers commonly have theirs sent down to the office.

"In the afternoon, that is to say, when the five o'clock whistle blows, we
play tennis, or else go down to the Gymkana ground to watch the cricket.
Sometimes there is a gymkana in which we all take great interest,
particularly in those races called ladies' events, when the winners
present their prizes to the ladies who have nominated them. The great
drawback to the gold fields at present is the absence of some general
meeting-place or club, but it is hoped that by next year this want will
be supplied, as the Ooregum, Nundydroog, and Champion Reefs Companies have
combined to build a hall, which is to contain a billiard-room, card-room,
library, etc., and there is to be a tennis court in the compound.

"One of the great pleasures is gardening. The plants that grow best are
jalaps, sunflowers, roses, cornflowers, nasturtiums, verbenas, and
geraniums, all of which, with the exception of the two first-named plants,
require water constantly. The creepers that grow best are passion-flowers,
and a small kind of green creeper with convolvulus flowers, the name of
which I do not know. Honeysuckle also grows, though but slowly. Trees have
recently been planted in the various compounds, and also along some parts
of the road leading to the bungalows, but owing to the shallowness of the
soil, and the roots so soon reaching the rock, they seldom grow to any
size. Some casuarinas in the Mysore mine camp have grown to about twenty
feet in height, but these have now struck the rock, and most of them are

"We have occasional visitors, many of them being shareholders in the
various mines, bringing with them introductions from England, and wishing
to inspect all the works, stamps, etc., on the surface, and very often
going underground. Several ladies have been taken down the mines lately,
but they do not seem to care for it much, for though of course it is
interesting, still the fatigue of going down so many feet on ladders is
great. The mines, too, in many parts are dirty and wet, and amongst other
disagreeables are the cockroaches, which are enormous, and the stinging
ants. Ladies too, I find, are as a rule disappointed at not seeing more
'visible gold.' I believe they cherish generally some idea of picking up a
nice little nugget to keep as a souvenir of their expedition.

"None of the mines have any 'cages,' as they are called, so if one does
not want to go down by the ladders, one can only go in the box in which
the quartz comes up, and as this is only two feet square and four feet
deep, the journey by it would be decidedly uncomfortable. At every eighty
feet, I may mention, you come to a small wooden platform (or level) where
you can rest, and from which branch off the cross cuts and drives, or
narrow passages. The depths of the different mines vary a great deal,
Mysore being as low as 1,400 feet, the greatest depth sunk at present,
while the least depth sunk is about 300 feet. Ladies going underground
have to wear suitable attire. Skirts would be quite useless. A long coat,
or short skirt reaching to the knees, and knickerbockers, is the most
comfortable dress for the occasion. Very strong boots should be worn.

"Many of the miners and people employed in the gold fields have joined the
Volunteers. There is now quite a strong corps of about 100 men, some being
Eurasians, but the majority are either English or Italians. Once a year
some 'bigwig' comes from Bangalore to review them. There is a
sergeant-instructor on the field, and the adjutant comes very frequently
to see them drill, etc.

"Round the various large tanks about six or eight miles away from the
mines excellent snipe shooting is to be had, and duck and teal are also to
be found. Spotted deer and bears are sometimes shot by sportsmen from the
mines, but for those one must go further away. The fishing is not
considered to be very good, but perhaps those who fish do not know how to
set to work. The natives sometimes bring very large tank fish round for

"Driving and riding are not very enjoyable, owing to the terribly bad
state of the roads. When the railway to the mines is opened, which it soon
will be, I am happy to say, the roads will be better. At present the heavy
machinery for the mines, boilers, etc.--sometimes taking sixty bullocks
to draw them--cut up the roads dreadfully. These will of course come by
rail directly the line is open for traffic. The supplies, vegetables,
fruit, etc., come from Bangalore three times a week, each mine keeping a
'Supply boy' (servant), who goes in from Kolar Road (our railway station,
seven miles from the mines), and returns the following day. We get mutton
and beef from the local butcher, and also good bread from the bakery on
the field. Our butter comes from Bangalore, and from there we obtain,
peas, potatoes, French beans, tomatoes, cauliflowers, vegetable marrow,
and lettuces, and also fruit, such as apples, peaches, grapes, plantains,
custard apples, melons, and sometimes pine-apples. Servants on the whole
are good. Most of them come from Madras. Wages are much higher on the gold
fields than in Bangalore--head butlers, 16 rupees; ayahs, 12 to 14 rupees;
chokras, 10 to 11 rupees; cooks, 11 to 14 rupees; and gardeners, 10 to 16
rupees a month. Many of them leave domestic service and take work in the
mines, where they get higher wages very often."

As the elevation of Kolar is about 2,700 feet above sea level, the climate
is for many months of the year extremely agreeable, and it would, so far
as my experience goes, be difficult to find a more exhilarating and more
exquisitely-tempered atmosphere than that of Kolar in the month of
January--at least such was my conclusion when I stayed with my friends at
the field last January. Nor did I hear anyone there complain of the
climate, which, from the appearance of my host (who looked as if he had
never left England) and others on the mines, must be a very healthy one,
and in proof of this I may mention that Mr. Plummer, whom I have
previously quoted, told me that the European miners had as good health as
miners have in England. Cholera has on several occasions broken out
amongst the coolies, but this was rather a proof of the want of attention
paid to sanitation and water supply, as none I believe has occurred since
an improved water supply has been introduced by all the companies now
pumping it up from depths of 200 feet from the bottoms of abandoned
shafts. There was a remarkable confirmation of the connection between
cholera and water supply and sanitation one year, and the first company
which paid attention to these points had no cholera amongst its people,
while most of the other mines had more or less of the disease. I may
mention here a fact to which I have alluded in my chapter on coffee
planting in Mysore--namely, that Europeans in Mysore have been so little
liable to cholera that in sixty years there has only been one death from
it amongst the European officials of the province, and one doubtful case
amongst the planters.

As regards mining and the extraction of gold, there is little to be said.
I inspected the works and the rock drills. These work through the agency
of compressed air, and at a cost of 15 rupees a day for coal for each
drill, the same tool which is used in drilling by hand. It is doubtful
whether hand-drilling is not cheaper, but the latter is far slower, and
hence does not pay as well, rapid progress being absolutely essential.
When working with rock drills, a shaft can be sunk 10 to 20 feet a month,
against 7 to 8 feet by hand, and a level may on the average be driven 45
to 50 feet a month by rock drills against 10 or 12 feet by hand. When,
however, a large surface for operating on is exposed, hand-drilling may be
profitably employed. This is interesting as illustrating the fact that
where labour is cheap machines seldom pay, and this is particularly worth
mentioning for the benefit of those who have thought that it would be
useful to introduce agricultural machinery into India. After looking at
the rock drills I inspected the gold extraction works. The processes here
need not detain us long. The quartz is first broken by stone-breakers
like those used in England. The broken stone is then placed in an iron
trough (battery box), and is pounded by iron stampers, which of course are
worked by machinery. In front of this trough is a fine sieve. Water is
incessantly run into the trough, and as it overflows, carries with it all
the quartz which has been pounded sufficiently to pass through the sieve.
The water, mingled with this finely powdered quartz, then falls on to a
sloping plate of copper coated with quicksilver, which amalgamates with,
and so detains, the gold. The deposit thus formed is scraped off the
sheets of copper at intervals of about eight hours, and formed into balls
of various sizes, which consist of about one-half gold and one-half
quicksilver. The latter is subsequently separated from the gold by
processes which I need not describe, and the gold is afterwards formed
into bars for export.

I inquired particularly as to the rates of wages. These are, for coolies
working underground, from 7 to 8 annas a day (with the rupee at par one
anna is equal to 1-1/2d., and 8 annas would therefore amount to 1s.).
Those who work rock drills in mines, 12 annas to a rupee a day; ordinary
coolies working aboveground, 4 to 8 annas; and women, 2 to 4 annas a day.
The working population on the field numbers about 10,000, while 20,000
more, who work for varying periods of the year, reside in the neighbouring

I was much struck with the fact that no advances whatever are given to
coolies by the companies, as is the case with men working on plantations,
and I would particularly call the attention of planters to this, as it
proves what I have elsewhere stated--namely, that where labour rises to a
comparatively high rate no advances are necessary, and I feel sure that if
planters would resolve to reduce gradually the amount of advances, they
might ultimately be altogether dispensed with.

My next subject of inquiry relating to labour was as to the probable total
amount paid for it, and, from an estimate made for me by a very competent
authority residing on the mines, I believe that the following account is
substantially correct. The amount of wages paid monthly to native
labourers and the small number of Eurasians working on the mines is about
2 lakhs of rupees. To natives who fell and bring in timber for fuel about
80,000 rupees monthly are paid. On quarrying and carting granite, and in
building, about 30,000 rupees a month are spent; on the carriage of
materials from the railway about 15,000 rupees, and probably from 5,000 to
10,000 rupees on local products such as straw, grain, oil, mats, bamboos,
tiles, etc. Now, if we take no account of the last two items, and deduct
10,000 rupees from the second and third, we shall have a fair estimate of
three lakhs of rupees a month as the amount spent on the Kolar gold field
in wages, which, taking the rupee at par (and I think I am justified in
doing so, as for expenditure in India by labourers it goes about as far as
it ever did), amounts to £360,000 a year. And this great sum is earned by
people who either have land and work for occasional periods of the year on
the mines, or by labourers, who, when they have saved enough money from
their wages (which they could do with ease in a year), will acquire and
cultivate a small holding. A large proportion of this sum of £360,000 a
year--probably two-thirds of it--goes to improving the status and
condition of the agricultural and labouring classes, and I need hardly add
that this not only leads to an improvement of the resources of the State,
but enables the people the better to contend with famine and times of
scarcity, and thus still further improves the financial condition of the
Government. And it is largely in consequence of the great sums brought
into Mysore by the planters and the gold companies that the revenues of
Mysore are in such a nourishing condition, and that year after year the
annual budget presents an appearance more and more favourable.

And here this question naturally arises. What can the Government of Mysore
do to stimulate the employment of labour in mining, and thus still further
strengthen the financial position of the State? I am prepared to show that
it can do much to stimulate the opening of new mines, and also to
encourage many of those now in existence which have not as yet been able
to pay dividends.

The reader will see by a glance at the map that the auriferous tracts of
Mysore (to which I shall presently more particularly allude) are of great
extent, and, judging from the report of the geological surveyor employed
by the Government, and especially from the existence of numerous old
native workings, there is no reason why prizes even greater than the best
of those already obtained should not exist. Now one of the greatest
obstacles in the way of rapid progress lies in the fact that before mining
can be got fairly under weigh much preliminary work has to be done, and
the shareholders have therefore a long time to wait before any paying
return can be obtained. But if the preliminary work, such as the providing
of water, the collection of building materials, and the making of roads,
etc., were carried out before a company was formed, mining could be begun
at once, and results rapidly arrived at, and the frittering away of money,
both in England and India, that at present necessarily occurs, would be
averted. Now the country has already been largely explored, and the
Government is therefore in a position to know the places where favourable
results will probably be obtained, and as the State, besides the other
advantages I have previously pointed out, gets a royalty on the gold, it
has a natural interest in doing its utmost to select the most favourable
sites for new mining operations. Such sites then should, with the aid of
experienced mining advisers, be selected by the Government, which itself
should execute the preliminary works previously specified, and then
advertise the blocks, so selected and prepared, for sale in the London
market. For such prepared blocks purchasers could readily be found, and if
the price they paid merely covered the bare cost of the preliminary works,
the expenditure of capital that would thus be stimulated, with all its
consequent direct and indirect advantages to the province, would amply
repay the Government for its trouble and outlay.

But the State may give yet another stimulus to mining, which, I feel sure,
would prove of great advantage to the State. The present royalty is five
per cent. on the value of the gold produced, and from this source the
Government last year received 5 lakhs and 18,000 rupees. Now the
prosperous companies which are paying good dividends do not feel this to
be a very serious burden, but it is a serious burden--every shilling of
expenditure indeed is--to a company which has not begun to pay dividends,
and I would suggest that, till a company is able to pay dividends,
one-half of the royalty, or, better still, the whole of it, might be
remitted. This sum would by no means be lost to the State, for does not
the milk that is left in the cow go to the calf?

The measures I have proposed would be of such obvious advantage to the
State that, were I a shareholder, or intending investor, in mines in
Mysore, I should have no hesitation in suggesting their adoption, but it
may be as well to mention that I am neither.

I drove one afternoon with my host to the court on the field, and had some
conversation with the magistrate regarding thefts at the mines, and it
certainly appears that a special Act is required to check the stealing of
gold. Sponge-gold (i.e., gold from which the quicksilver has been
evaporated), quartz, or gold amalgam, if found in the possession of any
person, renders the individual liable to prosecution, if the possession of
gold in any of these forms cannot be satisfactorily accounted for. But the
individual cannot be called to account for having ordinary pure gold in
possession. Now in a man's possession at the mines there has been found
all the means of separating the gold by quicksilver, and it is therefore
quite clear that gold stolen in either of the first three mentioned forms
may, after having been deprived of its concomitant impurities, be held by
an individual to any amount, and even by a workman earning 6d. a day,
without his being liable to be called upon to account for its possession.
Some Act to meet this kind of case is then clearly required--an Act
similar to our Mysore Coffee-stealing Prevention Act, which provides that
any person not a planter is liable to be called upon to account for coffee
in his possession.

A difficult point occurs where quartz is found in a hut occupied by
several people, as it is impossible to charge any one person with being in
illegal possession of the article. There are numerous evidences of gold
stealing, and certainly some summary process ought to be established with
the view of checking these thefts. I may add that the Government is much
interested in this matter, as five per cent. of the gold belongs to it,
and is handed over in the shape of royalty. Those who are most concerned
should bring the matter annually before the members of the Representative
Assembly. Even in England remedies for, or mitigations of, evils are not
provided without much continuous parliamentary hammering.

After discussing the subject of gold stealing with the magistrate, I
called on the manager of the Mysore mine, and afterwards went with my host
to a lawn tennis party at the house of the doctor of the mines, who is
employed by the various companies. He has a comfortable bungalow, which
is at a considerable elevation above the level of the valley, and commands
an extensive view of the surrounding country and of the distant hills.
Above the house, and at some little distance on one side of it, stands the
hospital, and on a knoll just below, the building of the new Roman
Catholic church was in progress, and the walls were nearly finished. From
the doctor's bungalow a good general view of the whole field can be
obtained, and I was particularly struck with the number of buildings to be
seen in all directions. I was told that from this point as many as thirty
tall chimneys can be counted.

There is a great want of water in the field, for purposes connected with
the separation of the gold from the quartz, and tanks are being provided
to store it. I venture to suggest that a considerable distance of the
catchment area on the sides, and especially at the back, of the tanks
should be honeycombed with pits, as the water, which is often largely lost
from falling in heavy deluges, would thus percolate into the ground, and
so find its way into the bed of the tank by degrees. I may mention that a
great effect has been produced in the case of a tank on one of my coffee
estates by thus digging pits to catch water that would otherwise run
directly down into the tank, to be largely lost by the overflow during
heavy rains, and a similar effect has been produced on the property of a
neighbour. In fact, the effect produced by such pits on the supply of
water in tanks is far greater than one could have imagined to be possible,
and I may therefore, in passing, call particular attention to the
advisability of such pits being made near tanks used for agricultural
purposes. On the margins of the tanks, and in parts of the bed where
sufficient soil exists, trees should be planted, with the view of
diminishing evaporation from the surface of the water.

When the railway is completed, soil might easily be brought into the
field oil trucks, and the pits dug for trees should be filled with it. The
planting of trees in and around the field would certainly be beneficial in
many obvious ways, and would improve the climate and probably affect, not
perhaps the amount, but the distribution of the rainfall. I would suggest
that if earth closets were used by the people, and the used earth spread
around the trees, there would be a great improvement in their growth. This
would at once improve the sanitation of the field and beautify it at the
same time.

The reader has now probably learned enough of this rising settlement,[29]
and I have only to add that on the day following I returned to Bangalore,
after having had a most pleasant and interesting time of it with my
friends on the Kolar field.

I next pass to a brief mention of the other auriferous tracts in Mysore,
which were surveyed in 1887 by Mr. R. Bruce Foote, Superintendent of the
Geological Survey of India, who, in connection with his investigations
between February 2nd and May 7th of that year, travelled no less than
1,300 miles in Mysore in marching and field work. A full report of his
work appears in the "Selections,"[30] and this is accompanied by a map in
which Mr. Foote has sketched out the distribution of the auriferous rocks.
In the "Selections" alluded to there, is also a "Report on the Auriferous
Tracts in Mysore," by Mr. M. F. Lavelle, and "Notes on the Occurrence of
Gold and other Minerals in Mysore," by Mr. Walter Marsh, Mining Engineer.
But in the brief remarks I have to make I shall confine my attention to
Mr. Foote's Report.

Mr. Foote informs us that the chief gold-yielding rocks of Southern India
belong to one great geological system, to which, from the rocks forming it
occurring very largely in the Dharwar country, he two years previously
gave the name of the Dharwar System, as he saw the necessity of separating
them from the great Gneissic System, with which they had formerly been
grouped. In his long tour in Mysore he found that every important
auriferous tract visited lies within one or other of the areas of the
Dharwar rocks, or forms an outlying patch of the same. These Dharwar
rocks, it appears, are the auriferous series in Mysore, the ceded
districts, and the Southern Maharatta country.

Mr. Foote groups the auriferous rock series of Mysore into four
groups--the central, west-central, western, and the eastern--the last
group being formed by the Kolar gold field, which was not included in the
tracts Mr. Foote was called upon to visit. He then gives a systematic
account of his examination of the country, beginning with the central, and
ending with the western group.

He examined ten auriferous tracts or localities in the central group,
beginning with the Holgen workings near the southern border of the
province, and ending with the Hale Kalgudda locality near the northern
border, and reports more or less favourably on five out of the ten
localities in question. For brevity I use the numbers into which he has
divided the localities he regards as more or less promising. Of part of
number three, he says that his examination, though but a cursory one, led
him to regard it "very favourably," and of another part, he says that the
whole outline indicated, which is seven miles long by about a mile wide,
is deserving of very close examination, and the reefs of being prospected
to some depth. As regards number five, he reports the existence of old
native workings occupying a considerable area, and which showed evidence
of much work being done. Fine reefs are to be seen pretty numerously, and
he desires to draw attention to this promising tract. With reference to
number eight, he says that "taking all things into consideration this
tract is one of the most promising I have seen." Of number nine he says,
"with regard to this gold-yielding locality, it is one of very great
promise and worthy of all attention from mining capitalists," and as
regards number ten, he reports that, though not so favourable as the two
numbers previously mentioned, it is yet deserving of the closest

The west-central group was examined by Mr. Foote in the same order,
i.e., from south to north, and he tells us that the auriferous
localities in this group occur all in small detached strips or patches of
schistose rock scattered over the older gneissic series. They are really,
he says, remnants of the once apparently continuous spread of schistose
(Dharwar) rocks which covered great part of the southern half of the
Peninsula. Mr. Foote examined in all fifteen localities, and they do not,
from his account, seem to present appearances as favourable as those of
the central group, and he only recommends that attention should be paid to
six of them. As regards the first locality mentioned, he says that, though
the results from washings and other indications were not very favourable,
the field was deserving of further close prospecting, as the nature of the
country is favourable. Of locality number five, he says that it contains a
considerable number of large and well defined reefs, to which a great
amount of attention has been paid by the old native miners, and thinks
that they are deserving of the closest attention at the present time by
deep prospecting on an ample scale. Of number seven he finds it impossible
to form any positive opinion, though he adds that the size of the old
workings show that the old miners found the place worth their attention
for a long period. He advises that number eleven should be prospected and
tested. Locality thirteen he considers to deserve close prospecting, and
he makes much the same remark as to number fourteen.

The western group, Mr. Foote tells us, is far poorer in auriferous
localities than either of the others, and they are scattered widely apart.
He examined in all seven localities. Of the first locality examined, he
says that the geological features are all favourable to the occurrence of
gold, and that the locality is worthy of very careful prospecting. In
locality number two, such a good show of coarse grained gold was got from
the sands of a stream that he thought a portion of the land from which its
water came ought to be closely tested in order to trace the source of the
gold found in the stream. When writing on locality number three, Mr. Foote
observes that the elevated tract of the auriferous rocks of which the
Bababudan mountains form the centre is one well deserving great attention
both from the geologist and the mining prospector, it being an area of
great disturbance, the rocks being greatly contorted on a large scale and,
the north and south sides at least of the area, much cut up by great
faults. The whole of the auriferous areas here, he says, are deserving of
close survey, for even the best of them are very imperfectly known, and
much of what was known to the old miners in former generations has been
forgotten. "From the fact," writes Mr. Foote, "that in my hurried tour I
came upon no less than five sets of old workings that had not been brought
under the notice of Messrs. Lavelle and Marsh (reports of whose
investigations are given in the "Selections"), I quite expect to hear that
many other old abandoned workings exist in wild and jungly tracts which
bound in the hilly and mountainous parts of the country." In locality
number five such fine shows of gold were obtained, and there was such a
good looking old mine, and quartz reefs of great size, that Mr. Foote
considered the place deserving of "very marked attention from earnest

It is evident, from what Mr. Foote has said, that there is much to be done
in the way of exploring and testing the Mysore province for gold, and I
hope that what I have written may be the means of attracting further
attention to the subject.

At the close of his report Mr. Foote mentions the fact that "a great dyke
of beautiful porphyry traverses the hills east of the Karigatta temple
overlooking Seringapatam. The porphyry, which is of warm brown or
chocolate colour, includes many crystals of lighter coloured felspar, and
dark crystals of hornblende. The stone would take a very high polish, and
for decorative purposes of high class, such as vases, panels and bases for
busts and tazzas, etc., it is unequalled in South India, and deserving of
all attention. If well polished it fully equals many of the highly prized
antique porphyries. The dyke is of great thickness and runs for fully a
mile, so is practically inexhaustible. Blocks of very large size could be
raised, and from the situation of the dyke on the side of two steep hills,
it would be very easy to open up large quarries if needful." As this dyke
is close to a railway it may be worthy of the attention of capitalists.


[25] Printed for the use of the Government, and kindly lent to me by the
Dewan of Mysore.

[26] Mr. Bosworth-Smith, _vide_ p. 36 of his Report, says that, up to
1889, only three finds of iron tools had been met with in the old native

[27] In Mr. Hyde Clarke's paper entitled "Gold in India," London,
Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1881, it is stated that "Dr. Burnell
brings direct proof as to the abundance of gold, by his successful
decipherment of a remarkable inscription in the Tanjore temple. Dr.
Burnell is thus enabled to state that in the eleventh century gold was
still the most common precious metal in India, and stupendous quantities
of it are mentioned. He considers, too, that this gold was obtained from
mines, and that the Moslem invasion interrupted their workings." It does
not, however, appear, at least in Mr. Hyde Clarke's paper, that the
inscription deciphered by Dr. Burnell makes any reference to gold mining.

[28] "The Kolar Gold Field in the State of Mysore." Reprinted from the
"Madras Mail," December, 1885; Madras, the Madras Mail Press. London,
Messrs. H. S. King and Co., 1885.

[29] Those who desire detailed information are referred to Mr. P.
Bosworth-Smith's "Report on the Kolar Gold Field and its Southern
Extension." Madras, Government Press, 1889. Mr. Bosworth-Smith writes as
Government Mineralogist to the Madras Presidency.

[30] "Selections from the Records of the Mysore Government. Reports on
Auriferous Tracts in Mysore." Bangalore. Printed at the Mysore Government
Press, 1887.



In Krilof's fable of "The Peasant and the Horse," the latter murmurs at
the way his master throws oats broad-cast on the soil. "How much better,"
argues the horse, "it would have been to have kept them in his granary, or
even to have given them to me to eat!" But the oats grow, and in due time
are garnered, and from them the same horse is fed the year following. The
horse, as we have seen, was unable to comprehend the working and the
meaning of his master's acts; and, in the same way, we often see that man
equally fails to comprehend the nature and effect of things around him.
And thus it is, and for long has been, as regards the institution I am now
about to consider. People in general have ignorantly murmured at the
institution of caste; and, having ever looked at it with highly-civilized
spectacles, and having seen especially a number of the inconveniences it
has caused to the educated population of the towns, it has been argued
that caste is the curse of all India. But it seems to me that an
attentive, unprejudiced examination tends to prove that in former times it
was exactly the reverse, and that at the present moment, as far as all the
ignorant rural population is concerned, it may be considered, with
reference to the state of the people, as a valuable and useful

And here, at the outset, I wish it to be clearly understood that an
immense divergence has taken place between the town and country
populations of India. The former have advanced with rapid strides on the
paths of enlightenment and progress, while the latter, it is hardly too
much to say, have remained almost universally stationary. To argue,
therefore, from one to the other is not only impossible, but absurd; and
it is merely a waste of time to point out, at any length, that what may be
admirably suited to one set of people may be a positive nuisance to
another. With reference, then, to this question of caste, instead of
treating India as a whole, I shall divide it into town and country
populations. In the first place, I shall treat of the effects of caste on
the country populations, amongst whom I have lived; and, in the second
place, I shall offer some considerations regarding the effects of the
institution amongst the people of the towns.

And, first of all, as to its effects on the rural population.

In these observations on caste I shall not commence with any attempt to
trace its origin, nor shall I endeavour to enumerate the countless forms
it has assumed amongst the peoples of the great peninsula. My aim is to
direct the attention of the reader not to the dry bones of its history so
much as to the living effects of the institution. It is certainly a matter
of interest to know something of the peculiar customs of the various
tribes and races; but it is to be regretted that people generally have
rested content with information of that sort, and have seldom attempted to
investigate those points which are, I conceive, mainly of use and
interest. What Indians may or may not do--what they may eat, what they may
drink, and what clothing they may put on--are not matters on which
inquirers should bestow much time. The information most needed, and which
has not yet, or only in the most imperfect sense, been acquired, is as to
what caste has done for good or evil. It shall be my endeavour to solve
that question; and I imagine the solution would be in a great measure
effected if I could, in the first instance, answer the following

1. How far has caste acted as a moral restraint amongst the Indians

2. How far advantageously or the reverse in segregating them socially from
the conquerors who have overrun their country?

On the first of these points I may observe, without the slightest
exaggeration, that very few of our countrymen indeed have had such
opportunities as myself of forming a correct opinion; for very few
Englishmen have been so entirely dependent on a native population for
society. For the first four or five years of my residence in
Manjarabad[31] there were only three Europeans besides myself, and we were
all about twelve miles apart. The natural consequence was that the farmers
of the country were my sole companions; and, as I joined in their sports
and had some of them always about me, terms of intimacy sprang up which
never could have existed under any other circumstances. And further, when
it is taken into consideration that I have employed the poorer of the
better castes in various capacities on my estates, and a large number of
the Pariahs, or labourer caste, it seems pretty clear that I ought to be a
tolerably competent judge as to whether caste did or did not exercise a
favourable influence on the morals of the people. Now, as regards one
department of morals, at least, I unhesitatingly affirm that it did, and
that, as regards the connection of the sexes, it would be difficult to
find in any part of the world a more moral people than the two higher
castes of Manjarabad, who form about one-half of the population, and who
may be termed the farming proprietors of the country. Amongst themselves,
indeed, it was not to be wondered at that their morality was extremely
good, as, from the fact of nearly everyone being married at the age of
puberty, and partly, perhaps, from the fact of their houses being more or
less isolated, instead of being grouped in villages, the temptations to
immorality were necessarily slight. Their temptations, though, as regards
the Pariahs, who were, when I entered Manjarabad, merely hereditary serfs,
were considerable; and there it was that the value of caste law came in.
Caste said, "You shall not touch these women;" and so strong was this law,
that I never knew of but one instance of one of the better classes
offending with a Pariah woman.[32] Some aversion of race there might, no
doubt, have been, but the police of caste and its penalties were so strong
that he would be a bold man indeed who would venture to run any risk of
detection. To give an idea of how the punishment for an offence of this
kind would operate, it may be added that, if one of the farming classes in
this country, on a case of seducing one of the lower, was fined by his
neighbours £500, and cut by society till he paid the money, he would be in
exactly the same position as a Manjarabad farmer would be who had violated
the important caste law under consideration. Here, therefore, we have a
moral police of tremendous power, and the very best proof we have of the
regularity with which it has been enforced lies in the fact that the
Pariahs and the farmers are distinguished by a form and physiognomy almost
as distinct as those existing between an Englishman and a negro. Caste,
then, as we have seen, protects the poor from the passions of the rich,
and it equally protects the upper classes themselves, and enforcedly makes
them more moral than, judging from our experience in other quarters of the
globe, they would otherwise be.

Having thus briefly glanced at caste law, as controlling the connection of
the sexes, let us now look at it from another point of view, which I
venture to think is, as regards its ultimate consequences, of even still
more importance. If there is one vice more than another which is
productive of serious crime, it is the abuse of alcohol; and there is no
doubt that, to use the words of an eminent statesman, "if we could
subtract from the ignorance, the poverty, the suffering, the sickness, and
the crime now witnessed among us, the ignorance, the poverty, the
sickness, and the crime caused by the single vice of drinking, this
country would be so changed for the better that we should hardly know it
again." Regarding it, then, in all its consequences, whether physical or
mental (and how many madmen and idiots are there not bred by
drinking?[33]), it is difficult to estimate too highly the value of caste
laws that utterly prohibit the use of those strong drinks that are
injurious in any country, but are a thousand times more so under the rays
of a tropical sun. And when we come to consider that a large proportion of
the population of India are absolutely compelled to abstain from the use
of alcohol, and that these being the very best, or at least equal to the
very best, of the community, must always have exercised a large influence
in discouraging the excessive use of intoxicating drinks, it is impossible
to refrain from coming to the conclusion that this single fact is more
than sufficient to counterbalance all the evils that have ever been said
to arise from caste.

On two very important points, then--the connection of the sexes and the
use of alcohol--it is evident that caste laws have produced some very
favourable and valuable results; but I do not think we can accurately
gauge their value unless we compare the state of morality existing in
Manjarabad with the state of morality existing in one of our home
counties; and the comparison I have to make, if not very soothing, is, I
am sure, very interesting. Take any one of our counties in Great Britain,
for instance, and compare it with Manjarabad as regards the points I have
particularly referred to, and it will be found that Manjarabad has an
immense superiority. The crimes and misery arising from drinking are
hardly to be found at all in Manjarabad, while the morality of the sexes,
I should think, could hardly be surpassed. Now, there is nothing very
surprising, considering that the people in this country are so heavily
weighted, that this should be the case; on the contrary, it is the natural
result of the circumstances of their worldly situation. But, supposing
that the worldly situation as to the means of support and the
opportunities of marrying were equal, it seems to me perfectly plain that
the people who have a large proportion of the better classes total
abstainers, and who have their society so controlled that the rich cannot
gratify their passions at the expense of the poor, must be in the
possession of a superior morality.

Before closing this branch of the subject, I may allude briefly to what
has been so often attacked by the opponents of caste: I mean the
prohibition of the marriage of widows. This rule exists in Manjarabad, but
I am not aware that any great moral evil arises from it, as a widow can
always contract to live with a man, the difference being that the
ceremonies performed are of an inferior kind. This is not allowed to be a
marriage, but, in fact, it is a marriage, though of a kind held in rather
low estimation. On customs like these, which in a great measure neutralize
the evils arising from the restrictions on re-marriage, it seems to me
that our information is very scanty, and I am not aware how far the
practice alluded to prevails in other parts of India.

Having taken into consideration the advantages of caste in acting as a
moral restraint amongst the Indians themselves, I now purpose to inquire
how far caste has acted advantageously, or the reverse, in segregating the
people socially from the conquerors who have overrun their country.

If the advantages of caste are striking and plainly apparent as regards
the moral points I have alluded to, they seem to me to be infinitely more
so when we come to consider the happy influence this institution has had
in segregating the Indians from the white races. And here I cannot help
indulging in a vain regret that the blessings of caste have not been
universally diffused amongst all inferior races. How many of these has our
boasted civilization improved off the face of the earth? How much has that
tide of civilization which the first conquerors invariably bring with them
effected? How much, in other words, have their vice, rum, and gunpowder
helped to exterminate those unhappy races which, unprotected by caste,
have come in contact with the white man? Nor in India itself are we
altogether without a well-marked instance of the value, for a time at
least, of an entire social separation between the dark and white races;
and the Todas, the lords of the soil on the Nilgiri Hills, furnish us with
a lamentable example of what the absence of caste feeling is capable of
producing. We found them a simple pastoral race, and the early visitors to
the hills were struck with their inoffensive manners, and what was falsely
considered to be their greatest advantage--freedom from caste
associations. But what is their condition now? One of drunkenness,
debauchery, and disease of the most fatal description. Had the
much-reviled caste law been theirs, what a different result would have
ensued from their contact with Europeans! Caste would have saved them
from alcohol, and their women from contamination: they would thus have
maintained their self-respect; and if, at first, separation brought no
progress nor shadow of change, it would have at least induced no evil, and
education and enlightenment would in time have modified these caste
institutions, which, to a superficial observer, seem to be productive of
nothing but evil.

We have now seen that social contact with whites, without any barrier
between them and the inferior races, is not, in a moral point of view, a
very desirable thing in any part of the world. But if there is a moral
consequence, we may also point to a mental one, which exercises an immense
influence: I mean the overwhelming sense of inferiority which is so apt to
depress casteless races. I believe, then, for savages, or for people in a
low state of civilization, it is of the greatest importance that they
should have points of difference which may not only keep them socially
apart, but which may enable them to maintain some feeling of superiority
when coming in contact with highly-civilized races. Nor is it necessary
that the feeling of superiority should be well founded. An imaginary
superiority will, I believe, answer the purpose equally well. "We don't
touch beef, nor would we touch food cooked by Englishmen or Pariahs," seem
but poor matters for self-congratulation. But if these considerations
prevent a man from forming a poor opinion of himself, they should be
carefully cherished. On these points, at least, a feeling of superiority
is sustained, and therefore the tendency to degradation is diminished. But
if on all points the white man makes his superiority felt, the weaker
people speedily acquire a thorough contempt for themselves, and soon
become careless of what they do, or of what becomes of them. Their mental
spring becomes fatally depressed, and this circumstance has probably more
to do with the deterioration and extinction of inferior races than most
people would be inclined to admit.[34] Nothing, then, I believe, chills
the soul and checks the progress of man so much as a hopeless sense of
inferiority; and, had I time, I might turn the attention of the reader to
the universality of this law, and to the numerous instances that have been
collected to prove the depressing and injurious effects that even nature,
on a grand and overwhelming scale, seems to exercise on the mind and
spirit of man--how it makes him timid, credulous, and superstitious, and
produces effects which retard his progress. But to advance further on this
point, however interesting it may be, would only tend to distract the
attention of the reader from the subject with which we are mainly

If the remarks hitherto made are of any value, they undoubtedly tend to
prove that all inferior races have a tendency, in the first instance, to
adopt the vices rather than the virtues of the more civilized races they
may come in contact with. Assuming, then, as I think we have every right
to do, that this statement is universally true, it is evident that the
social separation maintained by caste has been of incalculable advantage.
On the other hand, however, a number of disadvantages have been indicated
by various writers; but only one of them seems to me at all worthy of
serious attention. It has been asserted that this segregation has impeded
advancement, that it has prevented the Indians learning as much from us as
they otherwise might, and that it has impeded the mainspring of all
advancement--education. Here, I apprehend, the argument against caste, as
far as rural populations are concerned, utterly fails, and, in a province
contiguous to my own, a most signal instance to the contrary can be
pointed to. Few people have more proudly segregated themselves than the
Coorgs; nowhere is the chastity of women more jealously guarded; and yet
they were the first people in India who desired and petitioned for female
education. And how, then, can it be for one moment asserted that the
tendency of caste is to check the progress of the people?

Having thus glanced at some of the effects of caste institutions as they
affect the rural population, we will now consider caste as it affects the
people of the towns. Following, then, the same order, and directing our
attention to the same points selected for consideration when treating of
the rural classes, let us ask how far caste has operated with the
townspeople as regards the connection of the sexes and the use of alcohol.
And here we shall find that the subject may be dismissed in almost a
single sentence; for caste laws, as regards these points, can never act as
a moral restraint, because the possibility of enforcing them cannot and
does not exist. Nor need I waste time in proving that people in towns,
whether in India, or any other part of the world, may readily do things
which could never escape the prying eyes of a country society.

Then, as regards the segregation from foreigners, it is evident that we
need employ little time, for such of the town populations as have
maintained a fair state of morality amid the evils of large cities, are
not likely to be materially affected by the bad habits and customs of the
white races; and as for those who have never led a steady life, it would
not much matter with whom they mixed. But caste not only brings with it no
good as far as the town population is concerned, but its continuance is
fraught with a multitude of painful and vexatious evils, which meet us at
every turn, for it hampers the actions, and clogs those efforts at
progress which are the natural result of intellectual advancement. And
here I cannot do better than quote the words of a Parsee gentleman, whose
unceasing efforts to aid the progress of India entitle him to be placed
in the very highest rank of those who spend much time and labour to
produce effects which they can never live to see the fruits of. These
remarks of his, which I am now about to quote, were made at the close of a
paper on caste, which I read at a meeting of the East India Association,
and are quoted from the report published in the journal of the
Association. After fully granting that, in the condition of society
existing at the time the system of caste was established, it may have done
a great deal of good, Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji proceeded to remark on the way
the present system of caste interferes with progress among the higher
classes, and then gave several instances to illustrate his observation.
"The great struggle," he said, "which is now going on in Bombay about the
widow-marriage question is an apt illustration of this; and, also, the
fear of excommunication prevents a large body of natives from coming to
this country, and profiting by their visit. It is often said, 'educated
Hindoos ought not to care for this excommunication;' but those who say
that, little think what excommunication means. A man who is excommunicated
may not care for it for his own sake, but he has his family to consider.
What is to be done with daughters? They cannot marry if their father is
excommunicated, and the result is, therefore, most serious to them. I knew
of one instance of a native gentleman who, being excommunicated from his
caste for having visited England, had, on the death of his child, been put
to the very painful necessity of having the body carried by his servant,
without anyone accompanying him."

It would be impossible, I think, to furnish two better instances of the
evils of caste to people desirous of shaking off in any way the habits of
their forefathers; and a more melancholy picture than that of this
unfortunate man setting out with his dead child without a single friend
to accompany him it would indeed be difficult to find. Many other
illustrations might, of course, be given; but enough has been said
already, and we may safely consider it as a settled question that, as far
as the people of the towns are concerned, the sooner caste is abolished
the better.

I may here be permitted to remind the reader that we have considered the
effects of caste, as regards the country population, in two very important
particulars: first of all, as to the morality of the sexes, which is
controlled to such a large extent by caste law; and secondly, we have
looted at the effects of caste as controlling the use of alcohol, and
consequently limiting the crimes and evils that can in most countries be
traced to drinking. On both of these points we have compared an Indian
county with any county in Great Britain, and saw reason to think that
morality, as regards the points under consideration, is better in
Manjarabad than in any British county. And, by facts which may be brought
from many quarters of the globe, we have seen that it is a universal law
that inferior races have a tendency to adopt the vices rather than the
virtues of superior races, and that, therefore, caste laws which enjoin
social separation are of the highest value. We have seen, too, the value
of caste in keeping up feelings of superiority and self-respect. We have
also seen that these caste laws can exist without retarding the progress
of the people, or their desire for education. And, finally, taking all
these points into consideration, we concluded that there were no
drawbacks, and many striking advantages, connected with caste as far as
the country populations are concerned.

In the next place, we looked at the circumstances of the people of the
towns, inquired as to how caste has affected them for good or evil, and
came to the conclusion that not only does no good arise from caste, but
that it is plainly and unmistakably an unmitigated evil.

Keeping these conclusions firmly in mind, let us now advance to the
consideration of a third question, which naturally arises out of those
facts which I assume to have been established.

That question is--How far has caste acted beneficially, or the reverse, in
helping to retard our interpretation of Christianity? Pursuing the same
order as before, let us ask, in the first place, whether caste has, as
regards the country populations, acted beneficially in this as well as in
the other points we have looked at. But, before attempting to answer this
question, it may be as well to offer a few general remarks which tend to
show that, independently of any question of caste, it is hopeless to
expect that any ignorant and generally unenlightened race can possibly
derive any benefit from adopting the formulas and dogmas of a pure faith.

To illustrate this old and well-established truth, let us point to four of
the many instances which may be adduced as decisively confirming it--the
history of Christianity in Europe, of Islam amongst the Indian Mahomedans,
and the history of Christianity in Abyssinia and India. As to the first,
to use the words of Buckle, "after the new religion had received the
homage of the best part of Europe, it was found that nothing had really
been effected." Superstition was merely turned from one channel into
another. The adoration of idols was succeeded by the adoration of saints,
and for centuries after Christianity had become the established religion
it entirely failed to produce its natural fruits, because ignorance
imperatively demanded superstition in some shape or other. To some it may
seem, at first sight, a curious circumstance that the same remarks may be
applied to the history of Mahomedanism in India. The idols were broken and
the one God declared. But how long was it before the people, like the
Israelites of old, fell away from the grand central doctrine of
Mahomedanism--the unity of God? How long was it before the adoration of
idols was followed by the adoration of saints? The exact coincidence,
however, is no more striking than that given causes produce fixed results
with an Eastern as well as with a Western people. When we turn, thirdly,
to Abyssinia, what do we find? How have the dogmas of Christianity fared
there? The Abyssinians did not rise to the level of the dogmas and
principles of Christianity--that we all know. They simply reduced it to
their own level. Look, lastly, at our native Christians in India. I
believe it is quite certain that, in the general opinion of Englishmen,
they are, to say the least, very far from being the best class in India;
in fact, I do not think it too much to say that most Europeans hold them
to be about the worst class of people in India. I confess that I do not
share this opinion altogether. The fact probably is that, in consequence
of their extreme ignorance and generally debased state, they are, in the
rural districts, neither better nor worse than the classes from which they
are principally drawn. In our cantonments, however, and especially in
those where European soldiery abounds, there is every probability of their
being worse than the classes from which they have sprung; and I have
little doubt that the low estimation in which the native Christians are
held is owing to the fact that our countrymen have generally come in
contact with the specimens that have been nurtured amidst the scum of our
Indian towns. Were we to believe the assertions of our English
missionaries, very different conclusions would, of course, be arrived at;
but unless they can show that the lowest and most ignorant classes of
natives, who from their habits, and from having nothing to lose, are under
great temptations, form an exception to all specimens of humanity in other
quarters of the globe, I am afraid there can be little reason to doubt
that the opinions I have expressed are fairly correct. I doubt very much,
in fact, from my intimate knowledge of the lower classes of natives--and
it is from these, as I said before, that our converts are mainly
derived--whether they are capable of comprehending our religion at all. Of
one thing I think we may be quite certain, and that is, that the moment
the missionary's back is turned, these people return to their devils in
the event of any danger or sickness arising. This might be arrived at
deductively with perfect accuracy, and arguing solely from our knowledge
of humanity under certain conditions; but I may mention that in Ceylon
instances of people reverting to their devil-worship are common amongst
the native Christians, and instances might, no doubt, be soon collected in
India, if anyone thought it worth the trouble. While alluding to
missionary assertions, I may mention that the credulity of these gentlemen
seems only to be equalled by the credulity of the British public. If they
would only extend their belief in the goodness of natives a little
further, one might be tempted to sympathize with this amiable weakness.
But the peculiar part of their statements lies in the fact that their
converts have got all the virtue and morality in India, while the
respectable classes of the community seem, by their account, to be very
badly off in these respects. The most curious instance, however, of
missionary credulity that I have met with is to be found in the evidence
of Mr. Underhill, given before the Committee on Colonization (India) in
1859. And it certainly is a surprising result of conversion to find that
the wives of the converts become not only more beautiful, but also more
fertile, than their heathen sisters. Two heathen natives had been heard to
testify to these facts, and it is wonderful to observe the complacent air
of satisfaction with which these statements are accepted by the witness,
who added that this difference evidently arises from the more chaste and
regular modes of life in which they fall.[35]

I have said that the native Christians are probably neither better nor
worse than the lower classes from which they are drawn, and the painfully
truthful remarks given in the note below[36] seem to show that, whatever
may be the case now (and I believe that the low-class converts are
somewhat better than they were then), the converts to Christianity must
have been originally a very indifferent set of people. Christianity,
however, if it did not make these classes much better, at any rate made
them no worse. When we turn, however, to the middle-class farmers, it is
evident that to have converted them, unless that conversion had been
preceded by enlightenment, and a more advanced civilization than they had
hitherto enjoyed, would have inflicted on them an incalculable injury, by
depriving them of restraints which, as we have seen, are in some
particulars of immense importance. To become a Christian, the first thing
required of a man is that he should give up caste, and deliver himself to
the sole guidance of his conscience; that he should give up a powerful and
effective moral restraint; that he should abandon a position which carries
with it feelings of self-respect and superiority, and resign himself to
the degrading reflection that he may eat from the same platter and drink
from the same vessel as the filthiest Pariah; and that this would be
degrading there can be little doubt. Were he an educated and enlightened
man, he would be sustained by feelings which would raise him above the
influence of such considerations. But, in the absence of enlightenment,
sad would be his fate, and melancholy the deterioration that would
inevitably ensue. The way in which that deterioration would take place,
the way in which he would become careless of what he did, or of what
became of him, has been sufficiently indicated in the previous pages of
this chapter; and to give in detail the principal reasons against a change
of faith which involved the abolition of caste, would only be to repeat
what I have already said as to the effect of the institution in
controlling the morality of the sexes and the use of alcohol. Not only,
then, I repeat, would a change of dogma be as unimproving and superficial
as changes of that sort always are with unenlightened people, but a number
of positive evils would follow from the necessary abandonment of the
restrictions of caste; and we may therefore conclude that, as regards the
whole population, the effect of caste in helping to prevent the adoption
of our interpretation of Christianity is of incalculable advantage.

When we turn to the town populations the case is widely different. We have
seen that for them the practical advantages of caste can hardly be said to
exist at all, and therefore a change of religion which involved its
abolition would, as regards any part of the society, at least produce no
evil. Here, at least, we are on safe ground. But this is not all. We see
that with the better classes education and enlightenment have borne their
natural fruit, and demanded a pure faith, which has already sprung up in
the shape of Deism. Enlightenment, then, will produce a pure faith, which
will in time react on society, and push it forward with accelerated speed.
Now, it cannot be denied that caste laws do retard the free and unfettered
adoption of a pure faith; and if we assume that a pure faith will in turn
become a cause, or even an accelerator, of progress, then it is certain
that, as regards the peoples of the towns, caste, as retarding the
adoption of the most advanced principles of religion, is an undoubted

We have now looked at the bearings of caste on three very important
points--its moral bearing amongst the Indians themselves, its effects in
maintaining a social separation between the white and dark races, and its
effects in retarding the adoption of a religion which involves the entire
abolition of caste laws. In the first place, we looked at the effects of
caste laws on the rural populations, and came to the conclusion that on
all these points caste has operated, and continues to operate,
advantageously. In the second place, we looked at its effects on the
peoples of the towns, and came to the conclusion that caste confers on
them no advantages, while it is often productive of serious evil.

Let us now glance for one moment at the causes of the general outcry which
you everywhere hear against caste institutions, and at the same time
suggest the line of conduct that the people of the towns ought to adopt
with reference to this question.

And here I need not occupy much space in indicating the causes of that
abuse of caste which has always been so popular with my countrymen. In
fact, if we admit the truth of the facts and arguments hitherto adduced,
these causes are so apparent that the reader must have already anticipated
the solution I have to give. Caste, as we have seen, is a serious evil to
the peoples of the towns. Now, it is amongst towns and cantonments that
our principal experiences of this institution have been acquired, and the
educated natives of the Indian capitals, feeling all the evils and
experiencing none of the advantages of caste, are naturally loud in its
condemnation. Hence the cry arising from all Europeans and a trifling
section of the Indians, that caste should be abolished from one end of
India to the other. But how is it that no response comes from these
country populations amongst whom I have lived? How is it that these
shrewd-headed people[37] are so insensible to the evils of caste, and that
you never hear one word about it? The answer is extremely simple. They
have never felt these evils, because for them they do not exist. If they
felt the pressure of caste laws as do the people of the towns, the outcry
would be universal, and the institution speedily done away with. Need I
add that when the people of the country are as advanced as the people of
the towns, that then, and not till then, will the pressure, which is now
confined to the latter, be universally felt; that then, and not till then,
will this institution, being no longer suited to the requirements of the
age, be universally discarded.

Let us now say a few words as to the line of conduct that should be
adopted, as regards caste, by those who are desirous of freeing themselves
from the restrictions of that institution.

In the first place, the opponents of caste should not weaken their case by
talking nonsense; and, in the second place, they should remember, above
all things, that, to use a common saying, "if you want a pig to go to
Dublin, the best thing you can do is to start him off on the way to Cork."
I shall now enlarge a little on both of these recommendations.

To illustrate my first suggestion--and to this suggestion I shall again
have occasion to allude further on in this chapter--a few sentences may be
devoted to glancing at some of those remarkable conclusions which sound so
well in the observations one often hears when anything is said about
India. The tendency of caste, you will hear it gravely urged, is to
elevate the upper classes on the highest possible pinnacle, and keep the
Pariah grovelling in the dust. "What," continues the speaker, "keeps the
Brahmin at the top and the Pariah at the bottom?" Why, let me ask in turn,
is a cow's tail long, and a fox's tail bushy? Is it in this nineteenth
century that we are to try and din into people's ears that the upper
classes in India were at the top of the social scale, and the Pariah at
the bottom, centuries before caste, in its present shape, ever existed,
and that the relative position of the two races would continue with little
change if caste was to be abolished to-morrow morning? "What," gravely
asks another, "has prevented the peoples of India uniting into one grand
nation, and destroyed all hopes of political fusion?" Nor, to many, would
the absurdity of the question be apparent till you asked them what has
prevented all Europe becoming one nation; or, to take things on a smaller
scale, till you asked what prevented the Highland clans forming themselves
into a nation. In short, whenever a man is in difficulty, and at a loss to
account for anything connected with the state of the people of India, he
takes refuge in caste, combined, perhaps, with what is called native
prejudice, though what that last means I do not pretend to explain. Now,
it is not improbable that some of my readers may have heard of Holloway's
pills, and we know, in fact, that thousands believe that medicine to be an
efficacious remedy for every constitutional ailment. Only swallow
Holloway, and you are a cured man. Well, the abolition of caste, with an
incredible number of people, is, in like manner, confidently pronounced to
be a universal remedy for all the political and social complaints of
India. Remove that, and you will at one stroke secure social liberty,
national unity, the removal of idolatry, and, some even are rash enough to
affirm, the universal adoption of Christianity. Such, then, are a few
examples of the nonsense you will hear commonly talked about caste, and I
think I need not waste time in pointing out that the opponents of caste
must take very different ground if they wish to obtain a hearing from the
peoples of India.

In the second point to which I have called the attention of the reader I
alluded to the general law of opposition, and used a common saying which
exactly illustrates the probable result of violent and ill-judged attacks
on caste. In fact, so apparent is this, that the reader must have already
anticipated the line that, in my opinion, the opponents of caste should
follow. What the opponents of caste should preach is, not the abolition
of that institution, but toleration for the educated and advanced members
of the community who, finding caste an impediment and a burden, wish to
discard it. They should admit that this institution has been, and is at
the present moment, of value amongst the rural populations, but they
should, at the same time, point out that times are changing, and that the
peoples of the towns ask for some toleration, not because caste is
necessarily a universal evil in itself, but because it is, as far as they
are concerned, highly inconvenient. This is the way--and, if this plan
does not answer, I feel sure no other will--that the evils of caste are to
be mitigated, and I urge these views accordingly on the serious attention
of all enlightened Indians.

The reader will have observed that, when pointing out the advantages of
caste in repelling our interpretation of Christianity, I have assumed that
the adoption of Christianity necessarily involves the entire abolition of
all those social distinctions that make up what we call caste. Such have
been the terms on which Christianity has been offered to the peoples of
India by our English missionaries; and I, for one, do most sincerely
rejoice that their hide-bound interpretation of the Protestant faith has
been as promptly as it has been decidedly rejected. But why should
caste--which, as I have shown, can be proved to have produced such
favourable results as regards drinking, and as regards the morality of the
sexes--why should this institution, which in these respects can be proved
to have produced better results than Christianity has over done in Great
Britain--why should this be swept away because you wish to introduce the
religion of Christ? It has been alleged to be entirely incompatible with
Christianity; and were this so, there would, of course, be no more to be
said. But this I wholly deny. It is, of course, incompatible in some
respects with exalted conceptions of the most advanced Christianity; but
there is no reason why Christianity should not be allowed to exist
alongside of abnormal social growths, and why, in short, Christianity
should not be stretched to tolerate caste, in the same way that it was
allowed by the apostles to exist alongside of evils with which the
institution of caste cannot, for iniquity or for general ill effects, be
for one moment compared. Christianity was not held by the apostles to be
an impossibility because the professors of that faith bought and sold
slaves; it was not held so by their descendants for hundreds of years; and
will those interpreters of Christianity whom we have sent to India venture
to assert that the Americans had no right to the name of Christians until
the close of the late war? Slavery was driven out at length, or at least
in a great measure driven out, by Christianity; but Christianity,
remember, had first of all to be introduced; and taking into consideration
the acts of the apostles, the way in which they yielded to the customs and
prejudices of their converts, and the resolution they came to "not to
trouble those of the Gentiles who were turning to God," on what grounds do
our missionaries rest their claim to debar from the advantages of
Christianity those people who, wishing to retain their place in society,
desire to become Christians? This is not the first time that these
questions have been asked. They were asked at great length by Mr. Irving
in his "Theory and Practice of Caste." Hitherto they have been asked in
vain; and owing to the indifference of people in this country, and to the
slavish submission of the laity to the opinion of the missionaries, a
system of attempting to propagate Christianity has been allowed to exist
which has been of incalculable mischief. But I think we may even go
further than this. I think it may be asserted that the line taken up, as
regards caste, by our missionaries has acted more prejudicially to the
interests of Christianity than if we had deliberately dispatched
emissaries to India with the view of preventing the people from adopting
the religion of Christ. These may seem harsh, and I have no doubt they
will prove to be unwelcome, expressions of opinion. They will hurt, and I
am afraid will shock, the feelings of many a good and worthy man. I regret
that this should be so, but I cannot help it. In any case good must arise.
If I am right, as I firmly believe myself to be, the cause of
enlightenment and Christianity will be advanced; and if I am wrong, and it
can be proved that the missionaries are right, they will have as great,
and it may even be a greater claim to public support than they ever had
before. But it must be clearly understood that, as an individual desirous
of propagating truth, I have a right to demand an answer. If that answer
is satisfactory, well and good. If it is not satisfactory, or if no answer
be supplied at all, I would then propose to ask the public here to
consider whether it would not be better to withhold all their
subscriptions from our English, or at least transfer them to such missions
as will consent to attempt to propagate Christianity on the widest
possible base.

In considering this important subject I shall, in the first place, glance
at Bishop Heber's "Letter on Caste;" Bishop Wilson's "Circular;" the
"Report" of the Madras Commissioners; and the "Statement" of the Tanjore
German missionaries. This may seem a formidable list of documents to
commence with, but it is my intention to make only the most cursory
allusion to each, as to consider these papers at any length would occupy
far too much space. Having thus stated the difference of opinions, as
regards caste, between the Germans and the Protestant missionaries, I
shall then proceed to inquire whether caste can or can not be traced to an
idolatrous source; whether it was in any way necessarily wound up with
religion; and whether, further, it is at all necessary that, supposing it
to have been at any time wound up with religion, there should therefore
be at the present day any necessary connection between the religions of
the peoples and their caste customs.

In Bishop Heber's "Letter" of March 21st, 1826, he says that, "with regard
to the distinctions of caste as yet maintained by professing Christians,
it appears that they are manifested--(a) in desiring separate seats at
church; (b) in going up at different times to receive the Holy
Communion; (c) in insisting on their children having different sides of
the school; (d) in refusing to eat, drink, or associate with those of a
different caste."

On the first of these points the bishop observes, with great justice, that
points of precedence have constantly been granted in Christian churches to
people of noble birth and of great fortune, and that in the United States
of America these distinctions were always maintained between the whites
and the negroes. He also points out that a Christian gentleman conforms to
those rules because, if he neglected them, he would lose influence with
his own degree in society, and that a native of the better classes acts
exactly on the same principle. And on this point he concludes that
distinctions of caste in church may still be allowed, provided that due
care is taken to teach the natives that in the sight of God they are all

With reference to the second point the good bishop says nothing, because,
I surmise, he concluded the going up at different times to receive the
Sacrament was included in his remarks on precedence in church.

As regards the schools, and amongst the children, he observes that caste
must, as to taking places, etc., not be taken into account, "but," he
adds, "even here caution should be observed to disgust no man needlessly."

As to the fourth point, he was decidedly of opinion that, as regards
private meals and social intercourse, we had no right to interfere

After alluding to the objections raised by some zealous missionaries to
the processions in marriages and other matters, he intimates pretty
plainly that he has some fears that recent missionaries have been more
scrupulous in these matters than need requires. He then concludes by
saying that "God forbid we should wink at sin; but God forbid, also, that
we should make the narrow gate of life narrower than Christ has made it,
or deal less favourably with the prejudices of this people than St. Paul
and the primitive church dealt with the almost similar prejudices of the
Jewish converts."

The bishop then framed a set of questions as regards caste observances, to
which he required particular answers; but, in consequence of his untimely
death, and of the short tenure of office held by his successors, Bishops
James and Turner, no further official action was taken till the middle of
1833, when Bishop Wilson's "Circular"[38] dealt the most fatal blow to
Christianity that it has ever received in India. For this "Circular"
imperatively declared that the distinction of castes, as regards all the
relations of life, must be abandoned, "decidedly, immediately, and
finally." And in order that this mandate might be intensely galling to the
upper class vegetarian Christian, it was especially ordered that
"differences of food and dress" were to be included in those overt acts
which were to mark out for condemnation the Christian who still clung to
the habits of his fathers in these innocent and, as regards food,
healthful restrictions. To cling to these differences of food and dress,
and to abstain from alcohol, was to cling to caste; and it was especially
ordered that the children of native Christians should not be admitted to
the Holy Communion without a full renunciation of all those social
differences which might distinguish them from other members of the society
in which they lived. This was quite sufficient. "The 'Circular' was read
in the churches of Tanjore. It was received by the native Christians with
great displeasure, and they showed their views by seceding in a body."

Turning now to the Report of the Madras Commissioners, which was written
in 1845, we shall at once see the cause and root of this violent attack on
social usages. For the Commissioners commence their Report by stating that
the institution of caste and the divisions of society were things of
priestly invention, and that, in fact, the whole of Hindoo society, as we
at present see it, originated in, and is maintained by, Hindoo idolatry.
And they further allege that the tyranny of this institution is such as to
be perfectly unaccountable on any other supposition. How any body of
priests had the power to issue and enforce mandates regarding the
extraordinary diversities as to food and dress that we see prevailing
throughout India, where the council sat that issued these decrees, and
where the members of this council came from, they give no account. They do
not seem to have even thought of such questions, and, for evidence of
these astounding assertions, they refer us to what they call "the laws of
Manu,"[39] and to Halhed's "Gentoo Hindoo Code." Caste and idolatry,
then, according to them, are not only inextricably wound up together, but
caste itself was caused by, and is a part of, idolatry; and we are,
therefore, plainly told that it is impossible that a man should abandon
the one without abandoning the other, and that, in other words, the two
institutions must stand or fall together. Leaving this part of these
assertions to be commented on further on, I now pass on to the statement
and arguments of the Tanjore German missionaries.

Shortly after Bishop Heber's "Letter," which I have referred to at the
commencement of these remarks, he drew up a number of questions regarding
caste practices amongst native Christians, to which he required special
answers. These "Articles of Inquiry," as they are termed, were sent to the
Tanjore missionaries, and by them a statement in reply was furnished. They
were asked for their opinion in 1828, and though no date is affixed to
these statements, I conclude that they probably replied towards the close
of that year.

They commence by observing that the distinctions of caste had been
observed since the establishment of the mission by the Rev. Mr. Schwartz,
soon after the year 1762, and that he himself had been guided, partly by
his own discretion, and partly by the example of the clergy of the
Tranquebar Mission, which was started in the year 1705, by those good and
amiable men of whom I have given some account in another part of this
work. These successors of Schwartz, then, observed that they had
persistently imitated the conduct of that able and good man; but that,
while they took care to imitate his caution, and forbearance, they seized
every opportunity of softening the mutual prejudices arising from
distinctions of caste; and they also observe that, in consequence, those
distinctions of caste have gradually lost a great deal of their

Alluding, in the next place, to the assertion that castes had been
invented and entirely originated by the Brahmins, the authors of the
statement observe that, in the opinion of the most intelligent natives who
were not of the Brahminical order, the social distinctions which
constitute caste existed long before the Brahmins came into the country at
all; and they assert, further, that though the Brahmin priests blended
those social distinctions with their idolatry, and framed a convenient
legend to account for their divine institution, the whole thing was a mere
fiction, which had been invented with the view of adding to the power of
an ambitious priesthood. But the missionaries of Tanjore asserted,
further, that even if the legend of caste was a true one, and that caste
had been a part of idolatry, still those who abandoned the worshipping of
idols and superstitious rites were not therefore to be required to abandon
such practices as had nothing of idolatry about them at all, and they
distinctly declared that no rites of an idolatrous or even mixed nature
were tolerated amongst their converts.

The missionaries then pointed out that their high-caste converts simply
retained these privileges and social customs because they would lose the
respect of their neighbours if they abandoned those marks of station which
they had inherited, and which they looked upon entirely as a civil
prerogative. It was also pointed out that high-caste priests gained ready
access to the houses of the better classes, and had, therefore, bettor
chances of spreading Christianity than Pariah priests, whom no good-caste
native would allow to cross the threshold of his house.

At church those of the upper classes sat on one side, and those of the
lower on the other, and the higher and lower castes went up at different
times to the communion-table.

In the schools no difficulty was experienced, and high and low caste
children sat quite indiscriminately.

As regards social intercourse, they observe that none of their converts
have any objection to partake of food prepared by another caste, as long
as that caste is of superior rank to them, but that no one would touch
food prepared by a man of lower caste than himself. The distinction of
caste was also preserved as regards marriages, though these, of course,
were always solemnized in the church.

Finally, these good and sensible men regret the tendencies of caste, but
seem to consider that more good was to be done by letting it alone, and,
in short, letting it die a natural death, than by forcibly opposing the
prejudices of the people. And they very justly observe, that to oblige a
man of high caste to eat with the lowest is doing force to common delicacy
and to natural feelings of sense, and may be sometimes of serious
consequence to bodily health.

I may here mention that about thirty-five years ago, Dr. Graul, the head
of the Leipsic Missionary Society, visited India, remained there three
years at the various missionary stations, and was firmly convinced that to
interfere with the social customs of the native Christians would be at
once unjust and impolitic. As regards the exact action of the Roman
Catholics at present, I have no information to lay before the reader, but
I know that they always had the wisdom to interfere as little as possible
with the prejudices of the people, as long as they did not involve
idolatrous rites.

Having thus laid before the reader an outline of the views of the
supporters and opponents of caste, I shall now offer the conclusions I
have arrived at, partly from my own observations and partly from the
writings of others. I shall

1. Inquire into the origin of caste.

2. I shall inquire into the sanitary uses of caste, more especially as it
concerns the approaching the communion-table promiscuously, as to the
sitting together in church or other places, and as to its effects as
regards general social intercourse.

3. I shall inquire whether there are not some compensating advantages, as
regards caste institutions, which tend in a great measure to neutralize
the prejudicial effects that arise from people's sympathies and feelings
being confined to the members of their own caste, instead of being evenly
distributed over the human race, considered as a whole.

And, first of all, as to the origin of caste--a point which seems to have
been thought of no little importance by our caste-condemning missionaries.
I confess that I, for my part, do not attach much importance to this
question of the origin of caste, and think it of far more importance to
ascertain its present bearing and effect. But, as many have raised the
question, and asserted that caste had an idolatrous origin, and was the
invention of an idolatrous priesthood, it may be worth while to gather
together such facts as we can lay our hands on regarding this somewhat
obscure subject. And it seems to me that the first thing we have to do is
to clear away the rubbish which has been piled upon it in common with
most Indian institutions--to ask what is evidence, and what is not. Our
missionaries have asserted that caste can be clearly traced to an
idolatrous origin, and that the institution is entirely unaccountable on
any other supposition, and they pointed to the Code of Manu in proof of
that assertion. But, on referring to Mrs. Manning's valuable work on
"Ancient and Mediæval India," we can find no evidence that caste
originated in any special way whatever. And we are told, on the authority
of Mr. Muir, that the sacred books of the Hindoos contain no uniform or
consistent account of the origin of caste, and that the freest scope is
given by the individual writers to fanciful and arbitrary conjecture. The
story that the castes issued from the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of
Brahma was simply an allegory, which, in the course of time, hardened into
a literal statement of fact. The Brahmins, of course, came out of the
mouth of Brahma; and, considering that they were the authors and compilers
of all the principal books relating to castes and customs, it would have
been extremely odd if they had not exalted their own order, and indulged
in a tone of Oriental exaggeration which was eminently calculated to
deceive, not perhaps, their successors, but the Englishmen who went to
India. But the most curious thing is, that it never seems to have occurred
to our missionaries to suspect that what they took as evidence of facts,
and of a state of things really existing, was, in reality, only evidence
of what an order or set of people could write, with the view of exalting
themselves, and depressing the rest of the society amongst which they
lived. The Brahmins chose to assert that the castes were of divine origin.
They wrote that down and handed it on. We came to India, and finding these
statements ready to hand, have simply swallowed them down, and added them
to the number of illusions existing as regards India. But the facts really
are, that castes and orders of men sprang up, we don't exactly know how.
Brahmin writers described the castes, or at least part of them, and, in
the course of time, the writings were said to have caused the castes,
instead of the castes having caused the writings.

But whatever may be the facts as regards caste, we know that caste can
exist without idolatry, and idolatry without caste; and that though the
Brahmins, with their usual desire to incorporate everything in life with
religion, gathered caste into their garners, and endeavoured to increase
and extend it, still there is fair evidence for asserting that these two
institutions have no necessary connection, and that, as it was perfectly
possible to wind them up together, so it is perfectly possible to unwind
them and produce again an entire separation. In a word, it is perfectly
possible for a man to retain caste, not as believing it to be part of his
native idolatrous religion, but as believing it to be (what it really was
till the Brahmins seized hold of it and attached it to their faith) a
civil institution which had sprung up in remote times, and had been
inherited by him, just as rank and station are inherited in this
country.[40] And that caste can exist without religion, and alongside of a
religion as opposite to Brahminism as Christianity is, we have the most
indisputable evidence supplied by the late Sir Emerson Tennent, in his
"History of Christianity in Ceylon."

"Caste," he wrote, "as it exists at the present day amongst the Buddhists
of Ceylon, is purely a social distinction, and entirely disconnected with
any sanction or pretensions derivable from their system of religion. Nor
is evidence wanting that, even at a comparatively modern period, such was
equally its aspect amongst the natives throughout the continent of India,
by whom caste was held not as a sacred, but as a secular discrimination of
ranks. The earliest notice of India by the Greek historians and
geographers enumerates the division of the people into Brahmins,
Kistrayas, Vaisyas, and Sûdras; but this was a classification which
applied equally to the followers of Buddha" (who preached that, in the
sight of God, all men were equal) "and of Brahma, nor were the members of
either section held ineligible for the offices of the priesthood." And, in
the note below, the reader will find additional evidence which will show
him that caste in Ceylon, just as it originally was in India, can and does
exist merely as a division of ranks, and that it need not at all be
necessarily connected with any idolatrous rites or worship.[41]

Having thus shown how caste did not originate, it may, perhaps, not be
altogether superfluous if I hazard a few remarks as to the way in which it
did probably originate.

The common idea of caste is that it is simply a combination of troublesome
and fanciful restrictions, imposed upon the various peoples of India by
those of the upper classes who desired to keep themselves above the
jostling of the crowd. But this institution (if that be a correct term for
it) arose naturally and regularly out of the circumstances of the times,
and where these circumstances no longer exist, it will as naturally
disappear; and that the last must happen we have seen from, the fact that
altered circumstances have already caused the commencement of its removal
amongst the people of the towns. But the general circumstances which gave
birth to caste require a few words of explanation, and the following
solution seems not an unnatural one.

We know, as a certain fact, that peoples to whom we have given the names
of Dravidians and Aryans entered India from the north and north-west;
that they increased and multiplied, overspread the whole of India, and
reduced the aborigines to serfdom. We also know that these tribes from the
north, who were, comparatively speaking, fair, very naturally regarded the
black, ugly, carrion-eating aborigines with disgust. Hence, naturally,
must have arisen the opinions as regards Pariahs which all the superior
castes hold to this day. Even to have food touched by people of such
abominable habits must have been repulsive, and therefore the separation
into men of caste and men of no caste, or, in other words, into browns and
blacks (for the word for caste means colour), followed as a matter of
course. Caste, then, seems naturally to have arisen from the idea that to
associate in any way with people of bad habits and grovelling ideas is an
intolerable degradation. The superior races, therefore must have
considered it a matter of importance to retreat as far as possible from
the habits of the aborigines; and when we take into consideration the
influence of religion, the natural ambition of the priestly classes, the
splitting up into sects, and the fondness of the Hindoo mind for subtle
distinctions, the rest easily follows. But, though numerous castes arose
amongst the invaders, the main line of demarcation, is still the original
one of race--between the races of the north and the aborigines whom they
found in possession of India. The base, then, of caste, we may rest
assured, was simply the result of a people, or rather of peoples, wishing
to keep themselves uncontaminated when coming in contact with a debased

This was exactly the case with the Jews. They were simply a very strongly
guarded caste, with a number of regulations as to what they were and were
not to eat, and with rules which prohibited them intermarrying or
associating with peoples with whom they came in contact. Many of those
rules may seem to us ridiculous and fanciful, but they were calculated to
prevent the Jews from any chance of adopting the manners and customs of
the peoples around them; and the Indians, having had similar views,
naturally adopted similar means. Such then is a brief generalization of
the causes which led to caste laws, which were, no doubt, carried in some
instances to a ridiculous length, but which were founded in common sense,
and were admirably adapted to carry into effect the opinions of the
superior races.

We have now, in the second place, to consider caste with reference to the
approach of native converts to the Lord's table, the sitting apart of the
various castes in church, and the effects of caste as regards what is
called social intercourse.

The whole difficulty of the caste question, as regards the Sacrament, lies
in this, namely, that a high-caste vegetarian objects to drink wine at the
same time and after a low-caste meat-eater. And here I find a great
difficulty in finding words or illustrations that will at all convey the
feelings of a high-caste vegetarian at the very idea of drinking after a
low-caste carrion-eater. If from the lowest, filthiest, and most poisonous
dens in London, you were to take a man, reeking with beer and tobacco, and
with his clothes crawling with vermin, and presenting, in short, every
appearance of foulness, dirt, and disease; if you were to take that man
and place him between two ladies at the administration of the Holy
Communion, I do not say that they would there and then refuse the
Sacrament on these terms, but I think we may be pretty sure that, from
sanitary motives, if from no others, they would in future take the
Sacrament in a place where they would not be liable to such contact. Their
feelings and senses would be shocked by such contact as I have imagined,
but their sensations would merely bear the same proportion to the
sensations of a high-caste vegetarian Hindoo who had to drink after a
Pariah that a trifling cause of disgust would bear to the most intolerable
and lasting degradation. Now, to people in this country, this may seem an
extraordinary thing; but they will think it less extraordinary when I tell
them that, if I could not take the Sacrament unless amongst Pariahs, I
would never take it again, unless perhaps, I were to put myself bodily
into one of Professor Tyndall's cotton-gauze air-cleansers, and drink the
sacramental wine after it had been boiled at a temperature of 212 degrees,
and passed through a filter. And when I talk of the lowest castes as
carrion-eaters, I must tell the reader that I am not in the slightest
degree guilty of exaggeration, and that they are carrion-eaters in exactly
the same sense that vultures are carrion-eaters. In fact, these men never
get any meat unless that of animals that have died of disease; and as in
these climates decomposition is extremely rapid, the reader can imagine
the result of coming in contact with a man who has, perhaps, a few hours
before been eating a mass of diseased and half decomposed meat. And in
case the reader should not be able to imagine what the result is, I may
mention the following circumstance. A few days after I had killed a bison
I had occasion to point out some pieces of sawn wood which I wished to be
removed from the jungle to my house, and I accordingly took with me a
native overseer, and two coolies to carry the timber. When I was pointing
out the pieces to them, I smelt a strong smell of putrid meat, which
seemed to fill the air so entirely that I at once concluded that a tiger
must have killed some animal and left the carcase near the spot. My
overseer and myself looked about everywhere, but at last happening to pass
the coolies, I at once perceived that the smell arose from their breath,
and on questioning them, I found that before coming to work they had been
feasting on decayed bison flesh. In fact, after killing a bison, we could
never go near our coolies for some days afterwards. But to see a party of
these men sitting like vultures around the carcase of some animal that has
just died of some abominable disease is quite enough to inspire even an
unprejudiced European meat-eater-with the most wholesome horror; and the
reader need not, I think, be surprised at the feelings of disgust which
these men's habits inspire amongst the respectable classes of the
community. But independently of all feelings of disgust, there are
sanitary considerations which are of infinitely more importance, for it so
happens that, at a time when the weather is hottest and the season most
unhealthy, a larger number of animals die; and I have very little doubt
that this eating of rotten meat causes amongst the Pariahs a large
quantity of disease, and especially of cholera, which they would not fail
to disseminate with fatal certainty amongst all classes, were the native
Christians compelled to take the Sacrament indiscriminately. And, in my
own experience, I have observed that cholera has passed through districts,
that the upper classes have been free from it, but that amongst the lower
the victims were many. And the same sanitary reasons that apply to the
Sacrament apply equally well to the mixing of castes indiscriminately in
the churches; for it might so happen, as it frequently does, that fever
and cholera may be prevalent amongst the lower castes, while the higher
may be at that time comparatively free from such diseases. So that, when
we take all these points into consideration, we shall find that the German
missionaries were perfectly right in placing the men of the higher caste
on one side of the church, and those of the lower on the other, and that
they were equally right in allowing the higher castes to approach the
Sacrament at a different time from the lower. I may here remark that I
once mentioned this taking of the Sacrament in a sort of order of
precedence to a clergyman in a country parish, when he told me that
exactly the same sort of thing occurred in his parish, and that the lord
of the manor invariably took the Sacrament first, and, if I recollect
rightly, the parish clerk last; and a special instance of this in a Scotch
parish was mentioned to me not long ago.

The same sanitary considerations will also naturally be of value when we
come to consider that indiscriminate social intercourse which the
missionaries so much insist upon as one of the necessary signs of grace. I
do not, of course, say that it is not advisable, and that it would not be
desirable to see a little more intercourse between class and class than
exists at the present. But between all the better classes there is a much
greater degree of intercourse than our missionaries would have us believe;
and it is not true that one caste will eat only the food prepared by a
person of his own caste. I cannot, of course, say what may be the case as
regards other parts of India; but, as regards my own district, each caste
will eat of the food prepared by any of the castes higher, or at least
purer, than its own. For instance, a Gouda, who will not allow that the
Lingayet caste is better than his own, will eat of food prepared by a
Lingayet, while a Lingayet will not eat of food prepared by a Gouda. And
the explanation of this is, that the Lingayet is a vegetarian, and meat
might have been boiled in the Gouda's pots, while there would be nothing
to offend the Gouda customs in the pots of a vegetarian host. But in these
matters I entirely agree with the good Bishop Heber, who said that we had
no right to interfere in their private life, or to meddle in any way with
their social customs, as long as there was no idolatry in them.

Turning now to the third point I proposed to consider, I have a few
remarks to make regarding the only (from a Christian point of view) solid
objection that can, I conceive, be made to the institution of separate
orders of men; namely, that the tendency of caste is to shut up the
bowels of compassion towards all the world outside of a man's particular
class. And here I confess that I am very much in want of information, and
can think of no unprejudiced individuals to whom to apply for the facts as
really existing in other parts of India. As for books, when I look into
them for any information, I am at once met by quantities of unlimited
condemnations, or a host of contradictory statements. And, as an instance
of the latter, I may mention that in Kerr's "Domestic Life of the Natives
of India" we are informed, at page 31, that "alms are given to the poor
without distinction of caste," while at page 343 of the same volume we are
told that "to extend kindness and hospitality to one of a different caste
is regarded as sinful." But in matters of this sort we want the experience
of individuals who have actually lived amongst the people, as much as
anyone can who is not actually one of them. As for my own part of the
country, I can answer for it that caste has no such effect as has been
alleged to arise from it regarding the extension of hospitality and
kindness to people of various castes; and, as a confirmatory illustration,
may mention that I have found members of every caste assembled at the
house of a toddy man to inquire how he was, and to see whether they could
do anything for him. These toddy-drawers rank at least third amongst the
castes in Manjarabad, and though none of the members of the farmer castes
above them would eat of food prepared in a toddy-drawer's house, yet there
were numbers of both these castes present. This feeling would not, that I
am aware of, go as far as one of the carrion-eating Pariahs, but I am
quite certain that it would extend to any other caste but theirs in the
country. But on this point I do not offer any decided opinion, as, for
what I know to the contrary, acts of kindness and hospitality may, no
doubt, often have been extended even to the lowest. And I may also
mention here that I have slept in the veranda of a farmer's house, in
which members of the family slept close to some of my people, who were of
the toddy-drawer caste above alluded to, and who, I am sure, were quite as
welcome as members of their own caste would have been. But as regards all
these matters concerning the inner life of the people, we know nothing,
unless we actually live amongst them, and sleep in their houses, and, in
fact, see the people at home; and as it is extremely difficult to find
anyone who has done anything of the kind, it naturally follows that it is
almost impossible to find anything like reliable sources of information
regarding native habits throughout India. You may, it is true, stuff your
very soul with information of some sort or other, if you go about asking
questions, but if you do you will find yourself much in the same
predicament that Johnson found himself in his tour to the Hebrides; and
the reader may recollect that the worthy doctor very soon found that
nothing could be more vague, unsatisfactory, and uncertain than the
answers of an unsophisticated simple people, who were not much in the
habit of being asked questions of any sort. However, the reader may, in
the meantime, reasonably infer that the conduct of the people in the rural
districts of India, and situated under similar circumstances, would not
materially differ, as regards matters of caste, from the practice as
existing in Manjarabad. And should that turn out to be the case, it is
plain that those notions, as regards the practice of caste, which have
been so industriously circulated in England, are almost entirely false.

I have said that I proposed inquiring, further, whether there are not some
compensating advantages in this division of the people into castes which
tend, in a great measure, to neutralize the prejudicial effects that arise
from people's sympathies and feelings being more or less confined to
members of their own caste, instead of being distributed over the human
race considered as a whole. Now, it is perfectly true that the tendency of
caste is to weaken the claim that humanity in general has on an
individual; but though the claim of society in general is weakened, it
must be remembered that the claims of each caste on the members of it are
strengthened. And though this fact may militate against an enlarged and
Christian philanthropy, the aggregate force of claims will be found to
amount to a much larger sum than if one part of a society had no more
claim on a man than another. A man of one caste would not, for instance,
perhaps feel that a man of another caste had much claim on him; but he
would distinctly and strongly feel that a member of his own caste had. And
every caste acting on the same principle of supporting and helping its
members, I am convinced that the aggregate force of assistance rendered
must be greater than in a country where there is little or no caste
principle. This may seem a rash assertion, and of course it is one that it
is impossible, as far as I am aware, to prove. But the fact that there is
not a poor-house from one end of India to the other, seems to me a
significant and satisfactory circumstance; and the only way I can account
for there being no need of such a thing is,[42] that caste feeling must
often come in where all other aids fail. Nor are we in this country
without instances of the value of caste feelings, and both the Jews and
the Scotch may still be pointed to as illustrations of what I mean. A
Scotchman still has a sort of caste feeling for a Scotchman, and would do
things for a man, as a Scotchman, that he would not do for people of
either English or Irish descent. This principle may now have lessened, and
is, no doubt, daily lessening. But when I started in India, I very soon
experienced the benefit of this caste feeling; and, as one illustration to
the point, I may mention that, before my estates came into bearing, I was
attended in a long and serious illness by two Scotch doctors (one of whom
attended on me for six weeks incessantly), both of whom resolutely
declined any remuneration whatever. I cannot, of course, positively assert
that these gentlemen would not have attended me on the same terms had I
been an Englishman, but, from my general experience with other doctors, I
am sure that these gentlemen must have been not a little influenced by
caste feeling. And I have no doubt whatever that the way the Scotch get
on, wherever they go, is to be attributed, in no small measure, to the
existence of the same feeling. It may seem to many of my readers that to
use the term caste as a principle which impels one Scotchman to help
another is not exactly correct; and I must admit to having some doubts on
the subject myself. The case of the Jews, however, admits of none; and, if
ever there was a caste of people in the world, in the strict Hindoo sense,
they are certainly an unmistakable example. And what are the results of
caste feeling with them? As to other parts of the world I have no precise
information; but in England I have ascertained from the best authority
that caste feeling has produced some extremely favourable results. In the
first place, Jews are seldom or never found in our workhouses; and all
cases of poverty are carefully investigated by a visiting committee, or
board of guardians, and relief or employment is always afforded to every
Jewish pauper. Then, again, no Jewish child ever was, and no Jewish child
is now, without the means of obtaining elementary instruction; and it
would be difficult to find an English Jew unable to read and write. Means
are taken to secure the attendance of all poor children, and a sound
middle-class education is afforded, while the study of the Hebrew language
is compulsory. There were only, when I obtained my information on the
point, about twenty Jewish (principally foreigners) convicts in England,
and no female convict was to be found.

Another of the principal complaints brought against caste is the fact that
it has a tendency to keep one caste fixed below another; but even here we
shall find some compensating considerations which are of great value. For,
if caste in this respect has a keeping-down tendency, it has also a
levelling one. It may keep one order above another, but within the limits
of that caste order it has a levelling tendency, and in one respect the
poorest of each class feel themselves on a level with the richest. Nor is
a poor man of good caste made to experience the bitter sense of
degradation which falls to the lot of a gentleman who, from poverty and
misfortune, has fallen out of his original class into another far below
him. The Indian may descend into the most humble spheres, but if he
attends to the regulations of his caste he is always a member of it, and
his feelings of self-respect are maintained by the fact that, however
poor, it is quite possible that his daughter may be married by a man of
wealth and position. But in this country, where a man has gone a long way
down the hill, when he has descended--as many gentlemen especially do in
our colonies--into the lower ranks of life, he loses all connection with
people who are of his own rank by birth. I do not, of course, mean to
allege that this want of caste feeling is to be lamented with us, but I am
merely stating facts which seem to me to show the number of ways in which
this much-reviled caste system can be proved to have compensating
advantages which tend to counterbalance the drawbacks of the situation.

Before concluding this chapter, it may be useful to make a few remarks as
to the way in which caste laws act as regards the social condition of
people who have by wealth raised themselves above the general average of
their order; and I shall at the same time notice a few instances that
have fallen within my observation as to the way in which caste laws of
the most stringent nature are occasionally set aside by universal consent.

The old idea we entertained of caste was that, to use the words of
Tennent, "each class is stationed between certain walls of separation,
which are impassable by the purest virtue or the most conspicuous merit;"
or that, to come to more recent times, and to use the words of the late
Mr. Wilson, in his speech before leaving for India, "in India you see
people tied down by caste, and, whatever their talents or exertions may
be, they cannot rise." Now the history of many families that have risen to
eminence entirely belies this assertion, and the evidences are so numerous
that I need not weary the reader by quoting them. But one instance I may
perhaps mention, as the circumstances seem to me somewhat extraordinary,
and a reference to them here may induce some one to make more particular
inquiries in the locality alluded to. Buchanan notices that "in Bhagulpore
there were certain families who, from having adopted a pure life, had
within the memory of man risen from the lowest dregs of the people to the
highest ranks of the nobility." In this instance, however, I cannot help
suspecting that the families must have risen on something more substantial
than their pure habits. But in matters of this sort we are very much in
want (as indeed we are on almost every Indian subject) of more detailed
and particularly substantiated evidence. As regards the subject of low
castes raising themselves in the social scale, I know of no instances that
have fallen within my own observation, but I have obtained information
from other parts of Mysore, the truth of which I have no reason to doubt,
although I would advise the reader to receive what I have to say on this
point with the same caution that he should receive all information which
is even in the smallest degree removed from the experience of personal
observation. With this caution, I may then observe that, from information
I have received, I have ample reason to believe that in the interior of
Mysore there are many families of Pariahs who are as well off, in point of
cattle, cash and land, as the average of the farmer caste, notwithstanding
that the forefathers of these Pariahs were merely the servants of the
farmer tribe. Nor is this all. Many instances, I believe, may be pointed
out of members of the farmer tribe being the tenants of the once-despised
Pariah. The Pariah, it is true, does not reap all the advantages from his
altered circumstances that might be expected in other countries, but it is
a mistake to suppose that wealth does not tell in India as it does
elsewhere.[43] The well-to-do Pariah (and in the Nuggur division of Mysore
I am told there are many such) receives that respect which is invariably
paid to those who have much substance. He no longer stands respectfully
without the veranda of a farmer of ordinary position, but takes his seat
in the veranda itself, and on terms of perfect equality. But the farmer
will not eat with his visitor, nor give him his daughter in marriage. This
to us would be a disagreeable reflection, no doubt; but, in their present
political state, I cannot see that the happiness or prosperity of the
people is in any way affected by these facts, nor am I aware that any one
has attempted to prove that the natural comforts of the people have been
in any way lessened by these social separations.

Turning now to glance at the way in which caste laws are sometimes set
aside, it is impossible to avoid suspecting that the instances given of
caste feeling in these respects, though perhaps true in themselves, are
not fair examples of what would universally occur in cases of emergency
even with the most caste-observing people in India. From the instances
given (and those most commonly given refer to natives preferring to die of
thirst rather than take water from the hands of a person of inferior
caste), people are led to believe that under no circumstances will a
breach of caste take place, or be overlooked if it does take place, by
members of the caste. But the illustration I have to give seem to point to
a contrary conclusion, and if that is the case with people whom I know to
be extremely strict, it seems very probable that we have adopted some very
exaggerated notions as to the rigidity of caste laws. And what has
contributed not a little to these delusions is, that tricky servants
frequently make caste a most convenient pretence for avoiding to do this
or that, or as an excuse wherever an excuse is for any purpose convenient.
But however all this may be, the reader may form his opinions from the
following cases.

The first I have to give of violation of caste law is certainly the most
extraordinary that I ever heard of. The act was, indeed, a remarkable and
touching tribute of regard, or I may even say of affection, on the part of
a native overseer of the farmer caste in Manjarabad, and was a better
monument than any that could have been erected to one of the best and most
unselfish men I have over met. When Mr. W----, my late manager, unhappily
died on the estate, this overseer in question, understanding that it was
considered by us as an honour to the deceased, volunteered to make one of
the carrying party. This extraordinary determination was absolutely
forbidden by the caste potail, or head man, who was present; but Rama
Gouda[44] showed the same coolness and resolution that he always did in
the case of a bear or a tiger, and simply saying, "Let my caste go
to-day," he made one of the carrying party in spite of every remonstrance.
Hundreds of all castes were present, but so strong were their feelings of
regard for Mr. W----, that no notice whatever was taken of the offence
which was so publicly committed. The repugnance of all castes, except the
very lowest, to touching the body of a European, is very well known to
everyone who has been in India, and so fearful was the caste head man of
sanctioning, even with his presence, this violation of caste law, that he
immediately went home.

In the next instance I have to give, one of the Lingayet caste
(vegetarians, and abstainers from intoxicating drinks) was wounded by a
tiger, and there was a caste question raised, as to whether, under the
circumstances, he should take wine. The occurrence came about in this way.
Some miles from my house I once wounded a tiger, somewhat late in the day,
and, owing to the broken nature of the ground, and a general confusion
that seemed to take possession of the people, it seemed impossible to
bring the affair to a satisfactory conclusion, so I went home. The
following morning I returned to take up the track of the tiger, but it was
unluckily reported that the animal had quitted the jungle we had left him
in, so the party (I having been posted at a point where the tiger would
probably break cover, in case the report should prove false), it appears,
blundered carelessly into the place where the animal had been last seen
the evening before. Now, this particular spot was full of a long sort of
reed that grows in swampy ground, so that the people could not see far
before them, and, to make a long story short, it seems that the tiger
bided his time, sprang suddenly into the party, and gave one of them a
fatal bite in the loins. The moment I heard the three roars, I expected
that something disagreeable must have occurred, and, on arrival at the
scene of events, I found a fine young fellow of the Lingayet caste lying
bathed in blood, and my people vainly endeavouring to stanch the wounds.
He was half swooning away from loss of blood, and I offered him some wine
to keep up his strength. This, however, he refused to take, unless the
head man of his village, who happened to be present, would consent. The
head man, evidently wishing to shirk the responsibility, shook his head
doubtfully; but the members of his caste all called out--"It's no matter;
let him drink;" and he drank accordingly. While this was going on, I had a
rough stretcher made, and, doing up his wounds as well as we could, sent
him off on the way to his village. While we were attending to the wounded
man, rather an amusing incident occurred. It appears that when the tiger
charged, one of the party, a toddy-drawer, at once climbed up a tree, and
when the party retreated, carrying off the wounded, he was afraid to come
down. His absence had not been remarked, and when we were engaged in doing
up the wounded man, the toddyman, who had taken heart and come down, slunk
quietly out of the jungle, and startled some of the party not a little, as
they thought that it was perhaps the tiger coming down on them again.
However, this toddyman reported that the tiger was still almost in the
same spot where he had been lying when he made his attack: and I then
proposed we should go into the jungle, and see how we liked the look of
him. But the tiger had given such indications of temper that the main body
of the people seemed to have no desire to see him again, and I think that
only ten (and those mostly my own people) accompanied me. As I was,
Europeanly speaking, single-handed, this may have seemed an imprudent
course, and no doubt it was not altogether unattended with danger; but it
luckily turned out that the tiger was stone dead, though he was lying in
such a natural position that we had some doubts as to whether he might
not be shamming, even when we got within fifteen yards of him. As we were
skinning the tiger, the wounded man (who had by that time only been
carried a few hundred yards) expired: so, observing that it was "written
on his forehead,"[45] we took up our man and our skin, and went home.

These instances of infringement of caste rules will show the reader the
way in which they are sometimes abandoned; and I could mention other minor
points where I have seen them occasionally abandoned. But not only are
these rules thus, on urgent occasions, summarily set aside, but within a
very short distance I have observed an alteration of custom. For instance,
on our side of the river which separates our county from the next, neither
the farmers nor the toddy-drawers will eat of an animal that has even been
touched after death by a Pariah; whereas, on the other side of the river,
the Pariahs who came out shooting not only touched, but carried a couple
of wild boars we had killed. And yet the people on one side of the river
are exactly of the same caste as those on the other. But the fact seems to
be, that many of the minor points of what is called caste law have arisen
from some accident, and in the course of time have hardened into local

And here, before bringing this chapter to a close, I find it impossible to
refrain from again alluding to the numerous instances where caste has been
made the common scapegoat of every Indian difficulty. What is the meaning
of this? What is the meaning of that? Why won't the natives do this, and
why won't they do that? Caste--and caste is the common refuge; and with
most of our countrymen who have tried to introduce new customs or a new
religion, caste has ever been a handy and convenient peg on which to hang
any difficulties they may meet with, or any problem they cannot readily
solve. In short, it is hard to say what difficulty has not been disposed
of in this fashion. Let us glance at two instances to illustrate my

For the first instance, I cannot select, perhaps, a better example than
that afforded by the Rev. G. U. Pope, in the notes he has made when
editing a second edition of the valuable work of the Abbé Dubois. And, in
alluding to these footnotes, it is impossible to repress some feeling of
annoyance that the valuable work of the Abbé should, in an evil hour, have
fallen into the hands of a writer who has thought fit often, in a few
brief and contemptuous words, summarily to dismiss and overrule those
conclusions which were the result of a life spent on more intimate terms
with natives than any I have ever been able to hear of. And Mr. Pope's
statements are the more calculated to impose on the general reader, as he
speaks of having had "more than twenty years of a somewhat intimate
intercourse with the Hindoos;" the fact being that he spent the greater
part (in fact, all but a few years, as far as I have been able to
ascertain) as head of the Grammar School on the Nilgiri Hills, where he
had no more opportunity of having any intercourse with natives than a
Hindoo would have of gaining experience of the natives of England, were he
to take up his residence on the Grampians, and interchange a few words
occasionally with the shepherds of those mountains. But as to what caste
has done. "Caste," says Mr. Pope, "has prevented the Hindoos from availing
themselves of the opportunities afforded them of acquiring the sciences,
arts, and civilization of nations with whom they have come in contact."
Caste, "the great petrifier," we are again told, is the real cause of the
stagnation that everywhere abounds. Caste, again, "upholds immutable
distinctions by arbitrary and absurd laws, which are enforced by
irresponsible authority, and maintains a standard of right and wrong
entirely independent of the essential principles of moral science;" and,
in order that everything may be included at one blow, we are finally told,
in a note appended to the remarks of the Abbé on the moral and social
advantages of caste, that "caste, and its offspring custom, are among the
hindrances to all good in India."

But it is still more curious to observe how men of intelligence and
observation can be led, by the force of inherited opinion, into statements
as to the effects of caste which are actually contradicted by their own
experience. And in Mr. Raikes's interesting work, "Notes of the
North-Western Provinces," we find an instance of how people will always
attribute everything to this universal bugbear. Observing on the pride of
high caste, "which withers whatever it touches," Mr. Raikes informs us
that the Brahmins and Rajpoots of the rich province of Benares will not
touch the plough owing to pride of caste. He next tells us that caste is
little regarded to the north of Allahabad, where, from various causes, the
demand for labour is greater. All of which, being traced to its true
cause, simply amounts to this, namely, that where landed proprietors of
good family are well off they naturally do not care to work, whereas in
another part of the country where they are not well off, or cannot procure
labourers, they do work. In the same way, the author, after telling us
that infanticide has at one time or other been common all over the world,
tells us that in India it is entirely caused by caste. Now, if we take
caste to mean family pride solely, it certainly has influenced the matter,
or at least tended to maintain the evil complained of; but I know of one
instance, at least, in India where infanticide can be traced to
satisfactory causes, and amongst a people who have always been observed to
be remarkably free from what are called caste prejudices. The Toda tribe,
on the Nilgiri Hills, are polyandrists, and, in order to keep down the
number of the tribe, they naturally had recourse to female infanticide.
This they have now abandoned, and my Toda guide very soon told me the
reason. He said, "Formerly we used to kill the females, because we had
little more than the produce of our buffaloes to depend on; but now that
more people have flocked to the hills we can let our lands and get plenty
to eat." He added, also, that the Government had ordered them not to kill
their children; but, unless their means had improved, it is plain that a
Government order would have had little effect. But, as regards this
subject of infanticide, it seems to be a thing difficult to avoid,
whenever conditions arise which are favourable to its extension; nor will
repressive measures alone ever place any very complete check upon it. Like
every other demand, it rises and falls with the necessities of the
situation, and can never be originally caused by anything in the shape of
caste feelings or regulations; and amongst these necessities I, of course,
include the desire to avoid shame, or the prospect of shame in the family,
or starvation, as well as the fact that women are an encumbrance to some
tribes. Some people, I may add, are under the impression that polyandric
habits, when once established, become necessarily a cause of infanticide.
But we have no means of knowing that this was ever the case, while the
Coorgs may be pointed to as a race who once were polyandrous, but who were
never, that I am aware of, accused of infanticide. The explanation of
this, I apprehend, is to be found in the fact that their circumstances
were comfortable enough to preclude any necessity for keeping down the

It is time now that I should bring this chapter to a close, but, as it may
be a convenience to the reader, I think it well, before doing so, to sum
up those conclusions which I assume to have been established; in doing so
I shall, however, merely take notice of those points which seem to me to
be of paramount importance.

In the first place, then, we compared the morality of our British
counties, as regards the connection of the sexes and the use of alcohol,
with the morality of the Indian county of Manjarabad; and having seen
that, owing to caste laws, the morality of Manjarabad is superior, I think
we are justified in concluding that these laws have acted more effectually
than all the religious instruction that has for centuries been lavished on
the people of this country; or, to put the case in shorter terms, we may
assert that, as regards the branches of morality alluded to, caste has
beaten Christian influences.

In the next place we took into consideration the action of our
missionaries as regards caste, and having seen that they have always
insisted on their converts entirely renouncing customs which can be proved
to produce the most valuable results, we came to the conclusion that it
has been a fortunate thing for India that its peoples have rejected our
hide-bound interpretation of Christianity. We then inquired as to whether
the missionaries had any right to debar from the advantages of
Christianity those who, wishing to become Christians, yet desired to
retain their social customs; and, having come to the conclusion that there
is nothing idolatrous in these customs, we have distinctly asked those
interpreters of Christianity whom we have in India to tell us by whose
authority they have ventured to act in a way which, as has been shown, the
Apostles never did as regards the prejudices of their Jewish converts. And
generally, as regards the action of our missionaries in this matter, we
have felt ourselves justified in asserting that our English missions have
inflicted an incalculable injury on the cause of Christianity by
presenting it to the people of India as something that must necessarily
tear the whole framework of their society to pieces.

We then inquired more particularly into the origin of caste, and, having
seen that it never could have originated in the way our missionaries
suppose it to have done, we hazarded a conjecture as to the way in which
it probably did originate, and saw grounds for supposing that the
distinctions of caste came naturally about, and that they were in
principle calculated to effect exactly the same ends that the Jewish
lawgivers had in view when they framed that Levitical law which
effectually prevented the Jews from mingling socially with the races they
lived amongst. We then looked at caste from a sanitary point of view, and
came to the conclusion that in consequence of the carrion-eating habits of
the lowest castes, and of their liability to transmit the germs of
disease, the rules which prevented them from coming into contact with the
higher castes, either in the way of taking the Sacrament, or in any other
way, are of the greatest value. We next inquired into the effects of caste
as regards social intercourse, and especially as regards the exercise of
hospitality amongst people of different castes, and saw reason to think
that the restrictions of caste, with, perhaps, the exception of the very
lowest, formed no bar whatever to the exercise of hospitality. Glancing
subsequently at the action of caste feeling in confining the sympathies of
individuals more especially to the members of their own caste, we came to
the conclusion that, though caste had undoubtedly the effect of
contracting the feelings within a narrow circle, there was to be found a
compensating advantage in the fact that the claims of caste produced, in
the aggregate, a greater amount of charity, and, in short, were calculated
to produce a better general result than would be arrived at in the absence
of caste feelings. And as illustrations of the advantages of this caste
feeling, we pointed to the fact of there being no poor-houses in India,
and especially to the Jews in England, as affording an example of the
favourable effects of caste feeling. After this, we pointed to the fact
that, though caste had the effect of keeping one caste or order of men
above another, it had also a levelling tendency within each caste, and
produced an important point of equality which no poverty can destroy. We
then took into consideration some facts which seemed to show that families
could raise themselves to a higher rank in society by adopting the purer
habits of the classes above them; and we also saw that the influence of
wealth does, to a very great degree, elevate a man of low caste in the
social scale. We next saw reason to suppose that we have hitherto been
labouring under very exaggerated notions as to the stringency of caste
regulations, and two instances were given to illustrate the way in which
caste laws are sometimes set summarily aside. And, finally, we pointed
out, and gave some illustrations to prove, that with most of our
countrymen who have either tried to introduce new customs or in any way to
alter native habits of action, caste has ever been made, and very unjustly
made, the common scapegoat.

One word more. The absolute good that caste has done may be briefly summed
up. It has acted as a strong moral police, and as a preserver of order and
decorum in the community,[46] and it has prevented the spread of bad
habits and customs, more especially that of drinking, as far as large
numbers of the people are concerned.[47] On the other hand, caste is said
to have hindered the progress of the people taken as a whole. But in every
instance where we have really tried the introduction of any art, the
removal of any public crime (as suttee and human sacrifice, for instance),
the improvement of any cultivation, the introduction of education, or of
new means of moving from place to place, we have either found caste to be
no impediment at all, or an impediment so slight as not to be worth

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--With the view of obtaining information I briefly allude here to two
points with reference to caste and its effects--the (1) curious custom of
the Marasa Wokul tribe in Mysore, and (2) the influence of caste in
developing improved aptitudes which afterwards descend by hereditary

As to the first, the mother of a girl is compelled to submit to the
amputation of the terminal joints of the third and fourth fingers of the
right hand on the occasion of the betrothal of her daughter, and in the
event of a girl being motherless the mother of the bridegroom-elect must
submit to the operation.

The custom is alluded to in the well-known work of the Abbé Dubois, and in
the appendix the editor of the second edition confirms the account given,
and quotes confirmatory evidence from Colonel Wilks' "Mysore," in which is
published the legend which is reported to have given rise to the custom.
Colonel Wilks, early in this century, saw some of the women who had been
operated on. The tribe in question lives in the north-east of Mysore, but
after inquiry through the medium of natives in the interior of the
country, I cannot now learn that the custom is continued. Perhaps, being a
disagreeable one, it may have been given up. I should feel much obliged
for any information as to the point in question.

As to the second point, I was informed in 1891 by Mr. Chatterton of the
Engineering College at Madras, that he had many Brahmins under him in the
workshops, and that, though more intelligent than other castes, they are
less efficient, owing to their ancestors never having been practised in
any mechanical work. The influence of caste was here most perceptible, and
he could always pick out the work done by boys whose caste had been
employed in that particular work, and he further informed me that boys
showed poor proficiency in work out of the line of their particular caste.


[31] Manjarabad is a talook or county on the south-west frontier of

[32] And that, I may observe, was a case in which a toddy-drawer, the
third caste in Manjarabad, was concerned.

[33] I observe in the Administration Report for Mysore, 1867-68, that
nearly all the cases in the lunatic asylum were traced either to drinking
or bhang-smoking.

[34] _Vide_ Sproat's "Studies of Savage Life."

[35] It may be observed here that there are few who know so little as to
the sexual morality of the people around them as clergymen. It does not
become them, of course, to enter into the gossip of the village, nor does
anyone care to broach such subjects in the first instance; and I may
mention here that a relative of my own, a clergyman in a country parish,
told me that if anything went wrong in these respects he was the very last
person in the world to hear one word about it.

[36] The Abbé Dubois makes the following remarks: "During the long period
I lived in India, in the capacity of a missionary, I have made, with the
assistance of a native missionary, in all between two and three hundred
converts of both sexes. Of this number two-thirds were Pariahs or beggars,
and the rest were composed of Sûdras, vagrants, and outcasts of several
tribes, who, being without resources, turned Christians in order to form
new connections, chiefly for the purpose of marriage, or with some other
interested motive. Among them are also to be found some who believed
themselves to be possessed with the devil, and who turned Christians after
having been assured that on receiving baptism the unclean spirits would
leave them and never return; and I will declare it with shame and
confusion that I do not remember any one who may be said to have embraced
Christianity from conviction and from quite disinterested motives. Among
these newcomers many apostatized and relapsed into paganism, finding that
the Christian religion did not afford them the temporal advantages they
had looked for in embracing it; and I am very much ashamed that the
resolution I have taken to tell the whole truth on this subject forces me
to make the humiliating avowal that those who continued Christians are the
very worst among my flock."--DR. ALLEN'S _India_, p. 522.

[37] I may mention here that Sir Bartle Frere, in his paper on "Indian
Public Works," said, with reference to opening up districts hitherto
unpierced by roads, "And here let me observe, in passing, without any
disparagement of my own countrymen, that I have generally found the
agricultural and commercial classes of India quite as intelligent on
points of this kind as the agricultural and commercial classes of our own
old-fashioned country." But I have always found that the people who have
had the best opportunities of judging have formed very favourable opinions
as to the intelligence of the agricultural classes, who are generally
painted as being entirely indifferent, and even hostile, to the best
schemes undertaken for their benefit.

[38] In this Circular of Bishop Wilson's, it is surprising to observe the
contradictions that exist. At one part of the Circular we are told that
the apostle's language is conclusive: and "Seeing ye have put off the old
man, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the
image of Him that created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but
Christ is all, and in all," is quoted as evidence of the Divine wishes.
"So overwhelming," continues the bishop, "is the flood by which all petty
distinctions of nation, caste, privilege, rank, climate, position in
civilization are effaced, and one grand distinction substituted." And yet,
at another part of the Circular, we are told that the distinctions in
civil society are acknowledged by the Gospel, when they are "the natural
result of difference of talents, industry, piety, station, and success."
Another decision of the apostle is quoted in the same Circular, and it is
this--"There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus;" and
so, of course, we are all equal in his sight. And yet this is quoted as
being a decision in favour of doing away with the civil institutions of
caste, which are undoubtedly the marks of that "station" which the bishop
tells us is acknowledged by the Gospel, and in no way different from the
station that a member of the House of Lords inherits from his
predecessors. And here, though I do not think that it is advisable to
cling to isolated texts as evidence of the general conduct of the apostles
regarding the prejudices of their converts, I may mention that Peter, in
his first Epistle, says, "Submit yourself to every ordinance of man for
the Lord's sake." And if we take Dean Alford's interpretation of this, and
consider it as equivalent to a command, extending to every human
institution (and I can see no reason why we should not), it is plain that
our missionaries in India, if they wish to follow the examples of the
apostles, should yield to the prejudices of caste as long as they do not
involve idolatrous rites. But it is in the general action of the apostles,
as illustrated in Acts xv. 19, that the safest guide may, I apprehend, be
found; and when, with reference to difficulties as regarding the customs
of their converts, St. James said (Dean Alford's edition), "Wherefore my
sentence is, that we trouble not them which from the Gentiles are turned
to God; but that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of
idols, from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood;" and
again: "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you
no greater burden than [these] necessary things; that ye abstain from
meats offered unto idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and
from fornication; from which, if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do
well;"--when the apostle said thus, I think we ought to feel little doubt
as to the course we ought to pursue regarding the social customs of the
peoples of India.

[39] "The name 'Laws of Manu,' somewhat resembles a pious fraud, for the
'laws' are merely the laws or customs of a school or association of
Hindoos, called the Mânavas, who lived in the country rendered holy by the
divine river Saraswati. In this district the Hindoos first felt themselves
a settled people, and in this neighbourhood they established colleges and
hermitages, or âsramas, from some of which we may suppose Brâhmanas,
Upanishads, and other religious compositions may have issued; and under
such influences we may imagine the Code of Manu to have been composed.

"The Mânavas were undoubtedly an active, energetic people, who governed
themselves, paid taxes to the kins, established internal and external
trade, and drew up an extensive system of laws and customs, to which they
appended real and imaginary awards. This system appears to have worked so
well, that it was adopted by other communities, and then the organizers
announced it as laws given to them by their divine progenitor, the great
Mana. They added passages, moreover, which assert the divine claims of
Brâhmans and the inferiority of the rest of mankind. Such assertions are
little more than rhetorical flourishes, for Brâhmans never were either so
omnipotent or so unamiable as the Code would represent them; nor were the
Sûdras ever so degraded. In Sanskrit plays and poems, weak and indigent
Brâhmans are by no means unfrequent; and, on the other hand, we meet with
Sûdras who had political rights, and even in the Code find the pedigrees
of great men traced up to Sûdra ancestors."--MRS. MANNING'S _Ancient and
Mediæval India_, v. i., p. 276.

[40] As an instance that a man can abandon all religious rites whatever,
and retain his caste unimpaired and unaltered, I may mention that my
native clerk told me that he had done nothing in the way of religion at
all for years; but that, of course, made no difference to him in the eyes
of his neighbours, who didn't care what he did, as long as he did not
depart from the social customs of his caste. I once said to a native
shopkeeper in Bangalore, "What religion are you of?" "Oh!" he answered
with a smile, "no religion at all, sir." But I need not trouble the reader
with further evidence to show that a man may drop his religion altogether
without dropping his caste, and that therefore religion and caste have no
necessary connection with one another whatever.

[41] "Caste, though distinctly denounced by their sacred hooks, and
ostensibly disavowed by the Singhalese themselves, still exists in their
veneration for rank, whether hereditary or adventitious. Thus every
district and every village has its little leader, a preeminence accorded
to birth rather than property; and, by a descending scale, certain members
of the community, in right of relationship or connection, assume an
undefined superiority, and are tacitly admitted to the exercise of what is
technically called an 'influence.' In the hamlets, so universal is this
feeling amongst the natives, so habitual the impulse to classify
themselves and to look up to some one as their superior in the scale of
society, that the custom descends through every gradation of life and its
occupations, and in some of the villages the missionaries found it
necessary to appoint two schoolmasters, even where there was less than
occupation for one--'influence,' as well as ability to teach, being an
essential qualification; and if the individual did not possess the former,
it was most indispensable to associate with him some other who did.[A]
Again, if a village could not furnish a master competent to teach, it was
in vain to procure one from a distance; his 'influence' did not extend to
that locality, and no pupils could he got to attend. Nor was caste itself
without the open avowal of its force, the children of a Vellala or
high-caste family being on no account permitted to enter the school-house
of a lower-caste master. These are obstacles which prevail in all their
original force even at the present day; and in the purely Singhalese
districts, such as Matura, the prestige of caste is so despotic, that no
amount of qualification in all other particulars can overcome the
repugnance to intercourse with those who are deficient in the paramount
requisite of rank."--SIR J. E. TENNENT's _Christianity in Ceylon_, p. 286.

[A] MS. account of Baptist Mission.

[42] In the large towns this remark might not, perhaps, be justifiable.

[43] Since this chapter was written, I have received well authenticated
information of a Pariah, who had acquired both wealth and position, having
been adopted into a superior caste. The caste was not a rich one, and he
no doubt paid heavily for his admission into it.

[44] The farmers in Manjarabad invariably tack on the word "Gouda" to
their names, and it seems to answer for our Mr.

[45] The natives imagine that every man's fate is written in invisible
characters on his forehead.

[46] Abbé Dubois.

[47] It is satisfactory to learn that caste feelings and regulations have
a favourable influence with natives, even when they go to a foreign
country; and it is equally satisfactory to quote the evidence of a
gentleman who laughs at caste as an absurd custom. Mr. W. Sabonadière, in
his work of "The Coffee Planter in Ceylon" writes as follows: "The coolies
who resort to Ceylon are of various castes. Those mostly preferred by
planters are the low castes, such as Pallans, shanars, and Pariahs, as
being more accustomed to and fit for hard work; but, as a class, they are
more given to drink, spend their money more freely, and are more
quarrelsome than the higher classes, whom their caste forbids to drink
arrack or spirits, and who are more cleanly in their habits, better
behaved (as fearing to lose caste), who have land of their own on the
coast, and are more interested in working regularly and gaining their
wages to take away with them."



The British Province of Coorg consists of a mountainous and jungly tract
of country with elevations of from about 2,700 to 3,809 feet. The last is
the elevation of the capital, Mercara, the tableland of which, for a
stretch of about 26 miles, averages about 3,500 feet. This little province
lies, as the reader will see by a glance at the map, on the south-west
border of Mysore, with which, since its annexation, it has always been
connected, and the Resident of Mysore invariably holds the post of
Commissioner of Coorg. The population of Coorg is just over 170,000, and
its area is 1,583 square miles, or about one-fourth of the size of
Yorkshire. But, though small in extent and population, its Rajah and
people played an important part as our allies in the war with Tippoo, and
a full account of the facts is given in the history of Coorg which has
been published in the "Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer." The history of the
country, however, which has been gathered up by various European writers,
is by no means of an alluring character, and indeed, after the beginning
of this century, a more disgusting record of cruelty and oppression it
would be difficult to find in the annals of any country. But three things
at least the record most distinctly proves. The first is (though this
hardly requires any additional proof) that man, though capable of being
the best, is also capable of being by far the worst of animals; the second
is that, Coorg being a sample of most of India in the times preceding
ours, the Hindoos were perfectly right in leaving few annals behind them;
and the third is that the blessings of British rule far exceed anything
that anyone could imagine who had not read something of the condition of
things in India before we took possession of it, for we have not only
conferred on the people immeasurable positive benefits, but relieved them
from the barbarous rule of cruel oppressors. In the case of Coorg there
can be no doubt that we allowed the Rajahs of that country to carry on
their work of cruelty and oppression towards their subjects for much too
long a period of time, and our failure to act can only be partially
excused by the fact that we were, in connection with the war with Tippoo,
under great obligation to the ancestor of the Rajah we deposed. However,
his vile oppression and cruel murders, which exceed anything the reader
could believe to be possible, could no longer be tolerated, and in 1834 he
was deposed, and his country absorbed into the British Dominions. Since
that date the general welfare of the country was of course insured, and
much of it is now a thriving coffee field which, as I shall afterwards
show, has been of the greatest benefit to Mysore, and the adjacent British
territory. Of the history and cultivation of coffee in Coorg, and my
visits to the province, I now propose to give some account.

After the planting season of 1857 I went with a brother planter for a
change of air to Mangalore, and from thence we went to Cannanore--a
military station about 200 miles further down the coast--and, after a
short stay there, rode up the Ghauts into Coorg, where we found the
planters busy clearing the forest. Three years before our arrival Mr.
Fowler had opened the Mercara Estate, and in 1855 Mr. H. Mann, and Mr.
Donald Stewart had begun work on the Sumpaji Ghaut, while Dr. Maxwell
opened up the Periambadi Ghaut Estates in 1856, and in 1857 Mr. Kaundinya
founded a plantation in the Bamboo district which lies on the eastern side
of Coorg. The first European plantation was, as we have seen, started in
1854, but for many years previously coffee cultivation had been carried on
by natives in the Nalknaad District, though it seems to be quite uncertain
as to when or how it was first introduced, or where the first seeds were

At first all seemed to be going well with coffee in Coorg, and for a good
many years the fatal mistake of the planters in clearing down the whole
forest, and leaving no shade over the coffee, was not decisively apparent,
and from the lands that were thus cleared down on the above-mentioned
Ghauts, which lie on the western side of the province, from 700 to 1,000
tons were picked annually when the coffee was at its best. But what in
"the seventies" represented about £100,000 of valuable property, gradually
became more and more unprofitable, till at last the estates were
abandoned, and the land has now become covered with masses of Lentana (a
crawling, climbing, thorny plant which has become a perfect plague in
Coorg), amidst which may occasionally be seen the white walls of unroofed
bungalows, and dismantled pulping houses, which testify to the melancholy
ending of the work of the planters whom I found so busily engaged when, in
1857, I first entered Coorg.

Some attributed the failure to the Bug, some to the Borer, and to leaf
disease, while others blamed the heaviness of the tropical rains, which
washed away the valuable surface soil, the flight of which towards the
western sea was much expedited by weeding with the mamoty (a digging hoe),
which loosened the soil, and so prepared the way for its more rapid
disappearance. And these causes no doubt hastened the end, but they were
mainly results arising from one great cause--the neglect to supply shade
for the coffee, and this again arose from the circumstance that most of
the pioneer planters came from Ceylon where the coffee is planted in the
open, and where shade is not required. And this failure, owing to the
neglect of shade, had a most unfortunate effect, for it was owing to this
that Coorg naturally acquired such a doubtful coffee reputation in the
eyes of the uninformed public--a reputation which, as I shall afterwards
show, arose not from any fault of the country as a coffee field, but
solely from the fatal mistake of attempting to plant without providing
shade for the coffee. And this mistake the planters, as we shall see, had
great difficulty in shaking off, for when they saw the inevitable end
approaching, and hastened to take up land in the eastern part of Coorg in
what is known as the Bamboo district (because the jungle lands there
consist very largely of forest trees interspersed with clumps of bamboos),
they persisted in carrying their fatal Ceylon system with them, and Mr.
Donald Stewart, called the Coffee King in Mincing Lane, who was a warm
supporter of planting in the open, even issued, it is said, an order to
his managers saying that if he found a single forest tree standing (the
coffee around even a single tree would have proved him to be wrong)
dismissal would follow. But nature proved to be too strong for Mr. Stewart
and those who followed his example, and whole estates in the Bamboo
district were practically exterminated by the Borer insect. At last the
planters, warned by a long and bitter experience, gave way all along the
line, and began to imitate the shade planters of Mysore, and shade is now
as universal in Coorg as in Mysore, and under its protection the coffee in
both countries thrives equally well. I may mention here that the Rev. G.
Richter, who is now the second oldest resident in Coorg, took an active
part in opening up the Bamboo district, and was for some time a partner in
one of the estates. He has shown great zeal in endeavouring to introduce
new products, such as tea, cocoa, ceara rubber, and vanilla. His manual
of Coorg, I may add, is most interesting and exhaustive.[48]

Besides the first mentioned, and now abandoned coffee district, and the
Bamboo district, there is the important district of North Coorg, which,
though it has a smaller number of estates, certainly contains coffee that,
so far as I am able to judge, it would be impossible to surpass.

There are, in all, at present in Coorg 130 European estates, with a total
area of 32,323 acres (of which 20,000 are in the Bamboo district), and
6,207 native estates and gardens, aggregating in all 70,669 acres. The
average production of coffee from all these sources is estimated by
competent authorities at from 4,000 to 5,000 tons of coffee per annum, or
of a probable annual value of from £250,000 to £300,000. The yield from a
well cultivated estate averages from 3 to 4 cwt. of clean coffee per acre.
Exceptional properties there are, of course, which give higher returns
than this, and some could be quoted which give 6 to 7 cwt. on the average,
while sensational figures might be quoted as regards some remarkable
estates. But to give an account of such exceptional estates might convey a
misleading idea of the general return to be obtained from coffee in Coorg,
though I think it well to allude to the fact that better returns than
those first mentioned can be obtained, and have been obtained, as it is
always of value to know what particular pieces of land can do under the
most favourable circumstances, as this opens up the important question as
to whether it would not pay better to confine cultivation on an estate to
a narrow area of the best soils and situations on it--a subject to which I
shall more particularly refer later on in this chapter.

In the case of well cultivated estates, an expenditure of eighty rupees
per acre is incurred on superintendence and field labour, and fifty rupees
an acre on manures and their application, but in many European, and most
native estates, a total expenditure for superintendence, labour and
manures of about eighty rupees only is incurred, and the results obtained
are, of course, proportionately smaller. The native gardens and
plantations are, as a rule, worked on the principle of taking everything
that can be got out of the land, and putting nothing into it. Were these
worked on European principles, it is hardly necessary to say that the
export of coffee from Coorg would be largely increased.

Cattle manure, bones, oil-cake and fish constitute the manures mainly used
in Coorg. The first is universally recognized as being the most valuable
for coffee, but the supply available in the Bamboo district (which
contains, I may remind the reader, 20,000 out of the 32,323 acres under
cultivation by Europeans), where grazing is scarce, is so small that
planters have to depend to a great extent on the three last-named manures.
Messrs. Matheson & Co., the owners of about 7,000 acres of coffee in
Coorg, kept for some years in their employ an analytical chemist,[49]
whose time was devoted to the analysis of soil, and the making of
experiments on their estates, with the view of ascertaining what was best
adapted for maintaining and improving their fertility. Salts of various
kinds were experimented with, but, though the results from them were
generally favourable, they were found to be too rapidly soluble for a
climate so subject to heavy falls of rain. In the end, after many
experiments, he came to the conclusion that the four above-mentioned
manures were the best for the climate, and that the proportion applied
should vary with the condition of the coffee. To illustrate this point I
may add that in Coorg, bones and oil-cake are usually applied in the
proportion of two of the latter to one of the former. If, however, a field
has suffered badly from leaf disease (which destroys many of the leaves),
or is not making wood as rapidly as it ought, it is customary to apply a
larger proportion of oil-cake, or in some cases, to put down that manure
without adding any bones. On the other hand, if there is a superabundance
of wood, and it is desirable to throw the whole energies of the tree into
the production of berries, then the proportion of bone manure is increased
and that of oil-cake diminished.

In former times all manures were applied immediately after the crop was
picked, and on estates where labour is scarce, or comes in late in the
season, this system is still carried on. But from results actually
obtained on estates in Coorg, it has now been proved that it is more
advantageous to apply part of the manure immediately after crop, in order
to strengthen the tree when the blossom showers fall (which they usually
do in March and April), and to aid it in perfecting and setting the
blossom, and a second portion after the heavy monsoon rains are over, in
order to assist the tree in growing fresh wood, and in maturing the crop.
The bones, oil-cake, and fish are usually mixed with burnt earth--a cubic
yard to every five cwt. of the manure--and then scattered on the surface
of the land around the stems of the trees, and forked in. The burnt earth,
or indeed almost any good earth, makes an admirable addition to bones,
oil-cake, and fish, for, though the first two, or the last two, furnish
complete manure for coffee, they of course cannot ameliorate the physical
condition of the soil, which, as I have fully shown in the chapter on
manures, is often of more importance than its strictly speaking chemical
condition. The burnt earth, in short, takes the place of cattle manure as
a physical agent, and, for that purpose, I think that the soil, is to be
preferred to cattle manure, as the former would certainly be cheaper and
more lasting in its effects in keeping the soil in a loose and easily
workable condition. On the other hand, it must be considered that cattle
manure would be more moisture-holding than ordinary earth, though not more
so than jungle top-soil, and when first applied, would be perhaps more
opening to the land, than burnt or ordinary earth, but if the red earth
(Kemmannu), to which I have alluded in my chapter on manures, can be
obtained, that, I know from experience, would be more cooling, and
moisture-absorbing than cattle manure.

I now turn to a point of great general interest, and one which furnishes
another illustration of what I dwelt upon at some length in my
introductory chapter, the wide-spreading value arising from the
introduction into India of English capital which, as I have shown,
develops the agricultural resources of the country in ever-widening
circles. At first in Coorg the adjacent province of Mysore was the only
source of labour supply, but the increased prosperity of the labourer
consequent upon ample employment and enhanced rates of wages, enabled him
to take up land for the cultivation of cereal crops in the neighbourhood
of his own village, and hence the supply of labour declined, those who
came to work in the plantations came later in the season, and altogether
the labour supply from Mysore became more uncertain every year. Planters
consequently, as they had in Mysore itself, had to go further afield, and
now draw labour to a large extent from the Madras Presidency, the
labourers from which in turn, will now have the means of developing the
agricultural resources of their native villages. This is a point to which
the attention of the Government cannot be too often drawn with the view of
encouraging the opening up, by it, of every means of stimulating the
employment of labour in India.

Coorg is now fairly well off for labour, and the old labour difficulties
which used to be experienced have to a great extent disappeared. The
average cost of Mysore labour--men, women, and children, and including the
commission of the Maistries (as the men who collect and bring the
labourers to the estates are called), is from 3 annas 6 pie to 4 annas a
day (or say 5d. to 6d. a day, calculating the rupee at par, or 2s.).
In quite recent times the maistries, who obtained large sums from the
planters to make advances to the coolies, sometimes absconded with the
money and thereby great losses ensued. But a better class of maistries
have arisen, and Messrs. Matheson and Co. have now, with the aid of their
permanent European labour agent, established a system of private
registration by which the antecedents, status, and resources of the
maistries are duly recorded. And though the services of doubtful maistries
cannot as yet be altogether dispensed with, a preference is of course
given to those of well established reputation, and the class of maistries
generally is beginning to understand and appreciate the system of
registration, which has every prospect of becoming general, and will, I
need hardly add, be of great advantage to planters. But if maistries
sometimes swindle their employers, the former are often liable to be
swindled by the coolies to whom the advances have been made, and until a
system of compulsory Government registration of advances to coolies is
introduced, as recommended in one of my chapters on coffee planting in
Mysore, it will be impossible to put our peculiar system of giving
advances to coolies on a reasonably safe footing.

The plantations in Coorg have suffered, and still suffer considerably from
leaf disease and Borer, to both of which I have, for practical purposes,
sufficiently alluded in the chapter on the diseases of coffee. The
effects of the former, though entailing much injury on coffee in Coorg,
have not been so fatal as in Ceylon, as the long stretches of dry weather,
often of four or five months' duration, seem to kill off large numbers of
the spores, and so mitigate the damage arising from the disease. Messrs.
Matheson and Co., at the instance of the chemist previously mentioned,
sent out Strawsoniser spray engines for the purpose of treating afflicted
trees with various solutions, but, though good effects were noticeable on
individual trees, it was found that to treat whole estates in this way was
quite impracticable, both from the cost and the immense amount of labour
that would be required, and this fatal obstacle to the use of such
remedies has been amply proved in Ceylon. But in Coorg the Borer is much
more to be dreaded than leaf disease, and its ravages are such that even
on the best estates fully twenty-five per cent.[50] of the acreage is
under supplies (i.e., young plants to take the place of the old ones
which have died), and the late Mr. Pringle--the chemist--was of opinion
that the loss of crop from Borer was not less than 2 cwt. per acre per
annum. Before the introduction of shade the total extermination of an
estate was far from uncommon, the estate in the Bamboo district opened by
Rev. H. A. Kaundinya in 1857 being the first to perish, and though, as we
have seen, owing to the introduction of shade, the Borer has been largely
brought into subjection, considerable damage still takes place from it.
Neither trouble nor expense has been spared in order to find an antidote
to this pest. Rubbing the stems with the view of destroying the eggs of
the insect, and applying thereto chemical ingredients have both been
tried, but with very limited results. The late Mr. Pringle's antidote
consisted of the application of two washes of alkali vat waste, costing
five rupees an acre each, but, when carried into practice, the results
were far from what he anticipated. Taking out the bored trees and burning
them has proved the most effectual way of dealing with the pest, and would
be productive of still better results if native neighbours would adopt the
same practice. But as they will not adopt this practice, their plantations
become nursery grounds for the propagation of the insect. Many planters in
the Bamboo district pay 1 rupee per hundred for the Borer fly, and this
results in a large number being caught, but it is not supposed that any
appreciable effect has been produced from this practice.

There can be no doubt, it seems to me, that the primary cause of the
existence of so much Borer was owing to the planters having at first
planted in the open. This must have created an enormous supply of the
insect, which found a splendid breeding ground in the conditions furnished
by the planters, as is evidenced by the fact of whole estates having been
exterminated by it, and it will require many years of judicious shading
before this insect can be reduced within comparatively harmless limits.
The reader will observe that I say judicious shading, and I will more
fully explain what I mean by that expression when, later on in the
chapter, I give an account of my tour through Coorg in 1891, and make some
observations on the proper shading of coffee.

Most of the European estates in Coorg and many of the larger native
plantations are held under what are called "The Waste Land Rules," under
which land is put up to auction by the State at an upset price of 2 rupees
per acre (10 rupees is the upset price in Mysore), plus the value of the
timber, which adds somewhat to the price. As a rule there is now
considerable competition for land, and as much as 100 to 150 rupees has
frequently to be paid per acre. The land so purchased is subject to no
assessment up to the fourth year, but from the fourth to the ninth year 1
rupee is charged, and after that 2 rupees in perpetuity. The bulk of the
land suitable for coffee has been taken up, though large extents that
might be utilized are included in the State forests, and thus are not
available to the public. Hence there is little room for extension, and
openings for young men with capital are few and far between, so far as
obtaining fresh forest is concerned, though of course opportunities
occasionally occur for purchasing estates, or acquiring shares in them on
various terms.

And here I would particularly call the attention of the Government to the
following remarks on the reservation of land in Coorg for State forests,
much of which, as we have seen, might be utilized for coffee.

When, as in former times in Coorg, the planters used no shade, many good
arguments existed in favour of making very large reserves of forest land
in order to prevent denudation, and its injurious effects on climate, and
on the water supply of the rivers and the country generally. But when you
merely replace the underwood of the forest with an underwood of coffee
which completely covers the ground, and again shield this from drying
winds and the burning sun by a complete covering of trees, either those of
the original forest or others planted to take their place, the case is
entirely altered, and from the coffee land thus shaded there is no more
loss of water and soil (perhaps not so much loss of water, as great pains
are taken to avert wash) than there was in the original forest, and the
climatic and conservative effects of forests are therefore entirely
undisturbed. Wherever, then, lands exist which are suitable for coffee
planting under shade, they should certainly, in the interests of the
country generally, and especially of the rapidly increasing population, be
taken up for coffee, and the State forests be confined to those tracts
which, from over heavy rainfall, or other causes, are unsuitable for
coffee planting.

Other products, and especially cinchona, have received a fair amount of
attention in Coorg, and the land on the Ghauts to the westward, where, as
we have seen, the coffee plantations have been abandoned, proved to be
well suited for the production of the commoner kinds of bark, and large
extents of abandoned or semi-abandoned lands were planted with cinchonas.
But when the prices of bark fell (whoever takes to growing a drug will
soon realize the meaning of the phrase "a drug in the market"), the
cultivation was no longer worthy of attention, and has practically died
out. Ceara rubber also met with the same fate.

I may here mention that Messrs. Matheson and Co., who held no less than
7,000 out of the 20,000 acres occupied by Europeans in the Bamboo
district, went to great expense in introducing coffee seed from Brazil,
Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Jamaica, with the view of ascertaining whether
coffee grown from the seed thus imported would be less susceptible to
attacks of leaf disease. But, though the plants raised from these seeds
are doing exceedingly well, it was found that they were also liable to be
attacked by leaf disease, often before they were even out of the nursery,
and in this respect proved to be neither better nor worse than the Coorg
variety of coffee. A clearing of fifty acres has been entirely planted
with coffee raised from Blue Mountain seed, but there is nothing in the
appearance of the trees to show that they are not indigenous to the

Liberian coffee has been tried experimentally in several parts of Coorg,
but I cannot learn that any results have been obtained which would tend
to encourage its adoption as a substitute for the variety at present

It is estimated that the Coorg planters employ at least 30,000 Mysore
labourers in addition to local labourers and those from the Madras
Presidency, and of the 30,000 in question Messrs. Matheson and Co. employ
no less than about 5,000 for six to eight months of the year. The 30,000
coolies, with their maistries, draw from 12 to 15 lakhs of rupees per
annum (from £120,000 to £150,000, estimating the rupee at par, and for the
purposes of a labourer it goes nearly as far in India as when it was so)
in wages, very nearly the whole of which eventually reaches Mysore either
in payment for grain or as a surplus income which the labourers annually
take with them when they return to their homes in Mysore. And as this
capital is largely employed in developing the agricultural resources of
the Mysore State, it is evident that anything that its Government could
do--in the way of railway extension or otherwise--that would stimulate the
employment of labour in Coorg would be of great advantage to the finances
of Mysore. It is extremely interesting to follow the labour-spent capital
of the planters of Coorg to its ultimate destination--to the western
coast, to various parts of the Madras Presidency, and far away into the
interior of Mysore, and to observe its effects on the country and its
financial results. I am not in a position to say exactly what should be
done in the way of railways for Coorg, but I trust I have sufficiently
shown that the British and Mysore Governments are equally interested in
doing all they can, in the way of railway communication and new and
improved roads, to develop and encourage the planting resources of Coorg.

The last visit I paid to Coorg was in October, 1891, immediately after the
breaking up of the Representative Assembly at Mysore, a full account of
which I have given in a previous chapter. I left Mysore on the morning of
Tuesday, October 20th, and on the first day drove to Hunsur, a town of
between four and five thousand inhabitants, which lies twenty-eight miles
to the west of Mysore city. At this place are the extensive coffee works
and manure preparing establishment of Messrs. Matheson and Co., by whose
manager I was most hospitably and agreeably entertained. Rather an
interesting incident in connection with a panther had once occurred at his
house, and as this illustrates what I have previously mentioned as to the
(to man) innocuous character of this animal, it may not be uninteresting
to give an account of what occurred. The circumstances were these.

One night my hostess, some time after retiring to rest, heard a noise in
the open veranda which runs round the side of the bungalow just outside
her bedroom. She got up, and, taking a lamp in her hand, went round a
corner of the building in the direction of the noise, and just as she
turned the corner in question there fell upon her astonished vision the
spectacle of a panther, which at the moment was busily engaged in
devouring the family cat. When the panther saw the lady he tried to make
off along the veranda (which at that point was shut in at the side by a
trellis-work), but at the moment of his flight the cook, who had also
heard the noise, appeared at the opposite end of the veranda with a lamp
in his hand. The panther then turned back in the direction of the lady,
who stood spell-bound with the lamp in her hand, and as the cook,
apparently equally spell-bound, remained stationary with his lamp, the
panther, being thus as it were between two fires, lay down under a table
which was placed against the wall of the veranda. At last he got up, made
a move in the direction of the cook, and then changing his mind, rushed
past the lady, and thus made his escape. Panthers seem to be numerous
about Hunsur, and I heard another interesting story of their boldness,
which I have not space to give, from a neighbour of my host.

After staying for a day at Hunsur, I drove, on October 22nd, to Titimutty,
a small village on the frontier of Coorg, where I was met by Mr. Rose, of
Hill Grove Estate, who drove me to his plantation near Polibetta, which is
in the Bamboo district previously alluded to as containing about
two-thirds of the European plantations in Coorg. Shortly after leaving
Titimutty we drove through coffee on both sides of the road, and, though I
spent four days in the district, and was constantly on the move, I was
never once out of sight of coffee, as the plantations lie in a continuous
block, and, as they are all thoroughly shaded, sometimes by the original
forest trees, and sometimes by trees planted for shade, the general effect
is that you are travelling through a forest of which coffee is the
underwood--a forest lying on gently undulating ground from which nothing
can be seen of the surrounding country. As the bungalows of the planters
are of course surrounded by coffee and shade trees, they have necessarily
an extremely shut-in appearance. But this rather _triste_ effect might be
obviated (and I have with good effect obviated it in the case of a
bungalow which lies in the centre of an estate of my own in Mysore) by
cutting vistas here and there through the shade trees through which peeps
may be had of distant hills. This may seem to be a point of little
practical value, but, as I have shown in a previous chapter, the amenities
of an estate are of value, and are likely to become more so when the
desirable nature of shade coffee property is more widely known. The
bungalows in the Bamboo district are very comfortable, most of them having
tennis grounds, and if the vistas I have suggested were cut out, their
attractiveness would be much enhanced. But if the Bamboo district has not
the scenic advantages of plantations in other parts of Coorg and in
Mysore, these are much compensated for by the close proximity of one
plantation to another, and I was told that at certain seasons there was
generally a well-attended lawn tennis party on every day of the week.
There is besides, in the centre of the district, a comfortable club where
balls and dances are occasionally given. In short, the Bamboo district has
features of its own which make it entirely different from any planting
district in India. From being so much shut in, it might, at first sight,
be supposed to be not a very healthy district, but I heard no complaints
on that score, nor, from the appearance of the planters, would it have
occurred to me that the district was at all unhealthy. On the evening of
my arrival there was a dinner-party, at which four ladies were present,
and later on there was music and singing, and all the accompaniments of a
pleasant social life. So much do coffee districts vary in India, that the
party was to me a startling surprise, which the reader may easily
understand when I mention that, after leaving the most northerly
plantation in Coorg and entering my district of Manjarabad, there is only
one resident lady to be found there, and it is not till you reach the
northern district of Mysore, some sixty miles further, that ladies, in the
plural, again commence, though even there they do not exist to a very
serious extent.

On the afternoon of the day of my arrival I walked round my host's estate,
which carried an excellent crop, and also visited a neighbouring property.
On the following morning I drove to the Dubarri estate, and walked round
part of it, and in the afternoon visited the club--a comfortable, and in
every respect suitable, building which, as I mentioned, is occasionally
used for dances. I also visited the co-operative store, which contained a
large supply of various articles. The church, which was close to the club,
had been recently built, at a cost of 5,000 rupees, but, when I saw it,
the interior was not quite finished. I may mention that in the Bamboo
district there is a resident doctor who is employed by the various
estates. Later on in the afternoon I rode from the club with Mr. William
Davies to the Mattada Kadu estate (Messrs. Matheson and Co.'s property),
of which he is manager, and rode through coffee all the way to the
bungalow. I was most kindly entertained by Mr. Davies, who had a party of
the neighbouring planters to meet me at dinner, after which we had much
talk on the subject in which we were all mutually interested. On the
following morning I awoke early, and was rather surprised, shortly after
daylight, to hear the names of the coolies called over from the
check-roll, as, though early hours were kept in the old days in Mysore, we
have now become considerably later, owing, I surmise, to feeling that in
these labour-competing days we are not as completely master as we once
were. After a small breakfast I rode through the estate, guided by Mr.
Davies, who was accompanied by two of his guests of the night before, and
we then passed into the Nullagottay estate (all Messrs. Matheson's), after
which we entered into Whust Nullagottay, and went to the bungalow from
which (there is always an exception) there is a fine view of the
Brahmagiri Hills. After a very short stay we again mounted, and presently
passed into the Whoshully estate, and finally arrived, after riding
through that property, at about midday at Mr. Robinson's bungalow, where
we had breakfast. Mr. Rose came over in the afternoon, and we rode home to
Hill Grove through Messrs. Matheson's estate which had been bought from
Mr. Minchin, besides visiting the Hope estate. I thus rode through coffee
for nearly the entire day. On the following day I went over another
adjacent property, and on the day after, Monday, October 26th, started for
Mercara, the capital of Coorg. I drove by way of Siddapur, paid a short
visit to Cannon Kadu estate, and arrived at Abiel, Mr. Martin's estate,
at about midday, rode round his estate in the afternoon, and then drove on
to Mr. E. Meynell's charming home--the Retreat--which is about a mile from
the town of Mercara.

I was particularly struck with the arrangements of this house, as it was a
thoroughly English-looking home in every respect, and I only wish I could
give a plan of it as a model for a residence in the hill and planting
districts of India. The front veranda was inclosed with glass, and lined
with flowers in pots, and from the centre of this projected a
conservatory, at the end of which was the front door. You thus, after
driving up to the house, walked through a conservatory into the inclosed
veranda, and this not only gave a very pretty effect, but was practically
useful by keeping carriages, with their attendant dust and disagreeables,
at a sufficient distance from the veranda. My hostess very kindly
permitted me to see the kitchen arrangements. These, as well as the
storerooms, were in a wing projecting from the back of the bungalow. The
kitchen, which consisted of a separate room, with a single door, was
furnished with a Wilson range, and there was no door between the kitchen
and the scullery. The latter was at the outside edge of the wing, and was
entered by its own door--an arrangement, by the way, that might be
practised with advantage in this country, as a connecting door is liable
to admit smells from the scullery into the kitchen. The reader will, I
trust, excuse the mention of these apparently trivial matters, but as I
strongly suspect that much of the ill-health in India is due to the dirt
and horrors of the Indian cook-room, which is usually at a little distance
from the bungalow, and turned into a general lounge for the servants, I
think it well to show that, with a little contrivance and attention, as
great a degree of order and cleanliness may exist in India as in any other
portion of the globe.

On the following day I called on Mr. Mann, son of one of the pioneer
planters of 1855, and inspected an interesting coffee garden of four acres
which is close to his bungalow in Mercara. Some of the coffee trees were
planted thirty and others forty years ago, and they have given for many
years fifteen hundredweight an acre on the average, and though many of the
trees were evidently suffering from the effects of overbearing, there
seemed no reason why they should not continue to bear good crops for an
indefinite period of time. Estimating the value of the coffee at 80s. a
hundredweight, the produce of an acre would be worth £60, of 100 acres
£6,000, and allowing one-half for expenses--a very liberal estimate--there
would be a clear income of £3,000 a year from 100 acres of such coffee. As
100 acres of land so situated--it was flat, lay in a hollow, and was well
sheltered--could not be obtained, it might seem that an account of this
garden could be of no practical value. But the garden in question raises
one very important point in the mind, and that is whether it would not be
better to abandon all inferior soils and situations on an estate, and
concentrate all the labour and manurial resources on a more limited area,
every operation on which could be carried out exactly at the right moment.
This is a highly important question which I state here for the
consideration of planters.

After spending two pleasant days at the Retreat, I bade my kind host and
hostess good-bye (I have thanked Mr. Meynell, who I may mention represents
Messrs. Matheson's large interests in Coorg, in the preface for the
valuable information he subsequently sent me as regards planting in
Coorg), and went on my way towards my home in Mysore, and stayed first at
the Hallery estate, which is about six miles from Mercara, and is the
property of my friend Mr. Mangles. The approach to the bungalow through
the coffee is very pretty; the building stands at the head of a slope,
and commands a fine and extensive view of the country and the distant
hills. The amenities here had been well attended to: below the front of
the bungalow terraces edged with balustrades had been cut, and formed into
flower gardens, and I was glad to see that, in parts of the plantation,
from which good views could be had, there were seats. I may observe here
that there is a great want in plantations of seats, which are now the more
needed as all logs in the old plantations have of course disappeared. Near
the bungalow is an excellent stable, well paved, and quite in English
style. On the following morning I wont with Mr. Sprott, who is in charge
of Mr. Mangles's estate, to visit his Santigherry property, some seven
miles distant, and on the way there went on the left of the road through a
plantation belonging to Messrs. Macpherson and Ainslie. After this we
re-entered the main road, passed the village of Santikoopa, and then
entered and went round the estate we had come to visit. On the way home we
diverged to the left and went through Mr. Murray Ainslie's estate, and
round by an estate owned by Mr. Campbell, and finally arrived at Hallery
at about half-past twelve. In the afternoon I went round part of the
estate, which I had already seen something of on the day of my arrival.

Early the following morning, after bidding good-bye to the host and
hostess who had so kindly entertained me, I started on my journey
northwards, and after a troublesome and trying drive (for my horses), in
which two rivers had to be crossed by ferry boats, and much deep
unmetalled road struggled through, I arrived at 12.30 at
Coovercolley--another estate of Mr. Mangles's--where I was kindly
entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Trelawney (Mr. Trelawney manages this fine
property). The bungalow here is particularly comfortable, and had the
great advantage of a very wide open veranda. On the right of the approach
to the bungalow was a neatly trimmed shoe flower hedge, which had a very
pretty effect, and, as at Hallery, terraces had been cut in front for a
flower garden. From the front of the bungalow there is an extensive view
of much of the Coorg country, and I was particularly struck by its
continuous jungly character, and with its great contrast to the Mysore
country to the north, which is not so much a jungly country, as an open
grass country studded with occasional wood, and park-like groups of trees.
On the afternoon of my arrival I rode round part of this fine estate, and
inspected other parts of it on the following morning and evening. On the
next morning I started at a quarter to six, and after driving about
twenty-four miles, crossed the frontier, and entered Manjarabad--the
southernmost coffee district of Mysore. The northernmost part of Coorg
consists of a long tongue of land which projects into Mysore, and the
scenery, in its beautiful, open, and park-like character, naturally
resembles that of Manjarabad.

On my visit to Coorg I look back with pleasure. It was, indeed, extremely
enjoyable and instructive, and I cannot help regretting the fact that,
owing to the nature of their duties, planters are obliged to remain so
continuously at home; and then, of course, when they can get away, they
naturally go for change of air and scene anywhere out of the coffee
districts. The result of this is that the planters of the north of Mysore
see little of those in the south, and that neither have any intercourse
with Coorg, and that, in consequence, much valuable interchange of views
and experiences that might otherwise take place cannot now do so. Had such
intercourse existed, many of the mistakes made in Coorg as regards shade
would probably have been avoided, and much loss of money averted.

The reader will have noticed that I have hitherto made no observations on
the coffee I saw in Coorg, my reason for not doing so being that I thought
they might be more conveniently reserved for the close of the chapter. I
am glad that in the course of my observations I shall have much to say in
praise of the state of coffee in Coorg, and if I should seem to be a
little free in my remarks as to the management of shade, I trust that my
Coorg readers will bear in mind that my experience of trees planted as
shade to supply the place of original forest trees removed is the oldest
in India, and stretches back to the year 1857, and that it requires a very
long time, as they will see by consulting the chapter on shade, before all
the points connected with shade trees can be proved with certainty. That
mistakes as regards shade should have been made in Coorg, where shade
experience is comparatively recent, is not at all surprising; in former
times numerous mistakes were made in Mysore, and have only been rectified
by long experience and observation.

My general impression on going through the Bamboo district of Coorg was
that it contains a certain proportion of land of poor character (and this
can be said of most coffee districts) which should never have been opened,
but that there are many excellent and valuable estates, though it was
plain to me that, from the more weakly, or perhaps I should rather say
less robust, character of the shoots, and the appearance of the soil, it
had, as a rule, much less growing power in it, and would consequently
require more manure, than the deep and heavier soils of Mysore. But these
soils in the Bamboo district, though lighter in character, are of course
(and this is a fact of no small importance) more easily worked than those
of Mysore. The next point that attracted my attention was the shade, and
of the numerous estates that I saw in the Bamboo district there were only
two that at all came up to my idea of what a well shaded property ought to
be. I could see little signs of the shade being varied in kind and
quantity to suit the various aspects, and many trees were preserved which
were merely throwing shadow, not on to the coffee, but on to adjacent
trees. Then I found that in one excellent piece of young coffee the shade
had been planted in lines running from east to west, instead of being
closely planted in lines from north to south (_vide_ chapter on shade).
The shade, too, generally speaking, was far too largely composed of one
kind of tree,--the Attí-mara (_Ficus glomerata_)--and finally this tree,
the defects of which I have remarked upon in my chapter on shade, was
badly managed by being trimmed up to a considerable height above the
ground. The result of this was that on land on which there was an enormous
number of trees there was far too little shade, and a forester fresh from
England would never have imagined that the planters had intended to grow
umbrageous trees for the double purpose of lowering the temperature of the
plantation and sheltering the coffee from sun and parching winds, but
would have supposed that they were engaged in growing timber for sale. I
saw land which, I feel sure, had at least three times the number of trees
that would have been sufficient to shade it fully, had they been properly
treated. Such a number of trees throw out, of course, a corresponding
number of large roots, and one planter told me that in some instances
coffee was being killed by the masses of Attí root in the land. As regards
shade, then, there is much room for improvement in Coorg, and especial
attention should be paid to this in the Bamboo district which has suffered
so much from Borer. This pest, we know, thrives best under warm and dry
conditions, and it is therefore of great importance that the kinds of
shade most recommended in my chapter on shade should be freely planted,
and other kinds gradually removed.

There was a very good crop on the trees when I passed through Coorg--one
that, when picked, quite exceeded the expectations of the planters--and I
saw two estates which had at once a good crop on the trees, leaves of
good, well-fed looking colour, and a show of wood giving promise of an
equally good crop for the following year; and it says well for cultivation
in Coorg that any estate could show this, for the tendency of coffee, as
of most fruit trees, is to give heavy and light crops alternately. As it
is important to know the manures that were used to produce such results, I
may mention that on one of these estates 6 cwt. of castor cake and 3 cwt.
of bones had been applied the previous year, and for the four preceding
years 2 cwt. of castor cake and 1 cwt. of bone had been used, but, in the
opinion of the manager, the latter application had proved too small. On
the other estate one-third of a bushel of cattle manure per tree, and from
7 cwt. to 10 cwt. of bones had been applied once in three years, and
composts also had been used to a considerable extent. These were formed
first of a layer of vegetable rubbish, then fresh pulp and lime, and
lastly a layer of soil. The estate last referred to, on which the cattle
manure, bones and compost had been used, belongs to Mr. Mangles--his
Coovercolley estate--and is certainly the finest I ever saw, if we take
into consideration the state of the soil, the colour of the foliage, and
the evident prospect of continuously good crops. So well fed, indeed, was
the land with nitrogen, that an application of nitrate of soda produced no
perceptible effect on the trees. The land was probably over supplied with
phosphoric acid, and an analysis of the soil would be of practical value,
for if, as I have good reason to surmise, there is a very large supply of
phosphoric acid in the soil, the use of bones might be suspended for some
years, and a light application of lime used instead. Ten acres, at any
rate, might be tried as an experiment. I was shown one piece of coffee
which had been manured, when it was two years old, with cattle manure, and
this piece had remained perceptibly superior ever since. On this estate
600 cattle are kept for the sake of their manure. I would suggest that
the proprietor might, on say ten acres, discontinue the use of cattle
manure, and, as an experiment, apply dressings of jungle top-soil instead,
or the red earth alluded to in my chapter on manures, should that be
available. The experiment might be valuable to the proprietor and to
planters in general. Cattle manure is very expensive, and when 12 to 14
tons per acre--some fairly well rotted and some slightly so--were used in
Coorg on one estate the cost was 72 rupees an acre, including cost of

In bringing these brief remarks to a close, I may observe that I formed a
very high opinion of coffee in Coorg, and I feel confident that if the
shade were remodelled on the system recommended in my chapter on that
subject, the losses from Borer and leaf disease would be largely
diminished, and a great general improvement in the coffee take place. We
have experienced such results from improved shade in Mysore, and there can
be no doubt that similar results will follow in Coorg. In remodelling the
shade system, all light and dry soils should be first attended to and
planted up with trees which give an ample and cool shade. The treatment of
other parts of plantations may be postponed.

As regards the profits that may reasonably be expected from well managed
and well situated estates in Coorg, I am happy to say that I have obtained
from a friend the returns from his estates for the last ten years, and as
his properties are of large extent, the return may be regarded as a very
reliable one, more especially as the prices for three years of the period
were very low. The average yield per acre was 4 cwt. 1 qr. 7 lbs.; the
expenses, £9 4s. 2d., and the profits per acre £7 8s. 6d.

I only wish that, in conclusion, I could give as favourable an account of
the prospects of sport in Coorg as I can of its coffee. Twenty-five years
ago there was good big game shooting, but the absence of game laws, and
the indiscriminate destruction of does, fawns, and cow bisons by the
natives, at every season of the year, have changed all that, and it is
with a melancholy smile that one reads in the "Coorg Gazetteer" that the
Coorgs are such ardent sportsmen that they have hardly left a head of game
in the country. But the first sign of advanced civilization--the
intelligent preservation of wild animals--has begun, or will shortly be
begun, in the enlightened state of Mysore, and I trust that its good
example may soon be followed in Coorg, and all parts of India. With the
aid of preservation game will soon increase in the more remote forests
into which it has been driven back, and from thence spread into other
parts of the country.


[48] "Manual of Coorg," compiled by Rev. G. Richter, Principal, Government
Central College, Mercara. Mangalore, 1870.

[49] The late Mr. William Pringle, who, after leaving Coorg, wrote in
1891, for the "Madras Mail," some interesting and suggestive papers on the
cultivation of coffee.

[50] I make this statement on the authority of Mr. Meynell (_vide_
preface), and it is, no doubt, the result of his experience in the Bamboo
district, but his estimate could hardly, I should say, apply to the
estates I visited in North Coorg.



After a long and attentive observation of the various occupations of life,
I have no hesitation in saying that, for one who has to earn his bread
somewhere, the life of a planter in Mysore, if not the very pleasantest
and most interesting (and as far as my own experience goes it is both) in
the world, is assuredly one of the most agreeable occupations that anyone
of intelligence, industry, and active habits, and fond of sport and an
independent and open-air life, could betake himself to. It will be
observed that I place intelligence in the van, and I do so because, though
there is some truth in the native proverb which declares that, "with
plenty of manure even an idiot may be a successful agriculturist," I know
of no occupation that calls for a greater degree of intelligence and
steady application than that of a planter in Mysore, or any district where
shade trees are required. For where the planter has only to deal, as he
has in Ceylon, with the coffee on his land and nothing else, the business,
though even then of course requiring considerable skill and intelligence,
is comparatively speaking a simple one. But in Mysore the necessity of
providing shade for the coffee gives us at once an additional and highly
complicated business in the planting and management of the shade trees,
and their selection and distribution to suit the various soils, aspects
and gradients we have to deal with. Then the fact of having shade trees,
which of course take up much of the manure intended for the coffee, makes
the application of the manure, and especially the quantity to be put down
at a time, a matter of constant doubt, for on the one hand, how much do
the shade trees not rob us of, and on the other hand, how much do they not
return to the land by their fallen leaves? Then should we not manure and
cultivate in a different manner and degree the coffee under the direct
shade of the trees, and the coffee in the open spaces between them? Such
are some of the numerous points connected with coffee planting under
shade, to which I briefly allude at the outset in order to show those who
wish to plant coffee that a high degree of intelligence, and power of
observation, are required to make a successful planter. Then it must be
considered further that a colloquial knowledge of the Kanarese language
must be acquired--a language which, from its admixture of ancient and
modern Kanarese, the variation in the accent, and the words in common use
in various parts of the country, is generally considered to be the most
difficult in India. And, as will be seen further on, it requires no small
amount of study and observation in order to determine how best to lay out
money in the purchase or manufacture of manures. There is also occasion
for much tact, firmness, and temper, in dealing with the labourers and
overseers on the estates, and also the native population with which nearly
all the estates in Mysore are surrounded. Then much tact and judgment is
required in dealing with the Government officials. Other points might also
be added, but I have probably said enough to caution those who may be
inclined to embark in coffee planting in Mysore, against assuming, as has
hitherto been too often done, that it is a business which may be managed
by people of inferior capacity.

I have said that the occupation is an agreeable one, and may add that,
though the life of a planter involves much attention to his business,
there is no really hard work in the sense that there is hard work in the
colonies, and, from the coffee being in shade, there is no exposure to the
sun, while as all the preparation of the crop is done by agents on the
coast, there is none of that indoor factory work which tea planters have
to undertake. Then the climate, taking it all the year round, is
distinctly an agreeable one,--an exquisitely fine one in the winter, never
disagreeably warm in the hot weather, owing to the coffee districts being
under the influence of breezes from the western sea, only disagreeably wet
in the monsoon, though then the climate is so fresh and healthy, that many
find that season of the year to be by no means unpleasant. Besides, during
the worst part of the wet season, there is comparatively little to do, and
the owner of an estate can then leave home for change of air and scene. As
regards the healthiness of Mysore, I can only say that everything depends
on the discretion of the individual. If he chooses to take reasonable care
of himself, experience shows that the climate is a decidedly healthy one,
but if he chooses to expose himself unnecessarily, and fails to take those
precautions as regards food, and against chills which all sensible people
do, then he will be pretty sure to get fever. I may mention that the
elevations of the coffee estates vary from 2,800 to about 4,000 feet above
the level of the sea, which partly accounts for the temperate nature of
the climate, though this of course is, as I have previously pointed out,
very largely controlled and improved by the estates being under the
influence of the charming sea-breezes of the Western Ghauts. And if the
planter wishes to avoid the hot weather altogether, he has only to go to
Ootacamund, 7,000 feet above sea-level, where he will not only come in for
a delightful climate, but for the Ootacamund season. April and May may be
pleasantly spent there, and when the monsoon begins in June, the planter
who desires to avoid it can go to Bangalore, where he will be in time for
the season there, and he can afterwards return to his estate in September.
This is a change I can recommend from practical experience. Or should a
change to England be preferred, the planter should leave India about the
end of April, and return in October. Such changes as these of course are
only to be thought of when the planter has made his way in the world; and
I only allude to them here to show that he may personally see to the
carrying out of all the important operations from October till April, and
either spend the remainder of his time under most agreeable circumstances
in India, or pass the summer and autumn in England. In former days such
changes could not reasonably have been contemplated, owing partly to the
time taken up in travelling, and partly to the cost, but we now have
railways within thirty to sixty miles of the various plantations, and it
is certain that at no very distant date these distances will be halved,
and that we shall then be within seventeen to eighteen days of London--at
present we may be said to be within eighteen to nineteen days of it. In
expense the cost has been halved; a first-class return ticket from Bombay
to London may now be had for £90, and on other lines of steamers the rates
are lower. But it is now time to turn from matters of detail to consider
the advantages of coffee in Mysore, as a good, safe, and permanent
investment, and in order to show that the two last mentioned statements
are well founded, I have obtained some details which will show the
probable profits of coffee in Mysore. For obvious reasons I withhold the
names of the estates. I have said that the investment is a permanent one,
and by this I mean that, unless ruined by profound and incredible
stupidity, a well shaded coffee estate in Mysore will last as long as the
world will, or at any rate as long as the inhabitants of it choose to
drink coffee, and in confirmation of this opinion, I may mention that one
of the most flourishing pieces of coffee I have ever seen in Mysore was
planted on land first opened about ninety-five years ago, and which was
replanted about seventy years after it was first opened. I can also point
to land opened in 1857, and which has in recent years been replanted with
the new variety of coffee imported from Coorg, and, as the owner of it
said to me last year when we were going round the property, "The estate is
now looking better than you have ever seen it." But all the old estates in
Mysore that were planted in the proper coffee zone are in existence now,
and many of them look better than they ever did. The durability of coffee
property in Mysore, then, is, as we have seen, not a subject of
speculation, but an ascertained fact, and I now proceed to show that it is
as profitable as it is durable.

The first case I have to give relates to coffee property purchased by a
friend of mine with money borrowed at eight per cent. interest, and with
his permission I publish an account of his investment, as it not only
shows what has been done in Mysore in the face of great difficulties, but
illustrates the profits that may be expected from a property that is well
managed, and well situated as regards soil and climate. In 1876, then, he
purchased a native estate of 240 acres of good coffee land, of which 180
acres had been very irregularly planted with "chick" coffee (the original
Mysore plant). The total cost amounted to 98,000 rupees, which sum was
borrowed at eight per cent. By 1880 the loan was reduced, from the profits
of the coffee, by about 30,000 rupees, and my friend then purchased an
adjoining native estate of 163 acres, sixty of which were also very
irregularly planted with chick coffee. The price was 13,250 rupees, which
he also borrowed at eight per cent. The total amount borrowed was thus
111,250 rupees, and the total coffee land was 403 acres. Up to about this
time the chick coffee had done fairly well, and by 1880 the loan, as we
have seen, was reduced by 30,000 rupees, but soon afterwards this variety
of coffee plant began rapidly to deteriorate all over the district, and
estates like my friend's, which had hitherto given satisfactory profits,
did but little more than pay their working expenses. But, luckily for
himself, my friend, directly after the purchase of each estate, began to
plant them with the Coorg kind of coffee (afterwards fully alluded to in
this chapter) which had been recently introduced, and, as the old chick
trees were from six to seven feet high, and had no lower branches, they
did not for some time interfere with the progress of the Coorg plants, and
yielded enough to pay expenses. As the Coorg plants came into bearing the
old chick plants were removed, and in 1887-88 nearly ninety tons of coffee
were picked, and by that year the whole debt, principal and interest, was
paid off, and a considerable balance was left over to my friend's credit.
In 1889-90 the property gave him a clear profit of £3,350, and it has done
well ever since. Thus with all these tremendous difficulties to contend
with, and in the face of the loss of all the old coffee, and after having
to replant the whole property at great expense, my friend found himself in
the possession of an estate, free of all debt, capable of yielding good
annual profits. And it must be remembered, further, that this result was
obtained, not from virgin forest land exclusively, but from land the
greater part of which consisted of old native plantations.

There are, I need hardly say, no means of ascertaining the profits that
may be expected from coffee in Mysore, but the following analysis of a
Manjarabad estate of 400 acres under cultivation, which has been supplied
to me by a friend, will form a fair guide to what may be reasonably
expected from a Mysore estate where the management is good. In the case
in question, the average crop for the last five years, has been 3-3/4 cwt.
an acre. The expenses were 111-1/2 rupees an acre, and the average profit
111-1/10 rupees per acre per annum, or rather over £7 2s. 6d. an acre. I
may add that I consider this a fair average estimate of what may be
expected in Mysore on a well managed estate, as a considerable proportion
of the land in question is of decidedly inferior quality. I have no
special details to give from the northern part of Mysore, but I am
informed by a planter of experience, who resides in that part of the
country that, from a good estate of 200 acres, a profit of from £1,500 to
£2,000 a year may be counted on.

We have seen that the life is attractive, that coffee property is durable
and profitable, and the reputation of the coffee is not exceeded by any
coffee in the world, and, as I shall show further on, the plant is
singularly free, when properly shaded and worked, from risk in any form,
or pests of any kind. Nothing, in short, in the world would appear to be
more desirable as a source of investment than coffee in Mysore, for those
who are prepared to understand and look after it. And with all these
alluring advantages, which I have, I believe, most accurately described,
it might naturally be supposed that, coffee property in Mysore could be
readily disposed of on advantageous terms to the seller. As a matter of
fact, it is quite unsalable at any price that would be at all satisfactory
to the owners. The explanation of this is very simple. Those who are
working their own estates on the spot seldom command enough capital to
invest in new estates, or do not care to extend their property, while
capitalists at a distance, have, from the absence of information, no means
of judging as to whether coffee in Mysore is a good investment or not.
Instead, then, of accurate, or fairly accurate, accounts to rely on, we
have nothing but vague and misleading statements and reports, which often
affect most injuriously industries of sound and thriving character, and,
as an instance in point, I may mention that, from what I had heard of
coffee in Coorg (to which I have devoted a chapter), I should have been
fully prepared, had I not learnt to regard all such reports with
suspicion, to find a district on the high road to ruin. As it was, I was
certainly prepared, and, indeed, expected to find, coffee in Coorg in a
doubtful position. That precisely the reverse proved to be the case was a
most agreeable surprise to me. One of my informants dismissed the whole
matter thus. Coffee in Ceylon, he said, has gone with leaf disease, Wynaad
(the district in the Madras Presidency, south of Coorg) is following,
Coorg will go next, and Mysore last. Ceylon certainly has gone, Wynaad I
will not pronounce upon, as I have not visited the estates in that
district, but that Coorg and Mysore with their shade grown coffee will go
with leaf disease is a mere groundless assertion, as the reader will, I
hope, admit when I come to treat, in its proper place, of leaf disease and
the effect of shade in limiting its amount, and controlling its injurious
effects. And so far had these reports gone, and so thoroughly do the
public at home connect coffee with Ceylon, and Ceylon alone, that a most
thriving Mysore planter told me that, when he visited England, he now took
good care to conceal his occupation, as he found that when he mentioned he
was a coffee planter, people concluded at once that he was ruined. It is,
then, most necessary to lay all the facts connected with coffee in Mysore
before the public, with the view of placing our industry in its legitimate
position, and I therefore make no apology for having gone into this branch
of my subject with considerable minuteness. But it is now time to address
myself particularly to the history and cultivation of coffee in Mysore,
and to other matters in which the planters are directly or indirectly
interested, and first of all it may not be uninteresting if I say a few
words as to the introduction of the plant into India, or at any rate as to
the earliest notices I can find on the subject.

The earliest notice I can find of coffee in India is contained in a Dutch
work entitled "Letters from Malabar," by Jacob Canter Visscher, chaplain
at Cochin. This collection of letters has been translated by Major Drury,
or rather at his instance, and as the date of the Dutch editor's preface
is 1743, it is evident that the coffee plant must have at least been
introduced five or six years earlier, but the date of its introduction is
not mentioned, and we are merely informed, at page 160, that "the coffee
shrub is planted in gardens for pleasure and yields plenty of fruit, which
attains a proper degree of ripeness. But it has not the refined taste of
the Mocha coffee.... An entire new plantation has been laid out in
Ceylon." The plant, however, though introduced at that early period, does
not seem to have met with much attention in India, and I can find no other
allusion to coffee in Indian books till we come to Heyne's Tracts, which
were published in 1800, and we are there merely told that coffee was sold
in the bazaars of Bangalore and Seringapatam.

Turning next to the history of coffee in Mysore, we find that there is no
official record of either plant or planting further back than the year
1822, which is not very surprising, as it was only placed under British
rule in 1831; but tradition in these cases seldom fails to supply some
story which is suitable enough, and it may after all be quite true that,
as reported, a Mussulman pilgrim, about two hundred years ago, returned
from Arabia with seven beans which he planted round his mutt (temple) on
the Bababudan hills in the northern part of Mysore, near which some very
old trees may still be seen, and that from these beans all the coffee in
Mysore has descended. But, though the plant may have been introduced at
this early period, I think it improbable that anything in the shape of
plantations existed before about the close of the last century. And,
though the plant has been known for such a number of years, it is not a
little remarkable that coffee has only come into use by the natives who
grow it in recent years, and when I first settled in Mysore, in 1856, I
was repeatedly asked by the farmers of the country whether we ate the
berry, and of what use it could possibly be. And even now, from all that I
can learn, coffee is rarely used by the natives in the coffee growing
districts, though I am informed that it is so to a considerable extent in
the towns of the province.

I have alluded to the tradition of coffee being first introduced into
Mysore by a Mussulman pilgrim about two hundred years ago, and the species
of coffee that was introduced then, or at some subsequent period, was the
only one known in Mysore when I entered the province in 1855. This plant
was finally called the "Chick" variety of coffee, and the name was taken,
I believe, from the town of Chickmaglur, which lies close to the original
Mysore home of the coffee plant. This variety had thriven well and
promised to do so for an indefinite period of time, but towards the end of
1866, and during the three succeeding years, we had dry hot seasons, which
caused a general attack of the Borer insect, and at about the same time
there occurred a general decline in the constitution of the trees, which,
though no doubt greatly hastened in the majority of instances by the
Borer, of which the reader will find a particular account in a subsequent
chapter, has never been explained, and so serious was this decline that,
had we been dependent wholly on the original Mysore variety, it is the
opinion of one of our most experienced planters that, to use his own
words, "there would have been an end of coffee planting in Mysore except
in the case of a few elevated tracts on the Bababudan range of hills."
But, most fortunately for the planters, the Government, and the people of
Mysore, Mr. Stanley Jupp--a South Mysore planter--took in 1870 a trip into
Coorg, which lies on the south-west of Mysore, and was so favourably
impressed with the variety of coffee grown there that he recommended that
experiments should be made with it in Mysore, and in 1871 experiments on a
considerable scale were made with carefully selected seed which was
obtained from Coorg by Messrs. R. A. and Graham Anderson, Mr. Brooke
Mockett, and Mr. Arthur Jupp. The experiments turned out to be a
remarkable success, the young plants raised from the imported seed grew
with extraordinary vigour, and it was soon found that the new variety
would grow and crop well, and even on land on which all attempts to
reproduce the "Chick" variety had utterly failed. Then this sinking
industry rose almost as suddenly as it had fallen; old and abandoned
estates, and every available acre of forest, and even scrub, were planted
up, and land which used to change hands at from 5 to 10 rupees an acre was
eagerly bought in at twelve times these amounts. But there was still some
anxiety felt as regards the new variety, or rather the produce of it, for
when we took it to market the brokers at once objected and said, "We are
not going to give you Mysore prices for Coorg coffee." But it was found,
as had been anticipated by many experienced planters, that as the trees
from Coorg seed aged the produce each year assimilated more and more in
appearance and quality to that of the old Mysore plant, which is still
grown on some estates in North Mysore, and some years ago I even obtained
a slightly higher price for my coffee from the new variety than a friend
had obtained for coffee of the old "Chick" kind. The coffee industry of
Mysore is now established on a thoroughly sound basis. We have a plant
which crops more regularly and heavily than the old variety, and which is
in every respect satisfactory, and the produce of it has so improved under
the influence of the soil and climate of Mysore, that, with the exception
of the estates which produce the long-established brand of "Cannon's
Mysore," and perhaps a few other estates on the Bababudans which have
retained the original "Chick" variety of coffee, there is little
difference in value between the produce of Coorg plants which have been
long established in Mysore and the coffee of the original and now
generally discarded variety. I may here add that the coffee of Mysore has
always had a high reputation. This high quality has been partly attributed
to soil and climate and partly to the coffee being slowly ripened under
shade. But, however that may be, a glance at the weekly lists in the
"Economist" will show that Mysore coffee of the best quality is commonly
valued at from 10s. to 15s. a cwt. above that of any other kind that
reaches the London market.

I now propose to give a brief account of our coffee land tenures, and
shall then address myself to the intricate question of coffee cultivation
in Mysore, and the still more difficult question of the shade trees which
shelter the coffee from sun and wind, and the soil from the wash of the
tropical rains.

When I entered the province in 1855 anyone who desired to have a given
tract of forest land for coffee planting sent an application to the
Government for it. An inquiry was then made, and, if no objection existed
to the land being made over to the intending settler, or applicant, a
puttah or grant, free of any charge for the land or any fee even in
connection with the grant, was made out in Kanarese, which mentioned the
name of the land and the boundaries of it, and stated that the land was to
be planted with coffee within three years' time, and that, if not so
planted, it was liable to be resumed by the State. No survey was made of
the land, nor was it of any importance to estimate the acreage, there
being no land tax, but in its place a tax of 1 rupee per cwt. of clean
coffee produced, which was only liable to be demanded when the coffee was
exported from the country, and not before. This system may seem to many to
have been an objectionable one, and, from one point of view, no doubt it
was, because the more highly the planter cultivated, the more highly he
paid on each acre of his holding, but, on the other hand, the system
enabled the planter to start with a very small capital, as he paid nothing
for his land, nor a single shilling to the State till he had produced his
crop. For starting and stimulating the industry the system certainly had
its merits; but after the industry had obtained a firm footing, it was
evidently of advantage to institute a taxational system of a different
character, and, after much discussion and correspondence on the subject,
the existing forms of tenure were finally decided on, and the "Mysore
Coffee Land Rules" were formally notified to the public in March, 1885.
There are two forms of grant--Form A, with an assessment of one rupee and
a half an acre, which rate is fixed permanently, and Form B, at one rupee
per acre, with liability to revision at the end of each period of thirty
years. The assessment for local purposes stands now at 1 anna an acre
(1-1/2d. at 2s. exchange), and that is the only taxation we have. There
is not, and never has been, an income-tax in Mysore, nor is it at all
probable that there ever will be, as the finances are in a flourishing
condition, and the revenues under several important heads are improving,
as may be seen on referring to the chapter on the general history of the

Those who desire further and more detailed information regarding the rules
in question, may be referred to the notification of March 24th, 1855, and
I may mention that they are given in full in the "Mysore and Coorg

I regret that I have no precise information to give as regards the
implanted coffee land in Mysore. With reference to the southern part of
the province, I think I am quite safe in saying that all the land suitable
for coffee has been taken up, but I am informed by a correspondent who
resides in the northern part of the province, that in that part of the
country there is much implanted land both in the possession of the
Government and in the hands of private individuals. All along the sides of
the western passes there are indeed large blocks of forest, but these,
from the excessive rainfall, are quite unsuitable for coffee, as I am able
to testify from an unfortunate practical experience, as I once took up
land for coffee on the crests of the Ghauts. After its failure had been
completely proved I sold the land to a planter who has since cultivated
cardamoms on it, and last year the rainfall registered there was no less
than 340 inches, nearly all of which fell between May and the end of

From what has hitherto been written as regards our taxation, I need hardly
say that the planters are well satisfied with the terms granted to them by
the Government. With the roads, post, telegraphs, railways, dispensaries,
and other facilities at their command, and the prospect of a further
important development of communications, they have also every reason to be
satisfied. In short, the progressive character of the Government would
seem to leave nothing to be desired. There is, however, always a "but" in
life, and in our case there are two "buts." The first of these relates to
the state of the law as regards advances given to labourers to be worked
off by them, and to contractors to bring labourers; and the second to
extradition. To these may be added three wants--I can hardly call them
grievances--the want of a Wild Birds' Protection Act, a Game Act, and an
agricultural chemist. On these five points I now propose briefly to

The practice of giving money advances to labourers to be gradually worked
off by them, and to contractors who undertake to supply labourers, has
been productive of great loss and annoyance to employers, a great
temptation to natives to commit fraud, and a source of constant worry to
the officers of the Government. The Government sought by Act XIII. of 1859
to check these evils, not by preventive, but purely by punitive
legislation. Since then there has been a constant demand by employers of
labour for more punitive legislation in the shape of amendments to the Act
of 1859, and from recent assurances made by the Viceroy when he visited
Mysore in 1892, it seems probable that something further will be done on
the same lines. And something may of course be done to insure that the
defaulter shall be severely dealt with--when he is caught. When he is
caught. Yes, therein lies the whole difficulty, one which seems to have
been as completely ignored by the Government as it has been by the
planters in the legislation adopted with a view to check the evils
connected with advances. In order to prove the necessity for further
legislation an old planter once printed an account of a case which he took
up against a defaulting coolie. His description of the hunt, and the wiles
of the defaulting labourer in moving from one part of the country to
another, was positively amusing, and showed conclusively that it did not
pay to attempt to catch a defaulting labourer. What, then, can be the use
of an Act which after all only punishes the coolie when he is caught, if
the trouble and expense involved in catching him be so great, as to make
the game not worth the candle? Is it not evident that the only thing which
can help the planter is legislation which will make it very difficult for
the labourer to obtain money from one employer and then run away and take
an advance from another, and which will make it a comparatively easy
matter to trace a defaulter? Now, after conferring with experienced
planters and some leading native officials, I came to the conclusion that
a system of registration could alone mitigate the serious evils of the
advance system, and in conjunction with them I drew up a draft of a
proposed Act which I laid on the table for the consideration of the Mysore
Government when I attended the Representative Assembly in 1891, and I may
mention that the draft in question has been printed in the Government
Report of the Proceedings. It would be tedious to give an account of the
provisions in the Bill, and it is sufficient to say that its two chief
features were the registration of advances and the limitation of their
amount. The registration was to be effected by its being made compulsory
that when an advance was given three tickets on a Government form should
be issued, one of which was to be held by the employer, the second by the
labourer, and the third by the registrar of the talook. On each ticket was
to be entered the name and address of the advancee, and the sum advanced,
and as this was paid off the amounts so discharged were to be entered by
the employer on the ticket retained by the labourer. When the whole amount
was repaid, the ticket retained by the employer was to be handed to the
registrar, who was then to erase the name of the labourer from the
register of coolies under advances, and before any advance was handed to
the labourer the registry was of course to be effected. The amount of
advance was to be limited to ten rupees, and this was to be worked off in
five months unless in the case of sickness. The object of limiting
advances is as much in the interest of the labourer as of the employer, as
it has been found that native employers of labour often give large
advances to labourers and charge heavy interest on them when the coolie
does not come to work, and thus so effectually get him into debt that he
is reduced to the position of a slave. This system of registration would
no doubt be troublesome, but it is the only way of checking the present
evil system of giving advances which, now that labour is so well paid, is
not really necessary, and that it is not so is evidenced by the fact that
the large bodies of labourers employed in the gold mines receive no
advances whatever. I may here mention that a private system of
registration with reference to labour contractors has been started by the
firm of Messrs. Matheson and Co., in connection with their extensive
estates in Coorg, and that it has been found most useful. The system I
have proposed would be valuable to the contractors, who themselves are
often swindled by labourers to whom they have advanced money.

I now turn to the subject of extradition, the law relating to which has
much aggravated the evils connected with giving advances to labourers. The
want of legislation on this subject has been brought to the notice of the
Viceroy, and it is to be hoped that there may soon be complete reciprocity
between native States and the British Government as regards warrants. At
present a defaulter flying from Mysore to British territory can only be
arrested by calling in the interposition of the Resident, a process so
cumbrous that it is practically true, as alleged in the petition of the
planters of Southern India, that "Planters or contractors residing in
Mysore cannot obtain warrants against defaulters in British territory,
though planters in British territory can obtain warrants against
defaulters in Mysore." This is a grievance which requires redress, not
only for the sake of the planters, but also of all other employers of
labourers, or those who may have made contracts of any kind.

Cattle trespass, I may mention, is not here alluded to because, though it
was at one time a great grievance, a Cattle Trespass Amendment Act
received the assent of His Highness the Maharajah in December, 1892. By
this, where it is proved to the satisfaction of Government that in any
given local area cattle are habitually allowed to trespass on land and
damage crops, the fines will be doubled, and the owner of the land has
besides the right to bring an action for compensation for any damage done
to his land or crops.

Having alluded to our grievances, I now pass on to consider lastly what
may be called our wants as regards wild birds' protection, game
preservation, and a Government agricultural chemist.

A Wild Birds' Protection Act exists in British India, but as its
provisions have not as yet been extended to our province, I would suggest
that Mysore, in consequence of its numerous plantations where coffee and
other plants and trees are liable to be attacked by insects, probably
requires such an Act even more than any other part of India, and I may at
the same time take the opportunity of suggesting that all the native
States should be communicated with so that an Act for the Protection of
Wild Birds may be provided for every part of India. It would be
superfluous to adduce here the numerous and evident advantages that would
arise from the protection of wild birds, as their value is now so
universally recognized, and I therefore pass on to offer a few brief
remarks on game preservation, or, to speak more exactly, of the
preservation of those wild birds and harmless animals which are useful as

The neglect of game preservation in India has not only been a cause of
great loss to the country owing to the reckless waste of the sources of
valuable supplies of food, but has severely injured the farmers in jungly
tracts in a way that seems hitherto to have escaped notice. I allude to
the fact that, in consequence of the wanton destruction of game in the
western forests, tigers are compelled to inflict much greater losses on
the herds of the natives. This is a fact to which I can personally
testify, and which has since the middle of 1892 become steadily more
apparent; for, when game was more plentiful in the forests along the
crests, and at the foot of the Ghauts, the tigers lived largely upon game
and rarely attacked cattle; indeed, so much was this the case that, about
thirty years ago, a native who had the most outlying farm on the crests of
the Ghauts told me that though tigers were constantly about they had never
attacked his cattle. And as I was at the time living near his house, and
clearing land for planting, and never got a shot at a tiger when residing
there, I am sure that his statement was correct. But since that time
English guns have become common, and the destruction of game of all kinds
and of any age has gone on apace, and the result is that the tigers, which
used to confine themselves mainly to preying on wild animals in the
forests, have been forced to fall upon the village cattle, and I have
never known tigers to be more destructive than they are now. On a single
day this year no less than seven cattle were killed by tigers at one
village, and an old planter of more than thirty years' standing, a near
neighbour of mine, alluding to the subject in a recent letter, said, "Yes,
there have been more tigers about this year than I have ever known." But
it is not only on account of the supply of food from game, and for the
sake of the cattle of the natives that a Game Preservation Act is urgently
required, it is also urgently needed in order to check the abominable
cruelties committed by the native hunters. Writing to me with reference to
this subject, Colonel J. P. Grant, the head of the Survey and Settlement
Service, observes as follows:

"Gunning and especially netting, in the most reckless and improvident
manner, are on the increase. Antelope are fast disappearing, and in the
jungle tracts night shooting is clearing out spotted deer especially. As
for cruelty nothing can exceed the indifference of net-workers to any pain
they may cause their captures. Snipe are caught and their legs and wings
broken, and in this condition they are kept alive and carried to market.
The wounding, necessarily reckless during night shooting, is horribly
cruel. Pea fowl, jungle fowl, or anything fairly big, have their eyes sewn
up. I have often seen this. In the case of hares the tying is very cruel,
the thong cutting down to the bone; and the same is the case with any deer
they may catch alive."

The rapid destruction of game of all kinds has been as melancholy as it
has been remarkable, and I confess I never could have believed how
complete, especially as regards small game, the deadly work has been had I
not had occasion in recent years to drive, by easy stages, and early in
the morning, along the whole of the western frontier of Mysore, and also
much of the adjacent district of Coorg. In the old days, when riding, we
always went at a walk and took our guns with us for shots at pea fowl,
jungle fowl, pigeons, and other small game. But now you can neither see
nor hear anything to shoot. And yet one of the favourite accusations of
the Indian Congress against the Indian Government is that in consequence
of the Arms Act the natives are unable to obtain guns and ammunition in
order to defend themselves and their crops from the attacks of wild
animals, though the scarcity of large game, and, in many cases, its
absolute extinction, is notorious to sportsmen all over India. But the
Mysore Government, I am happy to say, has at last directed its attention
to the subject, and I have every reason to believe that a Game Act will
soon be introduced in Mysore.

The last want I have to allude to is that of a Government agricultural
chemist, who should be empowered at a rate of fees, fixed by the State, to
analyze soils and manures for private individuals, and to consult with
planters and others as to the requirements of their soils and the best way
of supplying them with manure. Such an officer would be very useful in
searching for coprolites and new manurial resources. My life-long
experience in agriculture on a large scale both in Scotland and Mysore has
shown me more and more the great value of an agricultural chemist for
discovering new manurial resources, and perhaps more especially
economizing those that already exist; and the great want of such an
officer was brought to the notice of Government by me when I was a member
of the Representative Assembly in 1891.

I may conclude this chapter by alluding to a discovery, or rather, I
should say, a probable discovery, of the greatest importance, of a new
hybrid coffee plant--a cross between the Liberian and the coffea Arabica.
This has occurred on the property of a friend of mine, but, at his
request, I do not publish his name, as he would be inundated with
applications for seed. This magnificent hybrid, of which there are only
two trees in existence as yet, has enormous bearing powers, and leaves
which are apparently absolutely impervious to leaf disease, for I could
not discover a trace of it though the hybrid is standing next to a coffee
plant which is covered with it. It is of course uncertain as yet whether
the new plant can be established as a distinct variety, nor do we know
anything of the flavour of the coffee, as the quantity produced is yet so
small that berries are reserved exclusively for seed; but should it be
possible to establish the new variety (and I know of no reason why it
should not be established), quite a new departure will take place in
coffee production in India, and the value of coffee land will be enormous,
as, from calculations made, the hybrid can produce at the rate of eight or
nine tons an acre, while as many hundredweights an acre would be
considered an unusually heavy crop in Mysore.


[51] "Hayes' Mysore and Coorg Directory," Bangalore. This valuable
compilation, which contains no less than 573 pages, gives a most complete
account of almost everything relating to Mysore and Coorg.



I now turn to the greatest of all the points connected with coffee--the
question of shade. And I call it the greatest point, because if good shade
of the best kind is grown it is absolutely impossible to destroy a
plantation in Mysore, even with the worst conceivable management or
neglect, and I say this after ample experience, as had it not been for the
abundant and excellent shade on a badly-managed property of my own it
would have been permanently ruined. But with plenty of good kinds of shade
trees on the land you might even close the plantation gates, and abandon
the land, and, as long as cattle were kept out, return ten years
afterwards, saw down the coffee, grow suckers from the stumps, plant up
the land with young plants where vacancies had occurred, and in four or
five years the plantation would be as good as ever, and the land even
better, for it would not have been exhausted by crop, and the fallen
leaves from the shade trees would have enriched the soil. And if the old
trees were not in a condition, from old age, to grow suckers that would
develop into good trees, the whole land could be advantageously replanted.
But, as the reader will remember, I have said that the trees must be the
best kinds of shade trees, a subject that requires great study and
observation to master. Before beginning, however, it may be well to point
out those general principles which govern the whole subject, and which at
once show us the best kinds of trees to select, and what is nearly of as
great importance, how to manage them after they have been selected or
planted, and I would lay particular stress on the latter point, which has,
I may observe, been largely if not entirely misunderstood, simply because
the great governing principle has been neglected.

The governing principle, then, as regards shade for coffee is, that you
should have on the land the smallest number of boles, because the more you
multiply boles the more ground you waste; and the greater the number of
large trees there are, the greater, of course, will be the number of large
roots in the land, and the greater demand will there be on the resources
of the soil; the greater, too, will be the waste of manure put down by the
planter for the benefit of his coffee; and last, but by no means least,
the smaller will be the amount of leaf deposit. I have seen much shade so
managed as to give the greatest amount of boles with the smallest amount,
and spread of branches, whereas the object of the planter ought to be to
furnish the smallest number of boles with the greatest proportionate
amount and spread of branches and foliage. And this unfortunate error, the
evil of which will become more and more apparent as time advances, would
never have been committed, had the primary principle I have pointed out
been grasped at the outset.

Let us then keep firmly in mind that, (1) we require trees that will, from
their wide-spreading branches, enable us to do with the smallest number
possible on the land, and that (2) if we trim up the lower branches of
these trees when the trees are young because we do not like to see them
too closely over the coffee, we shall entirely defeat the main object we
have in view, because we shall certainly produce a tall tree with a small
head, and consequently small spread of branches; and the clear
apprehension of the principle first named guides us at once to the
selection of the right kind of trees, and their proper treatment. I will
now proceed to state the names of the trees that are, in my experience,
the most desirable, and, secondly, those which are good for coffee, but
which for various reasons are undesirable. After much and close study of
this important subject, and a very long experience, I have come to the
conclusion that the only trees which are at once easily propagated; free
from the risks of attacks from cattle owing to their being grown from long
cuttings; little liable to attacks from parasites, and which afford a
proper degree of shade, and also admit the largest relative supply of
light; which afford a large supply of leaf deposit; and which lastly, but
by no means leastly, have very wide spreading branches, are only five in
number. I give first the Kanarese and then the botanical name of each.
There are, then, Cub Busree (_Ficus tuberculata_), the Gonee (_Ficus
Mysorensis_), the Kurry Busree (_Ficus infectoria_), Eelee Busree (a
variety of the last named), and Mitlee.[52]

There are two kinds, Heb Mitlee, and Harl Mitlee--the second is a bad
tree. The mitlee grows one fourth quicker than cub busree, and a recent
close attention to this tree shows me that it is a much more desirable
tree than either others or myself once supposed, for not only is it a
quicker grower than the remainder of the most desirable kinds but its
foliage lets in much light. It is, therefore, a most desirable tree for
northern aspects.

I next turn to a class of trees which are undoubtedly good for coffee, but
which, for various reasons to be hereafter given, are less desirable than
the five trees first given. The first of these less desirable trees is
the Jack--Halsen-Mara (_Artocarpus integrifolia_), which was once a
favourite tree, and there can be no doubt that coffee thrives well under
it, but it is not a wide-spreading tree, the shade is too dense for every
aspect, it is a slow grower, and it must be raised from young plants,
which are very liable to be attacked by stray cattle. Then when old, and
sometimes of medium age, it is very liable to be attacked by parasites;
and it produces annually a heavy[53] crop of fruit which costs money and
trouble to remove when immature, and which, if left to ripen, exhausts the
soil. It is, too, liable to suffer much from wind, and, in situations
which are at all windy, is not much to be relied on, as, when under the
influence of wind, the foliage becomes poor and scanty, and the tree
sometimes dies altogether. A study of the foliage will show, that in one
important particular, the five first-named trees are superior to jack, for
their leaves are attached to the twigs by long stalks, and much light is
thus admitted through the spaces between the stalks, while the leaves of
the jack are not only more numerous but are attached by short stalks, and
the foliage thus throws a very dark shade. Then jack, as it is an
evergreen, always affords a thick shade quite continuously, while the five
first-named trees not only cast a chequered shade, but, at certain periods
of the year, shed every leaf, leaving the tree quite bare for some time,
which is an advantage to the coffee. And besides, I have some reason to
suppose that the dense shade of the jack encourages rot (a disease
remarked upon further on), as one of my managers reports that he has
observed it under jack while it was not apparent on the coffee under other
kinds of shade trees. But on hot westerly and southerly slopes, and
especially where the soil is a bad retainer of moisture, and where the
gradient is rather steep, jack may be used with advantage, as in such
situations the heat is great and the light strong. I am therefore taking
steps to remove jack by degrees from all but southerly and westerly
exposures. I may add here that I have found that plants grown from seed
procured from the dry plains of the interior of Mysore, grow more than
twice as fast as plants raised from local seed. In concluding my remarks
on jack, I would particularly advise planters to remove the jack fruit
when immature, and put it into the manure heap, or bury it, as, if left on
the ground, it attracts cattle and village pigs into the plantation. The
fruit is large and full of a great number of seeds which must be an
exhaustive crop on the land. On the Nilgiri hills I am told by the
planters that there is a ready sale for jack fruit, but this is not the
case in coffee districts generally.

The Attí (_Ficus glomerata_) was with me once a favourite tree, and is
generally considered to be a good one, as it affords a cool and desirable
shade. As a young tree it is admirable, but as it ages the foliage becomes
poor and scanty, and the tree has a tendency to run too much to thick
bole, and thick branches, which are poorly supplied with smaller branches
and foliage. When about thirty years old, I have generally found this tree
to be a poor shader, but it can be much improved by severe pruning, or
rather lopping. When thinning out shade on this estate about twenty years
ago, a twelve year old tree had every branch removed preparatory to
cutting down, but by some accident the tree was left standing, and the
stumps of the branches threw out fresh shoots, and the tree is now
flourishing, and has a comparatively wide spread of branches and fair
amount of foliage. It is evident, then, that pruning heavily will cause
the tree to throw out new and vigorous shoots, but as this is a
troublesome and expensive work, and as attí is certainly liable to the
defect above alluded to, and is, besides, not a wide-spreading tree, it is
evidently not so desirable as any of the first five I have named. Attí can
be grown from cuttings, but these must not be large ones, i.e., they
should be thinner than those commonly used when planting cuttings of the
various fig trees recommended at the beginning of the section on shade.

The Noga (so called from its being much used to make bullock yokes from)
or Nogurigay (_Cedrela Microcarpa_) is a favourite tree to plant for
shade, as it is a quick grower, and cattle do not eat it, and it has been
extensively planted in Mysore and Coorg. The shade is fairly good, but the
tree is not a wide spreader. Then it has one very great objection owing to
its being so peculiarly liable, when about thirty years old, to be
severely attacked, and often killed, by parasites, and as it is so liable
to be attacked, and therefore supplies a large quantity of parasite seed,
the tree is the means of spreading these parasites to other shade trees. I
have found that if you even remove every branch that is attacked, and
quite below each parasite, the parasite will spring out again, and even
more vigorously than before. In short, I found it impossible to contend
with the parasites, and am ordering the removal of all Nogurigays from my
plantations. I may add here that when jack is lopped in order to remove
parasites, they do not spring out again in the same way. My head duffadar
informs me that the reason why Nogurigays are so liable to parasites is on
account of the rough, deeply-fissured bark, which retains the parasite
seeds dropped by birds, whereas smooth-barked trees, like the first five
named, of course do not retain them, and hence you rarely see parasites on
smooth-barked trees. Another objection to this tree is that, from its
shedding its leaves in the monsoon, and not growing them again till we are
liable to have hot bursts of sun, you may have a thoroughly saturated soil
exposed to a hot sun, which of course has the effect of rapidly hardening
the soil. A neighbouring planter tells me that he finds the Noga tree
liable to attacks from parasites at even ten years old, and that he
therefore regards the tree as a temporary shade, i.e., as a shade to be
removed after other more desirable trees are ready to take their place.

Since writing this chapter I have again paid particular attention to this
tree, and have been struck with the fact that, for some unknown reason,
some trees of this variety seem to be much more liable to attacks of
parasites than others, while some escape altogether. But it is quite clear
to me that, generally speaking, this tree is not to be relied on, and I
have, therefore, no hesitation in advising planters who have relied on it
as a permanent shade to at once put down trees of the desirable kind first
given with the view of gradually removing the Nogurigays.

Mullee Geruguttee. A very thick, tall tree with large buttresses. Coffee
thrives well under this tree, but it is not a wide spreader, and, when
old, the foliage becomes poor. It is evident that a tree of great
thickness which is not a wide spreader, takes up an immense deal of room
in proportion to the shade that it yields, and this tree is therefore not
so desirable as any of the first five species I have given as being the
most desirable trees.

Howligay (_Acrocarpus Flaxinifolia_). This tree has been largely planted
in Mysore for shade, but no one speaks well of it now. We have some on my
estate upwards of thirty years old, and the foliage is poor and scanty.
The trees, too, shoot up to a great height, and spread but little. By
topping at a certain height, this defect may be remedied to some extent,
but in order to get an efficient shade from this tree you would require to
plant it thickly, and would thus have a large proportion of stems and
roots in the land. This tree, though not injurious to coffee, is certainly
very undesirable as compared with the first-named kinds I have given.
Some years ago two of these trees died on my property, and all the coffee
died around them.

Hessan (_Artocarpus Hirsuta_). Though said to be injurious in poor and
shallow soil, coffee thrives under it in good land, but it has a tendency
everywhere to run to stem, and therefore affords poor shade. An occasional
tree branches out, and affords fair, and in some cases, even good shade,
but, as a rule, this is not a desirable tree. It spreads little and thus
gives but a poor return for the space taken up by its stem and roots.

Nairul (_Eugenia Jambolana_). This is a good shade tree. Coffee thrives
well under it, and wherever it exists, or may have sprung up accidentally
in the plantation, it should be preserved, but it is not, I consider, a
desirable tree to plant, as it is a slow grower and not a wide spreader.

Wartee. This is a tree we have always preserved, but it is a slow growing
tree, not at all a wide spreader, and the leaf deposit from it is not of a
valuable quality, and it is, therefore, not a desirable tree to plant.

Gwoddan (_Dolichos fabaeformis_). Coffee thrives well under this tree, but
it has a great profusion of very hard fruits or seeds about the size of a
small plum, and these, when falling from a high tree, injure the coffee
berries, as may be readily supposed; the tree, too, is not a wide
spreader. It is, therefore, not a desirable tree to plant.

I may mention here that I have recently obtained a supply of seed of
_Albizzia Moluccana_, which is the tree most approved of for shading
coffee in the Island of Java, and I am informed by the superintendent of
the Agri-Horticultural Society's Gardens, Madras (from whom I obtained the
seed), that one of their correspondents who tried it some years ago
reports that, "It grows rapidly, and is of great utility in putting a
field of coffee under a light shade such as coffee likes," and that, "in
four years the _Albizzia Moluccana_, planted thirty feet apart, will cover
the coffee trees." The leaves close during the night, thus giving the
coffee plants the benefit of the moonlight and dew more freely. Each ounce
of the seed contains roughly 1,200 seeds, which, with ordinary care,
should give 1,000 plants, and which, when planted out thirty feet apart,
should shade twenty acres.

I now proceed to consider the methods that are adopted for planting under
shade in Mysore. The first is to clear down and burn the entire forest,
and then plant shade trees along with the coffee. The second is to clear
and burn the underwood, and a certain portion of the forest trees, leaving
the remainder for shade, and the third is (a system which I have myself
adopted in the case of land lying in ravines) to clear off and burn the
entire underwood and trees of the lower part of the ravines, leaving the
upper portions of them, and the remainder of the land to be cleared and
planted, under the original forest trees, as in the second method

There can be no doubt that the first-named method is the easiest. I am
aware that it has been adopted by some very experienced planters, and it
has been partially adopted by myself in the case of all my land in the
lower part of ravines. I am well able to judge of the advantages and
disadvantages of both systems, as I have them under observation and
treatment side by side. On the whole, I think there can be no doubt that
the balance of advantage lies much in favour of land that has not had the
forest cleared wholly and burnt off. It is true that by a wholesale
clearance you at once kill the vast mass of live forest tree roots in the
land, but, on the other hand, you at the same time destroy a store of
slowly-decaying vegetable matter, which is of vast importance, not only in
feeding the coffee, but in maintaining the physical condition of the soil,
and so making it more, easily, and therefore cheaply, workable, and a
better agent for preserving the health of the tree. And as a proof of the
actual loss incurred, I may observe that Colonel C. I. Taylor, in his book
on "The Borer in Coorg, Munzerabad and Nuggar," mentions that an iron peg
driven into the ground so that not a part of it protruded, was found,
after the cleared jungle had been burned, to be no less than six inches
out of the ground. There seems to be a general opinion too that land that
has not been burnt will last far longer, and one experienced planter, Mr.
Brooke Mockett, attributes the circumstances of all the most ancient
estates in Mysore being still in existence to the fact that the land has
never been burnt. Mr. Mockett also informs me that in good land, where
there has been no burn, he has never had Borer severely, though for a time
there was no shade over it, as he cleared down ultimately all the old
forest trees that had been left for shade, and planted fresh shade. I may
mention, too, that I was lately shown an estate in Coorg which had been
partially cleared down and burnt off, and partly planted under the shade
of the old forest trees. In the latter case the plants had never suffered
from Borer or leaf disease and were always healthy, while the coffee in
the former case had suffered from both, and there was certainly a most
marked difference perceptible in favour of the coffee planted in the
unburnt land.

There is also a great difference in my own property in favour of the
coffee planted under the original forest shade as compared with the coffee
on the land that was cleared down and burnt off, notwithstanding that in
the latter case the most approved kinds of shade trees were afterwards
planted, and that the land is now admirably shaded. It is highly important
to notice these facts, both as a guide to those who have land to open, and
also as regards the value of any property that may be for sale, for, after
what I have mentioned, it is clear that a property planted under original
forest shade, where the land has not been burnt off (for it is quite
possible gradually to remove all the old forest trees and replace them
with newly planted shade), must be much more valuable than one where the
entire forest has been cleared down and burnt off. I now proceed to remark
(1) on the course that should be pursued in the case of clearing down and
burning the whole jungle and planting fresh shade, and (2) when planting
under the original shade.

After the land is ready for planting the coffee, and as early as possible
in the monsoon, the young shade trees should be planted in lines or
avenues running from east to west, and the trees should be planted so
close that they may in five or six years touch each other, and thus form
what looks like a series of hedges in parallel lines. The object of this
formation is that as the declination of the sun is southerly during our
non-cloudy or clear sky season, a close shadow may be cast from the south
to the north, so that the spaces between the lines may have a lateral
shade cast on them. When the trees begin to crowd each other every other
one should of course be taken, out, and this may be repeated a second time
if necessary. But, besides the southerly, we have also to consider the hot
westerly sun, which will strike down the avenues from, say, between two
and four in the afternoon. This it is important to block out with
occasional trees planted in the avenue, but it is only, of course, where
the land is exposed to the afternoon sun that the avenues should be
blocked with occasional trees. After fully considering the subject, I find
it impossible to say even approximately at what distance the lines of
trees should be planted, on account of the great variety in the gradients,
and the planter must here use his own judgment; and I can only say
generally that the lines of trees require to be much nearer each other on
a southerly than on a northerly aspect; nearly as close on a westerly
aspect as on a southerly; and on an easterly aspect, at a closer distance
than on a northerly one. Some guide toward the nearness of these lines
will afterwards be found in the remarks on the quantity of shade required
for the various aspects.

After having planted the young shade trees, then, there comes the question
of providing shade for them, for without it their growth will be very
slow, and the planter would have to wait a great many years before
obtaining such an amount of shade as would have an effect in lowering the
temperature of the plantation. He requires then some quick-growing tree as
a nurse for the good caste shade trees, and the only tree I know of that
is suitable for this purpose is the quick-growing charcoal tree (_Sponia
Wightii_)--Kanarese, _gorkul mara_--which springs up with the first rain
after the forest has been cleared and burnt. Planters, I am aware, have,
generally speaking, a great objection to this tree, and it is considered
by Mr. Graham Anderson (_vide_ his book previously quoted) as being
"generally regarded as prejudicial and useless." This conclusion has
probably arisen from the fact that it is certainly a bad thing to have a
rapid grower, and therefore a greedy feeder on the land, and hence it has
been found that the charcoal tree is bad when young. But when it has
attained its full height, which in ordinary circumstances is about thirty
feet (I have one specimen on my property about sixty feet high, the only
one of such a size I ever saw), coffee thrives well under it. This I found
to be the case on plantations on the slopes of the Nilgiri hills, where a
very experienced planter told me that the tree was bad when young for
coffee, but not so when old; and I there saw coffee thriving well under
the shade of old charcoal trees. On my oldest plantation we only preserved
one of the species (all the others having been cut down, as their good
offices as nurses to better trees were no longer required), and the coffee
always throve under it remarkably well. Where, too, the shade has
subsequently become deficient we always plant charcoal as a nurse for the
more desirable trees, and have never observed that it is injurious to
coffee. On the whole, after a very long experience and observation of this
tree, I have no hesitation in recommending it as a nurse to be thinly
distributed amongst the newly-planted shade trees. It is, I may observe,
too, a tree with very light branches, which, of course, can easily be
removed without injury to the coffee, and its branches should be thinned
away when they crowd the young shade trees, and when these have been
sufficiently drawn up and expanded the charcoal tree should be entirely

The subsequent treatment of the shade trees is of great importance. Their
lower branches in the early years of their growth are commonly thin and
weakly, and thus, of course, droop close over the coffee, and often touch
it. Then the inexperienced shade tree grower begins to lop off the lower
branches, with the result that he injures and bleeds the young tree, and
deprives it of the nutriment it would otherwise derive from its full
allowance of foliage. Some carry this trimming up to a very injurious
extent, and the result is that they grow young trees with long stems and
poor foliage, and a narrow spread of branches, and thus require many more
trees in the land than they would if they exercised a little more patience
at first. But if the tree is only left alone the evil of branches drooping
downwards on to the coffee will soon disappear, as these branches will not
only rise with the rising stem, but will thicken and grow upwards, instead
of drooping as they did when young and weakly. And some planters, I
observe, are by no means satisfied with lopping the lower boughs, but trim
off branches fifteen feet from the ground. Under such a system the number
of shade trees required is enormous, and the evils arising from the
number of boles with their vast mass of large roots will only be the more
severely apparent as time advances. By one shade planter in Coorg I have
been told that coffee there has already been suffering much from the
quantity of boles and tree roots in the land, in consequence of the
trimming up system and the quantity of trees required in consequence. It
should also be remembered that we require our shade not only to protect
our coffee from the sun's rays, but to shield it from those parching winds
which sweep across the arid plains of the interior of India, and to
prevent the drying up of the land. And is it not perfectly obvious that if
we trim up the trees so as to produce a long stem with a small crown, the
parching winds will sweep unchecked over plants and soil? There is,
however, the usual proverbial exception, and that is in the case of trees
growing near the bottoms of ravines with steep sides to them, and where
you often want a drawn up stem and crown to cast a shadow on to a hot
western or southern bank, and in such cases, of course, trimming up is
necessary. Having thus discussed the planting of coffee where the forest
has been cut wholly down and burnt, we will now turn to planting under the
shade of the original forest trees.

In opening, then, a plantation which is to be shaded by preserving a
portion of the original forest trees, the first thing to be done is to
clear a wide track through the underwood from one end of the block of
forest to the other, and as many tracks at right angles to the line as may
facilitate your getting about and thoroughly inspecting the land to be
cleared. The next thing to be done is to cut a wide track round the entire
portion to be cleared, leaving a belt of from fifteen to twenty yards as a
margin between the land to be cleared and the grassland lying outside the
forest. This marginal belt will often be found useful for shelter in many
cases, and it must be borne in mind, too, that the margins of jungles are
generally composed of land into which the forest has more recently
extended itself, and are therefore poorer than the interior portion of the
forest, and consequently less adapted to the growth of the coffee. Another
advantage of this marginal belt is that it will prevent fires spreading
from the grasslands, and that by planting thorny climbing plants on its
outer edge a good fence may be formed. Another very great advantage I have
found from such belts is that valuable top soil may be taken from them to
manure the adjacent coffee, and especially to afford a supply of rich
virgin soil when filling up vacancies in the old coffee. This last use of
the marginal belt is particularly valuable, as it is both troublesome and
expensive to lay down either cattle manure or top soil brought from a
distance in those odd corners here and there in the plantations where
vacancies are apt to occur.

After the above suggested preliminary tracks have been opened out, the
whole underwood should be cleared and piled in heaps, and as far as
possible, of course, from the trees which are most desirable for shade.
Then the trees positively injurious to coffee should be cut down and their
branches lopped and piled on the stumps of the objectionable trees, and
after this a certain proportion of the less desirable kinds should be
felled. All burning should be carried on in separate piles, as a running
fire through the clearing would be fatal to the standing trees, and, when
firing the piles they should be burnt off in detail at as great a distance
from each other as possible, as the bark of many of the forest trees is
easily injured by the heat arising from many blazing piles in their
neighbourhood. The land having thus been thoroughly cleared, should be

But by the process I have recommended much more shade will be left than
will ultimately be required, and I have found that it is impossible to
clear down at once all the trees you wish to get rid of, as, if you did,
you would be sure to require such a number of piles as would, when they
were burnt, be sure to injure the trees to be preserved. It is therefore
necessary to complete the clearing during the season following. Such
trees, then, as you may wish further to remove may be thrown down between
the rows of coffee, and others which may be likely to do much damage,
either to the coffee or to the shade trees to be preserved, may be lopped
and barked, and they should be barked as high up as a man can reach, as we
have found that trees barked close to the ground die slowly.

It sometimes, however, happens that the forest land is much cut up with
narrow and deep ravines, and in that case the bottoms of such ravines
should be cleared off entirely, and this can be done without injury to the
standing trees above, as, when the wood in the bottom of the ravine is
being burnt the flames will be too distant to inflict any injury to the
trees left for shade higher up the slopes, but, as I have said, great care
must be taken to prevent any running fire through the shaded land; and I
can speak of the effect of such a fire from a melancholy experience. In
the event of bottoms of ravines being thus cleared down, it may afterwards
be found desirable to supply fresh shade on the southern and western
slopes, and this can easily be done on the system recommended previously
for lands which have been entirely cleared down.

It is time now to turn our attention to the extremely complicated question
of the quantity of shade required for the various aspects, gradients, and
soils we have to deal with, and let us in the first place begin with some
remarks on the effects of aspect as regards heat.

In considering, then, aspect as regards sun and heat, I may observe that
it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of taking into account the
immense variation in temperature on the different exposures. For the
effect that the sun's rays have on certain aspects in heating the soil and
drying up the plant, are such as would be extremely difficult to believe,
had the facts not been verified by competent observers, and with the aid
of the thermometer. And as regards northern and southern slopes in
particular, we shall find that the difference between one exposure and the
other is just what constitutes the difference between green and dried
grass, and between leaves luxuriantly green and leaves dry and withered.
And that the first is literally true may be seen by anyone in the months
of January and February, for in these months you will see grass on
northern aspects green, and, comparatively speaking, fresh, while, even in
a valley sheltered from drying winds, the grass on the southern slopes is
completely withered. And you will see an equally striking difference in
the coffee plants--those on the northern slopes full of health and life,
while those on the southern ones are yellow, dried up, and sickly. Even in
parts of the district where coffee will not thrive without a considerable
amount of shade, you will always find the plants thrive well (with little
or even none) on a northern bank, and look much better than on a
moderately shaded southern bank. Nor in the nursery is the effect of
aspect at all less striking. A nursery on a northern slope will require
far less water, and far less shade over the plants, than one with a
southern exposure. But the late Mr. MacIvor, superintendent of the
Government Cinchona plantations on the Nilgiri hills, has tested the value
of northern and southern aspects in a way which accurately judges their
respective values. He accordingly tells us that, "The reason why a
northern exposure in these latitudes is beneficial is from the fact that
it is much more moist during the dry season than a southern aspect,
because the sun's declension is southerly during the dry and cloudless
season of the year, and thus, on the northern slopes, the rays of the sun
do not penetrate and parch the soil. A northern aspect has also the
advantage of preserving a much more uniform temperature than a southern
aspect, because the excessive radiation and evaporation in the southern
slopes greatly reduces the temperature at night, while in the day they are
heated to excess by the action of the sun's rays striking the surface
nearly at right angles. The practical effects of aspect on the plants are
so great that they cannot be overlooked with impunity, and, in order to
impress this on the minds of all those who may have the selection of
localities for cinchona cultivation, I may mention that the difference of
temperature is almost incredible; for example, at this elevation (probably
about 7,000 feet) a thermometer laid on the surface of the southern face
of a hill exposed to the sun at 3 p.m., will frequently indicate from 130°
to 160° Fahr.; the same thermometer, if left in its position, and examined
at 6 a.m., will generally be observed to indicate from 30° to 40°, while
on a similar slope, if selected with a northern aspect, the thermometer,
under the same circumstances, at 3 p.m., will generally indicate from 70°
to 80°, and at 6 a.m. from 40° to 50°."

There is, then, about twice as much heat upon a southern as on a northern
aspect, and, of course, a corresponding difference as regards the effect
of sun and drought on plant and soil, and it is therefore obvious that our
shade policy should be governed accordingly.

As regards the comparative heat on western and eastern exposures, Mr.
MacIvor does not seem to have made any experiments with the thermometer,
but where the slope is at all sharp the rays of the fierce western sun
beat strongly into the soil, while it is quite off an easterly slope, of
similar gradient, for the whole of the afternoon, and there is an enormous
difference perceptible in the temperature. The effect, however, is in some
degree counterbalanced by the fact that the soil and the plants on the
easterly slope are swept by the withering and desiccating winds which
sweep over the arid plains of the interior.

We have seen, then, that the heat is very largely affected by the aspect,
but the relative amount of heat and coolness is of course controlled, to a
very considerable degree, by the gradient of the land, and just as steep
northern slopes will be very cool, and steep eastern slopes moderately so,
so will steep southerly and steep westerly gradients be extremely hot. The
heat and coolness of the land, then, is constantly varying, not only with
the aspect, but with the steepness of the gradients, and both of these
points must be taken into consideration in regulating the quantity of
shade required; and the reader will therefore see how impossible it is to
give more than a general guide towards the quantity of shade required, and
all I can undertake to say is that about twice as much shade is required
on a southerly as on a northerly slope, that rather more shade is required
on a westerly than on an eastern aspect, and that the last named requires
less than a southerly aspect.

But this question is further complicated by the varying quality of the

For our soils vary much in the same plantation, and require a greater or
less degree of shade accordingly. The lighter and drier soils, of course,
require not only more shade, but different kinds of trees, and in the case
of such soils jack and cub busree should be freely used, and especially
the former.

The quantity and quality of the shade required is also complicated by
considerations as regards wind, and, where the soil is exposed to drying
east winds, more shade should be put down than would otherwise be
necessary, had we only to deal with the drying caused by the sun's heat.
And in the case of such lands the shade should consist very largely of
jack and other thick foliaged trees, and these should be topped in order
to keep them short and bushy, and thus the more able to shield the land
from the effects of desiccating winds.

And the whole subject is further complicated by questions of elevation and
the varying quantity of rainfall, as the planter is nearer to, or farther
from the Western Ghauts, and here I can only say generally, that the
nearer you go to the Ghauts the less shade you will require, and the
further to the east the more is necessary, but the planter must be guided
here by local experience, as it is impossible to write precisely on the

Before quitting this branch of my subject, it may be well to show in a
single sentence the overwhelming importance of having well regulated shade
of the best kinds. If, then, the shade is excessive, the coffee will not
bear well, and if it is deficient or composed of a bad class of trees, the
coffee will be certain to suffer from Borer and leaf disease.

From what I have said in the previous sentence it is evident that the
regulation of the shade is of great importance. And, as the plantation
ages, this thinning of the shade, lopping sometimes lower boughs, removing
others, and cutting down occasional trees, requires constant attention. As
a rule the whole shade should be carefully re-regulated at the end of
every second year, or at the beginning of the third, when it will
generally be found that, in consequence of the spread of the trees, there
will be much thinning to be done. To cut down trees without injury to the
coffee is, I need hardly say, a very nice operation, though it is one that
the natives of the wooded countries, and especially the labourers from the
foot of the Ghauts, are very expert at. It should never be attempted with
coolies from the plains, who, of course, are unused to climbing trees, and
have no experience of woodland work. The branches and tops of the trees to
be felled are first removed, after a stout rope has been attached to a
fork, above the point to be cut, and the end of the rope is then run round
the butt of an adjacent tree, and held by a man. A huge bough is cut and
falls with a threatening crash, but so well is the end of the rope judged
that the ends of the twigs just touch the tops of the coffee trees. Then a
coolie proceeds to lop off the smaller twigs and branches of the bough,
and as he does so, it is gradually lowered till all are removed, and the
bough, bereft of its clothing, is laid on the ground. Then comes the
difficult task of felling the trees between the rows of coffee, a work of
great nicety, which is partly effected by the final stroke of the axe, and
partly by hauling a rope attached to the top of the tree. When a tree
cannot be felled between the rows, it may often be felled so as to fall
into the fork of an adjacent tree, and there it may be either left till it
decays or let gently down to the ground, if the stem is a thin one. Bamboo
ladders should be used to ascend the tree up to the first branch, as,
though coolies can readily ascend without them, their bare legs are apt to
suffer, and it is for this reason that coolies often try to shirk joining
the shade party. The branches lopped off should be cut up into short
lengths, and piled between the coffee trees. Such branches and twigs, as
they decay, form good manure.

I have said that the proper regulation of shade is a work of great
importance. It is also one of great difficulty, for the person who marks
the shade trees to be removed must have a thorough knowledge of the kinds
most worthy of preservation, and at the same time bear in mind the
aspects, the gradients, the relation of the earth to the sun during the
hottest months, and the declination of the sun; and, as the planter will
be usually marking shade trees in the morning, he must keep constantly in
view the points where the sun will strike in during the hot afternoon
hours. Then as he looks at a shade tree that has shot up to a great
height, he must consider whether its shade is thrown on the coffee it once
shaded or on to the top of an adjacent shade tree, and, as regards such a
tree, he will often find that he is keeping on his land a tree that is
merely throwing a shade on to another shade tree. I was particularly
struck with this lately when looking at some howligay trees that had shot
up to a great height, and which I at once ordered to be removed, as I
found that their shade was now simply thrown on to the surrounding shade
trees. In short, the trees were now doing no good, and were therefore
merely doing harm by occupying the land and robbing it of food. I have
said that when marking shade the planters must bear in mind the relation
of the earth to the sun during the hottest months, and this caution is
very necessary, because if he should happen to be marking trees in January
for removal after the crop season is over, and does not remember that the
earth is daily shifting its position, he will find that he will have made
many mistakes as to the trees which should be preserved, and that a tree
that is very well placed for blocking out the hot afternoon sun in
January, may be of very little use in March and April.

After a shade tree has been cut down it is necessary, in order to prevent
the stump throwing up suckers, to remove the bark thoroughly from the
stump, and also from any roots that project from the surface of the
ground. If this is not done the stump and its roots will live on and take
up manure intended for the coffee.

It is important to remember that, in many parts of an estate, as the shade
trees become lofty the sun will come in, just as it would on a man's head
if he carried his umbrella erect, and at the end of a long pole, and I
have seen coffee trees so much exposed to the sun as to require fresh
shade to be planted near them, not withstanding that some of the coffee
trees in question were almost touching the stem of a very tall shade tree.
When the planter observes that the sun is thus likely to come in from the
shooting up of the shade trees, he should plant fresh shade. Nor need he
be afraid of putting down too much, for it is easily removed if this is
done when the trees are small, and then it must also be remembered that,
as the plantation ages, both coffee and soil call for more shade, as the
growing power of the land, and its ability to keep the trees fresh and
green, naturally diminishes with the advance of time. Whenever, then, the
appearance of the coffee shows that it is needed, fresh shade should be at
once supplied, for every yellow leaved patch of coffee in a plantation is
a breeding ground for the Borer insects, which will gradually spread into
the adjacent coffee, where their presence will never be detected till hot,
dry seasons occur, which they are sure to do sooner or later. When
spreading from such yellow patches the Borer insect may not attack strong
trees. On the contrary, it will generally attack those which are in a
dried up condition either from weakness of constitution or because they
are suffering from the effects of an over heavy crop, but in such trees it
will surely obtain a footing, and so be ready to spread further when hot,
dry seasons arrive. When, then, the appearance of the coffee shows that
more shade is required, charcoal trees should be planted, and on the
northern side of them cuttings of the good caste shade trees should be put
down; and I particularly emphasize the side for the nurse because it is
thus interposed between the sun and the permanent shade trees to be

When the permanent shade trees have grown to the required size, the
charcoal trees should be removed. It must be remembered that the permanent
shade trees will grow very slowly unless sheltered by such nurses from the
sun, and further, that the older the land the slower is the growth of all
trees. It is most necessary, then, in all old land to dig holes at least
four feet deep, and fill them with some good top soil from the forest, or
with ordinary soil and cattle manure and bones. In order fully to protect
the young shade trees from cattle and the sun, I now erect a square of
fencing composed of palm tree slabs, and so high that cattle cannot reach
over it, and, in the dry season, place some toddy tree branches across the
square so as to shade the plants put down. In each square I plant a cub
busree cutting, or one of the five kinds of trees recommended; sow several
jack seeds, and a charcoal tree as nurse. In the case of the tree cutting
failing to thrive, the planter will then always have a jack tree to fall
back on. Should the cutting succeed the jack plant may be removed. I may
here add that the parts requiring more shade are naturally more apparent
in the hot season, and the planter should then put down a short pole with
a flag at the end of it, whenever more shade is required. This will
greatly facilitate the work of shade planting in the monsoon, as at that
time the places where more shade is required are not very readily
apparent, as all the coffee then becomes more or less green.

I have alluded to the fact that parasites (Kanarese--_Bundlikay_) attack
the shade trees, and especially the nogurigay and jack trees. They should,
of course, be cut off along with the bough on which they may happen to be
growing; and it is important to remember that this should be done before
the seed ripens, which is usually at the beginning of the monsoon. The
latter end of April is the best time to carry out this work, as, if
deferred till rain begins, the trees become slippery, and so dangerous for
the climbers.

I have pointed out that the five trees I have recommended as being the
best for shade can all be grown from cuttings, and it is important to
point out that these should be taken from young and vigorous trees, and
not, as is often done, from trees which are declining from age. There are
some useful remarks at pages 88 and 89 of Mr. Graham Anderson's "Jottings
on Coffee," on the preparation and planting of cuttings. The holes should
be two feet deep, and filled up to three-quarters of the depth with soil.
The cuttings should be six feet long with a fork at the top. They should
be made at the beginning of the monsoon, and left in a cool and shady
place in order to thicken the sap, the lower extremity of the cutting
should be cut off with a curved slope, like the mouth-piece of a
flageolet. Put the cutting gently into the hole, so as not to fray the
bark, and tread down firmly. Wounds should be smeared with a mixture of
cowdung and mud. The attí (_Ficus glomerata_) may also be grown from
cuttings, but these should be rather thinner than those taken from the
five trees first mentioned as being the best to plant for shade.

It has been previously pointed out that charcoal trees are valuable as
nurses. They may be raised by clearing and burning a small piece of
jungle, or by putting some virgin jungle soil in a bed and watering it,
when charcoal plants will spring up. When a few inches high, take the
plants up carefully with a ball of earth and transplant into baskets
filled with jungle top soil. Put out the plants with their baskets in
holes about the size of those usually made for coffee plants, and early in
the monsoon, and see that they are well protected from cattle.

In conclusion, I think it well to mention that we have on my property, so
far as I am aware, by far the oldest artificial shading of coffee in
India. For many years all the estates in Mysore relied on the original
forest shade, but mine was partly destroyed by a running fire when the
clearings were first made, and some of the land was cleared wholly down,
burned off, and planted with the most desirable kinds of shade trees. Our
experience on this property dates back to the year 1857, and is therefore
particularly valuable, for the defects connected with some trees were not
apparent for as much, in one important case, as thirty years.


[52] I regret that I am unable to give the botanical name of this tree,
and of some others subsequently mentioned. I have drawn up a list of
trees, some of which may be retained till better trees can be grown to
supply their places, and also of other trees which are positively
injurious to coffee, but do not publish them, partly in order to save
space, and partly because I have not been able to ascertain the botanical
names of all the trees in question.

[53] My manager last year weighed and counted the Jack fruits from a
single tree. There were forty fruits which weighed 572 lbs. The largest
fruit weighed 30 lbs.



The question of shade is, as we have seen, a highly complicated one, and
is also, as we shall see, a cause of complication in the subject we are
now about to consider; for, were no shade required, the subject of
manuring the land for coffee would, comparatively speaking, be a simple
one. And it is very important to call attention to this point, because
hitherto planters have not in any way allowed shade to disturb their
manurial practices, but have applied their manures equally to land under
the direct shade of the trees, and to the open spaces between them, which
are only under the influence of lateral shade, or, in other words, have
manured their land as if there were no shade trees on it whatever. A
little consideration, however, will show that the kinds and qualities of
the manures applied should be quite different under the shade of trees,
from what they ought to be in the open spaces between them. For, close
around the stems of the shade trees we have a large leaf deposit, which
manures the soil and maintains its physical condition, and, at the same
time, comparatively speaking, small crops of coffee, while in the open
spaces between the shade trees we have a small amount of leaf deposit, and
much heavier crops of coffee. If, then, we further take into consideration
the fact that the soil between the shade trees is liable to be
deteriorated by a greater exposure to wash and to baking from the sun
after the soil has been thoroughly soaked, it is evident that manuring
should be largely varied both in quality and quantity, if we are at once
to manure efficiently and economically. And I desire the more particularly
to call attention to this matter, because no planter, as far as I am
aware, has at all studied the subject. And it is principally of very great
importance because what we call bulk manures, i.e., farmyard manures,
pulp, composts, and top soil, are difficult to procure in large
quantities, and cost much to apply, as they have to be carried on coolies'
heads, and often for considerable distances, down the rows of coffee
trees. The more, then, we can limit our applications of bulk manure to
such lands as urgently require them, the better shall we be able to devote
a full supply to the soil which most requires such manures. Now if we
apply our bulk manures to the land directly under the shade trees, we
shall certainly be injudiciously using our mammal resources, because the
leaf deposit under the shade trees supplies exactly that kind of padding
which gives its chief value to bulk manures, and, if these opinions are
sound, it therefore follows that we should, as a rule, apply all our bulk
manures to the spaces between the shade trees, and only apply them to the
land under the shade trees, when, from the soil being of a clayey
character, an occasional application of bulk manure may be required to
improve the texture of the soil, or, in other words, make it more easily
workable. And it also follows that we should only apply bones, lime, and
ashes, fish and oil-cake to the coffee under the direct influence of the
shade trees.

But there is another question as regards manuring under the shade trees
that requires careful consideration, and that is, whether we can, by heavy
manuring, produce in such situations a larger crop than we could by a
small application of manure, and from an experiment made by the late Mr.
Pringle, formerly chemist on Messrs. Matheson and Co.'s estates in Coorg,
it would seem to be a waste of money to supply more than a very moderate
amount to the coffee directly under the shade trees, for he found that a
considerable increase in the quantity of manure gave no increase in the
crop. But I do not, of course, accept this experiment as conclusive, as it
was made with bones alone, and it is possible that a more favourable
result might have been obtained had an application of foliage stimulating
manure been used as well, for the growth of new wood under shade is
extremely slow, and it is probable that this slow growth, by giving an
insufficient supply of young wood, is really the main cause of the yield
under the shade trees being so much less than that from the coffee in the
spaces between them. But the whole of this branch of my subject requires
further careful experiment and observation before we can arrive at any
definite conclusion. In the meanwhile, and till it can be shown that, with
the aid of foliage stimulating manures, we can increase the yield under
the direct shade of the trees, it is evident that as coffee under direct
shade produces less than coffee in the spaces between the shade trees, the
coffee that produces more should have a larger supply of manure.

It is hardly necessary to add here that, in order to prevent confusion,
the whole field of coffee to be operated on should first of all be manured
evenly all over with the quantity and quality of manure which it is
advisable to use under the shade trees. After that, additional manure
should be applied to the spaces between the shade trees. It is quite clear
to me that a great economy of manure would be effected by this practice,
and that from not applying bulk manures to the coffee under the shade
trees, the physical condition of the land in the spaces between them
could be maintained in a much more satisfactory degree than it is at

Then there is another question which, I believe, has hitherto escaped
notice, and that is, as to whether we should not make some alteration in
the kinds of manure so as to suit them better to the various aspects we
have to deal with, for even in land of the same quality, and treated in
precisely the same way, there is a considerable difference in the
appearance of the coffee when we pass from an eastern or southern aspect
to a western one, and a very great and marked difference is at once
perceptible when you enter the coffee on a northern aspect. In the
last-named case the coffee is nearly always green, and steadily but slowly
growing, while on the southern and eastern aspects the coffee in the hot
weather is apt to present a dried-up and sickly appearance. Then on these
two last-named aspects there is commonly an over supply of suddenly grown
wood. We should therefore, I think, increase foliage-stimulating manures
on northern aspects, and diminish them on the southern and eastern, while
we should have a medium degree of such manure in the case of western
aspects. It seems to me that the reasoning in favour of
foliage-stimulating manures on northern aspects is the same as in the case
of coffee trees under direct tree shade, which always prevents the rapid
growth of new wood. But on this point, as well as on that in the previous
section, experiments must be made before any definite conclusion can be
arrived at.

The quantity of manure that should be annually supplied is evidently a
matter of the greatest importance, and here the first thing to be borne in
mind is that of the four manures we require, namely, lime, nitrogen,
phosphoric acid, and potash, the first two are somewhat easily removed
from the soil, while the last two are firmly retained by it. It is
evident, then, that lime and nitrogen should be applied little and often,
while phosphoric acid and potash may be applied either little and often,
or in large quantities at longer intervals, whichever may be found most
convenient. But in the opinion of an eminent agricultural chemist whom I
have specially consulted on the subject, nitrogen, if applied in slowly
decomposing form, as for instance, in the shape of oil-cake, would only be
lost in an infinitesimal degree, but still he admits that there would be a
loss, and as we cannot tell what that loss may amount to under the
influence of our tropical climate and deluges of rain, it would be safe to
assume that nitrogen, as well as lime, should be put down at short
intervals and, in order to make up for the escape of these manures from
the soil, in larger proportions than either phosphoric acid or potash.

I have pointed out that phosphoric acid is retained by the soil, and it is
important to remember that it is only removed by the crops of coffee to
the extent of from one-and-a-half to two pounds per acre per annum, and
these are two facts that every planter should bear in mind when he
contemplates following the common custom of manuring with bones. For if he
remembers that about one-half of the bones consists of phosphate of lime,
and that about one-half of the latter consists of phosphoric acid, he will
at a glance see, when he estimates the amount of phosphoric acid removed
by the crops, that if he puts down even 100 lbs. of bones per acre he will
have put down enough phosphoric acid for about twelve crops of coffee. And
yet for a planter to put down 3 cwt. of bones per annum regularly is quite
a common thing, and a friend of mine, after having manured his land one
year with bones to a moderate amount, put down each year, for the two
following years, no less than three-quarters of a ton of bone-meal per
acre. So that, making a large allowance for the phosphoric acid taken up
by the shade trees, he had put down, in these last two years, enough
phosphoric acid to last for the crops of 300 years. From the application
of bones he had undoubtedly obtained a great benefit, but I feel sure that
it was from the lime and the nitrogen of the bones, for the application of
bones that preceded the two applications of three-quarters of a ton per
annum must have left the soil amply supplied with phosphoric acid. Now
assuming that the soil required lime, and a moderate degree of nitrogen,
these could have been supplied far more cheaply, and just as efficiently
had my friend applied a small dressing of ordinary lime, and some
oil-cake, and I am the more convinced of the accuracy of this view after
visiting Mr. Reilly's Hillgrove estate near Coonoor on the slopes of the
Nilgiri hills, and hearing the result of his very long experience. Bones
he had never used but once, and that on a small portion of the estate, but
he had always applied lime once every three years at the rate of about 4
or 5 cwt. per acre; the other manures he had used were cattle manure, and
town manure from Coonoor, and these added to the small quantity originally
in the soil, had supplied his coffee amply with the 2 lbs. of phosphoric
acid annually removed by the crops. After much consideration, and hearing
Mr. Reilly's views, it seems quite clear to me that as but a small
quantity of phosphoric acid is removed by the crops, and as that manure is
firmly retained by the soil, bones need only be used at long intervals
provided lime is regularly applied in small quantities.

And next, before we can approach, or attempt to determine, the quantity of
manure required, we have to take into account the loss by wash, either
from the surface or by downward percolation, and the absorption of manure
by the roots of the shade trees. We have also to take into consideration
the manure returned by the shade trees in the shape of fallen leaves, and
the ammonia derived from the rainfall, so that it is impossible to state
with any approach to accuracy the amount of manure that should be
applied. We can only say then that, whatever the required amount may be it
must be very considerable, for in addition to the above-mentioned losses
of manure, we require a considerable amount for the demands of the coffee
trees, and that, further, it must vary with the amount of the rainfall,
and the retentive or non-retentive character of the soil. The crop, it is
true, takes comparatively little from the soil, and Mr. John Hughes,
Agricultural Chemist, 79, Mark Lane,--points out in his "Reports on Ceylon
Soils and Coffee Manures," that 5 cwt. of parchment coffee an acre, which
is an average crop over a long series of years, only removes from the

Nitrogen           8-1/4
Potash             7-1/2
Phosphoric acid    1-1/2
Lime               1
Total             18-1/4

Assuming then, he tells us, that the small quantity of potash required
could be supplied by the soil, and that the pulp is returned to it, the
loss by the crops could be fully supplied by 100 lbs. of castor cake and
10 lbs. of bones per acre. Then if we require much more from the plant
than the production of crop (for we expect it, in addition, to grow wood
for the succeeding crop, and during this process the plant grows much
superfluous wood, besides suckers, which have to be removed), it must be
remembered that all primings and superfluous wood are left on the land.
What there is actually carried off it is really very small in quantity.
Why, then, it will naturally be asked, is it necessary that so much manure
should be present in the soil if we wish to grow good coffee and have
continuously good crops, and why is it that if manuring is neglected you
will soon find that it is only the rich hollows that are able to maintain
the coffee in good condition and produce good crops continuously? To such
questions no distinct answer can be given, and we can only conjecture that
coffee, when it wants its food, must, for some unknown reason, have a
considerable supply at hand. There is, however, one test which, I think,
always shows conclusively whether this food is present in the quantity
required to supply the needs of the plant. Just before the hot weather the
coffee trees throw out a small flush of young wood. Now if the trees have
given a fair average crop, and at the same time have a good show of
bearing wood for the next season's crop, and are also throwing out a good
supply of vigorous young shoots, then you may be sure that your land is
well fed. But if the trees throw out no young shoots at that time, or very
few, then you will know that your land is not as well fed as it ought to

It might naturally be supposed that I could furnish some guide to the
planter, from our experience in Mysore, as to the quantity of manure that
should be put down, but I regret to say that I am unable to do so, as I
know of no estate where a regular and continuous system of manuring has
been carried out. But in North Coorg, and very close to the Mysore Border,
the continuous practice on Mr. Mangles's Coovercolley Estate of 500 acres
gives a fairly approximate idea of what can keep an estate in a well-fed
condition. There the practice has been to put down every third year from 7
to 10 cwt. of bone-meal an acre, and one-third of a bushel of cattle
manure, and, besides this, composts of pulp, mixed with top soil and lime.
Now this is the finest estate I ever saw. The coffee was even and of a
beautiful colour, and when I saw it towards the end of 1891 there was a
fair crop of coffee on the trees, and an ample supply of young wood for
the following crop, and the land was so well fed with nitrogen that an
experimental application of nitrate of soda to a part of the land had
produced no perceptible effect on the trees. From what I have previously
said as to the application of bone-meal being overdone, I think it
probable that the estate would have presented as good an appearance had
the land, after once being well stored with phosphoric acid, been treated
with small applications of lime instead of bones. Then another estate I
saw in 1891 in Coorg, in the Bamboo district, furnished some guide as to
the amount of manure required where cattle manure was not available, and
on the estate in question, which had both a good crop on the trees and
ample wood for the future, I was informed that, in the year previous, 6
cwt. of castor cake and 3 cwt. of bones had been applied per acre, and
that for the four preceding years 4-1/3 cwt. of manure, containing 2 parts
of castor to I of bones, had been applied, but that the last-named amount
had been found to be too small. The reader will find in the chapter on
Coorg some further information, which has since been supplied to me by Mr.
Meynell, on this point.

The quantity of manure that should be put down at a time is evidently a
matter of great importance, as if you begin by putting down a large
application you are certain to have an over-heavy crop, followed by
exhaustion, and a very poor crop the following year, while the object of
all intelligent fruit cultivators is to work for moderate even crops. It
seems quite clear, then, that we should manure little and often, as you
thereby not only avoid the risk of over-heavy crops, but economize your
manure. For is it not obvious that if you put down at once a supply of
nitrogen and lime to last for three years, you increase the risk of loss
from wash and downward percolation? And it must also be considered that an
over-heavy crop leaves the trees in an exhausted and dried-up state to go
through the hot weather, when they will be liable to be attacked by the
Borer insect, which, as we shall afterwards more particularly see,
delights in dry wood. So that when we further take into consideration the
injury to the constitution of the trees which is caused by over-heavy
crops, we need have no doubt that there is much reason to dread them. I
would therefore strongly deprecate, for the preceding reasons, heavy
manuring (even the mind may be over-manured in the eager desire to arrive
at a cultured intellect), and would advise that a beginning be made with a
moderate application, and, if this is found to be insufficient, that the
amount be gradually increased till the trees show that they can with case
give regular average crops. If cattle manure or jungle top soil is
available, a quarter of a bushel a tree may be annually applied of either,
accompanied by 3 cwt. of bone-meal. And, if neither of the two former
sources are available, then 3 cwt. of bone-meal and 2 cwt. of white castor
cakes would be a reasonable application. After applying 3 cwt. of
bone-meal per acre for three consecutive years the land ought to be amply
stocked with phosphoric acid, and the bone-meal should be discontinued,
and its place supplied with small applications of lime, either annually or
at intervals of two or three years, should the latter course be more
convenient. And subsequently, when there is reason to suppose that the
land requires a fresh supply of phosphoric acid, an application of
bone-meal may again be used. I would particularly warn the planter against
over-manuring light dry soil, or south and south-western aspects, or the
upper and drier portions of eastern aspects, as an over-heavy crop on
these aspects is very perilous even with good shade, for we may not have a
drop of rain from November till April, and should such a drought occur,
and be preceded by a dry season (and such seasons occurred in 1865 and
1866, and caused the great attack of the Borer insect, which was so fatal
to all insufficiently-shaded coffee, and from which even well-shaded
coffee suffered to some extent), or should even a single dry, hot season
follow immediately after the crop is picked, there would be sure to be a
serious drying up of the plant, with but small chance of its bearing
anything worth having the season following, and very great risk of a
severe attack of Borer. But on northern and north-western aspects the land
is not exposed to parching east winds, and, as we have seen, has a
temperature about one-half cooler than that on a southern aspect, and the
planter may therefore on such aspects manure with greater freedom. But
even in these aspects I am sure that over-heavy manuring will lead
ultimately to injury to the trees, and, in a series of years, to the
production of a smaller amount of coffee.

I have indicated the amount of manure which in my opinion ought to be put
down when manure is applied for the first time on a plantation, and if the
plantation is of a flat character, or only on very moderate slopes, the
manure should be evenly applied all over it. But if, as often happens,
there are hollows and ridges on the land, then the ridges should be, as a
rule, much more heavily manured than the hollows, for which a very little
manure will suffice, as so much is washed into them, and they are,
besides, much richer to start with. It is very important to note at the
outset all those spots which, in the original forest, are very rich, so
that the manure may be applied accordingly, and though, as I have said,
the ridges as a rule are poor, there are many instances where the top of a
ridge, from being pretty wide, is rich, though the sides of it for a
little way down are nearly always poor. I have lately been minutely
examining old forest land, with the view of removing top soil from it, and
have been much struck with the variation in the depth of the rich surface

We have next to consider the time of year at which manure should be
applied to the land, and here we shall find that the planter, like the
farmer, often has to do things when he can, and not when he should, and
though, from the risk of loss by wash alone, there can be no doubt that
all manures should be put down after the heavy rains of the monsoon are
over, it is difficult to see how this can be carried out in the case of
bulk manures, on account of the difficulty of getting enough labour to at
once cope with the ordinary estate work, and apply a class of manure which
absorbs so much hand labour. Then there is the difficulty of carting
manure at that season when the roads, which are not macadamized, would be
cut to pieces. But this difficulty could be overcome were a sufficient
number of storage sheds provided to which the manure might be carted
during the dry season. But the sheds would cost a good deal of money, and
the cost of the manure would be increased by the cost of extra handling,
or in other words putting the manure in the sheds and taking it out again.
So that I am inclined to think that it would be better to apply, by direct
cartage from the cattle sheds, as much bulk manure as can be applied in
the month of September, and the remainder at any convenient time after
crop. Another great objection to applying manure after crop, and before
the monsoon, is, that you stimulate the growth of the weeds which spring
up with the early rains, and also much growth of suckers, and superfluous
wood in the coffee, all of which have to be handled off at considerable
expense, whereas, it is hardly necessary to say, that the weed growth is
smaller at the end of the monsoon, and the force of the plant directed
rather to the maturing of the berry than the growth of surplus wood. But
in the case of light manures such as bones and castor cake, there is no
difficulty in applying them in September, and an effort should certainly
be made to put them down then. Another advantage of manuring at the end of
the monsoon would be that the planter could then clearly perceive what
trees would be certain to give a good crop, and give them an extra
quantity of manure, and also diminish his application of manure in the
case of such parts of the plantation as might be yielding a small crop. I
may here mention that, from reliable information received from Coorg,
results there have shown that it is best to apply a portion of the manure
after crop to strengthen the blossom, and a portion after the heavy
monsoon rains are over to strengthen the trees and assist in maturing the

But the most important point, perhaps, as regards the best time for
manuring is the bearing that the time of manurial application has on leaf
disease, and Mr. Marshall Ward in his third report on leaf disease (p. 15)
has some most valuable remarks on this question. "The object of the
planter should be," he says "to produce mature leaves as soon as possible
and keep them on the branches as long as possible." Now if leaves are
produced in April and May they become attacked by the fungus while still
young, and in August and September the ripening crop is left bare on the
branches. But the leaves which were in bud in December are matured and
well hardened, and have already, by living longer, done much service to
the tree. He then points out that when certain districts in Ceylon
suffered from a bad attack of leaf disease in July, "a large surface of
young and succulent leaves were ready to receive the spores of the
Hemeleïa." The germination of the spores was rapid, and the young leaves
were soon destroyed. The planter then, he says, should manure and prune so
as to grow matured leaves during those months when the least damp and wind
may be expected. And the same remarks are evidently equally valuable as
regards rot, and show us the necessity of modifying our manurial and
pruning practices so as to enable the tree the better to contend against
it as well as leaf disease. All manuring, then, which leads to the
production of young succulent foliage just at the beginning of the rains
should be avoided, and the same remark applies equally to pruning. But I
shall again return to the subject when writing on pruning.

As to the best method of applying the manure, great differences of opinion
and practice exist. At one time in Mysore it was customary to cut a
shallow trench in the shape of a half moon around the upper sides of the
trees about two feet from the stem, and deep enough to contain the manure,
which was then covered in with the soil taken out. But this process was
found to be expensive, and of course took much labour, which is sometimes
extremely scarce, and on my property we have for some years
past--excepting in the case of manuring with fish, which is liable to be
carried off by birds, dogs, jackals, and village pigs--scattered all the
manure on the surface, and close around the stem of the tree, with the
idea that the manure would be less likely to be taken up by weeds, and by
the roots of the shade trees. But in connection with this system there is
a fact which I did not take into account, but which is well worthy of
careful consideration, and that is, that the tendency of such a system of
manuring is to keep the coffee roots close to the surface. Now it has been
suggested by the late Mr. Pringle, whose opinion on another matter I have
previously given, that this would have an unfavourable effect, if we had,
as sometimes happens, deficient blossom showers; as in that case, and with
many rootlets near the surface, a stimulus would be given to the plant
which would induce it to throw out the blossom when there was not enough
rain to bring it to perfection; whereas, if, by putting down the manure
more deeply we attracted the roots downwards, the blossom buds could only
be started after such an amount of rain as would give the soil such a
soaking that a successful blossom would be insured. There certainly seems
to me to be a great deal in this idea, but I am not aware that we have had
any experiments made side by side as regards surface manuring, and
manuring in pits, and therefore am not in a position to express a decided
opinion on the subject, but theoretically there would seem to be much in
favour of burying manure in pits, and it seems certain that the manure
would be less likely to be taken up by weeds than in the case of surface

I need hardly add that in the case of all steep parts of a plantation all
manure should be, if not buried deeply, at least covered with soil after
the digging of a trench large enough to contain the manure. On the
plantations on the Nilgiri Hills the manure is put into pits 2-1/2 feet
long, 1 foot 6 inches wide, and 1 foot deep on the lower side of the pit,
which of course would make the side of the pit on the upper side of them
much more than one foot in depth. The trenches or pits are dug across the
slope and in front of each coffee tree, and in the line (i.e., not in the
centre of each set of four plants). These pits are not filled up to the
brim, but the manure is placed in the bottom of them, and is then covered
with soil, so that the pit is about one-half filled up. The soil taken out
is heaped in a curve above the pit so as to prevent heavy rain washing
down into the pit. When more manure is required to be added--say
bone-meal--it is scattered on the soil in the pit, or the top soil in it
is scraped off and the manure scattered and then covered up.

I now propose to consider our manurial resources in detail, and shall
begin with the first stay of all agriculture, farmyard manure, as to the
value of which for coffee I have never met with any difference of opinion.
But there are many objections to relying on farmyard manure, or, at least,
to applying it on a large scale, as, if the planter keeps many cattle of
his own, he runs great risk of his herd being invaded by disease, and the
difficulty and expense of feeding a large number of cattle is very
considerable. In some cases it is possible to hire cattle from the
natives, and this is done occasionally, and at the rate of 15 rupees a
month for 100 head, but here again risk from disease is often incurred,
and if it broke out, the natives would withdraw their cattle. The question
then naturally arises whether, considering the great cost and trouble
attendant on manufacturing cattle manure on a large scale, we cannot find
some substitute that would diminish the quantity now required. And here it
is important to ask what farmyard manure consists of. It consists, then,
of the excreta of animals, and the vegetable matter used as litter. From a
chemical point of view it mainly provides, in addition to the organic
matter, in a slowly-acting form, lime, nitrogen, potash, and phosphoric
acid, and from a physical point of view it furnishes a padding to maintain
the texture of the soil, or, in other words, to keep it in a loose and
friable condition. And with reference to this last very important point, I
may remind the reader that Sir John Lawes has well pointed out that "All
our experiments tend to show that it is the physical condition of the
soil, its capacity for absorbing and retaining moisture, its permeability
to roots, and its capacity for absorbing and radiating heat, that is of
more importance than its strictly-speaking chemical composition." Now as
regards the chemical aspect of the manurial question, if we assume, as we
have every reason to do from the small quantity of potash required, and
its supply from decomposing stones in the land, that the potash does not
require to be taken into account, we shall find that our nitrogen and
phosphoric acid can be far more cheaply supplied by fish, or by a mixture
of bone-meal and oil-cake than by farmyard manure, and should it be found
that potash does require to be added, we could obtain it more cheaply from
ashes or kainit. Then in order to provide the padding that farmyard manure
supplies, and to furnish nitrogen in a slowly-acting form, we could
collect dry leaves, twigs from jungle trees, ferns, and any other
available vegetable matter, form them into a compost with some earth, or
jungle top soil, and apply the mixture to the land. With such a compost as
I have suggested, bone-meal or fish-manure in small quantity might be
mixed, and we should then have a very good substitute for all the chemical
and physical advantages to be derived from the very best kind of farmyard
manure. But there is another way of arriving at the same end, which is
open to many planters, and that is by collecting top soil from the fringe
of jungle commonly left round the plantation, or from the uncultivated
jungle of the estate, or from adjacent pieces of jungle land. And such
pieces of land varying from ten to twenty acres can commonly be purchased,
and can be used to supply top soil. This, of course, has in it much
vegetable matter in various stages of decay, and a mixture of it with a
small quantity of bone-meal would form a manure superior, as I shall
afterwards show when I come to treat of top soil, to farmyard manure
chemically, and superior to it from a physical point of view. To such
local manurial resources I would call particular attention, as planters
have hitherto relied far too exclusively on cattle manure, and imported
manures, such as bones, fish, and oil-cake, and it is evident that we
could dispense with much of all these manures if we made a full use of the
resources I have recommended. In concluding my remarks on cattle manure I
may observe that it is both costly to supply and to apply to the land. It
is difficult, of course, to make exact calculations on the subject, as the
facilities for supplying litter vary so much, but generally speaking it
costs from 70 to 80 rupees an acre if we manure at about the rate of a
third of a bushel per tree.

I now turn to a consideration of the value of jungle top soil, a manure to
which I have only lately given particular attention, though I was, of
course, well aware of its value in a general way, and may begin by
stating that two samples of what we were using on my estates have been
analyzed by Dr. Voelcker, the object being partly to ascertain the value
of the soil and partly to compare its cost with the cost of cattle manure.
After estimating the cost of making cattle manure, and calculating as
closely as possible the cost of obtaining and applying jungle top soil
from land adjacent to the plantation, it was found that in the case of the
best sample of top soil, obtained by removing only four or five inches of
the soil, it paid nearly twice as well to use it as a manurial agent as it
would to use cattle manure, and I may add that three tons of the soil
contain the same manurial matter as two tons of ordinary well-made English
farmyard manure. In the case of the second sample analyzed, and which I
was sure from the character of the land must be of inferior quality, it
was found that 2-1/4 tons of the soil would contain as much manurial value
as one ton of farmyard manure, and that the cost of using the two
materials would be about the same.

I had also analyzed at the same time a sample of a kind of decayed
pink-coloured rock, as I had found that coffee had thriven well in the
pink soil which had evidently been formed from the rock in question, but
the manurial value was so small that Dr. Voelcker thought that it might
merely be of use in improving the physical condition of the soil. I
however applied it to some backward coffee, and also applied some of the
best top soil to a contiguous piece of backward coffee, and was much
surprised to find that the pink soil, to which little direct manurial
value was attached by Dr. Voelcker, showed results superior to the best
top soil applied alongside of it, and I am now applying it on a large
scale. This soil, I may mention, is applied by the natives to the surface
of their vegetable beds. They do not attach any manurial value to it, but
apply it to keep the vegetables cool, as the soil has quite a remarkable
effect in keeping itself cool while the adjacent soil is quite hot, and I
have now applied it to the flower beds near my house, and also to the
walks around the bungalow. This pink decayed rock is sometimes streaked
with a white decayed rock, which the natives call jadi mannu, and
sometimes the latter so much preponderates that it looks nearly white. I
am told by the natives that if you mix the red and white earth together
and apply the mixture to the surface of the land it will never get

In concluding my remarks on soil applications, I may observe that if top
soil costs the same price as cattle manure, the former is to be preferred
for four reasons. It is much more easily handled and applied; it is a
better substance for mixing with other manures, such as bonedust or ashes,
for instance; it has a better physical effect on the soil; and is nearly
free from weed seeds which abound in cattle manure.

I may add that I have since made a calculation with the object of seeing
how, by the addition of manures to the kemmannu soil, I could make a
mixture which would have all the fertilizing ingredients of farmyard
manure in addition to the advantages possessed by the soil, and which I
have just enumerated. I find that if to 83 parts of the soil I added 1
part of bonedust, 12 parts of castor cake, 2 parts of potash salt, and 2
parts of lime, I should make up a compost equal to good English farmyard
manure, and at but a slightly increased cost, which would be more than
covered by the special physical and other advantages arising from the use
of kemmannu.

The pulp of the coffee is very apt to be carelessly treated, and it is
important to remember that Mr. Hughes, in his "Report on Ceylon Coffee,
Soils, and Manures," estimates that, _if properly preserved_, two tons of
pulp are equal to one ton of good farmyard manure. But it must not be
washed, as it often is by being run into a pulp pit with water, or nearly
all its valuable constituents would be lost. It should be mixed, he tells
us, with cattle dung, or, if that is not procurable, with liberal supplies
of lime, and he also suggests that it should be put under cover day by
day. We have adopted on my property a plan which I think in these climates
is the cheapest and best. A layer of top soil is placed in the road
alongside of the coffee where we desire to use the manure; then each day's
pulp is carted direct to the plantation and scattered over the top soil,
and more top soil added, till we have a layer as thick as we find
convenient, but of course not so thick as to prevent carts passing over it
to other parts of the plantation. On these layers of pulp and top soil
lime or bonedust may be sprinkled.

Dry fallen leaves is another local resource which should by no means be
neglected, and they are commonly used for littering the cattle sheds. Such
leaves are about equal to cattle dung. A sample of those we use was
analyzed by Dr. Voelcker, and the result gave 1 per cent. of phosphate of
lime, 1 per cent. of ammonia, and 3/4 per cent. of potash.

Green twigs[55] cut from jungle trees are of considerable manurial value,
and the natives seem well aware of the value of the different kinds. A
sample of the following six kinds which are most approved of by the
natives--namely, Japel, Nairal, Ubble, Gowl, Mutty and Hunchotee, was
analyzed by Dr. Voelcker, and the result gave 1/4 per cent. phosphate of
lime, 3/4 per cent. of potash, 1 per cent. of lime, and 3/4 per cent. of

Ferns are of considerable manurial value, and are rich in potash, and they
should be used to litter the cattle sheds.

Burnt earth has been formerly used in Ceylon, and has been recommended by
Mr. Pringle for use in Coorg, but I have no experience of its use, but if
it pays to use it in Coorg it would pay equally well to do so in Mysore.

Wood ashes are much valued in Ceylon, where they are applied at a cost of
1s. 3-1/2d. a bushel. We buy ashes at 2 annas (less than 3d.) a bushel
delivered on the estate. Though costing as much as 1s. 3-1/2d. in Ceylon,
Mr. Hughes says they are the cheapest form in which potash can be supplied

It should be remembered that the ashes of the stem wood and thick branches
are not nearly so valuable as those of young branches and twigs. A good
sample of the last-named contains 20-1/2 per cent. of potash and more than
30 per cent. of lime. In many places in the vicinity of the estates much
good manure might often be made by cutting down weeds and jungle plants of
any kind, burning them, mixed with earth, slowly, and applying the mixture
to the coffee.

I have only heard of one planter who used night soil. He had planks
pierced with the necessary apertures, underneath which buckets with some
soil in each were placed; these were removed daily and emptied into
renovation pits in the coffee. Anybody depositing elsewhere was fined, and
the fine given to the Toty, who had thus an interest in looking out for
defaulters. There can be no doubt that this is an excellent system, and
obviously advantageous from a sanitary point of view, and that it could
with, ease be carried out on an estate where all the coolies were of the
lower castes, but it could not be carried out, and it would be very unwise
to attempt it, in the case of an estate on which there are poor members of
the better castes. It is even important on such a property to see that no
pieces of ordinary paper find their way on to the farmyard manure heap,
as, when such has been detected on my property, the women of the better
castes refused to carry out the manure.

We have now examined what I may call the local manurial resources, and I
propose to consider in detail those manures which have to be imported into
the coffee districts from various quarters. Of these manures lime is one
of the most important, and as three samples of soil from my property were
all found to be very deficient in lime, it is probable that applications
of lime are as desirable in Mysore generally as they are in the case of
plantations on the Nilgiri slopes. Limestone can be procured from the
interior of Mysore, and also from the port of Mangalore. It should always
be burnt on the estate. It is a cheaper plan than having it burnt before
importing it, and we got, besides, the ashes of the wood used for burning
the lime. Lime is as valuable ground as burnt, and when it is ground is
not so liable to suffer from rain as burnt lime is. It must not be mixed
with bonedust, oil-cake, or potash salts, but should be put down some
weeks before these manures. Lime should only be used in small quantities
of half a ton or a ton an acre (it is usually used at the latter rate in
Ceylon), as a free use of it would favour the escape of ammonia from the
soil by too rapidly converting inert into active nitrogen, and, as a
neighbour of mine once found, the result would probably be a heavy crop of
coffee followed by exhaustion of the tree. Lime might be advantageously
used more often where the land is liable to be soured, or where much
vegetable matter has accumulated. It should be remembered that, as ashes
contain about 30 per cent. of lime, we should diminish the quantity of
lime when we have applied ashes. I have said that lime should be used at
the rate of half a ton to a ton an acre, but I may remind the reader that
Mr. Reilly had found that 4 or 5 cwt. regularly applied every three years
was enough, and as to the quantity that should be used, the planter must
be largely guided by the local experience. As lime is easily washed out of
the soil, it seems to me that more should be applied in the case of a
heavy, and less with a light rainfall.

Bonedust has been largely, and I think, as the reader will see from my
previous remarks, very wastefully used in manuring coffee. It varies much
in quality, and the purchaser would do well to obtain a guarantee as
regards its genuineness. Bonedust should be mixed with fine top soil, and
then applied to the land, or it may be mixed with cattle manure, or
applied as a surface dressing, but either of the two first-named methods
of application is to be preferred. In 500 lbs. of bones there are, in
round numbers, about 250 lbs. of phosphate of lime, which consists of 125
lbs. of phosphoric acid and as many of lime. I may remind the reader that
5 cwt. of parchment takes from the soil 1 lb. of lime and 1-1/2 lb. of
phosphoric acid.

Fish manure is of great value, especially in bringing rapidly on backward
or sticky coffee. A sample I have had analyzed contained 7-1/3 per cent.
of ammonia and nearly 9-1/2 per cent. of phosphate of lime. The whole fish
can be imported from the coast, and they should be broken up and mixed
with top soil. This is not only advantageous for distributing the manure
throughout the land when it is applied, but it is particularly necessary
in the case of fish, as I have found by practical experience that, if
applied whole and covered with soil, crows, kites, jackals and pigs dig
them up and carry them off.

Oil-cakes of various kinds have always been a favourite manure, and it is
a particularly desirable one, because the nitrogen in it is in a slowly
convertible form. Of all the cakes castor is said to be of the highest
manurial value (though an analysis I have had made of ground nut cakes
gives a better result in nitrogen), and besides nitrogen it contains
phosphate of lime, magnesia, and potash. In an analysis I had made of
brown castor oil-cake, i.e., cake made after crushing the entire seeds,
there was over 4 per cent. of phosphate of lime, or about equal to 5 per
cent. had the cake been white castor, which is made after the seeds have
been decorticated. But another sample of brown castor which was analyzed
for me, only gave a little more than 2-3/4 per cent. of phosphate of lime.
From this difference, and from the general consideration of the
differences of all seeds in particular seasons, and also in some degree
from various soils, it seems to me there must often be, from natural
causes, a considerable difference in the value of cakes. The attention of
purchasers should be directed to these differences; they should obtain, if
possible, a guarantee as to the composition of the cakes they buy, and
occasionally test the manure.

From what I have said as to the composition of castor cake, it is probable
that white castor contains from 4 to 5 per cent. of phosphate of lime, and
I desire to call particular attention to this, because oil-cake is usually
regarded purely as a nitrogenous source of manure, whereas one of the
oil-cakes commonly used--i.e., castor cake--contains an appreciable
quantity of that phosphate of lime of which bones are generally considered
to be the sole suppliers by the planter. But it is evident that if we
annually used 300 lbs. per acre of white castor, we should, even if it
contained only 4 per cent. of phosphate of lime, be supplying six times
the amount of lime and more than three times the amount of phosphoric acid
removed by an average crop of coffee, and though the lime is liable to
loss from waste, it must be remembered that the phosphoric acid is firmly
retained by the soil. It is important to remember that castor cake should,
like bones, be mixed with a considerable quantity of fine top soil, so
that the manure may be widely distributed through the soil.

Nitrate of potash, or saltpetre, is an extremely expensive manure, and not
a desirable one, because the nitrogen in it is in a too quickly
assimilable form, and is very liable to be lost in drainage. But it might
be used with effect, and in small quantities, for bringing forward
supplies, and I am informed that for this purpose it has been used with
advantage in Coorg. I have used the nitrate of potash on my property--an
experimental amount only--and it caused the trees to throw out strong and
numerous shoots. It should be bought in the form of pure nitre.

Nitrate of soda is also liable to the objection that the nitrogen in it is
in a too quickly available form, and liable to be lost. I have never used
it on my property, but from observing its effect on an estate in Coorg,
and the effect it had in causing the trees to throw out a fine supply of
young wood, can see that it might be used with great effect in rapidly
forcing forward worn-out coffee growing on an exhausted soil. But if used
for this purpose it should be backed up with a liberal supply of bones and
castor cake, or of bones and farmyard manure, or bones and top soil, as,
if not so backed up, the result would be unsatisfactory, if not
disastrous, seeing that the nitrate of soda, if applied alone, would cause
the plant to wring out everything that was available in the soil. The
application of nitrate of soda on the estate alluded to was at the rate of
2 cwt. an acre, and cost 21 rupees an acre, inclusive of the cost of
application. I saw the estate at the end of October, and the nitrate had
been put down in March previous. The wood it had been the means of
producing was very good and strong, dark green, and abundant, and the
effect of the nitrate was by no means confined to one season, for the
effect of the nitrate put down the year previous was still apparent. The
land here evidently was short of nitrogen, and hence the good effect of
the nitrate, but as I mentioned previously, an application of nitrate had
produced no perceptible effect on another estate belonging to the same
proprietor, which had been regularly well manured with bones and cattle
manure and composts, and because, of course, the land was so well supplied
with nitrogen that the coffee required no more. In concluding my remarks
on the effects of nitrate of soda, I may observe that by using this
manure, unremunerative coffee might be turned into a paying estate in less
than two years, while without the aid of it, from three to four years
would be required.

Potash is a manure as to which I can give no distinct information, or, at
least, only information of a negative kind. I once sent out a small
quantity of the muriate of potash, but my manager could perceive no
effects from it whatever, and I have been informed of an instance of its
having been applied to an estate in Coorg at the rate of one quarter of a
pound a tree, or at the rate of between 3 and 4 cwt. an acre, without any
perceptible effect having been produced from the application.

Then it must be remembered that the quantity of potash removed by an
average crop of coffee is only 7-1/2 lbs. an acre, that potash is firmly
held by the soil, and that it is constantly being supplied in small
quantities by the fallen leaves (these contain 3/4 per cent. of potash) of
the shade trees and the decomposition of stones in the soil, and in
applications of farmyard manure. And with reference to the demands for
potash by the tree, I may mention that I, in conjunction with a friend,
endeavoured to estimate the consumption of potash by the crop, and we sent
to Professor Anderson, of Glasgow, a carefully drawn sample of soil taken
from between four coffee trees from which twelve crops of coffee had been
removed without any manure being supplied, and also a sample of virgin
soil adjacent to the coffee (soil similar in every respect except that it
had not been cropped), and asked him to spare no expense in analysis. The
result was remarkable, for the soil from which the twelve crops had been
taken was found to be very little deteriorated in anything except the
quantity of lime it held, which was less than in the virgin soil. The
explanation evidently was that the leaves from the shade trees, and
perhaps decomposing stones, had supplied all the potash removed by the
crops. "Why, then," asked my friend, who had called on the Professor to
hear the result of the investigation, "can young coffee easily be grown on
the virgin soil, while it would come on very slowly and poorly in the soil
from which the twelve crops of coffee had been taken?" "Simply," was the
answer, "because the untouched virgin soil is in a beautiful physical
condition, while the soil in the plantation has been rained upon and
walked upon, and thus had its physical condition impaired." I need hardly
add that what I have just written is highly instructive, as it
corroborates what Sir John Lawes has said, and which I have previously
quoted, as to the physical condition of the soil being of more importance
than its, strictly speaking, chemical composition, and it shows us the
importance of maintaining a perfect physical condition of the soil, partly
by cultivation and partly by additions of bulk manure--farmyard
manure--top soil, and composts.

To grow young plants in old soil requires great attention to manuring and
preparing the soil, so as to supply the physical and chemical requirements
necessary for the vigorous growth of the young plants. Now we know that
the plants thrive well in virgin soil, and we cannot do better than fill
the holes with it, if it can possibly be procured within any reasonable
distance. If it cannot, then the soil should be mixed with some thoroughly
decayed and dried cattle manure, mixed with bonedust, and if it is desired
to rush the plant forward, a slight dressing of nitrate of potash might
subsequently be applied.

Coprolites, the supposed fossilized remains of animals, which would
probably contain about 40 to 50 per cent. of phosphate of lime, have been
discovered in Mysore, and I am informed by an executive Engineer officer
in the Mysore offices that they are to be found over an area of about two
square miles, and at about a distance of seven miles from the Maddur
Railway Station on the Bangalore Mysore line. This is a highly important
discovery, and, when developed, ought to be the means of furnishing the
planter with cheap supplies of the mineral phosphate of lime. I may
mention that as one find of coprolites has been made in the province, it
is highly probable that further discoveries of this valuable manure may be
made. A discovery of phosphatic nodules has also been made near
Trichinopoly, in the Madras Presidency, and though not of quality
sufficiently good for export to England, has been reported on by Dr.
Voelcker as being good enough for use amongst the plantations of Southern
India. A deposit has also been discovered in the Cuddapah district.

We have now glanced at all the local manurial resources at the command of
the planters, and also the manures which may be purchased at a distance
from the plantations, and as to the latter the question now naturally
arises as to how the planter can best lay out his money when manuring his
coffee. Now I know of no planter in India who has knowledge enough to
decide as to how he should lay out his money. The planter knows in a
general way that he wants nitrogen, phosphoric acid, lime, and perhaps
some potash, but as to the most desirable and economical sources from
which to obtain them he is unable to decide, and it is not a question,
even if he called in an agricultural chemist, to be decided once for all,
for the prices of the various manures are constantly liable to change.
Here, then, is a matter that should be taken up by the Government, which
in this respect should follow the example of the Sussex Agricultural
Association, the chemist of which publishes every spring the most
economical manurial mixture which the farmer can use for his various
purposes. In this thinly populated country the well-to-do planters are too
few, and the humble native planters too poor, to do what is done by the
rich agricultural societies of Great Britain in the way of aiding the
farmer. The societies at home are mainly composed of landlords and the
richer tenants. The Government in India is the one great landlord over
two-thirds of British India, and should perform the duties of one.

In concluding my remarks on manures, I need hardly say that it is of the
greatest importance to keep a careful record of all the manures put down,
and a special manure book should be kept for this purpose, in which notes
should be kept of the effects observed. But for ready reference I have
found it most convenient to have a plan made of each field on the estate,
and on one side of it a space should be left in order to enter the manures
applied. The date on which the field was planted might also be entered on
the plan.

Finally, I may remind the reader of the Tamul proverb which declares that
"With plenty of manure even an idiot may be a successful agriculturist,"
and may add to it the English adage, which says to the farmer, "Never get
into debt, but if you do, let it be for manure."

The work of bringing round an old and neglected plantation is by no means
an easy one. The first thing to be done is to see to the physical
condition of the land. This is sure to be hardened and deficient in
vegetable matter, and this condition of things can only be remedied by
applying large quantities of cattle manure or jungle top soil, or both.
Now it will generally be found impossible to obtain enough cattle manure
to fully manure even fifty acres in the year, nor, if it could be obtained
in large quantities, would cattle manure have nearly such lasting effects
in ameliorating the condition of the land as would applications of jungle
top soil, and besides, the latter, if procurable (which it often is), can
at once be applied in large quantities, and at about one-half the cost of
cattle manure, in the case, as has been previously shown, of the best top
soil, and at about the same cost in the case of the most inferior quality
of top soil. It is evident, then, that great efforts should be made to
procure a supply of jungle top soil, and the best top soil could of course
be carried from a considerable distance without exceeding the cost of
cattle manure. With the cattle manure or top soil, bonedust and white
castor cake should be applied at the rate of 8 cwt. an acre, and 5 cwt. of
the former to 3 cwt. of the latter; and, if the planter is in a hurry for
immediate results, he might put down a small dressing of nitrate of
soda--say 112 lbs. an acre. With the addition of the nitrate I feel
confident, after observing the results of it on one of Mr. Mangles'
estates in Coorg, that a remunerative crop would be picked in about two
years after the application of the above suggested manures. I would
particularly point out that, though the land, of course, must be well dug,
the planter must not look to that alone for ameliorating the hardened
condition of the soil, for however well dug, it will, unless cattle manure
or jungle top soil should be applied, speedily run together again into as
hardened a condition as ever. After the soil has been thoroughly manured
and ameliorated in the manner suggested, moderate annual manuring will be
quite sufficient for the future, for, as I have pointed out, coffee is not
an exhaustive crop, though it is essential that a considerable supply of
fertilizing matter should always be present in the soil. Where top soil is
not available, red soil (kemmannu), if procurable, might be used with
advantage, and the results of the experiments previously given seem to
show that it might be even preferable to top soil.

After such an application of manure as I have above advised, the planter
must be on his guard against producing such a heavy crop as will lead to
an exhaustion of the tree, and a failure of the following crop. And should
there be reason to apprehend an over heavy crop, it must be reduced by
free handling and pruning.

In the case of a neglected plantation the trees are sure to be covered
with moss and rough dead bark, and it is of great importance to remove
this at once, and rub the trees down thoroughly.

When manuring, always leave here and there, and at some convenient point
or edge of a road, a short block of coffee un-manured, perhaps about
twelve trees, and next to that a similar block with double the dose of
manure applied to the field, and note the results. In order to have the
effects of the different systems of manuring under constant observation
experiments with different manurial mixtures can be best conducted at
places where four roads meet. I need hardly say that in the observation of
results, nothing should be left to memory, but the planter, the moment he
has observed any result, should on the spot write it in his note book. The
experiments of most importance are the following:--(1) As to the manure
best calculated to bring on vacancy plants rapidly in old and worn soil.
(2) To determine the value of potash as manure. (3) To determine the best
time of year for manuring. (4) To determine how far it pays to manure
little and often, as compared with manuring seldom but in large
quantities. (5) How far the value of bones is due to their lime, and how
far to the phosphoric acid they contain; and (6) how far it would pay to
top dress old soil with earth taken from the adjacent, grass lands. Such
are some of the many experiments that might usefully be tried. It would
also be useful to experiment as regards native manurial practices. For
instance, the growers of Areca nut palms, and pepper vines, make a mixture
of Kemmannu, or red, or rather pink hued soil, which looks like
recently-decomposed rock, black earth, and sheep dung, and apply the
compost to their palms and pepper-vines, and it would be interesting to
try such composts in the case of coffee. It would also be interesting to
experiment with ordinary good soil taken from the grass lands. I am
informed by a native farmer that the terraces on which ragi is grown, are
occasionally dressed with such soil, and that the manurial effect of it
lasts for two years, but no doubt the effect is much increased by the
physical effect caused by the addition of the soil. The more I have
studied these subjects the more am I convinced that the most, economical
way of keeping up coffee land from a physical and chemical point of view
is one of the many secrets yet to be discovered, and I would strongly urge
planters to experiment. There is a common saying amongst farmers and
planters that they cannot afford to make experiments. This is merely the
refuge of the indolent and the ignorant. Experiments may, of course, be
made on such a scale as to be hazardous or even ruinous, but they can be
made in such a way as to be neither the one nor the other.


[54] I am now so satisfied with the capacity of these soils to keep
themselves cool, that I am applying them as a top dressing to land
deficient in shade and dry ridges. Since writing the above, I have
ascertained from my manager the interesting fact that about seven weeks
after putting down the red earth, newly grown white roots were found to be
running all through this earth, though no rain had fallen from the time of
the application of the soil up to the time the growth of the rootlets was
observed. The adjacent land, to which virgin forest top soil had been
applied, had no such growth of new rootlets, nor had any of the adjacent
land, to which no top dressings had been applied. The red earth had
evidently the power of taking in sufficient moisture from the atmosphere
to stimulate a growth of young roots. The red earth was applied on
February 20th, and no rain fell till April 7th. This growth of new
rootlets, I may add, was also observed in another part of the plantation
to which, a top dressing of the red earth had been applied.

[55] The full analyses of these leaves and twigs are given in the Appendix
to Dr. Voelcker's work, "The Improvement of Indian Agriculture," which
contains other analyses of interest to the planter. This important work
should, I may repeat, be in the hands of all those interested in tropical



Since the introduction of the Coorg plant, it has been customary for
Mysore planters to send annually to Coorg for seed, and they have always
endeavoured to obtain it from the best coffee grown on the best land, and,
as the results from this practice have been very satisfactory, it may seem
that no better course could be suggested. But till all courses are tried
it is certainly open to doubt whether this is the best, and I am now
experimenting with seeds produced not from the richest, but from the
poorest and most exposed portion of a Coorg estate (but of course neither
so poor nor exposed as to be incapable of producing strong, healthy trees
and sound seed), and I think it probable that seed from such trees will
produce hardier plants than can be produced from seed gathered in rich and
sheltered situations. As regards the climate from which the seed should be
produced, one well-known planter, Mr. Edwin Hunt, writing in the "Madras
Mail," Feb. 27th, 1891, says that he attaches the greatest importance to
change of seed irrespective of the poorness or richness of the soil on
which it has been raised, and thinks change of climate does as much as
change of soil, and has for some years found it advantageous to procure
seed from the wettest climate for the driest climate, and _vice versa_. I
have had no experience on this point as regards coffee, but it may be
interesting and useful from a shade-planting point of view, to note here
that I have found that seeds of the jack tree from the dry plains of the
interior produce plants which grow much more rapidly in the wet coffee
districts than plants do which have been raised from local seed, and this
naturally raises a question, I am now experimenting on, i.e., as to
whether we should not procure coffee-seed from trees grown in the dry
plains of the interior where the rainfall is less than half of that of our
driest coffee districts. I may here note that coffee can be grown in
low-lying sheltered land as far east as Bangalore if the coffee is
irrigated. I was shown in 1891 coffee that looked well, and had borne
well, in Mr. Meenakshia's gardens, some miles from Bangalore. One hundred
and seventy trees planted 6 x 6 ft. in 1885 gave an appreciable crop in
1889, and in 1890 3 cwt. of clean coffee, or at the rate of upwards of a
ton an acre. When I saw the trees in July, 1891, they were looking well,
and had a fair crop on them. There was no shade except a bushy tree here
and there. The proprietor, encouraged by his success, had been extending
his cultivation. In the same garden I also saw cardamom plants about seven
feet high and in blossom; these had been planted eighteen months
previously. There were also some vines, grown from plants imported from
Caubul, which produced large fine white grapes.

It is of course very important to select a good site for the nursery, and
a ready command of water is essential, as it is both costly and
unsatisfactory to carry to the beds even a short distance, and the aspect
should, if possible, be northerly, as in that case very little shading is
required if the ground is on a slope, as, if a line of trees is left at
the head of the slope, a large amount of lateral shade will be thrown on
to the beds. Next to a northern an eastern aspect, if the land is
low-lying, with a hill or sloping land rising rather abruptly behind it,
is by no means a bad situation, as the sun will be entirely off the land
early in the afternoon. Should the planter unfortunately have to fall
back on a southern aspect, this may be aided by leaving forest trees
rather thickly on the western side of the nurseries so as to shield it
from the afternoon sun, or a line of casuarinas may be planted on the
west, and also on the southern side, so as to cast lateral shade on the
nursery. A western aspect is to be deprecated, in consequence of the
scorching heat of the afternoon sun.

There is a common idea, which I myself once shared, that it is always best
to have your nursery on new land, but this is really not at all necessary
if you renew your land by carting on to it top soil from the jungle, or
even a mixture of any fresh soil that has not been trampled upon, and
which has been mixed with cattle manure and some bone-meal. I consider it
most important to retain the same site for the nursery, because, by
growing casuarinas to cast lateral shade on it, you can ultimately
dispense with shading the nursery, as these trees run up quickly, and
attain a great height. The light, too, comes readily through them, so that
their lateral shade is most desirable, and lateral shade, it must be
remembered, allows the plants to benefit by the dew fall. I may add that
the height to which the trees grow enables the planter to grow them at
such a distance from the beds as to be practically unable to reach them
with their roots.

As regards the best time for putting down the seed, opinions and practice
have varied considerably, but it is now generally admitted that seed put
down at Christmas, which will give plants with ten leaves on them in June
(the planting season) are the most suitable for new clearings. Seed put
down in September or October will give fine sturdy plants with one or two
pairs of branches, and these are considered to be the most suitable for
vacancies in old land. In order to do full justice to the last-named
plants, they should, three months before planting out, be transplanted
into small circular baskets, about the size of a small flower pot, and
with wide spaces between the wickerwork. These baskets should be filled
with a mixture of dried cattle dung and good soil; they should then be
placed on the surface of the bed and touching each other, and, when the
plants are put out, they should be put down with the basket, which will
then be quite filled with a mass of fibrous roots all ready to extend
themselves into the surrounding land. When this course is pursued the
plant receives no check, and its rapid growth is insured. If this method
is not adopted in the case of replanting old land, or filling up vacancies
amongst old coffee, many plants are sure to perish, and the survivors will
make but poor progress. But in the case of virgin soil this course, though
obviously a safe one, and freeing the planters from all anxiety as to a
failure in the rains, may be dispensed with. Where baskets are expensive,
or difficult to procure, pieces of worn out gunny bags answer the purpose
fairly well, and I have seen them used on the Nilgiri hills.

The pits for vacancy plants should be dug shortly after the monsoon, and
filled in soon after being dug, when the soil is quite dry, with a mixture
of jungle top soil, bone-meal, and ordinary soil, or old, well dried
cattle manure mixed with some fine bone-meal and ordinary soil. I have
never used the nitrate of potash for manuring vacancy plants, but it has
been used in Coorg with good effect, as may be readily understood by
anyone who has had any experience of that valuable manure.

In conclusion, I may say that if the planter is not prepared to take all
the steps necessary to insure the growth of vacancy plants in old land, he
had far better not put down any at all, as he will find it to be a mere
waste of money and labour, which is often more precious than money.

As regards the important point of topping, there are considerable
differences of opinion. I am in favour of short topping, because the
coffee thus more quickly and completely covers the ground, and the trees
are more easily pruned and handled, and some planters top at from three to
three and a half feet. Others again prefer four feet, and some four feet
and a half, while I know of a planter who prefers a greater height, and
cuts off the lower branches of his trees so as to turn them into an
umbrella shape. The last practice I thought a very strange one once, but
taking rot and leaf disease into consideration, I am by no means sure
that, for our shade coffee, it is not the best, and at any rate feel quite
sure that, as the lower branches in the case of highly topped trees soon
become poor and thin, the practice of high topping, and removing some of
the lower branches, is one to be decidedly recommended, and I am now
adopting it on my estate. For, in the case of our shade plantation, if the
coffee is short and thickly planted, so as to closely cover the ground,
there is necessarily a great want of ventilation, and, when this is the
case, rot must, from the great dampness of the ground, have a tendency to
increase in the monsoon, while from there being no room for the passage of
air underneath the trees, the spores of the leaf disease will be preserved
from being dried up and killed during the season of strong and parching
winds. But quite independently of these reasons, it seems to me that the
souring of the land owing to excessive saturation would be much lessened
were there free ventilation under the coffee trees. And, taking all these
points into consideration, I am now letting up all my short topped trees,
which is easily done by letting a sucker grow from the head of the tree,
and topping it when it reaches the required height. In places which are
exposed, or fairly exposed, to wind, short topping would not be attended
with such disadvantages, as in the case of the land in more sheltered
situations, but for all sheltered situations it certainly seems to me
that, with reference to the limitation of rot, leaf disease and the
souring of the land, the trees should be topped at not less than four feet
and a half.

The trees should not be topped until after the blossom comes out, as the
result of topping at an earlier period would be to cause the trees to
throw out a heavy crop on the primary branches, and more suckers, and so
cause more trouble and expense in handling. It should be remembered, too,
that in the case of all young plants if, before the first blossom, you cut
the top, you check the growth of the roots. When topping, remove one of
the topmost pair of branches as, if both are left, a split in the top of
the stem is liable to occur. Should waiting until after the bursting of
the blossom cause the tree to grow so high as to be affected by wind, the
top may be pinched off by hand, and the tree afterwards topped at the
proper height. This is often necessary in the case of shaded coffee, which
is, of course, liable to be drawn up.

I have said that the evil of topping before blossom is, that a heavy crop
is thereby thrown out on the primary branches, and I know of nothing more
injurious to the young tree, or more certain to throw it out of shape, as
the branch shrinks, and the tendency then is for the strongest secondary
branch to take the lead. A judicious and full-pursed planter, it is true,
would either remove the whole of the maiden crop, or at least from the
three upper pairs of primaries, but the crop of the fourth year is apt to
find a young planter with empty pockets, and he may not be able to afford
the sacrifice; but he should in any case remove the immature berries, or
blossom buds, from the greenwood of the primary branches, and if he
refrains from topping before blossom, his trees may stand their maiden
crop fairly well. But if the maiden crop threatens to be a heavy one it
should certainly be lessened, as the following year there would be little
crop, and much growth of superfluous wood, and an over heavy crop the
succeeding year, and so on continuously. The trees would thus be thrown
into the habit of giving heavy alternate crops, which is most injurious to
the plant which, like all other fruit-yielding plants, should be worked so
as to give even, moderate crops every year. But is it not evident that a
heavy crop followed by a small crop and much superfluous growth must be
extremely bad? for the trees thus produce an over heavy crop of berries
one year, and an exhaustive crop of shoots and suckers during the next,
and thus call for an extra expenditure of labour.

It is very important, by what is called handling, to keep the tree clear
of shoots within six inches of the stem, and to remove all cross shoots
and suckers and thin out superfluous wood as soon as possible. For we must
constantly keep in mind that a given weight of leaves is as exhaustive to
the tree as a given weight of berries. Prompt handling, and the removal of
suckers, is also very necessary for the free ventilation of the tree, and
especially during the monsoon months. I would call particular attention to
the bearing that judicious and timely handling has on rot and leaf
disease, as these are both much encouraged if the tree, at the beginning
of the monsoon, has much immature foliage. We should handle them (and
prune too, as is subsequently pointed out) so as to meet the monsoon as
much as possible with well ripened leaves, and this can obviously be best
done by preserving all the September and October shoots we can, and
removing all the February shoots that the tree can spare. In connection
with this subject, I would strongly advise planters to study Mr. Marshall
Ward's third Report on leaf disease in Ceylon, to which I have elsewhere
referred, and would particularly call attention to what he urges as to the
advisability of giving every leaf that is to be preserved as long a life
as possible, in order that it may feed the tree for the greatest possible
length of time.

In our climate, anything approaching to heavy pruning is regarded as an
abomination, and the general opinion is now in favour of shortening back
long drooping primaries, removing cross shoots and wood that is not likely
to bear anything more, and thinning out overgrowths of new wood. The most
luxuriantly wooded part of the plantation should be pruned first, and the
sticky coffee last, because, in the first place, it is important to stop
the growth of superfluous wood as soon as possible, and in the second
case, time will be given to the sticky coffee to throw out new shoots, so
that the pruner can see exactly where to apply the knife, which is often a
matter of difficulty, if he is dealing with trees quite exhausted from
bearing a heavy crop, or from the land being insufficiently manured. It is
very important to pare closely off the spikes left after cutting off a
secondary branch, so that the bark may heal over the junction of the
branch with the parent branch, as, if this is not done, the free
circulation of the sap is checked. It runs up the branches, and, of
course, cannot readily get on when it meets with a spike of wood sticking
out of the branch. This spike or stump may be green or half or quite dead,
but whatever state it is in the free circulation of the sap will be
checked, and the quantity of sap in circulation for the benefit of the
main branch will be lessened.

The time for pruning trees is obviously of great importance. Our present
practice is to prune as soon after the crop as possible, and no doubt this
follows the rule as regards all fruit tree culture, which is, that the
trees, from the time of blossoming till up to the picking of the crop,
should not be interfered with. But pruning at that time causes the tree to
throw out much young wood which in the beginning of the monsoon is in an
immature state, and, as Mr. Ward has pointed out (_vide_ p. 389), this
succulent foliage is a good breeding ground for leaf disease. Mr. Brooke
Mockett, too (_vide_ p. 401), has pointed out that leaf disease is worst
in the case of trees which have been heavily pruned, and obviously because
the heavier the pruning the greater the supply of succulent foliage. Such
succulent foliage, too, is liable to be rotted away in the drenching rains
of the south-west monsoon. So that, taking all the points into
consideration, it is obvious that pruning should be so managed as to
increase mature foliage, and, as much as possible, limit the amount of
succulent foliage, at the beginning of the monsoon. How this object is to
be attained it is difficult to see, but we can certainly do something
towards attaining it by very light pruning; and I would suggest here that
planters should make experiments both in pruning and manuring, with the
view of growing the young wood earlier in the season. And I would suggest
that planters might set aside say an acre, and leave the trees untouched
at the usual pruning season, and confine their pruning to removing useless
wood at the end of the monsoon. This, I surmise, would have the effect of
throwing out new wood then, which would be mature at the beginning of the
monsoon. Such experimental plots should not be manured after crop, but
should be manured immediately after the monsoon. It certainly seems to me
that, if we could both manure and prune at the end of the monsoon, we
should attain, as far as it can be attained, the production of mature wood
and leaves at the beginning of the monsoon.

Some planters, when pruning, remove moss and rub down the trees at the
same time, but this, I am sure, can be done more cheaply and effectually
as a separate work.

The removal of moss and rough bark, and generally cleaning and rubbing
down the trees is a work of very great importance, and should be carried
out once every two or three years. The injury arising from moss is too
well known to call for any remark, but the reason why the removal of rough
bark, and especially rough bark at the head of the tree, and at the
junction of the topmost branches with the stem is of such importance is,
that it is in the crevices of the rough bark that the Borer fly lays its
eggs. When thus removing the moss and rough bark, the eggs may often be
destroyed, and in the absence of rough bark to shelter them, it is
probable that the insect would probably not lay the eggs at all, or that,
if it did, they would either become addled, or fall to the ground. I may
add here that we have found a piece of square tin the best thing for
scraping down the trees, and that the hair-like fibre of the sago palm is
an excellent thing for rubbing down the stems.

Though moss thrives best in damp situations, and on northern aspects, it
sometimes exists on open and eastern aspects, and, when the latter is the
case, the moss is certainly due to poverty of soil, and in such cases, in
addition to scraping the trees thoroughly, an application of top soil
mixed with lime, or bonedust, should be applied to the land. I may add
that I have seen trees on a dry knoll, and with no shade over head,
covered with moss, and this was no doubt owing to poverty of soil, which
caused the bark to be in an unhealthy condition, and therefore a suitable
home for the growth and spread of moss.

Digging and working the soil in order to keep it in an open condition is
of great importance, because, to use for the second or third time the
words of Sir John Lawes, "it is the physical condition of the soil, its
permeability to roots, its capacity for absorbing and radiating heat, and
for absorbing and retaining water, that is more important than its
strictly speaking chemical condition." In other words, a moderately
fertile soil, if maintained in fine physical condition, will give better
results than a rich one which is in a hardened state. But to keep the
soil in good condition, and yet comply with the fruit cultivators' chief
axiom that, "from the time of blossom till the crop is ripe the roots
should not be disturbed," is a matter of great difficulty--I might almost
indeed say an impossibility. For, from the trampling of the people in
their passage up and down the lines, and the dash of the rain, the soil
becomes exceedingly hard immediately after, or at least very shortly after
the rain. Here, then, the planter finds himself between the devil and the
deep sea. Is he to leave his soil in a hardened state from the beginning
of November to the end of January, or perhaps the middle of February, or
is he to violate the axiom which tells him not to disturb the roots till
after the crop is ripened? And here I think the condition of things is
such that he should come to a compromise, and dig up at the end of the
monsoon a space of about 2 to 2-1/2 feet up the centre of the lines, which,
being the part always walked upon, is necessarily liable to be puddled and
hardened, and then, after crop-picking is finished, lightly dig, or pick
over and stir, the remainder of the soil, breaking, of course, all clods
at the same time. By such a process we should prevent the central portion
drying up and cracking, and aerate laterally the rest of the soil, and at
the same time do as little damage as possible to the roots. I need hardly
say that it is of great importance to begin with all those places where
the soil is most hardened, as, should the planter not be able, from
shortness of labour, to complete his digging before crop, he will at least
have dug those places most urgently in need of cultivation. If the soil of
the estate is pretty even in character, the hottest aspects will of course
harden soonest, and should be dug first, but it may so happen that a hot
aspect may have a soil of a loose and open character, while a north aspect
might have a soil of stiff character, and here the planter must alter the
rule so as to suit his particular case.

For digging, or rather loosening the soil at the end of the monsoon, my
experience is that the four-pronged Assam fork is the best tool, and that
for the light picking over of the whole of the soil after crop a light
two-pronged digger is best. This last tool is shaped like a mamoty, but
with two prongs rather widely set apart instead of the broad blade of the
mamoty. It being very light, it can easily be turned in the hand, so that
clods may be broken with the back of the tool, and it can be used by
women, which of course is of great advantage for pushing forward the work.

Renovation pits, as they are called, were once regarded as an excellent
means of deeply stirring the soil, but, of recent years, have fallen out
of favour with many planters, and I think justly so. These pits, or rather
trenches, are dug in the spaces between four trees, and are generally
about fifteen inches in depth, as many in width, and about ten feet long.
Weeds and rubbish were thrown into them, and when they were filled with
these, and soil washed into them, the pits were abandoned and another set
opened. I am now satisfied that these pits did much damage by the
sub-soil--which is often of an undesirable quality, and always, of course,
more liable to run together and harden than the original top soil--being
thrown on to the surface of the land. In fact, they did the same damage
that the steam plough has often done at home in unskilful hands, i.e.,
turned a fine loose surface soil into one of an inferior character. Then
the sides and edges of the pits harden and crack, and this of course adds
to the heat of the plantation. But renovation pits may be put to an
excellent use if employed in their character of water-holes, as they are
called by the natives, and whenever land is liable to wash, they are of
great service, and, though but small portions of our shaded plantations
are ever liable to wash, a line of renovation pits should always be put on
the lower sides of roads to catch the water that runs off them, and thus
cause it to soak gradually into the soil. When renovation pits are used as
water-holes no new ones should be opened, but the old pit should be
cleaned out and its contents scattered on the surface of the land, not
between the rows of coffee, as the soil would at once run into the
renovation pits below, but around the stems of the coffee trees and in the
lines. I have found that renovation pits, or water-holes, are of great
value as water conservators, and wherever it is necessary to increase the
supply of water for a tank, deep water-holes--say from 3 to 4 feet in
depth and width--should be dug around the upper sides of the tank, and the
rain water conducted into them by small channels. We have found, on my
property, such an appreciable effect from even a moderate amount of such
holes, that I am now largely increasing their number. A friend of mine has
also found a similar effect in connection with his tank, though, I may
mention, he had made the pits in connection with his coffee, and not with
the view of increasing the water supply in his tank. I believe that this
method of increasing the water supply would be well worth the attention of
Government in connection with its numerous tanks.

The reader will remember that I have recommended applications of jungle
top soil and other soil, and it should be remembered that such
applications will, by rendering the soil more open, much lighten the work
of digging, and this is a point that should be carefully estimated when
calculating the expense of dressing the land with fresh soil.



Though coffee in Mysore is liable to two diseases, and to the attack of
one insect, these, when the cultivation is good, and the shade suitable in
kind and degree, are not likely to cause any uneasiness in the minds of
the planters. But it is, of course, necessary to go carefully into the
whole subject of these diseases and the insect attack, in order to bring
out fully the steps that should be taken so to cultivate and shade the
coffee as to render these evils as innocuous as possible, and I have
therefore, in addition to my own knowledge, taken pains specially to
procure from two planters of long practical experience their views. The
views, I may say, of Mr. Graham Anderson as regards leaf disease are
particularly valuable, as he has paid much attention to the subject.

Leaf disease is the common name given to the attack of _Hemeleïa
Vastatrix_, a fungoid plant which distributes its spores in the form of a
yellow powder. These alight on the leaves of coffee, and in weather
favourable to the fungus, will germinate in about a day, and the fungoid
plant then roots itself between the walls of the leaves. After the plant
has completed its growth, which it generally does in about three weeks,
more spores are produced to fly away with the wind, or be scattered by the
movements of the coolies amongst the coffee, and thus the disease spreads.
A great deal, of course, has been written about it, and those who desire
more particular information may refer to Mr. Marshall Ward's report on
coffee loaf disease in Ceylon. It is sufficient to say here that when the
attack is severe the tree is deprived of its leaves, or of a large number
of them; that much injury to the crop results; and that both the tree and
the soil are heavily taxed in replacing the foliage that has been

Leaf disease has probably existed[56] in Mysore as long as coffee has, but
was, from the small amount of it, so entirely unnoticed, that, when I
wrote my chapter on coffee in the "Experiences of a Planter," more than
twenty-two years ago, I had never heard of it, nor, I am sure, had any of
my neighbours. A trick, however, I once played on Mr. Graham Anderson's
cousin about thirty years ago, enables me to trace it backwards so far
with certainty. On coming through his plantation on one occasion, I picked
oft a very large yellow coffee leaf, and placed it below the first of
several plates with the aid of which he was helping his visitors. When the
servant lifted the first plate, there was the leaf, and I said to my
friend, "There are your golden prospects." Many years afterwards Mr.
Graham Anderson recalled the incident to my memory, and said, "That was
the leaf disease." But it was not till leaf disease appeared in Ceylon in
a severe form that our attention was called to the subject, and since then
leaf disease has undoubtedly increased, and, in the opinion of one of the
two experienced planters I have consulted, has caused much loss directly
and indirectly, while the other informs me it has caused much loss on some
estates. But I confess my own observation causes great doubts in my own
mind as to whether the losses of leaves which planters attribute to leaf
disease are entirely owing to that cause, and I was much struck with what
Mr. Reilly, of Hillgrove Estate, Coonoor, said to me on the subject; and
when we were discussing leaf disease in general, he observed that it was
often said to be the cause of leaves falling off, when their doing so was
really owing to an over heavy crop of coffee. Then with our dry east winds
many leaves become yellow and fall off, and some become so because they
have been injured by the pickers, others from rot, and others from old
age, and all these leaf losses are commonly put down to leaf disease, so
that, taking all these points into consideration, I find myself quite
unable to determine, even approximately, the amount of loss arising from
_Hemeleïa Vastatrix_.

But of one thing, however, I do feel absolutely certain, and that is, that
when the land is well cultivated, manured, and judiciously shaded with
good caste trees, leaf disease may be reduced to such a degree that we
need not trouble ourselves about it, and I feel equally sure that the most
important of all the agents for controlling and limiting the disease is
the shade of good caste trees. And as to the effect of shade upon
_Hemeleïa Vastatrix_, I made particular inquiries when visiting estates in
1891 on the slopes of the Nilgiris, and conversing with planters on the
subject. One manager went so far as to say that there was no leaf disease
under the shade trees. Mr. Reilly, of Hillgrove Estate, said there was
much less leaf disease under the shade trees. Another planter of great
experience told me that leaf disease begins on the coffee in the open, and
then spreads into even the finest trees under shade, but that those are
affected in less degree. "In the end," he said, "You see the estate all
yellow, but with green patches of coffee under the shade trees." In short,
I found that all the planters I consulted were agreed in saying that there
was but a small amount of leaf disease under the shade trees. The estates
on the Nilgiri slopes have been originally all in the open, but latterly
shade has been encouraged on some estates, but not to a degree which in
Mysore would be called shade. However, the shade was quite sufficient, as
we have seen, to illustrate the important fact that shade can control leaf
disease. And as shade can control leaf disease, I need hardly say that it
is of the utmost importance (just as it is as regards Borer), to carefully
fill up at once all spots where shade is deficient, because this
deficiency encourages leaf disease, and forms a breeding ground for spores
to fly into the surrounding coffee. Open spots here and there may not
strike one at first sight as being of much importance, but if they are all
added together, the planter will see that they will amount to a
considerable area of land, and quite sufficient, at any rate, to inoculate
his plantation with leaf disease.

The reader will observe that I have said that leaf disease may be reduced
within practically speaking harmless limits if the coffee is judiciously
shaded with good caste shade trees, and I would call particular attention
to the term good caste trees, because bad caste shade trees will not
control leaf disease. On the contrary, Mr. Graham Anderson informs me that
he has seen worse leaf disease under a dense covering of bad shade trees
than he has in the open, and he also informs me that, though shade is the
backbone of our success in Mysore, he has had more misfortune from all
causes when his estate was under the heavy shade of bad caste trees than
he has ever had since, though many places are not yet properly covered
with the good kind of shade trees which he had planted to take the place
of the bad ones he had removed. I am much indebted to Mr. Graham Anderson
for information on the subject of leaf disease, and he has been kind
enough to enumerate the following conditions under which leaf disease is
liable to occur in the cases of good soils under good shade:

"In the case of good soils under good shade trees," writes Mr. Graham
Anderson, "leaf disease is liable to occur under the following
circumstances, or at the following times:

"1. From the soil being saturated at some critical period of growth,
particularly just when secondary growth commences in September.

"2. During the time when the plants are maturing a heavy crop.

"3. After the plants have been exhausted by ripening a heavy crop.

"4. After heavy weeds--particularly if late in the season.

"5. After a heavy digging where roots have been cut.

"6. After pruning without manure having been applied, or from want of

"7. Even after manuring when the trees have large succulent roots in an
immature condition--generally a sign that fibrous surface roots are
deficient, and that large, deep-feeding roots are present in excess.

"8. After large quantities of green or rotting weeds have been deeply
buried, or large quantities of acid, unrotted, or forcing manures have
been applied.

"Leaf disease is also liable to occur:

"1. In poor gravelly soils, and on land which has caked in the hot
weather, or become unmanageable during rain.

"2. On land where ill-balanced manurial preparations have been used.

"3. In soils suffering from a deficiency of the available supply of
phosphates and alkalies.

"4. Under unsuitable shade trees."

Now it is to be observed that these are preventable causes, or
aggravations of leaf disease, and, if carefully attended to, the planter
will have little to apprehend from leaf disease. Mr. Anderson, in his
communication to me, lays, and very rightly, particular stress on the
maintenance of the physical condition of the land and its state of
fertility. And it is satisfactory to find that he is exactly confirmed by
Mr. H. Marshall Ward in his third report (dated 1881) on coffee leaf
disease in Ceylon, and he points out (p. 3) that "Leaf disease appears to
affect different estates in different degrees on account of varieties in
soil, climate, and other physical peculiarities."

"But," he continues, "I would draw particular attention to this. Careful
cultivation and natural advantages of soil, climate, etc., enable certain
estates to stand forth prominently, as though leaf disease did not affect
them, or only to a slight extent, while poor nutrition, the ravages of
insects, etc., have in other cases their effects as well as leaf disease."
Or, in other words, he states that, as was suggested to me by Mr.
Reilly--a planter of long experience near Coonoor on the Nilgiris--that
much loss of leaves, which has been attributed to leaf disease, is often
due to other causes.

Mr. Brooke Mockett--one of the planters previously alluded to--informs me
that "Leaf disease is certainly worst (1) on trees that are cropping
heavily, (2) on trees that have been severely pruned (heavy pruning being
ruination in my opinion), (3) on plants under bad caste shade trees (these
plants it seems to cripple), and (4) on plants in the open."

It is worthy of note that the Coorg plant is not nearly so liable to
attacks of leaf disease as the original Mysore Chick plant. I have seen a
tall plant of the latter variety heavily attacked, while a Coorg plant
partly under it was only slightly attacked on the side next the Chick
plant, and hardly at all on the side not under the Chick plant. I observe,
too, from the Planting Correspondent's Notes in the "Madras Mail" of
January 30th, 1892, that the same thing has been observed in Coorg, and
that occasional Mysore plants, which had by some accident found their way
into the Coorg coffee, got the disease first, and that it then spread into
the surrounding coffee.

It should be borne in mind that leaf disease does not kill the tree, but
only injures it, and diminishes its powers by depriving it of much of its
foliage, so that there is nothing alarming in leaf disease when it is
controlled by good management of the tree, and good shade, cultivation of
the soil, and manuring; and the only case I can hear of where anything
like permanent injury has occurred, is where the disease has existed under
the shade of bad caste trees. But it is far otherwise with the justly
dreaded Borer insect, which, however, can, as we shall see, be effectively
controlled by good shade. To the attacks of this insect I now propose to
direct the attention of the reader.

The too well-known coffee Borer is a beetle, about as large as a horsefly,
which lays its eggs in any convenient crevice, and generally, it is
supposed, near the head of the tree, in the bark, or wood of the coffee
tree. After the larvæ are hatched they at once burrow their way into the
tree, where they live on the dead matter of the inner or heart-wood of the
stem, and there they reside from, it is supposed, three to five months,
till their transformation into winged beetles. Then they bore their way
out of the tree, and fly away to carry on their mischievous work. This
insect has been declared to be, by Mr. John Keast Lord, "a beetle of the
second family of the Coleoptera Cerambycidæ, and to be closely allied to a
somewhat common species known as the wasp-beetle (_Clytus avietis_),
which usually undergoes its changes in old dry palings." And in a
collection made by M. Chevrolat in Southern India, and now in the British
Museum (at least it was so in 1867, when Mr. Lord investigated the point),
a specimen was found, to which the name of _Xylotrechus quadrupes_ was
attached. This Borer, like the leaf disease, has probably always attacked
coffee, but the earliest probable notice of it is to be found in Mr.
Stokes's Report on the Nuggur Division of Mysore, in about 1835, where he
observes that coffee trees in dry seasons often wither and snap off
suddenly at the root. The cause, or probable cause of this he does not
state, but there can be little doubt that the Borer had attacked the trees
alluded to. Since then the Borer seems to have attracted little or no
attention till towards the end of 1866, but about that time, and during
the three following years, an alarming attack of Borer took place, and
inflicted immense injury on plantations, and there can be no doubt that
this was in a great measure owing partly to insufficient shade, and partly
to bad caste shade trees, accompanied by dry, hot seasons, which were
favourable to the hatching of the eggs of this destructive insect. But
since then much attention has been paid to shade, both as to quantity and
kind, and the Borer may now be regarded as an insect which can with
certainty be held in check if the land is properly shaded with good caste
trees. And I say good caste trees, because bad caste trees encourage
Borers, and Mr. Graham Anderson, who has had a very large and disagreeable
experience of the effects of bad caste trees, informs me that he has "seen
worse Borer under dense _bad_ caste shade than in open places in good soil
on northern slopes." "Some bad shade trees," he continues, in his
communication to me on the subject, "keep the coffee in a debilitated
state. They allow it to be parched up in the dry weather, and they smother
it in the monsoon. They rob it of moisture and manure with their myriads
of surface-feeding roots, and prevent dew and light showers benefiting the
plant. I do not fear Borer under well-regulated shade of approved
descriptions. Renovation pits left open in the hot weather, large
clod-digging in a light soil even under fair shade, weeds left standing in
dry weather; all these, by increasing evaporation, tend to cause increase
of damage from Borer. A hard caked surface, or a compact, undug soil is
equally bad. Rubbing and cleaning the stems is a valuable operation,
because it removes rough bark in which eggs may be deposited, and
contributes to the health of the tree. The prompt removal and burning of
all affected trees, properly arranged shade of selected varieties,
frequent light stirring of the surface soil, having well arranged shoots
distributed all over the coffee trees, not opening the centre of the trees
too much, and keeping the trees succulent and vigorous by culture and
manure, may be at present classed among the best remedies for the Borer
pest." In other words, he would say that the Borer loves dry wood. Keep
your coffee tree green and succulent and well shaded, and you have little
to fear from it.

I have also obtained the opinion of Mr. Brooke Mockett, who informs me
that "Borer is certainly as destructive under bad caste trees as in the
open." "Borer," he continues, in his communication to me on the subject,
"is always much worse in land where there has been a burn than in unburnt
land. It is also bad in rocky and stony places. In good soil, where there
has been no burn, I have never had Borer severely, even though for a time
there has been no shade whatever. I do not fear Borer now that such an
excellent system of shade raising has been discovered. Rubbing stems once
in about three years I look upon as of great use."

I too have had great experience of Borer, and agree with what my friends
have written on the subject, with the exception of what Mr. Graham
Anderson has said as to the advisability of promptly removing and burning
all bored trees. This I am aware is the common practice, but I have never
carried it out on my property, and yet, though the trees were riddled with
Borer in the great Borer years, and I have had since then a fair
proportion of it on some part of my property, I believe that no estate has
less Borer now. Instead of removing the bored trees I removed the Borer
itself with the aid of the shade of good caste trees, and especially, I
believe, by paying strict attention to what I have particularly enforced
in my shade section--the prompt filling up of every spot in the plantation
that called for more shade. For it is in such spots that the Borer first
locates itself, and then it spreads to other dried up trees in the
plantation. There is little use, I think, in removing the affected trees.
You must remove the cause of their being affected, because, if you do not,
the _sound_ trees that are insufficiently shaded will in time be affected:
and then it must be remembered that the Borer is a winged insect which, as
long as you leave suitable ground for it, will be sure to make its
appearance. Out of curiosity I lately cut down and carefully examined a
coffee tree which I could see, from the appearance of the bark, had once
been heavily bored, but which I felt certain had no Borer now, nor any
recent attack of it. The tree I found, after a careful dissection, had not
a sign of Borer present in it, nor any sign of a recent attack, and yet in
years gone by it had been heavily attacked and bored literally from end to
end of the stem. The explanation was that the land had formerly not been
sufficiently shaded, while now the shade is ample. The Borers had then
left the trees, and their descendants had either not thought it worth
while to lay any eggs on them, or the eggs had, from the lowered
temperature caused by the shade, become addled. Many years ago I remember
cutting down a fine coffee tree, when the round gimlet-made looking hole
through which the insect makes its escape was plainly to be seen, when I
found that a single Borer had drilled a hole down a part of the centre of
the tree, then passed into the fly state and left the tree. It was a fine
succulent and nourishing tree, and would, in all probability, have not
again been attacked. To remove, then, all attacked trees, as some planters
do, seems to me to be a great waste. To do so will not prevent other
Borers arriving from some quarter or other to continue the deadly work;
but shade, if it does not prevent their arrival, either prevents the
insect from laying its eggs, from instinctively feeling that the ground is
unsuitable for their being hatched, or causes the eggs to become addled.
But whatever the cause may be, it is certain that succulent trees in well
shaded land will not suffer from Borer, while it is equally certain that
coffee trees in a dried up state, and with either insufficient shade, or
shade of bad caste trees over them, are certain to be attacked by Borer
again and again, and will eventually be killed.

I turn, lastly, to the consideration of a disease in coffee which is
popularly known by the name of rot, and scientifically as _pellicularia
koleroga_, a fungoid plant which crawls over the leaves and seals up their
breathing pores, till at last the leaf dies, as man does, from want of
breath. On one of my estates we have had a considerable experience of it,
and, whatever may cause rot, I feel sure that what aggravates it, and
causes it to be very injurious, is the want of free circulation of air
over the land, and through the coffee trees; and I am the more convinced
of this because we have found rot worse in the open, and where there was
little undecayed vegetable matter present in the soil, than in rather
thick shade with abundance of undecayed vegetable matter on the surface.
But in the latter case the land is on a rather high ridge exposed to the
constant winds of the south-west monsoon, while in the former case the
land was in a hollow under a hill which lies between it and the west--a
hollow completely sheltered from the wind. And it is in such sheltered
spots that we find rot worse, and quite independently of the presence or
absence of shade or of vegetable matter lying on the land. To check rot,
then, the free circulation of air is necessary both over the land and
through the plant. Much may be done in the first case by judiciously
opening channels for air through the shade trees so as to admit a free
circulation of air into hollows, and much in the latter by freely handling
out the centres of the trees which, in the monsoon, and especially in
hollows, are apt to grow a superabundance of young wood, which chokes up
the centre of the tree and thus hinders the free circulation of air. The
soil, too, is often excessively saturated in these hollows, and, where
this is the case, the land should be surface drained. Though I have not as
yet adopted the plan of sweeping up and putting into the manure heap, or
burying with a little lime added, the numerous dead leaves that are apt to
drift into hollows, I feel sure that either of these plans would be
attended with advantage, by lessening damp, and allowing a free
circulation of air over the land. I am confident, I may add here, that the
removal of the lower branches of the coffee trees, branches which in any
case bear hardly anything in well-shaded land, would be of great advantage
in lessening the damp in the plantation, and so diminishing the causes
that promote rot.

With reference to rot, it is of great importance to thin out young wood as
early as possible, so that, when the rot season arrives, the trees may
have a moderate amount of well-matured young wood, with fully-developed
hardened leaves, instead of a largo number of small succulent shoots
covered with succulent leaves, which are very apt to be rotted bodily
away. And the importance of this is equally great with reference to leaf
disease, and Mr. Ward, in his "Report" (p. 15), points out that pruning
and manuring should be so timed that the tree may have, at the beginning
of the wet weather, mature wood and leaves, and the whole of his
observations on this head point to the conclusion that manuring ought to
be carried out at the close of the monsoon, and that pruning, which
encourages the growth of much young wood, should be limited as much as
possible to the removal of utterly useless, worn-out wood. Under the head
of pruning and handling, the reader will find some remarks with reference
to the important subject of the best time for pruning so as to limit rot
and leaf disease.

I am glad to say that I have no other pests to chronicle as regard Mysore
estates, but as estates on the Nilgiris sometimes suffer from green-bugs,
I give the following treatment, which was discovered, and has been
effectually used by Mr. Reilly of Hill Grove Estate, Coonoor, who has
kindly permitted me to publish the recipe.

For every 30 or 35 gallons of water take a bundle of wild merang (_Leucas
zeylanica_ or (Kanarese) Thumba Soppu) plants about two feet in diameter,
and, after removing the roots, boil it for about four or five hours, and
let it cool all night, and in the morning apply the decoction to the
coffee trees affected, with the aid of a garden syringe. The trees should
be well syringed, and it is advisable to give the tree a second
application. The refuse of the boiled plant should be scattered on the
ground around the stem of the tree.

This prescription might probably be useful in the case of garden plants or
shrubs which have been attacked by insects.


[56] Mr. Reilly, of Hillgrove Estate, Coonoor, told me that he had first
noticed leaf disease about twenty-six years ago. It commenced low down on
the coffee on the Coonoor Ghaut, and then came gradually up the Ghaut.

[57] A planter on the slopes of the Nilgiris gave me a well marked
instance of leaf disease being increased from want of digging, when there
was a good opportunity of contrasting the dug with the undug soil.



The selection of land for the planting of coffee requires great judgment,
and the consideration of many circumstances besides the question as to
whether the land is or is not capable of growing good coffee. For, in
addition to questions of the age of the forest land, climate, the
steepness of the gradients, aspect, and soil, we have to consider the
healthiness of the climate, the water supply, the facilities for procuring
labour, and the proximity of the land to good means of communication. Then
as to the valuing of coffee plantations we have, of course, to consider
all these points, as well as many others, to which I shall presently
allude when I come to treat of that branch of my subject.

In Mysore, notwithstanding the enormous quantity of forest land stretching
along the Western Ghauts, there is, compared to the total area of forest,
but comparatively little land, suitable for coffee, to be cleared. In the
southern part of the province there is none, that I am aware of, worthy of
the attention of Europeans, but one of the planters in the northern part
of Mysore tells me that in that part of the country there is still much
uncleared land, partly in the hands of the State, and partly the property
of individuals. Such uncleared lands (and it is important when valuing a
plantation to remember the following classification) may be divided into
three classes, (1) the original forest, or, as the natives call it,
mother jungle, that has never been touched by man; (2) the forest of
secondary growth which has sprung up after the mother forest land has been
cleared for grain growing, and abandoned after a crop or two has been
taken from the soil; and (3) land on which young forest is growing, and
which has never previously had any other forest on it. These three classes
of lands are easily recognized by experienced persons, and even at a
considerable distance. In the first there are large numbers of trees of
great size, and often of timber of good quality. In the second there are
no large trees, or perhaps only one or two samples of the original
forest--generally mangoe, as they are often used as worshipping
places--towering from fifty to sixty feet above the present level of the
forest. In the case of the third, or young forest: this class of land may
readily be recognized by the number of young Nundy and other deciduous
trees. The first-named class of forest is of course by far the most
valuable; the second will be more or less valuable according to the time
that has elapsed since the mother jungle was felled--in some cases this
may be only 40 or 50 years ago, in others from 50 to 100, and perhaps in
some instances upwards of 150 years ago. In the last case, of course, the
land will approximate in value to the mother jungle, but in the first
there is an enormous difference in the value of the land, which will
easily be understood when we consider what takes place when forest is
cleared, burnt off and cropped. For in the tremendous conflagration that
ensues, much of the accumulated wealth of ages is destroyed; and I may
remind the reader that an iron peg driven firmly down till its head was
level with the ground of a newly-cleared piece of forest, was found to be
projecting no less than six inches from the surface after the fire was
over. Then a crop is sown which indeed is not an exhaustive one, but it
must be remembered that the land is exposed to heavy tropical rains, and
perhaps for two years, after which it is abandoned, and allowed to grow up
again into forest. So that the injury to the land from the burning of the
forest, the removal of one or two crops of grain, and especially the loss
from wash, bring about a state of exhaustion which a very long time is
required to repair. The value of the land, then, in which this secondary
growth of forest has sprung up, will entirely depend upon the time when
the forest was cleared and burnt off, and as this is more or less
conjectural, it is difficult to give on paper any guide as to the probable
time, and the valuer can only form an opinion from the practice he has had
in examining forest lands. As regards the third class, i.e., young
forest on land that has never had any previous forest growth, the valuer
can have little doubt. Such lauds are not desirable, and are as inferior
to lands of the second class as these generally are to those of the first,
or mother jungles.

I have said that a vast quantity of forest along the Western Ghauts is
unsuitable for coffee; and it is so because of the excessive and
continuous rainfall, and the estates, fortunately very few in number,
which were started in the wet mountain regions which fringe the Mysore
tableland, have all been abandoned. But on the eastern side of the passes
the rainfall gradually diminishes, and at a distance of about six or seven
miles from the crests of the Ghauts the coffee zone commences, and
stretches inland to varying distances from the Ghauts till the forest
region gradually dies away into the wide-spreading plains of the interior
of the province. Of the rainfall in this coffee region we have no reliable
accounts, and it varies much even within short distances, but it is
generally believed to range from 50 inches on the most easterly side of
the coffee districts[58] to about 120 on the west. Opinions vary much as
to the most desirable site for plantations, but I think that most planters
are inclined to think that a rainfall of about 70 inches is the most
desirable. As regards elevation above sea level, plantations vary from
2,800 feet to upwards of 4,000, and it is generally supposed that the
highest elevations yield the best coffee, but it is very difficult to form
any precise conclusion on the subject. Cannon's coffee, which is mostly
grown at about 4,000 feet, always fetched a high price, but this was
owing, I believe, to its long-established good name, for, when I grew
coffee at elevations of from, I believe, 3,200 to nearly 3,500 feet, and
of the same variety of plant, a large wholesale and retail dealer told me
that whether they bought my coffee, Cannon's, or Santawerry (an estate of
the best reputation) it was all the same. After looking over many lists of
sales in recent years, I am struck with the small differences in the
prices obtained for Mysore coffees, with the exception of Cannon's and a
few estates which still grow the old original plant of Mysore. But all the
estates which grow the Coorg plant obtain prices very similar, though
there is a considerable difference in the elevation of the estates, and
therefore, so far as the price of the coffee is concerned, I should not,
in valuing land for planting, attach much importance to mere elevation, as
long as it does not go below 2,000 to 3,000 feet, for below that we have
no experience to go by, and are, therefore, unable to say what effect a
lower elevation would have on the character of the coffee. We have now
considered both climate and elevation, and the values of the various kinds
of forest land, and have next to look at, and if possible value, the
effects of aspect.

The more I have seen and studied coffee the more am I struck with the
value of aspect, and this is of enormous importance in such a climate as
Mysore, which is liable to suffer so often from prolonged droughts, and as
it is quite a common thing to have five months without a drop of rain, and
also during part of that time to have either dry winds or hot desiccating
blasts of air coming in from the heated plains of the interior, it can
easily be understood that in valuing lands, much consequence should be
attached to forest which contains a large proportion of north and
north-western aspects. As to the relative value of the various aspects I
have fully treated the subject in my remarks on shade, and I must leave it
to the personal experience of planters to determine how much more value
they would attach to land mainly facing north and north-west as compared
with land facing mainly south and south-west. For myself I should
consider that the former was at least ten per cent. more valuable than the
latter; and that the relative value of the other aspects should be
carefully weighed before coming to an opinion as to the price that should
be given for forest land.

In the valuation of land the next thing we have to consider is the
steepness of the gradients on it. Now after having had much experience of
steep land, land on moderate slopes, and land which might almost be called
flat, I have no hesitation in giving a decided preference to the
moderately sloping land. I object to the steep land, because it is
troublesome to work and manure, and because the ridges on it are sure to
be poor; and to the flat land, because the soil is apt to become sodden in
our heavy monsoons, and because it is soon apt to harden, and thus is
troublesome to work. In my opinion, the highest value ought to be attached
to the moderately sloping lands, less value to the flat, or nearly flat
lands, and less still to steep lands.

As regards the kinds of soil suitable for coffee, there are points on
which some difference of opinion exists. All however are, I think, agreed
in thinking that the most desirable soils are those of dark chocolate
colour, considerable depth, and of easily workable character--what would
be described in England as a rather heavy loamy soil. Then, and sometimes
touching these soils, there are soils of decidedly whitish appearance,
against which a general prejudice exists; but though some of these soils
are light and of inferior character, others are capable of growing coffee
quite as well as the best of the chocolate soils. Occasionally there are
small sections to be found in good coffee lands of soil of a light
character and pinkish hue, which few people not familiar with it could
suppose to be a good soil, but in this I have found that coffee flourishes
remarkably well. There are other classes of soil which are generally
considered to be inferior to those above mentioned, lightish, bright rod
soils, black soils (though I have seen very good coffee in such), and
soils of a whitish and rather sandy character; but it may be laid down as
a general rule that all the soils we have, and I think I have soil of
almost every class, are capable of growing good coffee if the climate is
suitable, and if the forest in it is of undoubted primæval character; and
I have much reason to think that, where soils have been found to be
unfavourable, it is owing to the original jungle, say 50 or over 100 years
ago, having been felled, burnt off, and cropped with grain for a season,
and then abandoned. In from thirty to forty years very fair forest can be
grown, but I should say that it would take at least 150 years to restore
the land to anything approaching its chemical and physical condition when
the primæval forest was first felled.

We have, lastly, to consider the healthiness of the climate, the water
supply, the facilities for procuring labour, and the proximity of the land
to good roads.

As regards the climate of the coffee districts in Mysore, I have no
evidence before me to show that there is much difference as regards health
in any of the climates, though some, from elevation and nearness to the
Ghauts and the source of the sea-breezes, are decidedly more agreeable
than others which are lower, hotter, and more distant from the western
passes. Manjarabad, however, is generally considered to be the healthiest
district, and some are of opinion that certain parts of the northern
coffee district are rather below the average as to healthiness. A good
water supply for drinking, and for pulping and nurseries, is, of course,
of great importance, and a careful account should be taken of this in
valuing land for planting. Then the facilities as to the supply of labour
require to be carefully taken into consideration. They vary very much, as,
in some cases, the whole labour has to be imported, while in other cases
a considerable supply can be drawn from villages in the immediate
proximity of the land. At one time it was always considered that it was a
great advantage to have local labour, but the local labourers have now
become so well off and independent that many planters much prefer the
imported labourers, because the former are so uncertain in their
attendance, while the latter, when once on the estates, have nothing to
take them away from their work till the season arrives for their departing
to their homes, either below the Ghauts, or in the interior of the
province, from both of which sources the planters of Mysore draw so much
of their labour. But in the picking season there can be no doubt that the
vicinity of villages is a great advantage, as this generally occurs before
the rice harvest, and before that takes place, many people are glad to
work for a month or two months on the plantations. So that, in valuing
land, proximity to villages ought certainly to be taken into favourable
account. Finally, in valuing land, the proximity to good roads and easy
access to them is of great importance--and I say easy access to them
because it sometimes happens that land is situated on the wrong side of an
unbridged river which is sure to be in flood for many months of the year.
I now turn to the important subject of valuing plantations of various

I may commence here by observing that all the points enumerated as regards
the valuation of land suitable for coffee apply equally to plantations,
but it is hardly necessary to say that there are many additional points to
be considered when valuing a plantation that is for sale, or for which a
valuation may be required for any other purpose. The first point that a
valuator should inquire into, is the age of the forest land on which a
plantation has been formed. This may not be very easily determined, as the
whole of the original forest may have been removed, but there are nearly
certain to be corners left, and the valuator should remember that the
surest sign of very old forest is an occasional very old and partly
decayed Nandi tree, or large and aged Marragudtha trees. The next point to
be considered is as to whether the forest was all felled at once and burnt
off with a running fire, or whether it was cleared by degrees--i.e., in
the first year cleared of underwood and a few of the large trees, and the
wood piled and burned in separate heaps, and the large trees gradually
removed in subsequent years. This may be regarded as a very important
point, for in the latter case the physical condition of the soil will be
sure to have been better maintained, and, in the opinion of one of our
most experienced planters, the coffee will be much less liable to attacks
of the Borer. The age of the plantation should next be inquired into, but
mere age, it must be remembered, though it may be of great importance, is
by no means always so. At first sight it would appear that a young
plantation, with its virgin soil, must be more valuable than an old one,
but I have in my mind's eye a plantation in Manjarabad, belonging to
friends of mine, and the planting of which was begun as far back as 1857.
Last year one of my friends took me over it, and a finer plantation it
would be impossible to find, and at the end of our walk he said to me,
"The place is better than you ever saw it." And so it most undoubtedly
was: and, as another planting friend once wrote to me, "All the old
established estates in Mysore are to the front still, and many of them
better than they ever were," and better because manuring and cultivation
have improved pieces of inferior land and ridges to such a degree as to
make them superior to what they were before the land was first cleared and
planted. One of the estates in question was opened about ninety-five years
ago, and yet contains as fine coffee as one could wish to see. All depends
upon the care with which the estate has been kept up, and into that the
valuator must specially inquire, and he must also specially inquire into
the age of the coffee trees, which, always supposing that the soil has
been well kept up, is of far more importance than the mere age of the
estate. My friends' estate, for instance, above alluded to, was an old
estate, but it was, comparatively speaking, a fresh plantation, for all
the old trees had been removed, and the whole property replanted with the
Coorg plant. So that, though the estate was old, the coffee was by no
means so.

From what I have hitherto said, it is evident that in many cases the
valuing of an estate presents to the mind an extremely complicated
problem, and there are so many exceptions and limitations, and so many
points of doubtful nature--the question of the age, for instance, at which
the coffee tree declines--that I cannot attempt to do more than indicate
those to which the valuator should turn his attention. There are, however,
points on which I can express a more decided opinion--the shade on an
estate, its kind, or kinds, and regulation.

After what has been previously written as to shade, its weight in
determining the value of a plantation must obviously be very great; so
much so, that planters, when going round an estate in Mysore, are
generally more taken up with observing the shade than the coffee
underneath it. And I cannot, perhaps, better illustrate the effects of bad
caste trees than by mentioning what a neighbour said to me when I was
going round his plantation. He pointed to the coffee under a bad caste
tree and said, "The coffee there gave a good crop this year, but the trees
are suffering now, and will give a poor crop next year; while the coffee
under the good caste trees there gave a good crop this year, are looking
well now, and will give a good crop next year." Such, then, is the
difference, and sometimes it is much more, between bad and good caste
shade trees. And when the reader remembers that Mr. Graham Anderson has
said that he has experienced more misfortune of every kind owing to the
presence of bad caste shade trees, it is evident that a valuator should
attach a much higher value to a plantation shaded entirely with good caste
shade trees than to one with bad or indifferent kinds of shade trees. For
the latter mean diminished crops, and more Borer and leaf disease, while
the former lead to the very opposite effects.

Manurial facilities have next to be taken into consideration, and here we
shall find a very great difference between estates. Some, but I am afraid
very few, have spare, odd bits of jungle land which the proprietors have
acquired for the purpose, or angles of the original forest which they have
left uncleared, from which valuable top soil may be procured, while others
are in parts of the country where the grazing for cattle is good, and
where cattle manure can sometimes be bought from the natives. But many
estates have no top soil resources, and but poor facilities of making bulk
manure, and all these points require to be carefully considered when
valuing an estate.

But besides all the previously mentioned points, there are the labour
facilities, the water supply, and lastly, but by no means leastly, the
concentration of all the points of most importance in one central point to
be taken into consideration. It often happens on estates that the nursery
is in one place, the pulping-house half a mile from that, and the bungalow
half a mile from either. But is it not obvious that an estate is more
valuable when the bungalow, drying-ground, pulper, and nursery are all
within a stone's throw of each other?

Lastly, we come to the most difficult question of all. How many years'
purchase is a coffee property worth? To this question I can give no answer
at all, nor is it likely that any answer can ever be given till all the
facts connected with the industry become widely known. And of all these
determining facts, the execution of the projected railway line through the
southern coffee district to Mangalore will certainly be the most
important. This line, in fact (which will probably be opened in three
years' time), will alter the entire position of coffee, as it will not
only provide for the carriage of coffee to the coast and the importation
of manure, but will bring the planters within ready touch of the finest
sanatorium in the world--the Nilgiri Hills.


[58] My friend Mr. Graham Anderson presented to the Durbar, at the meeting
of the Representative Assembly in 1892, an interesting memorandum on
rainfall in Mysore, and the influence of trees on the condition of
climate, and in this he has given a return of the rainfall for a section
of the Manjarabad Talook, stretching inland from the crest of the Ghauts
to about the termination of the forest tract--a parallelogram of fifteen
miles in length from west to east, and about four miles from north to
south. This section shows, from April to end of August, a rainfall of
291.53 inches on the extreme west, as compared with 44.21 inches on the
extreme east. But it is remarkable that this variation of no less than
247.32 inches occurred on the northern side of the tract, the variation on
the southern side being only from 232.46 inches to 72.42 inches, or a
difference of only 160.04 inches. This shows an extraordinary, and at
present unaccountable, deflecting of the South-West Monsoon current. Mr.
Anderson remarks that, though in heavy weather and with favourable winds,
the Monsoon rain is often carried to a considerable distance to the east
of the termination of the forest tract, it is of common occurrence to find
an almost total cessation of continuous rain a few miles beyond the forest

In the memorandum in question Mr. Anderson also remarks on the well known
and interesting fact that the clearing away of certain descriptions of
trees, and the substitution of others improves the supply of water in the
springs. But the whole memorandum is both interesting and practical, and
its presentation at the meeting of the Representative Assembly is an
additional illustration of the value of that institution in pressing
matters of importance on the attention of the Government. The returns of
the rainfall were obtained from various planters on the section of country
investigated by Mr. Anderson.



The first step towards making a plantation pay is to eliminate all sources
of loss, and the first point claiming attention relates to the
advisability of abandoning all the spots on an estate which are difficult
to keep up, sometimes from defects of soil, sometimes of aspect, and more
often of both. At present you often find, just as you do in the case of
farmers in Scotland, that planters often make money on the good land to
throw much of it away on the bad, and the people who thus act simply do so
from want of strength of mind; for everyone knows that it costs more to
keep up inferior coffee than it does to keep up the best, and that the
latter yields good and certain crops, while the former yields poor and
uncertain crops. And it is equally well known that highly manured and well
situated coffee on good land can always be relied on to give a paying
crop, even in the very worst season, while coffee on poor land with a bad
aspect is simply at the mercy of the season. And one of the oldest
planters in Mysore told me that, some thirty years ago, when his land was,
comparatively speaking, unexhausted, if the blossom showers were
favourable he got a good crop all over the estate, but that if they were
unfavourable, the best situated coffee on the best land still gave a fair
crop, while the rest of the plantation produced very little. The maximum
of high and safe profits, then, will be obtained where the land kept up is
all good, well situated, and well manured. There are, of course,
occasional spots of half an acre or so in the very best lands which must
by no means be abandoned. On the contrary, they should be kept up at any
cost, as they would be the means of spreading weeds into the surrounding
land, and the places that should be abandoned are continuous pieces or
blocks on the outside of the coffee to be kept up. I may remind the reader
here that where an outside block can, as it were, be sliced off one side
of the estate, an application can be made to the Government to have it
measured and classed in future as land thrown out of cultivation, which is
liable to a reduced rate of taxation, but the Government will make no
reduction in the case of pieces of land, which are in the plantation,
being thrown out of cultivation. I have said that the pieces of inferior
land which may be occasionally found in the good coffee should certainly
be kept up; but there are, in the case of steep lands, sometimes pieces of
land at the heads of slopes, and next to the fence, where, from
injudicious management, the soil has gradually worked down the hill, and
in such cases a strip of the barest land near the head of the slope may
with advantage be thrown out of cultivation, and the abandoned land should
be thickly planted with trees, the leaves of which will be shed downwards
amongst the coffee. And in planting such abandoned strips with trees an
addition will be made to the value of the estate, as wood, as elsewhere
pointed out, soon becomes scarce in any country that is taken up for

The next source of loss which calls for observation is that arising from
the system of giving advances to labourers and to maistries--the name for
a class of men who take large sums to advance to coolies, and are paid a
commission on the number they bring in. The planters have lost large sums
from this pernicious and troublesome system, and in the remarks previously
made on planters' grievances, the reader will find allusions to the
existing legislation on the subject, and the need for fresh legislation to
grapple with the evils arising out of giving advances for labour.
Sometimes the coolies die, and the money is lost altogether; sometimes,
and not unfrequently, they abscond, and in the latter case it is such a
difficult matter to trace them that the planter simply resigns himself to
the loss of the money. Then as regards money advanced to maistries to
bring coolies, somewhat similar difficulties occur. The maistry may die,
he may abscond, and sometimes he advances to coolies who decamp and take
advances from another planter or his maistry. In short, whether the
planter advances directly to coolies, or to maistries to bring coolies, he
finds himself involved in a mixture of losses and worries and uncertainty
as to getting through his various works at the proper time.

Now nearly every human system is calculated to serve some purpose, and
arises out of a greater or lesser degree of necessity. But it sometimes
happens that the original causes for the system have either disappeared or
very largely vanished, and that the system goes on by the force of
custom--very strong in all countries, and especially so in the East. And
thus it is with the advance system. When labour was as low as 2 rupees 4
annas a month (which was the rate I paid at first), it was quite
impossible that a man could, within any reasonable time, save enough money
to pay the expenses of a marriage; thus borrowing became a necessity, and
the labourer therefore mortgaged his future labour, the sole security he
had to offer. The lender was, of course, always a man who wanted work
done, and by lending the required money obtained a certain command over
the labourer. In the early days of planting the local labourers were
always in debt to some native employer, and when they wanted to come to a
European plantation the owner of it had to pay off the sum owed by the
labourers, and when these labourers' sons wanted to marry it was customary
to advance enough for the purpose, and sums of from 20 to 40 rupees a head
were thus advanced, and, in the end, many thousands of rupees were thus
lent to the labourers, and led to the losses I have described. But in
these days, when labour has risen to 7 rupees a month, and the labourer
can live on about 2 rupees a month, he can save in a single year nearly
enough for his marriage, and therefore the old necessity for his getting
into debt no longer exists, and some years ago I began to give up making
advances for marriages, and find that I am still well supplied with local
labour; and I feel sure that if other planters would only follow my
example, the advance system would gradually be reduced within small
limits, and thus one great source of loss on a plantation would be either
abolished or reduced to a minimum.

But besides the advances made directly to local labourers by the planter,
there are the advances made by him to maistries to bring in coolies from a
distance. In former days the sums advanced were very small, and amounted
to little more than a retaining fee of a few rupees a head. But from the
competition for labour, or from planters weakly yielding to the demands
made on them, the sums so advanced gradually rose to as much as ten rupees
ahead, and, of course, the risks of the planter increased in proportion.
Now this, of course, is a state of things very difficult to contend
against, but I see no reason why some attempt might not be made to reduce
these advances to about one-half of their present amount; and I feel sure
that if the planters would only agree amongst themselves not to advance
more than five rupees a head, they would obtain as many coolies as they do

I may remark, finally, that the evils connected with this system, and the
great temptation to fraud held out by it, certainly call for the
legislation which I have elsewhere alluded to when treating of planters'

The losses arising from not closely supervising the people employed in
minor works; from not having tools sharpened overnight; and from delay in
setting the people to work, I do not touch on here, as I have alluded to
them in my hints to managers: and the mention of tools reminds me that
much loss is often incurred from their careless use, and from neglect in
seeing after them, the result of which, of course, is that they are often
lost or stolen. Then losses often occur from want of attention to the
order in which the various works should be carried out, and which should
be influenced by the aspect and the kinds of soil on the plantation. Even
if all the work of the plantation could be finished with ease and
certainty, it is important to observe the proper order, as to do so is
most beneficial to the coffee, and then it should be considered that,
should labour from some accident run short, it will at least be certain
that the most important parts of the plantation will have been attended

Removing moss or rough bark and cleaning the trees should be begun on all
northern aspects. Then attend to the low-lying eastern aspects which have
the sun off them all the afternoon. Do next the north-western aspects,
then the southern, and lastly the due western and south-western aspects,
which are so much exposed to the sun that the trees there have little moss
on them. The mossing party, it is hardly necessary to mention, should
follow the pruners.

Pruning should be begun in the most luxuriantly wooded part of the estate
first, and the same order as to aspect should be followed as when removing
moss, as it is important to let light as soon as possible into the trees
which are on the darkest aspect, and this order will, of course, suit the
mossing party, which is, as I have said, always to follow the pruners.

Shade should be thinned in the same order as to aspect as that laid down
for the removal of moss, and as soon after crop as possible. The shade
cutters should precede the pruners, as, after pruning, the coffee is of
course more liable to be injured by falling branches.

Dig all the hottest aspects first, as the soil on these hardens soonest
and more severely. Begin with the southern and south-western aspects, then
dig the western aspects, then the eastern, and lastly the northern
aspects. When all the soil is of much the same degree of stiffness, this
order should be followed, but the rule may require to be modified on some
estates, where the soil may be of loose character on a southern slope, and
of stiffer character on another aspect, in which case the stiff soil
aspect should be dug first.

Removing parasites should be done immediately after crop, and at the same
time as removing shade, or at any rate before pruning, as the branches
with the parasites on them would otherwise injure the coffee. It is
important to remove these parasites before they seed, which is about the
beginning of the rains.

Young jack fruit removal should be begun about the last week in February.
Do not remove the fruit when very small, as the tree will in that case at
once blossom again, and the work will then have to be repeated.

Fences should all be in order, and every gap filled up by the time the
rice harvest is over, when the natives either never herd their cattle at
all, or so carelessly that they are liable to be frequently in the

As regards weeding, wherever an estate is liable to rot, all the places
that are most liable to it should be weeded first, as it is very important
to keep the ground quite clean, so that there may be a complete
circulation of air across it. Should it be found that any part of an
estate is more liable to leaf disease than other parts, then the weeding
should be carried out first on the portion of the estate most liable to
the disease.



As many of my readers are no doubt aware, elephants are employed to pile
timber in the Government yards, in other words, to arrange the logs one
above another, and at equal distances from each other. This they are soon
trained to carry out with mathematical accuracy, and all that the mahout
requires to do is to rest himself comfortably on some adjacent log and
look on, cheering the elephant with his presence, and perhaps throwing in
an occasional remark. But sometimes the mahout goes to his dinner, or
absents himself for some other reason, and, before he leaves, addresses a
few parting injunctions to the elephant to continue his exertions. And at
first the animal does so, but not for long does he proceed with his work
at the same pace as he did when the mahout was present. He soon begins
sensibly to relax. Presently, finding or imagining that there is no
prospect of the mahout returning, he stops altogether, and stands for a
moment in doubt. Then all doubts seem to vanish, and finally he takes a
bunch of foliage and begins to fan himself. Such is the nature of the
elephant, and the human animal does not greatly differ from him.
Exceptional men there may be, and no doubt also exceptional elephants,
but, as the late Sir Charles Trevelyan good-naturedly said to an official
in the Madras Presidency, "The fact is, we all require a little looking
after." And hence it is that, when the proprietor cannot look after his
own property, he finds it always advisable to give the manager an interest
in the concern, or some interest which will induce the manager to fan
himself in moderation. In the case of tea plantations in India, sometimes
a share is sold to the manager, and then he is given time to pay for this
out of the profits of the concern. In coffee, sometimes, a salary is
given, and a bonus of one rupee a hundredweight on the coffee produced.
Then on some estates belonging to a firm, as it was found that this worked
unevenly, a bonus of a rupee a head was given on each coolie, which was
done to encourage managers to make their estate as attractive to coolies
as possible. In one case I know of, the manager is allowed to invest
capital of his own in the concern to even as small an amount as 1,000
rupees, and for the sum invested he receives a share in the profits of the
estate. The 1,000 rupees are treated as part of the capital of the estate,
and whatever the profits may be, the owner of the capital gets his share.
If he leaves, his capital is returned to him, or, in the event of death,
paid to his heirs. Another plan, and I think the best, is to give a share
of the profits in lieu of salary; or, should the manager not like the
risk, a salary enough for the manager to live on and a share of the
profits besides. But I do not think it wise ever to part with a share in
the ownership of the land, as, in the event of the death of a manager, who
has been turned into a working partner, a very unsatisfactory state of
things is liable to arise. And the original proprietor might, and probably
would, have trouble as to the management of the estate, as he would then
have to deal with the heirs of the deceased.

It seems hardly necessary to say that a proprietor should exercise great
care in the selection of a manager, but the circumstances of the estates
in Mysore, which are always surrounded by a native population, and
sometimes a very considerable population, are such that unusual care is
required when appointing a manager. For in dealing with the people around
him, he requires to exercise much tact, and careful circumspection, and
great control over his temper, which is often sorely tried. And he needs
it all the more for the first few years, because anything new is sure to
be attacked and worried. When alluding to the fact that the new comer is
exposed to many annoyances, while the old planter seldom is, a native
official once said to me, "The new man must submit to being worried and
annoyed, and," he added with a laugh, "even to be kicked for four years,
and then he may do anything." Any planter, then, settling in a new
district requires to act with great care and tact till he passes the four
years period, when he may do anything in reason. But unless he has a full
control of himself, he will be sure to be involved in squabbles and
disputes of a more or less troublesome character, which are injurious to
the interests of the estate. And hence there is the greater need for the
proprietor being careful in his selection of a manager.

It is very important that, at the outset, a clear understanding should be
come to between the absentee proprietor and his manager, so as to prevent
disputes and confusion. To avoid these it should be laid down either that
the manager is to have full power to act on his responsibility, or that he
is to act entirely under the instructions of the proprietor. When the
latter understanding is come to, the manager must adhere strictly to the
orders of the proprietor, even though the agent may think that he would
serve the proprietor's interests better by neglecting the orders, and
because, obviously, the proprietor may have reasons for his orders which
are not apparent, or only partially apparent, to the manager. In the event
of a manager not being disposed to carry out orders to the letter, he
should at once resign his situation, as he has no right to receive his
pay on the understanding that he is to carry out his employer's wishes,
and then fail to do so.

Powers of attorney to managers should be carefully and fully drawn, as it
is often of great importance that a manager should have full power to act
in the courts as to buying and selling land, and other matters. If the
full power of acting on his own responsibility is to rest with the
manager, it should be distinctly so stated in the power of attorney. If
the power of direction lies with the principal solely, it should be
remembered (a fact that is not always remembered, by the way, as I know
from my own experience) that, though the manager has the power of acting
for the proprietor, he cannot do so in any degree at variance with the
instructions received. If, for instance, the proprietor orders that, in
the case of a dispute between him and another party, the manager is to
call in arbitrators to decide on certain points in a dispute, the manager
would have no right to put other points connected with the dispute to the
decision of the arbitrators, because he, the manager, might think it would
be of advantage to his principal to do so, or for any other reason

The proprietor of an absentee estate is necessarily entirely in the power
of his manager; and whatever the number of accounts, reports, and returns
may be is of little consequence, as the proprietor cannot get behind them,
i.e., he cannot count the coolies that enter the estate in the morning,
and that being the case, he is wholly dependent on the honesty of the
manager. But the proprietor, it might be urged, can call for the
check-roll of people. So he can, but there is nothing to prevent the
manager keeping two check-rolls, one to pay the people with and the other
to send to the proprietor, and I have heard of this being done. Nor is
there anything to prevent a manager representing himself to be present on
the estate and attending to his duties, while in reality he may be
amusing himself fifty miles away. It is, if a little amusing, certainly
very instructive to read in "Balfour's Cyclopædia"[59] that "coffee is
liable to fail from leaf disease, Bug, Borer, and the absence of the eye
of the owner," and the statement would have been quite complete had the
writer added that it is the absence of the eye of the owner which, in
Mysore at least, I may certainly say, is responsible for much of the leaf
disease and nearly all the Borer. But the reader will readily understand
that money is very easily frittered away in employing large bodies of
labourers unless an active personal interest is taken in seeing that full
value is obtained from them, and that their efforts are rightly directed.
It is no wonder, then, that Dr. Balfour treats the absence of the eye of
the owner as an equivalent for the presence of Borer or leaf disease. I
know of two estates in Mysore, of about similar size, one of which gave a
clear profit of over £5,000 one year, while a neighbouring estate as well
situated, and with better soil, yielded a small loss. Both estates were
started in the same year. But in the case of the first, the eye of the
owner was always present, while in the case of the second, the owner was
totally absent for many years, and afterwards only visited his property at
long intervals, sufficiently long to enable him NOT to estimate its steady

Every estate should have an information book,[60] so complete that, in the
event of a new manager being appointed, he should hardly have to ask the
proprietor a single question. The book should either be type written, or
written in a hand as clear as type, should of course be paged, and have a
well drawn up table of contents, and a blank page opposite every written
page, for the insertion of notes and observations. The book should give,
firstly, a history of the estate, then a list of the various fields, the
dates on which they were planted, a description of the soil of each field,
and an account of the manures put down in it, with notes on the results
observed from the various manures applied. A list should be given of the
native staff, and of the character and capabilities of the individuals
comprising it, their pay and length of service, and also of those amongst
the work people who would be likely to make good duffadars. The experience
of the estate as to the order and way in which the various works should be
done should be carefully recorded. A section should be devoted to
observations made when visiting neighbouring estates, as it is of the
greatest importance to record all the local experience and opinions.
Remarks should be made as to the best means of obtaining transport either
for the estate or carrying coffee to the coast, and as to how and where
anything and everything the estate may require can be procured. The dates
of feasts and holidays should be entered, and a section should be devoted
to financing the estate, accounts and rates of pay, and the advances given
by the estate to coolies, or maistries. Another section should be devoted
to giving a complete inventory of all the tools, sawn timber, machines,
carts, cattle, bungalow furniture, in short, everything on the property.
And a section should be devoted to lines, or coolie houses, and sanitary
precautions regarding them. Careful record should also be entered of all
the coffee sold, and the prices obtained for it, and remarks as to the
changes, if any, in the quality of the produce, as such changes would
perhaps throw light on the treatment of the property, and the manurial
system most advisable.

The dates on which vegetables should be put down, and the kinds most
suitable to the locality, and the best method of growing them should also
be noted, as well as the most suitable kinds of fruit, and the most
desirable kinds of ornamental trees. The rainfall register should also be
given, as well as any other information of interest, as for instance, a
list of game shot from the estate.

Much of the above kind of information exists on estates, but it is either
buried in diaries or accounts, and, in short, is not in a readily
available form. When preparing my own information books I was especially
struck with their value as books of reference, and found my first one of
use even before I had completed it. Notes soon accumulate, and in the
course of about three or four years it will generally be found that a new
edition is required. The book is especially valuable when you wish to hear
the opinions of any planter whose experience you would like to compare
with your own. In that case, instead of much talk ending perhaps in no
very clear result, you can ask that the information book should be glanced
over and a note made opposite any point as to which the experience of the
person you wish to consult may differ from your own. I was particularly
struck with the advantage of my information book when an eminent
agricultural chemist once paid a visit to my estate. I handed it to him
and asked him to be kind enough to look over the section relating to
manures, and make any notes he thought fit on the conclusions arrived at.
He presently came to me with the book marked here and there with brief
yes, no, or, perhaps, memo.'s. I then took my note-book, and in a very
short time wrote down his opinions as to the conclusions I had come to.

An absentee proprietor should have the information book written in
duplicate and keep one copy with him, and in this he should write his
opinion as to how it would be advisable to deal with the property in the
event of his death. The book, I need hardly add, would be of the greatest
value to the proprietor's heir, as with it he would be the master of the
manager, while without it the manager would be the master of the new

Another great advantage arising from the information book is that it does
away with all possibility of misunderstanding. There can be no "Oh, I
understood this, or thought you wanted the other," or, "Oh, I was not
informed, and now that I know what you want." In short, there can be no
room either for disputes or excuses with a well-kept, written up to date,
information book.

The following hints may prove useful to young planters, or managers, but,
as it will be more convenient, I shall use the word manager solely, and
the reader will understand that in the term manager I include planters who
are their own managers, or who, in other words, do not employ a manager.

When the Duke of Wellington was asked by Lord Mahon (afterwards the Earl
Stanhope) to what he attributed the success of his campaigns, the Duke
replied, "The real reason why I succeeded in my own campaigns is because I
was always on the spot. I saw everything and did everything for myself."
Managers should remember this secret of success, and remember that, when
they give orders they must always go and see that they are carried out,
and if they do not do so, they may certainly rely on their orders being
imperfectly, or inefficiently executed. And here I am reminded of a case
to the point which happened one morning. My manager had ordered some top
soil to be laid on one of the roads in the plantation, and on this
bonedust was scattered, the intention being that each basketful of top
soil should contain a certain proportion of the bonedust. On passing the
spot on the way to look at some other work my manager dismounted, and
said, "if you will remain here for a moment I will rejoin you." Then he
went down into the coffee to look at the application of the manure. During
his absence I overheard a woman say to the man who was filling her
basket, "You have put no bones in my basket." This called my attention to
the subject, and I then observed that the bonedust had not been scattered
right up to the edges of the top soil, which overlapped the deposit of
bonedust by about a foot, and hence her basket, which was being filled
from the edge of the heap (which was a flattened one), contained no
bonedust, or but a very little of it, and the result of this, of course,
would be injurious to all those trees which had been deprived of the
proper share of bones, or got none at all. This may seem a trifling
matter, but it will illustrate and enforce my suggestion as to the
necessity of being always on the spot, and it is the attention to, or
neglect of, all these apparently trifling matters which, in the total,
makes estate management either a success or the reverse. What I have said
will also illustrate the fact that coolies, who to those who do not
understand them, appear so lifeless and uninteresting, do take an interest
in what is going on, and this poor woman, as the reader will have
observed, was defending my interests, and remonstrating with the duffadar
(native overseer) as to the way in which the manuring was being carried
out, at least so far as her share in the work was concerned at the moment.
I do not think I could add anything further as to the necessity of being
always on the spot, though I may as well mention that one planter of long
experience once said to me, "Every day that a man is off his estate is a
loss to him."

Managers are apt to neglect seeing to the execution of the minor works of
an estate, and it is there that there is often a great leakage of money,
and, what is often of more importance, waste of labour which is required
for pushing forward other works. I will take, for instance, the people
sent off to gather leaves for littering the cattle sheds. I have found by
personal inspection that, unless closely looked after, much of this labour
will be lost, and the same is sure to be the case with the people
employed in other minor works. To keep the people employed in minor works
up to the mark the manager should always visit them daily, and, besides,
pay them a surprise visit three times a week.

Another source of leakage on an estate, and not an inconsiderable one,
arises from tools not being sharpened over night, or by some one before
the arrival of the people, and nothing is more common than to see a group
of coolies hanging round the grindstone in the morning waiting to have
their axes or knives sharpened. Ten minutes may here easily be lost, and
on six men this leads to the loss of one hour's work. Then time by a slow
manager is often lost in getting his gangs under weigh and setting them to
work. Where the work can be done by contract, or task work, this does not
of course matter, but such work as pruning, shade tree thinning, etc.,
cannot be tasked, and delay in setting to work is then a serious loss,
partly in direct money, and partly from work delayed which it may be very
important to push on.

Managers should always carry note-books and take down at once anything
they may wish to remember. They should afterwards take out the principal
points, enter them on a slip of paper and put it on the writing table,
for, as the native saying goes, "A good memory is not equal to bad ink"
for recording a fact. Points or facts of more especial interest should be
at once entered on the blank leaves of the information book to which I
shall presently allude. When visiting other estates managers should always
note down any points of interest, and especially as regards manuring and
the effects of shade trees on the coffee.

Managers, in the case of a large estate, should never walk along the
roads, unless of course for a very short distance, but only amongst the
coolies at work, or when inspecting work done, or laying out fresh work.
For these purposes all the strength and freshness of the managers are
required, and it seems superfluous to observe that a tired man is seldom a
good observer, or rather in a good state for observing. On a steep estate
the manager should dismount on the upper road and walk downhill to his
coolies, and send his horse down to the lower road so as to avoid climbing
the hill.

Managers should be careful of their health, make it a rule always to
change at once the moment they come in, and see that their food, however
plain, is of good quality and well cooked. They should take remedies
immediately at the first indication of disorder, and should be very
careful to attend to the directions in the preceding section, and avoid
all unnecessary fatigue, as it is when over fatigued that a man is most
liable to the inroads of disease.

It is very important to, as soon as possible, make a beginning, however
small, as regards any work, even if it should have to be discontinued for
a time on account of other works coming in the way. For the beginning
stands there as a reminder that the work has to be done, and the
proverbial first step has been taken.

It is also important so to arrange work that parties may be within easy
reach of each other, as this of course lightens the work of supervision.

When visiting a working party the manager should not trouble himself so
much about the work being then done, but should occupy most of his time in
examining the work of the previous day, and he should see that the
duffadars are not merely staring at the coolies as they work, but that
they are examining the work that has been done. When pruning, for
instance, the duffadar should move from one end of the line to the other
examining as he goes the trees just finished by the people. It is hardly
necessary to say that a fluent command of the vernacular is of the
utmost, or I may say, of the most indispensable importance, for, as an old
planter once said to me, "A native thinks that a European who can't speak
the language is a perfect fool." The reader will find a chapter in the
"Experiences of a Planter" on learning languages by ear, and I regret that
I cannot, from want of space, insert it in this volume.


[59] "The Cyclopædia of India, and of Eastern and Southern Asia," by
Surgeon-General Edward Balfour. Third edition. London: Bernard Quaritch,
15, Piccadilly, 1885.

[60] And so should every estate in England, and every business, too.



The best form of bungalow is, in my opinion, one with the rooms in a row
and an open veranda ten feet wide running around three sides of the house.
The veranda at the back should also be ten feet, but there it would
require to be partially inclosed, partly for bathrooms, and partly for a
store-room for household supplies. The advantage of this form of bungalow
is that the wide veranda is a pleasant place to sit in, and walk up and
down in the rainy season, and besides, if an additional room is required,
a temporary partition may be put up, and should a permanent addition to
the accommodation be necessary, a portion of the veranda at the end of the
bungalow may be built up. Such a form of bungalow, too, can easily be
added to in length.

Willesden paper should be put under the tiles, as it prevents leaks, keeps
the wood of the roof largely free from the influence of damp, and the
bungalow, too, in the monsoon months. For bedrooms I should recommend
glazed tiles, and for the dining-rooms and verandas, unglazed square red
tiles, fringed at the edges of the room with two or three rows of glazed
tiles. I do not recommend the latter for any place where there are many
people moving about, as I have found that the glazing soon becomes

It is generally the custom to have the kitchen at some little distance
from the bungalow, but I do not think that this is a good arrangement,
partly because it is inconvenient in the rainy season, and partly because
the kitchen is apt to be turned into a resort for horsekeepers and
loungers. The plan I have adopted is to have the kitchen and the go downs
in a wing running at right angles to the west end of the bungalow, and
with the kitchen door facing the back veranda. This arrangement is most
convenient for the servants, and enables the master of the house to have
the kitchen under easy observation, so as to see to its cleanliness, and
prevent its being made a place of common resort. The dirt and disorder
usual in an Indian cook room is well known, but there is no reason why it
should not be kept as neat and clean as an English kitchen. The floor
should be paved with square tiles, and I believe it would pay well, for
economy of fuel, and ready supply of hot water, to have a small Wilson
range (227, High Holborn--range No. 11 is a convenient size). Owing to the
shape of the ground it may not be convenient to have the kitchen and go
downs built as a wing of the bungalow, and in that case they should be
opposite the back of the bungalow, and connected with it by a covered way.
No drain should be made out of the kitchen or scullery. I have found it
cheaper, and safer, from a sanitary point of view, to have all the dirty
water used for watering purposes. I have a group of orange trees on a
slope near the kitchen, and above each tree a hole is made. Into this the
dirty water is poured for several days. Then the pit is closed with earth,
and others are used in succession. I thus get rid of a nuisance in a
wholesome way, and at the same time water the orange trees.

The aspect of the bungalow is of great importance. It should front due
north, as the declination of the sun is southerly during the cloudless
season, and the sun is thus entirely off the front veranda, and if the
situation should not be naturally well sheltered from the east, a solid
block of casuarinas should at once be planted on the eastern side, as the
easterly wind is disagreeable, and liable to create drafts, and
consequently cause chills. A line of casuarinas should be planted on the
south and west side of the bungalow, and at such a distance as to cast a
shadow on to the southern and western walls, and also on to the roof, as
this will keep the house much cooler than it would otherwise be. Other
trees might be suggested for this purpose, and trees affording more
coolness, but I have suggested the casuarina as it is a quick grower, very
ornamental, and not at all liable to be blown down. No carriage drive
should be made up to the front of the bungalow, as it is obviously much
pleasanter to look out of the veranda on to a pretty garden without a road
intervening, and carriages should either drive up to the back of the
bungalow, or to one end of it where a wide space may be left for turning.
I have said that a line of casuarinas should be planted on the southern
and western sides of the bungalow so as to shade it from the sun, and I
would suggest that, in order to keep the ground on these aspects cool,
orange trees should be thickly planted, and I may mention that I have done
this with excellent effect on the southern side of my bungalow. When
orange trees are planted for this purpose they should either not be
allowed to bear fruit, or but a very small number of oranges, as the
object of course is to have, for ornamental reasons, fresh looking trees,
and full of foliage, so as to keep the ground near the bungalow as cool as

The bungalows in Mysore are usually built on the grass land outside of the
plantation, and where this is practicable it should always be done, as,
from the value of the coffee land, much of it cannot be spared for
planting, whereas in the open, as the land is of little value the planter
can, by planting clumps of casuarinas and other trees, make his residence
so much more agreeable and cheerful. But sometimes it is advisable or even
necessary to have the bungalow in the plantation, and in that case the
most must be made of the situation, and vistas cut here and there through
the shade trees so as to let in the best available views. It should be
remembered, a fact too often forgotten, that, what are called in Scotland
the amenities, are not only agreeable in themselves, but have an important
marketable value, and when people discover that the winter on a Mysore
plantation is one of the pleasantest climates in the world, and have
practically realized the ease with which the journey may now be made, a
plantation will be often regarded (as I regard mine) as a pleasant winter
home. And, whatever it may be regarded as, it is certain that an intending
purchaser of coffee property on which he proposed to reside would
naturally, and perhaps unknown to himself, be influenced by the amenities
of the estate.

As regards the garden in front of the bungalow, it should of course be
limited to such an amount as may be within easy command of the water
available. Roses should be freely used, and violets, mignonette,
geraniums, and phlox, while the edges of the veranda should have some
crotons and ferns in pots. I have given this limited list because it
contains all that is necessary to make a place reasonably presentable, but
many additions may of course be advantageously made.

I need hardly say that it is very desirable to place the bungalow as close
as possible to the points where the near presence of the planter is
advantageous. These are the pulping-house, store, drying-ground, nursery,
vegetable garden, and orchard. I have two estates where this desirable
combination exists, and by the exercise of a little care and time to study
the situation, it may often be carried out; but the best site for the
bungalow cannot sometimes be discovered without a residence of some
duration on the estate, and it is of great advantage in making a new
plantation to defer for some time building a permanent bungalow. For all
practical purposes a house with sun-dried brick walls, and a roof of rough
jungle wood, will answer very well for some years, and during that time a
careful study of the land will generally disclose a much better site than
one might at first be disposed to select. And I speak with personal
experience on this point, as, had I built a permanent house on the site I
at first selected on my head estate, I should certainly have had cause for
regret. At first sight it may seem that the proximity of the bungalow to
the drying-ground is not desirable, but the drying-ground, estate office,
store, and other buildings may, by planting, be completely and quickly
screened off from the dwelling-house. The permanent bungalow should be
built of brick, but all steps should be made of stone, and not of brick,
as is so commonly done, as the stone is so much more suitable in a climate
which is wet for so many months of the year. It is very advisable to keep
a bungalow cool at night, so that you may be able to have a cool house in
the day, and in order to effect this a free admission of air is necessary,
and the doors of the dining-room certainly should have wire gauze doors as
well. The wooden doors may then be left open at night. The bedroom doors
that open into the verandas should have the same too, for, though this is
not quite so necessary, it is a great comfort to have plenty of air, and
yet be able to exclude cats, rats, or snakes.

Building materials should be constantly collected--stones, stone-posts,
the wood-work of native houses which is sometimes for sale; and a careful
eye should also be kept on all the felled wood left in the plantation, as
this is often overlooked till it partially decays, and it is very apt to
be stolen. Trees with a central dark wood, like Jack, may be left unsawn
for some years, but trees which have not, like Neeral or Mango, should be
sawn up as soon as they are dry. Sawn wood should be brought home at once
and stored in a house sheltered from the east wind which dries up the wood
extremely, and a careful list should be kept of it. Wood for rafters is
the better for being put into a tank and left there for four or five
months. I may explain that stone posts (we use the literal translation
from the Kanarese) are blocks of from 8 to 12 feet in length, which are
raised by fire by an ingenious process. The natives first light fires on
the slab of sheet rock they desire to operate on, and then cut small holes
along the segment they wish to split off. They then drive wedges into the
side of the rock, and the segment splits off, giving a stone post of the
length required (they may be raised as long as 20 feet) and about 18
inches wide and 5 inches thick. There are no more useful things to have a
supply of on an estate, and we use short ones for the posts of wire fences
and for stiles. They are particularly useful for supporting verandas.

To prevent white ants attacking the roofs of buildings I have successfully
used the following mixture. Tar, one pailful; asphalte, 2 lbs.; and castor
oil, one seer. Mix and boil these ingredients. Afterwards add sand. Then
plaster the mixture on the top of the walls to the depth of about two
inches, and on this place the wall plates. This plan was adopted when one
of my bungalows was re-roofed many years ago, and we have not a sign of
white ants, though they are numerous all around the house.

If posts, when put in the ground, are buried in sand, and surrounded with
it up to the level of the floor, white ants will not attack the wood, as
they cannot apparently work in sand. This is important to remember, as
wooden posts are often used for cattle, and other sheds.

Toddy trees past yielding toddy should be cut down, split into convenient
sizes for reapers and other purposes, and should then be smoked to
preserve the wood. As I previously pointed out, the toddy tree (_Caryota
Urens_ palm) is a most useful tree, and the seeds of it should be freely
sown in the fences, waste jungle, and the bottoms of deep ravines, but it
is not a desirable tree to have in the plantation.

Wood for handles should be kept in store, as it is of great importance to
use well seasoned wood. Jack roots are valuable for all short handles.

Lines, or rows of houses for labourers should be made of sun-dried bricks,
and roofed with corrugated iron. For sanitary reasons they should, if
possible, be divided over several sites. The manager should occasionally
visit the lines, and a duffadar be appointed to see after them, and that
no dirty water is thrown down in front of the doors. The houses should be
numbered, and a list of the occupants kept. New arrivals should be at once
reported, as bad characters are often harboured in the lines. A pensioned
sepoy might be advantageously employed to look after the lines, and report
on new arrivals, and also keep an eye on persons who may be suspected of
stealing coffee. The advantage of employing a stranger for such purposes
is obvious, as natives residing permanently in the locality are much
afraid of making enemies, whereas a fresh pensioned sepoy might be got in
from time to time, and he should be changed before he had time to make any
friends on the estate. An application for a sepoy should be made to the
officer in charge of pensioned sepoys in Bangalore. These pensioned sepoys
might also be employed with advantage in the crop season, with the special
object of preventing coffee robbery from the plantations, which are often
surrounded with villages.

As regards coolie lines, it is important to consider aspect, and a slight
slope towards the east, or slightly south, is a good one, as it catches
the first rays of the sun, and so reminds the people of their duties in
coming early to work, and enables them to warm themselves when the
mornings are chilly. Such an aspect is also sheltered from the south-west
monsoon blasts, and, in the hot weather, from the heat of the westering

When I look at a magnificent row of Casuarinas (_Casuarina Equisetifolia_,
the Tinian pine or Beefwood) which I planted on my property about the year
1859, and which are now about 150 feet high, and consider the value of
this tree, both for timber and firewood, I stand astounded at my own
stupidity in not having planted them on a considerable scale. But it is
thus in all new countries where you are surrounded by trees, and it is
difficult to believe that, under such circumstances, timber and wood can
ever become dear and scarce, and the Englishman rarely plants trees for
timber or fuel,--in fact, I am the only one who has done so as far as I am
aware--and perhaps they do not realize, being born in a land of slow
timber growth, how rapidly some trees shoot up in Mysore. It may encourage
planting if I mention that I took careful measurement by line of one of
the row alluded to. In January, 1882, the height of the tree was 153 feet,
in girth near the ground, 5 feet 8 inches; at 50 feet, 3 feet 8 inches;
and 1 foot 6 inches at 100 feet. In February, 1884, the same tree was in
girth at 4 feet from the ground, 5 feet 3 inches; at 50 feet, 4 feet 5
inches; and at 100 feet, 2 feet 3 inches. In March, 1886, this tree, at 6
feet from the ground, was 5 feet 4 inches in girth; at 77 feet, 3 feet 2
inches; and at 100 feet, 2 feet 3 inches. This tree was again measured in
February, 1893, when its dimensions were found to be as follows. Height,
154 feet. Girth at 3 feet from ground, 6 feet 3 inches; at 6 feet, 5 feet
10 inches; at 77 feet from ground, 2 feet 9 inches; and at about 20 feet
from the top of the tree, 1 foot 2 inches.

The wood is very strong, and may be used for rafters. It makes excellent
fuel, giving much heat, and little ash.

The _Grevillea Robusta_--Silver Oak--should also be planted, as it affords
excellent firewood.

And _Poinciana Regia_--the gold Mohur, which is also good for making
Charcoal. _Pithecolobium saman_, the rain tree, should also be planted, as
I find that (Report of Government Gardens, Bangalore, for 1888-89) "In
good open soil it grows more rapidly than any introduced trees." I have an
_Eucalyptus Globulus_ (the blue gum) growing fairly well on my property,
and about eight or nine years old, but, as it is unfavourably reported on
for Mysore in the Report previously mentioned, I do not recommend it.

Casuarinas should be planted in holes four feet deep, and certainly not
less than that depth if a safe and rapid growth is desired. I have been
particularly struck with the great difference in the rapidity of growth
where the holes have not been deeply dug. The plants will require a little
water during the dry weather of the first year.

As the most important part of a planter's capital is his health, it is
obvious that great pains should be taken to conserve it, for, though
Mysore will be found to be a very healthy country if ordinary precautions
are taken, the extremes of temperature are very great--often cold in the
morning--very hot in the sun in the middle of the day, and often turning
suddenly cold again at sunset. In England the lowest Mysore temperature
would not be called cold, but relatively to the heat of the day it is so.
Then the east winds, if you get heated to the extent of perspiration, are
apt to produce that chill which is the starting point of illness in most
countries. For a great many years past I have, as a matter of curiosity,
which has since become a matter of habit, always asked when told of the
death of anyone, "Did he not get a chill?" And I have almost invariably
found the answer to be in the affirmative. When, then, a planter comes
in, he should make it a rule always to change his things from head to
foot, and he should avoid sitting in drafts when the wind is from the
east. When he goes out shooting he should take a spare flannel shirt with
him, change his shirt when suitable opportunities occur, and, of course,
dry the one he has taken off in the sun. He should always take a cover
coat with him to put on, when, after a hot day in the sun, he may have to
ride home in the chilled evening air. As a protection against the sun
there is nothing better than a coat padded with cotton all down the back
and front, and with a stand up padded collar. Some people prefer large
solar topees. I dislike them, as they heat and oppress the head, and
always prefer a light topee and an umbrella. It is well known that the
head is affected more through the eyes than in any other way, and smoked
glasses should always be used when going along unshaded roads, and
especially across dried grass lands. Over fatigue should be avoided as
much as possible, and the effects of it done away with immediately. When
tired do not call for brandy or whisky and soda-water, but if you feel
that you require anything to keep up the system, a plateful of soup, made
with one of Brand's beef preparations, will be found to be far preferable.
Then a bath, and an hour in bed will turn you out a fresh man fit for
anything, mentally or bodily, and you will be able to eat a good meal with
appetite and advantage. The best kind of clothing is light tweeds, such as
might be used in England in warm summer weather. Cholera belts, or
cummerbunds, are often recommended, but I much prefer thick, short flannel
drawers coming rather high up over the middle of the body. You thus admit
free ventilation, and at the same time avoid risk of chill about the

Next to protecting the body from without, or perhaps of equal importance,
is fortifying it from within. Here the first point of importance is to
get a good cook who is a good baker, and supply him with American flour.
Toddy from the sago-palm is an excellent substitute for yeast, and I
imagine it must be better, for I never get better, and very seldom as
good, bread anywhere in the world as I do in my Indian home in the jungle.
The flour usually to be bought in India, made from wheat grown in the
country, is either bad or adulterated, and often has sand in it, and the
bread made from it is of poor quality. As regards food, there is no
difficulty in Mysore, and at a moderate cost as good a table can be kept
as could be desired for purposes of health and comfort. Attention should,
of course, be paid to having a good vegetable garden, in which a good
supply of lettuces and tomatoes should form a principal feature, and
during the wet weather months, when vegetables cannot be procured on the
spot, tinned vegetables should be used. I have found the French tinned
vegetables to be the best. There are now many excellent preparations of
herrings preserved in tins, and these should be used occasionally. Ghee is
commonly used in India for cooking, but for all dishes for which it is
suitable, oil is much cheaper and better. Gingelly oil (_Sesamum
Orientale_) is the best, or, I think, the only oil which is good for this
purpose. It is, I find, by the article on oils in the "Encyclopædia
Britannica," the finest culinary oil in the world, and superior to olive
oil, for which, indeed, it is commonly sold, and large quantities of the
seed go to Southern Europe. The seed should be procured and washed in cold
water to remove the red epidermis, and then a native oil-maker may be got
in to prepare the oil. When ghee, or clarified butter, is required, never
buy that article in the bazaar, but buy the best native butter and have it
made into ghee. Boil the butter, and add to it a small quantity of sugar
and salt, and skim off floatage. If to the clarified butter some fresh
milk is added, it may be used for the table instead of butter, but it is
better, I find now, to use tinned butter.

Cleanliness in the kitchen, and vessels in good order, are points easily
talked about, but cannot be attained without some inspection, and the
kitchen and its utensils should be examined from time to time. People who
are particular have all the pots and pans ranged out ready for inspection
daily, and such inspections are most necessary for health, as the dirty
habits of the native servants are such that persistent vigilance is
requisite. And I may here add that there is no use in telling the servants
a thing once--they must be told again, again, and again. At last they give
in to your persistence, and being, like most people in the world, a good
deal creatures of habit, go on fairly well. It is only fair to the native
servants to mention that, if they do keep things in a dirty state, it is
often because they have not the means that servants have at home. The
water supply at their command is commonly very deficient, and often not
over clean, and they are generally ill supplied with places to wash up in,
and with dusters and glass cloths, and then they are rated, and often
abused, because plates are badly washed and things in general dirty.

Under the heading of health requisites, I, of course, include literature.
This, for a planter of moderate means, is generally a matter of great
difficulty, and must continue to be so till the railway system is extended
to the planting districts. At present novels that cannot be read more than
once are quite out of the question on the score of cost, and, under the
circumstances, the planter should content himself with buying Scott's and
Bulwer's and George Eliot's novels. He should, of course, have a good
Atlas, an Encyclopædia--Chambers' is good and moderate in price, and
Balfour's "Cyclopædia of India," which contains much valuable and
interesting information. He might also buy Lecky's Works, and Sir John
Strachey's "India," and Buckle's "History of Civilization," for, whatever
the faults of the last may be, the writer's style is admirable, and the
book stirs up thought and inquiry in the mind. Addison's "Spectator," as
it is commonly called, Amiel's "Journal," and Locke's "Conduct of the
Understanding," might also be bought. Ville's "Artificial Manures" should
be procured and studied. Then for newspapers, I may certainly recommend
"The Spectator," "The Mail," or tri-weekly edition of the "Times," and
"The Illustrated London News"--not the thin paper edition of it, which is
most unsatisfactory in every way. One of the best, if not the very best of
Indian papers is the "Madras Mail," and that should certainly be taken,
more especially as there is much planting intelligence in it. A note
should be kept of the various books reviewed in "The Spectator," and of
any books the reader might fancy to buy, and Smith's lists of second-hand
books, and also the lists of Messrs. Mudie and Co., should be procured,
and from these booksellers books may often be bought at a very moderate
price. Do not buy cheap editions of novels, but buy the original three
volume editions, which have good paper and print, and which may be bought
second-hand at most moderate prices.

It is of great importance that a planter should have some pursuit which
may be both useful and interesting, such as botany, natural history, or
geology, and drawing, too, would be most valuable. In the old days sport
filled up our leisure hours, but that, in these days, is not always to be
had without going far afield, as, from the number of guns in the hands of
the natives, the game within their reach has been mostly destroyed. It is
of great value, then, to have some pursuit to fill up time when there is
not enough of it to spare to go to a distance from home for sport.
Attending to, and taking an interest in a garden is a great resource, and
indirectly a source of great pleasure, which I am reminded of as I write
these lines, and at the same time listen to the warbling of the Bulbuls in
the flower garden in front of my bungalow. These charming little birds are
very active, and are now (February 28th), collecting materials for
building their nests. There are, too, many charming warblers which are
attracted by a garden so arranged as to attract birds. The beds in the
foreground should consist of a mixture of flowers and standard roses, and
those at the back of various flowering shrubs, and low trees which are
suitable for the birds to nest in. I have no carriage road in front of the
bungalow, and with this arrangement can have the beds quite close to the
foot of the steps of the inclosed veranda. I am much struck with the
persistent loquacity of these Indian birds, and at no time of day--not
even for a minute--is the sound of birds absent, and their notes are to be
heard all through the fine weather.

It is very advisable to take up waste paddy fields, i.e., abandoned rice
terraces, for cattle grazing, and I may point out that this is also of
advantage to the amenities of an estate, by providing snipe shooting close
at hand. It will also be found of advantage for feeding ducks and geese. I
have a stretch of such land on one of my properties, and find it most
useful. The water, I may add, should be carefully conducted to the various
terraces, just as if they were to be cultivated with rice, this, as I need
hardly say, being necessary for the snipe. Amongst these scraps of hints,
which may be useful, I may mention the fact that tealeries were once
common in India. I am told that they are easily established, though I
have, myself, no experience of them. It is sometimes possible to add to
the amenities of an estate by reserving pieces of land for tigers to lie
up in, and this is very important, now that every scrap of land is being
taken up for planting either coffee or cardamoms, and that cover for game
is becoming proportionately scarce. There are two such pieces that I have
reserved on my estate for tigers, but care must be taken beforehand to see
that such reserves are on the exact route by which tigers cross from one
part of the country to another. For instance, the pieces I have reserved
are about three miles apart, and I have never known or heard of a tiger
being between them excepting on one occasion last year, when a royal tiger
inspected a cattle shed of mine about five minutes' walk from the house.
At first sight it seems singular that these animals, like hares, should
have their runs, and still more that the runs should be so regularly
adhered to, though they may be several miles apart.

In concluding this chapter, and my remarks on planting, I have only to
observe that, if a planter chooses to take an interest in everything that
is going on around him, and learns to make himself at home in the country,
he will find the life both interesting and agreeable. In former times
there was, no doubt, a sense of remoteness in the situation, but that, as
we have seen, has been considerably removed by the railway extensions of
recent years; and when the proposed lines, to which I have alluded in my
introductory chapter, are carried out, planters, during the unimportant
seasons of the year, may reside either at Bangalore or on the Nilgiri
hills (the climate of the latter, taking it all the year round, is the
finest in the world), and yet be in full touch with their affairs.

Finally, I may observe that in Mysore we have the great advantage of being
out of reach of the faddists of the House of Commons, who, for the sake of
their votes, have to be humoured, whether the interests of India suffer or
not. There is no chance, for instance, of the opium faddists thrusting a
Commission on the Mysoreans, and then making them pay for part of the
expenses of the inquiry. The progress of India may be checked by the
ignorant or unprincipled action of a party in the House of Commons (and
certainly will be checked if the opium faddists are allowed to have their
way), but Mysore is free from the only danger that threatens India--the
sacrifice of its interests in order to serve party ends in the House of



Since the preceding chapters were written a great and most momentous step
has been taken by the Indian Government. On the 26th of June, 1893, the
Finance Minister in India announced that a gold standard was to be
established, and that the mints were to be closed to the free coinage of
silver. This measure, which so profoundly affects the prospects of the
producers and manufacturers of India, I am compelled to notice. To do so,
however, in an exhaustive manner would be quite beyond the scope of this
book, and I shall confine my remarks as much as possible to the points of
the subject which bear upon the welfare of those who produce or
manufacture anything in India. The reports[61] and papers enumerated at
the foot of the page supply me with a large amount of information and
opinion, but I must warn those interested in the subject that a complete
view of the whole situation, as far as India is concerned, cannot be
obtained from them. For some, and in my opinion the most important, points
connected with the question, have either not been alluded to at all, or
quite inadequately investigated. These defects I hope in some degree to
be able to supply from my long experience of the effects of the
expenditure of capital in developing the resources of India--and I say in
some degree, because I feel sure that a much fuller investigation is
required before all the far-reaching effects of this momentous measure can
be adequately weighed. I trust, however, that, even in the short space I
am devoting to the subject, I shall be able sufficiently to elucidate
those points which dominate the situation, and a consideration of which
will show that if the Government succeeds in forcing up the gold value of
the rupee in the manner proposed, the prosperity of the people, the
popularity of our rule, and the state of our trade in the East will be
most seriously prejudiced. And now let me begin at the beginning, so that
the uninformed reader may have a clear view of the whole subject as far as
India is concerned.

The origin of the movement in India with reference to the introduction of
a gold standard and forcing up the gold value of the rupee is shortly, and
I believe very accurately, stated by Sir Frank Forbes Adam in his evidence
given before the Currency Committee; and on November 26th, 1892, he told
the Committee that "Though there is undoubtedly dissatisfaction existing
among a certain number of those carrying on foreign trade, really the
origin of the movement and its true force proceed from the servants of
Government." Of this, I think, there can be no doubt whatever; and it is
important to remember that this movement did not originate with the
people, or planters, or merchants, or manufacturers, or from any section
of the producers and traders of India. The servants of the Government had
a great and legitimate grievance, because they found that, though rupee
prices in India were not to be complained of, they experienced a grievous
loss on their home remittances, and it was their persistent agitation
which created and maintained the true force of the movement. The
agitation they thus originated was joined in by some of the merchants of
India, though to what extent does not appear, and I can only say generally
that the merchants who did join the movement were small in number. Bombay
and Karachi were clearly against any interference with the currency; and
from the expression of disappointment which fell from the Hon. Mr.
Mackay--President of the Currency Association, Calcutta--with reference to
the small number of his supporters, I am led to the conclusion that, with
the exception of a certain proportion of Calcutta merchants, occasional
individuals in other parts of India, and the servants of the State, all
India was, and is, dead against the monetary policy of the Government. Of
the twenty-two witnesses examined before the Currency Committee, thirteen
were against the Government measure, six in favour of it (four of the
latter being Government servants), two doubtful, and one presumably
against the measure.

The main features of the measure I take from the statement of the Finance
Minister, who, on the 26th of June, 1893, announced the introduction of a
Bill "with the object of altering the Indian monetary standard from silver
to gold," and who in his next sentence declared that "It is not intended
to do more at present than stop the free coinage of silver at the Indian
mints, and as a provisional arrangement to provide for the issue of rupees
at these mints in exchange for gold at the ratio of 1s. 4d. per
rupee."[62] In a subsequent part of his speech Sir David Barbour states
"that an arrangement for the receipt of gold at the mints at a ratio of
1s. 4d. per rupee will be made by executive order, and so will the
arrangements for the receipt of sovereigns in payment of sums due to
Government at the rate of fifteen rupees a sovereign." The current rate
of exchange then, and still existing, is about 1s. 3d., and the
Government thus proposed, by creating an artificial scarcity of rupees, to
force up the gold value of the rupee by one rupee per sovereign. Let us
now glance at the cash effects of the measure on the finances of the
Government and the prosperity of the people; and in doing so I shall, to
aid the comprehension of the English reader who knows nothing of lakhs, or
crores, or Rs. x, state the figure in pounds sterling, treating the rupee
at its old value of 2s. To do this will not materially affect my
statements, for, though some articles have risen in price, others have
fallen, and, on the average, the rupee (excepting as regards labourers'
wages, which have much risen in many parts of India in recent years) goes
nearly as far in India as it ever did, a fact which is fully corroborated
by several very competent witnesses examined by the Currency Committee,
though one witness maintained that silver prices in India had risen.[63]
It may be interesting to note in this connection that the purchasing price
of silver in China has remained unchanged for many years past, and that
for the last thirty years there has been little change in the purchasing
power of the rupee in Ceylon. Both these statements I make on the
authority of witnesses examined before the Currency Committee.

What then would be the cash effect (1) on the finances, and (2) on the
people, were the Government successful in forcing up the gold value of the
rupee by one rupee a sovereign? The saving that the Government would
effect in remitting money to England to pay home charges would amount to
about £1,570,000,[64] but as the amount is liable to loss by exchange we
must make a deduction, and, in round numbers, the sum that the Government
would save is about a million and a half sterling. Now as to the people of
India. What the Government gains, i.e., a rupee a sovereign, the seller
of produce must lose, as exporters could afford to give them just so much
less than they now do. Now, taking the exports of India at one hundred
millions,[65] the currency measure of the Government would cause a loss to
producers of 7 per cent., which is equivalent to a tax on the exported
productions of India of seven millions. The result of course is, that to
get little more than one million and a half into the Treasury, the
Government proposes to take seven millions out of the pockets of the
people. Now I have no wish to pose as what is commonly called an expert,
and I naturally shrink from any idea of criticising that long chain of
financial luminaries which, beginning at the Council Chamber at Calcutta,
stretches through the rooms of the Currency Committee which recently sat
in London, right up to that Cabinet over which the greatest of financial
luminaries presides, but I trust I may be allowed to go as far as to say
that the arrangement made by Mr. Gladstone's Government which is the body
ultimately responsible--does not seem to be of a very alluring character,
as it entails on India, viewed as a whole, a loss of £5,500,000. And this
cheering result has apparently been viewed with such satisfaction by the
financial experts, that it is to be regarded as merely a small instalment
of the blessings they have in store for the happy toilers whose destinies
they have been empowered to influence. For if the policy of taking five
and a half millions sterling out of the pockets of the people in order to
put about one million and a half into the financial till is a good one,
the extension of the process, up to certain limits, must be equally so.
For such an extension the Indian Finance Minister is evidently prepared,
as one may see by looking again at the sentence I have quoted from the
speech, in which he declares that "it is not intended to do more _at
present_ (the italics are mine) than aim at a rate of 1s. 4d." This,
coupled with statements subsequently made, and by what the Currency
Committee has suggested as to a farther increase if it should seem
necessary, shows that the Government evidently contemplates a rise to 1s.
6d.; and indeed this must obviously be the case, as the anticipated gain
from a rise to 1s. 4d., when put against the probable loss on opium, and
the allowances to be made to Government servants to compensate them for
the loss they sustain on home remittances, would go far to swallow up the
gain to the State from a 1s. 4d. rate. Supposing, then, that the
Government should be able to carry out its project of a 1s. 6d. rate,
the blessings previously showered on the producers will be trebled; so, of
course, will be the gain to the Exchequer; and the account will then in
round figures stand thus:--gain to the Exchequer on home remittances,
£4,500,000; loss to the producers, £21,000,000; or, in other words, the
levy of an export tax of 21 per cent. on all the productions of India,[66]
and a total annual loss to India considered as a whole of £16,500,000
sterling. This seems pretty well for a beginning, but it is really a very
small part of the results that may with certainty be anticipated from the
measure, which, as Sir David Barbour says, will have far-reaching effects.
Of this, as we shall see, there can be no doubt whatever. Of the direct
loss we can form a rough calculation; the indirect losses are indeed
incalculable. But let me proceed.

We have seen that, at the least, the Government proposes to impose, and
will impose if it can force up the exchange, an export tax (or what is
practically an export tax) of 7 per cent., which is to be ultimately
raised to 21 per cent. And we have now to follow out the effects of this
on the producers, the people generally, and the financial prospects of the

The producers in India of articles for foreign export either, as the
planters generally do, send their produce for sale to London, or, as the
main body of producers do, sell them to merchants who export the goods.
Both these classes of producers are of course much benefited by a low rate
of exchange--the former when they sell in gold and remit money to India to
pay for the up-keep of their estates, and the latter when they find that
the merchant can afford to pay more rupees than they could when exchange
was higher. If then, to put the case in a more precise way, the Government
succeeds in forcing up the gold value of the rupee, and the merchant is
thereby compelled to turn his sovereign into 15 rupees instead of 16
rupees, it is obvious that to make the same profit as before he must give
the seller of produce one rupee less. Now let me take the business with
which, as a planter, I am most familiar. I have roughly estimated the
total value of the coffee annually produced in Mysore at £870,000, and if,
for the sake of even numbers, we knock off £70,000, a 7 per cent. export
duty on this will amount to £56,000, and if the Government could raise, as
it proposes, the rupee to 1s. 6d., £168,000 a year would be the price
that the measure would entail on a portion of the inhabitants of the
native state of Mysore on this single article of export. But this direct
cash loss is far from being all; and if the reader will turn back to the
Introductory Chapter, and to that on Coffee Planting in Coorg, he will
there find an explanation of the extraordinary effect produced by the
introduction of capital into the rural districts of India, and of the
remarkable effects it produces on the prosperity of the people, the
development of the agricultural resources of the country, and the finances
of the Government. But, for the convenience of the reader, I may briefly
repeat here what I have pointed out in greater detail in the chapters
alluded to.

From the estimate given of the profits of well-managed European
plantations which have been formed on the best land (_vide_ chapters on
Coffee Planting in Coorg, and in Mysore), it is evident that, though these
would be greatly injured by the exchange being forced up, they could still
make fair profits; and, indeed, it is conceivable that, from the losses
that the Government measure would entail, they might ultimately be in as
good a position as they are now; for there are large amounts of poor lands
which, if the Government policy is pursued, would be thrown out of
cultivation, either partially or entirely, and the diminished production
and demand for labour would, of course, be of great advantage to the
estates which survived. And what would largely accelerate the decrease of
cultivation would be the fact that if the exchange is forced up all
confidence in the Government will naturally be shaken. For how can
producers have any confidence in a Government which, instead of levying on
the country as a whole the increased taxes it requires, seeks to attain
its financial ends by manipulating the currency in such a way as to reduce
to the producers the prices of the commodities they grow for export? And
if the gold value of silver is to be forced up to 1s. 4d., and with the
declared possibility of its being forced up to 1s. 6d., what is more
likely than that the Government may persevere with this disastrous policy
whenever it again finds itself in financial straits? And is it not evident
that the present financial policy of the Government, and the possibility
of its being further pursued, must give that shock to confidence which
will at once repel capital and injure credit? And is it not equally
evident that if the gold value of the rupee can be forced up in the manner
proposed, the first effect of this will be shown in a large decline in the
demand for labour? Now, as pointed out in the chapters previously alluded
to, the results of an increased employment of labour are quite different
from what they would be in England, where an increase of employment given
to labourers merely means an increase of comfort amongst the working
classes, and of the profits of the shopkeepers with whom they deal. For in
India, the introduction of capital to be spent in labour in the rural
districts means a social revolution, as large numbers of the labourers set
up as cultivators the moment they have saved enough capital to do so. In
some cases they give up working for Europeans, in others they combine
agriculture with occasional months of work on the plantations, or other
sources of employment; the whole lower classes of the people are thus
elevated, and this tells at once on the finances, enabling (1) rents to be
more easily paid, and (2) because the finances improve as more land is
brought under cultivation. Now, not only would a large diminution of
employment take place in connection with coffee-planting were exchange
forced up, but the same cause would act on the growers of pepper,
cardamoms, and other products, and the prosperity of the province would be
thrown back, and the same kind of result would obviously occur in any part
of India which grows articles for export.

But there is yet another result from this truly far-reaching measure, as
Sir David Barbour justly calls it, which to my mind is the most important
of all--the bearing of it on famines; for we all know that the population
is rapidly increasing, and that of all apprehensions which haunt the minds
of those responsible for the safety of India, those as regard famines are
by far the greatest. And here I must ask the reader to turn back to my
Introductory Chapter, and consider the facts relating to famines--facts
which show how constantly the fear of famine lies before the Indian
administrator, both from a financial and humane point of view. I ask him
carefully to survey these facts, and then consider what effect the forcing
up of the gold value of the rupee is likely to have on famine-producing
causes. And is it not evident that the effect of the measure in
diminishing the demand for labour must be enormous; that if less money is
spent on labour, less will be spent in improving and developing the
agricultural resources of India, in digging wells and other
famine-preventing works; and that if the labourers fail to find the amount
of employment they can now readily obtain, the greater will be the
financial burden thrown on the hands of the State in times of famine and
scarcity? And must it not be equally evident to anyone possessed of the
humblest form of human reason that the Government had far better exhaust
every taxational resource before embarking on a course which, if the
anticipations of Government are realized as to silver, will be ruinous to
the country, and which, at a vast direct and indirect cost to the people,
will only, as I have shown, afford a comparatively speaking trifling
financial relief to the State? But it is time now to pass to other points
connected with the measure. And first of all let us glance at the evident
political results that must arise from it.

From what has been previously said, it is evident that the Government has
arrayed against itself every class in India excepting its own civilian and
military servants, and to these we have only to add, not another class,
but only a small proportion of the mercantile class. With the exception of
some just complaints they had to make as regards charges[67] that had been
unjustly thrust on the Indian Exchequer, and which I myself made in the
"Times" and elsewhere long before the Congress was even thought of, the
agitators of the Congress had no serious grounds to go upon. But who can
say that now? Up till lately there was no cause for discontent. India has
never been more prosperous, and has never shown greater, or nearly as
great signs of progress, as she has within the last twenty years. Not only
has the demand for labour been abundant, but in many instances it has
exceeded the supply. The rates of wages had largely increased, and were
producing, as I have previously shown, an accelerated quickening of
attention to the development of the resources of the soil. All that the
country wanted was to be let alone, and if the financial conditions
required increased taxation, no agitator could have successfully
complained of this, seeing that it could only have been imposed on account
of that cheapening of silver which has been one of the great causes
(railways were the other) of the increased prosperity which all classes
have enjoyed in recent years. But, if the Government measure raises the
gold value of the rupee, the agitator will be able to point out that, at
an enormous cost to the producers of India, the Government has only
obtained a most trifling financial relief, and be able to complain with
justice that the Government has lessened the profits of the agriculturist
and diminished the employment for labour. What an admirable advantage has
the monetary measure of the Government conferred on the popularity of
British Rule in India!

I have alluded to the losses that the measure must inflict on the planters
of Southern India, and my remarks on that head apply equally to the
tea-planters of India; but the latter have, besides, a special grievance
which they share in common with the tea-planters of Ceylon, and this
grievance is also shared in by the coffee-planters, though, as far as I
can see, hardly to the same extent. This well-founded grievance lies in
the fact that if no international agreement (and there seems no
probability whatever of such an agreement ever being come to within any
time to be even guessed at) is come to between the silver-using countries
in the East, the tea-planters of India and Ceylon will be brought into
unequal competition with their rivals in China, and the coffee-planters of
India and Ceylon will in like manner be unfairly weighted in their
competition with the coffee producers of Brazil. With reference to the
tea-planters of India and Ceylon the case is very clear, and it is
perfectly obvious that if in India you have silver artificially raised in
value relatively to gold, and that in China silver remains unprotected,
the Chinese will be able to accept a smaller gold value for their tea than
the Indian producers, and the difference in the exchange may be such that
China may regain her former position in the tea market, and that Indian
teas may be partially driven from the field; and if we add to that that
the Indian tea-planter will, in consequence of exchange being forced up,
have fewer rupees to pay his coolies than he has now, it is evident that
the result of the Government measure will be most serious to this
industry. The evidence (Currency Committee) that relates to Ceylon is very
decisive on this point, and the witnesses examined with reference to tea
expressed extremely depressed views as to the ruinous results that must
arise if the monetary policy of the Indian Government can be carried into
effect. From the correspondence that has passed between the Government of
India and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, it would seem that
India has no objection to Ceylon establishing its own mint for the coinage
of silver (the silver coins at present in use in Ceylon are rupees) and
the island would then be in the same position as other silver-using
countries. But if Ceylon starts its own mint, and is thus able to prevent
the evils of the artificial scarcity of silver to be created in India with
the view of forcing up the gold value of the rupee, then it is plain that
Ceylon tea-planters would retain their present advantages, which arise
from a low rate of exchange, and thus be able to carry on their business
on far more advantageous conditions than their Indian rivals.

To estimate the effect on the Indian coffee-planters with reference to the
effect of the monetary policy of the Government in placing the Indian at a
disadvantage as regards his competition with the Brazilian planter would
be difficult, and I am not in a position to form a decisive opinion on the
subject; but I may mention that the manager of the London and Brazilian
Bank informed the Currency Committee that the production of coffee in
Brazil has largely increased, and will still further largely increase,
owing to the greater facilities of communication, and also the direct
influence of a low rate of exchange. The last-mentioned fact gives, I may
observe, one more instance of the direct effect of a low rate of exchange
in stimulating production, and so swelling the volume of exports. If,
then, the Brazilians are to retain, and we are to lose, the benefits of
the cheapness of silver relatively to gold, it is evident that the
coffee-planters of India must be handicapped in their competition with
those of Brazil; but I do not hazard a decisive opinion as to the exact
weight of the competition, as I am uncertain as to how far our quality of
coffee comes into competition[68] with the quality produced in Brazil.

I must now at least allude to the effects of the measure on the trade,
manufactures, and railways of India. I regret that I am unable to go more
fully at present into a consideration of the effects on them of this
ill-starred measure, but all that the general reader requires to know is,
to use the words of Sir Frank Adam (one of the most important witnesses
examined by the Currency Committee), that if the Government succeeds in
forcing up the gold value of the rupee, China would be able to undersell
India in tea and rice; the Bombay manufacturers would receive fewer rupees
for their wares, and, as in the case of opium, the advantage would go to
the Chinese and Japanese; the railways would have little to carry from the
interior if the rupee prices went down. Finally, I may observe that the
gold industry of India would be largely injured, and that, especially,
mines struggling towards a successful issue would be seriously hampered if
the gold value of the rupee were forced up.

Brief though my survey of this great subject may be, I trust I have said
enough to expose the harmonious rottenness of the monetary policy of the
Government, and by this I mean a rottenness so complete that it is
impossible to find a single redeeming feature in the measure that has been
adopted. It is rotten economically, it is rotten financially, and it is,
if possible, still more rotten from a political point of view. Those who
have knowledge enough to understand the bearing and ultimate evil effects
of the measure are angrily arrayed against the Government now, and when
the ryots and labouring classes of all kinds experience the fall in prices
and dearth of employment that will assuredly follow if the Government
should be able to force up the gold value of the rupee, and are able to
trace this to the action of their rulers, widespread and serious will be
the abiding discontent which will take possession of the people.

I cannot conclude this short notice of a great subject without commenting
on what, at first sight, seems the remarkable fact, that the Government in
India, as represented by the Viceroy, and those merchants who are
represented by Mr. Mackay, President of the Currency Association, have
admitted that a low exchange has been a stimulus to the progress of India,
and that producers have gained by it. It is true that the Viceroy declared
in his speech in Council of June 26th, 1893, that "to leave matters as
they were meant for the country as a whole a fatal and stunting
arrestation [_sic_, probably a misprint for arrestment] of its
development."[69] But the cat escapes later on in the speech when a hope
is expressed that one of the effects of the measure will be "that capital
will flow more freely into the country without the adventitious stimulus
which we have hitherto been unable to refuse." The Viceroy thus admits,
what everyone knows, that a low exchange has acted as a stimulus to the
progress of India, and in doing so has given away the whole case for the
Government. But no one has ever denied the admission in question except
Mr. Mackay; and his absolute denial, when questioned on the subject, that
the producers of India would be affected by the measure, was subsequently
eaten up by himself in cross-examination towards the close of his evidence
given before the Currency Committee. But it is of course the rule, to
which there are few exceptions, that those who are engaged in the
unfortunate business of bolstering up an indefensible case, invariably let
out something which is absolutely destructive to the cause they are
advocating; and we find another instance of this at p. 191, Appendix I. of
the "Report of the Currency Committee." And if Mr. Mackay has given away
the whole case in London, one of his followers equally did so in Calcutta
when a deputation, headed by Mr. Mackay, was received by the Viceroy. And
on this occasion Mr. W. O. Bell Irving, as representing over 3,300 square
miles of land in Lower Bengal, stated that he "was not prepared to contend
that in certain respects the ryots and zemindars have not benefited from
the depreciation of the rupee." We thus see that both the Government, as
represented by the Viceroy, and the most active supporters of the present
monetary policy, have admitted that the measure would have injurious
effects on the producers of India--in other words, on those on whom the
financial stability of the empire entirely rests.

And the producers of India have as little reason to be satisfied with the
action of the Currency Committee which was presided over by Lord Herschell
as they have with the Government in our Eastern Empire. A glance at the
first page of the Report, and at the professions of the witnesses
examined, will show that this is the case. The Committee was requested by
Mr. Gladstone's Government to form, _inter alia_, "a just estimate of the
effect of a varying, and possibly much lower exchange, upon the commerce
and people of India." Now, the people of India almost entirely live either
directly (and I think about ninety per cent. do so directly) or indirectly
on the land; and yet, though in England there are to be found persons who,
like myself, are Indian landowners, and who, from having lived amongst the
people in the rural districts, are well able to testify to the effects of
the measure on the welfare of the people, not a single Indian landed
proprietor was called before the Committee. If a Parliamentary Committee
were called upon here to consider any proposed measure that would widely
effect the people of England as a whole, and the landed classes in
particular, would it not be scandalously unjust if not a single landed
proprietor, or any person directly or indirectly connected with land, were
requested to give evidence before it? But notwithstanding that a certain
proportion of the witnesses were Indian officials, and that the
examination of representatives of the classes chiefly concerned (the
producers) was carefully left out, the weight of the evidence was entirely
against the monetary policy of the Government. And yet the committee
supported the Indian Government. So that this measure has been passed
after a partial investigation, during which the most important points that
ought to have been minutely examined were never even touched upon, and
even then in the teeth of the majority of the witnesses examined, and
whose opinions, from their character and position, were of great value.
Were it not that the Committee was composed of English gentlemen, who
would not wittingly do anything but examine into matters to the best of
their ability, it would really seem, after a careful survey of the whole
situation, as if this Committee was a mere sham got up as a shield to
protect a foregone conclusion.

There can be little doubt that the Indian Government and the Currency
Committee were acting under the idea that (1) India had been pushed into a
financial corner, and (2) in fear of the result of the probable repeal of
the Sherman Act in the United States; and so, urged on by a panic-stricken
feeling to rush somewhere, the Government began in haste to burn the whole
house down in order to roast its financial pig. As to the first point, the
state of the finances in India no doubt requires all the care and economy
that can be exercised; but to imagine, as many people seem to do, that it
has exhausted its taxational resources, is ridiculous. The salt tax,
taking the price all over India, is lower than it was fifteen years ago,
and this could be raised without hardship to the people. Import duties
might be imposed to the amount of several millions. Then, considerable
charges now defrayed from current revenues might be passed to capital
account, as they would be in England. And if the worst came to the worst
an export duty of three per cent. might be imposed, for though is would
not be good policy to do so, it would still be better than the seven per
cent. export duty the Government would practically levy were exchange
forced up to 1s. 4d., and obviously very much better than the twenty-one
per cent. export tax which the Government evidently look forward to, for,
as we have seen, it is aiming at a 1s. 6d. rate. A large saving, too,
might be effected by going back to the old system of having a local
European force in India. Let anyone consider these points, and weigh the
remarkable and interesting statement quoted from Sir William Hunter, and
he will at once see that the condition of India generally is full of hope
(or at least was so till the monetary policy was announced), and that its
taxational resources are by no means exhausted. It should also be
considered that as the Government has not only spent large sums in recent
years in defensive works and public buildings, and at the same time paid
off debt to the amount of twenty-three millions, it would be perfectly
justified in borrowing, if it were necessary, in order to meet temporary

Now let me turn to what is the dominant cause of the monetary policy of
the Government--the dread that if the Sherman Act were repealed exchange
might sink even as low as a shilling per rupee.[70] What if it did? Let us
examine the consequences of that to India considered as a whole. The
apprehension in question was proclaimed in the Viceroy's speech of June,
26th, 1893, and in considering the consequences of a 1s. rate of
exchange, he pointed out that this would entail an increase of Rs. x
7,748,000 in the remittances required to be made for the home charges of
the Government, being, curiously enough, almost the exact sum which the
people of India would lose on their exports were exchange forced up to
1s. 4d. by the monetary policy of the Government. But as the producers
of India would gain largely by the 1s. rate of exchange, the total
account would stand thus:--loss to the Government say, for the sake of
round figures, seven millions; gain to the producers, twenty-one millions;
total gain to India, considered as a whole, fourteen millions. So that if
the very worst anticipations of the Government were realized India would
be a large gainer by the fall to a 1s. rate of exchange, and the
finances could be squared by increased taxation, which, if levied
considerably on imports, would be distinctly a popular measure. And, in
any case, the agitators could have no ground to go upon, as I have shown,
as the increased taxation could be amply justified.

One word more. I cannot refrain from calling attention to the remarkable
circumstance that Mr. Gladstone's Government has in a single year adopted
two measures which are highly objectionable from political, economical,
and financial points of view--the Home Rule Bill for Ireland and the
Currency Measure for India; and that both were forced on by arbitrary and
tyrannical action. For just as the Home Rule Bill was forced through the
House of Commons with inadequate examination and discussion, so was the
Currency Measure forced through, not only without adequate investigation,
but in the teeth of the majority of those whose opinions were laid before
the Viceroy, and in the teeth of the majority of the witnesses examined
before the Currency Committee. But arbitrary and tyrannical action seems
to be the order of the day with the Gladstonian Government; and it is
worthy of notice in this connection that it forced an Opium Commission on
India merely to buy a few votes in the House of Commons, and, with the
grossest injustice, provided that India should pay for a part of the cost.
The outcry raised has, indeed, brought about a reduction of the charge
that was to have been made, but, from a statement made in the "Times," I
observe that the Government has clung to the travelling expenses of the
members of the Commission, which are to be charged to India, and probably
with the view of proving that extreme meanness is not one of the national

As the English reader might imagine that the Indian Government was solely
responsible for this measure being passed into law, I may point out that
the decision of the Cabinet was required and obtained in connection with
the Currency Measure. From such a Government the producers of India, while
they have everything to fear, can have nothing to hope. Our sole hope
depends upon its being turned out, and replaced by an Unionist
administration which will either annul the suicidal policy that has been
adopted, or at least suspend its action till a full and searching
investigation has been made into all the immediate and all the
consequential results that must arise from the measure in question, should
the Government be able to force up the gold value of the rupee. If the
facts adduced in this chapter are substantially correct, the verdict
cannot be doubtful, for these facts prove that the Government proposes to
levy what is practically a heavy export tax on the products of India, and
in a form, too, most injurious to its best interests, and ultimately to
the finances of the State. And I say in a form most injurious, because the
Gladstonian Government (for the Cabinet is distinctly responsible for the
policy proposed to be carried into execution) has practically adopted a
policy of protection, not for the benefit of the productions and
industries of India, but for the protection and encouragement of the
productions and industries of those silver-using countries which now
compete with India. Of all the grotesquely ludicrous policies that have
ever been adopted by perverted human reason this surely is by far the most
absurd. By one and the same measure to stamp down the progress of India
and promote the progress of other silver-using countries; to diminish the
traffic on Indian railways, and correspondingly increase the traffic in
such countries; to diminish the volume of India's trade and increase that
of other Eastern countries; to raise a comparatively small sum for the
Indian Exchequer at a vast cost to the producers of India; to diminish the
amount of capital that would otherwise flow into the hands of the people,
and to, at the same time, sacrifice all its consequential effects; to
diminish employment for labour and increase the causes that aggravate
famines and scarcities; to ultimately diminish the financial resources of
our Indian Empire; to create a serious cause of dispeace (a useful Scotch
word) between us and the people we govern;--such are some of the effects
that must be produced should the Government be successful in carrying out
that monetary policy which it has forced on India in the most arbitrary
and tyrannical manner. Can we wonder then that Sir David Barbour, the
Indian Finance Minister, said that the measure would have "far-reaching
effects, and ought not to be attempted unless under the pressure of
necessity?" No such necessity, as I have completely shown, has arisen. Out
of its own mouth, then, does the Government stand condemned.

In this connection it may be interesting to quote the opinion of the great
Duke of Wellington, who, speaking in the House of Lords in 1833 (July 5),
said, "My lords, I wish the noble lords opposite had taken the advice of
Sir John Malcolm upon the subject of forming an independent body in
London, representing the interests and carrying on the concerns of India.
My lords, it is persons of this description who interpose an efficient
check upon the Government." Unfortunately for India there is no such
body, and the final decision on this great question has rested with a
Cabinet composed of men who know nothing of Indian interests, and who,
indeed, have no time to attend to them, seeing that their thoughts require
to be almost exclusively devoted to a consideration of those
vote-catching, parochial politics with the aid of which alone the
Government can hope to maintain its balance on the political tight-rope.

I may observe, in conclusion, that, as regards the effects of the
depreciation of silver on a silver-using country, we have, in the case of
Mexico, circumstances exactly parallel to those in India, and in the
"Times" of October 21st, 1893, a most interesting analysis is given of the
report of our consul at Mexico--Mr. Lionel Carden--as regards the effects
on that country of a further serious depreciation of silver. Mr. Carden
sums up his conclusions on the hypothesis that the present value of the
dollar, which is 3s. 1d., falls to 2s. 6d., and proceeds then to
examine into the effects of such a fall on the country considered as a
whole. He estimates the losses to the Government and the railways which
would arise from the sums they have to pay in gold, and then puts against
them the advantages that the fall in silver would confer on miners,
agriculturists, and manufacturers. His final conclusions are as follows:

"In striking a balance between the advantages and disadvantages arising to
different interests in Mexico from a depreciation of silver, it must be
borne in mind that the losses which would be sustained by the Government
and the railway companies are essentially limited in their amount, whereas
the benefits that would accrue to certain of the productive industries are
susceptible of indefinite extension. Moreover, an increase in the
productiveness of the country would make itself felt at once in an
increase of the revenue of the Government, as well as of the railways.
The only conclusion, then, at which it is possible to arrive is that a low
price of silver, if permanent, would not only not be prejudicial to Mexico
as a whole, but would conduce to its ultimate benefit by the stimulus it
would afford to the development of its immense agricultural resources."

Yes. The losses from the payments that have to be made in gold are a
comparatively speaking fixed quantity, while the gain to the people from
cheap silver will yield wide-spreading consequential benefits far beyond
the reach of calculation. This, too, is the case as regards India; we
require for it a Government which can appreciate, and act up to, this view
of the situation.


[61] "Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee appointed to inquire
into the Indian Currency, 1893." "Report of Committee appointed to inquire
into the Indian Currency, 1893." "Indian Currency Correspondence between
the Government of India and the Secretary of State, 1893." "Abstract of
the Proceedings of the Council of the Governor-General of India, the
Viceregal Lodge, Simla, Monday, June 26th, 1893."

[62] I may mention that formerly anyone could take bullion or ornaments in
silver to the mints and change them for rupees.

[63] It is very difficult to form an accurate opinion on this point.
Returns seem at first sight very conclusive, but you require a knowledge
of facts which the returns do not disclose. For instance, in the
Government return quoted in the "Economist" of September 30th, 1893, it
would appear that, compared with 1873, there had been an enormous rise in
the price of ragi--a millet which is the staple food of the people of
Mysore. In the table, the prices of 1873 being taken as equal to 100, the
rise from 1876 to 1880 is 209, from 1881 to 1885 the ratio falls to 103,
and remains at that till 1890. Then, in 1891, it rises to 138, and in 1892
to 177. From this return the writer in the "Economist" concludes that the
purchasing power of the rupee is now about 30 per cent. lower than it was
in 1873. But to my mind the rupee price of ragi, judging by the returns
and omitting periods of famine and scarcity, has probably only risen 3 per
cent. The high price of the 1876-80 period was caused by the great famine,
and the price in 1891 is to be accounted for by the partial failure of the
ragi crop in that year--the country being on the brink of a famine--and
this circumstance of course affected prices in the year following.

[64] The amount that the Government would save is about 1,570,000 Rs. x.

[65] The reader will see that, for the sake of making even figures, I have
taken the value of the exports at upwards of eleven millions less than
they really are. The return of the trade of British India for 1891-92 is
as follows:

                                                Rs. x
    Private imports                           81,310,119
    Private exports                          111,179,196
    Government imports                         2,844,926
    Government exports                           281,082
          Total trade                  Rs. x 195,615,323

The above figures show that--

    The export trade is                Rs. x 111,179,196
    The import trade is                Rs. x  84,155,045
    Net excess exports of total trade  Rs. x  27,305,233

[66] I observe that one of the witnesses calculates the export tax thus
proposed to be levied by forcing up the exchange to 1s. 6d. at 20 per
cent., but I have obtained my figures from a highly competent authority,
and I have no doubt they are substantially correct. I may add that the
"Times" correspondent, telegraphing from Calcutta on October 23rd, says,
"Exports cannot be profitably financed. The currency legislation alone is
equivalent to 20 per cent. tax upon them."

[67] As a set-off against the charges complained of, it should be
remembered--a point which I did not take into account when formerly
writing on the subject--that England bears the cost of the naval
protection of India.

[68] I have since ascertained, on good authority, that, though the coffee
of Brazil has not as yet come into competition with Indian coffee (as
people used to the latter do not care for the former, and would not use it
unless there was a very great difference in the value), the coffee from
Costa Rica, Columbia, Guatemala, and Mexico (all silver-using countries)
does so to a very considerable extent.

[69] It might be imagined from this statement that a low rate of exchange
had been already setting back, or at least arresting, the hand of
progress, and I therefore quote the following passage from p. 40 of the,
"Report of the Currency Committee."

"The following facts relating to the recent progress of India are taken
from a paper read by Sir W. Hunter (one of the greatest existing
authorities on the subject) at the Society of Arts, on the 16th of
February, 1892.

"Between 1881 and 1891 the whole number of the Army had been raised from
170,000 to 220,000, and the number of British soldiers in it from 60,000
to 71,000, or, including reserves, volunteers, etc., to very much more.
Many large and costly defensive works had been constructed, both on the
north-west frontier and on the coast. In recent years almost all the
public buildings have been reconstructed on a large scale.

"Railways, both military and commercial, have been greatly extended.
Notwithstanding these extraordinary expenses, there were, during the
twenty-five years which followed 1862, fourteen years of surplus and
eleven years of deficit, yielding a net surplus of Rs. x 4,000,000. In
1889 the public debt of India, exclusive of capital invested in railways,
showed a reduction since the mutiny period of Rs. x 26,000,000. The rate
at which India can borrow has been reduced from 4 or 5 per cent. to a
little over 3 per cent. The revenue of India, exclusive of railways and
municipal funds, has grown between 1856-57 and 1886-87 from Rs. x
33,378,000 to Rs. x 62,859,000, and in 1891 it had increased to Rs. x
64,000,000, or, including railway and migration receipts, to Rs. x
85,750,000; and this increase is due to the growth of old revenue rather
than to new taxation. Further, whilst the rent or land tax paid by the
people has increased by one-third, the produce of their fields has more
than doubled, in consequence partly of higher prices and partly of
increase in cultivation. Further, in 1891 there were nearly 18,000 miles
of railway open, carrying 121,000,000 of passengers and 26,000,000 tons of
goods, and adding a benefit to the people of India calculated as far back
as 1886 at Rs. x 60,000,000. Further, the Indian exports and imports at
sea, which in 1858 were about Rs. x 40,000,000, amounted in 1891 to about
Rs. x 200,000,000, and the produce thus exported has increased in quality
and variety no less than in amount."

What evidences of "a fatal and stunting arrestation of development"!

[70] This extraordinary assumption must evidently have been founded on
another, if possible still more wonderful; namely that the American
Government was composed of individuals so short-sighted that they would
fail to take the precautions which men of ordinary common sense would be
sure to adopt with the view of preventing, as far as possible, a sudden
fall in the value of silver. But the American Government, as we know,
naturally diminished its purchases of silver, and as no one supposes
(except perhaps the Indian Government) that it can be so silly as at once
to lose money and create a gratuitous disturbance by suddenly flooding the
market with the silver accumulated, we see that, since the repeal of the
Sherman Act, the price of silver, so far from having gone down, as
anticipated by the Viceroy, has even slightly gone up.

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