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Title: A Popular Account of the Manners and Customs of India
Author: Acland, Charles
Language: English
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Published Monthly, Price 2_s._ 6_d._, or alternate Months, Price
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                     CONSISTING OF



              Volumes already Published.

      1. _Borrow's Bible in Spain._
    2-3. _Heber's Journals in India._
      4. _Irby and Mangles' Travels--Siege of Gibraltar._
      5. _Hay's Morocco--Letters from the Baltic._
      6. _The Amber Witch--Cromwell and Bunyan._
      7. _New South Wales--Barrow's Life of Drake._
      8. _Father Ripa's Memoirs--Lewis's West Indies._
      9. _Malcolm's Sketches of Persia._
     10. _French in Algiers--Fall of the Jesuits._
     11. _Bracebridge Hall. By Washington Irving._
     12. _Darwin's Voyage of a Naturalist._
     13. _Lord Mahon's Life of Condé._
     14. _Borrow's Gypsies of Spain._
     15. _Melville's Typee, or the Marquesas._
     16. _Livonian Tales--Memoirs of a Missionary._
     17. _Sale's Brigade--Letters from Madras._
     18. _St. John's Wild Sports of the Highlands._
     19. _Head's Pampas--Sieges of Vienna by the Turks._
     20. _Ford's Gatherings from Spain._
     21. _Sketches of German Life._
     22. _Melville's Omoo; or The South Seas._
     23. _Gleig's Battle of Waterloo._
     24. _The River Amazon--Wayside Cross._


                  A POPULAR ACCOUNT

                       OF THE


         Illustrated with Numerous Anecdotes.

                       BY THE

                REV. CHARLES ACLAND,




London: Printed by W. CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.


The author of the present work was a clergyman, who, along with his
wife, quitted England about the beginning of the year 1842, leaving
behind him several young children, to whom, as appears from the
letters he constantly addressed to them, he was most affectionately

They left the country full of hope that they should all be reunited
at some future period; but, before he had been three years exposed
to the climate of India, he fell a victim to it. It is somewhat
melancholy to find him at the outset rejoicing in the very
circumstance which in some measure perhaps occasioned his death. The
first destination selected for him was little in accordance with
his own taste; and when it subsequently was altered from Assam to
Cuttack, he expresses himself delighted with the change, though the
first-named province was much more remarkable for its healthfulness
than that to which he at length proceeded.

Mr. Acland felt the warmest interest in the education of his
children, and, to improve their minds, determined, on quitting
England, to send home, from time to time, accurate accounts of his
progress, that they might be made acquainted with all he beheld--the
places through which he passed, the aspect of the country, its
climate, productions, flowers, trees, shrubs, and wild animals.
Many an interesting adventure is related in these pages which the
author met with in the jungle; the beating of which by the hunting
parties, who go forth in bands for that purpose, is described with an
animation calculated to awaken much interest.

The letters addressed by Mr. Acland to his children have now been
thrown into the form of a Journal, as this method was considered best
suited to the general reader. The Editor has, however, been careful
to preserve throughout the easy familiar style in which the father
first wrote them, that to the children of others they may be equally
acceptable and useful.

The books hitherto published on India have been in general, from
their bulk, confined to persons arrived at a more advanced period of
life; and the Editor of the present volume hopes in some measure to
familiarise the subject by bringing it down nearer the comprehension
of the youthful reader. This work is intended to describe Indian
manners in an interesting way, and will in some measure, it is hoped,
supply a portion of the want that has long existed in our literature
in this respect. To render the subject more attractive, Mr. Acland
was careful to introduce anecdotes and short narratives throughout,
which are calculated to amuse, while instruction is at the same time

One distinguishing feature may be observed in the whole--viz. a
fervent spirit of devotion, which breathes through every page of the
original manuscript. Such passages the Editor has thought it better
to omit, as the advice from a father to his children, clothed in the
simple language he considered it best to employ, though beautiful
and touching in itself, would scarcely appear interesting to the
general reader. For this reason the substance of his counsel has been
compressed into the present brief Preface.

He impresses upon his children the necessity of living ever in
brotherly love, of sustaining and comforting one another, and of
seeking the Divine aid in every emergency of life, whether great or
small. He shows them how, by trusting implicitly in God and acting
according to His commandments, they will attain a peace of mind
above all the happiness which an indulgence in the pleasures of this
life can bestow. He explains to them, in the gentlest terms, how
necessary it is for their welfare here and hereafter that they should
act ever in accordance with the expressed wishes of the Almighty;
and that they must never cease to remember that He moves about them
everywhere, and sees their every action, hears each passionate word,
beholds each unbecoming gesture, and will reward or punish according
as they indulge in or abstain from evil. In several beautiful
passages he portrays the unceasing watchfulness of the Almighty in
providing for our daily wants, in supplying us with every necessary
of life; and inquires, with truth, Ought not every little heart to
be daily grateful to Him, without whose will the sun cannot shine,
or rise, or set; without whose will the refreshing showers could
not force and raise up around us the beautiful and necessary things
of life? Then he inquires, How can we better show our gratitude for
these blessings than by acting in accordance with the wishes of Him
who is the cause of so much good?

These words were spoken by a father to his own children; but I would
ask those of my young friends into whose hands this little volume may
fall, does it not equally touch them? Do they not feel the truth of
these sentences? Coming over the many thousand miles which stretch
between India and this country, these letters were cherished the more
by the three little children to whom they were addressed; and now
that the hand is cold which traced the lines, how much more will they
be prized!

Whatever may be the fate of the volume with the public, to those
whom it more intimately concerns it will be a lasting remembrance of
their father, and of the melancholy circumstances connected with his
early death. For their sake, the Editor trusts that the present work
may meet with at least a moderate share of success; and that, in the
endeavour to render more familiar to the youthful mind the names and
habits of some of the inhabitants of India, he may not altogether

     _London, Sept. 1847._


    MADRAS, _June, 1842_.

    Departure from England in March--Tremendous storm off Ushant--Ship
    becalmed at the equator--Great heat--Danger of sleeping in
    moonlight in hot climates--Storm off the Cape--Great speed of the
    vessel--Thunderstorm at the equator--Arrival at Madras--The
    mungoose; its usefulness in houses--Mother-of-pearl--Contrivances
    for abating the heat--Fakirs--Curious disease--Salutation of
    Europeans by natives--Employment of time

    _July 1._

    Native wedding--Visit to the Newab--Jugglers

    CALCUTTA, _July 15_.

    Voyage up the Hoogly--Waterspout--The bishop's palace--Appointment
    to the province of Assam--Great number of tigers at Calcutta--Mode
    of voyaging--Language of natives--Number of servants necessary

    _August 6._

    Change of appointment from Assam to Cuttack--Dangers of
    travelling--Mode of living--"Bore" in the Hoogly

    MIDNAPORE, _September 12_.

    Leave Calcutta--Accident on the Hoogly--Dâk-travelling--State
    of the road--Arrival at Midnapore--A bungalow--Trees and
    plants--Mode of providing animal food--Destructiveness of
    ants--Snakes--Monkeys--Encounter with a buffalo--Soil, climate,
    and productions of Midnapore--Expenses of living--List of servants

    _September 15._

    "Poujah of tools:" a rustic festival

    _October 9._

    Thunderstorms--Mode of taking birds--Costume--Coins--Insects--
    Dinner-parties--Language--Strictness of caste regulations among
    servants--Employment of women--Disposal of the body after
    death--Dustoorie--The white ant

    _November 11._

    Antics of the monkey--Parrots--Fierceness of the hyæna--Small
    grey squirrel--Narrow escape from a cobra--Its bite seldom
    cured--Vegetable productions--Usefulness of the bamboo--Dishonesty
    of servants

    _November 12._

    Earthquake--Population of India--Religions--Money--Designations
    of Europeans by natives--Mode of life

    _December 13._

    Hiring of hackeries--Importunacy of natives--Encounter with a

    _December 14._

    Birds'-nests--Cost of dress--Weather--Temperature

    _December 16._

    Anonymous reptile--Destruction of serpents by the mungoose

    BALASORE, ORISSA, _December 30_.

    Balasore--Volcanic hills--Hill of the large white ant--Human
    skulls--Beautiful plumage of birds

    _January 2, 1843._

    Legend of the origin of the hills at Balasore--Immense number of
    ants'-nests; their mode of building--Great abundance of these

    _January 3._

    Journey from Midnapore--Mode of travelling--Danton--Jelasore--The
    fort--Ancient inscription--India-rubber tree--Attack by a
    tiger--A hungry bear--Paucity of furniture--Palanquin-bearers'
    songs--Fuel--False alarm--Jackals and crows the scavengers of the

    CUTTACK, _February 2_.

    Journey from Balasore--Barripore--Gratuities to bearers--
    Fruit-trees--Alligators--Mortality of Juggernat'h pilgrims--Sleeping
    arrangements--The Mohurrun--Position of Cuttack--Sea-breezes--Mode
    of irrigation--Ancient fort--Origin of the Mohurrun--Furious

    _February 13._

    Proposed new village--Depredations of tigers--Gold-dust

    _March 4._

    Excursion to Chogga--Sporting--Human skeleton--Wild bull--The
    village--Converts--Mode of starting the game--Assembly of native
    Christians--"Inquirers"--Conversation on religion--Baptism--
    Degradation and loss of caste on embracing Christianity--Return to
    Cuttack--Comet--Remarkable weather

    _April 13._

    Narrow escape from a snake--Hindu festival--Chena poojah, or swinging

    _April 15._

    Domestic arrangements--Furniture--Old Cuttack--Degeneracy of modern

    _April 17._

    Chena poojah--Self-torture of devotees--Cotton-tree

    JUGGERNAT'H, _May_.

    Pooree--Pleasant temperature--The temple--Danger from sharks in

    CUTTACK, _August 7_.

    Mofussil society--Morning visits--Costume--Dinner-parties

    _August 29._

    Ourang-outang--Monkeys--Bachelor's party--The Commissioner--Tiger
    story--Power of the human eye over the lower animals--Bats--Plan
    to improve society--A "good gardener"--Cruel treatment of
    servants by Europeans--Milder punishment adopted by the author

    _October 12._

    Return from Midnapore--Heavy rain--Description of a palanquin

    _November 8._

    Bengal tiger--Mode of hunting the boar--Anecdotes of tigers--Poison
    of the cobra--Chanderpore--Sea-scorpions--Relief-fund

    BARRIPORE, _November 28_.

    Solitude--Power of Europeans over natives--Their social
    relations--Rapid progress of disease

    CUTTACK, _December 10_.

    Elephant-hunting--Juggernat'h festival--Its support by
    Government--Pilgrims--Mode of expression in the East--A grateful
    servant--Number and names of servants--Their generally unkind
    treatment--Gratitude and honesty of natives: instances--Rajah Bheere
    Singh--His testimony to personal security in the Company's
    territory--An unexpected meeting

    _December 25._

    Choudwar--Sporting--Hyæna chase--Pariah-dog

    _January 2, 1844._

    Military sportsmen--A false alarm--Moral--Costume regulations of
    Hindus--Mode of evasion

    BARRIPORE, _January 5_.

    Mirage at Pooree

    GUZZEEPUDDEE, _January 12_.

    Journey from Balasore--Scenery--A water-race--Encampment--A
    nocturnal visitor

    BARRIPORE, _January 16_.

    Excursion to the Neilghur hills--Change of temperature and
    scenery--Skeleton of a boa constrictor

    MIDNAPORE, _February 1_.

    Excursion to Bhohoneswar and Cundeegurree--Temples--Inscriptions--
    Attack of inflammation of the liver

    _February 15._

    Second visit to the Neilghur hills--A beyraghee and his
    enclosure--Encampment at Bengwharrie--Hunnamun monkeys--Game--Peafowl
    shooting--Bhohoneswar: its temples--Magnificence of the principal
    temple--Cundeegurree--Inscriptions--Caves--Devotees--Palace of the
    ancient Rajahs--Statue: considerations suggested by its
    costume--Anecdote of an elephant

    POOREE, _May 26_.

    A thunderstorm--Peculiarly fearful at Pooree

    _May 29._

    Temperature at Pooree and at Cuttack--Modes of conveyance--Ponies--
    Arrangements for sleeping in comfort--The Rajah of Neilghur--His
    interview with the Commissioner--Costume and appointments--
    Elephants--Hunting-party--Arrival at Neilghur--Adventure with a
    boar--Uncivil treatment of Rajahs

    CUTTACK, _July 4_.

    Salt-monopoly--Unjust treatment of the manufacturers--Juggernat'h--
    Religion of the Brahmins--The idol--The procession--Immense number
    of pilgrims--Numerous deaths--Evil omen

    _August 10._

    Brindabund monkeys--Indian marriages--Frequent results--Peacocks

    _September 14._

    Plague of insects--A night's rest--The bath

    _October 13._

    Government doctors--Monkeys--Goats--Electric phenomenon

    _November 14._

    Rapid vegetation--Early maturity and decay of natives--Necessity for
    employment of the mind--Mode of passing time--Flower and kitchen
    gardens--An armadillo--A whale on shore

    KHOUTAH, _December 16_.

    Antiquity of Indian religions--Manner of disposal of the dead

    JENKIA, _January 4, 1845_.

    Mr. G., the collector and magistrate of Pooree--Departure for
    Khoordagurree--Regularity of seasons

    TANGHI, _January 5_.

    Manner of travelling--Soonercollee--Splendid scenery--Chelka

    MIDNAPORE, _February 14_.

    Sporting on the banks of the Chelka Lake--Chase by a bear

    CUTTACK, _April 2_.

    Travelling--Hunting antelopes--Snaring game--The sportsmen chased
    by pigs

    POOREE, _April 26_.

    Fatal illness of author

    _May 8._

    Abrupt conclusion




Madras, June, 1842.

We quitted England in the course of March, 1842, and reached Madras
in the month of June of the same year. I shall give but a brief
sketch of our voyage.

Soon after leaving England, having arrived near Ushant, situated
on the north-west coast of France, a tremendous storm came on; the
waves rose high and washed the deck, while the ship itself pitched
to such a degree that the very dinner rolled off the table; in the
night my wife was tossed out of bed, and thrown to the other side of
the cabin. We were in the greatest danger of being drowned. I started
out of my hammock, but was unable to stand upright. Towards morning,
however, the wind abated.

After this storm had passed, the ship went forward rapidly until
we reached the equator, where she lay becalmed for several days.
The heat at this point of our voyage was excessive; we used to lie
about on the deck almost all night, taking care, however, to cover
our faces if the moon was shining; for it is said that, in these hot
climates, if any one goes to sleep under its light, he is in danger
of losing his sight, and even his life.[1]

We now proceeded more slowly until we had rounded the Cape of Good
Hope, where another storm came on. Every sail was taken in; yet,
without their assistance, we ran, in two days, 545 miles. The waves
rose as high as mountains, and the ship seemed to toil up one side,
and to send the bowsprit up into the air, then, plunging down again,
seemed to bury it in the sea. I was standing with my wife at the door
of the dinner cabin when a large wave burst in through the upper part
of the ship, flooded the room, and shivered one of our large boats to

As we were passing the equator, too, we suffered from a tremendous
thunderstorm. The heat was excessive: not a breath of wind stirred
the air. About twelve o'clock a little cloud, about the size of
a man's hand, rose in the horizon: gradually it spread until it
hung like a huge black mass over the ship. I stood and watched its
increase, when suddenly a vivid flash of lightning shot from the
heavens, and almost blinded me. At the same moment a crash of thunder
bellowed round the ship like the noise of a thousand cannons. The
lightning slightly struck one of our passengers and the mate, but did
not inflict any serious injury. The rain now descended: not a sharp
thick shower, such as you may witness in England, but as it were all
in one mass, and soon every trace of the storm passed away; the sun
burst forth, and the ship and sails were dried in the course of a few

Calm weather was ours now until we reached Madras. During our voyage
we observed many curious kinds of birds, the principal of which
was the stormy petrel. These creatures quit the land, and fly many
thousand miles over the sea in the track of ships, following them by
night and by day. The whale-bird is about the size of a thrush, white
in colour, and may be seen hovering about the great fish from which
it derives its name.

  [Sidenote: CAPE PIGEON.]

The Cape pigeon is a very beautiful creature, about the size of our
own pigeon, white, with black spots on its body, and a blue, glossy
head. We several times amused ourselves with catching them; and the
way we contrived was, to let fly from our hands a piece of thread
several yards in length, which was carried out by the wind, and the
pigeon, flying across it, became entangled in it. In fluttering
about in the endeavour to extricate itself, it became only more
firmly secured; and then, drawing the string towards us, we caught
the bird, and, placing it on the deck, suffered it to walk about. The
legs of this pigeon are so peculiarly formed that they are unable
to spring up from the ground, and can only rise from the crest of a
wave, or throw themselves from the edge of a rock. The albatross is a
large white bird, which has been known to measure fourteen or sixteen
feet from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. We used to
catch them sometimes by casting out a hook and line, as for a fish.

The Cape hen, which follows the ship in flocks, is large and black,
measuring about ten feet from wing to wing. Occasionally we caught
a glimpse of the tropic-bird, called by the sailors the boatswain,
because of its long pointed tail resembling the pigtail which these
men used formerly to wear.

  [Sidenote: PILOT-FISH, ETC.]

The booby is a large brown bird, about as big as a common hen. I must
not forget to tell you something about the pilot-fish. Every shark,
whether old or young, is accompanied by a little fish about twelve
inches long, and striped like a zebra, which keeps always near the
nose of the shark, and seems to guide him to his food.

As I have in this place said so much about birds and fishes, I may
as well tell you a little about the animals here in Madras. The
first I shall mention is the cow, by which all the carts and many of
the carriages are drawn along--sometimes, too, very swiftly. They
are much smaller than English cows, and have a hump on their backs.
Camels may be seen in the streets patiently carrying heavy loads of
goods: the people, however, treat them very cruelly.

As I was going to the cathedral last Sunday I saw a mungoose, a
little green and yellow animal, something between a ferret and a
squirrel. It is said that when bitten by a snake it runs and rubs the
place over with the juice of a certain plant, which immediately cures

My samee, or native manservant, who is a Malay, gave me one about as
large as a kitten, and quite as playful. It will attain to the size
of a cat; it follows me about, sleeps on the foot of the bed, and if
a snake comes into the room will instantly kill it. When an Indian
mother wishes to go out, she need only just tell the mungoose to mind
the cradle, and then he lies down by it, and suffers neither man nor
reptile to approach. This creature, once tamed, is quite wretched out
of human society.

The cobra de capello is one of the most poisonous snakes with which
we are acquainted. I saw a girl playing with some of them the other
day, but their fangs had been extracted.

There are a great number of beautiful birds here; and green paroquets
can be purchased for three pence, while an avadavad costs only one
penny. The cock avadavad should, when kept, be confined along with
twelve hens in a cage.

The large carrion-crow is as common here as the sparrow is in
England, and is so tame that they fly close to the houses, and even
look in at the windows. Nobody is allowed to shoot or hurt them,
because they make themselves useful in carrying away all the dirt
from the town. Large vultures are almost as numerous.

I must not forget to mention the mosquito, which is a gnat exactly
like those you see in England. Great numbers fly about all the night,
and some people suffer much from their bite, but they never touch me.

The flowers here are beautiful, and some smell exceedingly sweet.
There are two tall trees, as large as elms, covered with red and
yellow flowers about the size of a plate. In the hedges, too, we see
very splendid cactuses. I shall be able, however, to tell you more
about these things when I have been here longer.

The fruits are exquisite, but it is dangerous to eat them in any
quantity. For a pine-apple nearly as big as your head we pay only two
anas--that is, three pence; but they are not exactly like those you
buy in England. Here they are quite sweet, and soft and juicy as a
peach. The mango is a yellow fruit about the size of a large orange,
the inside of which is full of a very rich sort of custard. The
plantain resembles a dahlia-root, and has very much the same taste
as cheese. The guava is in appearance like an apple, but possesses
the flavour of a strawberry. There are several other kinds of fruit,
but I have not time to describe them now. I am very fond of the
pine-apple and the orange, but do not care for any of the others.

  [Sidenote: HEAT.]

Mother-of-pearl may be bought very cheap here. It is found in a
particular kind of oyster-shell, of which I can get three or four
for a halfpenny. Though the heat here is excessive, I do not suffer
from it: the thermometer in the large room where I am sitting is now
93-1/2°. The heat causes a kind of rash called the prickle-heat,
which is very disagreeable. The sensation to which it gives rise
is much the same as would be caused by running needles into the
body. In every room, hanging from the ceiling, is a large fan,
called a punkah, about four times the size of the door, and a boy is
continually employed in swinging it backward and forward, and the
current of air thus created cools the whole room. The windows are
without glass. Venetian blinds serve instead, and sometimes mats,
which are kept constantly wetted. The water soon turns into steam,
and, evaporating very fast, carries off with it the latent heat.

When my wife goes to sleep, the little black boy, with no covering
but a pair of drawers and a cap, stands near and fans her, while
every now and then he sprinkles her face with water as she reclines
on the sofa.

  [Sidenote: FAKIRS.]

The people here are nearly all black, and wear very little clothing.
The population is extensive. At dinner we have generally eight or ten
men to wait upon us, but they are slow in their movements, and very
lazy. The Arabian Nights mentions the fakirs. I have seen some here
that have let their feet grow in one position until they cannot move

  [Sidenote: CURIOUS DISEASE.]

Some of the inhabitants of Madras are afflicted with a curious kind
of disease, in which one leg swells to the size of a man's body,
while the other is no thicker than the limb of an infant.

When you meet in the street with a native who is at all acquainted
with you, or who wishes to express his thanks for anything, instead
of merely saying "Thank you," or "How do you do?" he presses his
hands upon his eyes, and says "Salaam, sahib." Some English persons,
on going out for a walk, may be seen to carry a whip, with which,
if the natives are at all troublesome, they lash them; but this
is a cruel practice. Ladies are prevented by the heat from walking
abroad here, and gentlemen seldom do so, but go about in what are
called palanquins, which I will describe hereafter. When we ride out,
however swiftly we go, a man called a coolie runs by the side of the
carriage. We are obliged to get up here at about half-past five in
the morning, and then we go out for a drive, or in the palanquin; at
half-past seven the sun is too powerful even for that exercise: we
then return home, take a cold bath, and breakfast. At half-past six
in the evening we are enabled to go out again a little. In the middle
of the day we take a nap.


[1] It is doubted whether the injury does not rather arise from the
damp night-air than from the effect of the moon-beams.

July 1st.

A few days ago I saw a native wedding. At about nine in the evening I
was disturbed by a noise of drums and squeaking trumpets. Looking out
of the window, I saw a large party with torches conducting the bride
to her husband's home. She was entirely covered by a white veil, and
walked in the midst of her relations.

I went to pay a visit to the Newab, a native prince of these parts,
but did not succeed in obtaining an interview. He is about fifteen
years of age, and generally goes out in a carriage drawn by seven
horses. His uncles ride by his side on elephants, while his cousins
run with the carriage.

The natives are a fine athletic race of men, with every appearance of
possessing talent and intellect. The tricks of the jugglers are very
entertaining: they will swallow swords, throw up three or four knives
or cannon-balls, and catch them on their necks, and pull balls of
cotton out of their throats, and make snakes dance.

Bishop's Palace, Calcutta, July 15.

  [Sidenote: WATERSPOUT.]

Here we are arrived safely at this place, after a very disagreeable
voyage, the worst part of which was the travelling up the river
Hoogly. We were becalmed for some time, and merely drifted up a few
miles a-day with the tide. However, I was much interested one day
by watching a cloud, which, after moving and whirling about for a
little time, began to send down a little thin point towards the
river. Presently the column increased in size, while underneath the
waves seemed to rise to meet it; and when they had done so a great
quantity of the water was sucked up by the cloud, which grew larger
in consequence, and then steered away towards the land: this was a

The place in which we live--that is, our hotel--is a large house,
three stories high, surrounding a square, and on each side are
forty-two windows in a row.

Immediately after landing I went to pay my respects to the
archdeacon, and to inform him of my arrival. Not finding him at
home, I proceeded to the bishop, who treated me very hospitably, and
invited us to his house.

  [Sidenote: BISHOP'S PALACE.]

On returning home I found that during my absence the archdeacon's
wife and daughter had been calling on my wife, for the purpose of
inviting us to their house; but having already accepted the offer of
the bishop, we, of course, were compelled to decline this. In the
bishop's palace we have two very large apartments assigned to us,
besides a bath-room, and a verandah, about three hundred yards long,
to walk in. I was scarcely located here, however, before I received
an order to proceed to Gowhattie, in Assam, and to assume the
clerical superintendence of the whole province. At Gowhattie there is
one European lady, and there are five European gentlemen, who are the
only ones within two hundred and seventy miles. My parish, if such
it can be called, is about twice the size of England, and I shall be
continually travelling about.

But I must now tell you something about this place. The principal
animals here are buffaloes, elephants, and tigers, of whose numbers
you may form an idea by the fact of the Government having offered a
reward for every tiger's head. Last year, in the province of Assam,
the number of heads brought in was two thousand six hundred, and yet
these animals seem to be as numerous as ever.

We shall have to travel in a little boat, called a budjeon, with two
cabins, up to Gowhattie. The boatmen are black, and we shall be the
only passengers on board. We must be provided besides with two other
boats, the one with the fowls and goats in it for cooking, and the
other with the luggage. We shall be rather more than two months on
the voyage, and must take with us enough provisions for a year. When
we reach Gowhattie the boat must serve us for a home until we have
built one with mats and reeds.

There are some large birds here called adjutants, about five feet
high, with long white legs, black bodies, bare necks, and a beak like
pelicans. They are generally seen perched on the tops of houses. The
fire-flies are very pretty: on a fine night a number of them are seen
flitting about the lanes and gardens glittering like stars.

The bull-frogs make a noise at night almost as loud as the bark of a
dog. A pretty brown and white bird is to be found here, singing much
like a blackbird; it is called a miner.

Calcutta is well termed the city of palaces, since every house is a
noble mansion. Most of the rooms are at least fifteen feet high and
twenty-six feet square, and along every story there is a verandah,
supported by stone columns. The language of the people here seems to
have retained many traces of the Portuguese, who were here before the
English. For instance, the bishop is called de Lord Padre, and I go
by the name of Padre Sahib.

  [Sidenote: NATIVE SERVANTS.]

We have no bells by which to summon the servants, who lie on the mat
outside the room door; when we require them we call out, without
rising from the sofa, "Qui hi?" (who is there?) then the sirdar,
or valet, runs in. We give him our orders, which he reports to the
others. Although I am staying at the bishop's, and dine at his
table, and use his carriage, I am obliged to have five servants. I
have one kitmajar, or waiter, who does nothing but attend at table.
The bishop's kitmajars will wait only upon their own master. Then
I have one ayah, or lady's-maid, for my wife; a sirdar, or bearer;
and a matee-sirdar, or assistant-bearer. These men make the beds
and assist me to dress. I have also a punkah-bearer--that is, a man
who sits outside the room, and is constantly employed in pulling
a string fastened to a punkah, or enormous fan, without which no
Englishman could live in India. Besides these I pay a pooney-bearer,
or water-carrier, and a matranes. When I go up the country I shall
be obliged to have a consummar, or head servant; a dobee, or
washerwoman; a dugay, or tailor; a syce, or grass-cutter; and one or
two others. We cannot do with less, because, if I were to ask the
kitmajar to fetch my coat, he would twist his mustachios, and say,
"Me no sirdar;" or if I were to ask my sirdar to wait at table, he
would say, "Kitmajar no do dat."

August 6, 1842.

  [Sidenote: CUTTACK.]

The bishop has changed my appointment from Assam to Cuttack. The
different towns I shall have under my jurisdiction are Midnapore,
Balasore, and Poonee. Midnapore is situated eighty miles south of
Calcutta, and Cuttack two hundred and forty. Poonee stands on the
coast a little to the south of the great plain of Juggernat'h, which
forms a part of my district.

We expect to leave Calcutta next week, and shall go down the river
as far as Ooloberriab. Here we shall quit the boat for palanquins,
and shall travel by night, it being too sultry to proceed by day. At
Midnapore we shall stay for a few days at the judge's house, whilst
I look about for one. Here we shall probably remain about three
months, and shall then proceed to Poonee. Whichever of the two towns
I discover to be the pleasantest and most agreeable I shall make my
permanent abiding-place, only travelling occasionally to each of the
others. Every one tells me my station is one of the healthiest in
Bengal. Midnapore, standing on a high hill, will be best for the wet
weather; Poonee, on the sea, for the hot months; and Cuttack, with a
nice sea-breeze, for the winter.

The principal dangers we have to apprehend on our journey to
Midnapore are the dacoits, or mountain robbers, the tigers, and the
sudden swelling of the rivers from the rains.

Now, I must tell you a little of our mode of life here. At half-past
five in the morning we have a cup of coffee, and then go out for a
ramble. It is the only hour in the day in which it is possible to
walk. If we were to go out for half an hour in the middle of the day
it would most likely cause our death. At seven we take a cold bath,
and pour great jars of water over our heads. I used to enjoy bathing
in England, but here it becomes the greatest possible luxury. After
this is over we read or write until nine, and then breakfast. At two
we have tiffin, which is lunch, with plenty of meat. At five in the
afternoon we have an hour's drive, at half-past seven we dine, at
nine tea, and to bed at ten. These are the regular Indian hours, but
as soon as I have a house of my own I mean to dine at three.

When on any occasion I ask for a glass of cold water it is brought
to me with a lump of ice in it. This is excessively refreshing in a
country like this, where the thermometer is at 90°. It is brought in
shiploads from America. At new and full moon there is what is called
a "bore" in the river Hoogly, that is, the tide, instead of coming up
gradually, swells up in one large wave. When I saw it the other day
it rose thirty feet in height.

Midnapore, September 12, 1842.


On the 14th of August I sent two boats full of furniture to
Midnapore, and on the 16th we started ourselves in a boat with two
large cabins and one small. I had nine Indians to manage it. Another
smaller boat contained our palanquins, two servants, and a little
sort of kitchen.

In going down the Hoogly river we met with an accident, and were
nearly overturned; the wind drove us with great force against a large
ship in a severe squall. We however reached Ooloberriab, a native
village on Hoogly, in safety. Here we turned into a canal, up which
we journeyed for some miles, and then anchored for the night. The
next morning, having slept on board, we proceeded on our course, and
reached the Khatah Ghat, or landing-place (pronounced gaut), at about
twelve o'clock. Here we remained until four in the afternoon, entered
our palanquins, a kind of square boxes, which are carried on men's
shoulders, handsomely painted outside, with soft cushions inside,
and lamps like a carriage. In this sort of thing we move about
everywhere, and in crossing a river do not wet our feet. To each
palanquin there are eight bearers, four of whom are employed at a
time; one mussuaulchee, or torch-bearer, runs by the side, along with
one baugh-whaller, to carry boxes made of tin, and called patarahs.
Each man carries two slung to a stick over his shoulder.

My wife travels in one palanquin, and I in another. We had taken care
to write beforehand that a dâk, or men, might be in readiness to
carry us on at each stage; and we therefore proceeded rapidly through
the whole night.

  [Sidenote: ARRIVAL.]

Soon after leaving Khatah Ghat we found the road for two miles under
water, which reached far above the men's knees; and at one time,
indeed, I was afraid it would have entered the palanquin; but the
only accident that actually happened was the breaking of one of the
baughley-whaller's sticks, and the tin patarah, containing clothes,
floated away, but, after some trouble, was again secured. We slept
most comfortably in our palanquins during our journey, and arrived at
Midnapore early in the morning. Here we stayed at the house of the
judge until I could choose a home for myself, in which we are now
at last settled. Everybody here is most kind and hospitable, and,
indeed, it is necessary it should be so, for, excepting in Calcutta,
there are no inns, and travellers would fare very badly were the
houses of the principal people closed against them. But when you go
on a visit you must be careful to take your own servants, sheets,
towels, and soap. My house is called a bungalow, which I chose as
being the most economical. A bungalow is a thatched cottage, with
only one ground story.

The floors of the rooms are not made of wood, but a sort of cement
which looks like stone. The house stands in the midst of a large
field called a compound, which belongs to me, and the servants'
dwellings are scattered around.

I have a flower and kitchen garden, fowl-house and place for goats,
kitchen, stable, cowhouse, and a banyan-tree. The pathways through
the grass are of fine gravel, and the hedges are composed almost
entirely of aloes and cactuses, mixed with a very sweet-smelling
flowering shrub, and here and there a bamboo, which is a most
beautiful tree, resembling a very tall weeping-willow. The
sensitive-plant grows wild about the compound, and bears a very pink
flower resembling that of the red cloves.

The banyan-tree is abundant here. Each branch projects stalks
downwards, which take root in the earth, and after a few years one
tree resembles a cluster, and covers a large space of ground. I have
several aloes in my garden, which are just flowering. They have
thrown up a straight stalk about twenty feet high. A large cactus is
now in bloom. It is about ten feet high, and each stem or leaf is
thicker round than my leg. This kind bears a very beautiful large
white flower, which opens only at night. In my kitchen-garden are the
mango, the plantain, Indian corn, pine-apple trees, and many others.

Carpets are not used here, but the floors are covered instead
with India matting. In each room is a punkah, which I have before

We procure water for drinking from a large tank or pond; and as we
cannot purchase meat, I have provided myself with thirty-five ducks,
sixty fowls, four goats, and three kids, which last are almost ready
to eat; the goats we shall keep for their milk. The judge made me a
present of a beautiful fawn of the spotted deer, which is becoming
very tame. I am just going to join a mutton-club. Four persons enter
into partnership, and agree to keep a small flock of sheep; one of
which is killed twice a week, and then each partner is provided with
a quarter of mutton, and each in turn has the liver, heart, and head.
A gentleman yesterday sent me four guinea-fowls, and another has
promised me six pigeons as soon as I have a place to keep them in.

  [Sidenote: INSECTS.]

I have just begun to make a collection of insects, snakes, and
butterflies and moths, of the most beautiful kind. The chameleon is
very common, and changes its colour according to the temper it is in.
I have one which is generally of a brilliant green; but if its anger
be roused, it becomes covered with large black spots, and when hungry
with white spots. These are the only changes in its colour I have as
yet observed: but I have seen others yellow; others, again, black,
with yellow spots. It is said that each chameleon has ten different
variations of colour. There is to be seen here a light-brown lizard,
called the bloodsucker, which is constantly running about the walls
in the rooms. Whenever we take up a paper or a book, we are sure to
find two or three cockroaches under it--not such cockroaches as you
may see in England, but great ones three or four inches long. The
grasshoppers come into the house in numbers, and grow to an uncommon
size. You may hear them chirruping half a mile off. The ants, of
which there are three sorts, are a great nuisance. Every house swarms
with them; and unless the legs of tables, drawers, &c., are kept
constantly standing in jars of water, they attack the dinner-cloths,
and in fact everything they can reach: 1st, there is a very small red
ant, whose bite causes a very hard red swelling, which continues very
painful for some days; 2nd, a great black ant, about the size of an
English wasp, which bites, but does not sting; 3rd, the white ant,
rather larger than the common English ant, which come in a swarm, and
in one night will devour a table or a shelf full of books. You may
come down in the morning and find your table and books apparently all
right, but no sooner do you touch them than they all crumble away to

  [Sidenote: REPTILES.]

There are a great number of snakes about here, though I have not yet
seen one. I suspect that my mungoose or ichneumon keeps them away,
as he is an inveterate enemy to all vermin. A venomous lizard, about
a foot long, black, with yellow stripes down the sides, often comes
into our verandah, but as soon as it hears the mungoose it disappears
with all possible despatch; as do also the poisonous centipedes, of
which there are several in the house. The noise of the mungoose is
very peculiar, generally purring like a cat, but when angry it barks
short and snappishly, while every hair on its long tail stands on end.

I have already mentioned to you that there are here the tiger, the
lion, the monkey, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant (tame), the
spotted deer, the jackal, the flying fox: all these I shall describe
as the opportunities offer; now I shall tell you something about the

I was walking out early in the morning, and reached a very large
pepul-tree, covered with its red berries. Presently I heard some one
chattering over my head, and looking up beheld an enormously long ape
as tall as myself, with a white face and great whiskers. He gazed
at me for a moment, and then chattered again. The noise becoming
louder and louder, I ran from under the tree, and soon saw a great
number of these animals of different sizes come leaping down, and,
after a stare, as much as to say "don't follow us," they made a few
tremendous leaps, and escaped into the jungle.

The Indian buffalo has no hump on its back. It is like an immense
black cow, but exceedingly fierce. As yet I have seen only tame
ones. A gentleman who lives here was walking out in the jungle the
other evening, with the intention of shooting some birds, when he
saw before him a large bull buffalo. When alone these creatures are
much more fierce than when with the herd. He did not, therefore,
much relish his close acquaintance; and, turning round, strove to
creep quietly away. Hearing a loud roar behind him, he looked back,
and beheld the buffalo in full chase after him, tossing his head
most furiously. The gentleman scarcely knew what to do, as there
was no tree near into which he might climb; but he was surrounded
by low bushes. Turning suddenly round, therefore, he stood still,
and, looking steadfastly at the buffalo, loaded his gun. On came the
animal, nearer and nearer, looking fiercer and fiercer. At last, when
about twenty yards off, he stopped one minute as if in hesitation,
and then, with a loud roar, turned his head, and, tearing up the
ground with his hoofs, was on the point of rushing onward, when the
gentleman raised his gun as a last resource, and fired. The ball
entered through the eye into the brain, and the monster rolled over
the plain.

I have since seen the skull and the horns, which are of great size.
The elephants are very large, and there are none but tame ones here.
The major of the regiment quartered at this place has offered to lend
us one whenever we are inclined for a ride.

The jackals are a source of great annoyance at night: they come into
the compound and howl round the house, and make a dreadful noise,
but are not dangerous. There are swarms of wild dogs too here,
called pariah dogs--quite harmless. They resemble a hairy greyhound
with a fox's head. The flying-fox is a sort of bat. Its large black
wings are nearly four feet from tip to tip, and the body is like a
small fox. They fly about the trees at night, and pick the fruit and
berries. The birds are very beautiful. There are many sorts of doves
and pigeons. One sort of the last-named is quite green; as is also
the fly-catcher, which has a long single feather in the middle of his
tail. The mango is about the size of a pigeon, yellow, with green
stripes. There are also the pretty little amadavad, and many others.

I am making a collection of large beetles.

  [Sidenote: SOIL--CLIMATE.]

Midnapore is situated on a high table-land, or flat-topped hill,
about six miles across, and is much cooler than the greater part of
India. The soil is about a foot deep, and underneath it is a volcanic
rock, so porous that the rain soaks into it as soon as it falls, thus
rendering the place dry and healthy. From the middle of June to the
middle of October there are tremendous storms of rain almost every
day. Then it is cool and pleasant till February. After that time the
heat increases, and the weather is quite dry until April; from which
time until June it is intensely hot, with occasional hurricanes and
thunderstorms, of which we have had several most magnificent ones
lately; and from the height of the hills we seem almost to be in the
midst of them.

  [Sidenote: PRODUCTIONS.]

Indigo, rice, and grain are plentiful. The first is obtained by
soaking the leaves of the plant in water until they are rotten, when
they deposit a thick blue sediment, which is formed into cakes, and
is used for dyeing cloths.

We have some wild silkworms, from which the natives manufacture a
coarse sort of silk. The rice grows in fields which are under water,
and looks like barley. These fields beautifully illustrate the
expression in the Bible about casting your seed upon the waters, and
after many days you shall find it again.

The greatest expenses here are servants and house-rent. I pay for
my house, which is one of the cheapest in Midnapore, forty rupees
a-month; a rupee is two shillings. I keep as few domestics as I can;
but am obliged to have eleven men and one woman. The men are--

    1 consummar, or headman.
    1 kitmajar, or waiter at table.
    1 sirdar, who attends to lamps, furniture, &c.
    1 bearer, who works the punkah and helps the sirdar.
    1 dirgee, or tailor, who mends stockings, and makes gowns, coats,
        shirts, &c.
    2 maistrees, or carpenters.
    2 mollees, or gardeners.
    1 motee, who sweeps the rooms and keeps them in order.
    1 beastee, or water-carrier.

We neither feed nor clothe them: indeed their food consists of
nothing but rice, except the consummar and kitmajar, who are
Mussulmans. Their pay varies from three to ten rupees a-month. Many
people keep forty or fifty men. The sirdar, or bearer, sleeps on a
mat in the verandah; the others in houses in the compound. They are
all forbidden by their religion to do the work of any other; their
fathers and grandfathers performed the same duties, and so will their
sons and grandsons also. They are a thievish set, and we dare not
leave anything in their way that they can steal.

There is at this moment a little grey squirrel hopping about in
the verandah,--facing the gate of the compound are several tame
buffaloes,--and a little beyond is an elephant lying down basking in
the sun and lashing his trunk about upon the grass.

There is an insect here called the flying-bug; it resembles in
appearance a very large ant with wings, and, if one of them flies
through the room, it leaves so disagreeable a smell that it can
hardly be borne for an hour afterwards.

September 15.

  [Sidenote: THE "POUJAH OF TOOLS".]

To-day is a rustic festival; the carpenters and all other workmen
have a holiday, and, daubing all their tools with red paint, cover
them with flowers, and then kneel down and worship them, and beg them
to work well and not to break during the next year. This is called
the "poujah of tools."

October 9, 1842.

  [Sidenote: STORM.]

We have had several thunderstorms here. A few days ago I saw a large
black cloud coming up against the wind. Gradually it spread until it
covered the whole sky. The wind now died away for a few minutes, and
then rose again and seemed to rush from all quarters of the heavens
at once, and formed a sort of whirlwind round Midnapore; then from
the darkest part of the cloud flashed a vivid streak of lightning,
followed almost immediately by a terrific clap of thunder. For three
hours the storm continued, and scarcely three minutes elapsed between
each clap, while we saw the lightning running along the ground for
several yards.

  [Sidenote: SNAKE.]

The other morning two men who lived in Midnapore caught a cobra de
capello, or hooded snake, and they were examining it when suddenly it
bit them both, and they died in the course of half an hour. We have
not yet seen any snakes in our house, although most people frequently
find them. This, as I think I told you, I attribute to our keeping
the mungoose, of which the snakes are much afraid.

The chikary, or huntsman, makes a large oval shield, which he covers
over with leaves: in the upper part are two very small holes. When
he perceives a bird he crouches down behind his screen, keeping a
watch through the two little holes, and creeping on very slowly. When
he has approached near enough, he thrusts forward a long thin stick
like a fishing-rod, and touches the bird with one end of it, on which
there is a little lime; the bird sticks to it, and then the man draws
back the pole and secures the animal.

In this way a great number of partridges are taken, with snipes,
woodcocks, pigeons, &c. I had two hoopoes given me the other day. The
Major who commands this station has four elephants for the use of
the troops under him, to carry their tents when they are marching;
and whenever we like it he lends us one for a ride. On the back of
the elephant is placed a large pad, and on that is a thing like a
great cradle, with two seats in it. A man sits on the neck with his
feet in stirrups of rope, and a pointed piece of iron in his hand,
which he presses behind the elephant's ears to guide him. Another
man runs by the side and encourages the animal in Hindustanee. When
we want to get on his back, the man on the neck presses the iron rod
on the middle of the animal's head, and he kneels down; a ladder is
immediately brought, and we climb up into the seat, or houdah, as it
is called, and then the huge monster rises again. His pace is very
slow and very jolting. He is not allowed to pass over any bridges,
lest his weight should shake them down; he accordingly goes through
the water instead. Neither may he go where he is likely to meet many
horses, lest he should frighten them.

My costume here would make you smile. I wear thin shoes, white
stockings, white trowsers, a short black cassock reaching a
little below the knees, and a hat made of pith covered with black
merino--the crown is about four inches high, and the rim about six
or seven inches wide. This is my out-of-door dress. Indoors, unless
when any one calls, I wear a white jacket instead of the cassock. I
am without any waistcoat. At a dinner-party, black silk socks, black
trowsers, and my long black silk cassock.

The only coins in use at Midnapore are the pice and the rupee;
the pice is worth a farthing and a half, and the rupee about two
shillings. Another kind of money passes here, viz. a little shell
called a cowrie, of which 120 are worth a pice. At Madras and
Calcutta there are many other sorts.

The insects are a great nuisance here. If the candles were not
protected by a glass shade they would be instantly extinguished.
Thousands of insects of all sizes swarm, jumping and flying about the
lamps, of all colours, green, yellow, blue; and many of them sting,
whilst others smell most abominably.

Every morning the mollie, or gardener, brings in a basket of
vegetables for us to look at, and select what we shall require for
the day's consumption. The cold weather here begins about the middle
of October, generally on the 15th, and we are all looking very
anxiously for it; but by cold I mean only such a lower degree of heat
as will enable us to go out in the middle of the day (provided we
carry a great parasol), which we cannot do now.


At a dinner-party every one brings his or her own table servant. This
assemblage has a very pretty appearance: the ladies are all in white
dresses and short sleeves, and the gentlemen in white jackets and
trowsers, except the Major and myself; he wears a red jacket, and I
a black cassock. Behind each chair stands a dark-brown man with long
black beard and mustachios, dressed in a sort of white tunic and a
white turban, with a coloured sash wound several times round the
waist. As it would be the greatest mark of disrespect for a servant
to appear in the presence of his master with covered feet, they all
leave their shoes outside the door. After the meat is cleared away,
before the puddings are brought in, the servants go out and smoke for
five minutes. There is not a man, either Mussulman or Hindoo, except
of the very lowest caste, who would eat anything that came from the
table of a European. They would consider it a degradation, and would
not even drink out of anything we had ever used, or touch what we
had cooked. The Hindoos eat only once a-day, unless on their grand
feasts. Their food then is boiled rice, with perhaps an onion and a
little spice in it, which they eat with their hands.

  [Sidenote: LANGUAGE.]

The language of this country, though confessedly a compound of two
or three Eastern tongues, appears to me to have many remains of
what must have been the original language of man, that is to say,
those which must have existed from the very earliest time bear a
close propinquity to the words of other and later languages. Several
instances which came under my notice bear out this opinion.

It is curious to observe how the different castes or ranks here keep
distinct, and it is this which renders so many servants necessary.
The man who lays the cloth would feel degraded by dusting a chair,
and he who dusts the chair would rather leave his place than dust the
room. Again, two men of different castes will neither eat, drink, nor
sleep together. Their bed is a mere mat, which explains well that
saying of our Saviour, "Take up thy bed and walk."

The other day my basin had not been emptied. I told the carah of it,
whose business it is to attend to my apartment, and he went a hundred
or more yards to call the matee, because it would have been beneath
his dignity to throw the water out into the adjoining bath-room.
The men here are a sadly idle set; they make almost slaves of their
wives. Early in the morning we may see troops of women going out into
the jungle, from which they return in the evening with great fagots
of wood; these fagots are about twelve feet in length, and in the
middle quite two in thickness, and are carried on the head. The poor
creatures are obliged continually to stop and rest.

The higher classes of the natives wear a kind of loose white gown,
down to the knees, and very loose trowsers, also white embroidered
slippers, no stockings, and a white turban. The lower classes wear
nothing but a long white cloth tied round their hips.

Every one here, both native and European, takes a cold bath at
least once a-day. When a native dies his body is burnt, and to
make the funeral pile every native keeps four or five large trees
growing in his garden. As soon as he dies, one, or two, or three
trees, according to the man's rank, are cut down and surrounded
with a great quantity of dry stubble, on which the body is placed.
Formerly, his wife was burnt alive at the same time. This was called
a sati. There are a great many tombs of holy men about the country,
and on these the people throw little wooden images. There is one
tomb here on which are placed two large dumb-bells, and the people
imagine that every Sunday night the man who is buried there rises
up and plays with them. There is one very disagreeable custom here,
which exists more or less all over India; it is called dustoorie.
Whenever anything is bought, for every rupee that is paid the seller
is obliged to give the servant of the purchaser two pice; so that
the more he has to buy, the better it is for the servant; and if
a master were to say he would not allow dustoorie, no native would
enter his service.

I have just been to look at the man who is making me some white
jackets. The women here never do any needlework. The men sit down on
the floor, and hold the work between the great toe and the next.


I was the other day in want of a sheet of pith, on which to fasten
some butterflies, and, going into my dressing-room, where I knew I
had left four pieces on a shelf only the day before, I found them
apparently in good condition; but, on taking them up, discovered them
to be only so much dust. I then examined the other things upon the
shelf, and found them to be in the same state. This was the work of
the white ant, which was swarming about. I called the carah and sent
him to the bazaar, or the place where all the little shops are, and
told him to procure me sixteen pice worth of turpentine, and when it
was brought I spread it over the shelf, and, soaking into the wood,
it destroyed the ants. If let alone they would, in about two days,
have eaten the chest of drawers, all my clothes, and everything in
the room. I have just been engaged in catching with a green net on
the end of the bamboo a most beautiful swallow-tailed butterfly, and
in doing so frightened away a jackal, who was so impertinent as to
intrude into the compound in the middle of the day.

Midnapore, November 11, 1842.

A friend has just made me a present of a very small kind of monkey,
about nine inches high, of a light-brown colour. His antics are
often very amusing. I fasten him by a chain to a thick pole in the
compound, at the top of which is his house. He will sometimes turn
his waterpot upside down and sit on it in the gravest possible
manner. He will then perhaps stoop down and gather a blade of grass,
and examine it as attentively as though he were inquiring to what
species and genus it belonged. Perhaps by this time several large
knowing-looking crows, something like English magpies, will have
collected round him, holding their heads on one side and looking as
if they were listening very attentively to his lecture on botany.
Presently you would see the sly little monkey turn his eye to see
how near they are, and then with one bound he will catch hold of the
nearest crow by the neck; but the crow is the stronger of the two
and always gets away safe. These crows are as common as sparrows
and quite as tame, for they will hop into the verandah and pick up
anything the parrots drop. We have two parrots; they are of a kind
very common here; so I told a man to go out and catch me a couple, as
I wanted to teach them to talk. He did so, and they are now getting
very tame. I gave him a few pice for his trouble. They are of a
kind that I do not remember ever to have seen in England. The upper
mandible is red, the lower black. From the lower mandible extends on
each side a broad black stripe, to where we suppose the ears to be;
and there is another black stripe from one eye to the other. These
stripes give the bird a very peculiar appearance. The upper circle
resembles a pair of tortoiseshell spectacles.

I had a young hyæna given to me, which I made every endeavour to
tame, giving him milk and food, but nevertheless as soon as I
approached he flew at me. As he has scarcely any teeth I did not fear
him, but took him in my arms, being careful to keep a tight hold on
his neck. He slept during the day, but showed an inclination to go
out at night, but, not being permitted to do so, continued making the
most extraordinary noises resembling the sobbing of a child in pain.
The servants were all afraid of him. Having kept us awake that night,
I resolved the next to try him outside the house, and accordingly,
fastening him up, I gave him a box to sleep in. The next morning I
found he was dead. The servants declared he had been killed by a pack
of jackals, but I shrewdly suspected they themselves to have been

The other day I caught one of those beautiful little squirrels which
I have before described. It is grey, with a broad yellow stripe down
each side. The body is about as big as my thumb, and the tail the
size of my middle finger. I borrowed a common squirrel's cage, but
the little thing was so small that it immediately struggled through
the wires, and the mungoose, perceiving it, killed and devoured it. A
great many of them live in the thatch of our house.

  [Sidenote: MUSK-RAT--MUNGOOSE.]

The musk-rat is a small sharp-snouted animal, from which musk may be
extracted. The scent rising from it is overpowering. All the houses
here swarm with them, but the mungoose has either killed or driven
away all that were here, and our house therefore is quite free from
the smell. The mungoose is very destructive. I just left the room for
a few minutes, and while absent it commenced demolishing some eggs
which I had brought in from the fowl-house: there were eight on the
table; he had broken five over my papers and then dipped his paws in
the ink and ran over the table. Whilst punishing him for this fault I
held him by the neck, but he nevertheless managed to give me a severe
scratch with his claws. He is a thorough beast of prey, and will eat
nothing but animal food except sugar.

  [Sidenote: COBRA DE CAPELLO.]

The prawns here are most delicious, and many of them are as large
as a good-sized lobster. I was crossing my compound in the dusk a
few evenings ago, after feeding my fowls and ducks. I walked slowly,
thinking of England and my children, when I happened suddenly to cast
my eyes upon the ground. I started back on perceiving within two
paces of me the dreaded cobra de capello--its head raised, its hood
expanded, and manifesting every sign of anger. Two, or at most three,
steps more, and I should have trodden upon it and received the fatal
bite. Unfortunately I had no stick in my hand; I called the servants
to bring bamboos, but by the time they came it had glided into its
hole, and I went home thanking the Supreme Being who had saved me
from the fearful danger. Since that time I have not been out without
a large bamboo in my hand, for, although I have stopped up the hole,
yet the cobra de capello is, no doubt, still in my compound. The bite
of this snake is most deadly.

During the last fortnight I have heard of three persons having been
killed by it in Midnapore. Two of them were hunters, the other was
one of the wives of the Rajah. She put her hand into a cupboard
to procure something, when a cobra, which had concealed itself
there, bit her. When a person is wounded by this venomous reptile he
generally expires within an hour. The only possible cure, and that is
an uncertain one, is to swallow every few minutes a glass of brandy
with some eau de luce, or smelling-salts, dissolved in it, while a
man stands near beating you with a heavy whip. Or, instead of this,
you may be fastened to a carriage and be compelled to run as fast as
possible. The object is to keep you awake, for the danger of the bite
consists in the heavy lethargy it produces. The remedies applied,
however, are sure to bring on a violent fever, which frequently
proves fatal. Few diseases in this country last longer than an hour
or two. Fever, cholera, and inflammation of the liver, the three
great scourges of India, commonly prove fatal within from two to
twelve hours, so that no one can exist here without being constantly
reminded of the uncertainty of human life. It is curious that I, who
dreaded so greatly the reptiles of India, should have been at once
sent to the station where they most abound, for there is probably
no place in Bengal where serpents and lizards are so plentiful. Our
house is infested by numbers of centipedes, which get on the chairs
and on the clothes in a most unpleasant manner. However, we have
neither of us yet been bitten.

I have not seen a scorpion alive. My wife and I were walking in the
compound the other day, when we saw a very large snake looking at
us through the hedge of aloes. It was of a light-brown, and was, I
think, five or six feet long.

The other day my servants brought me in a venomous snake which they
said they had killed in the compound; I took it up by its tail and
carried it into my wife's dressing-room to show it to her. I laid it
down on the floor, and soon it began to wriggle away, and, raising
its head, turned at us. Fortunately there was a stick at hand, and,
taking it up, I killed the animal with one blow. So great is the
dread of them here, that no one ever sleeps without a light, lest,
stepping out of bed at night, he should place his foot upon some
venomous creature; most people keep a long bamboo in every room. We
never put on our shoes without first examining well to see that
there is nothing alive in them. The oil which we burn in the evening
and at night is extracted from the cocoa-nut and has a most agreeable
smell. For this purpose cocoa-nuts are brought from Ceylon and all
the neighbouring islands. This oil could not be used in England,
because it congeals into a sort of fat when the thermometer is at 64°.

  [Sidenote: YAMS--POTATOES.]

We have a kind of root here which they call a yam, although I do not
think it is one. It is brown outside and white within; about two feet
long and thickest at the middle, where it is four inches in diameter.
This they boil and then fry into lumps; it is exceedingly nice.
Potatoes are scarce, dear, and bad, except sweet ones, which I like;
they are very stringy, and taste like potatoes mixed with sugar.

  [Sidenote: BAMBOO.]

I think I have described to you the graceful appearance of the
bamboo-tree, but it is its extreme usefulness that renders it so
precious. It is a sort of hollow strong cane, and serves for the
upright posts at the corners of the native houses and also for the
door-posts. To our own bungalows or thatched houses it forms the
rafters to support the thatch; it is used for scaffolding and for
ladders without any shaping or preparing. One joint of it makes a
very good bottle; a long piece of it, with one side cut off and the
stoppage at the joints cut away, makes a waterspout or watercourse,
or a thing for fowls to eat or drink out of. In short, it would be
tedious to enumerate the many uses to which it is put.

I had the other day an instance of the extent to which servants carry
the system of doing each his own work and no one's else. I had been
feeding the parrots with a little rice and had spilt a few grains
of it upon the table. I called the barah, or furniture-cleaner: he
said it was the parrot's food, and therefore it was the waiter's
business to clean it up. I told him to do as he was bid, but he would
not, and then I said that if he did not I should discharge him with
a character for disobedience; this he preferred to doing what he
considered was not his own work, so I sent him away at once.

None of my servants can speak a word of English, and I am sometimes
rather at a loss on this account; but I always keep a dictionary on
the table, and I am rapidly acquiring a knowledge of the Hindustanee
language. There are no shops that Europeans can go to, except at
Calcutta. In the country, which is called the Mofussil, a sort of
pedlers come round with goods. I offer them generally one-third of
the price they name, and they in most cases take it. The other day,
my wife was making up her accounts, and asked the kitmajar how much
he had given for a certain article; the man said, "Three rupees."
My wife replied that she did not think he had given so much; he
answered, "Yes, three rupees." She said, "Now, I don't believe you
gave more than two rupees;" to which his answer was, "Yes, I gave two
rupees." Still she did not credit him, and said, "Now, I am sure you
only gave one rupee;" and he replied, "Yes, one rupee." And he was
quite satisfied: and all this time he answered as calmly as possible,
and did not appear in the least ashamed; and yet this man is one who
is considered a very good servant, and whom I believe to be as honest
as any one I have.

November 12.

  [Sidenote: EARTHQUAKE.]

Last night, a little before ten o'clock, my wife was gone to bed, and
I was sitting up reading and writing. In this country, you may know,
the servants at each house, instead of having a clock, strike a gong
at every hour. It is a flat circular plate of bell-metal, which, when
struck with a wooden mallet, gives forth a very loud ringing sound.
Just before the gong struck ten, I heard a noise like that of a buggy
(or gig with a large head to it to keep the sun off) approaching.[2]
I thought to myself, "Why, there must be a party somewhere to-night;"
at which I wondered not a little, because every one asks the Padre
Sahib to their parties, and I had received no invitation. The next
moment the noise seemed to increase, and become like the motion of
a large heavy carriage. Almost immediately after, with a sound like
rolling thunder, the whole house rocked backwards and forwards,
while I was nearly thrown off the chair on which I was sitting.

The rumbling continued, I should think, for about a minute before the
shock of the earthquake came, and for about a quarter of a minute
after, while the shock itself may have occupied about ten minutes.

I was quite startled; and, proceeding to my wife's bed-room, advised
her to get up and put on something warm, lest we should have to pass
the night out of doors. I then went to the store-room, and made the
best provision I could for a bivouac: my preparations were, however,
needless, as the shock was not repeated.

I can compare the motion to nothing so well as to the pitching of a
small boat in a short cross-sea, or where two tides meet one another.
My wife said her bed gave two distinct pitches up and down. While
I was making my preparations for departure I heard a loud noise of
crows, ducks, fowls, and all sorts of birds, cawing, cackling, and
screaming, as if they were very much frightened. The natives all
round started up and blew their conchs (a sort of shell, which they
use instead of a trumpet); and this morning every one is talking
about the earthquake.

  [Sidenote: POPULATION.]

Speaking of the natives reminds me of the subject of the population
of India, which is very much exaggerated. It cannot be compared, in
proportion to the extent of the country, to that of England. There
are said to be 40,000 natives in Midnapore, though I much doubt the
fact; and then on every side, farther than the eye can reach, extends
a vast expanse of thick jungle (that is, bushes growing so close
together as to be altogether impassable, and full of tigers, deer,
leopards, buffaloes, elephants, &c.); and as the same is the case
throughout the whole of India, I should think that nine-tenths of the
country consists of thick, close jungle, or enormous swamps. Here and
there, amidst all this, is found a small native village, composed of
a few huts; but the population in such places is probably not above
one in thirty square miles on the average; this is, of course, a
mere rough guess. The jungle-men, who are nearly black, though not
at all resembling the negro in feature, are said to be the original
inhabitants of the country. Their religion is unknown, and I believe
they possess no written language. The people were driven into the
bushes by the lighter race of men, whom many suppose to have been
some of the ancient Egyptians, probably not less than two or three
thousand years ago. Amongst this race sprang up, even subsequently
to this, the religion, or rather superstition, of Hindooism. Again,
about seven or eight hundred years ago, the whole country was overrun
and conquered by the Mohammedans. Seventy or eighty years ago we
obtained a firm footing in a small portion of the country. Not long
after, the Mahratta chiefs attacked the Mohammedans in various
places; the Mohammedans called upon us for assistance; and thus we in
time became possessors of almost the whole country.

The greatest difficulty in the pronunciation of the language is the
letter _h_, which is always aspirated, and never pronounced as it is
in our _th_, and yet this letter often comes after a consonant.

The money in the Mofussil, or country, is a source of much annoyance.
If you want to change a ten-pound note, they give you no gold, but
100 rupees; if you want change for a rupee, they give you 64 pice;
and if you change a pice, they give you 24 cowries. But as there are
no shops, and all the people bring their goods to the house, this
does not signify much.

If you were to go to Midnapore, and to ask a native where Acland
Sahib lived (sahib means white gentleman), he would not be able
to tell you; but if you were to ask for the Padre Sahib, he would
immediately direct you to my house.

When I came here I was going to stay with the judge: I told the
palanquin-bearers to take me to his house, mentioning his name, and
we were carried to almost every house in the station; until at last
we met a European, who told the men it was the judge sahib we wanted,
and then they soon found the place. I am called Padre Sahib; Mrs.
Acland is Padre Sahib ke Mem, or Padre Sahib's lady; a married woman,
mem sahib; an old maid is mem; and a young lady is bibi sahib, or
white lady baby.


The weather is now, comparatively speaking, delightful; the
thermometer is 76° in the middle of the day, and about 66° at sunrise
and early in the morning. I assure you we find it quite chilly, and
are obliged to walk very fast to get warm. Our hours are now--up at
six, feed the fowls, and walk till eight; bathe and dress till nine,
then breakfast; write, read, and work till four, then dinner; feed
the fowls and walk till half-past six; tea at seven. My wife works
and I read aloud till half-past eight; backgammon or cribbage till
half-past nine; then prayers, and to bed. Sometimes, however, I have
to go out and see my parishioners between breakfast and dinner, and
then I go in my palanquin. One great disagreeable is, the constant
change of people.

The regiment that was here, of which the Major and his wife were our
chief friends, has just been ordered away, and a new one is come in
its place. The Captain of Engineers has just offered to take us a
trip to the mountains, fifty miles off, on elephants. I do not know
yet whether we shall go or not. The historical name of my parish
would be, the Ooriah district, or the Oresta. Our time is six hours
earlier than in England.


[2] It is the most common sort of carriage in India.

Midnapore, December 13, 1842.


I am on the point of quitting this place for Cuttack. I have sold
the greater part of my furniture, as it is expensive to move; the
remainder is going forward on hackeries, or native carts. I want six
of these carts; about a dozen of them are come, and there is now a
crowd of native savages round the door, disputing as to who shall
go; and they were making so much noise that I was compelled to go
out and stop the cabal. I took a good thick stick in my hand, as if
I were about to beat them. I called out "Choop!" (or silence) as
loud as I could. I then explained that I only wanted six hackeries.
Then began a vociferation as to whose were the best. "Choop!--will
ye choop?" I roared again. I then called the mollee, and desired him
to turn out all the bullocks, for they had unfastened those which
drew the carts, and let them all loose in the rice-ground in the
compound, which was just ready for cutting. This order I hallooed
out loud enough for the men to hear; and told him, as soon as he had
done that, to come to me for a crowbar to break to pieces all the
hackeries but six. This made them submit; and although they still
continued making a great chattering, yet they soon began harnessing
their bullocks. With these people we are obliged to appear very
severe. They despise us as being of no caste; and were we not to be
firm, they would imagine we were afraid of them.

We are now engaged in packing up our things, and shall start on the
25th, reach Balasore on the 28th, and remain there ten days, and then
three days' more travelling will bring me to my head-quarters at

I have, with much trouble, endeavoured to persuade the people
here that they ought to build a church: the Mohammedans have a
splendid mosque, the Hindoos have a large temple, and yet we have no
consecrated building for the worship of the true God; but, however,
I hope this will be remedied. As I was passing the mosque the other
day, I saw the muezzin shouting out that it was time for prayer,
and stopping his ears with both hands, that he might not hear the
terrible noise which he himself was making.

  [Sidenote: GOATS.]

About a fortnight ago the judge went out shooting: he came to a large
hole under the root of a tree, and heard a loud growling. He is a
courageous man, so he was not afraid; but he told an Indian, who was
with him, to get behind the tree, and then poke a long stick into
the hole. Presently the growling became very loud and savage, and
then out jumped an enormous bear, one of the most savage sort--the
large black bear. The judge was ready, and shot it when it came out.
On examining the hole, three young bears, only a few days old, were
found. He sent for some Indians, who carried the dead body, and also
the cubs, home, and then, as he knew that I was fond of animals, he
sent the three little ones to me. They are very ugly, and cannot see
yet. One of my goats had just had a kid, so I told the cook to make
the kid into soup, and I brought the goat to the young bears. One man
held the goat, another covered her eyes with his hands, and a boy
held up the cubs to suck. The goat did not like it at all at first,
but now she is quite contented, almost as much so as if they were her
own young ones. I have given two of them away. In England you never
taste goat's milk: it is most delicious; far better, I think, than
cow's milk: we use it every day. Each goat, after the kid is taken
from her, gives about three-quarters of a pint a-day. The judge has
promised me a bottle full of the pure bear's grease.

Every one here knows that I am very fond of animals, and they are
all very kind in sending them to me. I received the other day from a
gentleman a present of a goat, which is quite as big as a small pony.
If I were to get on its back my feet would not touch the ground; it
is of a dark brown, and of the long-eared Thibet kind.

December 14.

  [Sidenote: BIRDS'-NESTS.]

I went out to tea last evening, and a lady gave me two nests made
of platted grass, into which the birds enter through a hole at the
bottom. They are about a yard long, and they hang swinging from the
branch of a tree to which they are fastened. They are built in this
form, in order to keep out the violent rains, and to preserve the
birds from the monkeys.

  [Sidenote: COST OF DRESS.]

The commonest articles of dress in Calcutta are at least three times
as dear as they are in England. I bought a silk hat which would have
cost five shillings at home, and paid fourteen rupees for it here;
and some ribbon, which would have been threepence a-yard in England,
cost a rupee and a half here. Then on the other hand many things are

There has been no rain for two months, nor a cloud until the last
day or two; now the clouds will continue to increase for a week, and
then we shall have three days of rain, after that no more till the
middle of June, except about three tremendous thunderstorms in April
and May. The weather is now delightful: the thermometer varies from
60° to 80°; but I am glad of cloth clothes, and at night we have
three blankets and a heavy counterpane. At this time of the year we
have peas, beans, &c., and every one looks happy and cheerful, not
healthy, for Europeans are all of a deadly white, and most of them
exceedingly fat.

December 16.

I was walking in the compound yesterday, and I saw something black,
shaped very much like a small lobster, except that it had a pointed
tail; and as soon as I went near it it turned its tail over its head
and tried to sting me. I managed to get him into a bottle, which I
filled with spirits.

The mungoose is very fond of serpents; he kills and eats them with
great rapidity, and then jumps into my wife's lap to ask for some

Balasore, Orissa, December 30, 1842.

The ancient house in which I live here is situated, like the rest of
Balasore, on a large flat plain, extending north, south, and west,
as far as I can see. The vegetation is scanty, and the trees are
small. But turn towards the east and the eye is arrested by a most
magnificent sight. At the distance of about seven miles rises quite
abruptly from the plain a splendid range of volcanic hills, about
two thousand feet in height. Judging from their appearance at this
distance, they must be composed of reddish lava without any grass,
but here and there a stumpy bush. I never saw anything to compare
with them before. In England our hills are always rounded at the top;
but here there are points and peaks and edges, as if you had been
trying to cut a piece of paper in zigzag lines.

About fifteen miles beyond these great hills tower a still loftier
range, lifting their deep-blue summits seven thousand feet into the
clouds, and forming a background for the nearer and better-defined

On Monday we start with a picnic party and tents, &c., to explore
these hills. We shall probably be out on our expedition for three or
four days.


After standing gazing at these magnificent hills, I walked towards
what appeared to be the remains of some mud hut: it was about five
feet high, and in irregular blunt points at the top. When I came
down to it I tried to break off one of the long bits, but it was too
strong, and was as hard as a wall. However, on the other side I found
a smaller projection, which I broke off by kicking against it, and
found it full of round passages perforating it in all directions, the
smallest about the size of a quill, the largest as big as my wrist.
This was the large white ants' hill. Immediately after I had broken
a portion of it there came a rush of the inhabitants from all the
passages to see what was the matter. They examined the parts broken,
and then some of them ran back. Presently a number more came, some
dragging forward the others until they got them quite to the edge,
when a bigger ant took hold of each of these prisoners and bit him in
the neck until he killed him. I suppose the prisoners were those who
had been on guard at that spot, or else those who built that part,
and so were punished for my fault. Soon, however, they turned and
attacked me, for I found many of them on my clothes and experienced
the smart of their bite.

I now walked forward, and the next thing I came to was a human skull.
In this part of the country wood is scarce, and therefore, when
any poor person dies, instead of burning his body, they wait till
evening, and then throw it out of doors, and by the next morning the
jackals and vultures have picked the bones quite clean, and the ants
then destroy all the fibres, whilst the sun bleaches the bones. I
have picked up several of these skulls in the last few days; they
appear very different from the skull of an European, being smaller,
and very much narrower from ear to ear in proportion to the length
from the eye to the back of the head; the forehead also retreats
much more. Presently I came to two bamboo-trees; between them on
the ground was a pair of doves, much smaller than our English ones,
and of a bright reddish purple. They were walking about, whilst out
of one of the bamboo-trees poked the head of a great snake, who was
quietly watching them. I frightened away the doves, as I guessed the
long gentleman's intentions. It is of a kind which does not hurt men,
of a dirty-brown colour, about seven feet long.

Turning towards the house again, I was struck by the very beautiful
plumage of a bird; its wings were striped transversely with black
and white; it was about the size of a blackbird, with yellow neck
and tail, and a very long head. It alighted on the ground and opened
a most beautiful round crest growing fore and aft on its head, the
colour of which, like the body, was an orange yellow, but there was
an edging of white and black. It was the hoopoe. The only other
striking thing I saw was a great vulture, with its naked red head and
its tattered-looking feathers, puffing away at the top of our house,
having most likely stuffed with human flesh till he could hardly
move; and when I threw a stone at him, he hopped a little way along
the roof and grunted.

January 2, 1843.

  [Sidenote: NATIVE LEGEND.]

Yesterday was New Year's day. I have just heard the origin of these
hills, and will put it down while I remember it. The story is from
one of the natives here.

"Many, many years ago there lived a giant in Ceylon, and this giant
fell in love with the daughter of another giant at Lucknow, in
Bengal, so he asked her father to let him marry her. But he said No,
as the other lived in a little island, and was no real gentleman at
all. Upon this Master Ceylon determined that, as her father said No,
he would take her without leave, and off he started, seized the young
lady, put her on his shoulders, and carried her across to Ceylon.
But when the papa found that his daughter was gone, he got into a
tremendous rage, and determined to go and punish the Ceyloney. So
off he hurried, until he came to the straits which separate the
island from the mainland. But when he tried to cross over, he found
that he was not quite so tall as the Ceylonese gentleman by a few
hundred yards, and that the water was too deep for him. So he stood
still, and he scratched his head and wiped his forehead with his
handkerchief, and thought and pondered what he should do to get
across and punish the wicked thief. At last an idea struck him, and
he trotted back all up India until he reached the Himalaya mountains,
and, snatching up two of the largest of them, one in each hand, threw
them into the straits, and thus made them shallow enough for him to
pass over. But as he went along some of the rocks and earth slipped
through his fingers, for you may suppose his hands were rather full;
and the chains of hills which extend from Balasore for nearly three
hundred miles are the pieces which he dropped as he went along." The
tale does not inform us whether the giant's daughter was restored to

  [Sidenote: NESTS OF WHITE ANTS.]

I have not been up the hills to-day, because some of the party
were frightened at the number of bears and tigers which are said
to be there; but I am in hopes we shall go in a few days. I have
been looking about me a good deal lately, and have noticed one very
curious thing. The ground for five or six miles from our house in one
direction seems to be covered with mounds of earth and small bushes;
on examining these closely, however, I find they are all the nests
of white ants. The green ones are those that are deserted, and over
which the grass has grown--the others are still inhabited. In the
plain visible from my window there must be many hundreds of thousands
of these hills, varying in height from three feet to ten or twelve,
and many of them six feet in diameter; and all of these are formed
by little insects no larger than the common English ant. One part
of their manner of building is most extraordinary: their nests are
always completely covered in, so that without kicking them you cannot
see a single ant inside; there are one or two doors in different
parts of the building, but they are seldom used.

Their mode of building is as follows:--One day, perhaps, you will
perceive a single pinnacle of an ants' nest. You go and see it one
day, and you find it slightly raised, but curved, like a headstone.
So it increases daily until it reaches the size I have described. It
is like a man building a house--as if he made a little closet with a
roof on it, and then went inside and stayed there, while the closet
swelled and swelled until it became a perfect house. At the foot of
these ant-hills are a number of large black ants on the watch for
any straggling white ants, which they kill and eat. These creatures
abound in all our houses, and run about the floors: they are about an
inch in length, and bite, but do not sting.

January 3.


I ought to give you some account of our voyage to this place. We
quitted Midnapore, after a hard week's packing, at nine o'clock on
Tuesday evening, December 27th. On the Monday we went to dine and
sleep at the house of the Captain of Engineers, because our own was
in such a condition from packing; and after dinner on Tuesday at nine
o'clock we entered our horrible palanquin. I flatter myself that
most of the people at Midnapore were very sorry when we left. We had
sixteen men to carry us, two mussalchees, or men who carry mussals
(torches made of long strips of cotton bound tightly together and
dipped in oil), and two banghy-bearers, to carry each two tin boxes
with our clothes in them.

We soon got clear of the station of Midnapore, and then the scene
became most wild and romantic--a narrow road, bounded on each side
by an interminable jungle, or plain covered with low bushes so
thickly matted together as to afford only passage to the deadly
cobra, the snarling jackal, and the ravenous tiger. On the road
our own palanquins, one a hundred yards in front of the other,
carried by black men with merely a cloth round their loins, the red
glaring torches showing the others who ran swiftly by their side,
the banghy-bearers trying to keep up with us, and all keeping up
a loud monotonous sing-song tune, which was varied occasionally
by the shrill cry of the jackal, the grinning snarl of the hyæna,
or in the distance the deeper roar of the tiger in search of his
prey--and yet in the midst of all this we both slept well, awakened
only occasionally by the plashing of the men through the fords of the
river or the stopping at a village to change bearers.

  [Sidenote: JELASORE.]

In the latter case we were not detained an instant, the fresh
relays being in attendance with as much patience and regularity
as if they were horses waiting for a coach. Thus we travelled on
without interruption until we reached Danton, called Dantoon. This
was about nine o'clock in the morning. At this place there is a
dâk-bungalow--that is, a bungalow, or thatched house, built by
Government for the accommodation of travellers. In Turkey it would
be called a caravanserai. Here there is a man with fire and water,
but the traveller brings his own provisions, wine, tea, bread, &c.,
in his palanquin, though he can generally get eggs. We stayed here
about two hours, and had some tea, eggs, and biscuits, and no one who
has not experienced it can have any idea of the comfort of a short
rest after a night of dâk travelling. Although you lie down in the
palanquin, yet every limb gets cramped, and the incessant jolting is
most painful to the bones, even of one so fat as I am, and I have
increased sadly in bulk since I came to India. Off we started again
a little before eleven, and at about one we reached the house of an
Indigo-planter at Jelasore. I never saw him before, but he received
us most hospitably. His wife was rejoiced to see us--she had not seen
a European lady for seventeen months, for their nearest neighbours
live at a distance of forty miles, or about twelve hours' journey.
Here we spent a most agreeable day, delighted with everything. In the
evening I took a walk with our kind host to see an old fort.

It must have been once very strong, and was probably built by the
Mahrattas as a depôt for plunder when they overran this part of the
country. In the inner court is a three-domed building, resembling,
except in ornament, a mosque. The walls are several feet thick,
built of hard stone strongly clamped together with iron. High up in
the interior of the centre dome are four niches, which I hope to
explore on some future occasion. The inner enclosure is surrounded
by a strong stone wall and a deep moat now dry. Beyond this is a
level space of a few yards in width, and then again, in another part
of the wall, there are signs of a narrow sallyport, and opposite to
this, between the trenches, as if it might have been reached by a
drawbridge, is a very high mound of earth. Over the sallyport there
has evidently been a strong tower, and above the central entrance
into the interior building is a stone with an inscription. It
appears very perfect, but no one can read it; it is neither Ooriah,
Hindustanee, Sanscrit, nor Persian. I have called this a Mahratta
fort, because that is the general opinion amongst Europeans. I
myself doubt it, and from its age and appearance think it much more
likely that it was erected by the Moguls when they first invaded the
country; how I wished, as I stood there, that I could have seen it
as it was in former ages, with its garrison, and its horsemen, and
its despotic governor. The next time I go I shall provide myself with
some paper covered with charcoal, and try to take an impression of
the inscription. We were in some fear, during our examination, lest
we should be interrupted by the natives, as they have very recently
got the idea that it was once inhabited by one of their gods, and
therefore consider it a sacred place. I fancied, as well as the
darkness would allow me to see, that far back in one of the niches I
could dimly perceive a coloured statue of a female. Before we went
to see this ruin my kind host took me into his garden to show me the
India-rubber tree. We scraped the bark with a piece of rough glass,
and a white sticky juice oozed out; this we took between our fingers
and squeezed until it became a sort of brown gluey substance. In
this state it is used by the native hunters as birdlime. After being
exposed to the air for some time it gradually hardens and becomes
what we call India-rubber. A large part of this garden was planted
with arrow-root.

  [Sidenote: ATTACK BY A TIGER.]

At half-past eight we again entered the palanquin, and started for
Balasore, where we arrived at half-past seven the next morning,
and were set down at the Circuit-house--a large house belonging to
Government, and kept for the convenience of officers, including the
chaplain, who have to travel the district every year. I can conceive
nothing more wild than the dâk travelling; but I have described
it all, except that in each palanquin we carry a brace of loaded
pistols. I will relate an instance, and a very remarkable one, of
the advantage of carrying loaded pistols in this country. Major M.,
now the second in command at Midnapore, was one day out with some
friends, sitting quietly under the shade of a bank, when suddenly a
tiger sprang out of a jungle, seized the Major by the leg, threw him
over his shoulders, and trotted off with him. The Major's companions
raised a loud shout; but the beast was hungry, and did not choose
to be frightened from his meal. The Major, however, fortunately had
a brace of loaded pistols in his belt; he pulled out one, and fired
it at the head of the tiger as it carried him off. It flashed in the
pan; and almost in despair he seized the other, and shot the tiger
dead on the spot. The only injury the Major received was a broken and
lacerated leg, which has rendered him in some measure a cripple ever
since. This story I know to be true, both from the Major himself and
from those who were with him.

  [Sidenote: A HUNGRY BEAR.]

A small party went out for a day's pleasure a little while ago from
Midnapore. They went to the Ghape, a most beautiful spot at about
five miles' distance. After rambling about they went into an old
house which is there, with an excellent appetite for dinner. The
"cook-room" was about a hundred yards from the house. They waited
and waited, and no dinner came; so at last one of the gentlemen
went to see the cause of the delay, when lo! as if watching for the
dinner, there was an enormous black bear sitting half-way between
the house and the cook-room. They shouted, and tried to drive him
away; but no, master Bruin only growled; he did not see why he should
not have something to eat. None of the party had guns; and they say
that they were kept waiting five hours without their dinner before
the beast's patience was exhausted and he stalked off. We were, as
I before said, set down at the "Circuit-house." This I expected to
have found tolerably furnished; but, alas! when we went in, we found
nothing but one mat, three tables, and two chairs. We then had the
palanquins taken into a bed-room, and determined to make ourselves as
comfortable as we could. I then went out to make calls--for in India
the new comers call upon the old residents, reversing the English
custom. This did not take me long, as the whole station consists of
the magistrate and his wife, the excise-officer and his daughter, the
postmaster, doctor, and deputy-magistrate.

At night we slept as well as we could in the palanquins, but were
kept awake the greater part of the time by the mosquitoes, and the
next morning our hands and faces were most beautifully spotted over
with their bites. On this the second day one or two people called;
and when the excise-officer and his daughter came in, the deficiency
in furniture was at once made manifest. There were Mr. and Miss B.,
Mrs. Acland, and I, with only two chairs amongst us, and these,
like all the chairs in India, were arm-chairs, so that we could not
even manage by sitting two on one chair; so Miss B. and my wife had
the two chairs, and Mr. B. and I sat upon the table--rather a high
one it was--so that our feet dangled about half-way between our
seat and the floor. However, there was one great advantage in this
evidence of poverty, for Mr. B., as soon as he got home, sent us a
large bedstead, some chairs, and other things necessary to make us


I ought to mention the chant of the palanquin-bearers; though they
keep to the same sing-song tune, yet they generally invent the words
as they go along. I will give a sample, as well as I could make it
out, of what my bearers sang the other night; I have tried to render
their words as nearly as I could into English, so as to preserve the
metre. The poetry must be improved. A palkee means a palanquin: it is
the Hindustanee word, though one also generally used in conversation.
Each line is sung in a different voice; in the following, for
instance, the first line would be sung in the usual voice, the second
very high, the third in a sort of gruff tone:--

    "Oh, what a heavy bag!
    No; it's an elephant:
    He is an awful weight.
    Let's throw his palkee down--
    Let's set him in the mud--
    Let's leave him to his fate.
    No, for he'll be angry then;
    Ay, and he will beat us then
      With a thick stick.
    Then let's make haste and get along,
      Jump along quick."

And then, suiting the action to the word, off they set in a nasty
jog-trot which rattled every bone in my body, keeping chorus all the
time of "jump along quick, jump along quick," until they were obliged
to stop for laughing. The second sample is from the men who carried
Mrs. Acland, and is in quite a different metre. I must tell you that
"cubbadar" means "take care," and "baba" (pronounced "barba") means
"young lady:"--


    "She's not heavy,
    Little baba,
    Carry her swiftly,
    Pretty baba,


    "Trim the torches,
    For the road's rough,
    Here the bridge is,
    Pass it swiftly,


    "Carry her gently,
    Little baba,
    Sing so cheerily,
    Pretty baba,

At this place very little wood is to be found--not enough for the
people to use for their fires during what is called the cold weather.
The women accordingly go out, and instead of gathering wood they pick
up cowdung. This they knead into flat round cakes about the size of
pancakes, dry them in the sun, and they burn almost as well as the
turf or peat which is used in England, though it is a great nuisance,
for the thick smoke it emits has a very unpleasant smell.

The other day we saw a most beautiful sight on the nearer hills.
Some of the jungle (or wild) men had set fire to the grass and
bushes on the side. The fire spread, shooting rapidly from one part
to another, and as it was late in the evening it produced a most
magnificent scene. The object in doing this was to get rid of the
snakes, bears, and tigers, in order that the people might go and cut
down the few large trees that grew on the hill.

Last night, as my wife and I were having a game of casino, we heard
a low growl in the compound, and directly afterwards a screaming
amongst the fowls, and a hallooing of the servants (we carry fowls
wherever we go, or we should be almost starved); the only words I
could distinguish were "Bargh! bargh!" A tiger! a tiger! I jumped up;
but on examination it proved to be a false alarm. It was only a large
wild animal, something resembling our fox, only with shorter legs
and longer body, which had attacked the fowls; and I had not so much
presence of mind as the Major I told you of, for when I ran out into
the compound to see what was the matter I quite forgot to take my
pistols, so the thief got safely off; but I have now secured my fowls
more effectually.

Just before we left Midnapore, a large flock of birds, flying in
regular order, amounting, I should think, to several thousands,
passed over the place. They made a great noise, and I thought they
were wild geese; but I hear they were a bird called the cyris, which
stands about five feet high, and is not a water-bird.


I was much amused this afternoon whilst I was sitting in the verandah
with watching the crows. I think I have described them to you. They
are very like the carrion-crow in England, but rather smaller. There
is a law which imposes a heavy fine upon any one who kills them; this
is very right, for they carry away a quantity of refuse and filth
which would otherwise putrefy and cause disease; but the consequence
is, that they are more numerous and more impudent than the sparrows
in England. I threw out the bones of a fowl we had had for dinner;
presently about fifty crows came down within a few feet of me, and
began to peck away; every now and then a bird, which people here call
a kite, would swoop down, and send all the crows cawing away. As soon
as it rose, down came the crows again; presently one of them flew
away with a large bone in his beak; the kite saw it, and was off in
pursuit. Backwards and forwards, up and down the poor crow dodged,
but its pursuer followed it, and had nearly reached it, when the
pursued thought it best to drop the bone. The sharp eye of the kite
perceived this, and, although he was some distance above at the time,
yet he made a dart down and caught the bone in his mouth before it
had reached the ground. I have lately seen some kites like the others
in all respects, except that the body and head are white, the wings
being still brown; these are rather larger than the others.

Every sort of filth here is thrown out into the fields, and in a very
few hours the jackals and crows clear it away, assisted by the pariah
dogs. These are the only scavengers in the country.

The rain began on the 24th of December, and we had occasional showers
for two days; but every one is disappointed by the season. Instead of
having nice cool weather in January, the hot weather has completely
set in, although it does not in general begin before the middle of
February. The thermometer in the shade is at this moment above 80°,
although this is considered a cool place.

For my dinner yesterday I had some peacock-cutlets, which the surgeon
of the station had sent me.

Cuttack, February 2, 1843.


I must return now, and give you some account of how we started for
this place from Balasore. On Sunday the 8th of January we had service
in the morning; and at four in the afternoon we entered our palkees
to proceed to Cuttack, a distance of 103 miles.

Throughout the journey not a single European is to be met with, but
the traveller is entirely in the power of the natives, excepting such
assistance as he can derive from his pistols and a thick stick. The
danger however is not great. The Ooriahs, as well as the Bengalese,
are a small and cowardly race; so much so, indeed, that the East
India Company will not allow them to be enlisted as soldiers. A
Bengalee of five feet six is quite a tall man, and in shape he is as
delicate and effeminate as a European lady.

We jogged on most merrily until about half-past five the next
morning, when I was awakened by hearing "Sahib, Sahib;" to which I
sleepily answered by inquiring what my servant wanted. He told me
we were arrived at Barripore, about fifty miles from Balasore, and
they wanted to know whether I meant to go to the dâk-bungalow. I
said Yes: for we had determined to remain at Barripore all day, as
it is not safe to travel in the sun even in January. To the bungalow
we accordingly went; where we eat, drank, and read books which we
had brought with us, and amused ourselves as well as we could, until
four in the afternoon, when off we started again. I only remember one
adventure which happened there. My wife wanted to wash her hands,
and took up a "gomlah" to pour out some water; suddenly she cried
out that she was stung. I ran to see what it was, and, examining the
gomlah, found she had been bitten by a hornet. In comparison with
other insects the sting of this creature is an object of very little
dread. Her hand, however, swelled a little, and for three or four
hours she suffered a good deal of pain all up her arm, but still it
was fortunately only a hornet. At four o'clock in the afternoon we
again started, and arrived at our own house in Cuttack at about eight
the next morning.

It is customary at the end of each stage to make the palkees a
present of four annas (or sixpence) for each palkee. During one
of the stages between Barripore and Cuttack the men did not go so
quickly as I thought they should have done; so when we changed men I
only gave them four annas for the two palkees, telling them why I did
so. The consequence was, that during the next stage the men not only
went much faster, but invented a new song, the whole burthen of which
was, "He has only given them four annas because they went so slowly!
Let us make haste and go along quickly, and then we shall get eight
annas and have a good supper."

  [Sidenote: FRUIT-TREES.]

My house here belongs to Government, and I am in great hope they will
allow me to occupy it free of rent; it is the best in the cantonment,
the compound contains about twenty acres, and there are in it several
beautiful clumps of trees. In front of the house is a fine group of
cedars; in one part is a hill, on the top of which are several trees:
I do not yet know their names, but their foliage is of a bright
green, more bright than any ever seen in England. We have an orchard
containing mangoes, custard-apples, waunpearls, mulberries, guavas,
&c. &c., with one chur-tree--that is, the true India-rubber tree,
and, I believe, the only one in this part of India; that at Jelasore
is a very inferior sort.

  [Sidenote: ALLIGATORS.]

We have a grand house in the compound, and have, besides, a
flower-garden with orange and lemon trees, &c. A river three miles
broad flows near, and a ghaut, or landing-place, for pilgrims
proceeding to Juggernat'h, a Hindu holy temple. We can see in the
distance a range of hills, rising abruptly from the other side of the
river, which are a continuation of those at Balasore. On the sands
are storks, wild-geese, and all sorts of aquatic birds; even all the
tanks here abound with alligators. The other day one of the officers
was returning home from mess; it was dark, and in his compound he
fell over something which proved to be a large alligator, making
its way from the river to a tank, probably with a view of there
depositing her eggs. About three weeks ago a poor woman went to fetch
water from one of these places, on the surface of which were weeds;
she was engaged in clearing a space with her hands, when one of these
animals, with its jaws open, caught her arm and stripped off all the
flesh below the elbow. She was compelled to have her arm amputated.

  [Sidenote: HUMAN REMAINS.]

I saw to-day a large hyæna gliding across the compound. I suppose he
smelt some dead body on the beach. The Juggernat'h pilgrims come from
very great distances, and many die on the road. In my compound alone,
if I were to collect the skulls, bones, &c., I think I could make up
eight or ten human skeletons. The other evening one of my servants
came to me, and said, "If you please, sir, there is a dead pilgrim
in the compound, and the matee wants to know if he shall throw it
away;"--that is, throw it down on the bank for the jackals, &c. I
would not let him do this, but sent notice to the commanding officer,
who sent for the body, and, I suppose, threw it away. About two hours
after this my wife was gone to bed, and I was sitting reading, when
I felt something on my foot; I examined, and in my stocking found a
large centipede. I contrived to kill him without being stung.

The Government allow me a guard of soldiers; and a sentry, with
musket and bayonet, parades up and down the front verandah; they also
allow three servants for the use of the church. The soldiers present
arms to me and salute; and when any one comes at night, they call
out, "Hookum dar?" to which the answer is "Exprin:" these phrases
are corruptions of the English. The church is very nicely fitted
up; there is a door leading into it from my study, which serves on
Sundays as a vestry. The greatest inconvenience here--as in all the
churches in India--consists in the punkahs. Over the pulpit, altar,
and reading-desk are three small punkahs, and over the body of the
building three very large ones, extending over the whole breadth.
These are kept constantly in motion, and they sadly intercept the
voice of whoever is preaching. The house, being a bungalow, has, of
course, only the ground-floor; the roof is a thick thatch, extending
over the verandahs, which in England would be called porticoes,
and these are supported on thick white columns. The ceilings in a
bungalow are nothing but large sheets of canvass whitewashed. As in
India people are glad to keep all the doors within the house open,
there is placed between the different rooms a framework covered with
crimson or green silk, which the natives call a half-door. The beds
are nine or ten feet wide, with short posts, on which you may hang
mosquito-curtains, which are a sort of large sacks made of gauze,
without any opening. They are supported on the posts and tucked in
closely all round, so as to prevent the mosquitoes from stinging the
people in bed; the only covering, generally, is a sheet, and the
gentleman's sleeping-dress is a flannel jacket and a pair of calico
drawers with feet to them, to keep off the mosquitoes if they should
by chance get inside the curtains. Some people also throw a gauze
over the face for the same purpose. There are no feather-beds, but
the mattresses are generally stuffed with the fibres from the outside
rind of the cocoa-nut, called "coir.". The usual plan is to leave
the glass doors (French windows you would call them) all open, but
to shut the Venetian blinds, and to have a punkah over your head
going all night. At about six in the morning all the glass doors are
closed, and kept shut all day to exclude the hot air. If, however,
there should be any wind, one of them is opened and a tattie hung up
in its place; the tattie is a thick mat the size of the doorway, made
of the sweet-scented cuscus-grass; this is kept constantly wetted on
the outside.


From the 1st to the 11th of February is the Mohammedan festival
of the Mohurrun, which is a grand scene. Every night drums beat,
and dancing and merrymaking are kept up among the men only, as the
Mohammedan women are kept in seclusion. In the compound the other day
I saw about a dozen men, one of them thumping away on the horrible
native drum called a "tomtom." Two others held by heavy chains a
tall sepoy (this word means a native soldier, and ought to be spelt
"sepahi"), who was covered all over with a dress of calico, fitting
tight to the skin--so much so that at first I thought he was naked.
The calico was painted in alternate stripes of red and yellow, and
he had two little yellow horns. I imagine it must have been intended
to represent the devil conquered and chained by Mohammed. He made
a number of antics, and ended, as all these people do, in begging
for a few pice; I gave him three annas. The station of Cuttack is
situated on a small island formed by the confluence of two rivers;
during the hot weather this island becomes a peninsula joined to the
main land by a narrow neck of sand. The advantage of this insular
position is that, whilst we abound in alligators, we are free from
bears and tigers, neither have we so many pariah-dogs as there were
about Midnapore. The opposite bank swarms with tigers, and with a
small telescope we can sometimes see them coming down to drink by
moonlight. On the opposite bank, all round the island, except to the
south, rise the rugged hills which dropped from Vishna's fingers.
There is one great comfort here: the sea is about fifty miles from
us, in a straight line towards the south, and every evening, at
about five o'clock, a deliciously cool sea-breeze sets in from that
direction. About seven it becomes quite gusty, and continues to blow
until about one in the morning. It is necessary to have lived in such
a climate as this to know how truly luxurious such evenings are after
the intense heat of the day, which is now rapidly increasing; the
thermometer in the shade is about 82° or 84°, and this is only the
beginning of February.

  [Sidenote: FORT OF CUTTACK.]

A walk round the compound early in the morning is quite delightful.
On each tree are three or four of the beautiful little striped
squirrels, whilst in the branches are many paroquets, parrots, &c.
All about on the ground are numbers of a bird of a bright green,
with a red breast and head, about the size of a love-bird, and very
much like it, except that the beak is straight and rather long, and
from the centre of the tail project two long straight feathers of
a reddish green. There is also the beautiful mango-bird with its
bright yellow plumage and its glossy black head. Occasionally may be
seen an alligator lying asleep, with his head and shoulders on the
bank and the rest of his body in the water, while a lung-bird has
just alighted on his head and twitters to its mate by the side of
the tank. They are about the size of the amadavad, but shaped like
the swallow, and their plumage is alternately a glossy black or a
deep crimson, according as the sun shines on it. Then there is the
India-rubber tree, and skulls bleached in the sun. I saw one with
its little teeth in the front that had not yet pierced the gums:
they are the second teeth, and the skull, which is very small, must
have belonged to a mere child. The house belongs to Government, and
there are therefore three wells in the compound; but the water is
not good. The plan for watering this large orchard and garden is
as follows:--From the edge of the wall to the cistern is a wooden
trough, into which the water is thrown as it is drawn from the well.
By this means the cistern is filled. A brick gutter runs from the
cistern and separates it into so many branches; round each bed and
every here and there are little openings which let the water run out
on the bed. Suppose they only want to water one, they just take up a
little earth in a spade and stop up the other branches of the gutter.
Whenever it crosses a path, it is carried underneath by means of a
small drain. The muller takes two long bamboos, having at one end a
heavy weight and at the other a large gomlah suspended by a cord. One
muller pulls one cord downward to make the gomlah reach the water,
the other fills the gomlah, and, letting go the cord at the other end
of the bamboo, draws it up. This work proceeds with great rapidity,
and so the cistern gets filled and the garden watered. At a very
short distance from our garden stand the remains of a fort. When the
English took Cuttack this fort was garrisoned by the Mahrattas. They,
however, soon gave it up. The angles of the bastion were rectangles,
which prevents it being so strong as if they had been obtuse angles,
for then the balls would have had a tendency to glance off; but its
great strength consists in the ditch, which is about a hundred or a
hundred and fifty yards wide, with the perpendicular side faced with
bricks, full of water and swarming with alligators. The water is
most foul and offensive, but the medical men say that, if they were
to empty and drain it, it would make for many months a most fearful
pestilence. The natives have offered us 30,000_l._ to be allowed to
drain it, because they say there is a vast quantity of treasure in it.


I have just learned the origin of the Mohurrun. It is a festival,
or rather commemoration of the death of Hussein and Houssein, the
sons of Ali, Mohammed's nephew. These two were pursued towards the
desert by their enemies; they took shelter in a well, and a spider
immediately wove a web across the top. Their enemies came up, and,
seeing the web, thought that Houssein and Hussein could not be in the
well. However, one of them looking down observed a number of lizards
all hastening up the sides, so then they thought there must be some
one at the bottom who frightened the lizards, and, searching, they
got up the two brothers and killed them. It is to commemorate this
fact that they have instituted the festival of the Mohurrun, and in
consequence the Mohammedans all reverence the spider, while they kill
the lizard.

The fort here is of great extent, comprising, I should think,
at least 100 acres. The walls have been demolished, and a great
portion of the interior is now occupied by a botanical garden and a

The winds have risen to-day with tumultuous fury, as though they
had been long confined and in one fearful moment had burst their
prison-house. There is something very grand, though awful, in these
furious tempest-bursts within the tropics. A few minutes back not a
leaf rustled; now the trees are waving to and fro, small branches are
whirled into the air, and leaves and rubbish are carried far away by
the revolving eddies of almost a hurricane. I could scarcely see the
river through the volumes of sand which are tossing about mixed with
the spray.

Monday, February 13, 1843.

I am going to cross the river into the jungle in a day or two, with
two other gentlemen. Our object is to plan a new village for some
native Christians. We each take a gun and a brace of pistols, and
have no doubt that we shall bring home some venison. We shall also
look out as we go along for two tigers, which have recently committed
terrible depredations about Condah, whither we are going. The other
day they carried off two men.

Gold-dust is mixed with the sand of the river, but the quantity is
very small, and is therefore not considered worth the trouble and
expense of collecting.

Cuttack, March 4, 1843.

One of my servants came to me this morning, and told me that there
was a boa-constrictor in the garden. I immediately desired all
the men to take long bamboos, and we sallied forth to attack the
monster. By the time we got to the place, however, he had retreated
into his hole in the ground; we had therefore to dig him out, and as
soon as he appeared all the men struck him with their bamboos until
they killed him. It proved not to be a boa, but a yellow snake about
seven feet long, and was not venomous. We killed it, however, lest it
might endanger the poultry-yard.


On Wednesday the 15th of February we started on our trip--myself and
Mr. L., a missionary: Captain W. was not able to accompany us on
account of the parade, but was to join us in the evening. On Tuesday
afternoon we got our guns in readiness, and sent off some camp
furniture, viz. a bedstead, table, &c., which fold up so as to be
easily portable. My bed, food, clothes, &c., were carried by two men,
each of whom was to receive two annas, that is three pence, a-day.
Chogga, and not Condah, is the name of the place to which we were
going, and it would be impossible to obtain anything there to eat
except what we shot ourselves.

At four o'clock on Wednesday morning Mr. L. came to my house, and we
took some coffee, eggs, and toast, and then set off, my companion on
a tall white horse and I on a little native pony, both of us dressed
entirely in white. I had with me a bearer, a kitmajar, and a syce.
Mr. L. had also a bearer, a cooly, and a syce, with several coolies
carrying provisions. The syces were only to accompany us as far as
the river, and then take the horses back; the others carried our
guns, pistols, powder, hunting knives, which are very necessary both
to kill everything that is wounded, and also to defend ourselves if
thrown down by an elk, tiger, &c. It was necessary that we should
cross the river about ten miles from my house, so off we trotted
followed by our train. Everything was perfectly still, the moon
just setting, and a cold damp fog hanging over the whole island.
For the first half-mile we got along very well. We had then to turn
into the bed of the river, now dwindled to a narrow stream. Our
course lay over a deep bed of loose sand something like that at
Weston-super-Mare, only much worse, our horses' feet sinking at every
step five or six inches; the poor animals could not move quicker
than a trot. As the moon set, and the fog closed around us, the scene
became one of utter desolation: the narrow pathway, if you can call
it a pathway, winding so as to avoid the deeper sands and quicksands,
did not permit us riding two abreast. Far ahead, magnified by the
mist, I could just see the tall figure of Mr. L. and his white steed;
behind I could hear a low chattering, and now and then one of the
black servants would emerge from the fog and then vanish again as
suddenly as he had appeared. From time to time arose a shrill cry
from some one who had wandered from the path, answered as shrilly by
the other men. As the fog thickened everything disappeared. The path
was barely discernible, and I almost wished myself at home. However I
trusted to the sagacity of my sure-footed little pony, and he carried
me safely over the sand-hills and through the hollows for about
three-quarters of an hour, when I heard a shout in front, announcing
that Mr. L. had reached the water. I soon came up with him. We
waited till our servants joined us, then dismounted, gave our horses
to the syces with orders to be at the same place at six o'clock on
Thursday evening, and embarked in a large boat, which, to render it
water-tight, or rather to keep it afloat, was filled up to the seat
with bushes and brambles trodden into a compact mass.

The boatmen told us that two nights before, as three carts were going
along the path to Chogga, a tiger had sprung out and carried off the
man in the centre cart, and that a few days earlier two men had been
carried away from the village itself. The other side of the river is
a steep bank without sand, and by the time we reached it the day was
just breaking, of which, to tell the truth, I was by no means sorry.

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

On the bank we found the coolies whom we had sent forward the evening
before, and who had waited there for us, being afraid to proceed
through the jungle until they had the protection of the sahibs. There
we took our guns, &c., into our own hands, girded on our belts, in
which were thrust our long hunting knives or daggers and our pistols,
letting our servants carry our powder-flasks, shot-belts, &c. This is
done in order to be able to load with greater rapidity, the servant
holding the shot, wad, cap, &c., in readiness. He also carries a
heavy ramrod with a round knob at the top, as the drawing the ramrod
from the gun, returning it, and hammering away with it at the powder,
which you must do on account of its lightness, might frequently cause
delay that might be fatal. Most people, for the sake of safety, use
double-barrelled guns; mine was, however, only single, but the barrel
was long enough for two.

At last off we started along the regular path to Chogga. The change
was most extraordinary; the fog had already cleared away; we were
walking along a narrow winding path cut through the jungle. On each
side of us extended as far as the eye could reach a vast plain
covered with laurels and shrubs of a bright green, interspersed here
and there with large flowers of a brilliant crimson or scarlet, and
more rarely with trees of a stunted growth, on which numbers of
little tiny doves were cooing their greeting to the sun. The bushes,
which we call low jungle, grow to four or five feet in height, and
so thickly that it is impossible to pass through them, except where
a path has been cut, or where a natural glade or opening occurs.
We walked on looking out anxiously for some opening, as we knew we
should find nothing worth firing at in the open plain. Suddenly,
on turning an angle in the path, we saw at the distance of about a
quarter of a mile on the right a clear space with a few large trees
in it. Amid the branches sat fifteen or twenty pea-fowl, and on the
open glade were as many more feeding. Shortly afterwards we came to a
smaller one, which enabled us to separate, so that we might approach
the pea-fowl in different directions; however we could not get within
shot, which we much regretted.

But I own I was not quite so eager in pushing through the jungle as
I should have been the next day; it was quite novel to me, and I
could not help thinking every now and then of the dreaded cobra or
the scarcely less dreaded tiger. Indeed, of the last I had a fearful
reminder before I rejoined Mr. L.

In a small space of clear ground I came suddenly upon the skeleton
of a man, evidently lately killed, for much of the flesh was still
adhering to the bones. Probably it was the poor driver of whom we
had heard. I had quite lost sight of Mr. L., but presently heard
him shout from some distance behind me. I made my way towards him,
and soon reached a small paddy-field (rice-field). Here was a small
bull of a very dark colour, who did not seem at all pleased with our
intrusion: he looked at us for a minute, and then came galloping
towards us, shaking his head and tail in his anger. My two servants
called out that it was a wild cow, and crouched down behind me.
I felt a little nervous, but faced the animal, and drew a pistol
from my belt; however, as he came near, I saw a small piece of
cord fastened to one of his horns, and therefore knew it was not
an "unner" or wild cow. I desired the men to shout, and myself did
the same, running towards the animal and waving my hat. He stopped
a moment hesitating, and then, as I rushed forward, he threw up his
tail in the air and scampered off, very much to my relief.

Mr. L. now came up, and we proceeded on our road. Presently one of
the men who was a little in advance stopped and pointed to a tree at
a little distance. Mr. L. primed his gun and fired, and down dropped
a fine hen. Wild hens abound in the jungles, and are excellent
eating, possessing a slight flavour of game.

Soon after we came to a spot of ground where we beheld a number
of quails. I fired and killed two. Again we went on, but met with
no further adventure until we came to Chogga. The last mile and
a half of our journey lay through paddy-fields with the stubble
still on them. The heat was intense, and by the time we reached our
destination I was thoroughly tired.

Chogga is a small native village surrounded by jungle, standing
about seven or eight miles from the river. It does not belong to the
English, but is in the territory of one of our tributary rajahs. Mr.
L. has a bungalow there, if such it can be called, consisting as it
does of a single room about sixteen feet square, built of mud, and
thatched with rice-straw. He has made many converts here, and is
about to erect a Christian village about his own bungalow, which is
half a mile from Chogga itself, and well situated on a small spot of
rising ground. The appearance and manner of these wild, naked, yet
Christian savages, was to me deeply interesting.

As soon as we arrived, a number of natives, both men and women,
crowded about us. Many of them were Christians, though in dress they
adhered to their old habits. Mr. L. at once took off everything but
his trowsers, and after some hesitation I did the same. After this we
had breakfast and then lay down on our camp beds and rested for two
or three hours. About one I felt hungry, so went out and shot a few
doves, which abound on every tree.

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

About half-past three we collected as many men as possible and went
out to beat the jungle, through which Mr. L. and myself worked our
way until we came to a small open space. There one of us posted
himself; the other went on until he found another similar spot, where
he also stationed himself. As soon as the shikarree who was with
us saw where we were ready, he stole out of the jungle and placed
the twenty-five men in a large semicircle, our positions being the
centre, and the radius about half a mile. As soon as they were all
stationed, at a signal they began to roar and groan and make the
most frightful noises, beating the bushes with their long bamboos,
and pushing through the jungle towards the open space where we were
placed. This was in a high jungle, and really the scene on such an
occasion is most exciting. You stand on a small space of fifteen or
twenty yards in diameter, bounded on every side by lofty trees and
thick underwood, your gun in your hand, your man behind you holding
the next charge in readiness. In every quarter the shrieks and yells
of the beaters are heard; presently there is a whirr in the air, and
a peacock flies through the open space above your head. Bang goes the
gun, off runs one of the men to pick up the bird; load again! quick!
hark! What a rush in the bushes! There it comes! An elk or stag, shot
but not killed; and a man rushes out and cuts the animal's throat.

An alarm of "Tiger!" was now given, but it proved false, as nothing
but a wild cat darted over the glade. Shouts again rend the air, and
a magnificent red peacock, with a deep green tail and neck of gold,
flies over our heads, his long tail streaming behind him, and the
brown hen at his side. The opening above our heads was small, and an
immediate fire was necessary: I fired and missed him. The beaters
now approached nearer and nearer, shouting, and their dark forms
soon became visible gliding one by one out of the jungle. Nothing
more was to be found there; we accordingly moved on, and presently
were beckoned to by the shikarree. He pressed his finger to his lips
and whispered "Choop! choop!" and, pointing down a narrow opening in
the jungle, showed us a large leopard, beautifully spotted, lying
apparently asleep. While loading our guns the animal awoke, and was
stealing off just as we fired and hit him, though he contrived to
crawl off. The next day, however, we found the body, as the arrow
was poisoned. The skin is valuable. The shikarree, who proudly bore
off the body, would suffer no one to assist him; but that same man
would not carry home the merest trifle from the bazaar, but must be
followed by a coolie.

Captain W. soon met us, and we returned home to dinner, after which
we sallied out by moonlight to seek some deer, but were unsuccessful.


The next morning, rising at four, after a cup of coffee we sallied
into the jungle again, but obtained nothing but a few fowls. Captain
W. now left us on his return home, and after breakfast a number of
native Christians assembled, as this was the morning appointed for
talking to them. They all squatted down on the floor, the men on one
side and the women on the other. Mr. L., who is thoroughly conversant
with the Oorial language, now entered into conversation with them,
asking them questions and hearing all they had to say. They appear
to have a very good knowledge of true religion, and to be very
earnest and sincere. It was most interesting to see them all sitting
so quietly with their eyes fixed on Mr. L.'s face, never attempting
to interrupt either him or one another, but speaking one at a time
in a low reverent tone of voice. When asked a question they would
pause a moment or two in deep thought before they answered. After
a little time one or two inquirers came in, that is, men who are
not yet converted, but are inquiring about Christianity, or arguing
concerning it and comparing it with their own religion. These sat
down and behaved themselves in the same decorous manner as the actual
Christians. Mr. L. very judiciously encouraged the converts to argue
with the inquirers, and it was most pleasing to observe the perfect
mildness and the restrained gestures of both parties when talking
on so holy a subject, every eye fixed upon the two disputants, and
when a pause occurred some other convert gently putting in a word in
support of the holy truth.

_Inquirer._ "You say God gave you the Bible, I say God gave us the
Shasters. The religion that is good for the white man is not good for
the black. God is good, and has given us each a religion proper to
ourselves. I say your religion is good and comes from God; why will
you not say the same of our Shasters?"

_Convert._ "God gave white men the Bible because he is very good, and
he told them to go and teach it to every one, because he wishes every
one to be good and happy, and to go to the happy country of heaven
when they die; but the Shasters do not come from God."

_I._ "How do you know that?"

_C._ "Listen, brother. Brummah (God) is good, is he not?"

_I._ "Yes."

_C._ "Should not you like to go to Brummah?"

_I._ "Yes."

_C._ "Do not the Shasters of your religion teach you so?"

_I._ "Ha! you are very sly. No; but our religion is good for us now.
By and bye Vishnoo will come again, and then he will perhaps give us
a Bible."

_C._ "Why not take the Christian Bible and Christian Brummah now?"

_I._ "Then I should lose my caste, my wife will leave me, my children
will go away, my brother will not smoke with me, my hut will be
empty, and the Brahmins will curse me."

_C._ "If the Brahmins curse you, God is stronger than they are, and
he will bless you; if your wife and children run away, Jesus will
make you happy in heaven; if your brother will not smoke with you,
the great God will give you his peace."

_I._ "Well, I will see. Lend me the book; I will read it and show it
to the Brahmins. How soon shall you be here again, sahib?"

_Mr. L._ "In about ten days."

_I._ "Good: I will see you again."

This is a mere epitome of the conversation, but may furnish some idea
of the mode of argument pursued. Whenever the convert brought forward
a good argument, or came to a convincing point, it was curious to
see the countenance of the Christians. They had been watching their
champion with the greatest interest, looking more like dark statues
than human beings, so perfectly still did they sit, except when a
mother pressed her infant to her bosom to keep it quiet. Suddenly, as
they saw the drift of what was said more clearly, their white eyes
would dance amid their dark skins, and one or two of them would smile
and utter gently the emphatic word "Ha!" (yes).

A nice-looking young woman brought her baby to show it. It was only
two months old, and had not yet been baptized. Poor woman! I won
her heart completely by taking it from her and kissing it. Mr. L.
seemed a little surprised at my doing so, but both the mother and
her husband were delighted. She asked me to name her child. Mr. L.
wished it to be a scriptural name. I accordingly gave it the first
that came into my head, which was "Benjamin." It was interesting to
watch the mother's face as I named the child, she had apparently
never heard the name before, and there was much amusement amongst
them, all trying to pronounce it; they could not quite manage it,
but, as the mother carried the little one out, several of the men
patted its cheek and smiled, and said very slowly Bend-za-min. There
were to have been four adults baptized on this day, but one of them
came in the morning and said that his wife declared she would not
live with a Christian, that she had taken her children and all his
fortune, consisting of one rupee and two pice, and had gone away to
her brother's house. Mr. L. advised the man to go and reason with
her, which he did, and we afterwards heard that she had returned with
him on condition that he would not become a Christian.

The people have literally given up father, mother, wife, children,
friends, and home as soon as they become followers of Jesus. They are
looked upon as utterly degraded; and the tribe to which they belong
has to pay a sum of money to the Brahmins before they can be freed
from the stain which attaches to them in consequence of the pollution.

Mr. L. preached in the afternoon, and in the evening the Christians
again met, when he addressed them a discourse in the midst of a
tremendous thunderstorm.

  [Sidenote: RETURN TO CUTTACK.]

When we rose the next morning at four o'clock we found that the rain
had been so heavy during the night that we could get no fuel to make
a fire: our provisions, having been neglected, were all spoiled by
the rain, excepting a small piece of thick pie-crust; our beer we
had exhausted the evening before; so after a scanty meal we started
on our way home. We shot a peacock and fowl upon the road along with
three snipes, and arrived at Cuttack about half-past eight on Friday

  [Sidenote: COMET.]

I have just witnessed a magnificent sight; during the last month
we have had such weather as the oldest inhabitant cannot recollect
ever to have seen before at this time of the year. It is generally
in February and March very hot and very dry. For the last month
we have had almost incessant rain, with violent thunderstorms.
The days are comparatively cool, and at night I am glad of two
blankets. Rumours of an approaching famine began to float abroad,
but at length the mystery was solved. About half-past six I thought
I observed a curiously shaped long cloud, and as the sun went down
and the twilight deepened it did not alter its appearance, but at
about a quarter to seven proved to be a magnificent comet. The
nucleus was plainly visible even with the naked eye, and equal in
brightness to a small star. The tail was at least 45° in length, and
inclined from W.S.W. to E.S.E. Had it been perpendicular it would
have reached from the horizon half way up over our heads, the whole
distance from the horizon to the zenith being 90°. The breadth of the
extremity of the tail was about 2-1/2°, and the posterior half was
divided longitudinally by a dark line. The colour was that of a pale
moonlight, but it would no doubt have appeared much more red if the
moon had not been shining brightly at the time. There has been no
comet equal to this in brilliancy and the length of the tail since
the year 1759. I have hardly any books to refer to, but my idea is,
that it is the same comet which appeared in 1264 and 1556, and was
expected back in 1848. If so, its period of revolution is nearly
300 years. Its light was intense, being almost equal to the moon in
brilliancy. The natives say it will burn the earth; they call it
"jherra tarn," or "burnt star."

The weather is most remarkable. We have incessant rain, with thunder
and lightning every evening, and the clouds are too heavy to allow us
to see the comet. The houses require fresh thatching every year. The
lightning we have here I have never seen equalled in England; each
flash spreads over one quarter of the visible heavens, whilst the
roaring, or rather the deafening rattle, of the thunder is incessant.
The comet re-appeared last night, though hardly so brilliant as it
was a week ago.

I was calling upon the judge of Cuttack the other day, and his wife
told me that a few nights before she went up stairs at twelve o'clock
to see her little girl, who had not been quite well. On the floor of
the room she saw what she thought was a piece of ribbon, and stooped
to pick it up, when a cobra raised its head and expanded its hood and
hissed at her in anger. She called the servants with their bamboos,
and they soon killed it, but it was a great mercy that she had not
touched it.

Cuttack, April 13, 1843.

The other evening the mhator came to ask me for the key to unlock
the fowl-house door, as one of the hens was loose. I told him to
bring a light, and then went across the compound. The padlock with
which the door is fastened passes through a chain and eye at the top
of the door. I raised my hand to unlock it, when the mhator, who had
the lantern, called out, "Sahib, sahib, samp!" (Sir, sir, a snake!)
I looked, and on the very chain which I was on the point of touching
was a snake. I immediately called the men to bring bamboos, and they
soon killed it. On examining it we found it to be one of that sort
whose bite is always fatal, so that the person bitten never lives
more than half an hour, and there would be no time for the doctor to
come. How thankful I should be to God for my escape! I suspect that
the snake was the cobra manilla, but am not sure. It was about two
feet and a half long, small head, back dark green or nearly black,
with all the way along it transverse yellow stripes.

  [Sidenote: HINDU FESTIVAL.]

About three weeks ago was a poojah, or Hindu festival, of which
I forget the name. About nine o'clock in the evening of the
principal day four sepoys came to my house with the subadar major's
compliments, and he would be glad if I would do them the honour to go
and see the samam or show (the subadar major is the principal native
officer in a regiment). I had refused them once or twice before,
therefore this evening I sent my compliments and I would be there
in a few minutes. When I got to the lines or houses of the sepoys I
found a magnificent tent about two hundred feet long, into which I
was ushered with much ceremony.

The scene was most interesting. At the upper end there were a few
European officers, while down each side were ranged three or four
rows of dark sepoys seated on their hams, which is the favourite
position among the natives. The tent was lighted by a number of
flaming torches, which threw their red light upon the swarthy faces
of about seven or eight hundred gigantic up-country sepoys. The whole
centre of the tent was clear for the evolutions of the nautch-girls
(dancing girls): of these, who were generally young and tolerably
good-looking, there were several parties of four or five. All those
of one party held each other by the hand, and kept dancing backward
and forward with a sort of regular motion, and singing in a peculiar
cadence. The song was an invocation of blessing on those who happened
to be opposite them at the time, and every now and then they would
separate to point with their hands to those who were designated
in the verse. The light danced upon the spangles with which their
dresses were covered, whilst innumerable little bells jingled on
their arms and ankles.

When I entered the subadar major immediately came to me with a
long-necked brazen vessel, from which he sprinkled over my clothes
a scent extracted from the sandal-wood. He then poured some into
his hand and rubbed my face and whiskers with it. This they call
anointing. He then presented me with two packets of spices wrapped up
in sweet-scented leaves.

As soon as he retired a party of nautch-girls came up, and, after
singing a song in my praise and blessing me, suddenly separated and
each one threw over me a quantity of crimson powder. In a minute my
face and clothes were of a brilliant red; and wherever I had been
anointed the powder stuck like paint. Every one was served in the
same manner, and a pretty set we must have appeared: this is the
chief fun of the festival. During the three or four days that it
lasts almost every native that you meet has more or less of this red
powder (called akbeer) on his body or dress. Even my monkey, which
is a sacred animal with the Hindus, I found covered with it every
morning. I did not stay long at the tomasa, but was glad that I
had seen it: however, the cassock I had on was spoiled, not by the
powder, for that I managed to brush off, but by the anointing, which
has left in it so powerful a scent that it is not wearable.

  [Sidenote: CHENA POOJAH.]

Last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was the Chena poojah, or swinging
festival. Upright poles are fixed in the earth, and at the top of
each is another pole which revolves upon the first. The religious
devotees are said to suspend themselves to one end of the revolving
pole by iron hooks stuck into their flesh, and are then whirled round
and round by a number of men. Many of these mistaken men are said to
die in consequence of the tortures they endure.

At this festival it is also reported that other devotees lie on
their stomachs whilst the priests press sharp knives into them until
they pin them to the ground, and that this does not always kill them;
but that when it does they consider they shall go to Brummah, their
God, and that the deity will be pleased with such suffering. I am
told they never utter a groan; but I would not go to see them, though
there are strong doubts whether it be not a deception.

  [Sidenote: ELEPHANT-RIDING.]

I now often go out with Captain W. before breakfast. An account of
one morning will suffice. I was called at half-past three; dressed,
and had some coffee, bread and butter, and an egg. At half-past four
Captain W. and Lieutenant H. called for me on an elephant. I gave my
gunpowder, &c. to two of my men to carry. The great animal then knelt
down. He had no howdah, as that is not necessary, except for ladies.
The only clothing on the elephant is a thick pad or cushion, covered
with leather, which extends over the whole of the back. He knelt, and
I climbed up in the usual manner; that is, by standing on his hind
foot, then catching hold of a rope which hangs down from his pad, and
scrambling up as well as one can. The mahout then told the elephant
to get up; and off we started, half sitting half lying on the pad,
and the servants, with the guns, &c., walking behind. It seems a
fearful height, and for the first few miles I could not help thinking
of the danger of a fall. However, one gets accustomed to such things.

The elephant carried us bravely over the loose sands, and down to a
ford in the river. In crossing the stream he went more cautiously,
seeming to feel each place before he put his foot down, as if he were
afraid of getting into a quicksand. Once or twice, when the water was
deep, I thought he would have been obliged to swim; but I was wrong:
though it would not have mattered if he had; we should have been
quite safe on his back.

After crossing the sand on the other side we went through some
paddy-fields and jungle towards a jheel (or marsh), which I had
mentioned as containing a great number of ducks. I had been there
previously on foot with Mr. L. When we reached the jheel a heavy
fog came on, and Captain W. therefore proposed that we should go
on farther into the jungle, in hopes of its clearing up, when we
should find some hares. You must remember that in India, where we get
nothing whatever but mutton and fowls, and where we cannot buy even
these, everything in the shape of meat is a treat, if not a necessary.

On we went; the fog cleared up; we got down in a jungle of low
brushwood, interspersed with several open spaces. We found some men
taking charge of a herd of buffaloes: for two pice each they agreed
to assist our servants in beating the bushes, and we were not long
before we started several hares. I only shot one; the others were
more fortunate.

At half-past seven we started on our way back. As we passed the jheel
I shot a widgeon. At half-past eight got home, had a cold bath, and
enjoyed my breakfast; and at dinner was very glad to have the hare
and widgeon, for the expense of two pice. I often go out this way.
The elephant belongs to the regiment which is stationed here. The
exercise before breakfast is most healthy. One time we came upon a
place in the midst of the jungle which I intend to visit again in the
cold weather, when I shall have more time to examine it.

April 15, 1843.

  [Sidenote: FURNITURE.]

I will now endeavour to give you an idea of some of our arrangements.
We have moved to the other side of the house in order to have
our bed-room to the west; because the sea-breeze, which blows
every night, is a south-west wind. The room in which I am sitting
was my wife's dressing-room; the one I use is fifty feet long.
Dressing-rooms are absolutely necessary in this country, because
nothing is put into the sleeping apartment except the bed, because
of the mosquitoes, which harbour in swarms wherever they can find
shelter. The bed is never placed against the wall, but always in
the middle of the room; and the feet are placed in pans of water,
to prevent the white ants, centipedes, &c. from paying you a visit
during the night.

The room I am now in has one French window opening into the verandah
in front, another towards the church, a door opening into the next
room, and another into the godown or store-room. All these windows
and doors are now open, and I am sitting as near the centre as
I can, to catch what little breeze there is, for the weather is
fearfully hot; the thermometer at noon about 90° in-doors. It is
now eleven in the evening, and my wife is gone to bed. The floor,
which is of cement (wooden floors are never used here on account of
the white ant), is covered with a curious sort of matting, made of
the leaves of the date-tree. We always use mats instead of carpets
in India, because they are much cooler. The walls and the ceilings
are whitewashed, the universal substitute for paper or paint in the
Mofussil. When I say the ceiling, I mean the ceiling-cloths, which
are great sheets of canvas covering the tops of the rooms, and
fastened up with cords.

Over my head swings a punkah or fan, about eighteen feet long and
three wide, made of canvas stretched on a wooden frame, and also
whitewashed. This hangs from the ceiling, or rather from some bamboos
placed upon the ceiling. Suspended from the lower edge of the punkah
is a sort of full flounce of white calico circling along the whole
length. The punkah is swung backwards and forwards over my head by
means of a long rope pulled by a bearer sitting in the verandah. This
man is now fast asleep, but still he continues to pull the rope, and
so he would do for hours if I required it.

The furniture of the room consists of a table, a sideboard, and a
large screen of common cloth, stretched on a frame of sissoo-wood
(a sort of coarse rose-wood). It is about seven feet high and seven
across, and is placed before the door of the garden. On the sideboard
stands a flat candlestick, with a glass shade to keep the insects
from the flame. The candle is wax; we cannot use tallow for two
reasons: the climate of India is so hot that the candles would not
remain upright, and the sheep here have very little fat upon them. On
the table are two Indian table-lamps. I hardly know how to describe
them. The lower part is like an upright candlestick, on which is
placed a glass cup half filled with water, the other half with
cocoa-nut oil. In the bottom is a little bit of lead with two thin
cotton wicks in it, which reach a little above the surface of the
oil. These are alight. Over the whole is a large inverted bell-glass
to keep off the insects, which at present swarm around. Every minute
I hear the mosquitoes buzzing about my ears; then they settle on my
face, and on my clothes, through which they are enabled to bite with
ease. This keeps me in a continued fidget.

There is also an incessant whistling all around from what we call
crickets, though they are somewhat different from those in England.
A number of large grasshoppers, about two inches long, of a light
green, are hopping about on the table, and occasionally on my paper.
On the wall are several long-tailed lizards: they are only slightly
venomous; and, though extremely ugly, we are always glad to see them,
because they eat the mosquitoes. Round the ceiling are circling three
large bats, which my mungoose, sitting in a corner, keeps watching.
Should one fall, he would seize and devour him in an instant. A wild
cat came through the room just now, and took a peep at me; but the
mungoose growled, and it ran way. It was small; but it has been very
destructive in the poultry-yard.

  [Sidenote: OLD CUTTACK.]

But I must now return to what I was telling. The place which we came
upon in the jungle is called Old Cuttack; and it deserves the name,
for I do not suppose it has been inhabited for the last thousand
years. It appears from what little I saw of it to be a most wonderful
place, and certainly proves that the population in the olden times
must have been very numerous, and far advanced in mechanical arts. It
consists of a deep ravine, the sides of which are composed of a dark
rock of extreme hardness, and containing a great quantity of iron. On
one side it has been made perfectly smooth, although certainly not
less than seventy feet in height: on the other are numerous steps and
staircases, cut out of the solid rock. The stone does not seem to
have been broken off and then chiselled smooth, but it appears as if
the steps had been cut out in solid pieces.

On the summit are the remains of houses built of large blocks, all
perfectly smooth, saving from the effects of time and weather.
Scattered about are heaps of rock, as if collected for building. At a
little distance on the banks of the river is a sort of seawall, which
I have not yet seen, but in which, they tell me, many of the masses
of rock are sixteen or eighteen feet long.

All this appears doubly wonderful when you remember that the natives
now, almost naked, build their houses of mud, without windows, and
with a miserable thatch; that their fireplaces are nothing but little
holes in the ground; and that in most respects they are absolute
savages. Either they have very much degenerated, or, which is more
probable, the race which built these mighty works is swept away.

April 17, 1843.

I was in doubt concerning the Chena Poojah, but it appears that the
hooks are fastened to a cord, which cuts into the body, and literally
causes the blood to flow in streams. They say also that it is the
victims themselves that pass the spears into their bodies, and not
the priests.

  [Sidenote: THE COTTON-TREE.]

I may here mention that my compound and garden formerly belonged
to a General Carpenter, and he planted and sowed many very rare
plants--some from China, from America, and from the islands in
the Pacific. There are three trees of a very particular sort, of
which I very much wish to know the name. They are generally called
the cotton-tree, although altogether different from the ordinary
cotton-plant, and I suspect they come from America. The tree is about
thirty-five or forty feet in height, not many branches, and a very
smooth bark. I cannot describe the leaf, for as yet it is not out;
but it has borne flowers and fruit since I have been here; of course,
therefore, these were before the leaves. The flower, of a brilliant
red, is in appearance half-way between a tulip and a tiger-lily; it
grows from buds in the thick branches, and is about twice the size
of the latter flower. The blossom gives place to a pod about four or
five inches in length, and in the form of a sphere drawn out at both
ends. The interior of the pod is divided longitudinally into four
segments: the whole contains a great number of black seeds buried in
a soft silky cotton. I intend to stuff some pillows with it: I think
it will be as soft as down. The fibres are said to be too short to
form cloth; but I think if they had this tree in England they would
manage to use it, and the cloth would resemble very soft silk.

Juggernat'h, May, 1843.

The first account I received of the Chena Poojah was correct. The
hooks are passed through the muscles on each side the spine: for
several days previously the muscles are rubbed and beaten in order
to harden them. At the festival they frequently run pieces of iron
through the tongue. The victims belong to the lowest castes, and
generally swing and torture themselves as proxies for the Brahmins
who have made a vow.

This place is marked Juggernat'h on the maps, although properly that
is only the name of the idol in the temple. The town itself is called
Pooree, or the City of Cities.

  [Sidenote: POOREE.]

I left Cuttack on Thursday, April 20, and after one night's dâk
arrived here, the distance being about forty-eight miles. I went to
the Circuit-house, a large unfurnished residence, appropriated by
Government to the use of those officers who go on circuit through the
district. However, Mr. B., the magistrate and principal person here,
would not allow me to remain there, but insisted upon my coming and
living at his house, and sending at once for my wife to come and join
me. This I gladly did. Mrs. Acland discharged most of our servants,
and came down here; so she has the benefit of living at Pooree,
and at the same time of saving money, for the month's wages of the
servants discharged will more than pay for her journey. We have a
bed-room, sitting and dressing apartments, and two bath-rooms to
ourselves; and we breakfast, dine, &c., with Mr. and Mrs. B.

It is difficult to imagine the delight of coming to such a place as
Pooree. At Cuttack we are obliged to keep every door and window shut,
in order to exclude the hot air. We close them at six in the morning
and open them at seven in the evening. One doorway is fitted with a
framework, covered with matting made of scented grass. This is called
a tatty, and is kept all day thoroughly wet, in order to cool the
room by evaporation, the punkah continually fanning over head; but
in spite of all this the heat is fearful, and still increasing; the
thermometer stood in-doors at 103°.

At Pooree, forty-eight miles from Cuttack, we have no punkahs, no
tatties; all the windows wide open, the waves rolling up close to
the houses, a delicious sea-breeze all day, the thermometer never
yet above 85°; not a mosquito to be seen, and no insects but a few
English flies. Excepting among the mountains, Pooree is perhaps the
coolest place in India, and I am considered most fortunate in having
it in my district.

The coming here is a renewal of life and strength. When we are
down on the sands in the evening, we might quite fancy ourselves
in England again; and I assure you that at five o'clock in the
afternoon, by the sea-side, we are glad to walk fast in order to keep
ourselves warm. This is the state of Pooree at present. After the
rains, that is, in October and November, it becomes extremely hot
and very unhealthy; for then the sea-breeze ceases and the land-wind
sets in, passing in its course over the dead bodies of hundreds of

The most conspicuous object here is the temple of Juggernat'h, to
which devotees come from every part of India. It is an immense pile
of massive buildings. There are at times as many as one hundred
thousand pilgrims here at once. No European is allowed to enter even
the court.

  [Sidenote: DANGER OF BATHING.]

The sea is most magnificent. The beach is composed entirely of sand,
something like that at Weston-super-Mare; but there is only a few
yards' difference between high and low water. There is an incessant
surf extending almost to the horizon--one line behind another of
enormous breakers. Some people used occasionally to bathe, but the
surf rendered it very dangerous, and at last one of them had a
leg carried away by a shark, since which every one is afraid; we
therefore have salt water brought up to the house.[3]


[3] A gap occurs here in the narrative, from a portion of it having
gone down in the "Memnon" in the Red Sea.

Cuttack, August 7, 1843.


I must now give an account of Mofussil society. We will suppose a
married couple going to a new station,--as, for instance, my wife
and myself coming to Cuttack. Well, we arrive wretched enough about
eight o'clock in the morning, after a long dâk journey. All that
day we are engaged in setting things to rights. The next morning I
order my carriage, and go out to make my calls; for in India, unlike
England, the stranger calls first. The hours for calling are from
half-past ten to one, after which time you would not be admitted
anywhere, as it is supposed that the lady of the house is just going
to tiffin (lunch), which she takes at two, and then goes to sleep for
two or three hours.

Of course the first person I call on is the commanding officer. I
drive in at the gate of the compound, and under some trees, up to
the house door, and so under the portico; for every house has a
very large carriage portico to protect the horses from the sun. My
carriage is a phaëton--the britska, phaëton, and buggy being almost
the only vehicles used in India. The britska does very well for a
judge, and the buggy a sort of carriage for a single man. Mine is a
phaëton with two ponies. On the box sits the coachman--dark-brown
face, large black mustachios, white calico tunic and trowsers, white
turban, turned up with pale blue, as livery, and blue and white
cummerband round the waist; except only when it is wet, and then he
wears a crimson skull-cap, and a scarlet full cloak with sleeves. A
syce or groom runs by the side of the ponies.

Arrived at the door, I call out "Sahib hy?" Gentleman in? meaning, Is
your master at home? If not, I leave a card: if he is, I enter the
house, and follow the servant who has answered me. I should have told
you that there are no such things as knockers or bells here. Every
door is open, unless in the very hot weather, and there are always
six or eight servants lounging about in the verandah. As I step out
of the carriage, each one of these stoops down, touches the ground
with the back of his hand, and then pats his forehead three or four
times, signifying, I suppose, that, if I were to order him, he would
even throw dirt upon his own head.

In reply to the question "Sahib hy?" one of the men answers, "Hy,
khadawum"--He is, O representative of God; at the same time holding
his hands pressed together as if he were saying his prayers. He
precedes me into the house, still in the same attitude. He sets me a
chair, whilst another man comes in, unfastens the rope of the punkah,
and, taking the end of it out into the verandah, sits down and pulls
it, and very soon falls asleep, still, however, continuing his

Presently in comes the master of the house, dressed in white jacket,
black neckerchief (if any), white shirt, white trowsers, white
stockings, and shoes made of some white skin. I should have told
you that the servant who shows me in takes my card to his master,
with which card his master plays the whole time I am there. In a few
minutes in comes the lady, in clothes hanging loosely around her;
she probably does not wear stays in the morning: her dress is white
muslin, and her face, as well as those of her children, if she have
any, is of a ghastly pale colour. This is universal in India.

There is not much conversation at a first visit, so I soon rise and
go to some person to whom I have a letter of introduction, when he
at once volunteers to accompany me on the rest of my calls. These
first visits are made by the gentleman only; his wife does not
accompany him. In the course of a few days the gentlemen return
the call, bringing their wives with them. Daughters are out of the
question: beyond the age of six they are a genus unknown in India.
They go to England at that age, come out again to India at eighteen,
and probably marry in Calcutta, and settle at once some four or
five months' journey from their parents, who have been so anxiously
looking forward to seeing them.

  [Sidenote: DINNER-PARTIES.]

A few days after the form of calling has been gone through, some
half-dozen different persons send you invitations to dinner, kindly
wishing to welcome the stranger to the station. From half-past seven
to eight is the usual hour in India; for if people dined earlier
they would necessarily lose their evening drive. The carriage enters
the compound; a servant runs in to the sahib, and, pressing his own
hands together, says, "Ghairee ata" (carriage comes). Out issues the
sahib into the front verandah: the lady is handed out; the gentleman
offers his arm, and walks off, leaving me to follow as best I may.

From the verandah we enter the dining-room. There are no halls or
passages or cupboards in the Mofussil. Down the whole length of the
room is a long table laid for dinner, round which we must wind to
get to the opposite door leading into the drawing-room. Here are a
number of ladies seated on one side the room, on the other side the
gentlemen. After a little while an old Indian with a long silvery
beard, and dressed completely in white, comes in, and, pressing his
hands together, says, "Canna mig" (dinner on table).

Then the master of the house gives his arm to the most important
lady present; the others do likewise, according to the most strict
precedence of rank, the lady of the house being taken first. She does
not take the top of the table, but assigns that place to whoever has
led her in, herself occupying the seat next him on his right hand.
Each person brings his khitmutgar; accordingly, behind each chair
stands a man in white, who, as you sit down, unfolds and hands you
the napkin which was on your plate; he then falls back a step, and
crosses his arms over his chest. As soon as grace has been said, the
cover is taken off the soup-tureen, and those who like it are helped
to a rich sort of chicken-broth.

After that, you hear on every side--"Mrs. So-and-so, may I have
the pleasure of taking a glass of wine with you?" "I shall be very
happy." "Which do you take, beer or wine?" "Thank you; I will take a
little beer," or "wine," as the case may be. Suppose the former, and
myself the speaker, I turn round and say to my khitmutgar, "Beer,
shraubs meem Sahib, ki do" (beer-wine, Mrs. Lady, give).

In the mean time they are uncovering the dishes. At the top is a
pair of fine roast fowls, at the bottom a pair of boiled ditto. At
the sides, fowl cutlets, fowl patties, fowl rissoles, stewed fowls,
grilled fowl, chicken-pie, &c. &c. No ham, no bacon, and little tiny
potatoes not larger than a cherry, with stewed cucumbers, and some
sticky Indian vegetables, are handed round. But for the second course
a great treat is reserved. Six or seven mutton-chops, each equal
to one mouthful, are brought in, and with much ceremony placed at
the top of the table; at the other end are slices of potatoes fried.
Your hostess tells you how glad she was that Mr. So-and-so had sent
her the loin of a Patna sheep to-day: she hoped we should like it.
Then comes curried fowl and rice; then pine-apple pie, custard,
jelly, plantain, oranges, pine-apples, &c. &c.; but directly these
sweets appear, there appear also, behind the chairs of many of the
gentlemen, servants carrying a little carpet, with a neat fringe to
it. These they place at the back of their masters' chairs, on the
floor, and then each servant brings in a large hookah, places it on
the little carpet, and, whilst the ladies and others are eating the
custards, pies, and fruits, you have all around you the incessant
bubble from the hookah, and smell the filthy smoke from an abominable
compound of tobacco and various noxious drugs.

The ladies rarely sit for above one glass of wine, when they retire
and leave the smokers to themselves. Cigars are then produced for the
use of the other gentlemen; and, after they have all smoked and drunk
a little more wine than enough, they join the ladies. Then there is a
little general talking, then a little music: then come cards--I never
play--and then the good-byes, and so home to bed--a nightmare during
one's sleep, and a headache in the morning! When alone, we always
dine at four.

Cuttack, August 29, 1843.

  [Sidenote: OURANG-OUTANG.]

I had been sitting in the verandah reading, and went away for a few
minutes to speak to my wife. When I came back my chair was occupied.
There, sitting as quietly and demurely as possible, was an enormous
ourang-outang, or monkey of some sort. When I first caught sight of
him he had my book in his hands, and was to all appearance reading.
It happened, however, to be rather a stupid book, and he very soon
threw it down; he then placed his hands upon his knees and sat
perfectly still, just as if he had been meditating on what he had
been reading. I should say, as nearly as I could judge, that he must
have been above five feet in height, supposing him to stand erect. He
sat as upright as any man.

After watching him for a minute or two, and observing that the calves
of his legs were thicker and more like those of a man than monkeys'
legs usually are, I stepped quietly back and called my wife. All
this time I had not seen his face; however, as she came, one of the
parrots screamed, and the old gentleman turned his head. His face
was very dark, with large whiskers and beard, and hair all perfectly
white; his body a light-brown, and his face and hands peculiarly
large. As soon as he saw me he half rose, laid both hands on the
elbow of the chair, and began to grin and show his teeth and spit at
me. I did not quite like it, as I was afraid he might make a spring
in my direction; yet I knew that my voice would at once frighten him
away, if I raised the horrid unearthly yell used by the natives to
scare wild beasts, and which even the tiger will hardly resist unless
much pressed by hunger.

Still I felt more inclined to watch him. Once I thought of going
round the other way and getting my gun, but really he looked so much
like a man that I could not have shot him. He continued to grin and
spit until I turned away, hoping he would resume his former sedate
position. As soon, however, as he thought my eye was off him he rose
leisurely from his chair, stepped slowly out of the verandah, caught
hold of a branch of the banian-tree, and swung himself up into it.
As he did this I saw that he had a long tail, so he could not, I
believe, have been an ourang-outang. Indeed I never heard of them
coming into this little island, nor, I think, into the district. I
went into my study, and immediately afterwards heard him scuttling
away over the roof of the house. I have not seen him since, but if he
comes back I shall try to make friends with him by giving him food,
though I believe he belongs to rather a treacherous family.

Whilst on this subject, I will mention another monkey which I saw a
few days ago. It is almost two feet in height, quite black, except
a circle of light-brown hair round its face, and is held in high
veneration by the natives. They come chiefly from a place up the
country called Brinderbund, where it is said there are nothing but
Brahmins and monkeys.

I was once driving with a friend when we met a party of pilgrims,
who had two or three monkeys with them. We stopped and spoke to the
people, and one of the monkeys came into the carriage and perched
himself on my lap. I offered the people two rupees for him, but they
said they were going to take the two to Juggernat'h, where the Rajah
would buy them. I asked how much they would take for them; they said
fifty rupees for the pair. This I could not afford, and I told them
so; they then said I might have them both for twenty-five rupees.
This, however, was more than I could give, and we therefore drove on,
though I was very unwilling to part with the little fellows, that
seemed to have taken quite a fancy to me.

The manner of reception at the judge's is much the same as I
described in my last; but here there are, however, two or three
different additional servants, who with long chouries keep flapping
the insects off the table and the faces of the company. Here is also
plenty of mutton; and cheese from England. All the side dishes are of

In the drawing-room most of the tables are marble. From the ceiling
is suspended a number of small plated chandeliers with glass drops;
in another room is a good piano-forte, and after dinner some very
tolerable music and singing. There is also a little rational

  [Sidenote: A BACHELOR'S PARTY.]

But now let me describe a bachelor's party at the commissioner's,
who, by the way, is above the judge in rank and in salary. I say a
bachelor's party, because his wife is gone to England for her health,
and he cannot therefore invite ladies. Before dinner there is much
general conversation about races, church-building, hunting, the
paucity of chaplains, &c. &c. Some magnificent prints are brought
forward; a set of splendid silver medallions of sacred history
are examined and admired; some ancient coins and inscriptions are
submitted to the inspection of the unlearned; the last English
reviews are brought under discussion.

In the mean time the gentlemen are lounging upon ottomans about a
large marble table, the host going from one to another, speaking to
and trying to please all. To the sportsman he speaks of his gun, to
the chaplain of a project of building a new church, to the engineer
of the aërial steam-ship, and, in short, makes every one pleased both
with himself and his neighbours. I need hardly tell you that our
commissioner at Cuttack is a most agreeable man; his great object
is to make others happy, and his kind good-natured face is welcome
everywhere. He is about thirty-six years of age, fond of sporting,
fond of reading, fond of children--although he has none himself.
Every one likes him, from the judge to the faquer, from the highest
to the lowest--unless, indeed, the lawless, and those he does not
spare. He has the grand tact of rendering himself agreeable to
everybody, and the means by which he does this is the exercise of a
kind heart. He does not obtrude his concerns, but listens patiently
and with interest to the remarks of others; and this, remember, with
cheerfulness and pure morality, is the means by which any person may
make himself beloved.

But to return: the conversation turns upon church music.

"You have an organ, Commissioner, have you not?" says one.

"Yes, but I very seldom use it."

"You should send it to the church," said I.

"Well, I have sometimes thought I would, but I am afraid you have no
place for it; and, besides, I don't know whether the tunes would do."

"Let us judge of that," says the magistrate; "give us a tune whilst
they are putting the dinner on the table."

"Very well; and I am sure, if the padre likes it, he is very welcome
to have it till Mrs. M. comes back."

Thereupon we adjourned to an adjoining room, where there was a very
large upright organ, but, as Mr. M. said, "only a grinder." He puts
in the church barrel, and, turning the handle, plays, one after
another, several really beautiful psalm-tunes, whilst every one
stands serious and attentive. At last dinner is announced. The style
is much the same as at the judge's, except that almost all the dishes
are silver, and there is a magnificent racing-cup of the same metal
in the centre. The eatables, however, are many of them English.
There is fresh salmon brought from England, English soups, English
potatoes, carrots, oysters, cheese, &c. &c., all brought out in
canisters hermetically sealed.

Of course, as everywhere else, the beer, wines, &c., are from
England, for so devoid are we of any trading community, that in this
splendid climate no attempt has ever yet been made to manufacture
wine. Beer we could not make, at least so they say, for want of
barley;[4] but I believe that pine-apples, of which we get three or
four young juicy ones for a penny, would make splendid wine. England
has no pine-apples at all like ours. Then there are preserves and
pies made of green-gages, apricots, &c., all from home. Here also, as
at the judge's, there is abundance of champagne, or, as we call it
here, tokay. After dinner, at all houses, each person takes a small
glass of liqueur.

At the commissioner's, being a bachelor's party, we remained in the
dining-room. Cigars were introduced, with coffee and brandy-and-water
for those who liked it. I will now relate an anecdote I heard there:--

  [Sidenote: A TIGER-STORY.]

"Why, B.," said Mr. M., "I heard you had an adventure yesterday. What
was it?"

"Oh! don't ask me; it makes me almost sick to think of it."

"Oh, nonsense!" from all present.

"Well, if I must, here goes." Then drinking off a glass of wine B.
began: "I suppose I must make a regular history of it, so I will
commence at the beginning. Last evening, in the bright and balmy,
or I should say gorgeous, splendour of an oriental sunset, when the
brilliant tints of--"

"Bah! B., don't be too absurd," cried some of us; "tell us what it
was without all this brilliant balmy nonsense."

"Why, I thought I was poetical; but I see you have no poetry in
your souls; so I will condescend to prose. I was obliged yesterday
afternoon to go down the river for a short distance; I had a boat and
three natives. When I had completed what I wanted I returned, and was
paddling along, not far from the bank, just on this side of those
enormous blocks of iron rock which keep the river from overflowing,
and form such a splendid monument of the great mechanical powers of
the ancient Hindus--"

"Come, never mind the antiquities; we will have them another time.
Let us hear your own adventures now."

"Well, I had just rounded this point when one of my men called out
most vehemently, 'Look, sir, look; there is a tiger!' My eyes were
instantly turned in the direction towards which he pointed, and there
I saw a most fearful sight. A man was tearing, springing, bounding
towards the river, and a hundred yards behind him followed a large
panther, pursuing him with those rapid leaps for which that animal is
so famous. I instantly ordered my people to pull towards the shore,
in the hope of rescuing the panting wretch who thus struggled for his
life. Before we reached the bank the man had made a bound into the
water, and stood immersed up to his neck. I suppose he was too much
exhausted to swim, for we could hardly hear his voice as he called to
us to make haste.

"At this instant I saw the dark blunt snout of an enormous alligator
rising slowly above the surface, as he made his way towards his
intended victim. I shouted to the man, 'Crocodile! crocodile!' He
heard me, hesitated an instant, then rushed back to the bank. This
sudden movement disconcerted the panther, who started back a few
paces, and the next moment our boat shot within reach. 'Come hither,'
I exclaimed. The man made a spring; the panther leaped forward, and,
as I seized the former by the arm, the latter seized him by the leg.

"Oh! the shriek of the poor victim! I shall never forget it.
Foolishly I had not brought my rifle, but I shouted to the men to
strike the beast with their oars. No; the cowardly wretches shrank
down in the farther end of the boat, and would not move. I could do
nothing, therefore, but pull at the man's shoulder, whilst his horrid
shrieks were ringing in my ears. Had I let go, the panther would
instantly have carried him off; had there been another European with
me, the man might have been saved.

"This takes long to describe, but it was all the work of a few
seconds. Presently I felt that I was drawing the man more towards
me; I looked, and saw the flesh of the leg peeling off in the jaws
of the panther until it came to the ankle, where, with one crunch,
the bone was severed, and the beast galloped off with the fearful
mouthful. I now drew the man, who by this time was quite senseless,
into the boat. I tied my handkerchief tightly round the upper part
of his leg, and with a piece of wood formed a sort of tourniquet. We
brought him to Cuttack, and sent him at once to the hospital; but he
died in the course of a few hours."

"What a horrible affair!" exclaimed several voices.


"But I thought," said I, "that the voice, or even the eye, of man was
sufficient to make any beast quail."

"So it is, provided they are neither very hungry nor very much
excited. This beast had been engaged in a long chase, and nothing
could have frightened him from his prey."

"Ah! of course that would have made a difference," I replied; "but
Mr. L. had a little adventure the other day which seems to prove the
power of the eye of man."

"Oh! there is no doubt that man is master of all, and I believe many
natives have been preserved by the power of the human eye, and many
more might be saved if they only had the coolness to exercise the
power which has been bestowed upon them. But what was the adventure
of L.'s?"

"It was nothing very wonderful or exciting. He was staying at Chugga
for a few days; and one morning he went out with his gun, accompanied
by a native Christian of the name of Perswa. Whilst they were in the
jungle they suddenly heard a distant shout, as of some one calling
'Perswa, Perswa!' They sat down and bent their ears to the ground to
listen. Presently the cry was repeated, 'Perswa, Perswa!' Again it
was renewed, 'Perswa, Perswa!' 'It is a tiger,' cried his follower.
They immediately hastened back to the village, but found no one there
but four old women, who told them that one of their people was hurt
by a tiger. Mr. L. started instantly to his rescue, and as he left
the village he was joined by at least fifty men, who in their fear
were hiding, but, being now encouraged by the presence of a white
man, sallied forth with him. Following the direction of the cries of
the poor wretch, they soon came to the spot where he stood facing a
large tiger.

"It seems that the man, whilst in the jungle, had suddenly caught
sight of it on the very point of springing upon him. With great
presence of mind he stood perfectly still, and fixed his eyes
steadily on the monstrous brute. The tiger wavered for an instant,
then, quailing before his eye, he slunk behind a bush. Still the man
kept his eye upon him, whilst the tiger every minute peered forth to
see whether that dreaded eye was withdrawn.

"From bush to bush the tiger moved, as if seeking to avoid the gaze,
in order that he might spring out to seize his prey. Slowly the man
turned from side to side, still facing his dreaded foe, and calling
upon Perswa and the Padre Sahib to come and save him; and this he
continued till the party came up, who by their shouts forced the
tiger to abandon his intended meal. Now this seems a strong instance
of the power of the human eye."

"It does indeed," replied F. "I have known it exercised with equal
success in another case. A young officer was walking through the
jungle; he foolishly had nothing but his pistols with him. Suddenly
he heard a noise, and observed the branches shaking near him; he
crept forward on his hands and knees, to see what animal was there.
Presently he found himself face to face with a huge bull bison. He
started to his feet, drew a pistol from his belt, and fixed his eye
upon that of the animal. The bison tore the turf with his teeth and
horns, stamping furiously, but yet he dared not charge while the
human eye was fixed on his. Presently the beast appeared to become
uneasy, moved his enormous shaggy head from side to side, and at last
slunk off to join the herd that were feeding in the distance; and so
my friend was saved by his own presence of mind and the power of the
human eye."

  [Sidenote: BATS.]

But we have been long enough at the commissioner's dinner-table; so
let us go home and to bed. It is ten o'clock, and for the people
in the Mofussil that is a very late hour. I have told you what a
nuisance the mosquitoes are, and also the white ants. There is
another creature from which you are comparatively free in England,
and that is the bat. Numbers of all sizes make their nests up above
the chats or ceiling-cloths in the bungalows, some not bigger than
the humming-bird, others, as I have told you, so large as to deserve
the name of flying foxes. Often at night they come into the rooms.
One evening, when my wife was going to bed, she found five large bats
wheeling round and round in her dressing-room.

On such occasions as this I post myself in one corner of the room,
and my chokedar or watchman in another, both armed with long sticks,
with which we keep hitting at the bats until we knock them down, and
then we throw them out of doors. Often, as they whirl round the room,
one will hit himself against the punkah, and fall to the ground.
Instantly the mungoose springs upon him, and we hear the bones
crushing in his jaws.

One night I was suddenly awakened by something moving and scratching
about my head; I raised my hand, and found a large bat clinging to my
hair; dreading a snake, I had started up--there was a weight upon my
head. I dashed him off, and soon went to sleep again; but he appeared
to have taken a fancy to me, and I was again awakened in the same
manner; this time, therefore, I got out of bed, knocked the animal
down, and killed him. I have several times been roused at night by a
great cockroach, three or four inches long, crawling over my lace.
The other evening a flight of large maulises came into the parlour,
and soon drove us to bed. I have two cobras, which were both killed
in my own house; also a tarantula, which I caught in my dressing-room.

To turn to another subject. I have been endeavouring to render
society here more friendly and agreeable than it can be at large
formal dinner-parties, and I am happy to say it has been followed
by some of the most influential, and I trust that the custom may
become general. The plan is to invite about eight, and those all
friendly and intimate, to a quiet dinner at four o'clock. By the time
this is over the sun is getting low; and, instead of sitting for a
couple of hours over the wine, we soon follow the ladies into the
drawing-room. The carriages come to the door for those who like a
drive. Some stroll into the wood with their guns; some talk; and so
the time passes for about an hour, when the sudden darkness falls
upon us almost without warning. We all reassemble at seven for tea
and coffee; then spend a pleasant chatty hour or two, or disperse at
about half-past nine, having had more amusement than can be enjoyed
at a mere dinner-party.

We are making rather a large flower-garden between the house and the
river. The wages to a good gardener are about two pence a-day--to a
coolie, or labourer, a penny three farthings. My mollee, or gardener,
is a very good one; but I must explain what we mean by a good
gardener. It signifies neither more nor less than a good thief. I
plan my garden and lay it out, showing the man where the paths are to
be, where the beds, and where the lawns. Within a few days after it
is laid out I expect to find it tolerably full of flowers and shrubs.
Where they come from I do not know: you cannot purchase any such
things here. Of course, then, everything must come from the gardens
of my neighbours. In England this would be considered, and would in
fact be, a very dishonest mode of proceeding; but in India it is the

The mollees have the charge of the gardens, and they mutually supply
one another. If after a time I should have anything very choice in my
garden, my mollee would give cuttings or small plants of it to any of
the other mollees who wished for them, and thus every garden would
be improved. A person must be very churlish indeed to interfere with
this system of general accommodation, which in the end is equally
advantageous to all. The system, however, is liable to abuse, and
therefore I do not think I altogether approve of it myself. I was
once dining with a young officer, and we had some remarkably fine
peas. After praising them, I observed that I did not know he had a
garden. "Why, no," he replied, laughing; "but I keep a very good
gardener." Now this was decidedly most unjust. This young man would
not be at the trouble or expense of a garden himself, but chose to
take an unfair advantage of the industry and liberality of others. I
was not at all surprised to hear, shortly afterwards, that a court
of inquiry had been sitting to examine into the circumstances of a
most dishonourable action which he had committed, and for which, if
it had not been for the leniency of his commanding officer, he would
most probably have been cashiered.


I think I have told you how cruelly some of the people here beat
their servants. I was standing with an officer in the porch of his
house when I was last at Midnapore, when his syce, or groom, brought
his horse to the door. Captain L. turned to me, and said, "I have
not given that fellow a thrashing for a long time, and he'll forget
what it feels like, and grow lazy." Now the fact was, the man was
so attentive and industrious that Captain L. could not possibly
find any fault with him. However, he went down the steps, and, on
the pretence that the man did not hold his horse properly, gave him
several violent blows on the face and head, kicked him three or four
times with all his force, and struck him on the back with a two-foot
rule with such violence that the man was obliged to have his back
plastered and bandaged up: and all this without the slightest fault
on the part of the servant.

Much as has been said about slavery, I do not believe that any of
the slaves in Jamaica were ever worse treated than are the servants
of some of our officers here. The excuse is, that it is impossible
to manage the Hindus without the whip; but I never use it, and I am
certainly quite as well served by all, excepting two. With these I
am going to part, for they have been spoiled by living with a very
violent man. I will give you an instance of the punishments I employ.

My sirdar always goes home to his supper at nine o'clock. The other
evening, after he was gone, I found that he had neglected to get the
night-lamp ready, so I was obliged to do it myself. The following
morning, instead of thrashing him, I made no observation whatever on
the subject; but at nine o'clock in the evening, when he came to ask
whether he might go home, I said, "You did not bring the night-lamp
last night; I may want something else that is not ready, so for the
next week you will not go till eleven." This was a great punishment
to him, and yet it did not degrade either the man or myself as a
beating would do. At the same time I fully admit that the natives,
by their slowness and inactivity, are sometimes very provoking; but
surely that is no excuse to the Christian who gives way to angry


[4] Plenty of barley is grown in Bhootan.

Cuttack, October 12, 1843.

I returned to Cuttack yesterday from Midnapore. It was a most
wretched journey, raining incessantly--not such mild gentle rain as
you have in England, but regular blinding torrents. The roads were so
desperately bad that, although I engaged two extra bearers at each
stage, yet each day's journey of fifty miles took me twenty-four
hours instead of fifteen. My last day's journey was from Barrapore to
Cuttack--fifty miles. I started at two in the afternoon, and arrived
at home at half-past two the next day.

About eight o'clock in the evening the rain came down almost in one
sheet of water: the men could hardly stagger along with their burden.
The rain was driven by the furious gusts of wind violently against
the doors of the palanquin, but they were closed and bolted. I was
smoking a cigar, and thinking about dear England, when suddenly
it struck me that it was becoming very cold. I wondered at it, so
closely shut up as the palanquin was. Still it became colder and
colder. I was lying on my back. I laid my hand on my face--it was
quite warm. I touched my chest--it was warm also. Suddenly I jumped
up--it was only the side of me underneath that was cold. My trowsers,
shirt, flannel waistcoat, &c., were all soaking. The rain had found
its way in at the crevice between the doors, and formed a little
puddle just where I was lying.

A severe cold is a very dangerous thing in this country, often
bringing on jungle-fever. I first stripped off my wet clothes, then
sopped up the puddle as well as I could, and stopped the leak. I then
wrapped myself up in a warm blanket. After these preliminaries I got
out of my canteen a small spirit-lamp and kettle, then hung them to
the top of the palanquin, struck a light, and boiled some water. This
I poured into a tumbler, and, adding a little brandy and a little
essence of ginger, drank it off, and then composed myself to sleep. I
dozed a little; awoke again; tried to go to sleep; could not; changed
horses--I mean men; on again; the blanket wet through; moved the
blanket so as to have a dry part next me; soon wet through again. At
last the blanket was soaking; felt my clothes, which I had hung up
to dry; still very wet, but they nevertheless seemed better than the
soppy blanket, so I dressed again.

I dared not call the man for my patarahs, or tin boxes, and get out
fresh things, for they would have been drenched in an instant. So I
dressed in the wet ones; stuffed the blanket up against the leak;
lighted another cigar, and puffed away until the palanquin was quite
filled with smoke. This created additional warmth, helped to dry my
clothes, and by its effects upon myself I have no doubt assisted in
keeping off fever.


But as I live so much in my palanquin, I think I had better give
a more accurate description of it than I have done. It is made of
wood, painted as an English carriage, and having arms, crest, &c.,
if you choose. The top is covered with a white cement to prevent its
leaking, and is slightly curved, so that the rain may run off. The
bottom is open wicker-work, on which is laid a mattress and other
cushions, covered generally with thin leather. The sides, top, &c.,
are lined, often with crimson silk. I have had my mattress and other
cushions covered with white drill; it is much more serviceable,
and will wash: my lining is of the same. The interior length of
my palanquin is six feet six inches, the breadth three feet three
inches, and of the same height.

The wicker-work of the bottom extends from the head to within one
foot three inches of the foot; then instead of wicker-work is a
wooden box, which in mine is covered with part of a leopard's skin.
In it I carry a few bottles of soda-water and beer and a bottle of
water. Over my feet, resting on brackets, is a box, an invention of
my own, which I find most useful. It is three feet long, one foot and
a quarter broad, and one foot high. In this I keep a great variety
of things that I may need.

Whenever I halt I have nothing to do but lift this box out, and there
is all my apparatus on the table. Most people have only a shelf, on
which they place their medicine-chest, dressing-case, pistols, &c.;
but I found this so inconvenient, that I resolved to have the whole
in one moveable box, and I find it a great additional comfort. In the
lining of the palanquin are pockets for books, &c., and stuck here
and there are hooks, on which to hang a watch, &c.

I have pillows especially for my palanquin. I take a blanket and a
few books, and then I can start in tolerable comfort for a four or
five days' journey. There is a place outside behind for a large brass
washhand-basin; in front there are two little windows, like those
of a carriage, with glass and Venetian blinds; behind there is one
window, and also a lamp with a glass in the back of the palanquin, so
as to show its light inside.

Cuttack, November 8, 1843.


I have just been called out to see an enormous Bengal tiger which
some native huntsmen shot last night. It has been long prowling about
between Cuttack and Chogga, and has carried off many unfortunate men.
A party of us intended to go out and look for him next week. He was
wounded first by a shot in the shoulder; the second ball went through
his eye and killed him at once. It was a magnificent beast.

On the 9th a large leopard was brought in, and also a wild boar. The
latter animal is excessively savage and very dangerous. The usual
mode of hunting is on horseback, armed with long lances or spears.
His strength is very great; he is much larger and longer than the
English pig. When enraged his back becomes as much curved as that of
the hyæna; indeed, it is a good deal so at all times. From the top of
the head to the tail extends a thick mane of bristles, not hanging
down like a horse's mane, but standing perfectly upright. I have a
young one now in a sty, but the men are obliged to throw his food to
him, as he flies at them directly they go within reach. The tusks of
the wild boar grow to several inches in length. A friend of mine was
out one day when a boar charged his horse; the brute made a spring
at its hinder parts, cutting right and left, and both the hind legs
of the steed were severed to the bone, and his master was obliged to
dismount and shoot him.

This reminds me of another anecdote. Miss D., the sister of the
doctor at Balasore, was out riding a short time since; a gentleman of
her acquaintance was with her. They were moving slowly along, when
suddenly they heard a crackling of the branches by the roadside,
and the next instant an enormous tiger sprang into the middle of
the lane, just in front of them. The horses appeared paralysed;
they could not move, but stood trembling in every joint. The tiger
turned round, glared upon them, opened his mouth wide, and gave that
horrible ya a-a-a, then made a spring, bounded into the jungle on the
other side, and disappeared.

The tiger which they brought in the other day measured ten feet six
inches in length, and one foot two inches round his ankle. This
species possesses enormous strength; a single blow from his paw is
sufficient to crush a man's skull into one frightful mass.

The adjutant of the 8th Bengal Native Regiment told me of a case
which he had seen. A tiger seized a large English bullock, tossed it
over his shoulders, and then sprang at one bound over a fence several
feet in height: so you may easily imagine that a wild tiger is not a
very pleasant companion.

We had a sad loss the night before last. I have already mentioned
our beautiful little antelope, which used to come and lie at my feet
while I was writing. The other night I heard him give a faint scream,
and hastened to see what was the matter; he had been bitten by a
cobra, and was dead in ten minutes. Poor little fellow! I could have
cried,--my wife _did_. I have seen many, but never knew one so tame
before. I doubt whether any of the servants had dry eyes as its body
was thrown into the river. The bite of the cobra causes the body to
swell to a frightful size.

The other day my wife was walking in the garden, when a large cobra
glided past her; she called some of the men, who soon killed it, but
it was too large to put into a bottle. A gentleman, happening to call
just then, asked me whether I had seen the poison. I said, "No." He
took the head between his fingers and squeezed it in such a way as
to open the mouth. In the upper jaw were two very large white fangs,
corresponding as it were to our eye-teeth. As he squeezed with more
force, a tiny drop of perfectly transparent colourless fluid issued
through the point of each fang--these were drops of venom that pass
into the wound. The gentleman who showed me this was a medical man,
and he said that he would not for a lac of rupees have the half of
one of those drops get into a cut in his finger.

Last June, when the weather was intensely hot, after we left Pooree,
where we had resided for six weeks with Mr. and Mrs. B., I went to
Chandapore, a delightful place on the sea-coast, about seven miles
from Balasore. The thermometer was 105° in-doors at six o'clock in
the evening. When I started from Cuttack the thermometer in my palkee
stood at 126°. At Chandapore I was glad to put on a cloth coat and
cloth trowsers. That is one great advantage in my station; I have
almost every variety of climate, except extreme cold. Indeed, when
the bishop asked me how I liked my station, I told him I would not
change with any chaplain in India.

At Chandapore four of us one morning started for a walk over the
sands. We took no shoes nor stockings, and had our trowsers tucked
up to the knees. How we did laugh at eyeing ourselves! we were like
a set of merry boys. Every now and then one of us would step upon a
quicksand and sink down half up his legs, and have to scramble out.
Then, as we ran along in the water about six or eight inches deep,
we would suddenly see two or three sea-scorpions, and run away, or
perhaps slip or stumble over a piece of rock, and then down we came,
and all roared with laughter, and then the magistrate sang out,--

    "There was an old man at Barbago,
    He lived upon nothing but sago;--
    Oh! how he did jump,
    When a doctor said, plump,
    'To a roast leg of mutton you may go.'"

  [Sidenote: SEA-SCORPIONS.]

I caught a couple of the sea-scorpions; they do not sting, but cut
with the edge of their tails, and it is said that the wound is
incurable. They are covered with a hard shell.

  [Sidenote: RELIEF FUND.]

There is a great deal of illness about now, although the weather is
most delightful: the thermometer seldom above 80°; the morning quite
chilly. I am very well; the only complaint I have is that of getting
exceedingly fat. I think I have mentioned our relief fund. There are
a number of poor Christians here who have lived by beggary, stealing,
and all sorts of wretchedness. We are trying to induce them to work,
and give them materials, and purchase at a high rate what they
produce, and I quite hope our plan will succeed.

You would have laughed to have seen me to-day, surrounded by a crowd
of half-black women, measuring out prints and calicoes for dresses,
&c.; I being obliged to do it, as my wife was poorly. The things they
make are to be given, as rewards, in our new Christian school.

Barripore, November 28, 1843.

  [Sidenote: SOLITUDE.]

How extraordinary does this utter solitude appear! I have just been
outside the bungalow: there is none of that confused murmuring sound
which is almost universal in England. Every noise is distinctly
heard: a child's voice, or a dove's coo, appears to break the
intensity of the silence. And then, the thought that, excepting a
few barbarians, there is not a human being within a day's journey!
The whole feeling is exciting, but oppressive. Millions of black
heathens interpose between me and a single European; and yet, with
one brace of pistols and a good thick stick, I feel myself perfectly
secure. But I will give an instance of the power which each European
possesses over these people.

When I went to Balasore with the L.'s, we had four palanquins, and
consequently forty bearers. At one place, where we stopped to change
men, Mrs. L. sent a man to my palanquin to say that she wanted to
speak to me. I at once walked across to the spot where her palanquin
stood. The night was as dark as pitch, with a nasty drizzling rain.
The red flaming torches disclosed a group of from eighty to a hundred
natives, with their long black hair and immense mustachios, naked,
except a cloth round their loins.

As we changed bearers here, there was of course a double set present.
We had four palanquins--one containing a native nurse and three of
Captain L.'s children; another, Captain L. and one child; another,
Mrs. L.; and the fourth was my own. On one side of the road was a
dense thicket, or jungle; on the other, a deep canal, called by
the natives a "nullah;" and these, as well as the dusky group,
were flittingly lighted by the torches of the mussalchees. Every
man, as is the custom, had a long stick in his hand. We were many
hours' journey from any European; Captain L. was totally enfeebled
by sickness; and, in short, I was the only person who could have
attempted to knock a man down.


But mark the power of white skin (not but that mine is getting
somewhat mahogany colour): when I bent down to learn what Mrs. L.
wanted, she was too faint and weak to speak loud, and the abominable
babbling of the hundred men about us prevented the possibility of my
hearing what she said.

"Choop ruho!" (keep quiet) I called out, but to no effect. "Choop
ruho!" I bawled, but still to no avail; I could not hear what Mrs.
L. said. Suddenly I snatched the stick out of the hand of the man
next me, just gave it a little flourish, and jumped into the middle
of the crowd. "You want the whip, eh?" I shouted. "Choop ruho, will
you?" (for a word or two of English generally slips in either at
the beginning or the end of a hasty sentence). In one instant there
was a dead silence: not a word of resistance, or even insolence.
Mrs. L. was weak and faint, and it seemed she wanted a glass of
wine-and-water; this detained us a little time, but as long as we
remained there I found that, even if a whisper arose, the single
word "Choop" was sufficient to quiet it directly.

Now, some people may say, here is a long story about nothing, or
rather about getting a glass of wine-and-water; but I wish you
to observe everything that takes place. Now, the nullah and the
jungles, and the torches and the palanquins, are no great wonders
in themselves, but together they make a pretty picture, or rather a
striking one; and so through life you will find that every half-dozen
things that you observe will either form, or assist in forming, some
picture in your minds, which will certainly prove amusing or useful,
or both.

Then, again, suppose I had told you that I desired the men to be
quiet, and they obeyed me: that would have been much shorter, but it
would not have led the mind on to any other train of thought; whereas
the narrative, as I have related it, suggests many ideas which, if
followed up, would fill whole pages; for instance--

     1st. Why did the men dread the whip, when they were equally well

     2nd. Are they accustomed to feel it?

     3rd. Are they generally oppressed, and in what way; and would a
     native government be an advantage to them?

     4th. In what does that superiority consist which makes one hundred
     Hindus afraid of one European?

     5th. What is civilization? What is the difference between _real_
     civilization, and that knowledge of arts and sciences, of
     railroads and balloons, which is commonly dignified with the name?
     And also what is the connexion between real, true civilization and

Here are a few out of numberless trains of thought and questions
which might arise, and do naturally arise, from the little anecdote
I have given. Now, suppose I had said, "At one stage Mrs. L. said
something to me which I could not well make out on account of the
noise the men made; however, I soon quieted them, and then found that
she wanted some wine-and-water." That description would have given no
idea of what actually took place, neither would it have afforded any
subject for after consideration.

It was bitterly cold last night. I had on cloak, trowsers, a flannel
jacket next my skin, a thick coat buttoned up to my neck, a double
blanket over me, and both doors of my palkee shut. Yet I awoke about
four o'clock this morning shivering with the cold, and was glad to
get out and have a good run of two or three miles, flapping my arms
against my sides, to restore the warmth. Mrs. Acland has complained
of the cold for the last two days, even at twelve o'clock at noon.
The fact is, people here become so accustomed to intense heat that
they often find the cold weather very trying, and the hot season is
notoriously the most healthy part of the year, though I fancy it is
now as warm as an English summer.

Poor Mr. B., with whom we stayed while at Pooree, has had an attack
of the terrible jungle-fever, and will, I fear, be obliged to
return to England. A sick person, at least in my district, is quite
a rarity: all the diseases are so rapid in their operation, that
a week's illness is considered a long time. If it is violent, the
patient generally dies in a few hours, or at most in two or three
days; if slight, he is by that time convalescent, and generally
proceeds at once either to the Cape of Good Hope or to England.

Cuttack, December 10.

I have been to Midnapore and back again. Whilst I was at Balasore
information was brought in that one hundred and fifty or two hundred
elephants had come down into the paddy-fields about twelve miles from
Balasore, and that they were destroying the crops. Two or three of
the Europeans there wanted to make up a party to go and attack them;
I should very much like to have gone with them, but could not afford
the time; so the proposition fell to the ground.

It is dangerous sport, but very exciting. The elephant is
invulnerable except at one point, and that is a small hollow in the
middle of the forehead. I said invulnerable, but that is an improper
word; I mean, that that little spot is the only point where you
can hit him fatally. Fancy an enormous elephant charging at full
speed down a narrow path, with dense jungle on either side, and the
sportsman standing still till he comes almost close, and then aiming
at the forehead. Suppose he misses the one little spot--the elephant
seizes him with his trunk, dashes him to the ground, and then
kneels upon and crushes him; that is to say, if it is a fierce male
elephant. The tusks of a large one are worth fifty pounds.


The sight of the dead pilgrims by the roadside in this part of India
is very dreadful; they go to Juggernat'h by hundreds, or rather by
thousands. At the grand festival in June this year, when the car of
Juggernat'h is dragged from the temple to his country house, there
were present at least eighty thousand pilgrims from all parts of
India, who each make large offerings to the idol, and during their
stay are not allowed to eat any food but what has been prepared in
the temple by the priests. Of course, for this food a most exorbitant
price is charged, and at the same time it is of so inferior a quality
that numbers died of cholera in consequence of eating it. Many of the
pilgrims when they leave Pooree have not a pice left, and literally
lie down and die of starvation by the roadside. The instant they are
dead they are surrounded by jackals, dogs, and vultures, who quickly
peel all the flesh from the bones: it is a horrid sight, but one
which is too frequent to create surprise.

To the support of this temple our Christian government pays 6000_l._
a-year, whilst at other places it supports one, two, or more
priests. Some will scarcely understand all the arguments by which
this pernicious support of idolatry is defended. The principal
reason given is, that, when we took possession of the country, we
found a number of heathen temples, supported out of the produce of
certain lands which were appropriated to their service; and that we,
having taken possession of those lands, are bound to support the
same temples by money derived from our own revenue. When the Roman
Catholics conquered a country, their first object was to extirpate
idolatry; when the Mohammedans waged war, they did it in order to
destroy the idols of the heathens; but we encourage and protect all
those wicked and evil superstitions.

Terrible as is the sight of the mutilated bodies of the pilgrims, it
is not to me half so shocking as their thanks when they are relieved.
As I travel, some poor wretch, who has more the appearance of a
skeleton than a human being, comes to the side of the palanquin,
and cries in Hindustanee, "Oh, great king, have mercy! I have been
to Juggernat'h, and I have no rice. I have not tasted food, O great
king, for three days. Oh, great king, give me some cowries to buy
some rice!" I give the man a pice or two, and then he exclaims,
"May Juggernat'h bless you, O great being! May Juggernat'h make
you prosperous!" This invocation of a blessing from an idol sounds
most frightful. The horrors of the roadside scene I will not
describe--they are too fearful.

The above account reminds me of the exaggerated manner of expression
in use among the Eastern nations. I will give another instance of
it, premising that it is the usual style of language employed by the
natives towards their European masters. At Midnapore, the other day,
I wanted to call on the commanding officer; I accordingly got into
a tanjore,--that is, the body of a gig, supported on two poles, and
carried by men. As they took me up, I told them to go to the Colonel
Sahib's; they spoke together for a few minutes, and then one of them
said in Hindustanee, "O representative of God, your slaves do not
know where the Colonel Sahib lives."

"Well, do you know where the Salt-Agent Sahib lives?"

"Yes, O representative of God."

"Then take me there."

I had turned away a domestic for being impertinent--a case of
very rare occurrence amongst the natives. He was my own personal
attendant, and an excellent servant, but I would not allow him to be
insolent, and therefore discharged him at once. For weeks this man
stood at the gate of my compound, ran for miles by the side of my
palanquin when I went out in it, and, if he saw me walking, threw
himself on the ground at full length before me, extending his hands
clasped over his head, and then crept or rather glided on his stomach
close to me, kissed my feet, placed them on his head, and, whilst the
tears ran from his eyes, exclaimed in Hindustanee, "O great being! O
representative of God, have pity on your slave! punish me, whip me,
but let me be your slave, O great king!" One day he brought his two
little boys with him, and made them also kneel at my feet. He was an
old man with a long beard, and he rubbed it in the dust, and cried
and sobbed. I looked at his sons, and thought of my own children,
and, as I considered he had been sufficiently punished, I told him to
get up and I would try him again. He raised himself on his knees, and
kissed the hem of my garment.[5] He is now the most useful servant I
have. He is a sheikh--Sheikh Ibrahim is his name, and he had served
every one of my predecessors, the chaplains at Cuttack.


I do not know the names of all my servants, but I will mention a few.
Ibrahim is my sirdar, or valet, and chief man; my bearer is Maqua
(which, by the way, is a name in use amongst the Indians in North
America); my water-carrier is Rangore; my watchman, or chokedar,
Sieboo; my sweeper, Ramoo. These last four are allowed me and paid
for by Government: I give them a trifle in addition to their regular
pay. The cook, or bowachee, is Callipar; and the table-servant, or
khitmutgar, is Pekhoo. We only keep one table-servant; every one
else keeps two, and many four or five. My syce, or groom, is Saitor;
I do not know the names of the coachman, grass-cutter, tailor, and
carpenter, nor of my wife's woman-servant, or ayah, as she is called.
I think these are all our domestics, except the dobee, or washerman,
but I do not know his name.

I believe every one in Bengal keeps more servants than I do. In the
Madras presidency not nearly so many are required, as one there
will do the work of three here. I do not know how it is in Bombay.
I suppose it is on this account that in the Bengal presidency we
receive higher pay than in the other parts of India. I said that I
kept fewer than most people, but I certainly think I am better served
than those who keep double the number, and I attribute it to this: I
never beat my servants; I scold them, but do not strike them: and I
believe that they exert themselves very much in order that they may
remain with me on that account, for the cruelty practised by many
towards their domestics is most shocking. Yet I firmly believe that I
am better served, and, if I may use the expression, really loved, for
that very reason.

When a servant is ill it is usual to stop his wages entirely: this
I think wrong, and I therefore only stop half, which is another
inducement to them to exert themselves in order to remain with me. I
will give an instance of the sort of exertion to which I allude. When
I packed the last box for England, my carpenter was ill; my cook is a
very handy sort of man, so I called him, and desired him to nail up
the box; he did it without a moment's hesitation. Almost any other
cook would rather have left his situation than have done what he did
not consider his work.

Again, I do not know any other person who can get one man to wait on
both the sahib and the mem. My khitmutgar not only does this, but
also cleans my gun, and sometimes goes out shooting with me; when he
is thus engaged the cook supplies his place. These are the advantages
of kindness.

It is a common saying that the Hindus have no sense of gratitude,
that they have not even a word to express that feeling in their
language. I do not believe it, and will give you a case in point.
When we are going to travel we pay the money for the bearers into the
hands of the postmasters beforehand; he then orders the men to be
ready at each stage, and he subsequently sends them their pay. At one
stage, as I was going to Midnapore some time ago, the men complained
to me that they had not received their money for many months. I
questioned them, and, finding their story probable, I promised to
speak to the postmaster, and also offered to carry a petition from
them to him. This I did; there had been a fault somewhere, but not, I
believe, with the postmaster. However, the poor men got their money.

Since that time, whenever I go along the road, as soon as I come to
that place a man calls out, "Here is the kind sahib that took our
letter for us;" and although the stage is ten miles in length, yet
they carry me over it in less time than it takes me to go a six-mile
stage elsewhere. My palkee is a heavy one, but they literally run as
fast as they can the whole way; and two additional men always go with
them without asking for any pay. Is not this something like gratitude?


They are said to be extremely dishonest--I mean the natives
generally. This also I deny; although their treatment by individuals
is enough to make them so; for on the part of Government the
error--if any--lies in an excess of mildness and lenity. I would not
hesitate, if it were necessary, to intrust a thousand rupees to a
servant to take to Calcutta: that is for him a fifteen days' journey.
Yet, if he chose, he might easily get beyond my reach; and such a
sum would be sufficient to purchase an estate which would render
himself and his descendants landed proprietors and gentlemen. I doubt
whether you could say more than that for English honesty; although,
of course, there may be exceptions here as well as there.

After I left Jelasore the other day, I remembered that I had omitted
to lock my patarahs or tin travelling-boxes. There were many valuable
things in them, and when I reached the first stage they had not then
come up; yet I proceeded day after-day for one hundred and fifty
miles without the slightest uneasiness; and these patarahs, which
had passed through the hands of sixteen men successively, all of the
poorest class and each one alone, arrived at Cuttack in safety one
day after myself. I should not have felt so easy had this occurred in
England. But enough of this subject for the present.

I was riding out with two friends a few days ago near Balasore, when
we saw a cavalcade approaching, consisting of several armed men, some
on horseback others on camels. We inquired who they were, and learned
that it was the escort of Bheere Singh, who had been on a pilgrimage
to Juggernat'h. We joined the Rajah and had a long gossip with him.

The first salutation was a salaam on both sides, that is,--we
bowed almost to the necks of our horses, pressing the palms of our
right hands against our foreheads. The Rajah, being more polite,
or having better command of his horse, salaamed with both hands.
I shall describe the man, because, judging from the present state
of his country, it is possible that he may hereafter figure in the
history of India. He appeared about forty years of age, strongly
built, but not very tall; large black whiskers, and the universal
moustache, which however was smaller than usual. There was much
fire and animation both in his eyes and gestures; I should say also
that his look betrayed a cunning and intriguing spirit. He was
evidently unwilling to say much concerning the disturbances which
have recently taken place in his country, but was most anxious to
hear our opinions. He said he had seen the burra lord (great lord),
Ellenborough, as he came through Calcutta; and I wondered whether the
real object of his journey might not have been to see and speak with
the Governor-General rather than to perform his devotions at Pooree.

But one thing struck me especially, and it is a thing highly to the
credit of our Indian Government. Pointing to his retinue, he said,
"This I very much admire. In my own country and all the native states
(that is, states governed by native rajahs), if I were to go to
sleep, I must set my guards round me with their arms in their hands,
and I dare not ask a stranger to carry a thing for me lest he should
run away with it. But directly I come into the Burra Beebee Company's
territories" (the East India Company is called the Burra Beebee, or
the great lady, by all the natives), "directly I come into their
territories, although they are so vast, so immense, from sea to sea"
(and he stretched forth his hands in every direction), "directly I
come there, if I am weary, I can go to sleep under any tree by the
roadside, and I can tell all my guards to go to sleep also. If I want
anything carried, I can say to the stranger 'Carry it,' and I know it
is safe. Oh! the Burra Beebee Company is a very good great king."

And most assuredly it is so. Wherever we come we give sound laws, and
the people find peace and comparative happiness. Under the native
rajahs all is anarchy, bloodshed, and oppression. Would that the
whole of India were under our sway, and that our Government would
seek, by firm and decisive measures, to introduce the blessings of
Christianity amongst the thousands and millions of their heathen
subjects! I consider these few words of Bheere Singh to confer far
more real honour on our Government than all their victories.

  [Sidenote: A MEETING.]

How little one knows in England of the pleasure of meeting with an
acquaintance! The other night, as I was travelling and just dozing in
my palanquin, I was roused by a loud voice--"Hulloh, Acland! what,
is that you?" I was out of my palkee in an instant, and Mr. C., of
Talacore, jumped out of his. What a break in the monotony of the
road! and yet there was one great unpleasantness about it, and that
was, we were obliged, after a few minutes' gossip, each to return to
his own solitary palanquin. He produced some oranges; we sucked one
or two, and then separated.


[5] This man continued most faithfully attached till his master's
death, and was then inconsolable.

Cuttack, December 25, 1843.

Yesterday morning Captain W. sent to ask me whether I would go out
into the jungle with him and try and get some hares. I did not feel
much inclined, as my yearly supply of stores, such as wine, beer,
candles, vinegar, &c. &c., had just arrived from Calcutta. However I
thought that perhaps I should see something which might amuse me, so
I went. At three we started on our ponies across the tedious sands
to the river. The water we crossed in a boat, and then remounted and
rode for some distance into the jungle: at last down we got. We had
fourteen men with us to beat the jungle.

  [Sidenote: CHOUDWAR.]

We walked along through the wildest scenery, looking for hares, until
we arrived at Choudwar--at least that I believe to be the name of
the place I described once before, which I said reminded me much of
the ancient Petra. There are several long deep ravines filled with
dense jungle, the sides composed of perpendicular black rock, a sort
of iron-stone, in some parts of which steps have been cut, and in
other places great blocks are lying about irregularly, or forming the
foundations of the houses of the ancient inhabitants.

We had found no game of any sort except porcupines, which abound
here. At last we came to a ravine of the shape of an acute triangle.
The lower line was a perpendicular face of rock of perhaps forty feet
in height, the other line was a steep slope, and all the hollow was
filled with thick jungle. Captain W. and myself were standing about
the middle of the lower line, and we ordered the men that were with
us to go down and beat the bushes in the hollow.

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

As they went down I observed to Captain W. that I thought it looked
a likely place for something rather larger than hares. He replied
that the men said there were no wild beasts about here. He had
hardly done speaking when we heard the most frightful snarling growl
proceeding from the bushes down at the farther point of the angle.
"A tiger!" screamed the men, and ran off in every direction as fast
as they could. "Give us the guns with ball," shouted we; for those
in our hands had only small shot, and the men behind us held our
other guns. "It is a great hyæna!" shouted I, as with another growl
an enormous one sneaked out of the bushes up the bank opposite to
that on which we stood. Bang! went the Captain's gun and mine at the
same time;--down fell the brute, up again, turned round, yelled, and
screamed, inclined to make a rush at us. Bang! bang! again with the
other barrels, and with a scream the animal bounded off on three
legs, his hind thigh having been broken by one of our balls. "Powder!
powder, quickly!" was the cry, and our men handed us the powder and
balls: we reloaded as quickly as possible, our hands trembling with

"Give chase!" I shouted, and off we set as hard as we could run
towards the other bank, where the beast was still running, and
turning every now and then to snarl at us. "Coolies, drive him
hither!" cried Captain W., and on we bounded; but the coolies were
not at all willing to obey the command, and so we had a long chase.
"I'll fire; you mind him if he turns," exclaimed W. Bang! A yell from
the hyæna; and down he rushes towards me. Bang! he's down--no--up
again. Another shot from Captain W., and over he tumbles and is dead
in a few minutes.

The excitement of such a chase is very great. I was hot and tired,
and also fat; but when I saw the enormous brute all was forgotten,
and I leaped down the rocks, scrambled up the hills, and bounded over
the bushes, as if I had been a boy.

The hyæna is a cowardly animal, although he has immense strength both
of jaw and paw. Had this been a tiger, he would at the first wound
have flown at us, and perhaps killed us before we had time to load
again; but the hyæna rarely turns upon the hunters unless he sees
that all escape is hopeless. I had no idea that these animals were so
large. This was little if at all less than a full-grown tiger. He did
not spring out like the latter would have done, but sneaked along as
if he thought his horrid ugliness would protect him.

As we were coming home over the sands, I asked Captain W. if he did
not mean to discharge his gun before he went in. "Yes," said he,
"and there is a target," pointing to a large black pariah dog, which
was feasting on some rotten carrion at a considerable distance. We
dismounted, took our guns, and Captain W. fired. The ball struck the
sand between the animal's legs, and he stared round him as if to know
what it meant. Captain W.'s next shot struck the sand close to the
dog's nose. Off he started, when I raised my gun and fired, and he
rolled over dead. This was a useless piece of cruelty; the killing
the hyæna was right, because these animals do much mischief among the
cattle, and will also carry away young children; but the dogs are in
a great measure our scavengers, and carry off all sorts of filth.

The only other things we fired at were some jackals and a
white-headed falcon. The former we missed; the latter I killed. The
miner is a pretty bird, of which I have before spoken. I consider it
good eating, although most persons have a prejudice against it, as
not being a very clean feeder. They fly in large flocks. The other
day, with a small charge of shot, I killed five at once. The parrots
are very destructive to the fruit, especially the custard-apple; I
therefore frequently shoot them in my own garden.

Cuttack, January 2, 1844.

I have been to Pooree; but what I am going to relate now is an
adventure, not of my own, but of some valiant officers of the
regiment stationed here. The Captain, the Lieutenant, the Ensign, and
a Serjeant, went out for a day's shooting; and I had the story from
two separate individuals of the party. They rode to the ground, and
then skirted for some time along the side of the dense jungle. At
last the Captain says--"Well, I am tired; I shan't go any farther.
Bring me my camp-stool." Fancy a man's taking a camp-stool when he
goes out to hunt or shoot! However, down he sat; and the other three
proceeded some way farther. At length the Lieutenant says--"Well, _I_
am tired; I shan't go any farther. Give me my camp-stool." Down he
sat; and on went the other two, until the Ensign said--"Well, I am
tired; I shan't go any farther. Give me my camp-stool." And he sat

The Serjeant, with one native, now proceeded down a narrow path which
led into the jungle. He had not been gone more than five minutes
when the Ensign heard the report of a gun, and the next instant the
Serjeant rushed out of the jungle, without his hat, without his gun,
with his mouth wide open, eyes staring, and hair all on end. "What's
the matter, Serjeant?" cries the Ensign. "A tiger, sir," says the
other, without stopping. "A tiger?" "Ay." Down goes the Ensign's gun
over his camp-stool, and off he starts after the Serjeant as fast as
his legs can carry him. "Hulloh!" exclaims the Lieutenant, as they
came rushing towards him: "why, what's in the wind now?" "A tiger! a
tiger!" they shout. Down goes the Lieutenant's gun, and he quickly
joins in the race. "What in the world are you all after?" cries the
Captain, as they came to where he was comfortably sitting, drinking
a bottle of beer, and smoking a cigar. "A tiger! a tiger! a tiger!"
is again the reply. "Pooh, pooh, nonsense!" said the Captain, moving
slowly towards his horse. "Nonsense!" answered the fugitives; "we
tell you there is a tiger down there: go and see yourself." "No, I
am tired," says the Captain; "I shall go home." And he jumped on
his horse, and, followed by his brave comrades, galloped back to
Cuttack. How the natives did grin and chuckle. They, too, had seen
the frightful monster, and knew that it was a poor harmless jackal
which had put to flight the Captain, and the Lieutenant, and the
Ensign, and the Serjeant!!!

But there is moral to this tale. Another officer asked the Serjeant
afterwards why he ran away? The answer was, that he ran at first
because he was alone and unsupported, and that he ran afterwards
because he saw the officers run. And this will ever be the case. If
the officers show a firm front, so will the men: if the officers
waver or hesitate, it will naturally strike a panic into the minds of
those who are accustomed to look up to them for guidance. Remarkable
instances of both these positions we have recently had at Jellalabad
and Kabul.


I start on Friday next for Balasore. I go principally for the sake of
exercise and shooting. There are a great many bears there. My wife
has just hired a new woman-servant. She is of the Ooriah Mehanee
caste, and therefore may not wear petticoats, but only the common
native dress. Now, all ladies like their own personal servants to
wear petticoats; but here it is so strictly forbidden, that the
woman, if she were once to put them on, would be deserted by her
husband and children, and never be suffered to eat with any of her
tribe. But then the Hindu law, whilst it is thus severe on any breach
of caste, provides an easy mode of getting over the difficulty. My
wife gives the woman eight shillings: the woman gives half of this
to the priest, and with the other half she provides a feast for her
tribe. After this she may wear her petticoats in peace and security.

Barripore, January 5, 1844.

  [Sidenote: MIRAGE AT POOREE.]

There is one part of the sands at Pooree, on which if you stand
about the middle of the day, and look towards the north, you are
surprised to observe in the distance an English town. You see several
three-storied houses, with doors and windows: interspersed here
and there are several very English-looking trees; and at a short
distance, standing on a small hill, you see the ruins of a large
castle, with the green ivy clinging to it in many parts. Often have I
stood and gazed upon this scene, for it reminds me of dear England.
And yet, if you go to the place, what do you suppose you find?
Nothing but one long flat bed of loose sand, without one vestige of a

The appearance is caused solely by the refraction of the rays of
light. To explain this I will give an example. If you hold a stick so
that the lower part is in the water and the upper part in the air,
the stick will appear to be bent at the point where it passes the
surface of the water; or, place a shilling in a cup or basin, so that
you cannot see it because the side of the cup hides it from you, fill
the cup with water, and then you will see the shilling, although it
is still in the same spot it was in before. This bending of the rays
is what is called refraction, and is caused by the rays passing out
of one transparent thing into another which is more or less dense
than the first. I think that the cause of the mirage at Pooree is
this. Hot air is less dense than cold air. The steam which comes
from a kettle is still water, but it occupies a much larger space
than the water did. One kettle of water will give much more than a
kettlefull of steam, so that it is evident that the heat has made the
water occupy a much larger quantity of space. Still the steam is only
water; therefore it must be much less dense than cold water. If you
filled a saucepan with water, and fastened the lid down, so that no
steam could escape, it would burst it: the particles of heat cause
the particles of water to be less closely connected together. But
that is a subject too abstruse for this work.

Well, hot air, like hot water, is less dense than cold air; also
water is more dense than air. You could not run along as quickly in
the water as you could in the air; you could not strike a person with
your hand under water hard enough to hurt him; and this is because
the water is more dense or solid than air: therefore, air with a good
deal of moisture in it is more dense than when dry. But along the hot
sands of Pooree, close to the sea-shore, there must be a great deal
of heat and also a great deal of moisture.

In the direction in which you look to see the mirage I mentioned,
there is a small piece of stagnant water from which much moisture
must arise under the burning heat of the sun; consequently there
must be much refraction in all directions. And this is seen in
looking the right way from all parts of the Pooree sands; and from
the particular point to which I have alluded, this picture, owing,
I suppose, to certain marks in the sand, assumes the appearance of
a castle, houses, &c. All this is a very rough explanation; but it
may serve to give you some idea of the probable cause of the mirage.
Ships have sometimes appeared to be sailing in the air from the same
cause; and distant coasts, which were far below the horizon, have
been distinctly seen by means of the refraction.

Guzzeepuddee, 8 miles from Balasore, January 12.

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

Yesterday morning about four o'clock we started from Balasore on
horseback. The party consisted of the magistrate, the surgeon, and
myself. It was a brilliant moonlight, but somehow I thought I should
like to finish my night's rest, and therefore soon got into my
palanquin, and had a most comfortable nap. I was awakened at daybreak
by my bearers stopping and telling me that they did not know the way
to Guzzeepuddee. I got out of my palanquin, loaded my gun, inquired
my way of the first native I saw, sent my palanquin on, and then with
two servants entered the jungle. Whereabout the magistrate and the
doctor were I had not the slightest idea. I had a delightful ramble
through a jungle, many of the natives following me from each village
through which I passed, and appearing to take great interest in the
success of my sport.

I went on, with my broad-brimmer hat and brown leather gaiters,
followed by twenty or thirty black fellows, forcing my way through
the thickest, densest shrubberies, thinking at every instant that
I might come suddenly on a large bear. Every now and then a break
would occur in the jungle, and I would emerge from the tangled
thicket into a broad open space of three or four acres, covered with
the smoothest turf, interspersed here and there with the graceful
bamboo, and surmounted on all sides with a literal wall of trees and
underwood. On their branches sat the splendid wild fowls and the
beautiful peacocks, whilst from all sides I heard the soft cooing of
the doves.

Then again I would find myself in a similar open space; but instead
of the turf there was a broad sheet of water, with the red and white
lotus-flowers floating on the surface, and the glittering white
paddy-bin (a sort of small stock) stretching along the edge. A little
farther on I came suddenly on a large jheel (a piece of shallow muddy
water), with the heron and the pelican, and I think the spoonbill,
standing on the sides and busily catching their breakfast of fish.
Several of the most curious of the birds I shot, in order to preserve
their skins, and occasionally, as a hare darted across my path,
I would raise my gun and fire. But one bird I must describe more

I was standing by the side of a large jheel, when a native called
out, "A bird, very good: look, sir." I looked in the direction in
which he pointed, but could see nothing, and was going to scold him,
when he said, "It will come." I continued watching, when presently
I saw what appeared to be a long snake rising from the water. It
was some little time before I could make up my mind that this was
actually part of a bird, and by that time the long neck was again
drawn under water, and nothing was visible.

  [Sidenote: A WATER-RACE.]

I continued to watch, and presently, at some yards from the spot
where it had before appeared, the same snaky form was again elevated
into the air. It was almost like shooting at a reed, but however I
raised my gun and fired. There was an instant struggle in the water,
and then I saw the body of a large dark-coloured bird floating on
the surface. Wishing to obtain the body, I turned to the natives and
said, "The man that wants a pice, bring that bird to me." The pice
is a little more than a farthing, but enough to find a family for a
day. Six or eight boys and men dashed into the water, and there was a
regular race, struggling and swimming in order to obtain the prize.
One boy had just reached the spot, when suddenly it disappeared;
now the long neck rose in a different place, and again there was a
rush to obtain the pice. The bird, which was evidently much wounded,
began to move across the water, keeping its long neck about eighteen
inches above the surface, no other part being visible. I was running
round the banks to have another shot, when the bird suddenly rose,
and, with its long legs extending behind, flew over the jungle. I saw
it fall at a short distance, but the bushes were so thickly matted
together that I could not get near the place.

As I advanced farther from Balasore the natives of the village
appeared astonished at my appearance, many of them probably never
having seen a white man before. Some stood still staring at me,
others ran and hid themselves in their houses. At last I came to
a large open space of a mile or more in diameter, and here a most
singular scene presented itself. Throughout the whole extent of the
space, large masses of black rock, perfectly smooth and rounded at
the edges, rose at intervals to the height of twelve or sixteen feet,
at an angle of about 70°. It appeared as if some mighty city had been
swept over by a hurricane, and all the walls were tottering to their

Some time after this, to my great satisfaction, I arrived at the
tent, which had been sent there the day before, and found a plentiful
breakfast ready, and the rest of the party anxiously awaiting my
arrival. I had been nearly six hours on foot. Our tent is about
eighteen feet square, with one pole in the centre, a table and chairs
inside, and our palanquins, in which we sleep at night, standing
under a sort of canvas verandah. There is another very small tent for
a bath-room, and also a part composed of a single piece of canvas for
the servants. The latter is about thirty feet long and fifteen broad.

  [Sidenote: ENCAMPMENT.]

And now let us look around the encampment. The immediate
neighbourhood consists of rice-fields, from which the paddy has been
cut. At about half a mile from the tents on either side is a thick
jungle, and in the distance are the rugged and magnificent hills of
the Neilghur, which I have already described.

At six o'clock in the evening the sun was just setting as we three
sahibs returned from our day's shooting. The magistrate is just
washing his hands in a chillumchee, or brass basin, at the door of
the tent. In the front-ground, on two chairs, are seated the doctor
and myself; the former is having his long leather gaiters or overalls
pulled off. I have one foot in a chillumchee of warm water, the other
resting on the black knee of one of my servants, who is shampooing
and cracking each joint of the toes. Now he has done that, wiped the
foot dry, put on the shoe, and is squeezing or kneading each muscle
in the calf of the leg. No one but those who have experienced it can
have any idea what a luxury this is when you are very tired!

Behind us stands a long-bearded turbaned khitmutgar, with sherry
and glasses. Our guns are leaning against the side of the tent, our
horses are picketed to a tree close by, and the grooms are busily
rubbing them down. A hundred or a hundred and fifty black natives are
separating into groups according to their castes, and are lighting
fires all around in order to cook their dinners. Behind the servants'
tent is a fire of charcoal, over which a black man is turning a hare,
some partridges, a peacock, and several other results of our day's
sport. Close by is another fire of wood crackling and sparkling, on
which are stew-pans with salmon, oysters, &c. &c., which have come
from England.

It grows late: the moon rises over the hills; the fires blaze up in
all directions; I see the swarthy natives moving around them, and
hear them chattering or singing their low monotonous song; everything
looks wild; I begin to indulge in all sorts of reveries--when a man
approaches with his hands clasped together, and, bending low before
me, says "Cana meg" (dinner-table). The peacock takes the place
of the reverie; visions of the partridges and oysters flit across
my mind; and I run to help in demolishing a most substantial and
well-earned meal. I then go to my palkee. The howling of the jackals
does not awake me, I am too well used to it; but at last, about two
o'clock in the morning, I was aroused by a sort of sniffing and a
scratch at the door. I guessed at once what it was, and debated for
an instant whether I should open it a little and try the effect of my
pistols, or call out so as to rouse my companions, or lie still and
leave him to himself. I determined on the latter; as, supposing I
had not killed him, my visitor might have come into my palanquin and
killed me before I could get assistance. I therefore lay quietly with
a pistol in my hand; and I felt much happier when I heard the bear at
last trot off.

Barripore, January 16, 1844.


On Friday morning the magistrate and myself determined to ascend one
of the Neilghur hills. The doctor did not think it worth the fatigue,
and therefore shot partridges and wild-ducks for our breakfasts. We
started from our tents at about half-past five in the morning. For
about four miles our road lay through jungle, similar to that I have
already described.

As we emerged from this the effect was most extraordinary. We had
been suffering much from heat, and the sudden exclamation of both
of us was, "Oh, how very cold!" A chilling blast came down from
the hills, which entirely altered the temperature of the air; and,
moreover, the place where we now were can very rarely, if ever, be
reached by the sun. These causes produce a most singular effect upon
the vegetation. Behind us was a dense jungle of bamboos, brambles,
cacti, &c., through which it was most difficult to force a passage.
In front of us for nearly a mile--that is, extending to the foot of
the hills--the appearance was altogether different: not a bamboo nor
a cactus, not a bramble, scarcely even a thorn; the turf perfectly
smooth; the only plants a sort of laurel and a species of wild-apple;
and no two plants growing within four feet of each other. It was
like a wilderness or a shrubbery in a gentleman's park. We found
several marks of bears and also of elephants; and the natives were
rather unwilling to proceed. However, we led the way, with our guns
in our hands, and soon arrived at the foot of the hill. It rose very
suddenly, and in many places we had to climb for several feet up the
face of a smooth black rock, similar to that which I have already

We had no adventures beyond a tumble or two, but it was a most
fatiguing work; and the instant we reached the top we threw
ourselves down and called for a cigar and a glass of beer. This hill,
which is much the lowest of the whole range, is not, I suppose, more
than five hundred feet in height: it rises to a peak, the extreme top
being about six feet in diameter. Here we fired off our guns as a
signal to the doctor, and then commenced our descent.

At the bottom we were very glad to mount our horses and ride back to
the tent. It was a very clear morning, and you can hardly imagine
the wild magnificence of the scene from the top. Behind us lay the
thick jungle through which we had passed, with Balasore in the
distance, and the sea forming the background; in front, a wilderness
of brushwood, extending as far as the eye could reach; to the right
was a winding river, bordered by the graceful bamboo, with native
villages and patches of rice-fields on its banks; whilst to the
left, from the midst of the thickets, rose abruptly the other hills,
towering to the height of several thousand feet. All these ranges
belong to tributary rajahs, and are not the property of the English.
We were delighted with our excursion, and it has led to the proposal
of another, which we hope to accomplish, with the addition to our
party of the doctor and the master-attendant, as soon as I return
from Cuttack.

This second expedition is to be to the highest point visible from
Balasore. No human being has ever yet ascended it, and the natives
pretend that it is impracticable; however, we mean to try. I should
like to set my foot where no man has ever trodden. We shall go well
armed with guns, pistols, and swords; we are also each to carry a
hatchet and a billhook, to cut our way through the jungle.

We intend to take a barometer and thermometer in order to measure the
height, and go well attended by natives. It is said that this hill is
tenanted by all sorts of wild beasts, but we shall be too well armed
to fear them. The inhabitants are a very savage race, and offer up
human sacrifices; but they will hardly dare to attack white men. I
am very fond of these excursions; the exercise I consider good for
me--whilst at Guzzeepuddee I was ten or eleven hours on my feet each
day; and another great advantage is, that they cost nothing beyond
the price of powder and shot. I must now start for Cuttack. I found
in the jungle the skeleton of a small boa constrictor: it is perfect
except the lower jaw. I told one of my servants to take care of it.
When I returned to Balasore he had lost it; I said, if he did not
find it again I should deduct a rupee from his month's wages. His
answer was, "O representative of God, you are the father and the
mother of your slave, and you must do with him as you think fit."
However, he managed to find the skeleton.

Midnapore, February 1, 1844.


When I returned to Cuttack the last time I found that my wife had
been rather poorly for some days; I therefore determined that I
would take her out for a little excursion. We accordingly sent out
a tent and all necessary apparatus, and then started with some
friends of ours--a Captain of Engineers and his wife, and a couple of
children--to explore two of the most extraordinary places in India,
Bhabaneswar and Cundeganee. At the former there are nine hundred and
ninety-nine temples, besides numerous tombs, &c.: at the latter place
some very high hills, perforated in every direction with artificial
caves; a palace, statues, and animals, cut out of the solid rock;
long inscriptions in some language now forgotten; images of gods, of
which the Hindus know nothing.

The trip did my wife a great deal of good; but almost immediately
after our return to Cuttack I was attacked by one of the fearful
diseases of the country. Fortunately I knew what it was by the
very first symptoms, and therefore went to the doctor at once. The
disease is what we call _liver_; in England it is called, I think,
inflammation of the liver. It is accompanied by a soreness in the
side and acute pain in the shoulder. The doctor immediately took
most energetic pains to reduce me both in size and in strength, and
he succeeded so well that all danger was soon over. Directly I was
better I was ordered change of air, starvation, and exercise.

February 15, 1844.

I feel quite well again: we start for the hills this afternoon. The
party consists of seven Europeans and about one hundred natives. It
happened rather curiously that the Rajah to whom the hill belongs
called here this morning on business: he is a very intelligent young
man. He has volunteered to accompany us, to supply us with elephants
if we wish to hunt upon the plain, and to provide us an escort of
five hundred men; so we shall go in state. He rode a magnificent
white horse with _pink eyes_. We each take a small axe, a pair of
pistols, and two guns.

But before proceeding I would enter into more particulars concerning
the excursion that we took for the benefit of my wife's health. On
Monday we all started at half-past five in the morning--Captain R.
and myself on horseback, and Mrs. R. and my wife in palanquins,
having their ponies led by their side. We had about one hundred and
twenty servants with us, Captain R. having a good deal of surveying
and other work to do.

As we went along the road he stopped to inspect the different
bridges, &c. We had one little adventure this morning. It seems
that some months ago a beyraghee, or mendicant, sat himself down by
the side of the road, a few miles from Cuttack, with nothing but
an umbrella to shade him from the sun. There he remained for some
weeks, subsisting on the charity of the pilgrims who were proceeding
to Juggernat'h. I should have mentioned that our road lay, for a
considerable distance, on the direct route for Pooree. After some
time the beyraghee made himself a little hut of wicker-work, after
the fashion of many of the Indian devotees. These baskets, as I may
call them, are just large enough to contain a man in a lying-down
position; they are, in fact, mere coverings.

By degrees the basket became a good-sized mud hut; then the beyraghee
began to enclose a small piece of ground, which he cultivated, and
built himself a granary of bamboo to contain the rice given him by
the pilgrims. Now, although a man with an umbrella does not much
matter, yet a hut with a little field, around which a village is
likely enough to spring up, cannot be allowed upon the roadside,
which belongs to Government.

The man had been warned, but paid no attention to what was said;
and accordingly, when we reached the spot, Captain R. directed the
chuprapees, or Government messengers, to pull down the fence and
destroy the hut, granary, &c. We sat on our horses while these men
obeyed the order. In a quarter of an hour the whole was level with
the ground. I knew that Captain R. was perfectly right, yet I could
not help pitying the poor man, who came and laid himself down at our
horses' feet, with his hands clasped over his head. Like many of the
beyraghees, he was entirely naked. They are a worthless, wicked set
of men, and peculiarly obnoxious to Europeans. It was a singular
scene. Captain R. and myself, with our broad-brimmed hats, sitting
quietly on our sturdy ponies; a half-naked groom at the head of each;
the naked beyraghee at our feet; and a dozen chuprapees, in the
white native dress, with red badges, hewing the house and fence to
pieces, and scattering the remains on all sides under the grove of
mangoes with which the road was bordered. In the distance were the
palanquins, whilst the wild song of the bearers faintly reached our


Nothing of interest occurred after this until we arrived at
Bengwharrie, a small village, where our tents were pitched under
a grove, or, as we call it, a "tope," of splendid trees. I have
already described the appearance of a private encampment; the only
difference here was that we had a greater number of men about us, and
more tents. Mine contains one room, about twenty-four feet square;
in the centre rises the high pole which supports our canvas house.
At each end are cloth doors, made to roll up. The tent has a double
fly or covering, one much larger than the other; it is like a small
one inside a large one. This tends to keep it warm at night, and
cool during the day; the outer fly forms a verandah round the inner
room. In the latter are two small camp bedsteads, a camp table, camp
chairs, &c. By camp bedsteads, &c., I mean such as will double up for
the convenience of carriage. In the verandah are our palanquins, a
chest of wine, beer, &c., some cooling apparatus, and various other
articles. At one side there is an entrance into a small tent, which
serves for a bathing-room.

After breakfast, we were very much interested in watching the
monkeys. The tope swarmed with a grey species, some of which appeared
almost as large as men. They are peculiarly sacred in the eyes of the
Hindus, who imagine that one of their gods once assumed a similar
form. They are called Hunnamuns, which was the name of that deity.
My wife and I stood at the door of the tent watching them for hours;
they do not appear to be afraid of men. Many of the females had young
ones with them, and they came and sat down close to us with their
little ones in their laps. First they would suckle them, then they
would hush them to sleep, or turn them over and over, pulling off
all the dirt that adhered to their skins, and making them clean and

A little farther off you would see four or five males picking the
fruit off a low bush, and chattering to one another all the time.
Then a half-grown one would jump down, and give a hard pull at an old
one's tail, for which he generally received a good box on the ear,
unless he was nimble enough to get out of the way in time; presently
one of the old fellows would get angry, and spring into the tree
after his little tormentor, and a regular chase would ensue. The
leaps they take are tremendous; they will often spring from the top
of a lofty tree into the middle of the next without falling.

I saw one of the females shot; it was a cruel sight, and struck all
the natives with horror. They refused to touch the dead body. The
ball did not kill her instantly, and she cried piteously, whilst
she pressed her little one to her bosom, and tried to get into the
tree. To the last she would not relinquish her young one, and died in
endeavouring to save it. I could not shoot a monkey, their actions
and their cries are so like human beings. I know of a case in which
an officer shot one, and the whole herd instantly sprang from the
trees and attacked him; it was with difficulty he was saved. They are
most interesting creatures.

  [Sidenote: CROW-PHEASANT.]

In the evening I went out with my gun, accompanied by Captain R. I
got nothing, however, but some doves and some crow-pheasants; the
latter are not eaten by Europeans, though much relished by the
low-caste natives. It is a bird, as the name signifies, between a
crow and a pheasant. The colour is black, tinged with a deep dull
red. It has a long tail, and runs like a pheasant; but I believe that
its food is the same as a crow's, that is, carrion and animal food.

  [Sidenote: GAME.]

On the Tuesday morning Captain R. was lazy, so I started by myself at
six o'clock to try and get some jungle-fowl. When I say by myself, I
of course mean with three or four servants. I, however, shot nothing
but a few doves and one green pigeon. The latter is a large bird, of
a pale-green colour, and is most delicious eating, which is more than
can be said of any of the game in India. The partridges are dry and
flavourless; the deer have literally not a particle of fat upon them;
the hares are fit for nothing but soup. A leveret is good, and so is
a very young peacock, but, old or young, they must be eaten the same
day that they are killed. By the by, the black partridge is pretty
good: it has a black neck, shading into deep red on the head; the
back is dark; the breast and tail are most beautifully covered with
minute white spots.

I may as well mention now that we shot the other day a double-spurred
partridge; it was of a dingy red colour, with a crest on its head;
the legs were bright red, and each armed with two long sharp spurs.
As I walked along I observed a bird of a species which I had never
seen before; I tried to shoot it, in order to have it stuffed, but
missed, and sadly frightened some monkeys who were in the same tree.
As far as I could judge, every feather was a bright blue, giving a
most splendid appearance to the bird.

  [Sidenote: MANGO-BIRD.]

After breakfast Captain R. and I stood at the door of the tent
amusing ourselves with his air-gun. I killed with it three or four
birds, whose skins I should like to preserve; one especially, though
I believe I have before described it, namely, the mango-bird. I
fancy the European name is the golden oriole. It is of one uniform
brilliant yellow, with the exception of the head, which is perfectly
black. Its note is very peculiar, as indeed are the voices of many
of the Indian birds. I cannot describe the sounds on paper, but I
have learned to imitate many of them well enough to hold a long
conversation with them. Once or twice, when Captain R. wanted to
get near to a bird without being observed, he asked me to continue
talking to it. It is curious to observe them hopping from branch to
branch replying to my call, and looking round on every side for the
bird from which they suppose the sound to proceed.

On Tuesday evening Captain R. and I rode about four miles to try
and find some peacocks. His pony had hurt its foot, so he took
one of mine. We were going along quietly enough through some
rice-fields, when suddenly the pony he was on shied; he spurred it,
and it immediately reared and fell over backwards. Most fortunately
he managed to throw himself off, so as to escape being under the
horse, though, as it was, he got a heavy tumble. It is a very nice
pony, a little inclined to rear; but I am too heavy for it to do so
with me. I am getting thinner now. We came at last to a beautiful
bit of bamboo-jungle, where we dismounted, inside of which was a
paddy-field; in the centre were two fine cocks and five hens feeding.
Beckoning to the servants to stay behind, I crouched down on the
ground and crept slowly forward, until I came very near to the
jungle-fowl, when I cautiously raised my gun to fire; from some cause
or other it did not go off, though the cap exploded, and the birds
flew away. Now, a regular Indian sportsman would not fire at a bird
on the ground, but would first make a noise to frighten him, and
would then fire as he was flying away; however, I am not practised
enough for that, and like to get what they call a pot-shot whenever I

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

A little while ago a party of officers went out from Cuttack to
shoot. Their men were beating the jungle, when suddenly all the wild
cry ceased, and a man came gliding to where all the sahibs were
standing to tell them that there was a tiger lying asleep in his den
close at hand. A consultation was instantly held; most of the party
were anxious to return to Cuttack, but Captain B. insisted on having
a shot at the animal. Accordingly he advanced very quickly until he
came to the place, when he saw--not a tiger, but a large leopard
lying quite still, with his head resting on his fore paws. He went
up close and fired, but the animal did not move. This astonished
him, and on examination he found that the brute was already dead. One
of his companions had bribed some Indians to place a dead leopard
there and to say that there was a tiger asleep. You may imagine what
a laugh there was, though it was very wrong of the Europeans to
encourage the natives to say what was not true.

Since then a large party has been out from Cuttack on a shooting
excursion: they found five leopards, two sambres (the largest species
of deer), and four of the Indian bisons or ghyal, of whose horns I
have preserved a specimen. They however killed only one leopard.

But I must hasten on with my description. Captain R. and I proceeded
into the jungle, where we heard several peacocks; we separated,
creeping along in different directions. Presently I came to an open
space where some pea-fowls were feeding, but we did not succeed in
killing anything. The next evening we went to the same place, when
Captain R. shot a peacock. Towards dusk I was creeping along, when
suddenly I saw what appeared to me a fine peahen. I signed to my
men to be quiet, got as near as I could, fired, and shouted to my
followers to run and pick up the bird, for it was dead. An Indian
servant rarely loses his gravity; but in this instance they could not
restrain themselves when they found that instead of a pea-fowl I had
knocked to pieces the skull of an old cow which had been half-picked
by the vultures; in the dim light I had mistaken it for a bird.

  [Sidenote: BHOHONESWAR.]

The next day we proceeded about ten miles farther to Bhalmacottee;
and on the day following, that is Friday, we started at five o'clock
in the morning for Bhohoneswar. On the way we passed the remains of a
very large old fort built of hewn stone. In one of the moats, which
was still full of water, I saw the remains of a pier of a bridge.
Bhohoneswar is a very ancient town, much more so than Pooree: it is
celebrated for containing nine hundred and ninety-nine temples. The
natives say that, had there been a thousand, Juggernat'h would have
taken up his abode here; but as there were not he preferred having a
new temple for himself at Pooree. The ancient city has disappeared,
and the town only consists of a few hundred mud huts. The temples
however remain--some perfect, others in ruins; some facing the street
of the modern town, others half hidden in the surrounding jungle. It
is a wonderful place, and I hardly know how to describe it.

At one extremity of the town is a tank, about half a mile square,
and of a great depth, entirely faced with huge blocks of black
iron-stone. In the centre of this stands a small temple, whilst the
sides are surrounded by others of greater or less size. At the end
next the town an enormous flight of steps leads down to the water,
where hundreds of pilgrims were hastening to wash themselves before
entering the great temple. The farther end is bordered by a dense and
lofty jungle, and in the distance is a splendid background of rugged

After leaving the burrah tellores (great tank) we walked through
a lane of temples, many of which were ruinous, until we came to
the grand sacred edifice of the place. The form of this, as indeed
of most of the others, is similar to that of Pooree. The temple
of Bhohoneswar is however larger, the principal tower being about
two hundred feet high. Like all the others, it is built entirely
of stone, and every block is most elaborately carved. The various
cornices, of elephants, horses, &c., are as beautifully executed as
if they had been done by the best European artists. The fretwork is
most delicate in its livery, and the many images, though representing
grotesque figures, are admirably carved. The whole forms one mass of
most splendid sculpture.

No description would enable the reader to form any idea of the
magnificence of this building. Many of the blocks of stone are
fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five feet in length, and thick in
proportion. It would be curious to discover by what means they were
ever raised to the height of above one hundred feet. This temple is
still sacred, and we were therefore not allowed to enter it, but we
examined the interior of several of the others. The lofty domes were
evidently constructed by a people who were ignorant of the use of
the arch; they are formed of overlapping stones, approaching nearer
and nearer together until they reach the top, where the whole is
surmounted by one enormous block.

  [Sidenote: CUNDEEGURREE.]

We breakfasted in a small tent which we had sent forward to
Bhohoneswar, and then proceeded in our palanquins to Cundeegurree, a
distance of about seven miles. This latter place consists of three
hills surrounded by the most romantic-looking jungle. Our palanquins
were set down in what may be called a forest, at the foot of the
principal hill, and crowned by a small but very pretty white temple.
These hills are perforated in every direction with caves of various
dimensions, and reminded me most forcibly of the ancient Petra. Many
of the caves are inhabited by devotees and priests. The god whom
they worship is quite unknown to our Hindu servants: he is called
Persilat'h, and is the god of the Jains, who were a powerful race
that existed prior to the introduction of the Hindu religion. There
are very few of them now remaining. The god is represented as a naked
man, standing upright, with his arms hanging down by his sides. In
many of the caves are small images of this deity beautifully cut in a
dark-blue stone.

At the summit is a Jain temple, which has been rebuilt within the
last two hundred years. The Hindus say that the caves are the works
of demons. Above the entrances to many of them are long inscriptions
in a forgotten tongue. Several of the letters appear to resemble the
Greek; but most of them are different from any known language. The
entrance to one of the caverns is through the mouth of an enormous
lion's head, cut out of the solid rock: it is exceedingly well
executed. The pillars about the doorway are also cut out of the solid
rock. Within the lion's mouth is an inscription in two lines, which I

Many of the caves are large and lofty, others very small: there are
some not high enough for a man to stand upright: of these latter
several have very small entrances; and in these are devotees who had
vowed never to leave them alive. The wonder seems how they could ever
have managed to creep in. I saw some of these holy men: one of them
had entirely lost his sight; another had his right arm shrivelled,
and fixed in an upright position, with the nails several inches
in length growing through the palm of his hand. What suffering do
these heathens endure for the sake of their religion, whilst we
are so unwilling to do even a little to please the true God! Their
superstitions are most disgusting; but they are a reproach to us,
both for our inertness in attempting to convert the Hindus, and also
for the contrast they afford to our self-control, who call ourselves

In the solid rock of these hills have been excavated some tanks;
but the most marvellous thing of all is the palace of the ancient
rajahs. This, like all the rest, is hollowed out of the solid stone,
and consists of two stories; the lower comprises a good-sized square
court, surrounded on all sides by large excavated chambers. Into
this yard you are obliged to descend from above. The upper floor is
similarly cut, except that a large portion of the rock has been cut
away before the entrances were made to the chambers. The consequence
is that there is a broad terrace, overlooking the rooms beneath,
and upon which the several apartments of the upper story open.
What labour must have been employed in making these extraordinary
excavations! The chambers are narrow, about twelve feet wide, but
many of them are long; speaking from conjecture, I should say that
one of them was not less than forty feet, the length corresponding
with the direction of the side of the quadrangle. The entrance-walls
(if I may call them so) seem to have been much ornamented; but what
struck me most was a statue, cut, of course, out of the solid rock,
and supporting one side of an ornamented entrance to one of the
chambers. This statue, the natives say, is intended to represent the
rajah who founded the palace: it is nearly the size of life and well
preserved. The right arm hangs down by the side, the left is bent at
the elbow, the hand resting on the hip. On the head appears to be a
close helmet, with, I think, scales down each side of the face. The
dress consists of a short shirt of scale armour reaching down to the
thigh; below this hangs a cloth skirt to the knees; hanging from the
shoulders behind is a short cloak resembling that worn by our modern
horsemen; round the waist is a sash or loose belt; boots reaching
half-way to the knees; and at the side is a double-edged Roman sword.
Now, to what nation or people such a dress as this can have belonged
I cannot conceive. I feel confident that no people of India have ever
worn such garments; yet, when I look at this dress, and consider the
Grecian nature of many of the letters in the inscriptions, and the
un-Indian appearance of the pillars in the lion's mouth, I cannot
help asking myself whether it is possible that, when Alexander was
stopped by the Affghans, any of his people ventured still farther
into the country, and after various wanderings founded Cundeegurree,
as conquerors of the district. Or, if I wish to turn my speculations
in another direction, I may examine the dress, carved in stone, and
that statue, and think of the name of the reputed founder Lalal,
India, Kesari (quære Cæsar?). All this, however, is mere speculation,
as I have no sufficient data at present by which to arrive at any
conclusion. There is a much longer inscription very correctly copied
in Stirling's 'History of Orissa.'

After spending a most interesting day at Cundeegurree we returned to
Bhalmacottee, from whence my wife and myself came on to Cuttack on
Saturday. I forgot to mention an animal that we killed; the natives
called it a "goodee sampsnake," and said it was very savage and very
venomous, though I imagine it was nothing but a guana. It is a sort
of lizard, with a very tough scaly skin, about two and a half feet in
length, head like that of a snake, forked tongue, sharp teeth, short
legs, armed with long claws or rather talons. I have preserved and
stuffed the skin.


A gentleman has just been here who told me an interesting anecdote
about an elephant. A friend of his bought one, and went out
hunting with a large party. The animal behaved very well all day;
but in the evening, when they were going to take off the howdah,
the mahout called to the Europeans to stand farther off, as the
elephant appeared to be getting uneasy. He had hardly spoken when
the animal made a rush forward, seized an unfortunate native, and
began trampling upon him with his enormous feet; a chuprapee who ran
forward was seized by the elephant, and flung to the distance of many
feet into the river; the beast then raised the poor wretch he had
been crushing, and threw him into the jungle, where he was found with
not a bone unbroken; every limb was crushed: of course he died almost
directly. The elephant then ran off, and for weeks was the terror of
the country round--going into the villages, tearing down the houses
to look for corn or rice. At last he was caught, and sold to the
king of Lucknow, in Upper India. I should mention that the only
limestone hills in this part of India are those around Cundeegurree.

Pooree, May 26, 1844.

How little is known in England of what a thunderstorm is! At this
minute (about ten o'clock in the evening) the rain is pouring down in
vast sheets of water rather than in drops. For the last two hours the
lightning has not ceased for a minute at a time, whilst the thunder
has continued incessantly, varied occasionally by a tremendous crash
which bursts immediately above the house and shakes it to its very
foundation. Add to this the roaring of the sea and the howling of the
wind, and some idea may be formed of the fearful noise now sounding
in my ears. But the storm is, in one respect, more fearful here than
elsewhere; at this station most of the European houses are blown
down once in two or three years--a process which is anything but
comfortable to the inhabitants, who are compelled to shiver through
the night on the bleak sands, drenched with spray and rain, half
covered with loose sand, and afraid to stand lest they should be
blown away.

May 29.


I find that the depth of water which fell in the two hours and a half
that the storm continued was one inch and a half, a quantity which
in England, I believe, would not fall without many days of rain.
But this is a delightful place. The difference of climate between
this and Cuttack could hardly be conceived, and yet the distance is
only fifty miles. At Cuttack, during the hot season of the year, the
inhabitants are obliged to close every door and window at half-past
six in the morning, in order to keep out the fearfully scorching
heat, neither can they open them again till seven in the evening.
Although the air is kept in constant motion by the punkahs, yet,
being confined, and also much rarified by the heat, it produces a
stifling gasping sensation, which is most painful. At this time of
the year too the mosquitoes come into the houses in great numbers,
and we are therefore compelled to use the mosquito-curtains at
night, which have no opening all round, and the lower edge of which
is tucked in with the bed-clothes; you might almost as well be shut
up in a box. The intense heat, and the quantity of bad air which
necessarily accumulates under the curtains, cause continual headaches
and oppression of the lungs.

Well, you start from Cuttack in the evening, arrive at Pooree the
next morning, and what a change! The doors and windows are open all
day; and although the thermometer generally stands at 89°, yet the
incessant breeze off the sea prevents any inconvenience from the
heat; indeed, we are sometimes glad to close the doors in order to
keep out the air. At night a delicious fresh wind, which frequently
renders a blanket necessary, no mosquitoes, no curtains. In the
morning we can remain out of doors till eight; in the afternoon we
can go out at five.

How rejoiced many persons would be to be able to spend their hot
weather at such a place. There are, nevertheless, two great drawbacks
to the comfort of Pooree. First, the European houses are all situated
on a vast plain of loose sand, extending from the sea as far as the
eye can reach in every direction; so that it is considered at Pooree
quite impossible to walk. My wife, like most other ladies, rides in a
tonjon, a sort of small cab, carried on men's shoulders. I and almost
all the gentlemen ride on horseback, or rather ponyback. At Cuttack
only rich civilians keep horses; all we poor men are content with
ponies. I have three beauties: two of them, Birmah ponies, for the
carriage, are of a large size, thick built, very strong, and highly
valued on account of their hardihood. It is usual to keep their manes
cropped close, but I like to see them long. One carries me very well;
the other is a saddle-pony, which does either for my wife or myself.
It is bay, with long black mane and tail, very sleek, with thin
ankles and arching neck. Indeed, several people who have looked at
him say he is the best-built horse they ever saw. He is full of fire
and play, jumps about, and every now and then stands upon his hind
legs. But he will not bear to be annoyed by strangers. A friend of
mine was riding him one day, and teased him so much that at last he
reared and fell over backwards with him. The carriage-horses are what
is called sorrel-colour.

The second drawback to the comfort of Pooree is rather a curious
one, and is, I suppose, caused by the wind and the glare of the sun
upon the sands. It is the impossibility for any one to keep awake
during the day. Towards twelve o'clock an overpowering drowsiness
comes on. Once or twice I have resisted it, and on those occasions I
verily believe that in the evening, had I shut my eyes, I should have
gone to sleep upon my feet. This is the universal complaint of all
visitors to that place. The regular residents get over it.

Talking of the night reminds me of a general habit which would seem
very odd to people in England. A person would imagine that everybody
is very fidgety at night, and rolls and tosses about a great deal
in the very hot weather. To render ourselves more comfortable at
such times we have a number of pillows of all shapes and sizes and
hardnesses scattered about the bed. At one roll you lay your leg on
one and your arm on another, then you turn over to the other side,
and then, throwing your feet on to one pillow, you hold another
fast under your arm: that won't do, and you roll over on your back,
with one pillow under your knee and another under each arm, and so
on through the night. I can assure you that, however absurd it may
appear, this multiplicity of pillows is a very great comfort on very
hot nights, although when you awake you certainly often find yourself
and them in very funny positions.


But now let us describe the journey up the hill, which is situated in
the territories of the Rajah of Neilghur; that is, he pays tribute
to the English, but governs his territory for himself. Just before
we went there, by the advice of the masahibs or councillors, he had
been into one of our villages making a great disturbance, whereupon
the commissioner, a sort of governor of the district, sent for the
Rajah, desiring him to come in to Balasore and explain his conduct.
I was with the commissioner when he arrived. The Rajah of Neilghur is
a handsome intelligent-looking young man of about twenty. His estate
brings him in a revenue of nearly sixty thousand rupees a-year.
His brother, who is about two years younger, and full of fun and
frolic, is always with him. They came to Balasore with a party of
about thirty, three elephants, and twenty horses. The Rajah and his
brother, with eight or ten of the masahibs, were ushered into the
commissioner's room, where chairs were offered to the two former;
the others remained standing. Of course all except the two young
Rajahs took off their shoes before they entered the room. Mr. M., the
commissioner, who, as I have told you, is the kindest of men, gave
them a long quiet lecture, and strongly advised them to dismiss the
masahibs and govern entirely for themselves; and he warned them that,
if such disturbances occurred again, he should be obliged to send and
take possession of the whole territory of Neilghur. They were very
submissive and made what excuses they could, but which, in point of
fact, amounted to none at all. At last they rose to take leave, and I
with one or two others joined them.

I immediately told the Rajah that we were going over to Neilghur on
the following day, and asked whether he would provide five hundred
coolies to beat the jungle. The Rajah promised that he would procure
us the coolies and elephants and make us comfortable. The party then
mounted, and really it was a very pretty scene. Both the Rajahs and
all their attendants were dressed in the purest white--full loose
trowsers, white frocks open on one side of the chest, and white
turbans. The younger brother wore a red sash, all the others white
ones. The Rajahs had most splendid gold chains round their waists,
and three very handsome rings in each ear. The eldest mounted first.
His horse, which was very tall and strongly built, was an albino; it
was perfectly white, with red eyes. The saddle, which for all natives
is made deep and well padded, was covered and entirely concealed
by a splendid crimson cloth extending from the shoulders to the
haunches. It was surrounded by a deep gold fringe, and reached about
half way to the ground on each side. The young man laid his hand
on the horse's shoulder, and at one vault sprang into the saddle,
the cloth remaining on. This was the signal for every one to mount,
and then they all began to show off. Their horses played all sorts
of antics; they danced, and plunged, and reared, and capered about,
though still under perfect control; indeed, it was evident that all
these tricks were the result of education. After some minutes spent
in this way, they suddenly started off at full gallop, and tore along
at a tremendous rate as long as they continued in sight. They were
followed by the elephants in a rough trot.

But I must say something more about these elephants. I was walking
through the town with C. the evening before, when we saw the
elephants coming towards us. We were both startled, if not alarmed.
One of them is said to be the largest in India, and it really did
look awful. The others, which were of the ordinary size, looked like
young ones by its side. I had afterwards an opportunity of measuring
it, and, if I remember rightly, its height was twelve feet eleven
inches. It is very old, as Tippoo Saib rode it at Seringapatam. It
is quite blind, and it is most interesting to observe its manner of
walking or running. At each step its trunk swings from side to side,
just touching the ground in front, so that the animal may know if
there is any impediment in the way. A part near the end of the trunk
is much worn away and quite hardened by this constant rubbing. His
tusks are magnificent, but his body is little more than a skeleton
covered with skin.

Whilst at Neilghur I saw this monster bathe. A boy took him down to
a pond close to our tent. He led him by one of his tusks. When he
reached the water, at an order from his attendant the elephant held
out his trunk and the lad climbed up it until he reached his tusks.
The elephant then raised his head until they were the highest part,
when the boy slipped off them on the head itself. The animal then
walked slowly into the water until it reached the top of his legs;
at a signal from the boy he then lay down, whilst the lad kept on
the head, scrubbing both that and his back. At another signal he
sank himself lower and lower, until only his trunk and the head and
shoulders of the boy were visible. It seemed to enjoy it very much,
and was almost unwilling to come out again.

  [Sidenote: LEAVE BALASORE.]

We sent our tent on before and started from Balasore at about eleven
o'clock in the evening in palanquins. Our party consisted of T., D.,
B., C. and his son, and myself. We arrived at Neilghur at about three
o'clock, and our palanquins were simply set down on the ground that
we might finish our night's rest. By the by, when the bearers of the
palanquins are changed for fresh men, on taking hold they very often
cry out, "Ah! my brother, my child!" but with me they generally make
an addition to this--"Ah! my brother, my child, my elephant!"

When they set my palanquin down I turned to look about me. It was
very dark, though the stars were shining brightly. The hill seemed to
rise almost perpendicularly from my feet into the clouds; a strong
blast of cold wind came rolling down its sides, and I was very glad
to creep back again into my palanquin and cover myself up with a
thick blanket. A little before sunrise I turned out again and roused
my companions. We dressed ourselves, loaded our guns and pistols, and
started on the ascent, after swallowing a hasty cup of tea and a bit
of bread.

  [Sidenote: SUNRISE--SCENERY.]

At this moment the sun rose, and none but those who have witnessed
the splendour of the oriental sunrise can have an idea of the
magnificence of the scene. Immediately in front of us was a broad
sheet of water surrounded by dense jungle, interspersed with lofty
trees, from which, as we looked, two peacocks came forth to drink. At
the back of the lake the hill rose abruptly to the height of nearly a
thousand feet, the sides partially covered with trees, but which were
interspersed here and there with precipices two or three hundred feet
in depth, composed of a dark-coloured rock. From each side of this
principal eminence project as it were shoulders, of about half the
height, and which, covered with the thickest foliage, inclined round
to the right and left so as to enclose us in a sort of semicircle.

We had sent men the day before to trace a path through the jungle,
and they had tolerably succeeded. But unfortunately I was weak and
far from well, and was completely knocked up before I got half-way
to the top. One of our party was a medical man, and he insisted on
my not attempting to go any farther. I felt deadly sick, my face was
as white as snow, every pulse in my head and chest throbbed as if it
would burst, my mouth was not dry but clammy, and when I lay down
on a piece of rock I almost doubted if I should ever rise again.
However, I soon felt better, descended the hill, got a glass of beer,
and lay down in the tent for an hour or two. The others reached the
top without much difficulty, though two of them avowed that, if the
summit had been a hundred yards farther, they could not have reached
it. They were very thankful for some beer and brandy-and-water which
I sent up for them. They saw no animals, though in several places
traces of bears were observed. The Rajah says there are no tigers in
these parts.

We had but little hunting; while we were there one of our party
killed a beautiful spotted deer. I shot some peacocks and a
jungle-cock. Talking of hunting reminds me of an adventure which I
must relate. The commissioner is the stoutest man I have seen in
India, although my wife did insinuate the other day that I was nearly
as big, but I am not.

The other day Mr. D., Lieutenant H., and the commissioner went out
hog-hunting. This sport is always performed on horseback with long
spears. The beaters soon turned out a magnificent boar. "A boar! a
boar!" was the shout, and up galloped the commissioner and plunged
the spear into the animal; but, in consequence of his horse swerving,
he was unable to withdraw the weapon, and the boar ran off with it
sticking into his back. Lieutenant H. now came up; the boar charged
him, cut both the fore legs of his horse to the bone with his tusks,
and tumbled horse and man over on the ground. In the mean time the
commissioner had seized another spear from his syce, when the boar
rushed at him. His horse swerved at the moment that he was making a
thrust with his spear, and the poor commissioner rolled over on the
ground. Fortunately the boar was nearly exhausted, too much so to
charge again; but he did what perhaps no boar ever did before,--he
seized the commissioner by the coat-tails as he lay on his stomach.
Feeling the snout of the beast, he at once expected to be cut, if
not killed, by its tremendous tusks.

He sprang upon his feet; the boar kept hold of his tail. The
Commissioner faced about; he had neither pistol nor knife, so he
commenced pummelling away at the boar's face with his fist. Now
imagine the scene--a man of his extraordinary size with his coat-tail
held up by an enormous boar; the Commissioner himself turned half
round, and having a regular boxing-match with the ferocious brute.
D. came up as quickly as he could for laughing, and with one good
thrust of his spear put an end to the fight. The charge of the boar
is fearful; he cuts right and left with his tusks, and inflicts the
most dreadful wounds.


And now I must mention some circumstances which to me rendered our
expedition to Neilghur very unpleasant; they relate to the manner in
which our party treated the Rajah. On the morning of our arrival,
after our descent from the hills, he came with a party of horsemen
to call upon us. We were just sitting down to breakfast, when I
observed the cavalcade approaching. I mentioned it, and proposed
that, according to Indian politeness, we should go into the verandah
of our tent to receive them. But the principal man of our party said,
"Oh! bother the fellow, we can't see him now;" and he sent a servant
out to tell him so.

In the afternoon the Rajah sent his man, corresponding to our chief
gamekeeper in England, to ask when we should like the coolies to beat
the jungle, and to say that he would join us in the hunt. We named
the time and started accordingly, found the coolies in readiness, and
saw the Rajah and his brother coming upon elephants.

Our party began to move on, when I asked, "Will you not wait for
the Rajah?" "I should think not," was the reply; "we don't want the
beastly niggers with us." And yet these civilized men were glad
enough to make use of these beastly niggers' coolies and elephants. I
stayed behind and had some talk with them.

The next day the two Rajahs called at the tent; they entered as
gentlemen, and made the usual Indian salutation. With the exception
of myself, I do not think one of our party even rose from his chair.
In the course of conversation we spoke of the badness of the water we
got. The Rajah immediately offered to send a man six miles into the
hills to fetch some from a mountain stream. In little more than an
hour afterwards, one of our party, feeling thirsty, sent a servant
to ask the Rajah whether he had not got that water yet. In India,
in speaking to a servant, you use the word "toom," which signifies
"you." In speaking to a gentleman you say "ab," which means "your
honour." One or two of our party made a point of saying "toom" to the
Rajah, which was in fact a great insult. The younger brother called
upon us. The chief of our party spoke to him on the subject of the
disturbances, although it had all been settled by the Commissioner,
and gave him a regular blowing up. And now remember that all this was
to a gentleman--an Indian it is true, but still a gentleman, with a
fine estate, and about 6000_l._ a-year, from whom we were receiving
every kindness, and on whose land we were hunting. Can it be wondered
at that the natives do not like us so well as might otherwise be

The Rajah, I suppose, finding me more civil than the others, gave
me a great mark of honour. He took me on his own elephant, while he
acted as mahout, and whenever any roughness occurred on the ground he
turned to warn me of it. I own that I did not enjoy the honour much.
The elephant was covered with a crimson cloth, so that there were no
ropes to hold by. The only way in which I could manage was to sit
astride. It was really most painful, and I almost doubted whether I
should ever be able to get my legs together again. I had two brace of
pistols with me. The Rajah appeared very much pleased with them, and,
to make up for the rudeness of our party, I gave him one of the pair.
He was delighted, and I was sadly laughed at for giving anything to a
nigger. His palace is a fine white building on the side of one of the

Cuttack, July 4, 1844.


I have mentioned the manner in which Europeans are apt to alienate
the affections of the natives; I will now give you an instance of
the way in which the Government seek to conciliate them. It must be
remembered that salt is a Government monopoly, that is, no person
is allowed to prepare or sell it except by the appointment of
Government. The cost to them is about eight annas, or one shilling,
per maund of eighty pounds; they sell it for four rupees, or eight
shillings, for the same quantity; and yet so necessary is it to
the natives, that, if any man does not buy the usual quantity of
Government, which is, I believe, about half a seer, or one pound,
a-month, for each individual, he is brought by the police before a
magistrate and sent to gaol, on the presumption that, as he does not
purchase salt, he must smuggle it.

Now the salt-manufacturers receive a portion of their pay beforehand,
and the remainder when the salt is ready. They belong mostly to the
poorest classes, and their mode of working is very simple, merely
collecting the sea-water, and then suffering it to evaporate in the
sun. When they receive the first portion of their pay, they are told
how much they will receive per maund, for the price varies slightly
in different years. Last year they were promised a certain sum; I am
not exactly sure how much, but say eight annas per maund; and when
they came to the salt-agent for their money, they found that an order
had arrived from Government reducing the promised pay to six and a
half annas per maund. Of course they were excessively angry, and
utterly astonished; for one strong idea with the natives is, that an
Englishman will never tell an untruth. I happened to be present at
the time; it occurred at Pooree, in the neighbourhood of which are
some of the principal salt-works, if I may use so dignified a term.

The proper course for these poor people to have taken would have
been, to have brought an action against Government for breach of
contract; but this they could not possibly afford. However, the
magistrates of Pooree sent a strong remonstrance to Government, and
the consequence was, that they authorized the salt-agent this year to
renew the contracts at the higher price, much to the delight of the
poor salt-manufacturers, who still lost a part of the promised price
of last year; yet it is scarcely to be credited that, before the time
for the second payment arrived, another order was sent down, reducing
the price as they did last year, and thus again defrauding the poor
wretches of part of their small pittance, for defrauding it is in the
truest sense of the word. All these things are managed by four or
five men, who compose what is called the Salt Board.[6] I may mention
that the salt-workers have been sadly disturbed this year by the
number of tigers. The natives sometimes keep the claws of those which
they are so fortunate as to kill, to make charms to keep off mischief.


And now I must describe Juggernat'h. To the temple are attached
about _four thousand_ priests and servants. Of these one set are
called Pundahs. In the autumn of every year they start on a journey
through India, preaching in every town and village the advantages
of a pilgrimage to Juggernat'h; after which they conduct to Pooree
large bodies of pilgrims for the Rath Justra, or Car Festival, which
takes place in May or June--the precise time depends on the moon, as
does the time of our Easter. This is the principal festival, and the
number of devotees varies from about 80,000 to 150,000. About five
years ago there were present, on one occasion, not less than 250,000;
but that numerous meeting was owing to some peculiar sanctity which
is supposed to be diffused once in 200 years. But I ought to have
commenced with some account of Juggernat'h himself. He represents
the ninth incarnation of Vishnoo. I have often wondered whether the
Hindu religion may not, in some portions, be taken remotely from
the Christian. One name of Vishnoo is Chrishna; one appellation of
Juggernat'h is Sri Teo. This Teo, as Chrishna, became incarnate
whilst very young; he was sought after by a king to put him to
death. Many children were killed, but he was removed from place to
place in safety. He was born amongst the shepherds. The Hindus look
for a tenth incarnation, when he shall unite all the world in one
religion, and himself reign over them. I believe I am correct in
giving these as points of faith amongst the Brahmins; and when we
consider that the Hindu religion was probably established long after
St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew had visited India, it certainly seems
allowable to suppose that some portion of the Christian teaching
became mingled with the doctrines of the Hindus. There is one
objection to this supposition, namely, that Vishnoo is represented to
have lived a very wicked and immoral life while on earth.

No European, Mussulman, or low-caste Hindu is admitted into the
temple; we can, therefore, only speak on hearsay of what goes on
inside. The idol itself is renewed every twelve years; it consists
of a mere block of sacred wood, in the centre of which is said to be
concealed a fragment of the original idol, which was fashioned by
Vishnoo himself. The features and all the external parts are formed
of a mixture of mud and cowdung painted. Every morning the idol
undergoes his ablutions; but as the cowdung and paint would not stand
the washing, the priests adopt a very ingenious plan--they hold a
mirror in front of the image, and wash his reflection. Every evening
he is put to bed; but as the idol is very unwieldy, they place the
bedstead in front of him; on that they lay a small image, lock the
door, and leave him to come down himself, if he can.

Offerings are made to him, by pilgrims and others, of rice, money,
jewels, elephants, &c.; the Rajah of Knoudah and the priests being
his joint treasurers. About twelve days before the Rath Justra,
Juggernat'h goes to bathe; whilst doing so, he is supposed to be
bitten by a snake, which causes him to be sick until the day of the
festival. During his illness the priests take off his paint and
cowdung, and give quite a new coat; so that at the end of the time he
appears quite healthy and strong.

On the grand day the three cars, which, I should say, were fifty or
sixty feet in height, are brought to the gate of the temple; the
idols are then taken out by the priests--Juggernat'h having golden
arms and diamond eyes for that one day--and by means of pulleys
are hauled up and placed in their respective carriages; to these
enormous ropes are attached, and the assembled thousands, with loud
shouts, proceed to drag the idols to Juggernat'h's country-house, a
small temple at about a mile distant. This occupies several days,
and the idols, having rusticated for some time, are brought back to
their regular station. The Hindus believe that every person who aids
in dragging the cars receives pardon for all his past sins; every
pilgrim who dies within five miles of Pooree will be greatly blessed
in his next life; and every person who swims out to sea, so far as
to see the top of the temple from the surface of the water, secures
great blessings in another life for himself, his father and mother,
his grandparents, and the three next generations descended from
himself! This last experiment, however, is very rarely tried; there
are too many sharks to make it pleasant. One man was drowned last
year in attempting it. As to the people throwing themselves under
the wheels of the car, that I believe to be altogether a European
invention. Some occasionally fall accidentally, and are thus killed;
but I imagine that self-immolation in this way neither is nor ever
was at all a common thing.

I have very little doubt that great wickedness prevails within the
temple. In two cases, lately, it is known that murder has been
committed there; yet we, who have held the country so long, are not
allowed to enter the building. It is said that if we attempted it
we should be driven from the district; this I do not believe. Some
years ago the priests declared that the god would not leave his
country-house until all the English were driven from the province.
The officer commanding at Cuttack directly sent word that, if the
idol was not brought back on the usual day, he would come and blow
both it and the temple to pieces. Juggernat'h immediately came to his
senses, and was back in his temple one day before his regular time.

During the period the pilgrims remain at Pooree they are not allowed
to eat anything but what has been offered to the idol, and that they
have to buy at a very high price from the priests. This food is often
very bad, and from that, combined with other causes, the cholera
makes sad ravages amongst these poor people.


At the festival that is just past it is calculated that there were
about 130,000 pilgrims. The cholera this year was very mild; but not
less than 650 died at Pooree, or between that place and Cuttack.
Their bodies are generally thrown out to be devoured by the dogs,
vultures, and jackals. One Sunday morning, in coming home from
church, we found that three bodies had been thrown out in front of
our house; two of them were rapidly disappearing in the jaws of these
animals, the other was tossing about in the surf. However, I sent to
the magistrate, and he had them removed and burnt. A vast proportion
of the pilgrims are widows. In India a widow is not permitted to
marry again, but must be supported by her late husband's relations;
and it is said that many of those poor women are sent down to Pooree
in hope of getting rid of them, and no doubt this purpose frequently
succeeds. And to support this system our Government pays 6000_l._
a-year; equal to the salaries of ten chaplains of our Church.
This year an event occurred which the Hindus consider to be very
ominous of evil. As they were bringing the god out, one of the chief
priests was seized with cholera, and was sick all over the idol. The
necessary purifications occupied so long a time, that the procession
was not able to start that day.

I have just had a sad misfortune: all my cloth clothes, cloaks,
&c., with two or three dozen shirts, flannels, waistcoats, drawers,
&c. &c.--in short, everything but what was in actual use--were put
away in a large chest. Whilst we were at Pooree my stupid man never
once looked at them. When I returned I wanted something out of the
chest, opened it, and found that every individual thing had been
almost entirely destroyed by white ants--coats, shirts, flannels,
were eaten through in all directions; and I think there was, at
least, 50_l._ worth destroyed. I have fined my man two months' pay
for his carelessness; but, as that is only 22_s._, it is a very poor
consolation to me.


[6] We can scarcely imagine that the Supreme Government would lend
itself to such a transaction; we think it far more likely that
it occurred through the culpability or negligence of some of the
inferior agents, who may have misrepresented the case to Government.

Cuttack, August 10, 1844.


The weather is now most fearfully oppressive; not so much from the
actual heat, for the thermometer is seldom above 86° or 87°, but
from a dense mass of cloud, which at the height of a few hundred
feet encloses us, as it were, day and night in one vast steamy
vapour-bath. The last two or three months are actually the most
trying that I have felt in India.

I forget whether I have described the Brindabund monkeys. I have now
a pair of them. I do not remember ever to have seen them in England.
They are covered all over with long, thick, black hair; but round the
face, extending from temple to temple, is a very broad, thick frill
of white or rather light grey: the tail is of a middling length,
the snout very short, and the animal himself remarkably docile and
intelligent. Those that I have are not yet a year old, and I should
say the body is about a foot in length. When on their hind legs they
stand nearly two feet.

I have mine in the verandah just outside my study door, and they are
so full of fun that I often sit for a long time watching them. One
runs a little way up the lattice, then the other makes a spring after
him, and up they both go as fast as they can. Presently the lower
one catches hold of the upper one's tail, and brings him down to the
bottom; then he makes a jump and gets away into his kennel and sits
at the door, whilst the other wanders round and round, trying to find
some place where he can get in without being observed; in doing this
he carelessly turns his back, when out jumps the other and catches
hold of his tail or his hind leg, and drags him round and round their
cage. I should tell you that the cage is the end of the verandah at
the back of my house; two sides of it are wall, and the other two are
lattice. It is about ten feet square, twelve feet high at one end,
and eighteen or twenty at the other.

When they are frightened they sit upright on the floor, with their
arms clasped round each other; and if I take one of them out tied
by a string, they both scream the whole time until they are brought
together again, and then they rush into each other's arms. These
two monkeys are very much admired by the Europeans at Cuttack, who
have given them the name of "the gentlemen monkeys," because, from
the great length of their hair, they look as if they were dressed,
besides being quiet and docile. They are almost as rare here as in
England. They are of the most sacred race of monkeys in the eyes of
the Hindus; and indeed the only objection I have to them is, that I
am afraid some of my servants make poojah to them, that is, worship
them, and prostrate themselves before them, and make offerings of
rice to them.

We have a great improvement in the use of our finger-glasses over
those in England. One man waits behind every person at each meal,
even at tea, and as soon as the meal is over he brings his master or
mistress a finger-glass filled with water, with two or three leaves
of verbenum, or bay, or sweet-smelling lime, for the persons to
squeeze between their fingers. In a hot climate like India this is
very pleasant and refreshing.


When a man in India, I mean a European gentleman, wants a wife, he
says to his friend, "I should like to get married." "Well," says he,
"why don't you?" and forthwith he applies for leave of absence for
a month. A month consists of thirty days, of which, say five are
occupied in his journey to Calcutta, and another five on his journey
back, leaving him just twenty days in which to make his selection,
get introduced, make himself agreeable, propose, court, and be
married. A nice prospect he has for future happiness. But there is
one curious result in this sort of marriage, and a result, too, which
spreads among other people also. After a few years the wife loses
her health and is ordered to England. The husband cannot afford to
go with her, but he allows her about half his salary. At the end of
two or three years, or whatever time may have been fixed, he writes
to his wife to make arrangements for her return to India; and I have
known two instances in which the husband was obliged to stop the
allowance in order to compel the wife to return.

I have often wished to have some peacocks in my compound, but every
one told me that they would fly away; however, I found that those who
had tried to keep them had obtained the young birds from the jungle.
I thought I would try another plan, and therefore I got some eggs
and set them under a hen. I have three young ones coming on nicely,
perfectly tame, and which, I think, will look very well among the
trees in front of my house. Two are peacocks, the other a peahen.

Cuttack, September 14, 1844.

  [Sidenote: A NIGHT'S REST.]

My wife and I were sitting, after tea, playing at backgammon and
enjoying the cool breeze that came through the open Venetians, when
suddenly it began to rain. In an instant the room swarmed with
insects of all sorts. There was the beautiful large green mantis;
and, as we were watching his almost human motions, a grasshopper and
a large brown cricket flew against my face, while a great cockroach,
full three inches long, came on my wife's neck, and began running
about her head and face and dress; the flying-ant, which emits a
most nauseous effluvia; and the flying-bug, black, and about the
size of an English one, which, if you crush him, will make your
fingers smell most dreadfully for many hours;--and with these our
clothes were covered, and we were obliged to keep brushing them away
from our faces, but with very gentle handling; and then came two
or three hornets, which sent Mrs. Acland to bed to get under the
mosquito-curtains, where none of these horrid creatures can get at
her. I sat up trying to read, but buzz came a mosquito on the side
of my face, up went my hand a tremendous slap on the cheek to kill
the tormentor, and buzz he went on again. Then I felt something big
burying itself in my hair, and then came buzz on the other side, and
then all around.

Presently, with a loud hum, a great rhinoceros-beetle dashed into my
face. I now began to take some of the animals out of my hair; and
the first that I touched was a flying-bug: the stench was dreadful.
I rushed out of the room, brushing the horrible creatures from my
hair with both hands. I nearly fell over a toad on which I trod, and
reached my bed-room to find eighteen or twenty great toads croaking
in different parts of the room, and five large bats were whirling
round and round the bed. Having washed my hands in eau-de-cologne, I
quickly undressed and fell asleep.

In the course of the night a troop of jackals surrounded the house,
and by their frightful yells soon drove away all idea of rest; and
then, about four o'clock, as we were just dozing off again, comes
the roll of the drum and the loud voice of the trumpet, the tramp of
the soldiers, the firing, and all the bustle of the parade; and, as
soon as that is over, comes the changing guard, and the "_shoulder
harrm_," and the "_quick marrch_," near our house; and so we got up.

  [Sidenote: THE BATH.]

Then comes the bath, the greatest luxury of the day (the water just
cooler than the air), into which I get with a book, lie there an hour
reading, get out and partly dress, and then admit my man to wash
my feet in cold water, and to shampoo me and brush my hair, whilst
another brings me a cup of delicious coffee or a glass of sherbet;
and then breakfast, with an enormous fan swinging to and fro over
our heads; and the heat, and the discomfort, and languor till five
o'clock, agreeably diversified only by a bottle of beer cooled with
saltpetre and water; and then a drive, and tea, and mosquitoes again,
and so on.

Cuttack, October 13, 1844.

  [Sidenote: THE DOCTOR.]

I had to make a five days' journey at the worst season of the year
to marry a couple, and I returned with a bad cough, which became
more violent after the cold had left me. I am very weak, so that I
walk like an old man. The doctors here are paid by the Government
for attending all persons in the service. The Company also find
medicines, but not the bottles, which sometimes leads to curious
circumstances. The other day I wanted some medicine, and sent to the
doctor for it; presently my man brought me back a black-draught in an
old eau-de-cologne bottle, with a roll of paper by way of cork, and a
request that I would return the bottle, as it was the only one he had.

I am about to apply for leave of absence. I shall go up to Calcutta,
spend a fortnight with my friends there, Mr. and Mrs. S.; they will
then come down here, when Mrs. Acland will join us, and we shall go
to the Chelka Lake and the black pagodas.

I have another monkey now, which is kept at the stable; it is a
horrible animal, about a foot and a half high, of a light greenish
brown colour, no hair on its head, and very much inclined to be
savage. I keep it to please my stable-people, who have a superstition
that this kind of monkey prevents the horses getting unwell. Not long
ago a young officer turned a very savage one loose; it took up its
abode in my compound. In one night it killed three of my fan-tailed
pigeons, and it chased my goats backward and forward so incessantly,
that one of them died of fatigue. I told my stable-people to catch
the animal, and get rid of him. This they did not do; so I then gave
them notice, that, if the monkey was not in the jungle on the other
side of the river by seven o'clock the next morning, I would cut them
all a month's pay. This is the best method of punishing the natives,
and in the present instance it was most effectual, for I have not
seen the fiendish-looking face of the exile since that day.

In India the cow's milk is very bad, poor, and thin; that of the
buffalo is of a bad colour and rank; but what is furnished by the
goat is delicious, and many people, ourselves among the number, keep
flocks of goats. I flatter myself that mine (twelve goats and seven
kids) are very handsome. The male kids we eat when they are old
enough to leave their mother; they are very nice indeed. Our goats
are much larger than those in England, but all other animals are
very small. I have heard it said at table, "Will you take a shoulder
or leg of lamb?" Beef and veal in this bigoted part of the country
are quite forbidden things. Yet how curious this is! No animals are
worse treated than the bullocks, which are here the only beasts of
burden. They are starved and ill-used in every way. I have seen a man
dislocate several joints successively of his bullock's tail; yet, if
I were to fire my gun at the poor animal to put it out of its misery,
I should probably have my house burnt over my head.

I saw a most extraordinary sight last night. It was in the evening
very hot, and a great deal of electricity in the air. There were two
very heavy clouds, one at a considerable distance above the other.
Suddenly some vapour separated itself with a whirling motion from
the upper, assuming the shape of a waterspout until the point touched
the lower; then a commotion began, the lower cloud rushing in large
white masses up the sides of the spout and uniting with the upper.
This continued for nearly forty minutes, until the lower was absorbed.

Cuttack, November 14, 1844.

I sowed some melon-seed one Friday morning; on the Monday when I went
into the garden most of the melon-plants were two inches in height.
In three days, in the open ground, from being mere dry seeds they
had germinated and sprung up into strong healthy plants. The same
rapidity of growth is remarkable in almost all vegetation in this
country. I sowed some English peas the day before yesterday; this
morning they are all above the ground. Thus we see that the effect
of the climate is to hurry all these things forward, so that they
naturally decay and die much earlier than they would in Europe.


Now just put man in the place of a vegetable, and the case is
precisely the same. A native boy has generally good-sized mustachios
by the time he is fourteen, and a girl becomes a woman at eleven
or twelve; then, again, at thirty the woman is old and shrivelled,
and at forty the man is white-haired and decrepit. Who can wonder,
then, that a climate like this should have such serious effects on
Europeans, or that our constitutions should be soon worn out by the
burning sun?

However, this month I have no right to complain; I am far better than
I have been for some time. The weather is delightful; we are glad of
a thick blanket and counterpane at night; at six, when I get up, the
thermometer is rarely above 72°. I have no objection to a cloak when
I am sowing seeds in the morning. The thermometer now, two o'clock
P.M., is in my room exactly 80°, but there is a delightful cool

I have before observed that I did not feel satisfied with my medical
man. As the East India Company do not allow above one doctor to
every fifty miles, I wrote to a friend of mine in whom I have much
confidence, detailing all my symptoms and requesting his advice.
I could not think it of any use to put blisters and leeches on my
throat for a cough and sickness which I felt to proceed from my
stomach, and as I was very unwell I thought it best to consult
another person. In the wisdom of his advice I perfectly agree,
although it is more difficult to act up to it in India: "Employ
your mind and stint your body." Any amusement, anything that could
interest or excite or rouse, he recommended, but to avoid all
unnatural stimulants as much as possible (I mean wine and spirits),
and take plenty of exercise. If I do this, he says, he thinks I may
leave all physic in the bottles and the leeches in the ponds. In
accordance with this advice I am occupying myself in various ways.
Books it is impossible to procure, so I have been training a horse
for my wife--a beautiful little thing. I have made arrangements too
for going to Calcutta in the course of the cold weather; and I have
enclosed about an acre of my ground, and am making a vegetable or
rather a kitchen garden of it.

I get up about six, dress in my old clothes, go out, and find one
of the horses, or rather ponies, at the door waiting for me. I must
ride him through the long grass, which by the bye is very nearly fit
to cut, to look at a number of my trees scattered here and there in
the compound, which I have been planting; then, when I am down at the
farther end I take a glance at the large pond, or tank as we call it,
where, sheltered by the most beautiful flowering trees, two men are
catching fish for our breakfast. Then I ride along inside the hedge,
watching the soldiers at parade, until I come to the goat-house; then
see the pigs fed, and ride back to the house.


By this time my wife is up, and she goes into the flower-garden,
and I into the kitchen-garden, to sow seeds and superintend the
gardeners. And here is the most curious scene; seven black men at
work, their only dress a cloth round the loins, their long black
hair wound up in a knot at the back of the head, their only tools a
sort of broad pickaxe with a very short handle and a small sickle,
these are their only gardening implements; and two men are watering
with gurrahs, a sort of narrow-necked jar made of black clay,
which they let down into a well by a rope. In the flower-garden
are the beautiful balsams, of many colours, and as large as
gooseberry-bushes; the splendid coxcombs, eight or ten feet high,
whose great thick flowers measure twelve or fourteen inches by six
or eight; the varieties of the hybiscas, with many others; and a few
of the more precious European rarities--at least to us--such as the
heliotrope, verbenum, larkspur, and many others. Our borders are
mostly of the sweet-scented grass from the Neilghur hills, which is
always covered with a beautiful small white flower.

In the vegetable-garden, besides the precious peas, beans, celery,
cress, &c., which will only grow at this time of the year, are the
pine-apple, the plantain, the guava, the lime, the orange, the
custard-apple, with many other native plants and trees; and in the
hedges are some of the beautiful palms, from the sap of which the
Indians make an intoxicating drink called toddy. In the compound are
some very fine mango-trees and beeches.

The other evening I was sitting alone writing at about eleven
o'clock, when I heard the sentry call out loudly to my servants
who were sleeping in the verandah. I jumped up to see what was the
matter. "A leopard-tiger!" was the answer; and the man said he had
seen a leopard creeping stealthily along the compound. He leapt over
the wall into the garden of the Colonel who lives in the next house,
and the following day footsteps were found in various parts of the
cantonment, which the natives said were too large for a leopard,
and must have been the marks of a regular tiger. I did not see the
animal myself; but if the men were correct, it must have been an
extraordinary occurrence, as our little island is entirely free from
wild beasts; and although it is at this time of the year joined to
the main by a narrow neck of sand, yet no large beast will cross
unless pressed either by hunger or by hunters.

A few days ago a man brought me an animal which he had caught in
the jungle on the hills. At first sight I said it was an armadillo,
but now I feel some doubt whether it was not some unknown animal. I
wanted to buy it, in order to send the skin, or rather the shell,
home, but the man asked ten rupees for it, which I could not afford.
It was nearly three feet long, covered with thick hard scales of
a dirty yellow colour, the tail the same length as the body, and
equally broad, which I do not think is the case with the armadillo.
The shape of its whole back was a long oval. When frightened it
rolled itself up into a ball, but it appeared very lethargic and
stupid. The feet were armed with long, powerful claws, but it walked
with the lower joints turned down under the feet, as if I were to
walk on my ankles with the feet and toes turned under and behind. It
burrowed a hole in a wall, pulling out the bricks and mortar very
easily. I tried it with various kinds of food, but the only thing I
could get it to eat was white ants. The man who brought it said he
had never seen one like it before.

Not long ago the doctor at Pooree saw a number of natives running
to the beach. He inquired what was the matter: "A great fish, sir."
So down he went to join the crowd, and there he found a large fish
indeed: a whale, measuring forty-eight feet in length, had been
washed on shore; the body was rolling about in the surf, with great
numbers of the natives clinging to it.

Then the doctor and the only other European present took off their
shoes and stockings, turned up their trowsers, and climbed on the
enormous animal's back; they got well wetted for their pains. The
other gentleman that I mentioned is not a very learned man, and he
said that their climbing up the sides of the whale reminded him of
the "Lally prussians" climbing on to Gulliver. This same person once
said that his wife had had a "historical" fit, in consequence of
eating "aromatically" sealed salmon.

Khoutah, 30 miles from Cuttack, December 16, 1844.


I am now writing in a tent in which, with the exception of Christmas
week, I expect to spend the next month or two, travelling in search
of health. The cool weather has refreshed me much, and I feel far
better than I did. A question has been asked me respecting the
antiquity of the religions of this country. I believe the Buddhist
religion to be more ancient than the Brahminical in India; though I
think that the latter is the older in reality, as I imagine it to
have existed almost in its present form in ancient Egypt. The Hindus
burn their dead, the Mohammedans bury them: but there are very many
of the former who are too poor to purchase wood; in this case the
bodies are simply thrown out for the jackals and vultures.

Jenkia, about 44 miles south of Cuttack, January 4, 1845.

From Khoulah I returned to Cuttack for Christmas. Early on Christmas
morning Mr. G., the collector and magistrate of Pooree, came in
to spend the day with us. Poor man! he and a cousin of his were
almost brought up together, and they became much attached even in
childhood. When he obtained an appointment in India, it was agreed
that he should return to England and marry her as soon as he should
have attained sufficient rank in the service to give him an adequate
income. After about five years' residence in this country he went
home and was married. This was ten years ago, and from that time his
life seems to have been as happy as a human life can be. Latterly
they became anxious to go home on furlough, in order that they might
see their children settled in England, but they had not saved money
enough; so, in April, Mr. G. applied for a better appointment, and
was consequently nominated to Pooree. On their way down, as they
passed through Calcutta, both were seized with cholera; he recovered,
but she died; he sent his children home, but arrived at Pooree a
solitary man. He is still in a very desponding state, but I do all I
can to arouse him, both by bodily amusement and religious converse.

At about one o'clock of the night of Christmas-day, or rather of
the following morning, my wife, Mr. G., and myself got into our
palanquins, and started for Khoordagurree, which we visited last
year. We arrived at our tent by about ten o'clock on Thursday
morning, bathed, dressed, breakfasted, and prepared to start for the
caves; but, alas! it began to rain, and the water continued to fall
in torrents for upwards of eighteen hours. We might have expected
this, for in India it is almost invariably the case in Christmas
week. The seasons are very regular; it generally rains every day
from the 15th of June to the 15th of October, that is, in this part
of India; the next showers are in Christmas-week, and then rarely
any more till June. Now, this thorough drenching was both unpleasant
and dangerous: for, although the tents kept out the water very
effectually, yet everything was so thoroughly damp that we began to
be afraid of the deadly jungle-fevers.

Just outside one of the doors of each tent we lighted a large wood
fire, and allowed as much of the smoke to come in as we could
possibly bear; this warmed us, and dried up the damp and purified the
air; and we retired to bed and put out the fires: we closed the doors
of the tents, and found ourselves in a comparatively dry healthy

Tanghi, 56 miles south of Cuttack, January 5, 1845.


The following afternoon we were able to revisit the caves. But I will
first describe our journey. On the Monday and Tuesday we had plenty
of shooting; the Wednesday, New-Year's day, we spent in-doors. At six
o'clock on the morning of Thursday, the 2nd, we started for Jonkia.
We went on horseback, riding fourteen miles before breakfast. Our
manner of travelling is most delightfully independent: we encamp at
any place we wish to see; Mr. G. transacts his necessary business as
magistrate and revenue-collector; then we have one, two, or three
days' exercise in hunting and shooting, the time depending chiefly on
the abundance of game.

When we feel inclined to start we send forward an order to the
principal man at the next place, say twelve or fifteen miles distant,
to build one room, about thirty feet square, in a shady place, for
ourselves; for the walls we use cocoa-nut and palm leaves, bound
together with bamboos, and the ceiling is made of the same material
with a few pieces of matting to keep out the sun. The evening before
we start we send on a cart with some of our chairs, tables, and other
necessaries and provisions, which it would be very awkward to forget,
under charge of some of our followers: we have about one hundred and
twenty of them with us.

Then, in the morning, we get up at five; we have a bit of toast, an
egg, and a cup of coffee or a glass of sherry; give orders for the
tents to be struck and everything to be brought on as quickly as
possible, and then we mount our horses; a groom runs by the side, and
a little way behind come our palanquins and tonjons.

We are also attended by men carrying our guns and powder, by many
other servants, and about half the inhabitants of the last village
through which we passed. If we feel tired we get into our tonjons;
if the sun is too hot we call for our palanquins. Every now and then
we see five or six peacocks feeding in a rice-field, or we come to a
place where there are plain tracks of deer. Then we give our horses
to the grooms, and creep along gently with our heads down and our
guns in our hands, whilst my wife either watches the sport or trots
gently on. At last we arrive at our encamping-place; there we find
our leafy house ready, and similar ones provided for the servants and
horses; eat a hearty breakfast, at which we sometimes substitute beer
for tea, and by the time that is over the tents are arrived.

We have them put up, arrange them comfortably, perhaps have a game
at chess, and then go out for a stroll about our new ground. Our
dinner-hour varies, but is generally between seven and eight. We
are usually up about five, and often walk from ten to twenty miles
a-day. This has done me a great deal of good. I feel already quite a
different person from what I did when I was in Cuttack. I have not,
however, lost my cough.

Sunday is a day of rest with us; we have service and spend the day
very quietly. At Jonkia we remained until Saturday the 4th; then came
on to Tanghi; on Thursday, the 9th, proceeded to Soonercollee, on the
10th to Bampoor, and yesterday, the 11th, we arrived at this place.
So much for our actual route; now I will give some account of what we
have seen.

When we came to Jonkia we agreed that we had never seen anything to
compare with the scenery there; but as we came into Soonercollee we
quite forgot Jonkia in the new splendours that met our eyes. Yet
these were again eclipsed in the beauties of Chelka Lake, to which we
took one evening's ride from Soonercollee. It is utterly impossible
to convey any idea of the scenery either by the pen or the pencil;
yet I will try what I can do.

In approaching the small village of Soonercollee you ascend a hill
some 200 or 300 feet high by a steep winding road or rather path. At
the top of the eminence it is cut through the solid rock, which rises
about thirty feet on each side. Suddenly, at a turn in the road, the
whole country in the front becomes visible, and I doubt whether any
one could repress a cry of admiration at the sight. The spectator is
(as I said before) at the summit of a lofty hill; beneath him is a
plain of some ten or twelve miles across, bounded on every side by
a lofty range and masses of rock. Peering up behind are to be seen
a succession of noble mountains. The sides of the hills, where they
do not consist of rocky precipices, are covered with a dense jungle:
the plain below is cultivated, except where, in three places, abrupt
rocky masses, interspersed with jungle, rise to a height of 300 or
400 feet. It looks as if some mighty convulsion had taken place, and
the earth had thrown up large bubbles of rock from the surface of the


The scenery on the Chelka Lake, a piece of water some forty miles
long by from ten to twenty in breadth, is very similar to the above,
if you substitute water for the level plain of the rice-fields.
Here the hills rise abruptly from the lake, and many of them are
quite inaccessible. The islands are inhabited by animals, but not by
man; and it is rather curious that each islet appears to have its
own peculiar race. Thus, one is inhabited by the beautiful spotted
deer, another by the enormous Indian elk, another by goats and fowls
(this one is sacred to the goddess Khalee), another by wild pigs,
and another by pigeons. With some difficulty I landed on one of the
pigeon islands: its greatest height did not exceed thirty feet, and
in circumference it may have been near a quarter of a mile; but
its structure was most extraordinary. It was composed entirely of
enormous masses of rock piled together without the appearance of
order or arrangement: it appeared as if some earthquake had destroyed
some giant dwelling-place, and left the ruins in one vast heap. Some
of the stones, larger than a man's body, had fallen upon one end;
they gave way beneath my foot, but returned to their position as soon
as relieved of the extra weight which had destroyed the balance. The
blue pigeons rose in clouds from every crevice, and fluttered about
until I left the neighbourhood of their nests.

The lake lay all around--so calm, so beautiful, with the green
mountains rising here and there from its surface, dotted all over
with myriads of ducks, geese, teal, and many other aquatic birds: and
this reminded me of one thing which I should have related before.
As we approached the shores of the lake we were surprised to see a
long line of tall white and red creatures standing just within the
water. We looked at them through Mr. G.'s glass, and found that they
were birds; we got out of our tonjons, crept towards them with loaded
guns, fired, and missed them, when they all rose and flew away.

The next morning Mr. G. and I returned to the spot: we each took a
separate boat, as Mrs. Acland was not with us; mine, like the others,
was about thirty feet long, and formed of a single piece of wood, a
tree scooped out. Mr. G. was very anxious to obtain some game, and
in the course of about two hours shot a couple of large bare-headed
geese and nineteen ducks of various sorts; indeed, they sat in such
masses on the water as to resemble rather a low wall than a number of
birds. At one shot he killed five ducks, and I three: I did not care
much about them, but I was anxious to see again some of my friends of
the previous evening.

At last I came in sight of a flock of them near the shore. I sat down
in the bottom of the boat, whilst the men pushed it gently along. I
was nearly within shot, when Mr. G. fired his gun at the distance
of about a mile from my boat: up and away flew all the birds. I was
very much annoyed: however, after some time, I saw about half a dozen
nearly two miles from me. On we went again, but they had become shy:
they raised their heads and looked about them as we approached, and
presently they rose. I did not think I was sufficiently near, but I
might not have another chance, so I fired, and down fell one of the
birds. I pushed one of the boatmen over to fetch it, though he hardly
needed pushing, for they appeared quite as anxious as I was.

I will try to describe my prize: I believe the bird to have been a
flamingo; and yet, if so, the usual descriptions are very erroneous.
The beak is pink, and furnished with a double row of teeth on each
side of the lower mandible--one row on the beak, and dark coloured;
the other very white and sharp, close to the tongue, which is large.
The eyes are pale, and surrounded by a thick yellow ring; the wings
are of a beautiful rose-colour, edged with black; the legs pink; the
rest of the body is white. When standing upright it is about five
feet high: the body is extremely small, neck and legs very long; it
has three toes in front and is web-footed, also a claw behind; the
beak very large.

Midnapore, February 14, 1845.

This is Friday, and on Sunday night I start for Calcutta to spend a
month with our friends; there I shall have plenty of occupation for
the mind, and shall, I hope, get rid entirely of the oppression under
which I have recently suffered.

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

Fancy yourself standing with me on that little rising ground, near
the foot of that large hill: it is near Bunool, on the banks of the
Chelka Lake. Keep out of sight behind that bush. Hark! there are the
beaters climbing the rocks on the opposite side of the hill. There
are 400 extended along the whole side, and every tenth man has a
drum or trumpet. Some of them have guns, curious native matchlocks;
others have swords or spears; and every one has a thick bamboo about
eight feet long. Listen! they are beginning to beat. As they force
their way through the jungle they strike the bushes with their
sticks, and from one end of the lake to the other resound the most
unearthly noises. The horrid yells of the natives, the screaming of
the trumpets, the constant beating of the tom-toms and drums--you
can hardly imagine such horrid discord. See: there is Mr. G. hiding
himself behind that clump of trees a quarter of a mile off. Hold
your gun ready, you cannot tell what may rush out of the jungle.
Don't show yourself. Listen again to those yells. They must nearly
have reached the top of the hill. Hush! there is a rustling in those
bushes close to you. What is it? Keep close, but up with your gun.
Here it comes! Bah! don't fire at that; it is only a civet-cat. What
a beautiful animal it is, with its grey sides, and tail striped with
that glossy black. But the skin is of no use; the stench from it is
so exceedingly powerful that you could not possibly bear it in the
house. Look out! there's another rush! Here it comes! a pig! no; what
can it be? Why, it's a porcupine. Don't fire. Here, you messenger,
catch it. Fancy the man's look of dismay when ordered to catch a
porcupine. However, another of my men jumped up and stabbed the
animal with his sword.

Oh, what a clash in the jungle at the top of the hill! See! that must
be some large animal coming down. Don't let him see you; peep through
that bush. How he plunges through the jungle! He has stopped: look
now! he leaves the beaters behind him, but he suspects danger in
front. You can see his head by the side of that tree, just below that
high rock. He is standing still and gazing at us. What a splendid
pair of antlers! He must be one of the largest sambres (Indian elk) I
ever saw. I am afraid he is hardly within shot; however, I'll try. He
is down; the ball struck him just in the centre of his forehead, and
one of my men rushes forward to despatch him with his sword.

But look there! Mr. G. is running as fast as he can, and all his men
running too. What can be the matter? Quick! see! there is an enormous
bear pursuing them. Here, give me my gun; make haste. Look! G. has
stumbled, and is rolling head over heels down the hill. Bang! I hit
him! See, he turns back. G. shot the female, and was immediately
attacked by the male, whilst his gun was not loaded, for he foolishly
had but one. We got the body of the female, and brought it to our
tents in triumph. It was a black bear, measuring five feet seven
inches in length, and its teeth quite worn out.

Cuttack, April 2, 1845.

The Government of India orders me to go from Cuttack to Midnapore and
back again four times a-year, to Balasore and back twice a-year, and
to Pooree and back four times a-year. The distance from Cuttack to
Midnapore is one hundred and eighty miles, from Cuttack to Balasore
one hundred and three miles, and from Cuttack to Pooree forty-nine
miles. I travel about forty-seven miles a-day on the average.
The Government allows me twelve annas and two pice per mile for
travelling expenses; it costs me four annas and two pice--an anna
being one-sixteenth part of a rupee, and a pice one-fourth part of an

  [Sidenote: SPORTING.]

I must now mention some of my adventures in the jungle. One day we
went with a native Rajah to hunt antelopes. Suppose the shore of the
Chelka Lake on one side and the sea on the other, with a strip of
sand between them rather more than a mile wide. The antelopes live
entirely on the sandy plain, and feed on the scanty plants which grow
among the sand. Across this flat a net about seven feet in height
and a mile long was staked, and 100 men were stationed along it as
guards. About 500 men were then sent out with a similar net about
a mile and a half in length, which they stretched at perhaps five
miles from the other. These 500 men then walked slowly towards the
first net, carrying the other in front of them, and driving lots of
antelopes before them. When they came within a mile of the first
net they staked the second, and there were perhaps fifty or sixty
antelopes enclosed in a space of about a mile square. Mr. G., the
Rajah, and myself, went inside with our guns. It was barbarous sport.
In two days we killed fifteen, which our servants ate most gladly.
But the interesting thing was to see twenty or thirty bound, one
after the other, over the net and the men's heads, giving tremendous
leaps; the black men striking at them with their swords and spears,
and cowering to avoid their sharp-cutting hoofs, and all hallooing
and jabbering, and swearing; whilst every now and then the crack of
one of our guns would be heard, and the whizz of the bullet as it
passed near.

Another day we expected some danger. When we arrived at the ground,
which consisted of thick patches of jungle, with open spaces between,
we got out of our tonjons and took our guns. There we found a number
of men looking for traces of deer, wild boars, tigers, or any other
animals. As soon as they found the track of one they followed it
until it led into the jungle, and exactly at that spot they pushed
in amongst the bushes an enormous bag made of net of thick rope.
Its mouth was kept open by a few twigs, whilst a running rope went
round the entrance and was fastened to a stake on one side. If then
any animal should make a rush along this track, he must go head
foremost into the net: the twigs would fall down, the neck would be
drawn tight, and the poor creature would be a prisoner. All these
preparations were at length concluded, and the Rajah then advised us
to mount the elephants, as he said two tigers had been seen in these
jungles the day before. We at once asked him whether his elephants
had been trained to stand the charge of a tiger, which always springs
at its head. He said he did not know; and we agreed that we would
rather stand the advance of a tiger on foot ourselves than be on the
back of a mad elephant scampering at random through the jungle. So we
built up an artificial hedge in front of us, and crouched down with
our guns pointed through some loopholes we had left in our fence.

This arrangement was hardly completed before we began to hear the
sounds of the drums and the trumpets, and the yells of the people,
as nearly a thousand of them marched through the jungle towards us,
driving before them every sort of game. I should tell you that we
kept our elephants close at hand in case of the worst. You cannot
imagine the excitement in such watching as this. Two or three miles
off the most fearful yells from 1000 men, close around you utter
silence; your eyes roaming in every direction, not knowing at what
point a deer or a tiger may break out.

Ha! listen! there's a crack among the branches, and out rushes a
noble stag. Bang goes G.'s gun. We had agreed that he should have the
first shot. He's down! "Hush! here's something else in this patch of
jungle." "Where?" he whispers, as he loads. "There, I see it now:
look out; here it comes!" And sure enough out rushed seven pigs,
followed almost immediately by three others. Now a wild boar is a
most awkward animal to fight on foot, and we had agreed we should
not fire at them. However, they rushed right towards us. What's to
be done? "Get on the elephant," says G. "No time," said I; "follow
me:" and we both fairly turned tail, pursued by a herd of pigs until
we came to a bush, or rather a patch of bushes, round which we could
make a short turn to escape them, and then back to our own station,
laughing as hard as we could. But really a wild boar is no laughing
matter as he rushes along tearing up the earth. If he charges, as he
almost invariably does, with one movement of his head he could cut
both legs to the bone, dividing the arteries, and probably killing
the man.

Presently a young stag rushed into one of the bags with such force
as to break both his horns close off. There we found him when we
examined the nets. We were sitting watching for what should come
next, when G., raising his finger, whispered to me, "What's that down
there in the plain? That's a deer: no, it can't be: do you see how
it slouches along? Depend upon it it's not a deer." "Well, at any
rate it's coming this way; we shall soon get a look at it." Another
pause of half a minute and the beast was concealed in a little patch
of jungle a few hundred yards from us. I now had time to examine it.
"I'll tell you what, G.; that brute's a regular tiger." "Well, so I
thought, but I hardly liked to say so: what shall we do if he comes
this way?" "I say keep close where we are." "But suppose he should
make a spring over the hedge in front of us?" "Lie flat down, and
let him go over us: yet I think I could hardly resist having a shot
while he was in the air." "Oh! pray don't fire; what in the world
could we two do on foot against a wounded tiger?" However, our fears
were needless: as the beaters advanced, the animal slunk away into
a more distant piece of jungle, and we saw no more of him. Two of
our people were rather hurt to-day--one by a deer leaping over him,
and cutting his head with his hoof; a rupee, however, made him quite
happy again: the other was a man who, as a large stag rushed past,
made a spring at its horns, thinking to pull it down, whereby he got
severe fall and prevented us from firing.

Pooree, April 26, 1845.


I have had another attack similar to last year; it came on in
the same way and whilst I was in the pulpit. In the midst of the
sermon my teeth began to chatter; I could not speak; my face became
perfectly white; a cold blast seemed to enter my left side and spread
over the surface of my body, and then gradually penetrate to the
very innermost part, whilst I was obliged to cling to the sides of
the pulpit for support. It did not last above a minute and a half,
and I managed to finish my sermon; but it was enough to astonish the
congregation and to warn me of what was coming. All my old symptoms
returned, though not so strongly as before--utter restlessness at
night and heavy sleepiness during the day, a painful cough when I
lay down, and other alarming signs. We came down to Pooree, where my
favourite doctor lives, and I already feel much better.

There is a billiard-table in the house where we are now staying, and
the doctor desires me to play as much as I can every day. Of course
playing for money is never allowed. The game of billiards is about
the best exercise for India. It is not too violent, yet it gives a
man about three miles of walking in the hour, and brings all the
limbs into play.

May 8, 1845.

I am too weak to write much, and shall therefore continue at another

[NOTE.--On the 17th of May the author's life was closed.]


London: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious typographical errors were repaired. Archaic and valid
alternate spellings were retained.

Hyphenation inconsistencies were standardized.

p. 145, "I believe the Buddhist religion": Original read "Bhuddist."

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