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Title: Up the Country
Author: Eden, Emily
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           'UP THE COUNTRY'

                     Letters written to her Sister

                                 FROM

                     THE UPPER PROVINCES OF INDIA

                                BY THE

                            HON. EMILY EDEN

                             AUTHORESS OF
       'THE SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE' AND 'THE SEMI-ATTACHED COUPLE'

                              NEW EDITION

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                                LONDON

                RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET

                 PUBLISHER IN ORDINARY TO HER MAJESTY

                                 1867


                                LONDON

                    PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO.

                           NEW-STREET SQUARE

                                TO THE

                    LORD WILLIAM GODOLPHIN OSBORNE


MY DEAR WILLIAM,

I know no one but yourself who can now take any lively interest in these
Letters.

She to whom they were addressed, they of whom they were written, have
all passed away, and you and I are now almost the only survivors of the
large party that in 1838 left Government House for the Upper Provinces.

Many passages of this Diary, written solely for the amusement of my own
family, have of course been omitted; but not a word has been added to
descriptions which have little merit, but that they are true and that
they were written on the spot.

Now that India has fallen under the curse of railroads, and that life
and property will soon become as insecure there as they are here, the
splendour of a Governor-General's progress is at an end.

The Kootûb will probably become a Railway Station; the Taj will, of
course, under the sway of an Agra Company (Limited, except for
destruction), be bought up for a monster hotel; and the
Governor-General will dwindle down into a first-class passenger with a
carpet-bag. These details, therefore, of a journey that was picturesque
in its motley processions, in its splendid crowds, and in its 'barbaric
gold and pearl,' may be thought amusing. So many changes have since
taken place in Indian modes of travelling, that these contrasts of
public grandeur and private discomfort will probably be seen no more, on
a scale of such magnitude.

Believe me,

Ever your affectionate Aunt,

EMILY EDEN.

EDEN LODGE, KENSINGTON GORE:
    _May_, 1866.



'UP THE COUNTRY.'



CHAPTER I.


On board the 'Megna' flat, Saturday, Oct. 21, 1837.

'Once more upon the waters, yet once more,' and so on. We are now fairly
off for eighteen months of travelling by steamers, tents, and
mountains--and every day of a cabin seems to me like so much waste. They
ought all to go to the great account of the long voyage that will, at
last, take us home again. And this cabin looks so like my 'Jupiter'
abode, in all its fittings and appointments, that it is really a pity so
to throw its discomforts away in going farther off. Well, I am sure it
is all for the best--I make no objection--I like to see things take
their course; but still I _do_ say, that for a person who required
nothing but to be allowed the undisturbed enjoyment of that small
Greenwich house and garden, with all its little Cockney pleasures and
pursuits, I have been very hardly treated and rather overworked. We got
up at five this morning; the servants were all in a fuss, and Wright was
in all the delusions of carpet-bags and nice bandboxes, in which she may
be indulged till we leave the steamer, and then she will be obliged to
wake from them, as the coolie is yet to be discovered who would carry a
carpet-bag, and a bandbox does not precisely meet the views of a camel.

When we came down for some coffee, the great hall was full of gentlemen
who had come to accompany his lordship to the ghaut--even Mr. Macaulay
had turned out for it. F. and I, with Captain P., soon took ourselves
off, and drove down to the landing-place. There were two lines of troops
from the door of Government House to the river, and the band was playing
that march in the 'Puritani' which, when we were at the Admiralty, used
to be played every morning by the Guards' band, and which, consequently,
always carries me back to the horrid time of our preparations for
leaving England, so I can always cry it all over again to that tune. The
road was covered with carriages and riders; and, at the ghaut, a large
set of our particular acquaintances were waiting for us, so we got out
and stood with them while G. made his progress on foot. It was really a
very pretty procession: such crowds of people and such diversities of
dress. He is not so shy as he used to be at these ceremonies, though I
think a long walk through troops presenting arms is trying to everybody.
The instant he arrived at the ghaut, he gave a general goodbye, offered
me his arm, and we walked off to the boats as fast as we could. The guns
fired, the gentlemen waved their hats, and so we left Calcutta. It has
really done handsomely by us, and we ought to be obliged to them for
_saying_--if it is no more--that they are sorry we are going. But I
daresay we are an amusement to them. They liked our balls and parties,
and whatever we did or said was the subject of an anecdote; and if we
said or did nothing they invented something for us--and it all served to
wonder at--which, in a country where there is little society and few
topics, was an advantage.


The Sunderbunds, Monday, Oct. 23.

We came into these lovely riant scenes on Sunday morning. They are a
composition of low stunted trees, marsh, tigers and snakes, with a
stream that sometimes looks like a very wide lake and then becomes so
narrow that the jungle wood scrapes against the sides of the flat--and
this morning scraped away all G.'s jalousies, which are a great loss. I
never saw such a desolate scene: no birds flying about--there is no
grain for them to eat. We have met only one native boat, which must have
been there since the Deluge. Occasionally there is a bamboo stuck up
with a bush tied to it, which is to recall the cheerful fact that there
a tiger has carried off a man. None of our Hindus, though they are
starving, will go on shore to cook--and, indeed, it would be very
unsafe. It looks as if this bit of world had been left unfinished when
land and sea were originally parted. The flat is dreadfully hot at
night; but not more uncomfortable than a boat must necessarily be in
this climate.

I must make you acquainted with the other flat, because then, once for
all, you will understand our prospect of travelling companions. You know
all about Mr. and Mrs. A. and their two children. Mr. and Mrs. B. are
our next couple. He is one of the Government secretaries, clever and
pleasant, speaks Persian rather more fluently than English; Arabic
better than Persian; but, for familiar conversation, rather prefers
Sanscrit. Mr. and Mrs. C. (belonging to Mr. B.'s office) are a very
pleasant couple; he acts and sings, and knows most of the people we
know, and she sings and plays on the harp like an angel; and they have a
small child, the least little sick thing possible, which I affection,
and I mean to borrow it when we are in camp to play in my tent. I often
_weary_ for a child to talk to. Captain and Mrs. D. are our commissariat
couple--she is very pretty. General E. is the public military
secretary--an astutious oldish man. The two steamers generally anchor
together at night; but the other comes in later than ours, and so we
have seen none of the other party but Mr. A., who says they do very well
together, all things considered. General E. is suspected of not being
partial to the small D., A., and C. children--there had been rather an
angry controversy about some apple and pear jam; and, in general, they
were all, like our noble selves, so much bored that they went to bed at
eight. Otherwise, they were all perfectly happy.


Wednesday, Oct. 25.

We stopped at Koolna yesterday for coals, and stayed an hour to let the
Hindus cook their dinner. We are out of the Sunderbunds now, and
steaming between two banks not quite so elevated, nor nearly so
picturesque as those flat marshes between Eastcombe and the river; and,
they say, we shall see nothing prettier, or rather less hideous, between
this and Simla, except at Raj Mahl. G. is already bored to death with
having nothing to do. He has read two novels and cannot swallow any
more, and is longing for his quiet cool room at Government House. The
nights are dreadful--all for want of a punkah--and hardly any of us get
a wink of sleep. However, we shall soon overtake cooler weather. The six
gentlemen passed the three first nights on deck, owing to the heat
below, and I sat up in bed fanning myself. The native servants sleep any
and everywhere, over our heads, under our feet, or at our doors; and as
there are no partitions but green blinds at the sides and gratings
above, of course we hear them coughing all night.


Thursday, Oct. 26.

They are steering us very badly; we go rolling about from one side of
the river to the other, and every now and then thump against the bank,
and then the chairs and table all shake and the inkstand tips over. I
think I feel a little seasick. Our native servants look so unhappy. They
hate leaving their families, and possibly leaving two or three wives is
two or three times as painful as leaving one, and they cannot endure
being parted from their children. Then they are too crowded here to
sleep comfortably. Major J. observed in a gentle, ill-used voice: 'I
think Captain K. behaved very ill to us; he said that between both
steamers and the flat he could lodge all the servants that were
indispensably and absolutely necessary to us, so I only brought one
hundred and forty, and now he says there is not room even for them.'
Certainly this boat must be drunk, she reels about in such a disorderly
fashion. I wish I had my cork jacket on.

I am glad that in your last letter you deigned for once to comment on
the 'Pickwick Papers.' I collected all the stray numbers, and began
reading them straight through to-day, because hitherto I have never had
time to make out exactly what they were about, delightful as they were.
I wish you would read over again that account of Winkle and the horse
which will not go on--'Poor fellow! good old horse!'--and Pickwick
saying, 'It is like a dream, a horrid dream, to go about all day with a
horrid horse that we cannot get rid of.' That book makes me laugh till I
cry, when I am sitting quite by myself. ---- There! I thought so. We are
aground, and the other steamer is going flourishing by, in grinning
delight.


Friday, Oct. 27.

We remained aground for two hours, and _touched_ several times after we
were afloat. Some of the other party visited us in the evening, and I
lent General E. a novel to help him on. I have been reading 'Astoria,'
out of that last box you sent us, and that great fat 'Johnsoniana.' The
anecdotes are not very new, but anything about Johnson is readable. G.
has got some Bridgewater Treatises, which he likes.


Beanleah, Saturday, Oct. 28.

We stopped at Surder yesterday, to take in some sheep. We ought to have
been there two days ago, if we had had better pilots and fewer
groundings. G. said, last night, when we again failed in landing there,
that it seemed to him Absurder rather than Surder. He made another good
pun to-day. How our intellects are weakened by the climate!--we make and
relish puns! The A.D.C.s are very apt to assemble over our cabins at
night, to smoke and to talk, and we hear every word they say. When it
is really time to go to sleep, I generally send old Rosina up to
disperse them, in her civilest manner. I was telling W. O. that they
were like so many old Chelsea pensioners; they go on prosing night after
night exclusively about the army, the King's army and the Company's
army; and that, if there were only a little levity in their talk, I
should not so much mind being kept awake by it. He said, 'Ah, yes, we
were very animated last night about the Company's army, and your old
Rosina came creeping up with "O sahib, _astai_ bolo" (_gently_ speak);
upon which G. observed, "Ah, if she had said, O sahib, _nasty_ bolo!"
that would have satisfied Emily much better.' This joke being founded on
Hindustani, and coming from the Governor-General, kept the whole suite
in a roar of laughter for half an hour. They really relished it.

Two young writers whom we had known at Calcutta came to Surder to meet
us, and we took them on board and took them back to Baulyah. How some of
these young men must detest their lives! Mr. ---- was brought up entirely
at Naples and Paris, came out in the world when he was quite a boy, and
cares for nothing but society and Victor Hugo's novels, and that sort of
thing. He is now stationed at B., and supposed to be very lucky in being
appointed to such a cheerful station. The whole concern consists of five
bungalows, very much like the thatched lodge at Langley. There are three
married residents: one lady has bad spirits (small blame to her), and
she has never been seen; another has weak eyes, and wears a large shade
about the size of a common verandah; and the other has bad health, and
has had her head shaved. A tour is not to be had here for love or
money, so she wears a brown silk cushion with a cap pinned to the top of
it. The Doctor and our friend make up the rest of the society. He goes
every morning to hear causes between natives about strips of land or a
few rupees--that lasts till five; then he rides about an uninhabited
jungle till seven; dines; reads a magazine, or a new book when he can
afford one, and then goes to bed. A lively life, with the thermometer at
several hundred!


Raj Mahl, Monday, Oct. 30.

We are now, after ten days' hard steaming, only 200 miles from Calcutta.
G. sighs for the Salisbury 'Highflyer' and a good roadside inn; but
to-day we have come to some hills, and a pretty bit of country. We
landed at four, saw the ruins, which are very picturesque, gave Chance a
run on shore, and we had time for one sketch. But the real genuine charm
and beauty of Raj Mahl were a great fat Baboo standing at the ghaut,
with two bearers behind him carrying the post-office packet. There were
letters by the 'Madagascar,' which left London the 20th July, and was
only three months on her passage. I had your large packet, and ten
letters. Altogether it was a great prize, was not it? and just at such
an interesting period. I think the young Queen a charming invention, and
I can fancy the degree of enthusiasm she must excite. Even here we feel
it. The account of her proroguing Parliament gave me a lump in my
throat; and then, why is the Duchess of Kent not with her in all these
pageants? There is something mysterious about that. Probably nothing is
more simple, or obvious, but still I should like to know what the
mother and daughter say to each other when they meet in private. To
return to your letters. There must have been one missing, because
Newsalls suddenly burst upon me as your actual residence, whereas I did
not know that there was such a place, that it had ever been built, or
that you ever thought of taking it.


Wednesday, Nov. 1.

We expect to be at Monghir to-morrow morning, whence I can send this. We
passed through some pretty scenery yesterday; but it is all over now, I
am afraid, and we shall see nothing but flat plains till we arrive at
Simla.



CHAPTER II.


The Ganges, Saturday, Nov. 4, 1837.

I sent off my Journal to you the day before yesterday from Monghir. We
arrived there early on Thursday morning, and G. found there were so many
people there whom he ought to see, and we saw so many objects that were
tempting to sketch, that he agreed to remain there all day. All the
English residents, _six_ in number (and that is what they call a large
station), came on board immediately, and amongst them Mr. D., Lord S.'s
son. I thought he had been married a month ago, but it appears he
prefers being married in a regular clerical fashion, and is waiting for
the bishop, who is travelling about marrying and confirming and
christening, and who is to be at Monghir in ten days.

We landed at half-past three, in a covered boat, with umbrellas, &c.,
and went straight to a tent, where the Resident had collected all the
Monghir manufactures for our inspection; but it is impossible to buy
anything, as what is to become of it in camp? Otherwise, the inlaid
tables and boxes were tempting, and there was the prettiest dolls'
furniture possible, tables, and cane-chairs, and sofas, and footstools,
of such curious workmanship. The vehicles of the place, amounting to
four _buggies_ (that is a foolish term for a cabriolet, but as it is the
only vehicle in use in India, and as buggy is the only name for said
vehicle, I give it) and a bullock cart, were assembled for our use.

We drove off to Seetakund, where there is a hot spring--a thing I never
believed in; I thought the water might be a little warm, just the chill
taken off, but it was impossible to keep one's finger in this even for a
moment, and it was the most beautiful, clear-looking basin of water, so
blue and bright. The drive there was a real refreshment; it is the first
time for two years I have felt the carriage going _up hill_ at all, and
this was not a simple slope, but a good regular hill. Then we came to
some genuine rocks--great bleak, grey stones, with weeds growing between
them, and purple hills in the distance. I felt better directly.

We all sketched away, and did not come back till it was dusk.
Altogether, it was a nice scrambling, homelike expedition, if I had not
come back with such a bad headache. But, though I did, I liked Monghir,
and respect J. for having organised such a good day.


Patna, Sunday, Nov. 5.

Here we are, in such a comfortable house, I never saw the like, and very
cool and pleasant it is.

We anchored last night within sight of the town; but Patna is six miles
long at least, and Mr. T. lives at Bankipore, a sort of Battersea to
Patna; so we got up at six this morning, and went on deck to see the
town. There never was anything so provokingly picturesque, considering
that the steamer goes boring on without the slightest regard for our
love of sketching.

It was a Hindu holiday. I must do the Hindus the justice to say that
they make as many holidays out of one year as most people do out of ten;
and I am not at all sure whether a small importation of Hindus would not
be acceptable to you, to accompany your boys to school as regulators to
their school-days. It would be a safeguard against their being
overworked. The whole bank was lined with natives bringing immense
baskets of fruit for 'the Ganges to look at,' as the Nazir[A] expressed
it; and they were dipping their baskets into the river with their
graceful salaams and then bowing their heads down to the water. They are
much more clothed here than in Bengal, and the women wear bright crimson
veils, or yellow with crimson borders, and sometimes purple dresses with
crimson borders, and have generally a little brown baby, with a scarlet
cap on, perched on their hips. I wish you would have one little brown
baby for a change; they are so much prettier than white children. Behind
these crowds of people, there were old mosques and temples and natives'
houses, and the boats of rich natives in front with gilded sterns, and
painted peacocks at the prow. In short, just what people say of India;
you know it all, but it is pretty to see; and I mean the 'moral' of my
Indian experience to be, that it is the most picturesque population,
with the ugliest scenery, that ever was put together.

 [A] The head of the Governor-General's native servants.

We breakfasted at eight, and just as we had finished, Mr. T. came with
all the English resident gentlemen to take us on shore--Mr. G. amongst
the rest. Such a pleasure for Miss H. I think that little iron is coming
well out of the fire.

There were carriages without number at the ghaut; a regiment, brought
from Dinapore to receive his lordship, which lined the way up to Mr.
T.'s house; a band to play; a second breakfast to be eaten, and the most
comfortable house possible.

My room is lined with idle books, and these up-country houses all have
fire-places and carpets; and though it is still very hot, the idea that
it ever may be cold is reviving. G. and F. went to church, where Mr. T.
read prayers and another gentleman read a sermon, and they said it was
one of the best-performed services they have heard in this country. We
have taken a hideous drive this evening over some brown plains, and have
twenty-six people at dinner, I grieve to say. I am as stiff as a poker
with the fall into the hold of the flat, and was obliged to stay at home
all day.


Monday, Nov. 6.

A dull dinner, very! but Mr. ---- is in himself a jewel; and he looks
like that man in Matthews's 'At home' who used to say, with a melancholy
look, that he was 'fond of fun;' but still, in that melancholy way, he
is very pleasant. His eyebrows keep me in a continual state of
wonderment. They are thick masses of very long hair, and if they were my
eyebrows, or if he were my Mr. T., I should with a small pair of
curling-irons and a great deal of _huile antique_, make them up into
little ringlets, like a doll's wig. I think they would have a very
original and graceful effect. We have had such a fatiguing day--just
what we must have at every station--but still it is fatiguing. There
were about forty people at breakfast; then, from eleven to one, F. and I
received the ladies of the station, and most of the gentlemen came
again, even those who had been at breakfast. G.'s audiences went on for
four hours; so the aides-de-camp had a pleasant day of it.

Then there was company at luncheon; and, at half-past three, G. held a
durbar. Some of the rajahs came in great state--one with a gold howdah
on his elephant; another had a crimson velvet covering to his carriage,
embroidered with gold, and they all had a great many retainers. To some
of them G. gave gold dresses and turbans, and we went behind a screen to
see Mr. T. and the other gentlemen help the rajahs into their gold
coats. The instant the durbar was over we set off, an immense party, to
see Patna, and we saw the Durgah, one of the largest Mussulman temples
there is, and then went to a part of the town where the streets are too
narrow for a carriage, and where they had provided tonjauns and
elephants for us, and we poked along, through herds of natives, to a
curious Sikh temple, which is kept up by contributions from Runjeet
Singh. The priest read us a little bit of their Bible (not the Koran),
very much to our edification, and they brought out a sword in a red
scabbard, which they worship, and they gave George some petitions, and
then we went home to another great dinner.


Tuesday, Nov. 7.

We have had a much quieter day. In the morning the rajahs of yesterday
sent G. his presents--shawls, kincobs, &c., three very fine elephants,
and two horses. There was nothing very pretty in the presents, except an
ivory arm-chair and an ivory tonjaun inlaid with silver. F. and I had
two very picturesque camels and camel-drivers to sketch in the morning,
and the rajah to whom they belonged sent in the afternoon to beg we
would accept both camels and riders. Such nice little pets, in case of
anything happening to Chance or to F.'s deer. However, we returned them,
and I heard last night that he was quite puzzled and annoyed that we
would not keep them.

G. went to see the jail and the opium godowns, which he said were very
curious. There is opium to the value of 1,500,000_l._ in their
storehouses, and Mr. T. says that they wash every workman who comes out;
because the little boys even, who are employed in making it up, will
contrive to roll about in it, and that the _washing_ of a little boy
well rolled in opium is worth four annas (or sixpence) in the bazaar, if
he can escape to it.

We took a quiet drive with W., and then went to a large granary that was
built years ago, and then found to be useless, and now it is only
curious for the echo in it. There we found Mrs. A., Mr. G., and Miss H.
and some others; and Mr. G. had brought his flute, and Miss H. observed
that the echo repeated the notes of the flute better than anything else.
But then Mr. G. clapped his hands, and that was better still. He gave
her his arm as we came out, and she looked very shy; and we all tried to
look very stupid and unobservant. I have not seen such a promising
attachment for a long while. Half our party went on board to-night, and
G. goes at seven to-morrow morning; but F. and I are going to stay with
Mr. T. till the evening, and then drive straight to the ball at
Dinapore, only five miles, and A. stays for us. All the others go, as G.
has a levée in the morning.


Dinapore, Thursday, Nov. 9.

We arrived in excellent time for our ball, and to see G.'s landing,
which by moonlight and torchlight was a very pretty sight. The whole way
from the ghaut to the house where the ball was given was carpeted, and
there are plenty of troops here to make a street, and our own people
turned out in great force.

There were some very pretty people at the ball, which went off
remarkably well. Mr. G. danced three times with Miss H., which is
considered here equal to a proposal and a half. Dear stern old Mr. T. is
quite interested in that novel, and came two or three times in the
course of the evening with a melancholy face of fun, to say--'The
_little affair_ is going on remarkably well: he is dancing with her
again.' We are now going to a review, and then to a dinner given to us
by the Queen's 31st regiment, which is to end in another ball and
supper.

Well! it is lucky that anybody _can_ do anything they ought to do, but I
had only four hours' sleep last night.


Friday, Nov. 10.

The dinner went off well, and so did the review. The 31st is J.'s
regiment, so he was extremely anxious that they should do a great deal
to our honour and glory. We sat down seventy-four to dinner, Colonel B.
between G. and me, and the chief lady and the senior captain of the
regiment on our other sides; the old bishop, whom we met here, took F.
to the opposite side of the table. It was a less formal dinner than I
expected. G. had to make another speech, and longer than last night's,
and it was very original and neatly turned, and gave great satisfaction.
We stayed through part of the ball, and came away before supper, on
pretence of fatigue. Both Patna and Dinapore have distinguished
themselves, and it has really been all done so cordially and handsomely
that we can bear a little fatigue for the sake of the goodnature of the
people who entertain us. And, at all events, it makes a gay week for the
station. Some ladies came sixty miles to these balls. At the ball there
were some rajahs in splendid dresses; such magnificent jewels, and some
of them had never seen an English ball before. They think the ladies who
dance are utterly good for nothing, but seemed rather pleased to see so
much vice.

Such jewelry as we saw yesterday morning! A native was sent by one of
the gentlemen to show us some really good native jewelry. There is an
ornament called a surpéche, which the rajahs wear in their turbans, but
there is seldom such a handsome one as this man had for sale. It was a
diamond peacock holding in his beak a rope of enormous pearls, which
passed through an emerald about the size of a dove's egg; then there
came the tassel--the top was of immense diamonds, with a hole bored at
one end of them, and they were simply drawn together into a sort of
rosette, without any setting. Then there came strings of pearls each
ending in three large diamonds. These ornaments are often made with
discoloured pearls and diamonds with flaws, but this was quite perfect.
The man asked 8,000_l._ for it, but will probably sell it to some native
for 6,000_l._ They stick it into their turbans by a gold hook, and the
tassel hangs over one ear. We have steamed quietly along to-day, and I
have been asleep half the afternoon.



CHAPTER III.


Buxar, Saturday, Nov. 11, 1837.

As we were passing a place called Bullhga this morning, we saw an
enormous concourse of natives, and it turned out to be a great fair for
horses. So we stopped the steamer, and persuaded G. to go on shore, just
'to go to the fair,' as we should have done at home, only we sent all
the servants with silver sticks, and took our own tonjauns and two of
the body-guard, and went in the State barge and with all the
aides-de-camp. In short, we did our little best to be imposing,
considering that we have only the steamboat apparatus to work with; but
we had hardly landed when A. came breathless from the other steamer to
say that Mr. B. and Mr. C. were both half mad at the idea of a
Governor-General going on shore in this way, and that C. was actually
dancing about the deck with rage; and A. wanted us to turn back and give
it up. Luckily, G. would not be advised to do this. They said we should
be murdered amongst other things; but in my life I never saw such a
civil, submissive set of people. Our people and the police of the place
walked on first, desiring the crowd to sit down, which they all did
instantly, crouching together and making a lane all through the fair.
They are civil creatures, and I am very fond of the natives. There were
a great many thousands of them, and some beautiful costumes; the bazaars
were full of trinkets, and pretty shawls and coloured cottons. We went
in our tonjauns, and G. walked till he was tired, which is soon done;
and A. left us quite satisfied as to our safety, and almost persuaded it
was a dignified measure. We wanted him to tell C. that he had left G. in
one of the 'merry-go-rounds,' of which there were several, but it was
not a subject that admitted of levity. ---- said the Governor-General
should never appear publicly without a regiment, and that there was no
precedent for his going to Bullhga fair. I told him we had made a
precedent, and that it would be his duty to take the next
Governor-General, be he ever so lame or infirm, to this identical fair.

We went this evening to see the Government stud. It was rather fine to
see five hundred young horses rush at once out of their stalls, and all
kick each other and then run away; but, barring that little incident,
both studs on each side of the river are rather tiresome sights--such
ugly places!


Ghazeepore, Sunday, Nov. 12.

We arrived at three. Mr. T., the brother of our late dear T., is the
Resident here, and lodges us. He had made a ghaut with a flight of steps
to his house for our landing, and the 44th Regiment, with their band,
were drawn up all round his lawn.

There were two women on the landing-place with a petition. They were
Hindu _ladies_, and were carried down in covered palanquins, and very
much enveloped in veils. They flung themselves on the ground, and laid
hold of G., and screamed and sobbed in a horrid way, but without showing
their faces, and absolutely howled at last, before they could be carried
off. They wanted a pardon for the husband of one of them, who, with his
followers, is said to have murdered about half a village full of
Mussulmans, and these women say he did not do it, but that the Nazir of
that village was his enemy, and did the murders, and then laid it on
their party. These little traits are to give you an insight into the
manners and customs of the East, and to open and improve your mind, &c.
After we had made our way through all these impediments, we rested for a
time, and then went to see the cantonments, and to evening service,
which was read by two of the gentlemen remarkably well. Then we came
back to a great dinner, and one of the longest I ever assisted at. I
quite lost my head at last, and when second course was put down, asked
Mr. T. to give me some wine, thinking it was dessert, and that we might
get up and go.

The dinners certainly are endless, and I do not wonder they think us
very rapid at Government House. There is sometimes half an hour between
the courses. A Mr. S., the judge, sat on one side of me, and after some
discourse the man seemed to know his Kent! and I discovered he was one
of the George S.'s of E. Visions of country balls and cricket matches
came back. He knew Eden Farm and Penge Common; in short, I liked him
very much, and I think he too was refreshed with the reminiscences of
his youth.


Monday, Nov. 13.

G. went in the morning to see the stud. At eleven we received all the
station.

In the afternoon we went to see the opium godown, and then F., B., and I
went in the band boat along the shore to sketch some of the old
buildings, which are very picturesque here.

All the party out of both steamers dined at Mr. T.'s, and moreover a
third steamer came up from Calcutta this morning, containing, amongst
other passengers, a Mrs. P. and her pretty little daughter, who are
great favourites with all our gentlemen, and they dined and went with us
to a ball given by the regiment.

There were great doubts whether a ball could be made out, as the want of
ladies in the Mofussil makes dancing rather difficult. However, we took
a large party, and the ladies we had seen in the morning all assembled
and had raised two or three extras. The mess-room was very prettily
illuminated, with G.'s arms painted on the floor, and they gave us a
grand supper, so it all did very well. I wish you could have seen the
dancers. A Mrs. ----, something like Mrs. Glover the actress, only much
fatter, with a gown two inches shorter then her petticoat, _bounding_
through every quadrille, with her three grown-up sons dancing round her.
She is an exemplary mother, and has been a widow many years, and a
grandmother many more; but she never misses a dance!


Tuesday, Nov. 14.

We did not get home last night till half-past one, and were up at seven
to go on board, and we had to go smirking and smiling through all that
regiment again, with all the other gentlemen to go to the boat with us;
but we may have a rest to-day. It certainly is a hard-working life, is
not it? I never get 'my natural rest,' as Dandie Dinmont says, in the
steamer for noise, and on the shore for work.

I wonder how you would be in this state of life. I often try to fancy
you. Sometimes I think you would be amused for about five minutes, but
generally I opine you would go raving mad! I constantly long to be in an
open carriage with four post-horses, along with G., and that we might
drive through a pretty country, and arrive at an inn where nobody could
dine with us or ask us to a ball. However, to-morrow we are to get into
double state, when we reach our tents, as it is of more importance with
the up-country natives; so it is of no use to think of bettering
ourselves.


Camp, Benares, Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We arrived at Benares at ten, _lay to_ all through the heat of the day,
whilst the servants unloaded the flat, and then steamed up within view
of the city, as far as the rajah's country-house, Ramnuggur, and then
dropped down again, thereby seeing the whole of the city. The glare was
horrible, but the buildings were worth all the blindness that ensued.
Such minarets and mosques, rising one above the other to an immense
height; and the stone is such a beautiful colour. The ghauts covered
with natives, and great white colossal figures of Vishnu lying on the
steps of each ghaut. Benares is one of their most sacred places, and
they seem to spare no expense in their temples. We mean to keep our
steamer here, and to go out sketching in it. But it would take a whole
week to draw one temple perfectly; the ghaut where we landed was as
pretty a sight as any. All our elephants, two or three hundred baggage
camels (they are much larger beasts to _live with_ than I thought),
bullock carts without end, and everybody loading every conveyance with
everything. There are twenty _shooter suwars_ (I have not an idea how I
ought to spell those words), but they are native soldiers mounted on
swift camels, very much _trapped_, and two of them always ride before
our carriage. This looks more like the 'land of the east,' in all its
ways, than anything we have seen.

We landed at five, and drove four miles through immense crowds and much
dust to our camp. The first evening of tents, I must say, was more
uncomfortable than I had ever fancied. Everybody kept saying, 'What a
magnificent camp!' and I thought I never had seen such squalid,
melancholy discomfort. G., F., and I have three private tents, and a
fourth, to make up the square, for our sitting-room, and great covered
passages, leading from one tent to the other.

Each tent is divided into bed-room, dressing-room, and sitting-room.
They have covered us up in every direction, just as if we were native
women; and, besides that, there is a wall of red cloth, eight feet high,
drawn all round our enclosure, so that, even on going out of the tent,
we see nothing but a crimson wall.

Inside each tent were our beds--one leaf of a dining-table and three
cane chairs. Our pittarrahs and the camel-trunks were brought in; and in
about half an hour the nazir came to say they must all, with our books,
dressing-cases, &c., be carried off to be put under the care of a
sentry, as nothing is safe in a tent from the decoits; so, if there were
anything to arrange, there would be no use in arranging it, as it must
all be moved at dusk. The canvas flops about, and it was very chilly in
the night, though that is the only part I do not object to, as when we
get our curtains that will be merely bracing; but it feels _open-airish_
and unsafe. They say everybody begins by hating their tents and ends by
loving them, but at present I am much prepossessed in favour of a house.
Opposite to our private tents is the great dining-tent, and the durbar
tent, which is less shut up, and will be less melancholy to live in. God
bless you, dearest! When I am tired, or _tented_, or hot, or cold, and
generally when I am in India, I have at least the comfort of always
sitting down to tell you all about it, and 'There is no harm in _that_,'
as the man says in 'Zohrab.'



CHAPTER IV.


Camp, Benares, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1837.

I have been obliged to give up the five last days to other letters, to
the manifest disadvantage of my Journal, your unspeakable loss, and my
own deep regret; but what can be done? It is just possible to do all we
have to do--just not impossible to write it down _once_, but quite
impossible either to live, or to write it over again; and I have had a
large packet of very old English letters since we came here, which set
me off answering them.

The _résumé_ of our proceedings, since I sent off my Journal to you last
Thursday, Nov. 16, is shortly and longly this:--Friday, we went a large
party to the town in carriages; when the streets grew too narrow for
carriages, we got on elephants; when the elephants stuck fast, we tried
tonjauns; and, when the streets contracted still further, we walked; and
at last, I suppose, they came to a point, for we came back. We saw some
beautiful old temples, and altogether it was a curious sight. Prout
would go mad in a brown outline frenzy on the spot--the buildings are so
very beautiful for his style. I forgot to mention that at half-past six
on Friday morning we went to a review on horseback. Saturday, we again
got up at six, and F. and I went in the open carriage to sketch a
tempting mosque. At eleven we received many more visitors than the tent
would hold--the aides-de-camp could hardly come in with them.

G. held a durbar in the afternoon, at which seventy of the native
nobility appeared. The Rajah of Benares came with a very magnificent
surwarree of elephants and camels. He is immensely rich, and has
succeeded an uncle who adopted him, to the great discomfiture of his
father, who goes about with him in the capacity of a discontented
subject. We had thirty-six people at dinner. Sunday, we went to church,
and underwent the worst reading and preaching I ever heard from Mr. ----,
who in general preaches to his clerk; but this time the church was very
full, and the congregation were all hoping to hear a little something
that might do them good from our dear Y. In the afternoon G. and I went
out on an elephant, and, in an attempt to make a quiet and rural cut
home, nearly drowned one of our outriding camels and his rider; so we
came home, much ashamed of ourselves, by the common dusty road. Monday,
we got up early, and set off at seven, to pay a visit to the old Delhi
Begum. The particulars I narrated with wonderful accuracy, bordering on
tediousness, to M., and I am confident you would not wish me to repeat
them.

G. positively declared against any more dust or any more drives, so we
stuck to the tents in the afternoon. He cannot endure his tent, or the
camp life altogether, and it certainly is very much opposed to all his
habits of business and regularity.

On Monday evening we went to the ball again, given to us by the station.
They have a theatre here, and had boarded over the pit, and by leaving
some forest scenery standing on the stage, with our band playing from
under the pasteboard trees, they made out a very pretty ball-room, much
the best we have seen in 'the Mofussil,' and there were plenty of
ladies, old and young, who seemed to be very glad of a dance. We got
home at one.

There! W. has heard that Mr. G. has proposed. I am so glad; for Miss H.
has left in England everybody that cared for her. I know that she has
long liked Mr. G. I feel, too, that it is a triumph for our camp that at
our very first station we should have married off our only young lady.

Yesterday we had a grand expedition, which I am going to give you and
the children, once for all, at great length, and then you will for the
future take it for granted that all native fêtes are much alike.

The Rajah of Benares asked us to come to his country-house, called
Ramnuggur (how it is spelt, I cannot say; probably with none of those
letters). It is on the other side of the Ganges. We drove down to the
river-side through a dense cloud of dust. I asked one of our servants to
_dust_ me gently with my pocket-handkerchief, and without any
exaggeration a thick cloud came out of my cape.

Mrs. C.'s black bonnet was of a light brown colour.

We found the rajah's boats waiting for us--a silver armchair and
footstool for his lordship in the prow, which was decorated with
silvered peacocks, and a sort of red embroidered tent for '_his women_,'
where we placed ourselves, though there was another boat with two
inferior silver chairs for F. and me. All these things are grandly
imagined, but with the silver chairs there are boatmen in dirty
liveries or no liveries at all!--and it is all _discrepant_, or
generally so.

This rajah is immensely rich; he had a great many handsome things. I
enclose a sketch to illustrate for the children 'their dear devoted
creature,' G., first in the silver tonjaun which took him down to the
boat, then in the other State silver tonjaun that took him up from the
ghaut, and then a back view of him on his elephant. I often wonder
whether it really can be G., the original simple, quiet one. He does it
very well, but detests great part of the ceremonies, particularly
_embracing_ the rajahs!

The rajah met us at the ghaut, and we were all carried off to the
elephants, and got on them to go and see his garden, though it was
nearly dusk. But the first sight was very striking.

Eighteen elephants and crowds of attendants, and then crowds as far as
we could see of natives, going on 'Wah! wah! Hi Lord Sahib.' We rode
about till it was quite dark, and then the rajah proposed we should
return; and when we came to the turn of the road, the whole of the
village and his castle, which is an enormous building, was illuminated.
Wherever there was a straight line, or a window, or an arch, there was a
row of little bright lamps; every cross of the lattices in every window
had its little lamp. It was the _largest_ illumination I ever saw. We
went on the elephants through the great gateway, in a Timour the Tartar
fashion, into the court. Such torches and spearmen and drums and crowds,
like a melodrama magnified by a solar microscope; it was the sort of
scene where Ellen Tree would have snatched up a doll from under
Farley's sword, and said, 'My boy, my boy, my rescued Agib!' or words to
that effect, while the curtain fell slowly. We got off at the door of an
immense hall, a sort of court, and the rajah's servants spread a path of
scarlet and gold kincob from the door to the seat at the farthest end,
for us to walk on. Considering that it is a pound a yard, and that I
have been bargaining for a week for enough for a wadded _douillette_ and
was beat out of it, it was a pity to trample on it, and it led to a
catastrophe, as you will see if you read on. The rajah put us three on a
velvet sofa, with a gold gauze carpet before it. He sat on one side of
us and his father on the other, and Mr. B. and Mr. C. on each side to
interpret, and then the aides-de-camp and the other ladies; and then the
nautch-girls began dancing. He had provided an immense troop of them,
and they were covered with jewels and dressed in gold brocades, some
purple and some red, with long floating scarfs of gold gauze. Most of
them ugly, but one was I think the prettiest creature I ever saw, and
the most graceful. If I have time I will send a little coloured sketch
of her, just to show the effect of her dress. She and another girl
danced slowly round with their full draperies floating round them,
without stopping, for a quarter of an hour, during all which time they
were making flowers out of some coloured scarfs they wore, and when they
had finished a bunch they came and presented it to us with such graceful
Eastern genuflexions. The whole thing was like a dream, it was so
curious and unnatural. Then the Ranee sent for us, and F. and I set off
in tonjauns for the women's apartments, with the ladies who were with
us. They carried us through a great many courts, and then the rajah gave
me his cold, flabby little hand, and handed us up some narrow, dirty
stairs, and came in with us behind the purdah and introduced us to the
Ranee his mother, who was very splendidly dressed, and to some of his
sisters, who were ugly. Then they asked us to go and see an old
grandmother, and the Ranee laid hold of my hand, and one of the sisters
took F., and they led us along an immense court on the roof, to the old
lady, who is blind and very ill; but they had dressed her up for us, and
we had to kiss her, which was not very nice. There was another immense
nautch provided, which we had not time to look at. We gave our rings,
and they brought the trays of presents which are usually given, a
diamond ring and drops for earrings, two necklaces (very trashy), some
beautiful shawls and kincobs, and some muslin; then they put immense
skipping-ropes of silver braid, bigger than a common boa, round our
necks, and small ones on the other ladies, and then poured attar of
roses on our hands, and we left the old lady. When we came back to the
Ranee's room, she showed us her little _chapel_, close to her sofa,
where there were quantities of horrid-looking idols--Vishnu, and so on.
Several native girls were introduced to us, but only one who was pretty,
and who has just been betrothed to the father of the rajah. The young
Ranees, or whatever they are called, are very shy, and stand with their
eyes closed, but the older ones had great fun when we were going away in
pouring the attar over our gowns, and utterly spoiled mine, which was
silk: next time I shall go in muslin. When we came down, the trays for
G. were brought in; they covered what would be called a very large room,
and some of the gold stuffs have turned out to be very beautiful. It is
a stupid etiquette, that we are not to appear to see these presents. It
is a _tribute_, and the superior is to be too grand to see what the
inferior offers. When that was done, we went to the illumination, which
was done on a very large scale, but not so neatly as at home; then to
the boat, where the rajah accompanied us, and there was a second
illumination on the river, much more beautiful than the first--and the
blue lights, and the crowds, and the great pile of buildings made a
grand show. We got back at eleven, very tired and starving hungry, but
it was a curious sight and much to be remembered. There! now you have
borne all that so well, you shall not have any more of it, though
probably we shall have more than enough. The kincob catastrophe was,
that some of our servants were so over-tempted by it, that without the
slightest respect for time or place, the instant we had walked over it
they snatched it up and carried it off. It would have been sent to them
to-morrow from the rajah, but it was a shameful thing to do; and as the
Government House servants fancy they may oppress any and everybody
during their journeys, Captain J. assembled all who went with us, and
the chief culprits were picked out and discharged. There are five
victims, but luckily only one who is a very old servant. It is a great
bore, as we have brought them a great way from their homes, and it is
difficult to replace them here.



CHAPTER V.


Mohun ke Serai.

We made our first march. The bugle sounds at half-past five to wake us,
though the camels perform that ceremony rather earlier, and we set off
at six as the clock strikes, for as nobody is allowed to precede the
Governor-General, it would be hard upon the camp if we were inexact. The
comfort of that rule is inexpressible, as we escape all dust that way.
G. and F., with Captain N. and Captain M., went in the carriage towards
Chumar, and I went with Captain J., Captain D., and W. the regular
route, each on our elephant half-way, and the other half on horseback.

It is very pleasant and cool at that time, really nice weather, and we
had a short march--only seven miles and a half. It seems somehow wicked
to move 12,000 people with their tents, elephants, camels, horses,
trunks, &c., for so little, but there is no help for it. There were a
great many robberies in the camp last night. Mrs. A. saw a man on his
hands and knees creeping through her tent, but she called out, and he
ran away without taking anything. Mr. B. says, when he and his wife were
encamped last year on this spot, which is famous for thieves, they lost
everything, even the shawl that was on the bed, and the clothes Mrs. B.
had left out for the morning wear, and he had to sew her up in a blanket
and drive her to Benares for fresh things. W. and I went out on the
elephant in search of a sketch in the afternoon, and G. and F. came
back to dinner very much pleased with their expedition. Those
unfortunate men who were parted with yesterday have plagued my heart out
all day. Of course, Captain J.'s soft heart was melted early in the
morning, and he came to beg to have them back again, but he owns it was
a shocking atrocity according to the customs of the country, and if we
were too easy about it, of course it would be said that G. despised and
affronted the native princes, and even that our servants would think so;
but still it was difficult to be firm. There is something so very
imploring in these people. Three times they contrived to get into my
tent with their relations, and some of the old servants to help them,
and they cry, and lay hold of one's feet, and somehow it seems so odd
not to forgive anybody who wishes it even less humbly than they do.

My jemadar was interpreting for them, with tears rolling down all the
time, and it shocked me when he said: 'They say that they have followed
lordship and ladyship great way from their own homes; they made one
fault, one very bad one, but God Almighty even forgive everybody once,
else what become of us all?' I could not help thinking of the 'seventy
times seven;' and if we were forgiven only once, what, as he says, would
become of us? However, I pacified them to a certain degree by giving
them money enough to take them back to Calcutta, and explained that if
it had been any offence against our customs we should have overlooked it
directly, but as it was a great disrespect to one of their own princes
we could not, out of regard to their own country, forgive it; and any
compliment to India goes a great way. My men told me afterwards, that it
was very true one native would tell the other that the rajah had been
ill-treated, and that they would say _this_ Governor lets even his
servants hurt the people. W. said the Sepoys were all talking it over,
and were glad the men were punished.


Tamarhabad, Friday, Nov. 24.

We marched ten miles to-day. These moves are the most amusing part of
the journey; besides the odd native groups, our friends catch us up in
their _déshabille_--Mrs. A. carrying the baby in an open carriage; Mrs.
C. with hers fast asleep in a tonjaun; Miss H. on the top of an
elephant, pacifying the big boy of the A.s; Captain D. riding on in a
suit of dust-coloured canvas, with a coal-heaver's hat, going as hard as
he can, to see that the tent is ready for his wife; Mrs. B. carrying Mr.
B.'s pet cat in her palanquin carriage, with her ayah opposite guarding
the parroquet from the cat. Then Giles comes bounding by, in fact, run
away with, but apologises for passing us when we arrive, by saying he
was going on to take care that tea was ready for us. Then we overtake
Captain D.'s dogs, all walking with red great coats on--our dogs all
wear coats in the morning; then Chance's servant stalking along, with a
great stick in one hand, a shawl draped over his livery, and Chance's
nose peeping from under the shawl. F.'s pets travel in her cart. We each
have a cart, but I can never find anything to put in mine. There are
fakeers who always belong to a camp, and beat their drums just by the
first tent, and the instant this drum is heard everybody thinks of their
breakfast and hurries on; and the Sepoys and servants are so glad to get
to the end of the march, that they throw the fakeer a cowrie, or some
infinitely small coin, by which he lives.

Mr. A. came over yesterday evening. They brought Mr. G. as far as
Chroppra, his station, and he is to follow us to Allahabad, when the
wedding will take place.


Goofrein, Sunday, Nov. 26.

We came another ten miles yesterday, and always halt on Sunday. All
these places are so exactly like each other--a mere sandy plain with a
tank and a little mosque near at hand--that I never can make out why
they have any names; there is nothing to give a name to. The Rajah of
Benares marches with us till we come to his frontier, and he always
encamps within half a mile of us. He expressed a wish yesterday to see
our horses, so Captain M., who takes charge of the stables, went himself
this morning with all the whole concern. There are sixty horses
altogether in our stables--as the aides-de-camp keep theirs with ours,
and the syces are all dressed alike--so it made a very good show; and
there were 140 elephants. Captain M. and the rajah sat on two ivory
chairs, in front of the rajah's tent, and the horses and carriages and
elephants were all led round, and he asked the name of every animal, and
which each of us rode, and any that he admired he had brought round a
second time. It is one of the few civilities that amuse a native, so we
were glad it answered so well. Soon after the horses returned, the nazir
and three or four of the native servants came into my tent in great
perturbation: the rajah had sent the nazir a pair of shawls, one shawl
to the elephant jemadar, and another to G.'s mahout, and 300 rupees in
little bags for the syces and elephant coolies. And after the fuss that
was made a few days ago, about the servants taking no presents, the
nazir clearly thought he was in danger of losing his place for having
one offered to him. 'My shawls are a present, therefore, I fear,' he
said in his most timid tone. I sent for Mr. B., who said there was no
doubt that, as it was a private civility from the Governor-General to
the rajah, sending his own horses, &c. &c., that the servants might keep
their presents. I never saw people so happy as they were. Mr. Y. read
and preached so well to-day: it was the first Sunday in tents, and the
largest one was very well arranged, like a chapel. We had a larger
congregation than I expected, nearly sixty; amongst them some old
European soldiers, who looked very respectable. It was odd and rather
awful to think that sixty Christians should be worshipping God in this
desert, which is not their home, and that 12,000 false worshippers
should be standing round under the orders of these few Christians on
every point, except the only one that is of any importance; the
idolaters, too, being in their own land, and with millions within reach,
who all despise and detest our faith.


Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Yesterday we made an expedition to Mirzapore, the great carpet
manufactory. We left the camp at a quarter before six, by torchlight,
and went nine miles across the country to Mirzapore, leaving the camp to
pursue its own straight road. We found the usual assortment of
magistrates, judges, collectors, &c. &c., with boats, carriages, and
tonjauns: crossed the river; landed G., who went off to see the jail
and manufactories. We stuck to the boat to draw a most beautiful ghaut,
a mass of temples and carving. When that was done, we went to see the
house of a rich native, every inch of which is painted in arabesques,
all done by native artists, and very curious. Then we saw the town, and
then went to the house of Mr. K., the magistrate, where there was all
the society of the place--thirty gentlemen and one lady--and we got some
breakfast at ten, when we were on the point of perishing. The excellent
Mr. K., like an upright judge as he is, had made out a dressing-room
with two sofas and books, and every comfort, for F. and me. Major L. was
at luncheon: he is the man who has taken most of the Thugs, and he told
me such horrid stories of them. The temple at which they dedicate
themselves to the goddess of destruction is in this town. The Thugs
offer human sacrifices there whenever they can procure them. We left
Mirzapore at four, and overtook our camp at six. It looked pretty by
torchlight. We moved on another ten miles this morning, but, where we
are, I cannot precisely tell you. I think it sounds like Gugga Gange; at
all events, that is as good as the real word.



CHAPTER VI.


Camp near Allahabad, Nov. 30, 1837.

I sent off one journal to you two days ago from a place that, it since
appears, was called Bheekee. Yesterday we started at half-past five, as
it was a twelve miles' march, and the troops complain if they do not
get in before the sun grows hot, so we had half an hour's drive in the
dark, and F. rode the last half of the way. I came on in the carriage,
as I did not feel well, and one is sick and chilly naturally before
breakfast. Not but that I like these morning marches; the weather is so
English, and feels so wholesome when one is well. The worst part of a
march is the necessity of everybody, sick or well, dead or dying,
pushing on with the others. Luckily there is every possible arrangement
made for it. There are beds on poles for sick servants and palanquins
for us, which are nothing but beds in boxes. I have lent mine to Mrs. C.
G. and I went on an elephant through rather a pretty little village in
the evening, and he was less bored than usual, but I never saw him hate
anything so much as he does this camp life. I have long named my tent
'Misery Hall.' F. said it was very odd, as everybody observed her tent
was like a fairy palace.

'Mine is not exactly that,' G. said; 'indeed I call it Foully Palace, it
is so very squalid-looking.' He was sitting in my tent in the evening,
and when the purdahs are all down, all the outlets to the tents are so
alike that he could not find which _crevice_ led to his abode; and he
said at last, 'Well! it is a hard case; they talk of the luxury in which
the Governor-General travels, but I cannot even find a covered passage
from Misery Hall to Foully Palace.'

This morning we are on the opposite bank of the river to Allahabad,
almost a mile from it. It will take three days to pass the whole camp.
Most of the horses and the body-guard are gone to-day, and have got
safely over. The elephants swim for themselves, but all the camels,
which amount now to about 850, have to be passed in boats: there are
hundreds of horses and bullocks, and 12,000 people.

I am sure it would have done Mrs. Trimmer's heart good to see them all
on the beach this evening. I thought of her print of the Israelites
crossing the Red Sea--a skimpy representation, but it was the first idea
we had of that event. The picture at Stafford House enlarged my notions,
and now I think I have come to the real thing, and indeed am a Red Sea
Israelite myself.


Allahabad, Dec. 2.

We crossed the river at seven yesterday morning. The Ganges and Jumna
join each other here, and this junction makes the water so uncommonly
precious and sacred, that Hindus come here from all parts of the country
on pilgrimage. The rich Hindus at a great distance buy the water, and we
met strings of pilgrims yesterday carrying jars of it, with which they
will travel farther south than Calcutta.

We were met at the ghaut by a large collection of residents. I hate a
great station, and Allahabad has a very modern, uninteresting, sandy
look about it.

Foully Palace looked particularly unhappy this morning. G.'s furniture,
somehow, was deluged, and his whole stock of comfort amounted to one
cane chair and a table, and he called us all in to see his eastern
luxury. I handsomely offered to lend him the armchair Mr. D. gave me,
and which is so continually my companion, 'my goods, my chattels, my
household stuff,' that I had no doubt it was in 'Misery Hall.' I told
my little ameer to give it to the Lord Sahib, but he told me afterwards,
'Ladyship's chair in river too, but me find arm-chair in other tent, and
me put Lord Sahib in it.' I think I see him fixing G. in his chair. Mine
is quite safe, I am happy to say.

In the afternoon G. and I, and a Mr. B., rather a clever man, went to
see some tombs about three miles off. You know the sort of people who
have tombs worth seeing--'Shah Houssein,' or 'Nour Jehan,' or words to
that effect.

However, the tombs were there, and F. and I stayed there sketching till
it was quite dusk, and kept the carriage, and G. and Mr. B. and Captain
M. rode home such a roundabout way that dinner was cold before they got
back.


Monday, Dec. 4.

We had church in camp again yesterday. We received visitors on Saturday
evening instead of the morning, by way of an experiment, and it answered
much better. It all comes more in the natural way of work than in the
heat of the day, and we had the band, and tea, and negus, and
sandwiches. It was a regular party, much larger than I expected; the
great durbar tent was quite full, and they are a more _fashioned_-looking
set here. By coming in the evening G. sees them, which they prefer, and
which, strange to say, he likes too. We have thirty-five of them at
dinner to-day, and thirty-seven to-morrow. On Thursday they give us a
ball, and on Saturday we depart.

Lucknow and Agra were to have been the two incidents of the journey that
were to make up for the bore of all the rest. Lucknow has been cut off,
because the King cannot meet the Governor-General, and B. cannot
reconcile himself to such a breach of etiquette, the poor old man being
bedridden. Agra, they say, is in a state of famine and scarcity. If so,
of course it would be very wrong to take our great camp there. So we
shall not see the Taj--the only thing that, all Indians say, is worth
looking at.

Here there is a sort of Dowager Queen of the Gwalior country; her style
and title being 'the Baiza Baee.' She is very clever, has been handsome,
and, some say, is beautiful still. She cannot endure being only a
Dowager Baiza Baee; and being immensely rich, she has been suspected of
carrying on intrigues amongst her former subjects. She has always been
visited by all great potentates, but B. chose to say that neither G. nor
we should go to see her. She took this dreadfully to heart, and has been
sending ambassadors and letters and presents without end, and asserted
that she would be disgraced for ever if she were so slighted. Then B.
went to see her himself, and was either talked over, or was ashamed of
always putting spokes in everybody's wheel; he is a spoke himself and
nothing else. Now he wants G. to go: however, he cannot get out of his
lordship's head what he has put into it, and G. will not go, but is
going to send us--just the very thing _Spoke_ wanted to prevent.

I am so glad, though it is a great deal of trouble to us; but I am glad
out of spite.


Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Our great dinner yesterday went off very well. For the first time since
we left Calcutta, indeed almost since we left England, I made yesterday
a nice little solitary expedition. G. was gone to the native schools
and jails, and F. and W. were out riding. I always have more or less of
a headache the day that English letters arrive; they put me in a fuss,
even if they are all right; so I thought it would be very nice to escape
all companions except Chance, and I told my jemadar to have the tonjaun
at the wrong side of the tent, stepped into it, and made them carry me
three miles off in search of a very eligible flame-coloured idol, which
I had marked down as a good sketch the day we landed. The bearers carry
one very fast for that sort of distance, and Chance runs along by the
chair in a very satisfactory manner. I am afraid the jemadar thought it
an improper and undignified proceeding, for he fetched out every servant
I have of the walking character, seventeen scarlet men in all; and the
poor hirkarus, who have sat cross-legged for the last two years, ran on
first as hard as they could, screaming to everybody to get out of the
way. Chance thought it excellent fun, and barked all the time. We passed
by the camp of the Nawâb of Banda, who is come to visit G., and has a
camp as large as ours, with such strange-looking painted horses pawing
about it. I found my idol, made a lovely coloured sketch with quantities
of Venetian red, and got back just as it grew dark.

The country about here is hideous, and I cannot imagine why the
residents like it. It is very like Calcutta, without the bright green
grass, or the advantages of a town, ships, shops, &c.

I went in the morning, with Captain M., to see a native female school,
which some of the ladies wanted me to see. I have not the least esteem
for them (the schools, not the ladies). The natives take the little
girls away from them as soon as they are betrothed--at seven or eight
years old--and, even till that age, the children will not come unless
they are paid for it. After that time nothing more is seen or known of
them, and there has never been an instance of conversion; so there is
something in their reading the Bible just as they would any story book
that is rather wrong than right, I think. These children seemed to read
it more fluently than any I have heard, and the schoolmistress spoke
Hindustani exactly like a native, and probably asked very good
questions.

The children looked very poor; and luckily half the ceiling of the
school fell down while I was there, owing to the successful labours of
the white ants, which gave the ladies an opportunity of observing that
their funds were in a very bad state. All these sights are very
expensive, and I never know exactly what is expected from us. I gave
15_l._ for all three of us, but it is a very odd system of the _good_
people here, that they never acknowledge any donation. It is supposed to
be a gift from Providence; so, whether it is satisfactory to them, or
not, remains a mystery.



CHAPTER VII.


Thursday, Dec. 7, 1837.

We had our wedding yesterday morning; the tent made up into a very good
chapel. Miss H. was very nicely dressed, and looked very well. Mr. G.
was uncommonly happy.

Mr. Y. always puts me in mind of R. He could not build up an altar to
his mind, and was prancing up and down the tent, just in one of R.'s
ways.

He treated with immense scorn an idea of mine, to try the state housings
of the elephant, which are scarlet, embroidered all over in gold; but I
sent for them, and you can't imagine what a fine altar we made, with
four arm-chairs for railings, and some carpets and velvet cushions in
front. It was quite picturesque, only we were obliged to forewarn Mr. G.
that neither he nor H. were to faint away _towards_ the altar, because
it would then all come down with a crash. She cried less than I
expected; but indeed her spirits were very much kept up by a beautiful
shawl G. gave her.

We had a quiet dinner yesterday. Most of the camp dine at a great
wedding dinner given by a relation of the A.s.

The young Prince Henry of Orange is at Calcutta, and we heard this
morning that he has settled to come up dâk (or travelling day and night
in a palanquin) and join us. He will overtake us about Tuesday or
Wednesday, between this and Cawnpore.

G. cannot stop here for him, but we leave Captain M. behind to bring him
on, and he brings up an extra aide-de-camp from Calcutta.

We are going to put Giles at the head of his establishment, and are
organising tiger hunts, &c., on the road for him. I am very glad he is
coming. His father wrote such a pretty letter to G. about him, and it
will be easy to amuse a boy in a camp.

St. Cloup[B] is in ecstasies at the prince's arrival.

 [B] The Governor-General's cook.

He was cook to the Prince of Orange at the Hague, and knew this boy as a
child--'un jeune homme charmant!--toujours le chapeau à la main--si
poli, si gentil!--Allons, madame, je vais parler au khansamah; nous
allons faire bonne chère. Il ne se plaindra pas de son diner, Dieu
merci!'

B. is defeated with great loss, and we are going to see the Baiza Baee
to-morrow. A Mrs. ----, her great friend, has been here this morning, in
the first place to bring Chance a pair of gold bangles and a pair of
silver bangles that were made for him by a young officer who saw him at
Barrackpore, and who left them to be offered to Chance on his progress.
You never saw such a good figure as he is, and he walks just as the
native women do, when their ankles are covered with bangles.

Then Mrs. ---- came to say that the Baiza Baee had asked her to come and
interpret for us, which will be a great comfort. She says the Baiza Baee
had said to her, 'I want to give the Miss Edens a native ball and
supper. I think I had better buy a house large enough.' She stopped
that; and now, to save us five miles of dusty road, the Baee is to come
down to her private tents, which are pitched only a mile off.


Saturday, Dec. 9.

We had our ball on Thursday--a particularly sleepy one--perhaps my
fault, for I could not keep my eyes open; but the dancing seemed sleepy,
considering the degree of practice the dancers must have had.

There was an old Mrs. ----, with hair perfectly white, and a nice mob cap
over it, who bounded through every quadrille with some spirit, but most
of the young people were very languid. We had a great deal of
health-drinking and _speechifying_; but as they understood we liked
early hours, they ordered supper at eleven, and after supper,
fortunately, my nose began to bleed, which was an excellent excuse for
coming away.

Everybody else is much the better for marching. F. is in a state of
health and activity perfectly unequalled, and with a really good colour.
G. detests his tent and his march, and the whole business so actively,
that he will not perceive how well he is. I never shall think a tent
comfortable, but I do not hate it so much as G. does, from the
dawdlingness of the life; and I would go through much more discomfort
for the sake of the coolness of the mornings.

We paid our visit to the Baiza Baee yesterday. The young princess came
to fetch us, but as we could not ensure our tents being so completely
private as they ought to be, B. asked her, through the curtains of her
palanquin, not to get out, and said that we would follow her
immediately. So we set off in one carriage, and W. and three other
aides-de-camp in the other, and quantities of servants and guards, and
her palanquin was carried by the side of our carriage, with six of her
ayahs running by it, and a Mahratta _horsewoman_, all over jewels,
riding behind, and hundreds of wild-looking horsemen in such picturesque
dresses, galloping backwards and forwards, and the princess's uncle on
an elephant, whom they had painted bright green and blue, and who went
at a full trot, much, I should think, to the detriment of 'my uncle's'
bones. It was an odd, wild-looking procession, quite unlike anything we
have seen yet. The visit to the Baee was very like any other native
visit.

She is a clever-looking little old woman, with remains of beauty. She
covered us with jewels, chiefly pearls and emeralds, and there were
fifteen trays a-piece, for F. and me, filled with beautiful shawls,
gauzes, &c.--you never saw such treasures. However, the astutious old
lady was fully aware that they all went to the Company, and after we
came away was persuaded by Mr. B. to retain them; but she told us
confidentially and iniquitously that the jewels had been specially
prepared for us, and inferior articles of the same kind would be sent
with the list that is always given to Mr. B., so that he could make no
claim on these. We laughed, and assured her that was not the usual
English custom, and she took them all back again very willingly, except
two little rings, which we kept in exchange for ours. Mine was made of
pearls in the shape of a mitre, and it looked so handsome on Chance's
tail that W. wanted to apply to B. to know if he would not waive the
rights of the Company just in favour of that ring and that tail!


Mooftee-ka-Poorwah, Sunday, Dec. 10.

Yesterday they made a mistake in the time, and called us at half-past
four, which gave us an hour's drive in the dark, over a very bad road,
and an hour to wait for breakfast. I never did see so hideous a country,
and this is a very ugly station. 'Foully Palace' looks particularly
striking, as the dust has actually dyed the tents brown, and G.'s
disgust is turning him yellow.

He is longing to go back to Calcutta. The weather has grown so much
cooler and pleasanter, I cannot agree with him.


Koosseah, Monday, Dec. 11.

We had a sixteen miles' march, quite as much as the servants and troops
could manage, and we were above three hours coming in the carriage.

G. and F. rode the last five miles. We are encamped under trees, and it
looks prettier. The King of Oude has sent his cook to accompany us for
the next month, and yesterday, when our dinner was set out, his
khansamah and kitmutgars arrived with a second dinner, which they put
down by the side of the other, and the same at breakfast this morning.
Some of the dishes are very good, though too strongly spiced and
perfumed for English tastes. They make up some dishes with
assafoetida! but we stick to the rice and pilaus and curries. St.
Cloup is so cross about them.

The king has also sent greyhounds and huntsmen, and a great many
beautiful hawks, and we are going out hunting this afternoon if the
elephants are rested after their long march. To-morrow, F. and I mean to
strike off from the camp to a place called Kurrah, where there are some
beautiful tombs, and we shall have a tent there, with breakfast and
luncheon. It is three miles from the camp, and all our cool light time
would be lost if we went there and back from the camp.


Kistoghur, Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Our hunting expedition was on a grand scale, huntsmen and spearmen and
falconers in profusion, and twelve elephants, and five miles of open
country, and the result was, that we killed one innocent and
unsuspecting black crow, and two tame paddy birds, which one of the
falconers quietly turned out. But it was a grand sight, and I have made
a rare sketch of some of the people.

F. and I went off to Kurrah yesterday morning, and found three tents
pitched opposite to a beautiful tomb. G. and Captain N. left us after
they had seen two or three ruins, and we stayed out sketching with P.
and M. till breakfast time. The sketching mania is spreading luckily,
for as these young gentlemen must go with us, it will be a great
blessing both for themselves and us if they can draw too. P. has set up
a book, and seems to draw well. These little quiet encampments are very
pleasant, after the great dusty camp.

W. had meant to shoot at Kurrah; he always goes on the day before, as he
hates getting up early and likes living alone; but there was some
mistake about his tent last night, and when he arrived with a tired
horse over a cross-road, there was nothing but his bed, and no tent, and
all the servants sleeping round a large fire. The servants said, 'O,
Sahib went away very impassionate.'

We went on our elephants at four, to see the fort, an old ruin, on a
real, steep rock, with a great bird's-eye view of the Oude country.
Certainly a hill is a valuable article. We then joined the camp, through
four miles of old temples and tombs, and the ground about as uneven as
that at Eastcombe. Altogether, Kurrah answered to us.

We had rather a large dinner afterwards.


Futtehpore, Dec. 15.

Yesterday we were at a very dull place, Thurriah by name, and were not
even tempted to ride out of the camp. The band plays in the afternoon,
between five and six, which I established, because at dinner it is
impossible to listen comfortably; and it really plays so beautifully, it
is a pity not to hear it.

All the party walk up and down what we call High Street in front of our
tents. The Y.s with their two children, he taking a race with his boy,
and then helping to pack a camel. The 'vicarage' is always the tent that
is first struck. The A.s slink off down A-alley, at the back of their
tent, because in her present state of figure she is ashamed to be seen;
the C.s take an elephant. Colonel P. walks up and down waiting to help
Mrs. R. off her horse, and wishing she would not ride with her husband.

Mrs. L. toddles about with her small child, and L. always makes some
excuse for not walking with 'Carry dear.' The officers of the escort and
their wives all pursue their domestic walks; the aides-de-camp and
doctor get their newspapers and hookahs in a cluster on their side of
the street. W. has his hookah in front of his tent, and F. sits with
him, and they feed his dogs and elephants. G. and I and Chance sit in
front of my tent. Altogether it is a public sort of meeting, in which
everybody understands that they are doing their domestic felicity, and
nobody takes the slightest notice of anybody else.


Futtehpore, Dec. 16.

The Prince of Orange arrived at two yesterday. He is a fair,
quiet-looking boy, and is very shy and very silent. He did not seem the
least tired with ten days and nights of palanquin. We sent the carriage
to meet him some miles off, with some luncheon. G. pressed him to try a
warm bath, and five minutes after saw his own cherished green tub
carried over.

'I really can't stand that,' he said; 'if he keeps my tub, there must be
war with Holland immediately. I shall take Batavia, and tell the guns at
Fort William to fire on the Bellona at once.'

We all went out on elephants in the afternoon; Captain A. (the Dutch
captain and tutor), and Captain C., and all. The prince came on my
elephant; and we saw some beautiful mosques and ruins. Also, there are
twenty native chiefs encamped about, who had come from a great distance
to meet G.; so there were quantities of strange sights for our guest.

We march again on Monday, and I believe that F. and I shall go to
Lucknow the week after next, from Cawnpore.

This must go.



CHAPTER VIII.


Maharajpore, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 1837.

I have let three or four days slip by since my last immense Journal
started from Futtehpore.

I had such a number of letters to answer in other directions, and then
our young prince takes up much of my time, as everything here is new to
him, and he seems surprised at the horses, camels, and elephants, &c.
He is continually asking if the carriage will not be overturned, which
is not an unnatural question, for the roads are so bad, the wonder is
that it does not overturn constantly; but a sailor would be able to jump
out, and I dare say at his age he would rather like the carriage to be
upset.

The gentlemen all went off on a shooting expedition yesterday to
Serajapore. F. and I stuck to the camp with great difficulty, for our
horses, though we change every five miles, knocked up entirely. The
sands are half-way up the wheels occasionally.

G. shot for the first time from an elephant, which is considered very
difficult, till people are accustomed to stand on its back, and he
killed three hares and three quails. Mr. T. killed the only niel ghâu
that was seen, but altogether they were much pleased at having found
anything.


Cawnpore, Dec. 21.

The prince was quite bent upon taking a sketch yesterday afternoon, as
he saw us all sketching. All our elephants were tired with the long
marches we have had the last two days. However, that attentive creature,
'neighbour Oude,' sent us down six new ones this morning, so G. and I
got on one, and put B. with the prince on another, P. on another by his
side. We discovered a very pretty Hindu temple, and all set to work
sketching.

The prince got off his elephant because he said it shook him so, and he
would have made a good picture, sitting in my tonjaun, with crowds of
spearmen and bearers all round him; B., who does not draw, in an
attitude of resigned bore standing by him, and he, looking like a young
George III. on a seven-shilling piece, peering up at the temple, and
wondering how he was to begin. However, it amused him, and he has passed
several hours since, touching it up.

This morning we made one of our grand entries into Cawnpore, or rather
_on_ to it; for there is no particular Cawnpore visible. But we drove
over a miniature plain to our tents.

F., G., and all the gentlemen, even to Y., on his fat pony, rode in, and
Prince Henry, his captain, P., and I came in the open carriage. We were
met by tribes of officers, and there were two regiments of cavalry and
two of infantry, and guns and bands, and altogether it was just the
sight for a foreigner to see, and they seemed to like it accordingly.
But we began by the four young horses in the carriage running restive.
They either could not, or would not, draw the carriage over a bad pass,
so at last I proposed that to save time we should take to our elephants,
of which there were luckily several following us.


Cawnpore, Saturday, Dec. 23.

G. had his levée an hour after we arrived, and we had our party the same
evening, for this is one of those dreadful large stations where there is
not a chance of getting through all our duties if we lose an hour's
time.

It was lucky we had the large tent pitched, for there were between 200
and 300 people at our party. Luckily I thought a dance might be made
out, which the Prince of Orange likes, and they had battened the floor
of the tent till it was smooth; so the dancing went on very well.

It was the more essential, because, with every chair and sofa assembled
from all the other tents, we could not make up a hundred seats, so it
was necessary to keep part of the company constantly dancing.

There were two or three old Calcutta faces, difficult to name, amongst
the company, but it was easy to seem glad to see them and to say, 'What!
are _you_ here?' though I scorned myself for knowing that I had not an
idea who '_you_' was. I see it is one of those crowded stations where it
is better not to fatigue a failing memory by any attempt at names.
Thirty-five of them dined with us yesterday, but I am no wiser and no
worse. Yesterday morning we went to a fancy sale, which had been put off
for our advantage. We found it extremely difficult to get rid of the
necessary sum of money, but by dint of buying frocks and pelisses and
caps for all the little A.s and C.s and Y.s of the camp, it was finally
accomplished.


Monday (Christmas Day), Dec. 25.

I must go back to my Journal, dearest; but having just come from church,
I must begin by wishing you and yours a great many happy Christmases.
This is our third Christmas-day, so, however appearances are against it,
time does really roll on. I don't know why, but I am particularly
_Indianly_ low to-day. There is such a horrid mixture of sights and
sounds for Christmas. The servants have hung garlands at the doors of
our tents, and (which is very wrong) my soul recoiled when they all
assembled, and in their patois wished us, I suppose, a happy Christmas.

Somehow a detestation of the Hindustani language sounding all round us,
came over me in a very inexplicable manner.

Then, though nothing could be better than the way in which Mr. Y.
performed the service, still it was in a tent, and unnatural, and we
were kneeling just where the Prince of Lucknow and his son, and their
turbaned attendants, were sitting on Saturday at the durbar, and there
was nobody except G. with whom I felt any real communion of heart and
feelings. So, you see, I just cried for you and some others, and I
daresay I shall be better after luncheon.

To return to my journal. G. had a hard day's work on Saturday, and so
had everybody. We gave a breakfast to the heir-apparent of Lucknow and
to sixty people; the utmost number we can accommodate.

Four aides-de-camp went, at seven in the morning, all the way to his
camp (five miles) to fetch him. W. and Mr. P. met him half-way; B.
again, a mile off; and then G., the Prince of Orange, and all the chief
officers of station, at the end of our street.

Each individual is on an elephant, and the _shock_ at the meeting was
very amusing. A great many howdahs were broken, and it is a mercy that
some of the people were not killed, for the Nawâb scatters money as he
goes along, and the natives get under the elephants to find it. G. and
the Nawâb embrace on meeting, and the visitor gets into the howdah of
the visited, in which friendly fashion they arrived.

F. and I had taken our places in the durbar tent on the left hand of his
lordship, and Mrs. A. and Mrs. B. and Mrs. J. and Mrs. Y. behind us. We
could not ask any of the ladies of the station, for want of room.

The durbar and the speeches and compliments were all the same as usual,
except that this is a real king's son, so that the presents that G. gave
were really handsome, and also he is the first native who has eaten with
us.

St. Cloup gave us a magnificent breakfast. G. sugared and creamed the
Nawâb's tea, and the Nawâb gave him some pilau. Then he put a slice of
buttered toast (rather cold and greasy) on one plate for me, and another
for F., and B. said in an imposing tone, 'His Royal Highness sends the
Burra Lady this, and the Choota Lady that,' and we looked immeasurable
gratitude. At the end of breakfast, two hookahs were brought in, that
the chiefs might smoke together, and a third for Colonel L., the British
resident, that his consequence might be kept up in the eyes of the
Lucknowites, by showing that he is allowed to smoke at the
Governor-General's table. The old khansamah wisely took care to put no
tobacco in G.'s hookah, though it looked very grand and imposing with
its snake and rose-water. G. says he was quite distressed; he could not
persuade it to make the right kind of bubbling noise.

After breakfast we went back to the durbar, and the presents were given
and dresses of honour to two of his suite, and altogether it was a two
hours' business. However, it was really a fine sight, though tedious. I
got Mr. D. to change places with me, and made an excellent sketch of
this immensely fat prince with his pearls and emeralds and gold, and G.
by his side. Prince Henry was charmed with the show, and said to Giles,
who evidently possesses his confidence, 'I hope the King of Lucknow
shall give me presents, because I may keep them; may you keep them, if
you get any?' Giles said, 'No; he was the Governor-General's servant,
and could not be allowed to keep presents.' 'Oh! say you are my servant,
and then B. cannot touch your presents,' Prince Henry said. Giles told
me the story with a grin of delight, and I could only say with Falstaff,
'He is indeed the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young prince.
Indeed, able to corrupt a saint.'



CHAPTER IX.


Cawnpore, Dec. 28, 1837.

My Journal is in a bad way, actually extinguished by the quantity that I
should have to put into it, if there were any writing time left.

Tuesday morning the Prince of Oude returned our breakfast by one at his
tents, which were pitched about five miles off. F. and I went in the
carriage till the last minute, when we had to get on our elephants, but
the other poor wretches had to come jolting along the whole way. The
Prince of Oude's tents are very large, and he had asked the whole
station, and with his quantity of troops and odd-looking attendants, it
was a very curious sight, and he did it in a very gentlemanlike way.

The presents were very magnificent. He had had two diamond combs made on
purpose for F. and me, mounted in an European fashion. They are worth
at least 1,500_l._ a-piece, and what distresses B. is, that they are of
no use to give again, as natives can make no use whatever of them; there
were also two lovely pairs of earrings, a single uncut emerald drop,
with one large diamond at the top, really beautiful stones, not those
that are so common here, full of flaws. The trays of shawls were just as
usual, but the jewels had been made up on purpose, and the Prince of
Oude asked leave to show them to us himself, though it is the general
and foolish custom to take no notice of what is given.

This is the first time the presents have excited my cupidity. Not the
combs--I am grown too old for a comb; but those emerald earrings! I
should like them, should not you? They will be sold probably at Delhi.

Tuesday night the station gave us a ball and supper, and on Wednesday
morning at eight, W., P., F., and I set off in two buggies, which took
us down to a bridge of boats; beyond that we found our elephants, who
carried us over three miles of sand utterly impassable for a carriage,
and then we came to the palanquin carriage.

Our own twelve horses took us by stages of five miles to a tent of the
King of Oude's, which he had had pitched for us, and where his cook had
made a grand luncheon for us. Then three relays of his horses took us on
to Lucknow. His postilions were dressed much like our own, and drove
very tolerably; but the road was so awfully bad, we were shaken about
the carriage most uncomfortably and covered with dust. I felt so like
Madame Duval in Evelina, after the captain had shaken her and rolled
her in the ditch. The king sent guards for us all the way, such
beautiful figures! All scarlet and green, with brass basons on their
heads, and shields and spears. Just as we came to the town, we passed
the Prince of Orange, Captain A., Captain K., M., and Giles still in
their palanquins, though they had gone off from the ball the night
before.

The residence is a fine house, not much furnished, but there is a
beautiful view from the window, which is uncommon in this country.

We found Rosina and Myra perfectly miserable. They had arrived with all
our goods and all our men-servants two days before, and somehow had been
particularly helpless, and had not found out where to get their food.
Myra, F.'s ayah, is a Portuguese, and can eat anything, and dines after
our servants; but Rosina, being a Mussulmaunee, can only eat certain
things, and they must be cooked in a brass pot called a 'lotah;' and
Major J. had told her not to bring her 'lotah,' for at the residence
they would find everything cooked by Mussulmauns. So she and Myra had
wisely sat and cried, instead of going to the bazaar and buying what
they wanted. However, the instant we came, they were satisfied they
would not be murdered or starved, and they proved themselves excellent
ladies' maids.

We set off early on Wednesday morning in two of the king's carriages,
and saw the tombs of Saadut Ali and his wife. A very fine building, but
the wife is not allowed any little tops to the cupola of her tomb, which
is mean. Then to 'Constantia,' a sort of castle in a fine jungly park,
built by an old General La Martine, who came out to India a private
soldier, and died worth more than a million. I wish we had come out in
those days.

He left his house at Constantia to the public. Any European in want of
change of air might go with his family and live there for a month, and
beyond the month, unless another family wanted it. This would be a great
convenience to the few English in Oude, particularly to poor officers;
so of course, for thirty years, the Supreme Court has been doubting
whether the will meant what it said it meant, and the house has been
going to decay; but it is now decided that people may live there, and it
is all to be repaired.

Then we went to Dilkushar, a country palace of the king's, very pretty,
and then to a tomb of a former king, where there are silver tigers as
large as life, a silver fish, a silver mosque, and all sorts of
curiosities, and priests who read the Koran night and day. Then we came
home to breakfast and to rest, and the gentlemen went to the prison to
see some Thugs.

You have heard about them before, a respectable body of many thousand
individuals, who consider it a point of religion to inveigle and murder
travellers, which they do so neatly that 'Thuggee' had prospered for
2,000 years before it was discovered.

A Captain G. here is one of its great persecutors officially, but by
dint of living with Thugs he has evidently grown rather fond of them,
and has acquired a latent taste for strangling. One of the Thugs in the
prison told the gentlemen: 'I have killed three hundred people since I
began;' and another said, 'I have killed only eighty myself, but my
father has done much more.'

Then they acted over amongst themselves a scene of Thuggee. Some of them
pretended to be travellers, and the others joined them and flattered
them, and asked them to sit down and smoke, and then pointed up to the
sun, or a bird; and when the traveller looked up, the noose was round
his neck in an instant, and of course, as a _real_ traveller, he would
have been buried in five minutes.

Then they threw the noose over one of Colonel L.'s surwars who was
cantering by, just to show him how they could have strangled him. I
think it is a great shame allowing them to repeat their parts, but they
really believe they have only done their duty. They say they would not
steal from a house, or a tent, but they have a profession of their own,
and all these men regret very much that they cannot teach their sons to
walk in the right way.

In the afternoon we went to see the Emaunberra and Rooma Durwanee, two
of the most magnificent native buildings I have seen yet. About a week
of hard sketching would have been really pleasant amongst them, and we
had only half-an-hour. However, we saw a great deal for the time, and we
are uncommonly lucky in our weather. It is just right, a sort of spring
afternoon; very pleasant.

Friday morning we set off in great state to see Mr. B. (who has come in
G.'s place); meet the Prince of Lucknow. It was much the same meeting as
that at Cawnpore; but the prince gave us afterwards a breakfast in the
palace, which we wanted to see very much, and which was quite as
_Arabian-Nightish_ as I meant it to be.

The throne is gold, with its canopy and umbrella and pillars covered
with cloth of gold, embroidered in pearls and small rubies. Our fat
friend the prince was dressed to match his throne. All his brothers,
twenty at least, appeared too--rather ill-conditioned young gentlemen;
and there were jugglers and nautch-girls and musicians, all working at
their vocations during breakfast.

The late king drank himself to death about six months ago; and then
there was a sort of revolution conducted by Colonel L. (who was nearly
killed in this palace), by which the present king was placed on the
throne; so these are early days for acting royalty. Mr. B. went in to
the old king, who is nearly bedridden, and he said he was quite affected
by the old man. He translated to him G.'s letter, in which G. said how
much he had been pleased with his heir-apparent's manner, and the old
king looked up, and held out his hand to his son, who rose and salaamed
down to the ground three times. Mr. B., who is almost a native in
language, and knows them thoroughly, said he was quite touched; it is so
seldom natives show any emotion of that kind.

There was a fight of wild beasts after breakfast, elephants,
rhinoceroses, rams, &c., but we excused ourselves, as there often are
accidents at these fights. The gentlemen all went, and so did Giles, and
they were quite delighted, and said we ought to have seen it.

In the afternoon we went to see the king's yacht, which he had decked
out for us, and then his garden. Such a place! the only residence I have
coveted in India. Don't you remember where in the 'Arabian Nights,'
Zobeide bets her 'garden of delights' against the Caliph's 'palace of
pictures?' I am sure this was 'the garden of delights!'

There are four small palaces in it, fitted up in the eastern way, with
velvet and gold and marble, with arabesque ceilings, orange trees and
roses in all directions, with quantities of wild parroquets of bright
colours glancing about. And in one palace there was an immense bath-room
of white marble, the arches intersecting each other in all directions,
and the marble inlaid with cornelian and bloodstone; and in every corner
of the palace there were little fountains; even during the hot winds,
they say, it is cool from the quantity of water playing; and in the
verandah there were fifty trays of fruits and flowers laid out for
us,--by which the servants profited. It was really a very pretty sight.
Then we went to the stud where the horses were displayed; the most
curious was a Cutch horse (Cutch is, I opine, the name of a particular
district, but I never ask questions, I hate information). He looked as
if he had had a saddle of mutton cut out of his back. They said he was
very easy to ride, but apt to stumble.

There was to have been a return breakfast to the heir-apparent at
Colonel L.'s on Saturday morning, but that would have made our journey
back very late; so it was commuted for some fireworks in the evening. We
went back to the palace after dinner, or rather to another palace on
the river. On the opposite bank there was an illumination in immense
letters, 'God save George Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India,'
'God save the King of Oude,' and then there was a full stop, and
'Colonel L., Resident of Lucknow,' stood alone. Whether he was to be
_saved_ or not was not mentioned; it was not very correctly spelt, but
well-meant. My jemadar asked me afterwards, 'Did Ladyship see "God save
my Lord?" I thought it very excellent, very neat.' The river was covered
with rafts full of fireworks, and the boats in front were loaded with
nautch-girls, who dance on, whether they are looked at or not. The
Prince of Orange was charmed with his evening.



CHAPTER X.


Cawnpore, New Year's Day, 1838.

Another year! You will be nearly half through it by the time you read
this.

I was so obliged to you for those extracts from Charles Lamb. I had seen
that about the two hemispheres in some newspaper, and have been longing
for the book ever since.

'Boz's Magazine' is disappointing. I wish he would not mix up his great
Pickwick name with meaner works. It is odd how long you were writing
about Pickwick, and yet I felt all the time, though we are no judges of
fun in this place, that it must be everywhere the cleverest thing that
has appeared in our time. I had laughed twenty times at that book. Then
there is always a quotation to be had from Pickwick for everything that
occurs anywhere.

That Mr. Q., of ----, who has been living with us for a month, and who
admires Chance, as a clever demon, but is afraid of him, always says, if
Chance goes near him at dessert:--'Bring some cake directly! good old
Chance! good little dog! the cake is coming,' so like Pickwick and his
'good old horse.'

We returned from Lucknow on Saturday, with no accident but that of
breaking the dicky; which, considering the state of the roads, was
marvellous. I never felt such jolting, and it was very hot in the middle
of the day; and G., who does not believe in fatigue, had asked
five-and-twenty people to dinner.

We parted with the Prince of Orange at Lucknow, which is something saved
in point of trouble. He has liked his visit, I fancy, though it did not
excite him much.

The dust at Cawnpore has been quite dreadful the last two days. People
lose their way on the plains, and everything is full of dust--books,
dinner, clothes, everything. We all detest Cawnpore. It is here, too,
that we first came into the starving districts. They have had no rain
for a year and a half; the cattle all died, and the people are all dying
or gone away.

They are employed here by Government; every man, woman, or child, who
likes to do the semblance of a day's work is paid for it, and there is a
subscription for feeding those who are unable to work at all. But many
who come from a great distance die of the first food they touch. There
are as many as twenty found dead on the plain in the morning.


Powrah, Thursday, Jan. 4.

We left Cawnpore on Tuesday, and now that we are out of reach of the
District Societies, &c., the distress is perfectly dreadful.

You cannot conceive the horrible sights we see, particularly children;
perfect skeletons in many cases, their bones through their skin, without
a rag of clothing, and utterly unlike human creatures. Our camp luckily
does more good than harm. We get all our supplies from Oude, and we can
give away more than any other travellers.

We began yesterday giving food away in the evening; there were about 200
people, and Giles and the old khansamah distributed it, and I went with
Major J. to see them, but I could not stay. We can do no more than give
what we do, and the sight is much too shocking. The women look as if
they had been buried, their _skulls_ look so dreadful.

I am sure there is no sort of violent atrocity I should not commit for
food, with a starving baby. I should not stop to think about the rights
or wrongs of the case.

As usual, dear Shakspeare knew all about it. He must have been at
Cawnpore at the time of a famine--

                         Famine is in thy cheeks,
    Need and oppression startle in thine eyes,
    The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.
    Then be not poor, but break it.

G. and I walked down to the stables this morning before breakfast, and
found such a miserable little baby, something like an old monkey, but
with glazed, stupid eyes, under the care of another little wretch of six
years old. I am sure you would have sobbed to see the way in which the
little atom flew at a cup of milk, and the way in which the little
brother fed it. Rosina has discovered the mother since, but she is a
skeleton too, and she says for a month she has had no food to give it.
Dr. D. says it cannot live, it is so diseased with starvation, but I
mean to try what can be done for it.


Kynonze, Sunday, Jan. 7.

We go on from bad to worse; this is a large village, and the distress
greater. Seven hundred were fed yesterday, and the struggle was so
violent that I have just seen the magistrate, Mr. ----, who is travelling
with us, and asked him for his police. We have plenty of soldiers and
servants, but they hardly know what to do; they cannot strike the poor
creatures, and yet they absolutely fight among themselves for the food.
Captain M. saw three people drop down dead in the village yesterday, and
there were several on our line of march. My baby is alive, the mother
follows the camp, and I have it four times a day at the back of my tent,
and feed it. It is rather touching to see the interest the servants take
in it, though there are worse objects about, or else I have got used to
this little creature.

This is a great place for ruins, and was supposed to be the largest town
in India in the olden time, and the most magnificent. There are some
good ruins for sketching remaining, and that is all. An odd world
certainly! Perhaps two thousand years hence, when the art of steam has
been forgotten, and nobody can exactly make out the meaning of the old
English word 'mail-coach,' some black Governor-General of England will
be marching through its southern provinces, and will go and look at some
ruins, and doubt whether London ever was a large town, and will feed
some white-looking skeletons, and say what distress the poor creatures
must be in; they will really eat rice and curry; and his sister will
write to her Mary D. at New Delhi, and complain of the cold, and explain
to her with great care what snow is, and how the natives wear bonnets,
and then, of course, mention that she wants to go home. Do you like
writing to me? I hate writing in general, but these long letters to you
are the comfort of my existence. I always have my portfolio carried on
in my palanquin, which comes on early, because then, if I have anything
to say to you before breakfast, I can say it, and I dare say it would be
unwholesome to suppress a thought before breakfast.


Camp, Umreetpoor, Saturday, Jan. 13.

We have had three days' rest at Futtehghur; rest at least for the horses
and bullocks, who were all worn out with the bad roads, and we started
again this morning; crossed the Ganges on a bridge of boats, and after
five miles of very remarkably heavy sand, with hackeries and dying
ponies, and obstinate mules sticking in it, in all directions, we came
to a road available again for the dear open carriage and for horses. The
others all rode, and I brought on Mrs. A., who has no carriage, and who
gets tired to death of her palanquin and elephant.

G. and I went with Y., Dr. D., and A. and M. one morning before
breakfast to see a Dr. ----, who is supposed to be very scientific, but
his science seems rather insane. He insists upon it that the North Pole
is at Gwalior, about thirty miles from here, and that some magnetic
stones he brought from there prove it by the direction in which the
needle stands on them. One needle would not stand straight on one stone,
and he said that stone must have been picked up a little on one side of
the exact North Pole. Then he took us to a table covered with black and
white little bricks, something like those we used to have in the
nursery, and he said that by a course of magnetic angles, the marks of
which he discovers on his magnetic stones, any piece of wood that was
cut by his directions became immediately an exact representation of
Solomon's Temple.

'Don't say it is ingenious! I can't help it; it is the work of magnetic
power, not mine; Solomon's Temple _will fall out_ of whatever I
undertake.'

I looked at G. and the others, but they all seemed quite convinced, and
I began to think we must all be in a Futtehghur Bedlam, only they were
all too silent. To fill up the pause, I asked him how long he was
discovering Solomon's Temple. 'Only seven years,' he said, 'but it is
not my discovery; it _must_ be so according to my magnetic angles. When
this discovery reaches Europe (which it will through you, ma'am, for I
am going to present you with Solomon's Temple), there will be an end of
all their science; they must begin again.'

Then Mrs. ---- put in: 'Yes, the Doctor said, as soon as he heard you
were coming up the country, "I'll give Solomon's Temple to Miss Eden;"
and I said, "I shall send her some flowers and water-cresses;" pray,
are you fond of water-cresses?'

'Now, my dear, don't talk about water-cresses; you distract Miss Eden
and you distract me, and so hold your tongue. I was just going to
explain this cube; you see the temple was finished all but one cube, and
the masons did not like the look of the stone, they did not understand
the magnetic angles, so they gave it a knock and smashed it. Upon which
Solomon said, "There! what a precious mess you have made of it; now I
shall have to send all the way to Egypt for another."'

Upon which Mr. Y. said, 'But where do you find that fact, Dr. ----?'

'My dear sir, just take it for granted; I never advance a fact I cannot
prove. I am like the old woman in Westminster Abbey; if you interrupt
me, I shall have to go back from George III. all the way to Edward the
Confessor.'

That silenced us all. You never saw such a thing as Solomon's Temple;
not nearly so pretty as the bridges we used to build of those bricks.

Mrs. ---- went fidgetting about with some bottles all the time, and
began, 'Now, Doctor, show your method of instantaneous communication
between London and Edinburgh.'

'Don't bore me, my dear, I have not time to prepare it.'

'There now, Doctor! I knew you would say that, so I have prepared it;
there it all is, bottles, wire, galvanic wheels and all. Now, Miss Eden,
is not he _much_ the cleverest man you ever saw?' So then he showed us
that experiment, and a great many of his galvanic tricks were very
amusing, but still he is so eccentric that I think it is a great shame
he should be the only doctor of a large station. A lady sent for him to
see her child in a fit, and he told her he would not give it any
medicine on any account; 'it was possessed by the devil--a very curious
case indeed.'

He sent me a bit of the Gwalior North Pole in the evening, which was
such a weight I thought I should have to hire a coolie to carry it, and
I wanted the servants to bury it, but luckily C. was longing for one of
these magnetic stones, and took it. To-day I have had a letter from him,
with fruit and flowers which Mrs. ---- sent fifteen miles, and a jonquil
in a blue glass, English and good, and a postscript to say that, though
Solomon's Temple would build itself almost without any help, still, if I
found any difficulty I was to write to him. I am quite sure I shall
never find the slightest difficulty in it--it is all carefully deposited
at the bottom of a camel trunk.



CHAPTER XI.


Futtygunge, Jan. 17, 1838.

We have had a Sunday halt, and some bad roads, and one desperate long
march. A great many of the men here have lived in the jungles for years,
and their poor dear manners are utterly gone--jungled out of them.

Luckily the band plays all through dinner, and drowns the conversation.
The thing they all like best is the band, and it was an excellent idea,
that of making it play from five to six. There was a lady yesterday in
perfect ecstasies with the music. I believe she was the wife of an
indigo planter in the neighbourhood, and I was rather longing to go and
speak to her, as she probably had not met a countrywoman for many
months; but then, you know, she might not have been his wife, or
anybody's wife, or he might not be an indigo planter. In short, my dear
Mrs. D., you know what a world it is--impossible to be too careful, &c.

We never stir out now from the camp; there is nothing to see, and the
dust is a little laid just in front of our tents. We have had a
beautiful subject for drawing the last two days. A troop of irregular
horse joined us at Futtehghur. The officer, a Russaldar--a sort of
sergeant, I believe--wears a most picturesque dress, and has an air of
Timour the Tartar, with a touch of Alexander the Great--and he comes and
sits for his picture with great patience. All these irregular troops are
like parts of a melodrama. They go about curvetting and spearing, and
dress themselves fancifully, and they are most courteous-mannered
natives. G. and I walked up to their encampment on Sunday.

They had no particular costume when first we came in sight, being
occupied in cleaning their horses--and the natives think nature never
intended that they should work with clothes on; but they heard G. was
coming, and by the time we arrived they were all scarlet and silver and
feathers--such odd, fanciful dresses; and the Russaldar and his officers
brought their swords that we might touch them, and we walked through
their lines. My jemadar interpreted that the Lord Sahib and Lady Sahib
never saw such fine men, or such fine horses, and they all salaamed down
to the ground. An hour after, this man and his attendant rode up to W.'s
tent (they are under him in his military secretary capacity) to report
that they certainly _were_ the finest troops in the world--the Lord
Sahib had said so; and they begged also to mention that they should be
very glad to have their pictures drawn. So the chief man has come for
his, and is quite satisfied with it.


Bareilly, Saturday, Jan. 20.

This is one of our long halts: we are to be here till Tuesday. Yesterday
we halted at Furreedpoor, where there was an excellent plain for the
native horse to show off their manner of fighting, and we all went out
in the evening to see them. They stick a tent-pin in the ground, drive
it in with mallets, and then going full gallop drive a spear in it and
draw it out again. They drop their bridles when the horse is going at
his utmost speed, and then suddenly turn round in the saddle and fire at
their pursuers. Then they tilt at each other, turning their horses round
in a space not much more than their own lengths. Walter Scott would have
made some fine chapters out of them, and Astley would hang himself from
the total impossibility of dressing and acting like them.

The only other incident of the day was a trial _by rice_ of all my
servants. I had ten rupees in small money--coins worth little more than
sixpence each--which I got in the distressed districts to give to any
beggars that looked starving. I had a packet of them unopened, the last
the sircar had given me, sealed with his seal, and I put this in my
workbasket on the table. One of the servants very cleverly took it out.
It was not loose money lying about: I consider they have almost a right
to take _that_: but this was sealed up and hid; so J. made a great fuss
about it, and when all enquiries failed, he and Captain D., who manages
the police of the camp, said they must try the common experiment of
eating rice. The priest weighs out so much rice powder according to the
weight of a particular rupee, an old coin which the natives look upon as
sacred. The men all say their prayers and wash themselves, and then they
each take their share of rice. It is not a _nice_ experiment. Those who
are innocent spit it out again in a liquid state, but the guilty man is
not able to liquefy it in the slightest degree.

J. came in with an air of conviction. 'Well! we have found the thief:
the last man you would have suspected--your chobdar.' He is a sort of
upper servant next in rank to the jemadar, and this man is a remarkably
respectable creature, and, though still young, has been fifteen years at
Government House--ever since he was twelve years old. The poor wretch
came in immediately after, his mouth still covered with flour: he had
not been able even to touch it, but he protested his innocence, and I
believe in it. He is naturally very timid, and always trembles if
anybody speaks quickly to him, and he might have robbed me at any time
of any trinkets, or money, as he always takes charge of my room, or
tent, when the jemadar is away. I am so sorry for him, he was in such an
agony; but, luckily, it would have been impossible to send a man away
merely on that sort of evidence, and to-day all the others have come
round to him and say they are sure it was not him, for they all think
too well of him. Yesterday they were glad to put it on anybody, and they
have all great faith in the trial. It is very odd; twenty-two took the
rice without the slightest reluctance, yet this man could not touch it.

Rosina told me that Ameer, my little boy, said to her, 'It must be the
chobdar, Rosina. What for he shake so and not eat rice? Me eat my rice
directly; me have nothing in my heart against ladyship; me never take
none of her money; me eat rice for ladyship any day.' I never shall let
them do it again, but it was done to satisfy them this time. In general
the poor _dry_ victim confesses directly.

Bareilly is famous for dust and workboxes. The dust we have seen, but
the boxes have not yet appeared.

There has been some quarrel about our encamping ground. Captain P. put
the tents in the right place, and the Brigadier said it was the wrong
one, and had them moved again, and put between two dusty roads; and now
we again say _that_ is quite wrong, and that we _will_ be on the
Brigadier's parade ground; so last night's camp, when it came up, was
pitched there and with much dignity, but with a great deal of trouble in
moving all our goods and ourselves. It was quite as bad as two marches
in one day; but then, you know, we could not stand the idea of
Brigadier ---- presuming to interfere with the Governor-General's camp.

The thieves at Bareilly are well educated, and pilfered quantities of
things in the move. Still, Brigadier ---- had the worst of it!

This is the most absurd country. Captain N. has a pet monkey, small and
black, with a long white beard, and it sits at the door of his tent. It
had not been here an hour when the durwar and the elders of the village
came on deputation to say that it was the first of that species which
had ever been at Bareilly, and they begged to take it to their temple to
worship it. He did not much like trusting it out of sight, but it was
one of the requests that cannot be refused, so 'Hunamaun' set off in
great state with one of N.'s bearers to watch him. He came back
extremely excited and more snappish than ever. The bearer said the
priests carried the monkey into a temple, but would not let him go too.
I suspect if N. washed the returned monkey, he would find the black come
off.



CHAPTER XII.


Bareilly, Monday, Jan. 22, 1838.

We were 'at home' on Friday evening. There are ten ladies at this
station, several of them very pretty, and with our own ladies there were
enough for a quadrille; so they danced all the evening, and it went off
very well.

There are two officers (Europeans) who command that corps of irregular
horse, and dress like natives, with green velvet tunics, scarlet satin
trousers, white boots, bare throats, long beards, and everything most
theatrical. It does tolerably well for the young adjutant, who is
good-looking; but the major, who commanded the regiment, would look
better with a neck-cloth and a tight coat. He doats on his wild
horsemen.

He says the officers come to him every morning, and sit down round him,
and show him their Persian letters, and take his orders, just as
children would; and to-day, when they were all assembled, they had been
reading our Russaldar's account of how well he had shown off all his
exercises, and how I had drawn his picture, and how G. had given him a
pair of shawls and some spears, &c. Just as they were reading this, the
man himself arrived, and the others all got up and embraced him, and
thanked him for keeping up the honour of the corps. They seem to be
something like the Highlanders in their way.

The regiment is made up of families. Each Russaldar has at least six
sons or nephews in his troop. They are never punished, but sent away if
they commit any fault; and they will do anything for their chief if
their prejudices of caste are respected. But there have been some
horrible tragedies lately, where young officers have come out with their
St. James's Street notions of making these men dress like European
soldiers.

Amongst other things, one young officer persuaded his uncle, a Colonel
E., to order them to cut off their beards--a much greater offence than
pulling all their noses. The men had idolised this Colonel E., but the
instant they heard this order, they drew their swords and cut him to
pieces. There was great difficulty in bringing the regiment into any
order again.

We had a great dinner (only men) on Saturday. Now G. has established
that F. and I are to dine at these _men_ dinners; he likes them best,
and in the short halts it is the only way in which he can see all the
civilians and officers. They are neither more, nor less, tiresome to us
than mixed dinners. The gentlemen talk a great deal of Vizier Ali and of
Lord Cornwallis, and the ladies do not talk at all: and I don't know
which I like best.

The thing that chiefly interests me is to hear the details of the
horrible solitude in which the poor young civilians live. There is a Mr.
G. here, whom R. recommended to us, who is quite mad with delight at
being with the camp for a week. We knew him very well in Calcutta. He
says the horror of being three months without seeing an European, or
hearing an English word, nobody can tell. Captain N. has led that sort
of life in the jungles too, and says that, towards the end of the rainy
season, when the health generally gives way, the lowness of spirits that
comes on is quite dreadful; that every young man fancies he is going to
die, and then he thinks that nobody will bury him if he does, as there
is no other European at hand. Never send a son to India! my dear M.,
that is the moral.

The civilians gave us a dinner on Monday, which went off better than
those ceremonies usually do.

It was at the house of an old Mr. W., who has been forty-eight years in
India, and whose memory has failed. He asked me if I had seen the house
at Benares where 'poor Davies' was so nearly murdered by 'Futty Rum,'
or some name of that kind, and he seemed surprised, and went on
describing how Mrs. Davies had gone to the top of the house and
said--'My dear! I see some dust in the distance,' just like Bluebeard's
wife; and I kept thinking of that, and wondering that I had not seen the
house, and at last I thought it must have happened since we left
Benares, so I asked, at last, 'But when did this take place?'

'Why, let me see. I was at Calcutta in '90; it must have been in '91, or
thereabouts.'

It was the most modern topic he tried. Mrs. W. has been thirty-seven
years in India, and is a wonderful-looking woman. Our band came, and
after dinner there was a great whispering amongst the seven ladies and
forty gentlemen, and it turned out they were longing for a little more
dancing; so the band played some quadrilles, and by dint of one couple
dancing first on one side of the room and then on the other, they made
it out very well, and it was rather a lively evening.


Camp, Jan. 26.

My own dearest Mary--I sent off another Journal to you yesterday. I
think you ought to have a very regular supply of letters from me. I
never am more than a fortnight now without sending one off. And such
enormous packets too! Such fine fat children! not wholesome fat, only
Indian, but they look puffy and large. We are at a place which in their
little easy way they call Kamovrowdamovrow--how it is spelt really I
cannot say, but that is the short way of expressing the sound. We have
our first view of the mountain to-day; so lovely--a nice dark-blue hard
line above the horizon, and then a second series of snowy peaks, looking
quite pink when the sun rises. We always travel half-an-hour by
torchlight, so that we have the full benefit of the sun rising. The air
is so nice to-day--I think it smells of mountains. The highest peak we
see is the Gumgoutra, from which the Ganges is supposed to flow, and
consequently the Gumgoutra is idolised by the natives. It was so like
P., who by dint of studying Indian antiquities, believes, I almost
think, in all the superstitions of the country. We were lamenting that
we should lose the sight of these mountains in two more marches; but
then we should be on our way to Simla. 'Oh, Simla!' he said, 'what of
that? There is no real historical interest about that. Simla is a mere
modern vulgar mountain. I had as lief be in the plain.' Poor Simla!
which has stood there, looking beautiful, since the world began, to be
termed a mere modern mountain; made of lath and plaster, I suppose. Our
marching troubles increase every day. I wish we _were_ at Simla. The
roads are so _infernally_ bad--I beg your pardon, but there is no other
word for it. Those who ride can make it out pretty well, and I would
begin again, only it tires me so that I cannot sit on the horse; but the
riders can always find a tolerable path by the side. The road itself is
very heavy sand with deep holes, and cut up into ditches by the
hackeries that go on the night before. Our old horses bear it very well,
but it has broken the hearts and tempers of the six young ones we got
last year from the stud, and there is no sort of trick they don't play.
Yesterday I nearly killed Mrs. A. by the excessive politeness with which
I insisted on bringing her the last stage. Two horses kicked themselves
out of their traces, and nearly overturned the carriage, and we plodded
on with a pair; however, she is not the worse for it. This morning,
before F. and G. left the carriage, one of the leaders, in a fit of
exasperation, threw himself over the other leader and the postilion; of
course they all three came down, but luckily neither man nor horses were
hurt; but the carriage could not come on, so we all got on some
elephants, which were luckily close at hand. They took us two miles, and
by the time mine, which was a baggage elephant, had jolted me into very
small pieces, we came to fresh horses. C. and G. rode on, and I sat down
on the ground by a fire of dry grass, which the syces and bearers had
made for themselves. I longed very much for an inn, or an English
waiter, or anything, or anybody; but otherwise it was amusing to see the
camp roll by--the Baboos in their palanquins, Mr. C.'s children in a
bullock carriage, Mr. B.'s clerks riding like sacks, on rough ponies,
with their hats on over their nightcaps; then the Artillery, with the
horses all kicking. W. O. came up to me and sent back one of the guards
to fetch up the carriage, and he always sets to work with his old
regimental habits, and buckles the harness himself, and sets the thing
off. His horse had run away with him for three miles, and then he ran
away with it for six more, and now he hopes they will do better. G. is
gone to-day to return the visit of the Nawâb of Rampore, who lives four
miles off, and he has had to recross the river, which makes rather a
melancholy addition to the fatigues of men and cattle. G. has set up for
his pet a hideous pariah dog, one amongst the many that follow a camp;
but this has particularly pretty manners, coaxing and intelligent, and
G. says he thinks it will keep the other pets out of his tent. Chance,
and F.'s lemur, W.'s greyhounds, and Dr. D.'s dog are always running
through his tent, so he has set up this, not that it really ever can go
into his tent, it is much too dirty, but we call it out of compliment to
the Company 'the Hon. John,' and it answers to its name quite readily.


Moradabad, Saturday, Jan. 27.

Another station, where we are to stay for three days; but the travelling
was worse than ever. I told W. O. last night I should walk, and he said
he should hop, he had tried everything else. It will be my last resource
too. The first stage did pretty well. I have set up Webb to ride by me
when the others ride on, and he can direct his own postilions. He does
not look the least like a head-coachman, or like the Sergeant Webb which
he is--rather like a ruffian in a melodrama; but he is very civil, and
by dint of encouragement and example, got the horses through a mile of
deep sand, down to the river-side. We passed about fifty hackeries stuck
fast, and there they and the oxen probably are now. The Y.s, be the road
bad or good, always come to a misfortune. Yesterday they broke the
spring of their dickey; to-day they had to harness _an elephant_ to
their carriage to pull it out of the sand; and long after we had
breakfasted we saw the eldest boy arrive on foot, with one of Mrs. A.'s
hirkarus, Mrs. Y. and the little thing on one of our elephants, and Y.
mounted on his own box, flourishing on with his tired horses. Our
carriage crossed the ford very well, though the water was up to the
steps, and when we had landed I said to Webb I thought we had better
wait for Miss F., as the march was longer than we expected. He always
speaks so like our old nurse Spencer: 'Lord bless me, Miss Eden, we must
not think of Miss F.; if the horses once stop in this sand, they will
never stir again. Go on, coachmen. I think, Miss Eden, my Lord and Miss
F. will make a bad job of this ford. I saw Lord William, that time he
and I came up the country, up to his middle in water at this place,
though he was on a tall English horse. Drive on!' We proceeded another
mile into the town, and then the horses went entirely mad, partly
because the narrow street was full of camels, and partly from fatigue.
Webb and the guards cleared off the camels, but the horses would not be
quiet, so I got out and walked. There were immense crowds of natives
waiting to see G.'s entry, but they are always very civil, and indeed
must have been struck with the majesty of my procession--Webb with his
long hunting-whip and Squire Bugle look, me in my dusty brown cloak and
bonnet, over a dressing-gown, the 'Hon. John' frisking and whining after
me with a marked pariah appearance, an old jemadar of G.'s, with a great
sheet twisted over his turban to keep out the cold of the morning; then
the carriages with the horses all kicking, and the syces all clinging to
them, and Giles and Mars in the distance, each in a horrid fright about
their ponies. I walked at least a mile and a half, and then met Captain
C. riding out to meet us. 'What accident has happened now?' he said.
'Nothing particular,' I said, 'I am only marching.' He turned back and
walked with me to the end of the town, and then the horses behaved
pretty well through all the saluting and drumming, and our entry was
made correctly; but I had no idea that I could have walked a mile and a
half without dropping down dead. That is something learnt. We had all
the station to dinner. There were only twenty-five of them altogether,
and only two ladies. The band could not play at dinner, which is always
a sad loss, as they cover all pauses, but their instruments and uniforms
had stuck in the sands. Luckily there was a young Mr. J., the image of
Lord Castlereagh, who talked unceasingly all through dinner. Another of
the civilians here is Mr. B. O., son of the Mr. O. you know. He was
probably the good-looking stepson whose picture Mrs. O. used to carry
about with her, because he was such a 'beautiful creature.' He is now a
bald-headed, grey, toothless man, and perfectly ignorant on all points
but that of tiger-hunting. There is not a day that I do not think of
those dear lines of Crabbe's--

    But when returned the youth? The youth no more
    Returned exulting to his native shore;
    But in his stead there came a worn-out man.

They were always good lines, and always had a tendency to bring tears
into my eyes; but now, when I look at either the youth or the worn-out
men, and think what India does for them all, I really could not venture
to say those lines out loud. Please to remember that I shall return a
worn-out woman.


Moradabad, Monday, Jan. 29.

Mr. Y. gave us such an excellent sermon yesterday. The residents here
only see a clergyman once a year, so I am glad they had a good sermon,
and they all seemed pleased with it. Captain N. was taken ill at
church--the second time it has happened--and Dr. D. was obliged to go
out with him and bleed him. He looks very strong, but they say nobody
ever really recovers a real bad jungle-fever. We all went out on the
elephants, but there is not much to see at Moradabad, though it is a
cheerful-looking station. Mrs. A. came to see me, and says she is quite
baffled in her attempts to teach her little R. his Bible. He is only
three years old, but a fine clever boy. She gave up the creation because
he always would have it that the first man's name was Jack; and to-day
she tried the story of Samuel, which she thought would amuse him, and it
went on very well, with a few yawns, till she asked, 'What did Samuel
say when the Lord called him the third time?'--'I'm a-toming, a-toming,
so don't teaze I any more.' She thought this hopeless, and gave up her
Sunday lessons.


Camp, Tuesday, Jan. 30.

G. had a durbar yesterday, and then went to see the gaol. F. and I went
with P. to the native town to see if we could find anything to sketch,
but we could not. Mr. C. caught a very fine old native in the town, with
a white beard down to his waist, and he was rather a distinguished
character, fought for the English in the time of their troubles here; so
he sat for his picture, and it was a good opportunity to make him a
present. It is such an immense time since we have had any letters--none
by sea of a later date than August 5, nearly six months ago. For a
wonder, we marched ten miles to-day without an accident.


Amroah, Wednesday, Jan. 31.

I went to see Mrs. S. yesterday, and the visit rather reminded me of
you. Of course, as you observe, I should forget you utterly if it were
not for these occasional remembrances of you, and the constant practice
of thinking of you most hours of most days. The eldest little S. girl
was ill, an attack of fever, and, _I_ think, thrush, but at all events
her mouth was in a shocking state; 'and Dr. D. accused me of having
given her calomel,' Mrs. S. said, 'but I really never do, I detest
calomel; half the children in India are killed by it.' Just then four of
her children and two little Y.s rushed in, with guns and swords and
paper helmets--'Mamma, M. is gone on the elephant without us.'

'No, my dears, there's M. arranging my workbox. Now, don't make a
noise--Miss Eden's here. Run along.'

'But, mamma, may E. and F. Y. drink tea with us to-night?--we want
them.'

'Well, dears, we'll see about it presently; now run along.'

'But their mamma says she won't let them come if you don't write a
note.'

'Very well, dears, run along.'

'But, mamma, will you give us the note to take?'

'I'll think about it, my love; perhaps I shall meet Mr Y. out walking;
and now pray run along.'

Upon which M. looked up from the workbox she was arranging.

'Mamma, may I have this seal?'

'No, dear, certainly not; it was sent me by my little sister from
England; and now run along after your brothers.'

I told her how much you were in the habit of saying 'run along' when you
had any visitor with you--whereat we laughed. The poor little girl
looked very sick, and I could not find anything to send her, not even a
picture-book.

Amroah is a very long narrow town, where they make a very coarse sort of
porcelain, which they paint and gild. G. had a quantity of it given to
him, which he sent to me, and the native servants had great fun in
dividing it amongst themselves. Captain N. drove me in the evening back
to a gateway we had seen this morning--the first pretence at an object
for a sketch we had had for many days. We saw a great crowd round it,
and in the middle of them P. on his elephant, and in his spectacles,
sketching away as hard as he could.

When we came back, I went to fetch out G., who never goes out when he
can help it, and took him what I thought a prettier walk than
usual--about half a quarter of a mile of sand ankle deep, to an old
mosque, raised on an elevation of at least eighteen inches--'a
splendiferous creature'--(did you ever read 'Nick of the Woods?' you
sent it out to us, and we do nothing but quote it)--but he thought it
more tiresome than any walk he had taken yet. We found W. and F. there,
just on the same tack, F. thinking it was rather pretty, and W. not
able to guess why he was dragged all through that sand, and wishing
himself at Calcutta. 'Yes,' G. said, 'I am more utterly disgusted, more
wretchedly bored than ever, so now I shall go back to my tent, and wish
for Government House.' In the meanwhile he is becoming a red-faced
_fat-ish_ man, and 'if he aspires to play the leading villain of the
plot, his corpulence will soon unfit him for that rôle.' (See 'The
Heroine.')


Gurmukteser Ghaut, Friday, Feb. 2.

We crossed the Ganges this morning on a bridge of boats, which was very
well constructed, considering the magistrate had not had much notice.
The elephants always go first, and if the boats bear elephants, they
will bear anything. A Mr. F. and two assistants, and a Mr. and Mrs. T.
had come out forty miles to meet us; and it is unfortunate we had not
known it, for I had asked the B.s, D.s, General E., &c., to dinner, and
unless there was another tent pitched, we had room only for three more,
and it puts the aides-de-camp into consternation if any of these
strangers are left out. Mrs. T. wears long thick thread mittens, with
black velvet bracelets over them. She may have great genius, and many
good qualities, but, you know, it is impossible to look for them under
those mittens.

The weather is very changeable in these parts. On Wednesday morning the
thermometer was at 41° and on Thursday at 78°, so we rush from fur
cloaks, and shawls, and stoves, to muslin gowns and fans; and as far as
I am concerned, I do not think it is very wholesome, but it seems to
agree generally with the camp. The children are all rather ailing just
now, and there is a constant demand for our spare palanquin to carry on
a sick child.


Shah Jehanpore, Sunday, Feb. 4.

G., with Major J. and Mr. M., went yesterday to Haupor, where there is a
Government stud, and they came back this morning pleased with their
expedition. George had had the pleasure of sleeping in a house, and
thought it quite delightful. When we arrived here yesterday, we found
Captain C., our former aide-de-camp, waiting for us. I always said he
would come out to meet us, and W. betted a rupee that he would not, so
now I shall have a rupee to spend on my _menus plaisirs_, and may go in
at half-price to the play at Meerut. Chance arrived so tired from his
march. He was not the least glad to see Captain C., which was very
shocking, but he made up for it in the course of the day, and to-night
he is to go back with Captain C. in his palanquin, and pass two days
with him, and to eat all the time I suppose. I discovered that C. had
sent for Chance's servant, and said that he thought him shockingly thin
(you never saw such a ball of fat), and the man said it was very true,
but it was the Lady Sahib's orders, so then C. decided to borrow him for
a few days and to feed him up. He will have a fit to a certainty.

It was so dreadfully hot yesterday--quite like a May day in
Calcutta--and everybody was lying panting in their tents. It is lucky we
have made the most of our six weeks of cold, which was very pleasant
while it lasted. If we have rain, it may return again, but otherwise
they say we have no notion what the hot winds are on these plains, and
we have still six weeks to live in these horrid tents.


Meerut, Tuesday, Feb. 6.

We had some rain on Sunday night, not enough to do good to the crops or
the cattle, but it has made the air cool, and the dust was quite laid
yesterday. The tents we came up to at Mhow were quite wet. If once they
become really wet through, we should have to stop a week wherever we
might be, and however short our supply might be, as the canvas becomes
too heavy for the elephants to carry. We had a very pretty entry this
morning. There are four regiments here--two of them Queen's troops, and
one of them is W.'s old regiment of lancers. They were all drawn out,
and an immense staff met G. and rode in with him. The most amusing
incident to me, who was comfortably in the carriage, was that one of the
lancers' horses escaped from his rider, and ran amongst all the
gentlemen. It would be wrong to laugh in general at such an event, for a
loose horse in this country is like a wild beast, and tears people off
their horses and worries them; but this one only went curvetting about,
and when he took to chase old Mr. A. round the others, it was rather
interesting and pretty. I had no idea Mr. A. could have turned and
doubled his horse about so neatly. Five or six lancers were riding about
after him, without the least chance of catching the wild beast, who was
captured at last by one of the syces.

Meerut is a large European station--a quantity of barracks and white
bungalows spread over four miles of plain. There is nothing to see or to
draw.

George had a levée in the morning and audiences all day, and would not
go out any more. F. and I went in the tonjauns wherever the bearers
chose to convey us, and that happened to be to the European
burial-ground. We could not discover any one individual who lived to be
more than thirty-six. It may give Lady A. D. pleasure to know that Sir
R.'s first wife is certainly dead and buried--at least she is
buried--under a remarkably shabby tomb. People here build immense
monuments to their friends, but Sir R. cut his wife off with a small
child's tombstone.


Wednesday, Feb. 7.

There now! there is the overland post come, of December 1st, with a
letter from R. and one from Mr. D., both to George. It is a great thing
to know you were all well at that time, but still it is very mortifying
not to have any letters addressed to our noble selves. It falls so flat.
I had long ago given up any sea letters, but we kept consoling ourselves
with the notion of this overland business--that is, I never did; I
always said we should not have our proper complement of letters, so I am
not the least surprised, for I am confident that we have been here at
least fifteen years, and are of course forgotten; but still it is very
shocking, is not it? Lady G. used to write, but she has given it up too.
I do not know what is to be done; and I consider it rather a grand trait
of character that I go writing on as much as ever, considering it is six
months and four days since the date of your last letter. The post
brought in plenty of papers, and the Queen's visits to Guildhall and to
Covent Garden are very interesting. I think politics look ugly enough.

We had a very large party last night--the two large tents quite full of
nice-looking people--and they danced away very merrily.


Meerut, Sunday, Feb. 11.

We have had so much to do I could not write. But first and foremost we
have had some letters of September by the 'Zenobia' and the 'Royal
Saxon:' not a line from you--you evidently have a little pet ship of
your own; and but one from L., one from Lady G., &c.: in short, a good
provision, but I still wish yours would come to hand. These are five
months old, but that is not so bad.

We have had a ball on Wednesday from the artillery; a play on Thursday
by amateurs--'Rob Roy'--and 'Die Vernon' acted by a very tall lancer
with an immense flaxen wig, long ringlets hanging in an infantine manner
over his shoulders, short sleeves, and, as Meerut does not furnish
gloves, large white arms with very red hands. Except in Calcutta, such a
thing as an actress does not exist, so this was thought a very good 'Die
Vernon;' but I hear that 'Juliet' and 'Desdemona' are supposed to be his
best parts. Friday, the station gave us a ball, which was very full.
There were two Miss ----s come out from England to join a married
sister, the wife of an officer in the lancers. She is very poor herself,
but has eight sisters at home, so I suppose thought it right to help her
family; and luckily, I think, they will not hang long on her hands. They
are such very pretty girls, and knowing-looking, and have brought out
for their married sister, who is also very pretty, gowns and headdresses
like their own. The three together had a pretty effect. They are the
only young ladies at the station, so I suppose will have their choice of
three regiments; but it is a bad business when all is done. They arrived
just in time for this gay week, which will give the poor girls a false
impression of the usual tenor of their lives. The only other unmarried
woman also appeared for the first time _as a lady_. Her father has just
been raised from the ranks for his good conduct. The poor girl was very
awkward and ill-dressed, but looked very amiable and shy. I went and sat
down by her, and talked to her for some time; and her father came the
next day to G. and said he felt so grateful for the notice taken of his
daughter. The poor girl evidently did not know how to dance.

Yesterday George gave another great dinner, at which we did not appear.
I don't think I ever felt more tired, but the weather is grown very warm
again; and then, between getting up early when we are marching, and
sitting up late at the stations, I am never otherwise than tired. We
went to the church to-day instead of having service at home. It is
rather a fine sight, as General N.'s 'sax and twenty thoosand men' were
there. He is the Governor of the district, a good-natured old man, but
he has quite lost his memory, and says the same thing ten times over,
and very often it was a mistake at first. George asked him how many men
he had at Meerut; he said, 'I cannot just say, my Lord; perhaps sax and
twenty thoosand'--such a fine army for a small place.


Tuesday, Feb. 13.

We were to have left Meerut to-day, but I was obliged to tell George
that no human strength could possibly bear the gaieties of yesterday,
and a march of sixteen miles at four this morning.

We had a dinner at General N.'s of seventy people--'sax and twenty
thoosand,' I believe, by the time the dinner lasted--but it was very
well done. Mrs. N. is a nice old lady, and the daughter, who is plain,
shows what birth is: she is much the most ladylike-looking person here.
When the dinner was over--and I have every reason to believe it did
finish at last, though I cannot think I lived to see it--we all went to
the ball the regiment gave us. I look upon it as some merit that I
arrived in a state of due sobriety, for old General N.'s twaddling took
the turn of forgetting that he had offered me any wine, and every other
minute he began with an air of recollection, 'Well, ma'am, and now shall
_you_ and _I_ have a glass of wine together?' The ball was just like the
others, but with a great display of plate at supper, and the rooms
looked smarter.

Tell E. Mrs. B. is our 'Dragon Green,' only she does not imitate us with
that exquisite taste and tact which the lovely Miss Green displays. I
bought a green satin the other day from a common box-wallah who came
into the camp;--how she knows what we buy we never can make out, but she
always does--and the next day she sent her tailor to ask mine for a
pattern of the satin, that she might get one like it from Calcutta. The
same with some fur F. bought. I found some turquoise earrings last week,
which I took care not to mention to her, but yesterday the baboo of Mr.
B.'s office stalked into my tent with a pair precisely the same, and a
necklace like that I bought at Lucknow, and said his 'Mem Sahib' (so
like the East Indians calling their ladies 'Mem Sahibs') had sent him to
show me those, and ask if they were the same as mine. Having ascertained
that the earrings were double, and the necklace four times, the price of
mine, I said they were exactly similar, and that I approved of them very
much. I hope she will buy them.

We saw a great deal of Captain C. at Meerut, and he would have been very
happy if he had not thought Chance grown thin. F. left with him her tame
deer, which is grown up and becoming very dangerous. It is a pity that
tame deer always become pugnacious as soon as their horns come through.

I treated myself to such a beautiful miniature of W. O. There is a
native here, Juan Kam, who draws beautifully sometimes, and sometimes
utterly fails, but his picture of William is quite perfect. Nobody can
suggest an alteration, and as a work of art it is a very pretty
possession. It was so admired that F. got a sketch of G. on cardboard,
which is also an excellent likeness; and it is a great pity there is no
time for sitting for our pictures for you--but we never have time for
any useful purpose.


Camp, Delhi, Feb. 20.

This identical Delhi is one of the few sights, indeed the only one
except Lucknow, that has quite equalled my expectations. Four miles
round it there is nothing to be seen but gigantic ruins of mosques and
palaces, and the actual living city has the finest mosque we have seen
yet. It is in such perfect preservation, built entirely of red stone and
white marble, with immense flights of marble steps leading up to three
sides of it; these, the day we went to it, were entirely covered with
people dressed in very bright colours--Sikhs, and Mahrattas, and some of
the fair Mogul race, all assembled to see the Governor-General's
suwarree, and I do not think I ever saw so striking a scene. They
followed us into the court of the temple, which is surmounted by an open
arched gallery, and through every arch there was a view of some fine
ruins, or of some part of the King of Delhi's palace, which is an
immense structure two miles round, all built of deep red stone, with
buttresses and battlements, and looks like an exaggerated scene of
Timour the Tartar, and as if little Agib was to be thrown instantly from
the highest tower, and Fatima to be constantly wringing her hands from
the top of the battlements. There are hundreds of the Royal family of
Delhi who have never been allowed to pass these walls, and never will
be. Such a melancholy red stone notion of life as they must have! G.
went up to the top of one of the largest minarets of the mosque and has
been stiff ever since. From there we went to the black mosque, one of
the oldest buildings in India, and came home under the walls of the
palace. We passed the building in which Nadir Shah sat for a whole day
looking on while he allowed his troops to massacre and plunder the city.
These eastern cities are so much more thickly inhabited than ours, and
the people look so defenceless, that a massacre of that sort must be a
horrible slaughter; but I own I think a little simple plunder would be
pleasant. You never saw such an army of jewellers as we have constantly
in our tents. On Saturday morning I got up early and went with Major J.
to make a sketch of part of the palace, and the rest of the day was cut
up by jewellers, shawl merchants, dealers in curiosities, &c. &c., and
they begin by asking us such immense prices, which they mean to lower
eventually, that we have all the trouble of seeing the things twice.

Yesterday we went to the church built by Colonel Skinner. He is a native
of this country, a half-caste, but very black, and talks broken English.
He has had a regiment of irregular horse for the last forty years, and
has done all sorts of gallant things, had seven horses killed under him,
and been wounded in proportion; has made several fortunes and lost them;
has built himself several fine houses, and has his zenana and heaps of
black sons like any other native. He built this church, which is a very
curious building, and very magnificent--in some respects; and within
sight of it there is a mosque which he has also built, because he said
that one way or the other he should be sure to go to heaven. In short,
he is one of the people whose lives ought to be written for the
particular amusement of succeeding generations. His Protestant church
has a dome in the mosque fashion, and I was quite afraid that with the
best dispositions to attend to Mr. Y., little visions of Mahomet would
be creeping in. Skinner's brother, Major Robert Skinner, was the same
sort of melodramatic character, and made a tragic end. He suspected one
of his wives of a slight _écart_ from the path of propriety--very
unjustly, it is said--but he called her and all his servants together,
cut off the heads of every individual in his household, and then shot
himself. His soldiers bought every article of his property at ten times
its value, that they might possess relics of a man who had shown, they
said, such a quick sense of honour.

G. and I took a drive in the evening all round the cantonments, and
there is really some pretty scenery about Delhi, and great masses of
stone lying about, which looks well after those eternal sands.

In the afternoon we all (except G., who could not go, from some point of
etiquette) went to see the palace. It is a melancholy sight--so
magnificent originally, and so poverty-stricken now. The marble hall
where the king sits is still very beautiful, all inlaid with garlands
and birds of precious stones, and the inscription on the cornice is what
Moore would like to see in the original: 'If there be an Elysium on
earth, it is this, it is this!'

The lattices look out on a garden which leads down to the Jumna, and the
old king was sitting in the garden with a chowrybadar waving the flies
from him; but the garden is all gone to decay too, and 'the Light of the
World' had a forlorn and darkened look. All our servants were in a state
of profound veneration; the natives all look upon the King of Delhi as
their rightful lord, and so he is, I suppose. In some of the pavilions
belonging to the princes there were such beautiful inlaid floors, any
square of which would have made an enviable table for a palace in
London, but the stones are constantly stolen; and in some of the finest
baths there were dirty charpoys spread, with dirtier guards sleeping on
them. In short, Delhi is a very suggestive and moralising place--such
stupendous remains of power and wealth passed and passing away--and
somehow I feel that we horrid English have just 'gone and done it,'
merchandised it, revenued it, and spoiled it all. I am not very fond of
Englishmen out of their own country. And Englishwomen did not look
pretty at the ball in the evening, and it did not tell well for the
beauty of Delhi that the painted ladies of one regiment, who are
generally called 'the little corpses' (and very hard it is too upon most
corpses) were much the prettiest people there, and were besieged with
partners.



CHAPTER XIII.


The Kootûb, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1838.

Well, of all the things I ever saw, I think this is the finest. Did we
know about it in England? I mean, did you and I, in our old ancient
Briton state, know? Do you know now, without my telling you, what the
Kootûb is? Don't be ashamed, there is no harm in not knowing, only I do
say it is rather a pity we were so ill taught. I have had so many odd
names dinned into me during the countless years I seem to have passed in
this country, that I cannot remember the exact degree of purity of mind
(which enemies may term ignorance) with which I left home; but after all
that had been said, I expected the Kootûb would have been rather
inferior to the Monument. One has those little prejudices. It happens
to be the Monument put at the top of the column in the Place Vendôme,
and that again placed on a still grander base. It is built of beautiful
red granite, is 240 feet high and 50 feet in diameter, and carved all
over with sentences from the Koran, each letter a yard high, and the
letter again interlaced and ornamented with carved flowers and garlands;
it is between six and seven hundred years old, and looks as if it were
finished yesterday, and it stands in a wilderness of ruins, carved
gateways, and marble tombs, one more beautiful than the other.

They say that the man who built it meant it for one minaret of a
mosque--a mosque, you are to understand, always possessing two minarets
and three domes. But as some say Kootûb himself built this, and others
say that a particular Emperor called Alexander II. has the merit of it,
and as nobody knows whether there ever were a Kootûb or an Alexander
II., I think it is just possible that we do not know what a man who
never was born meant to make of a building that never was built. As it
stands it is perfect. We went at six this morning to see a well into
which divers are so good as to jump from the height of sixty feet. They
seem to fly almost in the air, till they nearly reach the water, and
then they join their feet together and go down straight, and the water
closes over them. But they come up again, do not be afraid.

We had dispatched all our sights before seven, and had two hours' good
sketching before breakfast, and now it is as hot as ever I felt it in
Bengal.


Delhi, Friday, Feb. 25.

Yesterday morning we found there was so much to do and to finish, that
we settled to stay on here till Saturday, and to commit the sin for the
first time of marching on Sunday, as we have not a day to spare. The
heir-apparent of Delhi has been coaxed or threatened into waiting on G.,
so there was a second durbar to be held to-day, and when it came to the
time, the prince had taken to his bed, and had sent for thirteen doctors
to say he was too ill to come. However, he changed his mind again and
came, and in the meanwhile, half our troops who were out for the durbar
were fainting away from the heat. In the afternoon G. had to go and
return the visits of the rajahs in the neighbourhood, and we went to see
Humayun's tomb, about six miles off, where we meant to sketch till G.
came, but it turned out a failure after all we had heard of it.

However, there were some beautiful white marble tombs in the
neighbourhood, carved like lace; and then we went to another well, or
rather tank, entirely surrounded by mosques and buildings, on the roofs
of which divers were all waiting to jump. We implored and begged they
would not take us for the Lord Sahib, and take the fatal plunge in our
honour, and the guards went and pushed the crowds off, and declared the
Lord Sahib was coming, and we sat down and sketched, and at last, just
as we were giving him up, he and all his people arrived, and the divers
all bounded off. Some of them jumped from a height of eighty feet,
clearing several buildings in their way. It is much the most curious
sight I have seen, and I now cannot guess why they did not tumble head
over heels twenty times before they reached the water. In the evening we
went to a nautch at Colonel Skinner's. His house is fitted up in the
native fashion, and he had all the best singers and dancers in Delhi,
and they acted passages out of Vishnu and Brahma's lives, and sang
Persian songs which I thought made a very ugly noise; but Mr. B., who
speaks Persian as fluently as English, kept saying, 'Well, this is
really delightful--this I think is equal to any European singing--in
fact, there is nothing like it.'

There _is_ nothing like it that I ever heard before, but certainly the
words, as he translated them, were very pretty. One little fat nautch
girl sang a sort of passionate song to G. with little meaning smiles,
which I think rather attracted his lordship, and I thought it might be
too much for him if I forwarded to him Mr. B.'s translation. 'I am the
body, you are the soul: we may be parted here, but let no one say we
shall be separated hereafter. My father has deserted me; my mother is
dead; I have no friends. My grave is open, and I look into it; but do
you care for me?' The dancing is very slow and very dull, but the
dresses and ornaments are beautiful.


Saturday, Feb. 26.

We had a melancholy catastrophe last night. There has been a great deal
of pilfering in the camp the two last days, which has been the case with
every great camp near Delhi, and our people were unluckily more awake
than usual. A thief was seen running off with one of the servants'
cooking pots, and pursued. A syce of Mr. T. caught hold of him. The
thief turned round and stuck his knife into the man and killed him on
the spot. He was dead before they could even fetch Dr. D. The thief is
taken, but nobody is ever hanged in this country. Mr. T., who has been
agent here for twenty-two years, takes it as a personal affront that we
should have been robbed in his district, though I should have thought
the affront lay the other way.


Paniput, Feb. 28.

Delhi turned out a very unwholesome place. All the servants have been
taken with attacks of fever and sickness; the sudden hot days after the
cold weather disagree with them. Our camp has grown much larger. There
are more hangers-on. Mrs. ---- has taken charge of a little niece and two
nephews who lost their mother suddenly, and she is taking them up to the
hills--I never saw such sickly little things. I see another little
European girl every morning on the line of march, who has evidently
nobody but bearers to take charge of her, probably going up to a school
at Mussoorie, where parents who are too poor to send children home now
send them. I forget whether I told you a story Mr. T. told me about the
way in which children travel here, and which strikes me as very
shocking, and would probably strike you more. I believe I have told it
to you twice already in hopes of making your motherly hair stand on end.
He said a palanquin was brought to his house containing three little
children--a little girl nine years old and two smaller brothers. They
were going up to Mussoorie, had been travelling three days, and had
about a week's more journey. They had not even their names written on a
piece of paper, or a note to the magistrates of the district, but were
just passed on from one set of bearers to the other. You know the
bearers are changed every eight miles like so many post horses, and it
constantly happens on a dâk journey that the bearers get tired, or the
fresh set are not at their posts, and the palanquin is put down on the
road and the traveller left to help himself. The bearers who brought
these children to Mr. T.'s, said they thought the children were tired,
and so they had brought them to an European house for a rest. Mr. T. had
them washed and dressed, and fed them and kept them half a day, when he
was obliged to send them away for fear they should lose their dâk. He
said they were very shy, and would hardly speak, but he made out their
names and gave them notes to other magistrates, and some months
afterwards he saw them at school at Mussoorie; but it is an odd way of
sending children to school. I should like to see you packing off your
three youngest boys for the chances of these naked half savages taking
them and feeding them and looking after them on the road, without even a
servant to attend to them.

When we came into camp this morning we found Mr. ----, whose turn it had
been to come on with the guard of honour, perfectly desperate. His tent
had been entirely stripped in the night, he and his bearers remaining in
a profound sleep while the thieves cut entirely away one side of the
tent, and carried off over his head a large camel-trunk and all his
other boxes, with his sword, gun, and pistols. It was a sad loss for a
poor lieutenant in the army, but luckily the police recovered most of
his things in the course of the day, except, as he says with a most
sentimental sigh, 'a few rings of no value in themselves, but of value
to _me_, and a few _chits_.' The magistrate, Mr. ----, treats with the
greatest contempt the idea of recovering any sentimental goods. 'I
assure you,' he says, 'the dacoits at _Pannyput_ have no idea of
sentiment.' Probably not--but that does not console Lieut. ---- for the
loss of his _chits_.


Kurnaul, March 2.

We arrived here yesterday; a great ugly scattered cantonment, all
barracks, and dust, and guns, and soldiers; and G. had a levée in the
morning, and we were 'at home' in the evening; and the officers of four
regiments, with their wives and daughters, all came and danced. The
fashions are even again behind those of Delhi. Mrs. V. appeared in a
turban made I think of stamped tin moulded into two fans, from which
descended a long _pleureuse_ feather floating over some very full
sleeves. Mrs. Z. did not aspire to anything fanciful, but was simply
attired in a plain coloured gown made of a very few yards of sarcenet.
We are going to dine with the General to-day--a dinner of sixty people.

Yesterday as we were stepping over the street to luncheon, there
appeared an interesting procession of tired coolies carrying boxes--our
English boxes that had come plodding after us from Allahabad. I was in
hopes Mr. D.'s bonnets would have come out of one of them, but we heard
in the evening that they are at least a month off, and in the meantime
the unpacking of these was immense fun. There were two boxes of books,
and I had just come to an end of the last set, and now there is Mrs.
Gore's 'Stokeshill Park,' and 'My Aunt Dorothy,' and some French novels,
and, above all, dear Charles Lamb's Letters, which I have been sighing
for and have begun upon instantly. I cannot imagine what number of
hill-bearers will take our goods up to Simla. Major J. has written for
1,500, and they are already at work taking the first division of goods
up. Our camp will break up almost entirely in a few days. We three, with
two aides-de-camp, the doctor, and one secretary, are going through the
Dhoon, a sort of route that will not admit of a large party. It is a
very pretty road, and likely to be cooler than the actual plains.

The rest of the camp and most of the servants will pursue the straight
road. I long to get into the hills more than ever. It is grown so very
hot now, quite as bad as Calcutta in May. I believe we shall not be able
to take Wright and Jones this route, which will make them very unhappy.
St. Cloup told me yesterday that he had at last had a letter from Madame
St. Cloup, which had made him very happy, and that she was in an
excellent place with a relation of ours. Poor woman! she little knows
what a faithless man he is. However, he bought her a beautiful gold
chain at Delhi, and he said that now he had had this letter, he had
'quelque envie de lui acheter des boucles d'oreilles,' but that he
thought it would be better to take them home. It would make her more
glad to see him.



CHAPTER XIV.


Camp, Kurnaul, March 5, 1838.

It goes much against the grain with me to begin a fresh Journal on half
a sheet, but it is an odd time for writing, so I must take what I can
get and be thankful. The things are all put away for the night under the
sentries. G. is sitting down to a dinner of forty men in red coats,
'fathers and mothers unknown.' F., W., and I have devoured such small
cheer as St. Cloup would allow the kitmutgar to pick up from the outside
of the kitchen at an early hour. W. O. is this moment gone off for his
three weeks' tiger-shooting; and now there is just one hour before I
need dress for the station ball, so that I devote to writing to you. We
could not help laughing at our private dinner, considering what people
say of the luxuries of the East, and of the state in which the
Governor-General lives. The dinner was very good, thanks to its being
stolen from St. Cloup's best company preparations; but we were in a
small empty tent, lighted up by two candles and one night-lamp. The
whole number of leaves of the dining-table were apparently wanted in the
large tent, for they had given us a borrowed camp-table, two very dirty
deal boards, covered with the marks of old slops, and of the _rounds_ of
glasses. I am sure at any of the London gin-palaces the scavengers would
have grumbled at the look of it; and our three coffee-cups, with a plate
of biscuits for Chance in the centre, did not look handsome. The purdahs
were all up, as the evening is hot, so outside we had a good view of
the kettle boiling for tea on some sticks of charcoal, and the bearers
washing up the dirty plates and keeping the pariah dogs from helping
themselves. W.'s dhoolie, a sort of bed on poles, was waiting for him in
the distance, with two irregular horsemen for an escort. Altogether, I
think a Blackheath gipsy would have sneered at us; but otherwise,
nothing was absolutely wanting. I came back to my tent meaning to write
to you, but found, as I told you, everything whisked off, except one
table and my sofa; and that has now been carried away to serve as a bed
for a Mr. ----, who has come dâk sixty miles on some business with G.

I can hardly write because I am in the middle of 'Lamb's Life and
Letters'--such a nice book! I quite dread going on with it for fear of
finishing it. It sometimes does almost as well as you to talk with for
five minutes. I like the way in which he goes on revelling in a bad
joke, making nonsense by the piece; and there are such good little bits
of real feeling. 'All about you is a threadbare topic. I have worn it
out with thinking; it has come to me when I have been dull with
anything, till my sadness has seemed more to have come from it, than to
have introduced it. I want you, you don't know how much.' Such a jewel
of a man to have put that into words, and it is so true! I often find
myself _saucing_ up my distaste for the present with regret for the
past, and so disguising a little discontent with a great deal of
sentiment; but yet that is rather unfair too, for I really should not
mind India if you and three or four others were here. The discontent
with it arises a great deal from want of the old familiar friends.
However, we have at last done two years of it. I believe it has taken us
forty English years to do these two Indian ones; but still it shows what
time and longevity will effect. Mr. Y. brought rather an interesting
individual to my tent this morning, a Christianised Indian; he has been
a strict Christian for nearly twenty-three years, and last year the
Bishop ordained him. He was a Brahmin of the highest class, and is a
very learned man. I asked him how his conversion began, whether from
discontent with his own belief, or from the persuasions of others; and
he said he was dissatisfied with his own superstitions, and got a copy
of Henry Martyn's translation of St. John, and then of the Acts, and
then went back to the rest of the Bible. Mrs. Sherwood, who lived at
Meerut, was afterwards his chief instructress, and he speaks of her with
the greatest gratitude. He keeps a school now, which is attended by
about forty children, but he does not think he has made any real
converts. I wish he could have spoken English: I wanted to know more
about it all. He was here a long time, and I did rather a
highly-finished picture of him, thinking the old Bishop would like it.
He is rather like Sidney Smith blackened, and laughed about as heartily
as Sidney would have done at his own picture.


Tuesday, March 6.

We went to our ball last night--it was pretty; the room was hung round
with such profusion of garlands and a sort of stage, on which there were
green arches decked out with flowers; but what particularly took my
fancy was a set of European soldiers dressed up for the night as
footmen, _real red plush trousers_, with blue coats and red collars, and
white cotton stockings, and powdered heads, and they carried about trays
of tea and ices. After the turbaned heads and 'the trash and tiffany,'
as Hook says, with which we are surrounded, you cannot conceive what a
pleasant English look this gave to the room. Such fat, rosy English
footmen! It is very odd how sometimes the sudden recurrence of some
common English custom shows the unnatural state of things in which we
live--that red plush! it was just like Rousseau's 'Voilà de la
pervenche,' only not quite so romantic. To-day, before I was dressed,
Rosina said that G.'s nazir wanted to speak to me, and I found him in my
tent at the head of at least a hundred yards of 'trash and tiffany,'
come to hope I would ask my lord to stay another day, as to-morrow is
the great Mussulman holiday--they call it their Buckra Eed, or sounds to
that effect; and it is, in fact, a commemoration of Abraham offering up
Isaac, only they do it in honour of Ishmael. Nothing can be more
inconvenient, but I never can refuse the nazir anything, he looks so
timid and gentlemanlike; so I went to G. with the deputation, and we
have altered all our plans, and may have to march on Sunday to make up
for it. A shocking sacrifice of Christianity to Mahomedanism! only, as I
said before, I cannot refuse the nazir; and also, the servants have in
general borne the march very well, and deserve some consideration. We
have written now to revive a play the privates of the Artillery had
wanted to act, and which we had declined for want of time to go and see
it.


Camp, one march from Kurnaul, Thursday, March 8.

I took Mrs. A. out in the carriage on Tuesday evening, and after I had
taken her home, I was caught in a regular storm of dust, what they call
a dry storm here, much worse than a thick London fog. The syces walked
before the horses feeling their way, and hallooing because the
postilions could not see them; and as it was, I came in at the wrong end
of the camp with the syces missing. W. tried to go out to dinner, but
could not find his way.

We went to the play last night, 'Tekeli,' and it really was wonderfully
well acted. They did much better than the gentlemen amateurs at Meerut,
and, except that the heroines were six feet high and their pink
petticoats had not more than three breadths in them, the whole thing was
well done: the scenery and decorations were excellent, and all got up by
the privates. There was one man who sang comic songs in a quiet,
dawdling way that Matthews could not have surpassed. It was all over by
nine o'clock. We marched very early this morning, as it was a sixteen
miles' march, which is always a trial to the servants and to the
regiment, the sun is so hot now after eight. The sergeant who sends back
reports of the road the evening before, always writes them in rather a
grand style, and he put down to-day: 'First and second mile good; at the
third mile, bridge over the canal which requires the greatest
precaution--the _roaring sluices_ may alarm the horses.' I wish you had
seen the 'roaring sluices,' something like the cascades we used to build
when we were children in the ditch at Elmer's End, but hardly so
imposing. Sergeant ---- is so unused to the slightest inequality either
of land or water, that it astounds him. The servants enjoyed their
holiday thoroughly. They all put off their liveries and went round the
camp to make their little compliments, which they do in very good taste,
and the old khansamah made a sort of _chapel_ of the hangings of tents,
and there was one of their priests in the centre reading the Koran, and
between four and five hundred of them kneeling round, all looking so
white and clean in their muslin dresses. I really think they are very
good people, they are so very particular about their prayers.


Friday, March 9.

We had our overland packet of December 27 yesterday. There never was
anything so praiseworthy as the regularity of that Overland Mail lately,
but where are your letters? You must send them to China with directions
to climb over the wall and post on to Simla, or to 'try New South Wales,
or Tartary.' I heard from R. and M. and L. all up to Christmas, and you
are still at August 5th. It is very odd, because I am confident you
write, but I should like to know what you write. We have heard from Mr.
D. much later than from you.



CHAPTER XV.


Saharunpore, Sunday, March 11, 1838.

This is a small station, only two ladies, one of whom is Miss T.; she
came out last year to join a brother here, who is quite delighted to
have her, and she seems very contented with her quiet life; but
everybody is contented with their stations at the foot of the hills.
They stay the cold season here, and go in twelve hours up to Mussoorie,
where most of them have their regular established homes, so they escape
all hot weather. Miss T. and her brother and the other Saharunpore
gentlemen came out to meet us, and G. and I stopped at Captain C.'s to
see an immense collection of fossils, all proving that our elephants of
the present day were 'little Chances' of the olden time. G. had a
durbar, and in the afternoon we went to the Botanical Gardens, which are
very shady and nice; and we sent the band there, as the Saharunporites
do not often hear music. It is a pretty little station.


Kerni, March 15.

G. has been out tiger-hunting from the two last stations. They never had
a glimpse of a tiger, though here and there they saw the footprints of
one. One of the days the thermometer was at 90° in our tents, but G.
stayed out the whole day, and said he did not feel the heat.


Mussoorie, Sunday, March 18.

On Thursday evening we went on to Deyrah, too late to see anything, but
Friday morning the beauty of the Himalayas burst upon us. We were
encamped just under the mountains--too much under them to see the snowy
range, but still nothing could be more beautiful than the first view of
the range, and no wonder one hates plains. Colonel Y. had us out early
in the morning to see his little Ghoorka regiment manoeuvre. Most of
the men are about five feet six, with little hands and feet in
proportion. All the mountaineers are very small creatures, but they make
excellent little soldiers; and the Ghoorkas beat our troops at this spot
twenty-five years ago, and killed almost all the officers sent against
them. Now they are our subjects they fight equally well for us, and were
heard to say at Bhurtpore that they really thought some of our soldiers
were nearly equal to themselves. They look like little black dolls. They
are quite unlike natives. There is a regular fool attached to the
regiment, who had stuck a quantity of wild flowers in his helmet, and
came up and saluted G. with a large drawn sword in a most ridiculous
manner. After that we went to see a Sikh temple, where there was a great
festival, and about a hundred fakeers, the most horrid-looking monsters
it is possible to see. They never wear any clothes, but powder
themselves all over with white or yellow powder, and put red streaks
over their faces. They look like the raw material of so many Grimaldis.
At eleven, the two ladies and five gentlemen of the station came to
visit us; and at four, G. and I set off, under Colonel Y.'s auspices, to
see a cavern that has just been discovered about four miles from this,
and which was found out in a very odd way. One of the soldiers had
murdered his havildar out of jealousy, and escaped, and was taken, after
a fortnight's search, in this cave, nearly starved to death. It is just
the place where Balfour of Burley would have hid himself. I have not
enjoyed a drive so much for ages, and it was through such a beautiful
country--such hills and valleys! I wish we might settle at Deyrah for
the rest of the term of our transportation. One of the worst parts of
this journey is that we never can go even two yards from the camp
without an officer with G. on account of the petitioners. When we got
near the cave we found Colonel Y., Dr. G., and Captain M. at the
entrance of a dark grotto, through which a stream was running. 'Nothing
to walk through,' Colonel Y. said, 'not more than two feet deep, or two
feet and a half at most,' and so in they all went; but my bearers
luckily declared they could carry the tonjaun through, and they
contrived it, though sometimes one tumbled down, and then another, and I
had once to sit at the bottom of it to prevent my head being knocked off
by the rocks. It was a beautiful cavern about 500 yards long, and at the
other end there was a tent, where G. and Colonel Y. had wisely
established dry clothes, but the others who had not taken this
precaution were glad to gallop home as fast as they could.

Yesterday we started at half-past five in the carriage, came five miles
to the foot of the hills; then the gentlemen got on the ponies, and F.
and I into our jonpauns, which might just as well be called
tonjauns--they are the same sort of conveyances, only they swing about
more, and look like coffins. The mountaineers run up the hills with them
in a wonderful manner. We were two hours going up precipices which, as
Vivian Grey says, 'were completely perpendicular, but with perhaps a
slight incline inwards at the bottom,' and then we reached Colonel G.'s
bungalow at Mussoorie. Such a view on all sides of it! Nothing could be
grander--good fires burning--and a nice sharp wind blowing. Pleasant!

We found our Bengalee servants, who had come on the day before, very
miserable. They had slept in the open air and were starved with the
cold, and were so afraid of the precipices that they could not even go
to the bazaar to buy food. I dare say to people who have never even seen
the smallest rise in the ground, not even a molehill, these mountains
must be very terrific.

While she was dressing me, Rosina was mimicking F.'s jemadar, who is in
a particular state of fear. 'There was poor Ariff, he buy great stick,
and he put stick out so, and then he put his foot by it, and then he
say, "Oh! what me do next, me tumble if me move me stick or me foot."' I
thought we should have been alarmed by what Miss T. said of her fears,
but we went out on our ponies in the evening and cantered along the
paths quite easily, though it is ugly looking down. One stumble, and
horse and all must roll down out of sight. But, to be sure, how
beautiful the hills are! I am certain I shall grow strong again in a
week at Simla, and as for ever being well in the plains, that is an
evident impossibility, so far as I am concerned.


Mussoorie, Monday, March 19.

We went to the little Mussoorie church yesterday morning. The bearers
are steady men, I have no doubt, but still I wish they would not race
with each other; for at the sharp corners where they try to pass, the
outer jonpaun hangs over the edge, and I don't altogether like it. In
the afternoon we took a beautiful ride up to Landour, but the paths are
much narrower on that side, and our courage somehow oozed out; and first
we came to a place where they said, 'This was where poor Major Blundell
and his pony fell over, and they were both dashed to atoms,'--and then
there was a board stuck in a tree, 'From this spot a private in the
Cameronians fell and was killed.' Just as if there were any use in
adding that he was killed, if he fell--anybody might have guessed that.
Then ----, who lived up here for three years, said he would take us home
by a better path, and unluckily it was a worse one, and we had to get
off our ponies and lead them, and altogether I felt giddy and thought
much of poor Major Blundell! But it is impossible to imagine more
beautiful scenery. This morning we went to breakfast with Colonel M. and
saw the whole extent of the snowy range, and very fine it is. It is a
clever old range to have kept itself so clean and white for 5,000 years.
As we came back we met Mars, who is quite happy here, with Ariff after
him. I asked him what he was doing. 'Je veux absolument faire monter ce
pauvre Ariff là haut.'--'Do you like going, Ariff?' I said.--'No,
ladyship.'--'Don't you think the hills very beautiful?'--'No, ladyship,
very shocking;' and he made a face of such utter nausea it was
impossible to help laughing. Mars said afterwards that Ariff flung
himself on the ground and declared nothing should induce him to take
another step. My jemadar in consequence was particularly puffed up about
it, though I believe he disliked his walk quite as much. 'I been to the
Hospital, been to Macdonald Sahib, been everywhere where ladyship has
been. Poor Ariff, he fear much!' and he walked out with a smile of
self-complacency at his superior courage.


Rajpore, Wednesday, March 21.

We came down from Mussoorie Monday afternoon with great success, but the
change in an hour from cold to heat made us all deaf to begin with, and
half the servants were sick, and in the middle of the night I took one
of my attacks of spasms. I always think Dr. D. in his heart must wish
that they would begin twelve hours sooner. He always has to get up at
one in the morning, and the spasm lasted till past three--such an
inconvenient time when we have to march at half-past five. I really
thought this time I should not have been able to go on, but somehow it
always can be done when it cannot be helped; and as all the tents were
ready at the next station, I went for the first time in a palanquin--it
saves the trouble of dressing, and I just moved from the bed into it. G.
went out shooting again this morning on positive information of a
tigress and three cubs, but as usual they could not be found. However,
they have had some very good shooting.


Thursday, March 22.

We had a great deal of rain last night; and so when we came to cross the
Jumna this morning it was not fordable, and there never was such a
mess--only three boats for all our camp. Two poor men were drowned in
the night trying to swim over, and one or two camels were carried away,
but found again. Then the road was so bad the carriage was not
available, and I came part of the way on the elephant, which, as I was
not strong, shook me to atoms. We crossed at last, and then it appeared
that everything had been drenched in the night, and there was not a bed
nor a sofa to lie down on. Luckily, Rosina lent me her charpoy, a sort
of native couch, and Dr. D. got a medicine chest, and gave me some
laudanum, and now I am better again; but of all the troubles in life for
'an ailing body,' I think a march the most complete. It is a pouring
day, but luckily very cool. Chance has been very ill for the last week,
and I have made him over to-day to the surgeon of the body-guard, who
has bled him, and says he can cure him.


Friday, March 23.

We must luckily halt here three days, for half the people and things are
still on the other bank. I am better to-day, and Chance is in a more
hopeful state. As you will hear from us several times by the overland
packet before this comes to hand, I may as well send this off without
coming to the interesting crisis of Chance's fate; but as the
inflammation in his dear little chest is supposed to be subdued, you may
feel tolerably easy. I, as usual, wind up with the observation that your
last letter was dated August 5--seven months and three weeks old.



CHAPTER XVI.


Camp, Nahun, March 26, 1838.

I sent off my last Journal from Rajghaut, March 23. We got all our goods
over the river on Friday evening, and marched Saturday, 24th. The
regiment and the cavalry went the straight road, and we made an awfully
long march of seventeen miles towards the hills. It was the last day of
the dear open carriage, which has been the only comfort of my life in
this march. Nothing is so tiresome as all the miserable substitutes for
it--three miles of elephant and four of tonjaun, and then a pony. Both
men and cattle get so tired in a long march, or when they are employed
every day. The road is very pretty all through the Dhoon, and much
cooler than the plains. Chance is better, thank you. I knew you would
feel anxious about him. His constitution is dreadfully Indianised; but
perhaps the hills, and a judicious change of diet, may be of use.
However, he is done for as an English dog; he is just the sort of dog
you see at Cheltenham.

We came up to Nahun yesterday morning by means of elephants and
jonpauns. The road was very steep, but nothing like that to Mussoorie.
The Rajah of Nahun met us at the last stage, and came up the hill with
us to-day. He has his palace at the top, a sort of hill fort, and about
100 soldiers--imitations of our soldiers--and a band of mountaineers,
who played 'God save the Queen' with great success. He is one of the
best-looking people I have seen, and is a Rajpoot chief, and rides, and
hunts, and shoots, and is active. Nothing can be prettier than the
scenery, and altogether Nahun is the nicest residence I have seen in
India; and if the rajah fancied an English ranee, I know somebody who
would be very happy to listen to his proposals. At the same time, they
do say that the hot winds sometimes blow here, and that his mountains
are not quite high enough; and those points must be considered before I
settle here.

This morning we have been to see the palace, which is an odd collection
of small rooms, painted and gilded in curious patterns--of course, no
tables and chairs; and indeed the _only_ piece of furniture in the house
was an English barrel-organ, and in one of the rooms downstairs there
was a full-grown tiger, tolerably tame, and a large iron pot full of
milk for his dinner.


Naramghur, March 28.

We rejoined the other camp this morning. We came down the mountains from
Nahun on Monday afternoon with great success as far as we were
concerned, but a great many of the camels suffered from it, and we
passed several utterly unable to move. G. and I rode the last five
miles. By remaining at Nahun till the afternoon, we reduced ourselves to
one tent--all the others were obliged to go on for to-day's use, and
there is something particularly uncomfortable in a general tent.

One chair and table for G. at one end, with a supply of office boxes,
two sofas for F. and me, with a book a-piece, and two cane chairs for A.
and B., each pretending to read, but looking uncomfortable and stiff. I
missed my old parasol about three days ago, and discovered to-day that
Jimmund had applied to my jemadar for it, because he thought Chance's
ailments were brought on by the sun; and Wright says she passed him
to-day marching down the hill with Chance in one hand and the parasol
held over him with the other--a pretty idea. This morning I came on in
the palanquin, a wretched substitute for the carriage, but anything is
better than sitting bolt upright before breakfast--in fact, it is quite
impossible.

W. has had great sport at last--at least, everybody says it is great
sport. I cannot imagine anything more unpleasant. They found six tigers
at once in a ravine. Two charged W.'s elephant, and three General E.'s;
one of them disturbed a hornet's nest, and W. says he has since taken
fifty stings out of his face. The bank of the ravine gave way, and he
and his elephant came down within a yard of one tiger, which was however
too much wounded to do any harm. Altogether the party have killed eight,
and are coming back very much delighted with having been very nearly
eaten up, and then stung to death.


Raepore, Thursday, March 29.

Only five more days. I get such fits of bore with being doddled about
for three hours before breakfast in a sedan-chair, that I have a sort of
mad wish to tell the bearers to turn back and go home, quite home, all
the way to England. I wonder if I were to call 'coach' as loud as I
could, if it would do any good. It would be a relief to my feelings. An
unfortunate Brahmin came to Dr. D. at Nahun in the most horrible state
of agony, from that disease of which poor Mr. ---- died. Dr. D. had him
carried down, and yesterday he attempted the cure. Anything so horrible
as the man's screams I never heard; indeed, I thought it was some
animal, and sent out to ask what was the matter. It was the longest and
worst operation Dr. D. said he ever witnessed, but the man insisted on
it. His family have cut him off, but if he lives, it will be very easy
to give him all he wants. He is very ill, and had to be carried on
thirteen miles in a dhoolie.


Friday, March 30.

That Brahmin is better, and Dr. D. thinks he will live. We had a
melancholy letter to-day, with an account of poor Mr. S.'s death. He
died of abscess on the liver--of India, in fact. I think his health had
begun to fail before we left Calcutta, but we had not heard of his being
ill till a week ago. I am very sorry on all accounts. He was an
excellent man, and very much to be loved; and then she is left with
eleven children, of whom three only are provided for. It is melancholy
to think how almost all the people we have known at all intimately have
in two years died off, and that out of a small society. None of them
turned fifty; indeed, all but Mr. S. between thirty and forty. Mr. C.,
who is with us, was saying yesterday that he had been stationed a few
years ago at Delhi. 'I liked it; we were a very large party of young
men, but I am the only survivor.' And he is quite a young man.

       *       *       *       *       *

That Brahmin is very much better, and Dr. D. has no doubt he will
recover. The Brahmins' diet leaves them so little susceptible of fever,
that if they do not sink under an operation they recover rapidly. G.
held a sort of durbar to-day, in which he gave the soubadars (or native
officers) of the regiment which has escorted us, shawls and matchlocks,
the same to the cavalry, and to the native officers of our bodyguard.
They have all conducted themselves most irreproachably during this long
march, and they are a class of men who ought to be encouraged. There
were about thirty of them in all; and at the end, after praising them
and their respective colonels, he poured attar on their hands and gave
them paun, which they look upon as the greatest distinction.

They were extremely pleased, and all our servants were quite delighted,
and said that 'our lordship was the first that had ever been so good to
natives.' I am glad it went off so well, for the idea, between
ourselves, was mine; and as there is a great jealousy and great fear
about liberality, it was disapproved of at first by the authorities, but
G. took to it after a day or two, and I mentioned it surreptitiously
to ----, who manages that part of the department. G. is quite of opinion
that there is too much neglect of meritorious natives, and that it is
only marvellous our dominion over them has resisted the system of
maltreatment, which was even much more the fashion than it is now. Even
now it is very painful to hear the way in which even some of the best
Europeans speak to those Rajpoot princes, who, though we have conquered
them, still are considered as kings by their subjects, and who look like
high-caste people.


Sabathoo, Monday, April 2.

On Saturday evening, at Pinjore, we gave a farewell dinner to all the
camp, and went after dinner to some beautiful gardens belonging to the
Puttealah rajah. He is not here himself, but he had had these gardens
lit up for us, and the fountains were playing, and all the best
nautch-girls had been sent from Puttealah, and altogether it was a very
magnificent fête.

People may abuse nautching, but it always amuses me extremely. The girls
hardly move about at all, but their dresses and attitudes are so
graceful I like to see them. Their singing is dreadful, and very noisy.

We went on to Barr the next afternoon; it is such a hot place that we
wished to have as few hours of it as possible. We found ---- nearly
exhausted by the labour of passing on our goods; every camel trunk takes
on an average eight men, and we have several hundred camel trunks of
stores alone. Colonel T., the political agent, had, however, arrived
with a reinforcement of coolies, and everything was progressing. That
Brahmin is so much better that Dr. D. sent him home from here, and we
gave him all that he required for his expenses. We were called at
half-past three this morning--is not that almost too shocking? human
nature revolts from such atrocities--and at four we were all stowed away
in our jonpauns and jogging by torchlight up some perpendicular paths,
which might be alarming, but I could not keep awake to see.

We were four hours coming to Sabathoo. Colonel T. provided us with a
house. We have had sundry alarms that our beds were gone straight to
Simla. Some of the servants knocked up, but upon the whole it has been a
less alarming expedition than Sir G. K. said we should find it. Colonel
T. has asked all Sabathoo, consisting of nine individuals, to meet us,
which we could have spared, considering we are to be up at half-past
three again to-morrow.


Simla, April 3.

Well, it really is worth all the trouble--such a beautiful place--and
our house, that everybody has been abusing, only wanting all the good
furniture and carpets we have brought, to be quite perfection. Views
only too lovely; deep valleys on the drawing-room side to the west, and
the snowy range on the dining-room side, where my room also is. Our
sitting-rooms are small, but that is all the better in this climate, and
the two principal rooms are very fine. The climate! No wonder I could
not live down below! We never were allowed a scrap of air to
breathe--now I come back to the air again I remember all about it. It is
a cool sort of stuff, refreshing, sweet, and apparently pleasant to the
lungs. We have fires in every room, and the windows open; red
rhododendron trees in bloom in every direction, and beautiful walks like
English shrubberies cut on all sides of the hills. Good! I see this is
to be the best part of India.


April 7.

This must go to-morrow. Simla is still like Major Waddell, 'all that is
brave, generous, and true.' G. and I took such a nice ride yesterday
round the highest mountain, to which is given the sublime name of Jacko;
but Jacko is a grand animal. You may be quite comfortable about our
healths here, as far as climate goes; it is quite perfection, and
altogether the Himalayas are sweet pretty little hills. I have just
unpacked your picture, which has been four months in a camel trunk, and
is more like you than ever.



CHAPTER XVII.


Simla, Good Friday, April 13, 1838.

I had better make a beginning at last. A heap of sea letters came this
morning, and, amongst others, one of your dear _books_ which I have been
pining for, and a Journal from E. to me, and from T. to F., of the 20th
of January, and Mr. D.'s to me the same date; so now I begin to know all
about you again--your young days of 1837, and your old age of 1838. I
begin to catch an idea of your character--but the state of confusion I
have been in for four days between these two packets! There was Miss
Ryder the Second reigning in the schoolroom, and I without an idea
whether the usurper Capplische had been dethroned and beheaded, or
whether it had been a regular succession, a natural death of Capplische,
and a young Ryder mounting the throne in right of her descent.

Then Charley was going back to Eton. I never knew you thought of sending
him there at all. I went all about the house, asking about him and his
school. The old khansamah could not recollect; the jemadar thought it
must be just what the Lady Sahib thought; the aides-de-camp would 'write
and ask at once' (their favourite phrase), but still it was not
clear--and now I have your letter of reasons and intentions. Then
Newsalls had become 'home,' your shell, your manor-house, and you had
never explained it to me. Now that I see the damask bed-room, and the
girls' rooms, and the library, I am better, though I still think it
would have been a delicate attention if you had described cursorily my
room. A southern aspect you will of course attend to; I shall be chilly!
This dear Simla! it snowed yesterday, and has been hailing to-day, and
is now thundering, in a cracking, sharp way that would be awful, only
its sublimity is destroyed by the working of the carpenters and
blacksmiths, who are shaping curtain rods and rings all round the house.
It has been an immense labour to furnish properly. We did not bring half
chintz enough from Calcutta, and Simla grows rhododendrons, and pines,
and violets, but nothing else--no damask, no glazed cotton for
lining--nothing. There is a sort of country cloth made here--wretched
stuff, in fact, though the colours are beautiful--but I ingeniously
devised tearing up whole pieces of red and of white into narrow strips,
and then sewing them together, and the effect for the dining-room is
lovely, when supported with the scarlet border painted all round the
cornice, the doors, windows, &c.; and now everybody is adopting the
fashion.

Another grievance that took Wright and me by surprise was, that of all
our head tailors whom we had brought from Calcutta, none had ever seen
the drapery of a curtain. Bengal has no curtains; so Wright had to cut
out everything herself. It is in these times of emergency that the value
of the European servants rises. Giles has nailed up every curtain
himself. G. has made over to him the care of the garden, and he is
perfectly happy with it, and in a state of the greatest importance. 'I
hope we may have rain to-night, ma'am, and I can bring a few asparagus
from my garden; and perhaps you will just look at these tickets. I can
manage common things, but my lord's hard names for flowers quite puzzle
me.' The kitchen garden is at least half a mile off, down one of the
steepest hills, and Giles has been to tell me that unless he has a pony
he really cannot be as much in the garden as he should wish. His horse
was left with Webb. I have told him to ride for the present a pony that
was sent to G. by one of the hill rajahs, one of what we in our patois
call the Mizzer horses, and I fondly hope that if old B. sees Giles on
it, he will roll down a precipice with the shock. He will think we are
going to appropriate the Mizzers.

This is the first day I have been out of my room, or hardly out of bed,
for a week.


April 22.

I am quite well again now, thank you, and have begun riding and walking
again, and the climate, the place, and the whole thing is quite
delightful, and our poor despised house, that everybody abused, has
turned out the wonder of Simla. We brought carpets, and chandeliers, and
wall shades (the great staple commodity of India furniture), from
Calcutta, and I have got a native painter into the house, and cut out
patterns in paper, which he then paints in borders all round the doors
and windows, and it makes up for the want of cornices, and breaks the
eternal white walls of these houses. Altogether it is very like a
cheerful middle-sized English country-house, and extremely enjoyable. I
do not mean to think about the future (this world's future) for six
months. It was very well to keep oneself alive in the plains by thinking
of the mountains, or to dream of some odd chance that would take one
home--there is no saying the odd inventions to go home that I had
invented--but now I do not mean to be imaginative for six months.

Runjeet Singh wants to see Dr. D., and so he is to accompany Mr. ----,
W., and M., who go in about a fortnight, to take G.'s compliments, &c. I
was asking Dr. D. who was to keep in our little sparks of life while he
is away, and he does not seem to know yet.


April 29.

There never was such delicious weather, just like Mr. Wodehouse's gruel,
'cool, but not too cool;' and there is an English cuckoo talking
English--at least, he is trying, but he evidently left England as a
cadet, with his education incomplete, for he cannot get further than
_cuck_--and there is a blackbird singing. We pass our lives in
gardening. We ride down into the valleys, and make the syces dig up wild
tulips and lilies, and they are grown so eager about it, that they dash
up the hill the instant they see a promising-looking plant, and dig it
up with the best possible effect, except that they invariably cut off
the bulb. It certainly is very pleasant to be in a pretty place, with a
nice climate. Not that I would not set off this instant, and go dâk all
over the hot plains, and through the hot wind, if I were told I might
sail home the instant I arrived at Calcutta; but as nobody makes me that
offer, I can wait here better than anywhere else--like meat, we _keep_
better here. All the native servants are, or have been, sick, and I do
not wonder. We have built twenty small houses since we came, and have
lodged fifty of our servants in these outhouses. Still, there were
always a great many looking unhappy, so I got J. to go round to all the
houses and get me a list of all who were settled, and of those whose
houses were not built, and I found there were actually sixty-seven who
had no lodging provided for them. I should like to hear the row English
servants would have made, and these are not a bit more used to rough it.
There is not one who has not his own little house at Calcutta, and his
wife to cook for him; so they feel the cold and their helplessness
doubly, but they never complain. We have got them now all under tents,
and their houses will be finished before the rains, but in the meantime
I wonder they are all so patient. We have given several dinners, and one
dance, which was an awful failure, I thought, but they say the Simlaites
liked it. If so, their manners were very deceptive.


Simla, May 7.

We have had the Sikh deputation here for nearly a week. The durbar was
put off from Saturday, as we had on Saturday and Sunday two regular hill
rainy days, an even down-pour, that was a great trial to the flat mud
roofs, and a thick mist quite up to the windows. It is the sort of thing
that lasts for two months during the rains, but it has no business to
come misting into our houses now. However, the clearing up on Sunday was
worth seeing. The hills were so beautiful and purple, and such masses of
white clouds sailing along the valleys. The Sikh deputation came on
Monday. There are six principal people, one of them a young cousin of
Runjeet Singh's, and another a fakeer who is Runjeet's chief confidant
and adviser, and a clever man. He is dressed outwardly as a fakeer ought
to be, in coarse brown cloth; but if that opens a little, there is
underneath a gold dress embroidered in seed pearl. Captain M. and I
arranged the rooms according to our own fancy, and we made out a much
better-looking durbar than when ---- takes our house in hand, and
desecrates it with ugly white cloth, to ensure the natives taking off
their shoes. We covered the rooms with scarlet linen, which looked very
handsome, and equally ensured that etiquette, and saved the appearance
of a drying-ground. It is not like a common durbar for tributaries, who
are dismissed in five minutes, but this lasted an hour. G., in a gilt
chair, in the centre, the six Sikh chiefs and Mr. B. at the right hand,
and all the envoys, forty of them, in full dress and solemn silence, in
a circle all round the room, and in the folding-doors between the two
rooms a beautiful group of twelve Sikhs, who had no claim to chairs, but
sat on the floor. And before this circle G. has to talk and to listen to
the most flowery nonsense imaginable, to hear it translated and
retranslated, and to vary it to each individual. It took a quarter of an
hour to satisfy him about the maharajah's health, and to ascertain that
the roses had bloomed in the garden of friendship, and the nightingales
had sung in the bowers of affection sweeter than ever, since the two
powers had approached each other. Then he hoped that the deputation had
not suffered from the rain; and they said that the canopy of friendship
had interposed such a thick cloud that their tents had remained quite
dry, which was touching, only it did so happen that the tents were so
entirely soaked through that Runjeet Singh had been obliged to hire the
only empty house in Simla for them. Their dresses were beautiful,
particularly the _squatting_ group in the centre, and it is a great pity
there was no painter here.


Wednesday, May 9.

We were at home yesterday evening. I went to see Miss R. in the morning,
and she told me that the ladies at Simla had settled that they would not
dance, because the Sikh envoys were asked, and they had no idea of
dancing before natives. Considering that we ask forty natives to every
dance we give at Calcutta, and that nobody ever cares, it was late to
make any objection; and Miss R. said that she begged to say that being
in deep mourning, and not naturally a dancer, she meant to dance every
quadrille, if there were any difficulty about it, just to show what she
thought of their nonsense. However, they all thought better of it before
the evening. There were only three ladies out of the whole society
absent, and an absolute difficulty about room for the dancers; and our
aides-de-camp had quite a rest, from the ladies being engaged for seven
or eight quadrilles. The Sikhs were very quiet and well-behaved. Two of
them had seen English dancing before, and were aware that the ladies
were ladies, and not nautch-girls; and I hope they explained that
important fact to the others. If not we shall never know it, as there
are hardly any of them that speak even Hindustani. I own, when some of
the dancers asked for a waltz, which is seldom accomplished, even in
Calcutta, I was afraid the Sikhs might have been a little astonished;
and I think Govind Jus gave Golaub Singh a slight nudge as General K----
whisked past with his daughter; but I dare say they thought it pretty.
The victim G. talked to Ajeet Singh viâ Mr. B. all the evening, and
occasionally I tried a little topic to help him, but they would not like
much talk from a woman. The poor ignorant creatures are perfectly
unconscious what a very superior article an Englishwoman is. They think
us contemptible, if anything, which is a mistake. Mr. B. said he had
never met with greater quickness in conversation than in that young
Ajeet Singh. G. said that he regretted his ignorance of their language
prevented his acquiring so much information respecting the maharajah as
he wished, to which Ajeet Singh answered, that the Lord Sahib possessed
the key of all knowledge in his natural talents and sense. I said to Mr.
B., 'Tell them that you are, in fact, Lord A.'s key of knowledge, as you
expound everything to him.' He translated this in his usual literal way,
and Ajeet Singh paid him some compliment in return, and added, 'But
though the rays of the sun strike the earth, it is from the sun itself
that the beam draws its light.' They are all in a horrid fright of their
master, which is not surprising. G. asked their opinion about a boat,
one of the beautiful snake-boats with one hundred rowers which he is
going to build as a present to Runjeet, and he wanted them to say what
colours, ornaments, &c., would please him; but they declined giving any
opinion on a subject that they had not been instructed to speak upon,
and Mr. B. said he actually _heard_ Ajeet Singh's heart beat from fear
that he might be led into any advice that might be repeated to Runjeet.
Amongst the presents they brought there is such a lovely bed, with
silver posts and legs, and yellow shawl curtains and counterpanes, and
just the size for our little rooms at Kensington Gore. They can be had
at Lahore for fifty pounds, and I certainly mean to bring one home. The
silver is laid on very thin, and the shawls are not fine shawls, but the
effect is very pretty.



CHAPTER XVIII.


Friday, May 11, 1838.

We went yesterday to the Sikh camp to see their troops. W., F., and I
went on first, for when G. comes with his tail on there is such a
kicking and fighting amongst the horses, that it is not pleasant with a
thousand feet of precipices on one side of the road. G.'s horse was more
than usually vicious, and came to a regular fight with Sir G.'s. I wish
everybody would stick to their ponies in this country. The Sikhs had
pitched a very pretty shawl tent for us, with a silver chair and
footstool for G.; and the hills all round, with the Sikhs' showy horses
and bright dresses in the foreground, made as pretty a picture as it is
possible to see. Their soldiers were something like our recruits, I
thought, and their firing on horseback was very inferior to that of the
local corps we saw on our march. Ajeet Singh joined in the firing at a
mark, and seemed to shoot better than any of his followers, but there
were always two or three of them who fired at the same time as he did,
to make things quite certain. We had to ride home as hard as we could to
be in time for a great dinner, and only had ten minutes for dressing.
This morning G. had another durbar for a farewell to the deputation, and
for giving presents in exchange of theirs. After the Sikhs had retired
there were some hill rajahs introduced, rather interesting. One was the
brother of an ex-rajah, whose eyes had been put out by the neighbour who
took his territories. Another had been dethroned by Goulâb Singh, who is
one of the most powerful chiefs, except Runjeet, and a horrid character.
Half his subjects are deprived of their noses and ears. This poor
dethroned man, after a little formal talk, suddenly snatched off his
turban and flung it at George's feet, and then threw himself on the
ground, begging for assistance to get back his dominions. He cried like
a child, and they say his story is a most melancholy one, but the
Company are bound not to interfere. They can only give shelter in their
territories.


Monday, May 14.

We had such a dreadful sermon at church yesterday from a strange
clergyman. Mr. Y. always preaches here in the morning, and F. and I go
in the afternoon to the church, when he has generally preached again;
but yesterday this sick gentleman took it into his head he was well
enough to preach. He is rather cracked, I should think, though Y.
declares not; but I never will go again when he is to preach. He quoted
quantities of poetry, and when he thought any of it particularly
pretty, he said it twice over with the most ludicrous actions possible.
Then he imitated the voice with which he supposed Lazarus was called to
come forth, and which he said must have been very loud, or Lazarus would
not have heard it, and so he hallooed till half Simla must have heard.
Then he described an angel appearing--'a fine trumpeter;' and he held
out his black gown at its full extent, to show how the angel's wings
fluttered. All round the church people's shoulders were shaking and
their faces hid, and there was one moment when I was nearly going out,
for fear of giving a scream. It was a most indecent exit at last. Even
Sir G. R. came out, wiping his eyes, and I came home in one of those
fits of laughing and crying which we used to have about 'Pleasant but
not correct,' or such like childish jokes, which always ended by giving
you a palpitation. W. and Captain M. went yesterday with the Sikhs on
their way to Runjeet.


Thursday, May 17.

I have had a great deal to write and to copy for G. this week, and am
amazingly backward in my letters, and I opine it must be the knowledge
of that fact which has induced the Bombay Government not to advertise
any steamers. Monday we had a great dinner. There is a very pretty
Mrs. ---- up here--a sort of Malibran in look, but more regularly pretty,
who also dined with us. Her husband cannot get leave from his office,
and she is come up with two children, who look thoroughly Indianised. I
always think those wives who are driven by health to be so many months
away from their husbands, are rather in a dangerous situation in this
country, where women are seldom left to take care of themselves; but she
seems to be a very nice person, and there is something in extreme beauty
that is very attractive. On Tuesday we dined with the Commander-in-Chief,
in order to attend Capt. Q.'s wedding; it was got up with great care by
the R.s. It went off remarkably well--Miss S. looked very pretty. Miss
R., one bridesmaid, is rather handsome, and Miss T., the other, is a
very handsome girl, but would have looked better if she had not ridden
up from Barr (forty-two miles of the steepest hills) without stopping,
whereby the sun had literally burnt all the skin off her shoulders
through her habit. I lent her a blonde shawl, but it could not conceal
the state of things. Most men talk of riding twenty miles in these
mountains as a great feat, and I never can understand the extraordinary
exertions that women sometimes make--and without dying of it, too.

There was no crying at the wedding, and the young couple went off in two
jonpauns, carried one after the other. There was no spare house in
Simla, and they had meant to go into tents, but Captains N. and M.
handsomely offered their house, which is the most retired and one of the
best here.


Saturday, May 19.

F. has heard from W., who had been assisting at the evening firing at a
mark, which is a constant practice with the Sikhs. Ajeet Singh put in
one of his spears at forty yards' distance, and another at sixty, and
put a mangoe on the head of one. He fired twenty times without hitting
either. W. hit the mangoe at the second shot, and then hit the other
spear three times running, and then thought it better to say he was
tired, and could not shoot any more; so the Sikhs all said 'Wah! wah!'
and were pleased. Dr. D. says the thermometer is at 96° in their tents
with tatties, and outside there is a perfect simoom. Poor things! it is
so pleasant here. All Dr. D.'s medicines and instruments have been
stolen from his assistant's tent. The stomach-pump was cut to pieces by
the thieves--such a blessing for Runjeet's courtiers! He tries all
medical experiments on the people about him. How they would have been
pumped!


Simla, Wednesday.

It appears the Journal I sent off to you last Saturday will probably
pass a month at Bombay, where this may still find it. G., in the
plentitude of his power, ordered off a steamer to the Persian Gulf, for
the Persians are behaving very ill to us, and the second steamer, which
was to have supplied its place and to have taken the overland mail, is
disabled. The weather, for Simla, is wonderfully hot--I should say
painfully so, if I did not recollect the plains. Dr. D. writes word that
in their houses at Adeenanuggur (Runjeet's abode), with tatties and
every possible precaution, the thermometer ranges from 102° to 105°.
Calcutta never gets up to that, and then it is comparatively cool there
at night; whereas, these hot winds are just the same all through the
twenty-four hours. W. does not mind them--at least, he says anything is
better than Simla.


Thursday.

Our band played again yesterday at their new place, and it is a most
successful attempt for the good of society, very much aided yesterday by
the goodness of the strawberry ice. The weather is so dry and hot that
Giles allowed us to have as many strawberries as could be picked, as
they are all dying away. The strawberries here are quite as fine as in
England, but they last a very short time. I never saw anything so pretty
as the shrubs are just now. Both pink and white roses in large masses,
and several other quite new shrubs. When we were riding yesterday we saw
some coolies in the road with boxes on their heads, and I said, 'Let us
go to them and persuade them that one of those boxes is ours;' and when
we rode up there was one directed to G. We made sure it contained those
bonnets of Mr. D.'s, which we have been looking for so long, but it
turned out to be books, and a very neat selection--Ernest Maltravers,
the Vicar of Wrexhill, Uncle Horace, Kindness in Women, &c., and some
very amusing magazines.

We had read the Vicar of Wrexhill last week; I think it such a clever
book, though wicked. Those bonnets must come at last. I never see those
coolies come trotting along, having traversed half India, unwatched and
unguarded, without having the greatest respect for their honesty and
perseverance. They get about three rupees per month (six shillings), or
sometimes four, for walking six hundred miles with a heavy box on their
heads.


Saturday, June 9.

We went to the play last night. There is a little sort of theatre at
Simla, small and hot and something dirty, but it does very well. Captain
N. got up a prospectus of six plays for the benefit of the starving
people at Agra, and there was a long list of subscribers, but then the
actors fell out. One man took a fit of low spirits, and another who
acted women's parts well would not cut off his mustachios, and another
went off to shoot bears near the Snowy Range. That man has been punished
for his shilly-shallying; the snow blinded him, and he was brought back
rolled up in a blanket, and carried by six men also nearly blind--he was
entirely so for three days, but has recovered now. Altogether the scheme
fell to the ground, which was a pity, as the subscriptions alone would
have ensured 30_l._ every night of acting to those poor people. So when
the gentlemen gave it up, the 'uncovenanted service' said they wished to
try. The 'uncovenanted service' is just one of our choicest Indianisms,
accompanied with our very worst Indian feelings. We say the words just
as you talk of the 'poor chimney-sweepers,' or 'those wretched
scavengers'--the uncovenanted being, in fact, clerks in the public
offices. Very well-educated, quiet men, and many of them very highly
paid; but as many of them are half-castes, we, with our pure Norman or
Saxon blood, cannot really think contemptuously enough of them. In
former days they were probably a bad class, but now a great many
Europeans have been driven, by the failures of the banks here, to take
that line, and amongst them are several thorough gentlemen. There were
at least fifty of them in one camp attached to Government, and I never
saw better behaved people. Some had horses, some gigs, and some their
nice little wives in their nice little palkees; two wives and two
families packed up together, for economy, with the two husbands riding
by the side of the carriage. And then in the evening we used to hear A.
and B., &c., disputing and lamenting that they could not allow Mr. V.
and Mr. Z., and so on, to sit down in their presence. Well! I dare say
it is all right, or at least we are all equally wrong, for they are not
allowed to enter Government House; and I see how it would be impossible
to ask a _white_ Mr. and Mrs. Smith, though they are better looking than
half the people we know, without hurting the feelings of a half-black
Mr. Brown. Even at the theatres they have distinct places. Now they have
wisely taken to the stage, a great many of the _gentry_ were even above
going to see them act. However, we went, and lent them the band, and the
house was quite full--and they really acted remarkably well, one
Irishman in particular. There is a son of Mr. F.'s amongst them. We
always in camp used to call him Sophia; he looked like an actress
dressed up in men's clothes--little ringlets, and a little tunic, and a
hat on one side. They have got Sophia to act their heroines, and she
looks quite at her ease restored to her female style of dress, and is, I
dare say, equally a good clerk in General C.'s office. The play was over
soon after ten.


Wednesday, June 13.

The weather is very hot here now, much hotter than an English summer; at
least nobody can go out after seven or before six, and the nights are
very close; but of course everybody says it is a most extraordinary
season, as they always do in India. It must end in rain soon; if it does
not, the famine of this unfortunate country will be worse than ever.
Captain M. and Mr. B. have both been ill with the dreadful heat at
Adeenanuggur, and Dr. D. seems very anxious to get them away from there.
I am quite sorry for the doctor. He left his little terrier here at his
own house; it was a particularly clever little dog, and he doted on it,
and there is very little doubt that it was eaten up, but whether by
leopard or hyena remains a mystery. He will be wretched about it, and it
places the happiness of the owners of little dogs generally on a
wretchedly insecure footing.

We have had a slight disturbance in our household, the first serious one
since we sent away those servants at Benares for taking presents. This
time it was rather our fault. The Puttealah Rajah always sends, with his
fruit and vegetables, various bottles, some containing rose water, and
the others some sort of spirits. We ought to have broken the last, but
we told the native servants to divide everything amongst them, and one
of the kitmutgars, who got for his share a bottle of these spirits,
asked some of the others to dine with him, took great care to drink
nothing but water himself, and persuaded two others to get very drunk
with what he called sherbet, and then they began to quarrel. It is such
an extreme disgrace for a Mussulman to be drunk, and so degrading in the
eyes of all the others, that J. turned them off forthwith. I was against
it, as it had been a trick upon them, and partly our fault, but I only
insisted on the giver of the feast being turned off too. As these men
have only four shillings a week for themselves and families, of course
they can save nothing, and if they are turned away at a distance from
home they really may die of starvation. They went crying about for three
or four days, and tried Giles and Wright, who could not interfere; and
at last they watched me into my room yesterday, and came with two or
three of the head servants to speak for them. I never can resist them;
they cry, and knock their heads against the ground, and always make use
of such touching expressions--that they are so very wicked, and so very
unhappy, and that God forgives everybody their faults, and that they
must and will die if they are not forgiven. However, I was very firm,
and said I knew it was no use asking Major J., and that I never could
look upon them again as respectable servants, and that none of the old
servants ever gave them such an example, and would not like to associate
with them. But then the old ones turned against me; and then I said, I
would give them money to take them home, and then they cried still more
about the disgrace; so at last I said I would ask Major J., though I was
sure it was of no use, &c. Sometimes he does take it amiss; but this
time he said, in his own diplomatic way, that in fact he had sent them
to me, for he knew I should not resist their grief, and as _he_ had sent
them away he did not know how otherwise to help them. Giles, to whose
department they belong, had been miserable about them.



CHAPTER XIX.


Saturday, June 14, 1838.

My last Journal departed this life on Tuesday last, and since then we
have had almost unceasing rain, with a great deal of thick white fog,
which I rather affection; it somehow has a smell of London, only without
the taste of smoked pea-soup, which is more germane to a London fog, and
consequently to my patriotic feelings. The rain last night washed down
one house, and killed the man in it; and the roads have been carried
down into the valleys, and the rocks washed into the roads, so that
somehow our geography is not so clear as it was; but still it is cool,
and what else is there that signifies in India?

My Journal must be so very dull here, that I am thinking of converting
it into a weekly paper. We do not even give any dinners now (not that
they would make any difference). I was thinking how much journals at
home are filled with clever remarks, or curious facts, or even good
jokes, but here it is utterly impossible to write down anything beyond
comments on the weather, I declare I never hear in society anything that
can be called a _thing_--not even an Indian thing--and I see in Sir
James Mackintosh's Life, which I am just finishing for the third time,
that, in his Indian journal, there is nothing but longings after home,
and the workings of his own brain, and remarks on books; whereas, in his
English and Paris journals, there are anecdotes and witticisms of other
people, and a little mental friction was going on.

I am interested in Indian politics just now, but could not make them
interesting on paper. Herât is still defending itself, but the Russians
are egging on the Persians, and their agents are trying to do all the
mischief they can on our frontier. Two Russian letters were intercepted,
and sent to G. yesterday; highly important, only unluckily nobody in
India can read them. The aides-de-camp have been all day making
facsimiles of them, to send to Calcutta, Bombay, &c., in hopes some
Armenian may be found who will translate them. It would be amusing if
they turned out a sort of 'T. and E. Journal;' some Caterina
Iconoslavitch writing to my uncle Alexis about her partners.

I went through the thick fog this morning to visit the R.s, and found
them in a great fuss. They had been trying to get news in every
direction without success. 'Pray, is it true what we heard yesterday
morning, that the Governor-General had said he would burn Herât if he
could?' I said it sounded plausible, as he probably did not wish Herât
to fall into the enemy's hands. 'Well, but then we heard that the
Governor-General had said, in the afternoon, that he was against any
warlike measure whatever; that contradicts the morning story.' I
recommended that they should always believe the afternoon anecdotes,
because G. sees people in the morning, and he sees nobody after
luncheon, so that what he says to other people might be less than the
truth, but that what he says to himself, in the afternoon, must clearly
be the real state of the case.


Sunday, June 17.

Still pouring! and our congregation consisted of only eight people
besides Mr. Y.; but it cleared at five, and we rode all round 'Jacko,'
the imposing name of our highest mountain, as hard as we could canter.
The hills were _really_ beautiful to-night, a sea of pinkish white
clouds rolling over them, and some of their purple heads peering through
like islands. It was a pleasure to look at anything so beautiful and so
changeable. The clouds drew up like curtains in massy folds every now
and then, and there were the valleys grown quite green in three days,
just tinged with the sunbeams, the sun itself hidden; and the _want of
shape_ for which these hills are to blame on common occasions was
disguised by all this vapoury dress. I love hills, but I have discovered
by deep reflection that we are such artificial animals, that the
recollections of art are much more pleasing and stronger in my mind than
those of nature. In thinking over past travels, Rubens' 'Descent from
the Cross' at Antwerp, and Canova's 'Magdalene,' and one or two Vandycks
at Amsterdam, and parts of Westminster Abbey and of York Minster, come
constantly into my thoughts; and I can see all the pictures at
Panshanger, particularly the Correggio, and many of those at Woburn and
Bowood, as clearly as if they were hanging in this room. There is a bit
of grey sky in that 'Descent from the Cross' I shall never forget,
whereas Killarney, and the Rhine, and the Pyrenees are all confused
recollections, pleasant but not clear. And I am sure that in this
country, though I do not admire Indian architecture, I shall recollect
every stone of the Kootûb and every arch about it, when these mountains
will be all indistinct. In short, notwithstanding that 'God made the
country and man made the town,' I, after the fashion of human nature,
enjoy most what God has given, and remember best what man has done. How
do you feel about nature and art? Don't you love a fine picture? After
all, it is only nature caught and fixed. Another thing is, that all my
associations with pictures and statues are those of pleasant society,
and friends, and good houses, and youth and happiness, though I should
love them for their own sakes too.


Simla, Wednesday, June 20.

I sent off another lump of Journal last Saturday, but somehow I feel
none of those last letters are sure of reaching you. They will be
drowned going overland, after the contrarious way of the world. We might
have had your April packet by this time, but the Bombay dâk has not been
heard of at all for five days, and it is supposed the rivers have
overflowed and that all your dear little letters are swimming for their
lives. Our rains have begun, but they are not very different from
English rains--at least hitherto it has been fine half the day. On
Saturday morning they began with a grand thunder-storm, and a great
splash of water, which would have been pleasant only that it took a
wrong direction, and somehow _settled_ in my ceiling, from which it
descended in a variety of small streams, after the fashion of a gigantic
shower-bath, on my carpet, tables, &c. Giles rushed in at the head of a
valiant band of khalasses (Indian house-maids of the male gender), and
carried off my books and pictures, and nothing was hurt, only you know
your face might have been entirely washed out, which, as there is not
another like it within 15,000 miles, would have been an irreparable
calamity. The rest of the house behaved itself beautifully, and my room
was put to rights in twenty-four hours. The instant these leaks are
discovered, the flat roofs are covered with natives thumping away at the
mud of which they are composed, as if noise were no grievance. A strange
delusion!


Friday, June 22.

I must copy out an extract from the 'Loodheeana News,' Runjeet's
'Morning Chronicle,' which Captain M. translated from the original
Persian.

There is an account of the arrival of our Mission at Adeenanugger, and
then it goes on to say: 'On the following day the Maharajah, having
alighted in his silver ornamented bungalow, had an order sent through
his counsellors and enlightened sages, that the state elephants adorned
with golden howdahs should be sent for the purpose of bringing the
Mission to the durbar. The newswriters report that before the arrival of
the deputation, the troops of the Maharajah, covered from head to foot
with silver, jewels, and all manner of beautiful clothes, were drawn up
before his doors, and such was their appearance that the jewel-mine, out
of envy, drew a stone upon its head, the river sat upon the sand of
shame, and the manufacturers of the handsome cloths of Room
(Constantinople) and Buper pulled down their workshops. The voices of
the praise singers were raised from earth to heaven, and thus they
spoke--"O God, may the gardens of these two mighty kingdoms continue
prosperous and flourishing to the end of time! May the enemies of these
two rivers of justice and liberality, which day by day receive the waves
of victory from the whole world, perish in the stream! May the friends
of these two clouds of power, which day by day shower down jewels on the
inhabitants of the world, ever be victorious!" As soon as the customary
forms of meeting had been gone through, the gentlemen of the Mission
were seated on silver chairs. Nearly two hours were occupied in asking
questions regarding the health of the Governor-General. After this a
letter from his lordship, locked up in a jewelled box, and _every word
of which was full_ of the desire for an interview with the Maharajah,
was presented. The deputation then retired. We shall have more to say
regarding this next week.'

What delights me in that is that G.'s health should occupy two hours of
enquiry. His illnesses have never been half so long, luckily.


Thursday, June 28.

I have had a letter from Dr. D., who gives a wretched account of their
sufferings; the thermometer had been for three days ranging from 107° to
110°. He says W. had at last given in, and announced that he _could_ not
live twenty-four hours more, but that he had left him sitting under a
fountain, smoking his hookah, and in very good spirits; he had little
doubt he would live grumbling on. He is sending Captain M. home, and he
will be here probably in a week, which I am very glad of. Dr. D. says
that he considers him in a precarious state, though his lungs are not
yet attacked, but he is so reduced that another week of such weather
would be too much for him.

They are all very much occupied in burying a live native--a man who has
been described in various travels, who says he has the power of existing
in a trance, and who has made a vow to be buried for twelve years. We
have seen a great many people who have seen him buried, a guard placed
and even a house built over the grave, and who have seen him dug up
again at the end of two months apparently a corpse, but he comes _to_
again. Dr. D. was quite incredulous, but says in his letter to-day that
after hearing all the witnesses, and seeing the man, he has become quite
a convert. They were all going to attend the burying in the afternoon,
and the man had desired that he might not be dug up till the
Governor-General's arrival at Lahore next November. He offered to come
and be buried here, but Runjeet did not approve of it.

We had a musical dinner yesterday, a borrowed pianoforte and singing,
and two couples who accompany each other. The flute couple I think a
failure, but they are reckoned in this country perfectly wonderful; and
they whispered quite confidentially, 'I suppose you are aware that
before ---- came out to this country, the famous Nicholson said he could
teach him nothing more.' I suspect when he goes back the famous
Nicholson will find he may throw in a lesson or two with good effect.
The other couple are beautiful musicians.


Monday, July 2.

Captain P.'s house was robbed last night of about 80_l._ worth of plate.
One of his own servants is supposed to have done it, but there was
another house at the other end of Simla broken open at the same time,
and robbed of the same amount of plate, so there must be a gang of
robbers in the bazaar, much to ----'s disgrace. It is considered quite a
shocking thing to have a robbery in India--pilfering is commendable and
rather a source of vanity, but a robbery of an European is a sort of
high treason in all native states, and the town pays for that loss.



CHAPTER XX.


Simla, Wednesday, August 8, 1838.

I ought to have begun again sooner, as my last Journal was sent off this
day week, but it appears it will have to wait at Bombay till the eighth
of next month, so, as you may receive two at once, it will be rather in
your favour if one week is omitted.

It has rained almost literally without ceasing, with constant fog; but
if it is clear for ten minutes the beauty of the hills is surpassing;
such masses of clouds about them and below them, and they are so purple
and so green at this time of year.


August 18.

We had to go to another play last night. Luckily they only acted two
farces, so we were home at ten, but anything much worse I never saw.
There were three women's parts in the last farce, and the clerks had
made their bonnets out of their broad straw hats tied on; they had
gowns with no plaits in them, and no petticoats nor _bustles_. One of
them, a very black half-caste, stood presenting his enormous flat back
to the audience, and the lover observed, with great pathos, 'Upon my
soul! that is a most interesting-looking little _gurl_.'

It seems very uncertain when our next overland packet will come. The
steamers could not get there, and there is nothing but an Arab
sailing-vessel to bring the letters here. I have no faith in the Arabs
as postmen. I had two here yesterday to draw. They followed Captain B.
from Cabul, and are genuine 'Children of the Desert.' They are very
unlike our quiet natives, and laughed so much all the time, that I could
hardly draw them; but they make excellent sketches. I often wish for
Landseer here.


Wednesday, Aug. 22.

There! this must go. We had a great dinner on Monday, and another
fainting lady. Somebody always faints here. I myself believe that,
though they do not like to say so, it is the _fleas_ that make them ill.
You cannot imagine the provocation of those animals during the rains. W.
was really ill for two days with them--irritation and want of sleep--and
was obliged to see Dr. D. The worst of it is, that the more the house is
cleaned and tormented, the worse the fleas get. They belong to the soil,
and even the flower-garden is full of them. They say that plague is to
cease next month, which is a comfort.

A box of new books arrived yesterday, just as we were at the last
gasp--and such a good set! Perhaps the Annuals might have been left
out, but other people like to see them; and then, by great good luck, we
had not seen one of the other books, though they had been nine months
coming. 'Lady Annabella,' 'Ethel Churchill,' 'Pascal Bruno,' &c. We are
now in that age of literature. I wish you would buy on my account a copy
of 'La Marquise de Pontange' and 'Le Père Goriot,' and send them out,
and I wish you would send yourself out with them. That would be the
_real_ book to read over again.

[A portion of the Journal being lost, these letters of the same dates
are here inserted, to carry on the narrative.]

                    _Letter to the Countess of B._

Simla, August 20, 1838.

My dearest Sister,

I am going to run off a few short letters to-day and to-morrow, just to
show what I would have done, if letters would ever go--but they won't.
They say there is an accumulation of three months' letters lying at
Bombay. There has been a monsoon, and a want of coals, and a burst
boiler, and every sort of excuse. I wish, when you are driving about,
you would just call at the dockyards[C] in your neighbourhood, and
mention that we are not at all satisfied with the steamers they send us
out; that you think yourself, their last bowsprits are a shame to be
seen, and you might add, that if you do not get your letters a little
more regularly, you really must speak about employing some other
cast-iron men. Somehow, out of four steamers at Bombay, there has not
been one available, and we are now expecting our letters of June by some
Arab proa, or some sailing-vessel. We may _expect_, I fancy, with a
witness! I have not much news for you, as I doubt (though I think you a
wonderfully clever woman) whether you are quite up to the _nuances_ of
the Cabul and Candahar politics.

 [C] Woolwich.

We gain one little good by this war. The army cannot muster at
Ferozepore till the 20th of November, and Sir G. R. wishes G. not to
meet Runjeet Singh till he can escort him at the head of 10,000 men, so
that gives us three more cool weeks here, and takes off three very hot
weeks of the plains. The heat subsides about December. F. and I shall be
the only ladies in the whole camp. All our own ladies stay up here,
bored to death to be without their husbands, but they would be still
more bored if they had to drag their children through another long
march. Besides, there are great difficulties this time for tents,
carriages, &c., and then it is to be hoped we shall make a much shorter
journey, and come up here again.

It has rained without ceasing since I wrote last--an excellent thing for
India, and not so unpleasant for us as it sounds.

When I say 'without ceasing,' it very often stops raining for half an
hour in the afternoon, and then the drip and the fog do not count.

We all get on our ponies the moment it is fair, and go cantering past
each other, saying, 'How delightful to be out again,' and 'I think we
shall get wet'--and then that is enough exercise for two days. It is
supposed the rains are breaking up now, as we have had three fine
evenings, one of which we devoted to dropping in after dinner
_familiarly_ at the Commander-in-chief's, to have tea and a rubber of
whist.

Don't you see how free-and-easy that looked? Three jonpauns--like
upright coffins--rushing rapidly through the bazaar, with a long train
of torch-bearers and hirkarus and three aides-de-camp, in full uniform,
all '_dropping in_.' G. and I, and Sir G. R. and Colonel U., always play
at whist, and the others at a round game which is much livelier. I
rather like whist, and think it will be one of the small vices of my old
age.

I have been doing a quantity of drawings for the fancy sale. I wish you
could buy some. There is a Mr. ---- here who draws beautifully, and he is
doing a picture for me of three of the fattest objects in nature--my
pony, Chance, and Chance's boy. I do not mean Chance's own man, but his
footboy, the boy who cleans his shoes and whets his razors. He was one
of the skeletons whom the servants picked up in the starving districts,
and, like most of those skeletons, the reaction has been frightful, and
the little wretch is such an extraordinary figure, particularly seen in
profile, that he makes everybody laugh. It will be a curious picture;
and I never saw anything so well done as the pony.

I mentioned our fleas to you, I think, in my last letter. They are worse
than ever, and bestow their liveliest attentions on W. and me. For the
last three nights we have neither of us had any sleep, and the more the
rooms are cleaned and worried the livelier the fleas are.

We want some new books. I am sure Mr. Wilberforce's Life will be 'sweet
pretty reading.' I have just re-read Mrs. Hannah More's Life; that is a
jewel of a book both for amusement and for good. I like it much better
than I did the first time; and now I have taken for my morning book in
bed (I always wake early) dear Madame de Sevigné for the 117th time. It
is a very affecting book amongst other merits. She was such a good,
warm-hearted woman, and was not loved enough. I wish she was not dead
and was here! We rather want more letters about the fashions. I am quite
certain, from the unmitigated hatred I feel to the tight bit at the top
of my sleeves, that you have all got rid of it, and are swaggering about
in the fullest of sleeves again. Indeed, if you are not, it would be
only benevolent to say you are!

                        _Letter to J. C., Esq._

Simla, Wednesday, Aug. 22.

This is to be really a short letter, for I have sent off so many that I
have not the fraction of a new idea left; but I feel it my duty to
encourage you in your excellent habit of writing. The letters do not
come, on account of the monsoon; but still I feel confident, from my
intimate knowledge of your character, that yours _is_ an excellent habit
of writing, when the monsoon does not set itself against it.

I think it has rained incessantly since I wrote to your mother last,
and most people have passed their time in mopping up the wet in their
houses, but ours has behaved like an angel, and since the first day has
never had a leak. The roofs here are all flat, and made of mud beat into
a stiff consistency; but when the rain _does_ get through, the drippings
are of a muddy nature. Captain M., after moving into every corner of his
house, used to write under an umbrella; and Captain B. and his companion
Dr. S. have dined every day in their house with umbrellas held over
their heads and their dinners. Still, I do not dislike the rain so much
as most people do. There is often a fine half-hour before sunset, in
which it is easy to take a canter, quite long enough for the exercise of
the day; and whenever it is not actually pouring, the hills are
perfectly beautiful and the evening skies are not amiss. Then it is
always cool, and people should make much of that blessing. We had an
arrival two days ago of a box of new books; that is, new to us. You may
remember them in the early part of the reign of Victoria the First, but
the pleasure of seeing them is very great. I have read all our old ones
(and we have a great collection) at least three times over, even
including the twenty-one volumes of St. Simon, which I read once on
board ship and now again here; and it certainly is a wonderfully amusing
book. I must have begun it again if the box had not appeared. To think
of our only having yet received in this legal, direct manner, the
eighteenth number of Pickwick! We finished it six months ago, because it
is printed and reprinted at Calcutta from overland copies. Mais, je vous
demande un peu--what should we have done, if we had waited for the
lawful supply, to know Pickwick's end? I see you are making a great fuss
about copyrights, &c., which I cannot understand, as we see it only by
bits and scraps; but I beg to announce that I am entirely for piracy and
surreptitious and cheap editions, and an early American copy of an
English novel for three rupees, instead of a late English one at
twenty-two shillings. 'Them's my sentiments' for the next three years at
least. As it is, I am reading with deep attention 'Lady Annabella,' by
the author of 'Constance,' which was, I remember, a remarkably pretty
novel; and so is this, only the heroine will call her mother 'My lady.'
I keep hoping it is a joke, and pretend to laugh every time it occurs,
but it looks frightfully serious at times. Perhaps the fashion of
calling one's mother 'My lady' may have come in, though, since my time.

All our plans have come into shape, and rather satisfactorily. We shall
not leave this till the first week in November, when the great heat of
the plains will be over. We are to meet Runjeet on the 20th, or
thereabouts, at Ferozepore, when also the army will be assembled under
Sir G. R.

There will be a review of the army before it goes down the river; and
though we talk of our interview taking only a fortnight, everybody says
we shall be kept there a month. That will luckily not leave us time for
a very long march, and the probability is that we shall only go to Agra,
and come up here again in March.



CHAPTER XXI.

_Journal continued._


Simla, Sunday, Sept. 2, 1838.

This is your birthday, and an excellent reason for starting again in my
Journal. I wish you a great many of them, dearest; only please to be
economical, and don't spend them lavishly, till I come home to be with
you.

We have not done much since my last Journal went. We had a meeting of
ladies to settle about the fancy sale, which was easily done, as before
they came I wrote a paper of proposals and they all read it, and said it
would do very well; and if we can only find anything to sell, I dare say
we shall sell it very well. It is to be held in a very pretty valley
called Annandale, and G. gives some silver prizes to be shot for by the
Ghoorkas, and M. is trying to get up some pony races. The only novelty I
suggested was to ask the wives of the uncovenanted service (the clerks
in public offices) to send contributions. This was rather a shock to the
aristocracy of Simla, and they did suggest that some of the wives were
very black. That I met by the argument that the black would not come off
on their works, and upon the whole it was considered that we should not
lose consequence, and might be saved trouble, by sending a printed paper
round to each of their houses. I have done a quantity of drawings, which
Mr. C. is to sell by auction. The rain still continues, but not so
unceasing as it was, and as it lets us get out and prevents our giving
balls, I think it a very nice time of year.


Wednesday, Sept. 5.

I have had Mr. D.'s June letter, which is always satisfactory, and is
one of those _gentlemanlike_ epistles (I don't mean _genteel_, but pithy
and to the point, and like a gentleman in contradistinction to a lady)
that make most eligible letters in these foreign parts. G. always opens
and reads Mr. D.'s letters to us before we see them, because he says he
gets so much news out of them. Rather cool! What do you think I ought to
do about it? Mr. D. and I might have secrets of vital importance, which
G. might let out--very unpleasant!


Friday, Sept. 7.

There was such a beautiful plate-chest to be raffled for at the 'Europe
shop' here--everything that life could require--silver tea-pot, cream,
sugar, forks, spoons, bottle-stands, cruets, &c., and all so pretty. W.
took two tickets, and I one, and there were only 26 tickets in
all--5_l._ each--so it is a great shame we have not won; but it was
thrown for yesterday, and Mr. C. has got it. I am glad, for he wanted
it, and is quite delighted.

There was a second prize, of a clock, which I could have _put up
with_--but did not get it; and a third, of a looking-glass, which nobody
wanted, and which Dr. D. won, and now he does not know what to do with
it. I advise him to bring it home some dark night, and throw it into the
valley behind his house. It may amuse the monkeys, who live there in
tribes, and can be of no other use.

No looking-glass in India has _much_ quicksilver, but this happens to
have none at all, except a few slight streaks here and there.


Saturday, Sept. 8.

You cannot imagine how beautiful our weather is, since a storm on
Wednesday, which cleared up the rains. Such nice clear air, and
altogether it feels English and exhilarating; and I think of you, and
Eden Farm, and the Temple Walk, and Crouch Oak Lane, and the blue
butterflies, and then the gravel-pit, and your reading 'Corinne' to me;
and then the later days of Eastcombe and our parties there, with G. V.
in his wonderful spirits, with all his wit, and all the charm about him;
and all this because the air is English. I _should_ like to go back to
childhood and youth again--there was great enjoyment in them.


Monday, Sept. 10.

We had a large congregation yesterday, and an excellent sermon from Mr.
Y., whose health, however, does not improve. I have made such a
collection of drawings for the fancy sale--_really_ very good. I am
sorry to say it, for it may sound vain, perhaps is vain; but I persist
in thinking them good drawings, and I cannot help thinking you would buy
some of them.

Mrs. Chance, with her twins, came to visit Chance _père_ to-day. He was
very polite to his wife, but could not endure the young puppies. I am
not surprised, for they are nearly quite black, with a little white, but
no tan, and with vulgar, greasy, smooth hair. However, they are only
ten days old, and babies, as you know, alter rapidly.


Thursday, Sept. 13.

We had such a nice expedition yesterday afternoon; just the sort of
thing your children would have enjoyed (only you never let them come out
with me _now_). It was to see two waterfalls, and in Simla, where water
is bought at great expense, we make much of a few pailfulls that fall
gratis over a rock. The valley is about 3,000 feet below our house, very
Swiss, and quite different from the hills--such large cedars, and here
and there a little Swiss-looking cottage, with one door and no window. I
always wonder _how_ ignorant of the ways of the world the inhabitants of
these solitary valleys can be, and how such ignorance feels. No 'crafty
boys,' no fashions, no politics, and, I suppose, a primitive religion
that satisfies them. There are temples of great age in all these places.
I imagine half these people must be a sort of vulgar Adams and Eves--not
so refined, but nearly as innocent.

F. and I were carried down, and rode part of the way up, and when there,
we clambered about some wonderful places, and I have not laughed so much
for ages. There was a cave to go to, and a smooth rock to descend. G.
and Captain J. got me safely to the bottom of the rock, and there we
stopped to see Major U., Dr. D., and F. follow. They got half-way,
clinging on, by a chain of the servants, to a tree at the top, and then
they could get no further. The waterfall made such a noise, that we
could not make them hear that there was nothing, in fact, to come for;
and their hesitations, and scramblings back again, very nearly killed
me. Luckily there was nobody left below to laugh at my return. The
jonpaunees made steps of themselves, and I ran up a flight of
jonpaunee-stairs very decorously. We are all so stiff to-day, not having
walked so much for three years. 'My bones, girl, my bones!' (see 'Romeo
and Juliet.') I wonder whether old Mrs. Davenport has died since we left
England. What an actress she was!


Monday, Sept. 17.

There! I skip three entire days, for my whole soul is in England, and
this letter must go to-day. This morning there came a knock at the door
at seven, and Rosina brought me your July letters, with E.'s enclosed. I
had scarcely digested those, when the Calcutta dâk came in, bringing to
me your June despatch, which ought to have come with the other June
letters exactly one fortnight ago--but never mind! How pleasant it is to
have them both! The Coronation seems to have gone off wonderfully well,
and must have been a beautiful sight. I suppose we shall have our
English papers in two days: I am insatiable for more details. To be
sure, if that little Queen's head were quite turned, and she became the
most affected and consequential of beings, it would not be surprising. A
young creature of nineteen to be the occasion of such a splendid
ceremony, and to have brought together all the great people from all the
great nations to do her honour, is enough to intoxicate her. She must
have great good sense to be so entirely guiltless of _nonsense_.

                    _Letter to the Countess of B._

Simla, Sept. 8, 1838.

My dearest Sister,--There was no letter from you by the last overland
(June). Odd! Can you account for it? Perhaps you did not write, which
might be one reason (though a very insufficient one) why the letter did
not come, but still it was a pity.

I say no more, being held back by the circumstance that you will have
been a whole month without a line from us. Our letters of June, July,
and August, all leave Bombay this blessed day--Saturday, Sept. 8. Such
an accumulation of twaddle! _We_ are not to blame; _we_ have written--I
wish everybody could say as much: but, however, as Falstaff says, when
he had wrongfully accused Dame Quickly of picking his pocket, 'Hostess,
I forgive thee--go. Look to thy servants: cherish thy guests; thou shalt
find me tractable to any honest reason. Thou seest I am pacified.'

It is such a nice day to-day. The rains ended last Wednesday. After five
days of an even down-pour, there came a storm of wind that might have
changed the places of some of the little hills, if they had been
addicted to hopping, and which devastated my little garden, which
happens to be on the windy side of the house; but since that, we have
not had a drop of rain. The snowy range has appeared again after a fog
of three months. The hills are all blue and green and covered with
flowers, and there is a sharp, clear air that is perfectly exhilarating.
I have felt nothing like it, I mean nothing so English, since I was on
the terrace at Eastcombe, except perhaps the week we were at the Cape.
It is a shame of the storm to have twisted my one honeysuckle into a
wisp of dead leaves; to have laid low our only double dahlia, and to
have broken off a branch of _the_ lavender bush of Simla. All these
treasures G. deposited in my little garden at the back of the house, and
this is the result of his unguarded confidence. The dahlia was of that
rhubarb and magnesia colour which makes you hear the spoon _grit_
against the cup as you look at it. Still it was the only double dahlia
in India; but that will revive again. The honeysuckle is a mortifying
business. Colonel V. has another, and he used to come crowing and
stuttering here about this 'cu-cu-cu-curious plant' of his which
suddenly took a dwarfish turn and stopped growing; whereas mine had
reached the top of the house, and old V. used to call once a week to
look at it. Now, I don't mind the loss of Colonel V.'s visits, but I did
like to make him envious of my honeysuckle. We are all dreadfully within
sight of travelling again, but there are still six weeks of repose, so
that I am as deaf as a post when the word '_tent_' is mentioned. Still,
the subject of provisions, and marches, and agents and magistrates, must
be alluded to.

Don't you think it would be worth my while to buy a pot of paint, out of
my own allowance, from the Simla 'Europe shop,' and have the acorns and
oak leaves painted _out_ of the lining of my tent? The lining is buff,
with sprigs of oak leaves, and there is an occasional mistake in the
pattern, which distracts me; and there is such an association of dust
and bore and bad health with those acorns, that I do not think I _can_
encounter them again. We are to leave this on November 5. I mention
that openly, because if Guy Faux wishes to keep his '_day_,' it would,
perhaps, be better and more humane to blow up people who are going into
camp, than people who live in houses.


Sept. 13.

I must put this up to-night. This is the first time I have had an
evening quite alone, in an English fashion, since we came to India--not
even a stray aide-de-camp about. They are all gone to the last of the
Simla theatricals. I had seen four out of the five plays, so I excused
myself, as I am drawing all day for the fancy fair, and wanted to write
to you and M. and C. to-night. I was in a horrid fright. ---- was going
to stay with me, but with great tact he walked off to his own house; and
so now, if there were but a carriage-road and a knocker, and a servant
in red inexpressibles to announce you, I really should take it kindly if
you would drive up, give a double knock, and be announced.

As it is, I am very comfortable. I don't object; but the window is open
to the verandah, and I see the little green Ghoorkas (the most hideous
little soldiers in the world) mounting guard, with all sorts of
outlandish noises. The door is, of course, open to the passage--Indian
doors can't shut--and my four hirkarus are sitting cross-legged, wrapped
up in shawls, playing at a sort of draughts that they call 'pucheese.'
There is not a human being in the house who understands a word of
English: the Europeans are all gone to the play, and the head servants
go to their own homes after dinner. I have a great mind to call out
'fire!' and 'thieves!' as loud as I can, to see what will come of
it--it will only break up the game of pucheese; and the hirkarus will
think I have gone mad, and respect me accordingly--they have a great
regard for madness. I really think it awful! I wish I could speak
Hindustani--I am sure I must want something, only I cannot ask for it. I
will tell them to seal this letter, and if they tear it up I shall have
made a sad waste of my evening.

Good-bye, dearest sister. Please always write by the overland post.



CHAPTER XXII.


Simla, September 27, 1838.

The last ten days have been devoted to finishing up my goods for the
fancy fair, and I have not touched a pen. Yesterday the fair 'came off,'
as they say, and to-day I am so tired I can't do anything. Once more 'my
bones, girl, my bones.' There never was so successful a fête. More
English than anything I have seen in this country. Giles and Wright went
off at seven in the morning with my goods; and at ten Mr. C. came to go
down with me. Annandale is a beautiful valley, about two miles off, full
of large pine trees. Colonel V. had erected a long booth for the ladies
who kept stalls, and there were mottoes and devices over each of them.
'The Bower of Eden' was in the centre. Before we came to the booth,
there was a turnpike gate with a canvas cottage and an immense board,
'the Auckland toll bar,' and Captain P. dressed up as an old woman who
kept the gate. On one side there was the Red Cow, kept by some of the
uncovenanted, who spoke excellent Irish, and whose jokes and brogue were
really very good. There was a large tent opposite the booth for G., and
in every part of the valley there were private tents sent by careful
mothers for their ayahs and children. There were roundabouts for the
natives. W. O. and three of the aides-de-camp kept a skittle-ground,
with sticks to throw at, and a wheel of fortune, and a lucky bag, which
had great success. G. and F. came soon after eleven, and the selling
went off with great rapidity. The native servants had had great
consultations whether it would be respectful to buy at my stall, and
there were only two or three who arrived at that pitch of assurance; but
they were all present, dressed in their finest shawls, and they all
thought it very amusing. Half an hour nearly cleared off the stalls, and
then Mr. C. began selling my drawings by auction, and made excellent fun
of it, knowing the history of every native that I had sketched, and also
of all the bidders, and he did it so like an auctioneer: 'I have kept
this gem till now--I may call it a gem, the portrait of Gholam, the
faithful Persian who accompanied Major L. from Persia, from Herât! I may
say this is a faithful likeness of a man who has witnessed the siege of
Herât. Will that great diplomatist, Major L., who is, I know, anxious to
possess this perfect picture, allow me to say eighty rupees, or seventy,
or sixty?' 'This next picture is the Rajah of Nahun and his sons, and I
think it quite unequalled for brilliancy of colouring. I shall have
nothing equal to this lot to offer this morning. I bid thirty rupees
for it myself--the surpêche in the rajah's turban is worth the money.'
And so he went on, and, I hope, his is the sin of running up the price
of the drawings, for I really was quite sorry to see the prices they
went at. One group of heads, which only took me three days to do, sold
for ninety-five rupees (£9 10_s._), and my twenty drawings fetched 800
rupees. Considering that the whole proceeds of the sale is 3,400 rupees,
that is a large proportion. My stall altogether produced nearly 1,400
rupees. W. and his allies got 160. The A.s and B.s kept an eating stall,
but did not make much by it. As soon as the auction was over, we all
went to luncheon with them; then the Ghoorkas shot for some beautiful
prizes G. gave them, and he gave the sword for the single-stick
fighters. Then we all went to W.'s games. Captain D. was dressed up like
an old woman, and Captain P. exactly like a thimble-rigger at Greenwich,
and they kept everybody, even Sir G. R., in roars of laughter. It was
very amusing to see the grave pompous people, like R., taking three
throws for a rupee, and quite delighted if they knocked off a tin
snuff-box or a patent stay-lace. Then we had pony races, which ended in
Colonel F. riding his old pony against a fat Captain D., and coming in
conqueror with universal applause. And then, the sports having lasted
from eleven to five, and everybody amused and in good humour, we all
came home. It is lucky it was so very shady, for, as it is, hardly any
of us can see to-day, from being unused to daylight. The best fancy
sales in Calcutta never produced more than 2,000 rupees, so this is
quite wonderful, considering that the whole of our European society is
only 150 people, and many of them have not a great deal to spend. F.
did not keep a stall, and I was rather afraid of it at first, for the
natives are slow about that sort of novelty; but as soon as they fairly
understood it was for charity, which is the only active virtue they are
up to, they thought it all quite right.

We had a melancholy death last Sunday--a poor Mrs. G. She lived at
Stirling Castle, just above our house, so there never was a day in which
we did not meet her, with her two little boys carried after her, either
going to fetch Captain G. from his office, or coming back with him. We
met her on Friday evening, and stopped to tell her that Lord G. had
written to enquire after her. On Saturday evening she was not at all
well, and on Sunday morning Doctor W. sent for Doctor D. to consult with
him. Doctor D. saw directly that she was in the _blue stage_ of cholera,
and before we came out from church she was dead; she was within a month
of her confinement, but the child died too. The poor husband was in such
a dreadful state, and so was the eldest boy, who is about four years
old. W. says he never heard anything so shocking as the poor boy's
screams. It was necessary to bury her early on Monday morning, and as it
is the custom for all acquaintances to attend a funeral, W. went up to
Stirling Castle with Colonel B. None but the most degraded natives will
touch an European corpse, so the doctors put her into the coffin, and
Colonel B. screwed it down, and they were obliged to borrow the boys of
our band to carry her to the grave. Poor Captain G. was not able to go
himself, but the little boy had crept out of bed and was clinging to
his father, and trying to comfort him. We were to have had a party here
in the evening, but put it off; for in such a small society of
_Christians_, every possible respect is to be paid to the feelings of
any of them.


Wednesday, October 3.

We had our party, which had been put off on Monday, and it went off very
well. It is the last meeting of Simla, so everybody came. A great many
go down to the plains this week. Poor things! it is about as rational as
if a slice of bread were to get off the plate and put itself on the
toasting-fork. We have a month more of this place, but there are
horrible signs of preparation, camel trunks and stores going off. I very
often think I could have a fit of hysterics when I think we are to have
_five_ whole months this year of those deplorable tents, in all that
dust and heat. This day three years we embarked from Portsmouth, so we
have only got two years and five months more of India. That is really
very satisfactory. I begin to think of what I shall say when I see you
again. It really will be too great happiness; I never can think of it
coolly or rationally. It gets into a medley, and I begin to breathe
_shortly_, and to have red ears and pains in my elbows, and then I think
it is presumptuous to look on so far; but still it is not so very, very
far.


Saturday, Oct. 6.

It was a shocking sight last night, to find the road littered with camel
trunks, and beds, and flocks of goats, and dishes and stoves--all the
camp preparations of the A.s. They are the first family who have gone
down to the plains, much, I should think, to the detriment of the two
babies; for they say the heat still is dreadful, and they go into it
from this nice climate, which is almost frosty now. But those camp
preparations, I am happy to say, made everybody ill. Even Mrs. E., who
is going to stay up here, said she went home quite affected by the
recollection of the trouble of last year. I really think I can't go.

We had such an evening of misfortunes on Thursday. We were all playing
at loo, the doors open, house door and all, as is usual in India, when
the most unearthly yell was set up, apparently in the passage, and this
was repeated three or four times, and then all the servants seemed to be
screaming. 'A leopard carrying off Chance!' was the first thing
everybody said, and all the gentlemen ran out, when it proved to be one
of Dr. D.'s jonpaunees, who was lying asleep at the door, and had had a
violent nightmare; and though three others laid hold of him, he rolled
himself off the verandah into the valley below. However, he was not the
least hurt. But that set all our nerves on edge. Then, when we went to
bed, I heard violent hysterics going on in the maids' room, and that
turned out to be Myra, F.'s ayah, whose husband lives with W. O. They
are never a very happy couple, and all of a sudden he took up a stick
and beat her dreadfully, and she had run off from his house, leaving her
baby on the floor. We sent and redeemed the baby, but it was a long time
before Myra could be pacified, and sent off to sleep at Rosina's house.
W. turned off Lewis the next morning, who immediately went and made it
up with his wife, who came this morning and said she must go too. My
poor old Rosina continues to be very ill, coughing and spitting blood,
which is very often the case with the Bengalees here. I am going to send
her down to Sabathoo on Tuesday, with Mrs. A. Sabathoo is a very hot
place, and may very likely cure Rosina; but she does nothing but cry
now, poor old thing, at the idea of going, and insists upon dying here,
but I think she will get well in a warm place. One man whom we sent down
to the plains, apparently in the last stage of decline, has got safe to
Calcutta, and is quite well again. I suppose this is a very bad Siberia
to them.

There has been great excitement and happiness in our household. Captain
J. wanted to do something kind by the servants on his giving up the
charge of them, and wished to have the wages of a few of his favourites
raised. I thought that would raise a host of malcontents and
petitioners, and suggested that a reward for length of service (as the
Company will no longer pension off old servants) would be a popular and
useful measure, and he took to it kindly, and by leaving two or three
places vacant, we shall not entail any additional expense on our
successor. There were several who had been at Government House more than
thirty-five years, fifteen who had been between twenty and thirty years,
and more than twenty who had served fifteen years. We made three classes
of them, and gave them two rupees, and one rupee, and half a rupee per
month additional pay, which measure has diffused universal satisfaction,
only it occasions constant references to the house-book, for natives
never know anything about time; so some of them, who had been there
about five years, declare it must be nearly fifteen. Had you a good
eclipse of the moon last night? I never saw a really handsome one
before; but I dare say yours is quite another moon, and another earth
altogether.


Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Poor Rosina set off to-day; she seemed very low, but the air now is so
keen here that she naturally felt worse. She fancies she is only going
to stay a week, but Dr. D. says she must stay there till we pick her up
on our way to the plains.

We have begun doing a little bit of packing, that is, I have made a
grand survey of my wardrobe, and found that I had fourteen gowns to
bestow on Wright, besides three of which she is to give me the loan,
till we leave this place. Then I start clear for the march, six _superb_
morning gowns and six evening ditto, some the remains of M.'s last
supply, and some G.'s French gowns. I calculate they will enable me to
make a very creditable appearance till I meet your treasure of a box at
Agra. Nothing can be more judgematically planned.


Friday, Oct. 12.

They say this must go to-day, which I believe is a mistake. However, it
is better to run no risks. I have been writing to R. to send out
'Nicholas Nickleby' overland. Does not that book drive you demented? and
I am sure it is all true. I remember years ago a trial about one of
those Yorkshire schools, where all the boys had the ophthalmia, and one
boy had his bones through his skin, and none of the boys were allowed a
towel; and these atrocities put us all into one of those frenzies in
which we used to indulge in youth. I dare say Dickens was at that
school. I wish he would not take to writing horrors, he realises them so
painfully.

I am so busy to-day, I have hardly time to write. G. wants to give
Runjeet a picture of our Queen in her coronation robes. The Sikhs are
not likely to know if it is an exact likeness as far as face goes, and
the dress I have made out quite correctly, from descriptions in the
papers and from prints, and it really is a very pretty picture. It is to
be sent to Delhi to-morrow, and it is to have a frame of gold set with
turquoises, with the orders of the Garter and the Bath enamelled. In
short, it will be 'puffect, entirely puffect;' but I think they ought to
give me Runjeet's return present, as it has cost me much trouble to
invent a whole Queen, robes and all. We are all quite well. God bless
you! My next letter will be from camp. 'Mercy on us,' as S. would say,
but it is a comfort to think we shall end here again.



CHAPTER XXIII.


Saturday, Oct. 20, 1838.

I think it looks ill, that I have let a whole week go by without a touch
of Journal; but nothing particular has happened, and it does not mean
any coldness, you know, dearest. I have spent a week more of the time I
am to be away from you, so I could not be better employed.

Monday we gave a dinner, Tuesday we dined at the R.s. Met Mrs. ---- and a
newly-married couple, the husband being an object of much commiseration.
Not but what he is very happy, probably, but he married the very first
young lady that came up to the hills this season; she was 'uncommon
ordinary' then, and nothing can look worse, somehow, than she does now.
I dare say she is full of merit, but I merely wish to observe, for the
benefit of any of your sons who may come out to India, that when they
have been two or three years in a solitary station they should not
propose to the very _first_ girl they see. However, I dare say the ----s
are very happy, as I said before.

We had such an excellent play last night, or rather two farces, acted
chiefly by Captains X. and M., and Mr. C., and by Captain Y., one of Sir
G.'s aides-de-camp. Captain X. is really quite as good as Liston, and I
think he ought to run over a scene or two every evening for our
diversion. It is supposed that R. was never seen to laugh till he cried
before, which he certainly did last night. It is astonishing how
refreshing a real, good laugh is. I have not had so good a one for ages.


Tuesday, Oct. 23.

The work of packing progresses, and there are no bounds to the ardour
with which everybody labours to make us uncomfortable. This day
fortnight we are to be in our wretched tents--that is, if we really do
not find ourselves unequal to the shock at last. There was an idea that
coolies enough could not be raised at last, as everybody goes away at
the same time, so instead of 3,000 at once, we have 1,000 three times
over, and as soon as they have taken one set of camel trunks to the
plains they come back for another, so we spread our discomfort thus over
a wide surface. I have succumbed to such a temptation to-day--I wish I
had not, and yet I am glad I did--a large gold chain, two yards long, of
the purest Indian gold. I could not let it escape me, and yet I know I
should like to have the money to spend at Lahore.


Wednesday, Oct. 24.

To-day was a day of mysteries for Simla. R. came to breakfast with us,
and did half an hour's business with G., and that put his family into a
fever. News had arrived yesterday that the Persians had abandoned the
siege of Herât, and so the ----s fancied that the Cabul business would
be now so easy, that R. would not go in person.

G. and I were walking in the evening and met the ----s, who said they
had never passed such a day of curiosity, evidently thinking, poor
new-married dears, that they were not going to part for ten years.
Mrs. ---- said to G.: 'Now, for once, Lord A., tell us a secret; what did
R. go to you about?' 'Why, he came,' G. said, 'to ask where we bought
our potatoes, they are so remarkably good.' The other mystery was, that
Captain Y. said he had been eight hours trying to prevent two gentlemen
from fighting, and we cannot think of any fightable people at Simla. You
never saw so lovely an ornament as a great Lucknow merchant brought
yesterday. A bunch of grapes made up of twenty-seven emeralds, the
smallest emerald the size of a marble, and all of such a beautiful
colour; there are large pearls between each, and it is mounted on a
plain green enamel stalk. It looks like the fruit in Aladdin's garden.
We want G. to buy it for his parting present to Runjeet Singh. They were
to have exchanged rings, and a ring, one single diamond without a flaw,
valued at 1,600_l._, was to have come up from Calcutta this week, but it
has been stolen from the dâk. It was insured, but still it was a pity
such a good diamond should be lost.


Friday, Oct. 26.

We rode to Mr. B.'s yesterday, knowing that otherwise that bunch of
grapes would be slurred over, and not even mentioned to us. I began by
saying, we thought it beautiful, and just the present for a great
potentate, upon which B. said: 'Yes, it is almost too expensive, but I
was thinking of asking his lordship to let me present it to Shah
Soojah.' Luckily, that was too much even for G., and he said: 'No, if I
allow it to be bought at all, it could only be for a Governor-General to
give away; besides, we are going to give Shah Soojah a kingdom, which is
quite enough without any presents.'

'A defeat,' I thought, and Mr. B. looked as if emerald grapes were
remarkably sour, and on our ride home G. said he meant to take them for
Runjeet Singh.


Tuesday, Oct. 30.

G. took a fancy on Saturday to go, after dinner, to play at whist with
Sir G. R., so we all jonpauned off, and very cold it is at night in
those conveyances. The cold brought a bilious attack I had been brewing,
to a crisis, and I had one of the worst headaches I ever had in my
life, on Sunday, and could not sit up for a moment. It is the first
day's ailment I have had since the week we came to Simla, and very lucky
that it came before we go into camp. This day week we start. 'No ind to
my sufferens!' as some novel says.


Thursday, Nov. 1.

There! now I am quite well again, and in travelling condition; and
perhaps, setting off in such good health, marching may not be so
fatiguing as it was last year. We have had nothing but take-leave visits
the last three days. Mrs. R. sets off to-morrow with her own children
and those two little orphaned G.s, whom she is taking to England. The
wives to be left here are becoming disconsolate and fractious.

Dear J. left us for good this morning. I do not think he cared much for
_us_; but all the old servants, of whom he has had the care for eleven
years, went with all their eastern, devoted-looking ways, and took leave
of him and quite overset his nerves, and he went off in a shocking
state. After taking leave of F. he quite broke down in G.'s room, and
could not come to mine; and my jemadar came in with large tears running
down: 'Major Sahib so unhappy. He say he not able to speak to
ladyship--he cry very much!' I asked if they were all sorry he was
going. 'Yes, very. He very old gentleman at Government House, and know
everything, and very just.' And then, to wind it up with a fine piece of
language, 'he _adapt_ properly well to all lordship's poor servants.'
What that means I have not a guess, but I think it sounds comfortable;
and I see now that the fault of India is that nobody 'adapts properly
well' to my English feelings.


Sunday, Nov. 4.

After service to-day, the dining-room was given up to Giles and the
Philistines, the carpets taken up, and a long country dance formed of
the camel trunks and linen-presses that we leave behind; and now we dine
and live in the drawing-room, which, without its curtains and draperies,
and with its crude folding-doors, looks like half a ball-room at a
Canterbury inn. Poor dear house! I am sorry to see it despoiled. We have
had seven as good months here as it is possible to pass in India--no
trouble, no heat; and if the Himalayas were only a continuation of
Primrose Hill or Penge Common, I should have no objection to pass the
rest of my life on them. Perhaps you would drive up to Simla on Saturday
and stay till Monday.


Monday, Nov. 5.

I had much better not write to-day, only I have nothing else to do; but
the September overland post is come (the August is missing), and I
always have a regular fit of low spirits that lasts twenty-four hours
after that. This is your Newsalls letter, and dear T.'s account of the
archery and country balls, and the neighbours; and it all sounds so
_natural_ and easy, and I feel so _unnatural_ and so far off. Just as
you say, we have been here very little more than half our time, and I am
sure it feels and is almost a life.

It will be nearly six years altogether that we shall have been away, if
we ever go home again; and that is an immense gap, and coming at a
wrong time of life. Ten or fifteen years ago it would have made less
difference; your children would still have been children; but now I miss
all _their_ youth, and _ours_ will be utterly over. We shall meet
again----

    When youth and genial years have flown,
    And all the life of life is gone.

I feel so very old, not merely in look, for that is not surprising at my
age, and in this country, where everybody looks more than fifty; but
just what Lady C. describes in her letter--the time for _putting up_
with discomforts has gone by. I believe what adds to my English letter
lowness, is the circumstance that carpets, curtains, books, everything
is gone from my room, and I am sitting in the middle of it, on a straw
beehive chair, which the natives always use when they _do_ admit a
chair, with Chance's own little chair for my feet, and the inkstand on
the ledge of the window. I wish I was at Newsalls. There! now they want
my inkstand.


Syree, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The beginning of a second march, and so I had better put this up and
send it. We left poor Simla at six this morning, and if I am to be in
India I had rather be there than anywhere. We have had seven very quiet
months, with good health and in a good climate, and in beautiful
scenery. That is much as times go. As for this march, I cannot say what
I feel about it. It began just as it left off.

We arrived to breakfast here, and the coolies have been fractious, and
so, when I took off my habit, I had no gown to put on; the right box is
not come, and I have no bonnet to put on for the afternoon's march.

We are in the dâk bungalow, two whitewashed empty rooms, with streaks of
damp and dirt all over them. We have been breakfasting in one, and all
the _deserting_ husbands have joined us. To be sure, St. Cloup is a
jewel of a cook for this sort of thing. He came here in the night and
prepared the breakfast we have had, and the luncheon we are going to
have. He is now gone on to Sabathoo, where we shall find dinner, and he
meant to go on again at night to the tents, half-way between Sabathoo
and the camp, to arrange to-morrow's breakfast and luncheon. God bless
you, dearest M.!

There is a ship lost--'The Protector'--just in the mouth of the river.
It was bringing troops and several passengers, but none whose names we
know. There is only one soldier saved out of the whole crew.



CHAPTER XXIV.


Buddee, Friday, Nov. 9, 1838.

I sent you my last Journal the day before yesterday, having brought our
history down to the beginning of our second year's march.

The tents look worse than ever, inasmuch as they are a year older, and
the new white patches look very _discrepant_; but one week, I suppose,
will make them all a general _dirty brown_. The camp looks melancholy
without any ladies or children; I miss Mrs. A. particularly. Our dear
friend Mr. C., of Umballa, who magistrated us last year, joined us again
at the foot of the hills, and had the bright idea to station his gig at
the first passable bit of the road, which, as I was shaken into small
atoms by eight hours of the jonpaun, was a great relief. Moreover, after
seven months of the hills, a wheeled carriage was rather a pretty sight,
and I began to think of the rapid advance of science, and the curious
inventions of modern times.

We are obliged to stay here, to give time for the things to come up. The
old khansamah wanted another day for his arrangements, and it is
impossible to refuse him anything, for he never makes a difficulty, and
very seldom owns to one.

When we stopped half-way between Sabathoo and this place it was a double
march, and there was not a thing come up, not even a chair; and then the
dear old khansamah, with his long white beard, went fussing about, in
and out of the tents and the trees, and there were fires burning amongst
the grass, and tea made in a minute; and then he came with half-a-dozen
fresh eggs, which he must have laid himself, and a dish of rice, and in
ten minutes we had an excellent breakfast. I met my new horse on the
plain: such a beautiful animal, like an Arabian in a picture book, with
an arched neck and an arched tail, and he throws out his legs as if he
were going to pick up a pin at a great distance. W. was riding it in a
prancing sort of manner, that made me think it was the high-spirited
animal its former owner described, and to which its present owner would
particularly object; but I am happy to say that is a mistake. I rode it
one day alone with Captain X., and to-day with G., whose horse was
enough to drive any other mad, and my beauty did not care a straw.

'I am glad, Miss Eden,' Webb said, 'you did not take fright at first
sight, because the horse would have found you out directly; and he is
about the best horse in our stable, which is saying a good deal. I rode
him all the way from Kurnaul, and I think it was as much like sitting in
a good easy-chair as anything ever I felt.' I think if the horse had a
view of Webb in his travelling costume, he would not consent to be an
easy-chair under him: a flannel jacket, with leathers, and leather
gaiters, and an immense hat made of white feathers and lined with green,
supposed to keep out the sun; and now he has set up a long beard, and he
rides by the side of the carriage, either common fashion or sideways, if
he is exercising one of our horses. G. says he wonders how the Sikhs
will describe him in their journals. We have at last arrived at the
possession of Mr. D.'s bonnets, which were packed up exactly a year ago,
and have come out as fresh as if the milliner's girl had just stepped
over with them, from the shop at the corner, the blonde inside looking
quite _blue_ and fresh, and the gauze ribbon just unrolled. It is very
odd, and I am of opinion it would be clever, even now, to have ourselves
put up in tin and soldered, till it is time to go home. We should alter
_no more_. The bonnets are particularly pretty. I mean to appear in mine
at Ferozepore, to give Runjeet some slight idea of what's what in the
matter of bonnets.


Mattae, Monday, Nov. 12.

We made our first march on Saturday to Nallyghur: roads bad, horse an
angel. The carriage could not be used. G. drove me the last half in Mr.
C.'s gig, and Mr. C. drove F. We went on the elephants to see Nallyghur
on Sunday afternoon. It is a pretty place, and the old rajah has a very
nice little palace on the top of a hill, looking into his village, and
he is a nice gentleman-like old man, very fair, with lightish hair,
which is, I believe, a disease almost amounting to leprosy, but it did
not look bad--quite the contrary, rather _distingué_ and European. All
the Sikh chiefs under Mr. C.'s care look comfortable; he makes them keep
their roads and palaces in good order. Mrs. C. had a melancholy accident
the other day. She was out riding with her children; one of her bearers
touched her mule, which kicked and threw her over its head. She broke
one arm in two places, and dislocated the other wrist. Mr. C. was away,
and there was no doctor nearer than Sabathoo; she remained four days
with these broken arms before Dr. L. could be fetched from Sabathoo, but
her arms are set, and she is recovering very well. That want of a doctor
must very often be a sore distress in India. A Mrs. R. at Simla, whose
husband was sent as Resident to ----, where she is to join him, came in
tears to see us last week, saying she had two sickly children and there
was not a doctor within one hundred miles, and she wished I would
mention it to G. I thought what a state you would have been in, and how
you would forthwith have removed your Major R. from his residency. The
doctors are all wanted for the army, so I did not think she had much
chance, but G. happily had one spare one at his disposal, and the poor
little woman was very grateful.

We had a great storm of rain last night at Nallyghur, and brought it on
here with us; and I suppose there never were such a set of miserable
animals seen, _sloshing_ about what may be called our private apartments
in overshoes, and with a parasol stuck up in particularly thin
places--the servants all shivering and huddled together, palanquins
wanted to take us to breakfast and dinner--in short, a mess.


Roopur, Tuesday, Nov. 13.

This is the memorable place where Lord William and Runjeet had their
meeting, 'where those sons of glory, those two lights of men, met in the
vale of Roopur. You lost the view of earthly glory. Men might say, till
then true pomp was single, but now was married to itself,' &c. What is
that quoted from? You don't know--you know nothing. But as touching this
scene of glory, it is a large plain--in short, a slice of India--with a
ruinous fort on one side and a long narrow bazaar of mud huts on
another, the Sutlej running peacefully along about a mile from our
encampment. We have the same tents Lord W. had, at least facsimiles of
them; therefore we are quite up to the splendid meeting. Perhaps our
tents are a shade handsomer, being a very deep chocolate colour owing to
the rain of yesterday. They were of course let down into the mud, and
have acquired that rich brown hue. Moreover, it occurred to me that my
feet were very cold to-day, and at last I discovered that the wet oozed
out of the setringees (an Indian excuse for a floorcloth) at every step,
and I had them taken up, and the tent is littered profusely and
handsomely with clean straw, giving the whole the air and odour of a
rickety hackney coach. G. observes every day, as he did last year,
'Well! I wish Sir Charles Metcalfe could see us, and explain why this is
a luxurious method of travelling.' The sufferings of the cattle, as
usual, make the morning's march hateful. We have lost seven camels and
two bullocks in seven days, and generally come in for a view of their
dying agonies.


Wednesday, Nov. 14.

I cannot put any names to these places, but we are three marches from
Loodheeana. I had such a pretty present this morning, at least rather
pretty. It is a baby elephant, nine months old, caught at Saharunpore by
the jemadar of the mahouts, and he has been educating it for me, and
offered it by means of Captain D., his master. W. and I have been
looking about for some time for a gigantic goat for Chance to ride on
great occasions, but a youthful elephant is much more correct, and is
the sort of thing Runjeet's dogs will expect. It just comes up to my
elbow, seems to have Chance's own little bad temper and his love of
eating, and is altogether rather like him. I had no idea such little
elephants were valuable, but it appears that they are, as the baboo told
me, 'Quite a fancy article; great rajahs like them for little rajahs to
ride on.' The mahout would not take any money, so I had it valued and it
is worth about forty pounds, and I got Mr. C. to present him with a pair
of shawls and a pair of bracelets to that amount, accompanied by a neat
Persian speech, which C. thought was worth about an equal sum. The blue
shawls would have suited my own complaint exactly. The investiture took
place in my tent, and the excellent mahout was much affected, Mr. C.
says by his speech, _I_ think by the blueness of the shawls, and the man
probably regretted his little elephant.

There has been an exchange of thirty elephants with various chiefs, in
the course of the last ten days. Chance never means to part with his,
and as Captain D. observed in his slowest tones, 'In about forty years,
that will be a very handsome elephant.' Very interesting, because it
would naturally be very vexatious to me if forty years hence it were to
turn out a great gawky beast. Jimmund came with Chance under his arm to
make a salaam, and when I asked what was the matter, he said he came to
say he was very glad that _his_ Chance had got a _Hotty_. You are of
course aware that we habitually call elephants _Hotties_, a name that
might be safely applied to every other animal in India, but I suppose
the elephants had the first choice of names and took the most
appropriate.



CHAPTER XXV.


Thursday, Nov. 15, 1838.

The August mail came in to-day; a week after the September packet. Your
dear, good letter has come both these last times without making its
usual Calcutta detour, which is very clever of it. Certainly Newsalls is
a very nice place; mind you don't let it slip through your fingers till
I come trotting up to the door on my elephant forty years hence.


Friday, Loodheeana.

The cavalry and the artillery and the second regiment of infantry that
is to make up the escort met us this morning, and the salute was fired
by the howitzers that G. has had made to present to Runjeet. They are
very handsome, ornamented more than our soldiers think becoming, but
just what Runjeet would like; there is the bright star of the Punjâb,
with Runjeet's profile on the gun; and Captain E. says that thousands of
Sikhs have been to look at these guns, and all of them salaam to
Runjeet's picture as if it were himself.


Sunday, Nov. 18.

They have been building a small church at this station, and though it is
not finished, they were very anxious Mr. Y. should try it, as it is
uncertain when another clergyman may pass through Loodheeana; so all our
chairs and footstools were sent down to be made into pews, and Mr. Y.
preached a very good sermon. There are three American missionaries here,
but they have not made any conversions.

---- ---- is gone to hunt up Runjeet, who always gives himself the airs
of being missing when he is to have a meeting with any great potentate,
and goes off on a hunting expedition. He is generally caught in time,
but it is a matter of etiquette that neither party should appear to wait
for the other, so if Runjeet goes out hunting, G. must stop to shoot or
fish. It will not detain us long if we stop to eat all he can kill here.


Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 and 20.

We have marched ten miles each day without having seen tree or building,
I believe. Chance's elephant comes every afternoon to show himself, and
his education is progressing rapidly, under the care of a splendid
individual in a yellow satin dress, who has received the very
responsible situation of his mahout. He has already learnt to kneel
down, and the excellent joke of filling his little leech of a trunk with
water and squirting it at anybody who affronts him.

Chance and he are frightfully alike in disposition--greedy and
self-willed; and, barring the nose, very like in look.


Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The camp was very noisy the first two nights, and X. went round to the
various commanding officers and made fresh arrangements with the
sentries, who I fancy must have cut off the heads of any man, camel, or
elephant, who presumed to speak or howl, for there has not been a sound
since. 'Gentlemen who cough are only to be slightly wounded,' as the
'Rejected Addresses' say. It really is tempting, for the tent-pitchers
with all their wives and all their children have set up their marching
coughs, and as they sleep round their pitchees, there is a continual
sound of _expectoration_ going on. Rosina was robbed by her hackery
driver. X. had the man up before D., and the money is restored.

I had a little domestic complaint to send to him last night.

I always think these domestic stories may amuse you in England, from
their contrast to the habits of that excellent country, from which I
have been inveigled. There is a servant called the sirdar-bearer, or
head of all the palanquin and tonjaun-bearers, whose business it is to
walk by the side of the palanquin and see that the bearers carry it
rightly.

This has been rather a sinecure with us, but the man has always been a
good little servant and has attached himself to me, and is supposed to
be always at the door of my tent with an umbrella; he keeps the tonjaun
in readiness, and in Calcutta he always slept at my door, and was in the
way for everything that was wanted. In short, 'Loton' was a general
favourite, and supposed to be remarkably active. To my surprise, he came
in yesterday to say that he could not possibly go with my palanquin
every morning; the roads were so bad, he found it tired him. In short,
he evidently wanted a place on an elephant, which the servants who wait
at table have; but bearers are a class who can walk thirty miles a day;
and it was very much like your coachman asking to travel _in_ the
carriage, as it was too much trouble to drive. I said he had better go
to Captain X. when he was in difficulties, and that I did not doubt
Captain X. would find one of the other bearers who would be happy to
take the place of sirdar, and that Loton would then only have to carry
the palanquin half-way. (At present he carries nothing.) I told Captain
X. this morning, and I thought he would have had a fit. He is not yet
accustomed to the notion of the number of people who are merely kept
for show and even for work; there is a double set for everything. F. and
I have each thirty-two bearers, where other people have eight, that
there may never be a difficulty; and the idea that I was to direct my
own bearers on the road struck X. as remarkably amusing.

I should think it would have been, as I have not a single Hindustani
word to say to them. I left it to him to settle, and poor Loton is
degraded to the ranks. He cares very much about the gold-laced livery,
and still more about the two rupees a month which he loses. A bearer
lives on that, and sends all the rest home. They all come from the
neighbourhood of Patna, never bring their wives, but live together like
a large family; in fact, sell themselves for so many years, and then,
when they have earned enough to buy a bit of land, go home for life. I
hope Captain X. means to allow himself to be entreated like Major J.,
for I shall die of it if Loton is not restored in time. He was a great
favourite of Lord W.'s, and I rather think I spoilt him by raising his
wages partly on that account. Captain X. has the real Indian feeling
that a servant objecting to an order is a sort of depravity that cannot
be put up with--in short, that cannot be believed. I said that, as it
was a first offence, he should be as lenient as he could, and he said,
'Certainly, it would be very lenient only to turn the man away. I assure
you, Miss Eden, a native would have put the man to death who had refused
to run by the side of his palanquin!' I think I see myself cutting off
Loton's head with a pair of scissors. It is very awful to think of the
number of petty rajahs in the country who have the power of life and
death over their followers. It must be very often abused.


Saturday, November 24.

We have had three short marches. I am not much better. Except for the
march, I keep as quiet as possible, and have not been over to any meal,
or out of my own tent, except to sit in an arm-chair in front of it
between five and six. I always think the weather very trying in the
plains. In the morning the thermometer was at 45°, and we were all
shivering with shawls and cloaks on, and at twelve the glass rose to
83°, and we are now sitting under punkahs with a small allowance of
clothes. That happens every day, and I cannot think it wholesome. There
was an interesting arrival from Delhi this morning, my bracelet with
G.'s picture, which I had sent back to have a cover fitted to the
picture, and it has come back so beautifully mended--with a turquoise
cross on an enamelled lid. Then Mr. B., who superintended my private
bracelet, undertook on the public account a frame for my picture of the
Queen, which is to be given to Runjeet, and the frame came with the
bracelet. They had not time for the beautiful design of all the orders
of the Garter and Bath, &c., which I wanted, and so only made the frame
as massive as they could. It is solid gold, very well worked, with a
sort of shell at each corner, encrusted with precious stones, and one
very fine diamond in each shell.

The materials come to about £500. Forty jewellers worked at it night and
day, and the head jeweller expects a khelwut, or robe of honour, with a
pair of shawls, for his activity. It will be a very handsome item in
the list of presents, and is to be given in great form.

One of Runjeet's chief sirdars came into camp to-day, and there was a
very fine durbar, as he was to be received as an ambassador. He is a
great astronomer, and there was luckily at the Tosha Khanna an orrery
and some astronomical instruments which G. added to his presents, and
the man went away, they say, quite delighted. Every evening there is to
be an arrival of one hundred jars of sweetmeats, which is a great
delight to the native servants.



CHAPTER XXVI.


Camp, Ferozepore, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1838.

I put up a large packet to you on Saturday, which will accompany this;
but I was shy of making it thicker. Sunday, the whole camp was glad of a
halt; the sandy roads tire all the people much.

There was a very large congregation at church, I was told; we have so
many troops with us now, and Y.'s preaching is in great reputation. On
Monday we marched eleven more miles with the same dusty result. The
chief incident was, that G. was to have tried an Arabian of W. O.'s,
which is a perfect lamb in a crowd, and was intended to officiate at the
great review 'as is to be;' but the syce by mistake gave him another
horse of W.'s, which pulls worse than G.'s own horse. F., who was riding
with him, assured him that the Arabian had such a tender mouth that it
was only chafing because he held it too tight: he loosened the
bridle--away went the horse like a shot, and away went twenty-five of
the body-guard after him, thinking it was his lordship's pleasure to go
at that helter-skelter pace: away went M., who is on duty; in short,
nothing could be finer than the idea; but they all pulled up when they
saw how it was. G.'s horse galloped on two miles for its own amusement,
and then he made it go another for his, and finally changed it for his
own horse, whose merits rose by comparison. I was in the carriage
behind, and W. came up in the greatest fuss--having heard of the
mistake--and just as he was saying the horse would run away, two of the
guard came back to say it had done so; so he had the pleasure of a good
prophecy.

Yesterday we came twelve miles. My health is neither better nor worse,
so I came on in the carriage; all the others rode the last four miles,
and were met by M. and all his staff at the town of Ferozepore. G. let
me go on half a mile in advance, in order to avoid the dust, which must
have shocked General R., who never lets even a little dog precede him in
his march.

I passed him and his suite by the side of the road, drawn up according
to the strictest rule--a very large body of cocked hats. General R. in
front, alone, then a long row of general officers, then a longer row of
a lower grade. It was too awful and military a moment for speech. I was
not sure whether it was not irregular to kiss my hand; however, I
ventured on that little movement, which was received with a benign
'clignotement de l'oeil' signifying 'Wrong, but I forgive it for
once.'

I got in three-quarters of an hour before the rest, who came a foot's
pace, and General E. told F. they always marched that fashion--General
R. first, they behind--a trot never allowed.

General R. was uncommonly affable, and came and paid me a visit in my
tent, where I was lying down, all dust and fatigue, and wishing for
breakfast. Sir W. C., too, came in for a moment, in the highest glee,
not so fat as he was at Calcutta--we expected he would have been twice
the size. I told him he was grown thin, and he went back to his
favourite story of the courtiers telling George IV., when he was at his
fattest, 'Your Majesty is regaining your figure!'

We had a most interesting envoy from General A., who is employed by
Runjeet in Peshawur, and who wrote to each of us his polite French
regrets that he could not come here, but he sent 'un très petit paquet'
of the shawls we had commissioned him to get worked in Cashmere, when we
saw him in Calcutta, and also the Cashmere gowns he had promised. He
declared that there never were such failures; that he had sent seven or
eight 'surveillants' to Cashmere, 'mais on m'a tout gâté.'

An hour after, there arrived, instead of the 'petit paquet,' a very
large pillow, or rather a small ottoman, brought in by two men, and then
we had such cutting and nicking and tearing away of oilcloth and muslin
and shawl paper, and at last arrived at the treasures. Four shawl
dresses, four magnificent square shawls, and four long scarfs to match
the dresses--but the fineness and the brightness of the whole concern it
is impossible to describe. One gets to value shawls only by their
fineness at last, and we have seen nothing like these. They have been a
year and a half in making. We have ascertained the prices of these
shawls, which are very cheap considering their beauty. The dresses were
at Calcutta promised us as presents; but under the circumstances of our
being in Runjeet's country, and A. one of his generals, we want to pay
for them, which Captain E. has undertaken to do. I now say once more, as
I have often said before, I really don't want any more shawls, but yet I
do always when they come in my way.

In the afternoon Sir W. C., B., W., M., and two or three more, went on
elephants to compliment the Maharajah, and met half-way Kurruck Singh,
his son and supposed heir, Ajeet Singh, our Simla friend, and Sujeyt
Singh, the great _dandy_ of the Punjâb, with several others coming to
compliment G. The Maharajah had the best of the bargain.

Kurruck Singh is apparently an idiot; some people say he only affects
it, to keep Runjeet from being jealous of him, but it looks like very
unaffected and complete folly.

Runjeet kept our deputation very late. He was in the highest spirits, W.
said, and laughed out loud at several jokes. Sir W. C. took the fancy of
all the Sikhs. He is very jovial, besides being courteous in his
manners, and talks at a great rate. Runjeet produced some of his wine, a
sort of liquid fire, that none of our strongest spirits approach, and in
general Europeans cannot swallow more than a drop of it.

Sir W. tossed off his glass and then asked for another, which they
thought very fine. He came back of course very tipsy, but they said he
was very amusing at dinner. There are always nautches at these durbars,
and one of W.'s former acquaintances, called 'the Lotus,' who is very
beautiful, looked so pretty that W. asked E. if he might give her the
little bunch of pearl flowers that was given to all the gentlemen. E.
said it would amuse the Maharajah, and so it did, but B. is seriously
uneasy at the dreadful loss to Government of the pearl bouquet. It was
worth about ten shillings, I suppose.


Friday.

Yesterday was the day of the great meeting. All the ladies (only ten
with the whole army) came to breakfast at half-past seven, and so did
'the great Panjandrum himself.'

I have not been to any meal, and hardly have seen anybody, for the last
three weeks, so I did not join them till it was nearly time for Runjeet
to arrive: when he was at the end of the street, G. and all the
gentlemen went on their elephants to meet him.

There were such a number of elephants, that the clash at meeting was
very great, and very destructive to the howdahs and hangings. G. handed
the Maharajah into the first large tent, where we were all waiting; but
the Sikhs are very unmanageable, and they rushed in on all sides, and
the European officers were rather worse, so that the tent was full in a
moment, and as the light only comes in from the bottom, the crowd made
it perfectly dark, and the old man seemed confused and bothered.
However, he sat down for a few minutes on the sofa between G. and me,
and recovered. He is exactly like an old mouse, with grey whiskers and
one eye. When they got into the inner tent, which was to have been
quite private, the English officers were just like so many bears; put
aside all the sentries, absolutely refused to listen to the
aides-de-camp, and filled the room; so then, finding it must be public,
G. sent us word we might all come there, and we had a good view of it
all.

Runjeet had no jewels on whatever, nothing but the commonest red silk
dress. He had two stockings on at first, which was considered an unusual
circumstance; but he very soon contrived to slip one off, that he might
sit with one foot in his hand, comfortably. B. was much occupied in
contriving to edge one-foot of his chair on to the carpet, in which he
at last succeeded.

Next to him sat Heera Singh, a very handsome boy, who is Runjeet's
favourite, and was loaded with emeralds and pearls. Dhian Singh his
father is the prime minister, and uncommonly good-looking: he was
dressed in yellow satin, with a quantity of chain armour and steel
cuirass. All their costumes were very picturesque. There were a little
boy and girl about four and five years old, children of some of
Runjeet's sirdars who were killed in battle, and he always has these
children with him, and has married them to each other. They were
crawling about the floor, and running in and out between Runjeet and G.,
and at one time the little boy had got his arm twisted round G.'s leg. I
sent to ask B. for two of the common pearl necklaces that are given as
khelwuts, and sent them with a private note round to G., who gave them
to the children, which delighted the old mouse.

After half an hour's talk, Sir W. C., with some of our gentlemen,
marched up the room with my picture of the Queen on a green and gold
cushion; all the English got up, and a salute of twenty-one guns was
fired. Runjeet took it up in his hands, though it was a great weight,
and examined it for at least five minutes with his one piercing eye, and
asked B. for an explanation of the orb and sceptre, and whether the
dress were correct, and if it were really like; and then said it was the
most gratifying present he could have received, and that on his return
to his camp, the picture would be hung in front of his tent, and a royal
salute fired. When all the other presents had been given that could come
in trays, 200 shells (not fish, but gunpowder shells) were presented to
the Maharajah, and two magnificent howitzers, that had been cast on
purpose for him (as I think I told you), which seemed to please him; and
outside, there was an elephant with gold trappings, and seven horses
equally bedizened. His strongest passion is still for horses: one of
these hit his fancy, and he quite forgot all his state, and ran out in
the sun to feel its legs and examine it. Webb (the coachman) went down
in the afternoon to take the Mizzur horses to Runjeet, and gave us such
an amusing account of his interview.

He talks a sort of half-Yorkshire, half-Indian dialect.

'Why, you see, my lord, I had a long job of it. The old man was a-saying
of his prayers, and all the time he was praying, he was a-looking after
my horses. At last he gets up, and I was tired of waiting in all that
sun. But law! Miss Eden, then comes that picture that you've been
a-painting of; and then the old man sends for his sirdar, and that
sirdar and they all go down on their knees, a matter of sixty of them,
and first one has a look and then the other, and Runjeet he asked me
such a many questions, I wished the picture further. He talked about it
for an hour and a half, and I telled him I never seed the Queen. How
should I? I have been here with two Governor-Generals, and twelve years
in India above that. So then he says, says he, "which Governor-General
do you like best?" And I says, "Why, Maharajah, I haint much fault to
find with neither of them." So then we had out the horses, and there the
old man was a-running about looking at 'em, more like a coolie than a
king. I never see a man so pleased, and he made me ride 'em. So, when I
had been there four hours a'most, all in the sun, he give me this pair
of gold bracelets and this pair of shawls; and he says, says he, "Go and
show yourself to the Lord Sahib, just as you are: mind you don't take
them off." But law! I did not like to come such a figure, so here they
are!'

B. was standing by, so I had the presence of mind to say, 'Of course
Lord A. should let Webb keep those;' and he said directly, that for any
actual service done, it was only payment, and they would hardly pay Webb
for all the trouble he had with the young horses. So Webb went off very
happy, and I suppose when we return to Calcutta Mrs. Webb will be
equally so.



CHAPTER XXVII.


Sunday, Dec. 2, 1838.

I was very much knocked up yesterday with the durbar of the day before.
I never told you--such a horrid idea! That box of yours, with that
lovely velvet pelisse--that blue cloak--those little '_modes_' of Mdlle.
Sophie, are all food for sharks, I much fear. Pray always mention the
name of the ship by which you send such treasures. You and R. both
mentioned that these particular treasures sailed the last week in June;
the only two ships in the list that _did_ sail then were the
Seringapatam and the Protector.

We have ascertained that the first had nothing for us, and the
unfortunate Protector was wrecked at the Sandheads, and only five of the
crew saved. There were all sorts of melancholy horrors about the
shipwreck, so for a long time it never occurred to me to think about my
own little _venture_ in it, but I suppose it must have been there. The
passengers, after they had been two days and nights in the boats, were
passed by a ship coming to Calcutta, but this ship was in great danger
from a squall, and as they were all a great way from land, she could not
contrive to shorten sail, so that the shipwrecked people must have seen
a ship pass them without making any sign, just as they were almost at
the last gasp. I am sure that must have added a pang to death.

A pang is added to the loss of my box, by my seeing 'a box of wearing
apparel picked up at sea, from the wreck of the Protector, to be sold
by auction for the benefit of ----' I forget who--the individual that
picked it up. Mine to a certainty, and if they will not let me have the
box, I cannot see why it is not sold for _my_ benefit. To return to my
Journal.--On Thursday evening G. gave a dinner to fifty generals and
colonels, &c., and they say St. Cloup covers himself with glory by the
dinners he turns out. They really are wonderful. I sent for him this
morning to tell him so, and he is always very amusing, so like one of
Mathews' negroes.

'Si madame est contente, il n'y a rien à dire, et assurément je fais de
mon mieux, mais enfin qu'est ce qu'il y a?--pas de légumes, pas de
fruit; il ne faut pas tuer un boeuf, à cause de la religion de ces
maudits Sikhs; enfin j'ai de la poussière pour sauce. Mon Dieu, quel
pays!'

On Friday morning G. went to return Runjeet's visit. It was just a
repetition of the same ceremonies, he says. He asked G. to come back to
a private conference for two hours before the nautch, which he is to
give us to-morrow. Some of his presents were very handsome, particularly
a bed with gold legs, completely encrusted with rubies and emeralds, all
the furniture of the bed being yellow shawl. There was also one pair of
blue shawls, which cost Runjeet 240_l._, and which are quite unique.

G. gave another great dinner to fifty colonels, majors, &c., and F. and
I dined in my tent. His man-dinner for once turned out pleasant and
talkative. St. Cloup maintained his reputation, and I think G. and W.
came over after dinner rather merry than otherwise.

This is a dreadfully noisy camp. The cavalry have pitched themselves
just behind our tents: one horse gets loose, and goes and bites all the
others, and then they kick and get loose too, and all the syces wake and
begin screaming, and the tent pitchers are called to knock in the rope
pins, and the horses are neighing all the time, till they are tied up
again. Then the infantry regiment has got a mad drummer (or two or
three). He begins drumming at five in the morning and never intermits
till seven. I suppose it is some military manoeuvre, but I wish he
would not. It was so like dear Shakespeare, specifying the 'neighing
steed and the spirit-stirring drum,' both assisting to make ambition
virtue, the particular virtue of patience being what he had in his eye,
of course.

I have got Captain X. and Captain M. to make a nightly round before they
go to bed, and I think the horses _are_ a few yards further off, but any
good sleep is quite out of the question.

Yesterday G. went off at three with B., C., and W., for a private talk
with Runjeet, but the old fellow did not talk much business, he likes
gossip so much better, and he said he thought the fakeer and B. might
meet and talk business without interrupting G. and him. F. got Sir W. C.
to come here and chaperon her to the nautch that was to be given in the
evening. She says it was very pretty, but not near so splendid as what
we saw at Benares or Lucknow. Runjeet gave her a string of small pearls,
a diamond ring, and a pair of diamond bangles.

G. has given her leave to buy any of them from the Tosha Khanna as a
keepsake, but the ring is the only tempting article.


Monday Evening, Dec. 3.

G. went to meet Runjeet at seven this morning, and F. joined them on her
elephant as they went through our street. I did not set off in the
carriage till past eight, and when I got to the ground I was still too
early, for Runjeet, instead of being satisfied with a general view of
the line, insisted on riding down the whole of it, about three miles,
and inspecting every man.

F., Major W., C., and I waited at the flagstaff till their return, which
was a beautiful sight (I mean their return was beautiful, not our
waiting).

Old Runjeet looks much more personable on horseback than in durbar, and
he is so animated on all military matters that he rides about with the
greatest activity. G. and he, and their interpreter, finally settled
themselves at the flagstaff, and there G. sent for F. and me to come on
our elephants to them.

In front there was the army marching by. First, the 16th Hussars, then a
body of native cavalry, then the Queen's Buffs, then a train of
Artillery drawn by camels, then Colonel Skinner's wild native horsemen
with their steel caps and yellow dresses--the band of each regiment
wheeling off as they passed, and drawing up to play opposite to Runjeet.

Behind us there was a large amphitheatre of elephants belonging to our
own camp, or to the Sikhs, and thousands of Runjeet's followers all
dressed in yellow or red satin, with quantities of their led horses
_trapped_ in gold and silver tissues, and all of them sparkling with
jewels. I really never saw so dazzling a sight. Three or four Sikhs
would look like Astley's broke loose, but this immense body of them
saves their splendour from being melodramatic. The old man himself wears
a sort of red stuff dress with a little edging of the commonest grey
squirrel's fur, and a common red muslin turban. His horse, too, had less
gold about it than any other. He was quite delighted with the review,
and at the end of it his servants put down before him eleven bags, each
containing 1,000 rupees, to be distributed among the troops. When
everything was done, all the chief people went to one tent, which we had
pitched on the ground, where there was a _déjeûner à la fourchette_ and
all the right things.

I drove straight home to our camp as soon as the troops had marched by,
so I did not see the breakfast; but the cookery and the turn-out
altogether seemed to have given such satisfaction, that I have just been
buying a handsome diamond ring which G. is to present to St. Cloup, who
is an absolute black angel. He went over-night to the review ground to
cook his breakfast, then back here again, for a dinner of sixteen
people, and to-morrow we are to have Runjeet in the evening, and a
supper, or rather a dinner, for seventy people. St. Cloup says, with two
English kitchenmaids nothing would be so easy, but the instant he goes
to rest all the natives fling themselves on the floor and are asleep in
a minute, leaving the saucers to take themselves off the fire.

G. gave St. Cloup his ring, and his grin and jump would have delighted
Mathews, though perhaps a little overdone for the stage. Runjeet came
over early and went with G. to see the artillery, rather against his
lordship's inclinations, for he had been to look in the morning and
thought it a very poor show. However, Runjeet was delighted, and kept
them there for two hours. We had prepared our fête at the end of the
street--a large compound enclosed on three sides with a large tent for
us, and a small one for Runjeet filling up the fourth side, guards all
round to prevent anybody who had not an invitation from going in. The
large tent opened into a long _shemiana_--I hardly know how to explain
that, but it is, in fact, a tent without sides, merely a roof supported
by pillars; this looked out into the compound, which was laid out like a
flower garden, only instead of flowers there were little lamps laid out,
as thickly as they could be placed, in the shape of flower borders. On
the ground alone, P. said, there were 42,000 lamps, and the garden was
railed in by an _espalier_ of lamps. It was really very pretty and odd.
G. and Runjeet had their great chairs in the centre, with B. on the
other side of G., F. next to B., then Sir G. R. and a long row of
ladies. I sat by the side of Runjeet, and next to me Kurruck Singh, his
son, and then another long row of his sirdars.

The instant Runjeet sat down, three or four of his attendants came and
knelt down before him--one, the Fakeer Uzeez-ood-deen, who is his
interpreter and adviser and the comfort of his life. We all ought to
have Uzeez-ood-deens of our own, if we wish to be really comfortable.
The others arranged his gold bottle and glass, and plates of fruit, and
he began drinking that horrible spirit, which he pours down like water.
He insisted on my just touching it, as I had not been at his party on
Saturday, and one drop actually burnt the outside of my lips. I could
not possibly swallow it. Those two little brats, in new dresses, were
crawling about the floor, and he poured some of this fire down their
throats. We had two bands to play; and when the fireworks were over, a
large collection of nautch-girls came in front of Runjeet, and danced
and sang apparently much to his satisfaction. They were a very ugly set
from Loodheeana. I could not help thinking how eastern we had become,
everybody declaring it was one of the best-managed and pleasantest
parties they had seen. All these satraps in a row, and those screaming
girls and crowds of long-bearded attendants, and the old tyrant drinking
in the middle--but still we all said: 'What a charming party!' just as
we should have said formerly at Lady C.'s or Lady J.'s. I could not talk
with any great ease, being on the blind side of Runjeet, who converses
chiefly with his one eye and a few signs which his fakeer makes up into
a long speech; and Kurruck Singh was apparently an idiot. Luckily,
beyond him was Heera Singh, who has learnt a little English, and has a
good idea of making topics, and when C. came and established himself
behind the sofa I got on very well with Runjeet.

After the conversation had lasted nearly an hour, there was, I suppose,
a little pause between G. and him, for he turned round and said
something which C. translated in his literal way, 'The Maharajah wishes
your lordship would talk a little more _friendship_ to him.' G. solemnly
declared he had talked an immense deal of friendship, but, of course, he
began again. Another of Runjeet's topics was his constant praise of
drinking, and he said he understood that there were books which
contained objections to drunkenness, and he thought it better that
there should be no books at all, than that they should contain such
foolish notions. He is a very drunken old profligate, neither more nor
less. Still he has made himself a great king; he has conquered a great
many powerful enemies; he is remarkably just in his government; he has
disciplined a large army; he hardly ever takes away life, which is
wonderful in a despot; and he is excessively beloved by his people.

I certainly should not guess any part of this from looking at him.

After two hours' palaver he got up to go. I gave him a large emerald
ring, and G. gave him a magnificent diamond aigrette. It only arrived
from Calcutta yesterday on speculation, and was thought too expensive,
but G. had a great fancy to give it to Runjeet, it was so beautifully
set. After the Sikhs were all gone, we went back to our private tents,
where there was a _souper-dinatoire_ for seventy people: and that is our
final festivity.


Thursday, Dec. 6.

All the gentlemen went at daybreak yesterday to Runjeet's review, and
came back rather discomfited. He had nearly as many troops out as Sir G.
R. had; they were quite as well disciplined, rather better dressed,
repeated the same military movements and several others much more
complicated, and, in short, nobody knows what to say about it, so they
say nothing, except that they are sure the Sikhs would run away in a
real fight. It is a sad blow to our vanities! you won't mention it to
the troops in London--we say nothing about it to those here.

This morning we marched again, only just five miles, so as to get into
the Punjâb; and G., who had more last words to say to Sir G. R. and the
army, did not come till the afternoon.


Saturday, Dec. 8.

Shere Singh, Runjeet's son, is our _mehmander_, and takes care of us
through the Punjâb. Runjeet feeds the whole camp while we are in his
country, men and beasts--the men 15,000 (we thought it was only 10,000;
but when every regiment we had sent in its full muster-roll, it came to
15,000).

Shere Singh is a very jolly dog, and proffered to dine with us
yesterday, which means sitting at dinner with his eyes fixed on G.; he
will drink, but not eat. I did not go in to dinner, but was in the same
tent, and thinking the conversation seemed to flag, sent Chance to W.
O., who made him show off the multitude of tricks he has acquired; and
it set Shere Singh and his attendants off laughing, and filled up the
time. I dare say Shere would be pleasant if one spoke his language.


Sunday, Dec. 9.

To our horror, Shere Singh offered himself again for dinner yesterday.
We had four strange officers as it was, and this promised to be an awful
dinner; but it turned out very well. He brought his little boy, Pertâb
Singh, seven years old, with eyes as big as saucers, and emeralds bigger
than his eyes; and he is such a dear good child! G. gave the little boy
a box containing an ornamented pistol, with all sorts of contrivances
for making bullets, all of which Pertâb knew how to use. We accused
Shere Singh of having taken a watch that had been given to his little
boy; and he pretended to put this pistol in his sash, and it was very
pretty to see the little fellow's appeal to G.; but in the middle of it
all, he turned round to his father and said--'But you know, Maharaj Gee
(your Highness), what is yours is mine, and what is mine is yours; I
will lend it to you whenever you like.' Shere Singh thought the child
was talking too much at one time, and made him a sign, upon which the
boy sunk down in the eastern fashion, with his legs crossed and his
hands clasped, and he fixed his eyes like a statue. None of us could
make him look or hear, and we asked his father at last to let him play,
as we were used to children at home. He said one word, and the way in
which Pertâb jumped up was just like a statue coming to life. His father
is very fond of him, but Runjeet very often keeps the boy as a hostage
when Shere Singh is employed at a distance.



CHAPTER XXVIII.


Camp, Umritzir, Dec. 10, 1838.

It has just occurred to me, in dating this letter, that we are very near
the end of '38, and in '39 we may begin to say, 'The year after next we
shall go home.' I never know exactly where we are in our story, for I
keep so many anniversaries it puts me out. So many people have married,
and died, and gone home, that it is really incredible that we should
have been here so long, and yet are kept here still. Something must be
done about it, because it is a very good joke; but life is passing
away, and we are in the wrong place. It has now come to that pass that
we are in a foreign country from India, and that crossing the Sutlej is
to be called going home again. You see how it is! Our first principles
are wrong, and G. says, with a placid smile, 'If Shere Singh does not
dine with us to-day, would it not be advisable to ask Hindû Rao?'--Hindû
Rao being a Mahratta chief, a dependent on our Government, who has
attached himself to our camp--not quite an idiot, but something like it,
and in appearance like a plump feather-bed, with pillows for his head
and legs--covered all over with chain armour and cuirasses, and red and
yellow shawls; and he sits behind G. at table, expecting to have topics
found and interpreted to him. Shere Singh has a great deal of fun; but
natives at table are always a great _gêne_. I had only time to tell you
of our arrival at Umritzir on Wednesday, and not of the show, which was
really surprising. F. and I came on in the carriage earlier than the
others, which was a great advantage; for the dust of fifty or sixty
elephants does not subside in a hurry, and they spoil the whole
spectacle. We met the old man going to fetch G. That is one of the
ceremonies, naturally tiresome, to which we have become quite used, and
which, in fact, I shall expect from you, when we go home. If the
Maharajah asks G. to any sight, or even to a common visit, G. cannot
stir from his tent, if he starves there, till an 'istackball,' or
embassy, comes to fetch him. So this morning we were all dressed by
candle-light, and half the tents were pulled down and all the chairs but
two gone, while G. was waiting for Kurruck Singh to come seven miles to
fetch him, and Kurruck Singh was waiting till the Governor-General's
agent came to fetch _him_, and then the Maharajah was waiting till they
were half-way, that he might fetch them all. Then, the instant they
meet, G. nimbly steps into Runjeet's howdah, and they embrace French
fashion, and then the whole procession mingles, and all this takes place
every day now. If the invitation comes from our side, B. and the
aides-de-camp act Kurruck Singh, and have to go backwards and forwards
fifteen miles on their elephants. So now, if ever we are living in St.
John's Wood, and you ask me to dinner in Grosvenor Place, I shall first
send Giles down to your house to say I am ready; and you must send R.,
as your _istackball_, to fetch me, and I shall expect to meet you
yourself, somewhere near Connaught Place, and then we will embrace and
drive on, and go hand-in-hand in to dinner, and sit next to each other.
If I have anything to say (which is very doubtful, for I have grown
rather like Hindû Rao), I will mention it to Giles, who will repeat it
to Gooby, who will tell you, and you will wink your eye and stroke your
hair, and in about ten minutes you will give me an answer through the
same channels. Now you understand.

To return to this show. We drove for two miles and a half through a lane
of Runjeet's 'goocherras,' or bodyguard. The sun was up and shining on
them, and I suppose there was not one who would not have made the
fortune of a painter. One troop was dressed entirely in yellow satin,
with gold scarfs and shawls; but the other half were in that cloth of
gold which is called kincob--the _fond_ being gold and the pattern
scarlet, or purple, or yellow; their arms were all gold--many of them
had collars of precious stones; their shields and lances were all
studded with gold. They have long beards down to their waists, and most
of them had a silver or gold tissue drapery, which they bring over their
heads and pass round their beards to keep them from the dust. In the
distance there was a long line of troops extending four miles and a
half, and which after much deliberation I settled was a white wall with
a red coping. I thought it could not possibly be alive; but it was--with
30,000 men. G. says old Runjeet was very much pleased with his own
display. Shere Singh dined with us again; but otherwise it was a day of
rest.

Thursday we began poking about to find shawls and agate curiosities,
which are supposed to abound at Umritzir; but our native servants are
afraid of going into the bazaars: they say the Sikhs laugh at them and
their dress. My man told me 'they are a very _proudly_ people, me not
much like; they say, "What this?" and "What that?" I say, "It Mussulmun
dress--if you not like, don't touch!" Then they say, "No city like our
Umritzir!" I say, "I say nothing against your Umritzir; but then you
never see anything else. If you come to _Calcut_, I show you beautiful
things--ships that go by smoke, and fine houses." However, they are so
proudly that now I pretend I no understand their Punjâbee, but I know
what they mean.'

With all their '_proudliness_' they are very civil to our people, and
told them that the Maharajah had proclaimed he would put to death
anybody who maltreated any of the Governor-General's followers; or, as
they expressed it, that 'he would cut open their stomachs'--very
unpleasant, for a mere little incivility. In the afternoon he sent word
he was going to show us the city and the famous Sikh temple, where he
had consulted the oracle about his present alliance with us. This temple
is the only thing the Sikhs are supposed to venerate in a religious way.
After all the plans were settled, a grand schism sprang up in our camp
about G.'s taking off his shoes, and parties ran very high; however, I
believe it was settled that it was impossible he could ever take off his
shoes, except for the purpose of going to bed; but then it was equally
impossible to rebut Runjeet's great civility in letting us go to this
temple at all, and it was not a question of state. Runjeet takes off his
shoes and stoops down, and puts some of the dust on his forehead; it
amounts to taking off a hat, and only answers to the same respect that
we should wish anybody to pay on entering one of our own churches. So it
ended in G.'s drawing a pair of dark stockings on over his boots, and
the Sikhs made no objection. F. and I went in white shoes, and pretended
to take off our dressing slippers from over them. All they really care
about is, that their sacred marble should not be defiled by shoes that
have trod the common streets. I am glad we went, and would have given up
my shoes, and stockings too, for it.

The temple stands in an immense tank of holy water, and a narrow marble
bridge leads to it. There is a broad walk all round the, tank, and it is
surrounded by palaces belonging to his principal sirdar, and by other
holy buildings.

The temple is of pure gold, really and truly covered completely with
gold, most beautifully carved, till within eight feet from the ground,
and then there are panels of marble inlaid with flowers and birds--very
_Solomonish_ altogether. There are four large folding-doors of gold. We
walked round it, and then Runjeet took us in.

There was a large collection of priests, sitting in a circle, with the
Grooht, their holy book, in the centre, under a canopy of gold cloth,
quite stiff with pearls and small emeralds. The canopy cost 10,000_l._
Runjeet made G. and F. and me sit down with him on a common velvet
carpet, and then one of the priests made a long oration, to the effect
that the two great potentates were now brothers and friends, and never
could be otherwise. Then G. made a speech to the same effect, and
mentioned that the two armies had joined, and they could now conquer the
whole world; and Runjeet carried on the compliment, and said that here
the oracle had prompted him to make his treaty, and now they saw that he
and the English were all one family. In short, you never saw two
gentlemen on better terms with themselves and each other. G. presented
16,000 rupees, and they, in return, gave us some very fine shawls. I
think mine was scarlet and gold, but the Company's baboo twisted it up
in such haste that I did not see it well.

When all this was over, Runjeet took us up to a sort of balcony he has
in one corner of the square, and by that time the bridge, the temple,
the minarets, everything was illuminated. Shere Singh's palace was a
sort of volcano of fireworks, and large illuminated fish were swimming
about the tank. It was a curious sight, and supposed, by those who know
the Sikhs, to be a wonderful proof of confidence on Runjeet's part.

Yesterday my search for small agate curiosities was rather successful;
and the shawls here are not _despicable_ by any means, and very cheap,
but I happen to have spent all my money. W. O.'s tent is the great
harbour for merchants, but I have found out that I make my little
bargains better if I can convey my merchant safely into my own tent.

They all went to a great review this morning, and we had Runjeet's
French officers to dinner in the evening, besides the A.s and C.s; and
then Shere Singh, and that darling little Pertâb came again to dinner.

We had little Pertâb to sketch this morning, and he was very pleasant. I
asked him to fix his eyes on Captain M., who was acting interpreter.
After a time he began to fidget, and his stern old Sikh tutor (you don't
want a Sikh tutor for your boys by chance?--if so, I can safely
recommend this man for a remarkably good manner of teaching, besides
having a beard half a yard long) reproved him for it. Pertâb declared he
could not help it,--he was told to fix his eyes on M., and 'this is the
way he moves his head,'--and then he mimicked M. turning from one to the
other and interpreting, in such a funny little way. We gave him a
diamond ring, which seemed to delight him.

In the evening we went to a garden half a mile off, where Runjeet is
living, and where he was going to give us an evening fête. He had had
the house actually built on purpose, and it was beautifully painted in
an arabesque fashion, with small pieces of looking-glass let in, in
various patterns. The walks of the garden were all lined with those
splendid soldiers.

I whispered to Major E., who was sitting on the other side of me, to ask
if it would be wrong to step out of the house to look at these gorgeous
people, as I had missed all the other opportunities of seeing them; and
the old Maharajah did not wait to have the question explained--he
delights to show off his soldiers. He jumped up, and took hold of my
hand, and ambled out into the garden, and then made all the guards march
by, and commented on their dresses, and he looked so fond of the old
grey-bearded officers.

There is something rather touching in the affection his people have for
him. The other day, in going through the city, it struck us all, the
eagerness with which they called out 'Maharajah!' and tried to touch
him, which is easy enough in these narrow streets, and the elephants
reaching to the roofs of the houses.

When we had sufficiently admired the golden men, we all ambled back to
our silver chairs, and then the drinking and nautching began. Nothing
can be more tiresome! But he asked some very amusing questions of G.,
which I believe C. softened in the translation. If he had a wife? and
when satisfied about that, How many children he had? Then he asked _why_
he had no wife? G. said that only one was allowed in England, and if she
turned out a bad one, he could not easily get rid of her. Runjeet said
that was a bad custom; that the Sikhs were allowed twenty-five wives,
and they did not dare to be bad, because he could beat them if they
were. G. replied that was an excellent custom, and he would try to
introduce it when he got home. Then Runjeet asked if there was anybody
present who could drink wine as well as Sir W. C., and I said, for fun,
'Mr. A. could;' upon which there was a general cry for A., and poor Mr.
A. was accommodated with a chair in front of all the circle, and Runjeet
began plying him with glasses of that fiery spirit he drinks himself.
Mr. A. is at present living strictly on toast and water! However, he
contrived to empty the glass on the carpet occasionally. That carpet
must have presented a horrible scene when we went. I know that under my
own chair I deposited two broiled quails, an apple, a pear, a great lump
of sweetmeat, and some pomegranate seeds, which Runjeet gave me with his
dirty fingers into my hand, which, of course, became equally dirty at
last.

F. and I came away before the others. He gave me the presents which were
due, as I had never been at one of his parties before. They were very
handsome; the best row of pearls we have had in this journey, with a
very good emerald between every ten pearls; a magnificent pair of
emerald bracelets, and a shabby little ring. G. handsomely offered to
buy the pearls for me; but that is not what we came to India for. It is
very well his buying a little ring, or a shawl, for ten or fifteen
pounds, but I do not want pearl necklaces.

I believe now in the story our governess used to tell us, of grocers'
apprentices, who, in the first week of their apprenticeship, were
allowed to eat barley-sugar and raisins to such an amount that they
never again wished to touch them. We thought that a myth; but I have
latterly had such a surfeit of emeralds, pearls, and diamonds, that I
have quite lost any wish to possess them.



CHAPTER XXIX.


Monday, Dec. 17th, 1838.

The Maharajah asked G. to go with him on Sunday afternoon to look at his
fort of Govindghur, in which he keeps all his treasures; and it is
certain that whoever gets hold of Govindghur at his death will also get
hold of his kingdom. He never allows anybody to enter it, and E. says,
that in all the thirteen years he has been with him he has never been
able to get a sight of it, and he was convinced that Runjeet would
either pretend to be ill, or to make some mistake in the hour, so that
he would not really show G. even the outside of it. It _was_ rather late
before Kurruck Singh came to fetch G.; however, they soon met the
Maharajah, and went towards the fort. An officer came to ask his
'hookum,' or orders, and he told him to have the gates opened, and
desired G. to take in all the officers of his escort, even any
engineers. Then he led him all over the fort, showed him where the
treasure was kept, took him up to the roof, where there was a carpet
spread, and two gold chairs, and there sat and asked questions about
cannons and shells, and mines, and forts in general. The Europeans were
all amazed; but they say the surprise of Runjeet's own sirdars was past
all concealment; even the common soldiers began talking to B. about it,
and said that they now saw that the Sikhs and English were 'to be all
one family, and to live in the same house.' It certainly is very odd how
completely the suspicious old man seems to have conquered any feeling of
jealousy, and it is entirely his own doing, against the wishes and plans
of his prime ministers, and of most of his sirdars; but he has taken his
own line, and says he is determined to show how complete his confidence
is.

Whenever he dies, this great kingdom, which he has raked together, will
probably fall to pieces again. His prime minister, Dhian Singh, will
probably take Cashmere and the hill provinces, and, they say, is strong
enough to take all the rest. But the people generally incline to the
foolish son Kurruck Singh, and he will have the Punjâb. The army is
attached to our dear friend Shere Singh; but Runjeet has deprived him of
most of his income, or it is just possible his dear fat head will be
chopped off, unless he crosses to our side of the river.


Wednesday, Dec. 19th.

We marched yesterday from Umritzir, and are to make four marches to
Lahore.

The maids were quite delighted with an adventure they had in the
morning's march. Several mounted soldiers stopped their elephant, and
said that Shere Singh's wife wanted to see them. She came up in a
dhoolie covered with gold curtains, in which there was a slit, through
which she protruded one finger and then presented an eye. After a long
study of Jones, she told her bearers to carry her round to the other
side of the elephant, and desired Wright to put up her veil, that she
might have a good look at her. Then she told them that she had never
seen any white women before, and that they must come to her tent. An
hour after breakfast one of her guards arrived and carried off the
hirkaru who had been with the maids, and took him to Shere Singh's camp,
where the lady spoke to him from behind the purdah, and said she must
have a visit from the maids, and that she was going to take a bath and
dress herself, and then they were to come. I wrote to Major E. for his
advice, and he made all the necessary enquiries, but unluckily
ascertained that this was not one of the four legitimate Mrs. Sheres,
who are visitable, and indeed the most exemplary wives in the world.
This woman is all very well in her way, and for many years has been the
reigning favourite, but he thought they had better not go to see her.
The difficulty was to make an excuse, as she is always accustomed to
have her own way, but G. managed it somehow. I was rather sorry he was
so prudish, for it would have been a great treat for the maids, and
something quite new. Shere Singh and his boy dined with us. He made a
long whispered confidence to Mr. A. in the evening, and then went off to
the other table, that Mr. A. might whisper it to me, and it was to the
effect that his wife (that improper word natives cannot bear to mention)
had heard from her little boy that we had been kind to him, and was
longing to see us, and had prepared presents for us; and he hoped we
would go to his palace at Lahore.


Shalimar, Thursday, Dec. 20th.

Shalimar is the garden where Dr. D. and W. lived when they suffered so
much from heat last year. We are encamped close by it. I believe it is
the real Shalimar where Lalla Rookh recognised Feramorz, but we do not
happen to have a 'Lalla Rookh' at hand. Shere Singh came to my tent to
sit for his picture--such a gorgeous figure! all over diamonds and
emeralds; and as it was a first private visit, he brought a bag of
rupees, which he waved round and threw on the ground, and of which it is
indelicate to take the least notice. It is still more indelicate taking
them at all, I think, but it cannot be helped. He made a very good
picture. He was extremely curious about the arrangement of our tents,
and poked about, looking into every book and box; and as he went away,
he made A. and W. take him round to F.'s tent to look at everything
there. I believe nothing can equal the shock it is to the Sikhs in
general to see F. and me going about in this way. They come in crowds to
ask for an explanation from the native servants. It is unpleasant being
considered so disreputable; but 'conscious worth, patient merit,' and
all that sort of thing, serve to keep us up, to say nothing of not
understanding what they say. F. and I went to sketch in the gardens in
the afternoon. They are a thick grove of orange and limes, so that they
are cool at all times. G. settled that he would go too and take a quiet
walk and look about him, with only an aide-de-camp. Deluded creature!
Inexperienced traveller! The instant he got on his elephant, bang went a
gun. Shere Singh and Lehna Singh with their trains appeared, a troop of
Sikhs wheeled up and began playing 'God save the Queen,' with every
other bar left out, which makes rather a pretty air. Mr. C. was sent for
to interpret. His lordship went on to the gardens, where we saw him
debark, and a train of devoted gardeners met him with baskets of fruit.
We made him a sign not to come and interrupt our sketching, but from the
opposite walk there debouched Kurruck Singh, and Ajeet Singh, and the
old fakeer, sent by Runjeet to see that all was right. The brothers
Kurruck and Shere don't speak, and G. said it was horrible to see the
agitation with which Shere Singh clutched hold of him, and Kurruck laid
hold of the other hand, and they handed him along towards us,
oversetting our tonjauns, and utterly discomposing our perspective. G.
bears a real ceremony beautifully when he has made up his mind to it,
and indeed rather likes it; but when he has made up his mind the other
way, and wishes to see any curious sight quietly, he becomes frantic
with bore if he is interrupted.


Lahore, Friday, Dec. 21.

Yesterday evening Runjeet gave us a party in the Shalimar Gardens, which
were illuminated in every direction. The party was like all the others,
except that it was less crowded, and there was an introduction of
Afghans. The brother of our enemy Dost Mahomed, who is not fettered by
foolish feelings of family affection, has come over to us. He and his
sons and followers were rather picturesque, with their enormous coarse
turbans and cloth gaberdines, and great jack-boots, amongst all those
jewelled Sikhs. Runjeet was extremely civil to them. I thought one of
the amusing incidents of the evening would be, that I should topple over
backwards, chair and all, into the garden below the sort of open
summer-house in which we were sitting. Runjeet is particular in the
arrangement of his circle--and also rather peculiar. He and G. were
seated just in a corner of the open arch, so as to have a side view of
the fireworks, and my chair was put next to Runjeet's in the middle of
the arch, with no ledge to the floor and my back to the garden. I moved
off, on pretence that I could see nothing, but he sent for me back
again, and I think must have been disappointed at the precision with
which I sat bolt upright. I always try to flirt a little with Kurruck
Singh, the heir-apparent, who is supposed to be a goose, but 'a great
_parti_,' as C. would say; but I think the Maharajah sees through me,
for he always says to C., 'What's that?' and then answers for his son. I
wish he would not--I think my Kurruck would be pleasant, if they ever
let him open his lips. I asked him if he had ever tasted any English
wine, and he said he never drank any wine at all, upon which Runjeet
immediately gave him his own little glass full of spirits, and laughed
with the greatest delight at his son's taking it. F. and I came away
very early.

Most of the camp came in procession with G. and the Maharajah through
the town, which F. says was very dirty and not odoriferous. Runjeet led
them in and out and round about for two hours. I cannot stand much
elephant, so I came across the country in the tonjaun, with Captain E.
and Mr. A., who rode. The Sikh guards led us right through the fields,
where there was no shade, but it was rather nice, and gave one a
reminiscence of Shottesbrooke and partridge shooting. We saw in the
distance the dust of our moving camp, and blessed ourselves. It was only
four miles by this route from one camp to the other. Of course, Shere
Singh and Pertâb came to dinner. The little boy is quite set on learning
English, and he says, in such a droll voice, 'Chance, sit up,' 'plate,'
'glass,' and a few other words he has picked up. To fill up the
evenings, we have taught him that game of soldiers by making round dots
on a piece of paper, which he and W. play at; and before dessert was
over, he asked whether it was not time to go into the next room. He
wanted to kill Dost Mahomed with his pencil.

Heera Singh, Runjeet's favourite, came to my tent to sit for his
picture, but there was some difficulty about his coming, so he arrived
late, and it was too dark to draw him well. Runjeet sent word that he
considered him 'his best-beloved son,' and hoped somebody of
consideration would be sent to fetch him. Dhian Singh, the prime
minister, and the ruler of one-third of the Punjâb, was coming at the
same time to see G. in a private manner. He is Heera Singh's father, but
Runjeet sent 'the best-beloved son' with quantities of elephants, and
two regiments, to take care of him, while Dhian Singh came on horseback,
with only four soldiers riding behind him. He is a very striking-looking
man, and his manners are much more pleasing than his son's.


Sunday, Dec. 23.

We went yesterday afternoon to a review of Runjeet's goocherras. His
grandson, Noor Nahal, my friend Kurruck's son, and the probable heir,
was there. He very nearly died of cholera ten days ago, so we had not
seen him. Runjeet treated him with great distinction. He was very
interesting-looking, like young Lord E., with enormous black eyes, very
sallow, as all Sikh natives are, and he was propped up with cushions and
covered with jewels. He was very popular a year ago, but they say has
turned out ill since he has been his own master.

The first show of the day was Runjeet's private stud. I suppose fifty
horses were led past us. The first had on its emerald trappings,
necklaces arranged on its neck and between its ears, and in front of the
saddle two enormous emeralds, nearly two inches square, carved all over,
and set in gold frames, like little looking-glasses. The crupper was all
emeralds, and there were stud-ropes of gold put on something like a
martingale. Heera Singh said the whole was valued at 37 lacs
(370,000_l._); but all these valuations are fanciful, as nobody knows
the worth of these enormous stones; they are never bought or sold. The
next horse was simply attired in diamonds and turquoises, another in
pearls, and there was one with trappings of coral and pearl that was
very pretty. Their saddle-cloths have stones woven into them. It reduces
European magnificence to a very low pitch.

Runjeet has got a fit of curiosity about our religion, from our having
declined engagements for Sundays and for Christmas-day; and he has sent
the fakeer twice to Mr. Y. to say he wants to have translations of what
it is, he says to the Lord Sahib every Sunday; and to-day, after the
review, he stopped Mr. Y. and asked him a great many questions about our
prayers, &c.

The review was picturesque, but rather tiresome; however, I did not much
care, for I changed places with E., and got a quiet corner from which I
could sketch Runjeet. I was on his blind side, but they said he found it
out, and begged I might not be interrupted. One of his native painters
was sketching G., and if my drawing looked as odd to him as his did to
me, he must have formed a mean idea of the arts in England. They put
full eyes into a profile, and give hardly any shade. They paint their
own people with European complexions, from coxcombry, so that ours are a
great puzzle to them, because we are so white. They had given G. light
red hair. I made a great addition to my stock of curiosities yesterday
in an agate dagger and cup, and I had a great miss this morning of some
trays and cups japanned in Cashmere. A man brought them to my tent, and
I would not buy them because it was Sunday; upon which W. O., who does
not keep the Sunday so well as I do, immediately snapped them up. This
place is full of Cashmerees. G., and the camp in general, went across
the river to see the ruins of Noorjhem's tomb. I went with X. to an
enamelled mosque in the city, which must have been splendid in the
Mussulman days, but the Sikhs keep up nothing of that sort. However, it
is still very beautiful, and would have been charming sketching, but the
crowd was so enormous the guards were of no use. It is not an uncivil
crowd, all things considered--we merely threw them one and all into
genuine fits of laughter; but X., who understands their language, says
they did not say anything meant for impertinence, only they had never
seen a European woman before, and 'what an odd thing it was to be so
white!' And then my Leghorn bonnet was a great subject of wonder and
dispute.



CHAPTER XXX.


Monday, Dec. 24, 1838.

The Maharajah is ill--he has cold and fever--so all parties, &c., are
put off. We were to have visited his wives to-day, and to have had great
illuminations at the palace; but as it is, we have passed a quiet
comfortable day. We sent word to Shere Singh that Christmas-eve was one
of our great festivals, and that we could not be disturbed to-day or
to-morrow; and we have been quite alone this evening.


Christmas Day.

Runjeet still ill. Dr. D. has seen him twice, and says, if he were a
common patient, he would be well in a day or two; but they are all
rather alarmed about him as it is. He never will take any medicine
whatever. Dr. D. says he has a little glass closet in a corner of his
palace with a common charpoy to lie on, and no other furniture whatever,
and hardly room for any. The fakeer was in attendance, and two or three
of his coolies sitting on the ground at the door--the old man was
asleep with all his clothes on. When he awoke, they washed his hands and
feet, and then called Dr. D. in. He thought his voice very indistinct,
and I fancy the danger is another stroke of palsy--he had one some years
ago. However, he is not much worse than half the camp. This is a very
aguish place, and three of the aides-de-camp are laid up with fever and
ague. Nine officers of the escort stayed the communion to-day, which is
a great many for so _un_religious a country as India. It is not
_ir_religious, but people live without seeing a clergyman or a church
till they forget all about them.


Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Runjeet has been extremely curious about our Sundays and Christmas-days,
and, ill as he was, sent for Mr. Y. to-day, to explain to him what it
meant. Mr. Y. took with him translations of the Lord's Prayer, the Ten
Commandments, and the prayer for the Governor-General. Almost all the
commandments must have been a puzzle to Runjeet's code, from the not
worshipping graven images down to not coveting his neighbour's goods. He
was very much interested, Mr. Y. said, and his fakeer and Dhian Singh
asked a great many questions--the old man seemed very ill.

P., F., and I went to sketch some ruins about two miles off. There is a
troop of Akalees close by, an alarming class of people, who make it a
rule never to live on anything they have not gained by plunder or force.
They have occasionally set fire to whole villages, and Runjeet even
cannot control them, so he has incorporated some of them with his
guards, but they wear their own dark blue dresses, with _quoits_ of
steel hanging all over them, which they fling at anybody and everybody.
The other day, at the review of Runjeet's own guards, a small troop of
these Akalees marched past with the others, but all Runjeet's sirdars
gathered round him as they went by, and some of the Akalees abused them,
and others called out to G. that they were going down to take Calcutta.
They were very quiet with us to-day, but in the morning they had been
very violent against Captain X. and Captain P. They are very
picturesque.


Friday, Dec. 28.

We had a great fright about G. this morning--one of those sort of things
one hates to think of, but yet which leave one thankful all the rest of
the day, that matters were no worse. He went to a review of our three
regiments, and was to ride a horse of W. O.'s, which used to have a
trick of rearing so as to prevent anybody mounting it, but this trick
was supposed to have been cured; and as, when once mounted, he made a
very quiet charger, G. meant to ride him. Yesterday he showed a little
of his old fault, but to-day when G. put his foot in the stirrup he
reared bolt upright. G. still persisted in trying him, in defiance of
W.'s assurances that it would not be safe. I believe he did not hear
them; the second tune, the horse reared, knocked down the syce, and
bolted, throwing G. to the ground. Luckily, the one foot that was in did
not catch fast in the stirrup. He was quite stunned for a minute, but,
except a bruise on his shoulders, was not hurt at all. W. rode home in a
great fright for a palanquin, and the servants, having kept the secret
for five minutes, could not then resist coming to wonder what had
happened. However, we had not a long fright; the guns almost immediately
began to fire again, so we knew that the review was going on; and we
soon heard that he was quite well. A great many of the chiefs
immediately presented purses of money on his escape; and after breakfast
some of the soubadars came with their offerings of rupees, which,
however, it was only necessary for him to touch. It was a narrow escape
of a bad accident, and seems to have frightened the bystanders. In the
afternoon he went to a private interview with the Maharajah, where all
the treaties and papers connected with the Cabul business were read
aloud.

This lasted a long while, and at the end, an 'istackball' came to fetch
F. and me to see a few of Runjeet's wives--merely a slight sample of
them. We saw the old man just for an instant; he looked quite
exhausted--almost dying--and made us over to Kurruck Singh and Heera
Singh, who, in his capacity of favourite, enters the anderoon, and I
should think must endanger the peace of mind of some of the thirty-two
Mrs. Runjeets. He is very good-looking. Between him and Rosina we
contrived to obtain a very good interpretation of the conversation.

The room was a wretched, little, low place: five of the ranees sat on
silver chairs against the wall, with a great many of their slaves
squatting round them, and we sat on chairs opposite them. Four of them
were very handsome; two would have been beautiful anywhere. I suppose
they were Cashmerees, they were so fair. Their heads look too large,
from the quantity of pearls with which they load them, and their
nose-rings conceal all the lower part of the face, and hang down almost
to the waist. First, a crescent of diamonds comes from the nose, and to
that is hung strings of pearls, and tassels of pearls, and rings of
pearls with emerald drops. I can't imagine how they can bear the weight;
and their earrings are just the same.

Their immense almond-shaped black eyes are very striking. The
conversation is always rather stupid: they laughed at our bonnets, and
we rather _jeered_ their nose-rings. They asked to hear my repeater
strike, and I begged to feel the weight of their earrings, &c. Kurruck
Singh was treated with the greatest respect by his five stepmothers; his
own is dead.

They gave us rather shabby presents; a small pearl necklace, and diamond
bracelets. They utterly spoiled my new satin gown by that horrid attar
they smear over their guests, and then we came away. I wish I could make
out how these women fill up their lives. Heera Singh said they each had
a little room of their own, like that we saw, but never went out of the
anderoon on any occasion.


Saturday.

It is a pouring day. We are encamped in the old bed of the river, and a
very wet bed the river must have slept in. I never saw such a quagmire
as my tent is. Nobody has been without a cold since we were at
Ferozepore, but the sneezing and coughing never ceases now.

Everybody is paddling about in overshoes, and we are carried to dinner
in palanquins, and have trenches dug round our bedrooms, which are full
of water. G. and I went to the leave-taking in the shut carriage, with
Kurruck Singh and A----. Kurruck was greatly taken with my green satin
cloak, and made so many hints for my boa, that it was only the
impossibility of getting another, and a remarkably bad cold in my head,
that prevented my giving it to him.

Runjeet looked wonderfully better to-day. An hour was passed in giving
khelwuts to all our gentlemen. He has got a cunning way of cutting off a
great many with the 'Bright Star of the Punjâb,' his new order. It is
worth about fifty rupees.

G. gave this morning the usual khelwuts of 1,000 rupees to all Runjeet's
sirdars; the exchange will be a dead loss to the Company, and will
eventually be the death of C. Runjeet's presents to G. were his picture
set in diamonds, with two rows of pearls; a sword, matchlock, and belt,
much bejewelled; a pair of shawls embroidered in seed-pearl, and the
usual accompaniments--nothing very handsome.

When the distribution was ended, Runjeet said to G., 'Now speak some
words of friendship to me.' So then G. made his farewell, and ended by
saying he hoped Runjeet would wear a parting gift he had brought--that
bunch of emerald grapes we got at Simla.

They produced a great effect. Kurruck Singh and Noor Mahal, who were
sitting on the other side of me, got up to see them, and there was a
murmur of applause, which is unusual at a durbar. Runjeet asked if G.
had any request to make to him; and G. said only one more, that he would
occasionally wear the ring he was going to put on his finger, and he
produced the ring, made of one immense diamond, that was sent up from
Calcutta on speculation. It nearly covered Runjeet's little finger, and
it was quite odd to see the effect it had on the old man. He raised
himself quite up, and called for a candle to put behind it, and seemed
quite taken by surprise; and the gentlemen said that they overheard all
the Sikhs commenting on the generosity of the Governor-General, and the
_real_ friendship he must have for the Maharajah to give him such
presents. Runjeet took a most tender farewell of us; and so now that is
done.


Monday, Dec. 31.

After church, yesterday, Runjeet sent his treasures down with his great
diamond, 'the Light of the World,' which I did not see when the others
saw it. It is very large, but not very bright. There were also some
immense emeralds--some of those we had seen on the horses--and some
enormous rubies. It was a curious sight. G.'s presents, however, looked
very handsome, even amongst all these; and the treasurer said Runjeet
had had them in the morning to show to his chiefs, and that some of them
had advised him to have the _grapes_ made into a rosary, but he said he
never would have it altered; it should always be shown as a proof of the
Governor-General's generosity, just as he gave it to him. The ring,
which did not cost so much, the Sikhs, however, value still more.

In the afternoon, F. and I went to pay our visit to Mrs. Shere Singh.
Shere Singh thought it had been given up, and has been teasing E.'s
heart out about it. It would have been ill-natured not to go, and,
moreover, we should have missed a very pretty sight. We have never been
to any of their tents. Pertâb came to fetch us. The tents are very near
ours, and very showy-looking--all red and white stripes.

We were received with a very noisy salute, and all his own goocherras,
in their fancy dresses, were drawn up on each side of some fine shawl
carpets. Shere Singh was a mass of gold and jewels himself, and it was a
fine sight to see him come to the entrance, with all his people about
him.

We went first to a little tent, where we left E. and the two
aides-de-camp, and which was fitted up very like an English
drawing-room, full of plate, and musical-boxes, and china. I suppose the
French officers have taught him how to arrange a room; indeed, General
A. brought him most of the things. He went into an inner tent, and
fetched out two wives--Pertâb's mother, who is the chief ranee, and a
second wife, who was immensely fat, and rather ugly; but Pertâb's mother
was one of the prettiest little creatures I ever saw, very like Jenny
Vertpré, but with the longest almond-eyes in the world, and with hands
like a little child's. They were dressed just like Runjeet's ranees, but
were much more talkative, and we stayed a long time with them, Rosina
interpreting. I told her that Shere Singh had made me a present of
Pertâb, and that I hoped she would let me take him to England. And she
took it seriously; the tears came into those large eyes, and she said,
'You have other amusements, and you are going back to your own country;
there are four of us, and our only happiness is to see Pertâb; in
another country he would be as dead!' and then she put her little arms
around him, and kissed him, and the other fat wife gave him a hug, and
said she should die without him. The mother looked like a little girl
herself. They gave us splendid presents, much finer than any of
Runjeet's, and showed off all their own nicknackeries, and wanted us
very much to come again, but we march to-morrow. I should like to see
some of these high-caste ladies several times, without all this nonsense
of presents, &c., but so as to hear their story, and their way of life,
and their thoughts. She did not seem at all afraid of Shere Singh, which
is very unusual, and I believe does not see much of him.


New Year's Day.

There! we left Lahore yesterday; we have made two marches, and shall
cross the river in four more; and now it appears this post is to go only
eighteen days after the last. This is a good day for winding-up of a
Journal.



CHAPTER XXXI.


Camp, near the Sutlej, Sunday, Jan. 6, 1839.

I have allowed myself my accustomed four days' rest after sending off my
Journal, and it comes just at a good time. We have had only our common
marches to make from Lahore, and no break except that afforded by Shere
Singh and little Pertâb, who were again sent with us by the Maharajah,
to see us safe across the river, and who were by way of being very
sentimental at parting with us. I believe, however, our dear friend
Shere is as great a rogue as may well be--at least, like all courtiers
under a despotic king, he is full of intrigue and falseness, being
always on the watch to provide for his own safety. He is also very
extravagant, and has to go through a course of constant makeshifts to
keep himself afloat.

There are various ways of getting one's debts paid in various countries.
Shere Singh is out of favour with the Maharajah; but the other day
Runjeet put a pea on the point of a spear, and told all the sirdars to
shoot at it from a considerable distance. Shere Singh hit it at the
first shot, and Runjeet gave him six villages; and it is always by some
feat of that kind that they wring a gratuity from the old man. Shere
brought one evening a beautiful pair of shawls, such as are only made
for the females of the Singh family, and gave them to F. and me, begging
that we would really keep them and wear them, and nothing was to be
given in exchange for them. I am sure we had fairly earned them by
having him at dinner almost every day for a month; but, however, we
handsomely added them to the public stock, and as soon as a committee of
shawl merchants has sat on them, we are to buy them. The melancholy
catastrophe of the week has been the death of F.'s lemur, after two days
of illness. It caught cold, like the rest of the camp, in that swamp at
Lahore, and died of inflammation in the stomach, so violent that no
medicine was of the slightest use. Poor little wretch! it was hardly
possible to bear its screams at times; though as F. could not stand it,
I did my auntly duties to it to the last. It is really a great loss, it
was such a clever little animal, and she made such a constant
occupation of it, that she misses it much, and is in a very low state. I
own I miss it too, and then its illness has been so shocking. It had
such cramps, and held out its little black hands (which are shaped
exactly like ours) to be rubbed, and cried just like a child. That is
the worst of a nice pet. However, they are a great amusement for the
time they last, and there is, on an average, at least a year's pleasure
for a week's grief. A natural death, too, is an uncommon termination to
the life of a pet, and Dr. D. did everything that could be done for it.


Moothea, Jan. 9.

We left the Sutlej on Monday, and are halting to-day. Our dear friend
Mr. C., of Umballa, laid out such a long march for us yesterday, that
all the cattle are knocked up. We rode about twice the distance we
intended to have done, which was no joke. Luckily he had his doubts
about the villany of the proceeding, and had provided provisions for two
days, so that we were able to stop a day. This is a shocking country for
robberies. It belongs to nobody in particular, and the inhabitants
avowedly live by plunder. Last night they took two pittarrahs belonging
to one of the clerks, and beat the sepoy who was guarding them
dreadfully. They also robbed and beat a camel suwar who was bringing us
letters from Ferozepore.


Thursday, Jan. 10.

We had another very long march, and found on arriving at the advanced
camp that there had been another robbery. Some of Mr. ----'s boxes were
taken, and some belonging to an officer, whose kitmutgar was cut by a
sabre across the chest. The poor sepoy is dead, who was so beaten. The
servants are in a shocking state of fright, though it is a little their
own fault if they are robbed. At two in the afternoon, one set of them
go on with all the stores, wine, grain, &c., and a strong guard; and we
have settled to send our precious imperials, camel trunks, &c., by
day-light. At nine in the evening, all the plate, dinner things,
furniture, a great many tents, and the servants that will be wanted in
the morning, go with an escort. If they stray away they are instantly
robbed. All the rest come in the morning with us, when there are four
regiments on the road, so that is quite safe. To-night Colonel ---- is
going to send the fourth cavalry to patrol the road. These little
warlike precautions are becoming interesting.


Moothee, Friday, Jan. 11.

Worse and worse. When we came up to the advanced camp, the servants
declared there had been an _engagement_. I think we are doing more
business than ever the army will do in Cabul. Our great battle of
Mootheesund was fought in the night, which makes it curious as a matter
of history. Four sepoys were guarding a train of pittarrahs. The
inhabitants of the village (as was perhaps to be expected) wished to
appropriate their contents. A hundred men attacked the four sepoys; the
sepoys naturally screamed; the cavalry came up; the hundred men ran
away; cavalry, sepoys, and pittarrah bearers all joined in the pursuit;
the thieves ran home, and, I suppose, went to bed; and our forces
brought off the jemadar of the village, who says he had nothing to do
with it, and he wishes they would let him go again.


Budhoo, Saturday, Jan. 12.

We had a nice short march this morning, just ten miles. I am quite able
to ride again now, which lessens the fatigue materially; and I believe
it is now universally allowed that my horse is entirely faultless. Of
course it cannot be so in fact, but it has every appearance of it at
present. It is beautiful, and it does not kick nor bite, which all the
others do, nor stumble as most Arabs do, nor pull, nor dawdle. I am so
obliged to it. I hate a vicious horse, don't you? and you cannot guess
how troublesome they are in this country.


Tuesday, Jan. 15.

This morning we went half-way in the carriage and then got on elephants,
to meet the Rajah of Putteealah, whose territories we enter to-day. His
son came last night to meet G. He is a fine-looking boy, about eighteen.
Mr. E. says that the usual custom among the Sikhs is, that once grown
up, a boy ceases to be a son, or a brother--that he becomes an
_individual_, bound only to take care of himself; but the Putteealah
rajah has broken through this system, and has kept his son in his own
palace, under his own control. Last night was the first time he had ever
slept from under his father's roof. He had a grey-bearded tutor, who
never left his side, and an immense suite. Mr. E. says father and son
are on excellent terms. The rajah's procession was beautiful; not so
large as some of Runjeet's, but more regularly handsome, as all his
followers were equally well dressed, and their riding was very
striking. Runjeet's men cannot ride at all. Some of the men we saw this
morning put their horses into a gallop and then stood up on their
saddles, stooping down to the right and left to cut away the weeds with
their swords, very much what people do at Astley's, only there the
horses go round in a circle, which makes it more easy. Here, there is
not even a made road. Another man would ride up and fire off his
matchlock at a friend and then throw himself on the side of his horse,
hanging only by one stirrup, till his pursuer had returned the fire, and
then he would rise up again and stop his horse with the greatest ease.
Two little dwarfs rode before the rajah. We had them here this afternoon
to draw, and gave them two shawls, which pleased him much. He knows the
rules about presents in the Company's service, and when he and Mr. E.
were coming to the durbar in the evening, he saw these dwarfs strutting
along with their shawls on. He asked where they got them from; they said
the Lady Sahib gave them: upon which the rajah turned round to his Sikh
and asked, 'May they keep them?' and then laughed with Mr. E. at his
knowing exactly what the English would say. This evening the Bombay
extra arrived with news to the 27th of October; all good news.


Wednesday, Jan. 16.

Besides the overland letters, this has been a great day of _idle_
business for G. and his staff. F. and I left the camp at the usual time,
and a bitter nasty day it was; a regular thick Indian fog. We rode most
part of the way with Captain X. and ---- 'Frump,' Esq., as we always
call him, not but what he is rather a pleasant man, but he _frumps_
things in general, and wears a rough coat and stern-looking gloves, and
never can see the fun of anything, and his name begins with an F., so I
think it very likely he was christened 'Frump.' He was remarkably
frumpish with the fog, which almost blinded us till the sun rose. The
unhappy G. remained with his staff to breakfast at seven, and then set
off in full-dress to return Putteealah's visit. He gave them magnificent
presents; amongst others, a horse with a gold howdah, and caparisoned
like an elephant, and it sticks out its leg for the rider to mount by
just as an elephant does. The little howdah would make Chance's
establishment quite complete, but the idea of presenting it to him has
not yet crossed C.'s mind apparently. From that durbar they came on to
the camp, and were met by the old Rajah of Nabun, a Sikh chief, and a
fine-looking old creature, and he brought G. home. Then they dressed,
and at two had to _full-dress_ again for a durbar to this old creature,
and he asked G. to bring us in the evening to see his garden, so the
gentlemen had to put on their uniforms a third time. Towards dusk, young
Nabun (Nabun junior) came to fetch us, and we all scuttled along on
elephants to a very ugly dilapidated garden, lit up in an elaborate
manner, where the old man met us, but could hardly walk from age. A. and
Mr. C. kept charging G. on no account to sit down, as the rajah was not
of sufficient rank to receive a visit from the Governor-General, and G.
kept declaring that he knew he should sit down at last, so he might as
well do it at once. However, they would not hear of it, but kept
walking him about; and the old man went up into a garden house to rest,
while the son did the honours. Then G. would go up to this house, and
then up the steps, A. and C. objurgating him all the while; then the
cunning old Nabun asked him to look at the paintings in the room. A. and
C. grew desperate, and said the pictures were very improper. G. declared
they were very pretty; and so we all went in and found a whole row of
chairs, and a select assortment of nautch girls. G. sank down on one
side of the rajah and told me to sit on the other, and so ended the
advice of A. and C., and Nabun now thinks himself as good as Putteealah.
That is the great result of this great measure, and C.'s hurt feelings
were soothed by a pair of diamond bracelets that the old man gave me,
and which I delivered to him. A large display of fireworks took place,
and we came home in the dark.


Thursday, Jan. 17.

A rainy miserable sort of day, but not bad enough to prevent the tents
from moving. We had several of the camp to dinner. St. Cloup is longing
for our arrival at Kurnaul, that he may vary his cookery a little. We
cannot kill a cow in the face of all these Sikhs, and at Simla the
natives do not like it; so it is a long time since we have had the
luxury of a beef-steak or a veal cutlet.



CHAPTER XXXII.


Soonair, Friday, Jan. 18, 1839.

We halt here till Monday. There is a great gathering of petty chiefs,
and our arrival was very pretty. Each man came on his elephant, with a
few wild followers on horseback, some with a second elephant, and they
all scramble up to G., every individual giving him a bow and arrows, or
a matchlock. His hand was soon full, then his howdah was hung with them;
the hirkaru behind was buried in bows; then they boiled over into our
howdahs, and at every break in the road a fresh chief and more bows
appeared.

At last we came to Mr. E., bringing the Nahun rajah. Don't you in your
ignorance go and confound him with the old _Nabun_ rajah. This is the
Nahun chief whom we visited last year in the hills, and who is very
gentlemanlike and civilised. I have found out why I was so glad to see
him again. He has light blue eyes, and after three years of those
enormous black beads the natives habitually see with, these were mild
and refreshing. They all brought us to the camp in a drizzling rain,
which came on to a pour in the course of the day, and a wretched
business it always is. All the servants and camp followers look so
miserable and catch such bad colds. I thought when we were at Nabun that
an old man, a sort of prime minister of the rajah's, would make a good
drawing, and I told him so; and to-day he arrived, having made two
marches to have the picture drawn. He gave me his matchlock, which I
asked Captain D. to return with the usual speech, that it was much
better in his hands than in mine; but the old man said no; it was a
particularly good matchlock; he had shot with it very often, and I
should not easily find so good a one, so C. gave me a watch to present
to him in exchange, which quite delighted him. While Captain L. E. was
gone to fetch the watch, the old man took the opportunity to question my
jemadar about our habits, and I understood enough of the language to
make out that he was asking how many times we eat in the day. The
natives generally only eat once, but I believe they think our way of
eating at several different times rather grand; at all events, the
jemadar did not omit a spoonful, and it was rather shocking to hear how
many times in the day we were fed, beginning with the cup of coffee
before marching; and the afternoon cup of tea sounded wrong and
_waste-not-want-not-ish_. However, the old sirdar said it was all 'wah
wah'--excellent, to be able to eat so much.


Saturday, Jan. 19.

There was rather a pretty durbar this morning--two hundred of those Sikh
chiefs who gave our great Apollo his bows yesterday; and as they were
only shown in by fives and sixes, it made a very long durbar, and we
went over to make a sketch of it. I never can make a likeness of G. to
my mind, and yet there is always a look of your M. in my drawings of
him, so there must be a likeness somehow, either in the sketches or in
G. and M. That gentlemanlike Nahun rajah made Mr. A. bring him all
across the tent to shake hands with F. and me, all owing to his blue
eyes. Nobody with black eyes would have dreamed of so European an idea.
G. went out shooting this afternoon. There are heaps of partridges and
quails in this part of the country.

I thought of going out too, with my matchlock, only C. has claimed it
for the Company. We had a large dinner to-day, forty-five; all the
officers of the cavalry and artillery who leave us on Monday. One or two
of them got particularly drunk. They say some of them are always so,
more or less, but it happened to be _more_ this evening.


Sunday, Jan. 20.

Mr. Y. set off after church to go back to Simla for his wife's
_accouchement_. He will go scrambling up to Simla in a shorter time than
the post goes. He borrows a horse here, and rides a camel there, and the
Putteealah rajah is to lend him a palanquin; and he set off with some
cold dinner in one hand and 'Culpepper's Midwifery' in the other, which
he borrowed of Dr. D. at the last minute. He is very pleasant and
amusing; more like R. than ever.

Such a pleasure! a letter from the agent at Calcutta to say a box of
millinery has arrived at the Custom House per 'Robert Small.' Mine, to a
certainty! It has been rather more than seven months making its voyage,
and will be three more coming to the hills. I think it is about the last
great invoice for which I shall trouble you. Calcutta may provide itself
for the last few months; and my next order will be for a pelisse and
bonnet, &c., at _Portsmouth_. Good!


Monday, Jan. 21.

Rather a long march; and that generally brings a large riding party
together at the end; and once more W. and I had one of our hysterical
fits of laughter at the extraordinary folly of a march. We feel so
certain that people who live in houses, and get up by a fire at a
reasonable hour and then go quietly to breakfast, would think us raving
mad, if they saw nine Europeans of steady age and respectable habits,
going galloping every morning at sunrise over a sandy plain, followed by
quantities of black horsemen, and then by ten miles of beasts of burden
carrying things which, after all, will not make the nine madmen even
decently comfortable. We have discovered that a mad doctor is coming out
here, and we think it must be a delicate attention of yours; but when he
sees us ride into Rag Fair every morning, for no other reason than that
we have left another Rag Fair ten miles behind, I am sure he will say he
can do us no good. It is very kind of you to have sent him, but we are
incurable, thank you, and as long as we are left at large we shall go
about in this odd way. There is your missing September letter, with T.'s
and E.'s dear Journals. It went to Calcutta, and came with the October
packet. Newsalls sounds very delightful, and I mean to live there
constantly, and to see a great many cricket matches. How very
disagreeable that Sister should look so young. I look much older now
than she did when we came away, so we shall never know which of us ought
to respect the other.


Tuesday, Jan. 22.

We are more mad than ever!--at least we have got ourselves into one of
those scrapes that mad people do. There is a wretched little rivulet, a
thing not so big as that ditch by old Holledge's, at Elmer's End, which
we were to have crossed this morning. This little creek, which is quite
dry ten months of the year, and at the best of times is only called the
Gugga, suddenly chose to rise in the night, and there is now seven feet
of water in it, which puts crossing out of the question. There is only
one boat, and a helpless magistrate on the other side.

The cavalry and artillery who left us yesterday will of course be
stopped by the same river higher up, and Mr. C. has sent to carry off
their one boat too; and in the meantime we are at a dead lock. Luckily,
there is very good shooting here. I could not imagine this morning why
Wright did not come to dress me after the bugles sounded, and I kept
sending message after message to her, with a sort of wild idea that
everybody would march, and I should be left lying in bed in the middle
of this desert, with nothing to put on, and no glass to dress by; a sort
of utter destitution.

The hirkaru who slept in the tent happened to speak no English, so I
never understood a word of the long Hindustani speeches he kept
screaming through the partitions, and at last Wright came, cold and
sleepy. 'Law, ma'am, did not you know the river was full, and we can't
go? and all the things have come back except the kitchen things, so I
thought you would like a good sleep.' Luckily, the kitchen recrossed
before breakfast time.


Noodeean, Thursday, Jan. 24.

That little ditch the Gugga is quite pompous with twenty feet of water,
and it has been dry for three years, and was nearly so on Monday, so we
are just a day too late. We moved eight miles nearer to it merely for
the love of moving, and are now at Noodeean--evidently a corruption of
Noodleland, or the land to which we noodles should come. I want to leave
the last camp standing, and to march backwards and forwards between the
two; it would be just as good as any other Indian tour. We came on
elephants to this place, careering wildly over the country, that the
gentlemen might shoot; there never was anything like the tribes of
quails and partridges, but it is very difficult to shoot them from an
elephant. The hotty goes lumbering on, and it is just a chance whether
the gun that is pointed at a hare on the ground, is not jerked up so as
to kill a rock pigeon overhead. G. killed ten quails, which was more
than anybody else did. Rajah Hindu Rao, who is now so habitually with us
that we look upon him as a native aide-de-camp, took pains to miss, I
think, that he might not seem to shoot better than G.

In the afternoon G. went out on foot with Captain X. and shot an
antelope, which is really a great feat. There is a Mr. N., the
magistrate to whom we rightfully belong to-day, and who ought to be
wringing his hands constantly, and plying eternally between our camp and
the river, a victim to remorse that he has not made a bridge of boats in
time; instead of which, N.'s tents are seen in the distance the other
side of the water, and he never stirs from them, and all the notice he
has taken of us is a message that perhaps he had better go back and
prepare for us at Hansi, as there seems little chance of our crossing
for a week. We tell Mr. C. that if he had been N. this never would have
happened. He has got two boats from those unhappy regiments up the
river, and moreover he has succeeded to-day in recovering great part of
Mrs. B.'s stolen property, her bracelets and some of her gowns, which
have been _buried_ in some Sikh village, and I fancy are not the better
for the operation. The thieves have been sent up to Runjeet, and his
justice is rather severe, I am afraid.

C. set off yesterday with all his clerks and establishment, and writes
word that by making the villagers work all night, he has passed them
all, except the camels, who detest water and will not swim. X. and A.
went off this afternoon to pass our goods, and W. went in the evening.


Friday, Jan. 25.

We marched this morning, that is, we rode five miles to this wicked
little Gugga, which is not forty yards wide, and yet gives us all this
trouble. Captain S. overtook us half-way, and said that he had been
detained by finding Wright and Jones at the last camp left without any
conveyance. Their elephant, by some mistake, had been sent on to the
ghaut, and all the usual spare resources had been sent away last night,
so he found them _walking_. He sent them his elephant as soon as he
could overtake it, but they had walked two miles, much to the wonder of
the natives.

I never saw such a scene as the ghaut--such a conglomeration of carts,
sepoys, bullocks, trunks, &c., and 600 camels, who would not go any
way. About 200 had been coaxed over. F. and I went down there after
luncheon, and sat on the shore to see the fun. W., X., P., and L. E. had
each taken the command of one of the boats; and with one European the
natives work very well. They each had on their broad white feather hats
to keep off the sun, and a long stick to keep the people from crowding
into the boats, and looked like pictures of slave-drivers, and were
screaming and gesticulating, and hauling packages in and out. The only
way of passing the camels was by tying six of them in a string to the
tail of an elephant, who then swam across, dragging them all after him.
They did so hate it! I suppose it must be much the same as we should
feel if we were dragged through a bed of hot sand, which is what the
camels really love. The water was like a deep canal; nothing was to be
seen of the elephant but his trunk, and the mahout standing on his back
holding on like grim death by the elephant's ears. The hackeries were
pushed into the water, some of them very high covered carts, but they
disappeared instantly, and were dragged under the water; then if they
stuck anywhere, a dear, good elephant would go in and rake about and
push them along with his great hard head. A little further up, there
might be seen a troop of bullocks refusing to take the water, and at
last driven in, and their owners swimming behind and holding on by their
tails. This has been going on ever since Tuesday morning. Captain P. and
his sergeant have not had their clothes off for three days, and look
thoroughly exhausted. The tent pitchers have also been at work in the
water for three days. What I hate most in a camp is the amount of human
and brute suffering it induces; luckily, there were no lives lost this
time; an elephant picked up one little boy who was drowning. Webb's tame
bear was nearly lost, and when he got into the boat, he turned round to
X. and said, 'I hope, sir, Miss Eden seed me a saving of my bear; it
would make such a pretty _skitch_.' The villain N. met us at the ghaut,
and came to visit us in the morning--not the least ashamed of
himself--but he is by no means an unpolished _jungle-man_: rather the
contrary, jolly and pleasant, only that he has nearly forgotten his
English. He laughs like that Dr. G. we used to know, and says with a
great 'Ho! ho! ho!' If it had not been an inconvenience on account of
supplies, it is just as well you should have been stopped in this way.
You ought to see the hard-_ships_ of a camp life.' I wonder what the
ships of a camp life are which are not _hard_-ships?



CHAPTER XXXIII.


Saturday, Jan. 26, 1839.

We made our march this morning, but found all the people who had been
obliged to come on last night so knocked up that I have persuaded G. to
give up his intention of marching to-morrow. We seldom have marched on
Sunday, and this is a bad time to begin. In short, it was nearly
impossible. The sergeant who lays out the advanced camp is in bed with
fever from fatigue.


Wednesday, Jan. 30.

It is four days since I have been able to write. I was 'took so shocking
bad' with fever on Sunday, caught, it is supposed, at that
river-side--that eternal Gugga. Captain L. E. was seized just in the
same way, and several of the servants, so we all say we caught it there;
but it is all nonsense--every inch of the plains in India has its fever
in it, only there is not time to catch them all. I think the Gugga fever
is remarkably unpleasant, and I did not know that one head and one set
of bones could hold so much pain as mine did for forty-eight hours. But
one ought to be allowed a change of bones in India: it ought to be part
of the outfit. I hope it is over to-night; but as things are, I and L.
E., with Captain C. and the doctor, are going straight to Hansi
to-morrow--only a short march of ten miles, thereby saving ourselves two
long marches of sixteen miles, which G. makes to Hissar, and giving
ourselves a halt of three days to repair our shattered constitutions.

It is so absurd to hear people talk of their fevers. Mr. M. was to have
joined us a month ago, but unfortunately caught 'the Delhi fever' coming
up: he is to be at Hansi. Z. caught the 'Agra fever' coming up; hopes to
be able to join us at Hansi, but is doubtful. Then N., our Hansi
magistrate, looks with horror at Hansi: he has suffered and still
suffers so much from 'that dreadful Hansi fever.' I myself think 'the
Gugga fever' a more awful visitation, but that is all a matter of
opinion. Anyhow, if N. wished us to know real hardship, fever in camp is
about the most compendious definition of intense misery I know. We
march early each morning; so after a racking night--and I really can't
impress upon you the pain in my _Indian_ bones--it was necessary at
half-past five--just when one might by good luck have fallen asleep--to
get up by candle-light and put on bonnet and cloak and ---- one's
_things_ in short, to drive over _no_ road. I went one morning in the
palanquin, but that was so slow, the carriage was the least evil of the
two. Then on arriving, shivering all over, we were obliged to wait two
hours till the beds appeared; and from that time till ten at night, I
observed by my watch that there was not one minute in which they were
not knocking tent-pins, they said into the ground, but by mistake they
all went into my head--I am sure of it, and am convinced that I wear a
large and full wig of tent-pins. Dr. D. put leeches on me last night,
and I am much better to-day. L. E. is of course ditto: the Gugga fevers
are all alike.


Hansi, Friday, Feb. 1.

I went to sleep at last last night, and am much better to-day; but I see
what N. means about Hansi. Such a place!--not, poor thing! but that it
may be a charming residence in fine weather; but we have had such a wet
day. It began to pour in the night. I am very glad I resisted G.'s offer
of giving me half the horses and the shut carriage, for I suspect even
with all the horses they will have had some difficulty in making out
their long march. Such a road as ours was!--nearly under water. I
started in my palanquin, but after the first three miles the bearers
could hardly get on at all: they stuck and they slipped, and they
helped each other into holes and handed each other out again, but
altogether we did not get on. Captain P. was to have driven me the last
half of the way in his buggy; and as his elephant was like my
bearers--slipping and sticking--we sent on one of the guards for the
buggy, and contrived to get on very well in that. When we came to what
is nominally called 'the ground,' it looked like a very fine lake, in
which my tent and the durbar tent and Dr. D.'s were all that were not
standing in the water. P. and the jemadar carried me in a chair into
mine, and there I was left alone in my glory. He and L. E. took the
durbar tent, their own tents having a foot of water in them.

Captain D. went to live with his brother, who has a bungalow here, which
he very kindly offered me. It is pouring so again to-night that I wish I
had taken it; but then if I had carried off the cook and the
dining-tables and the lamps, &c., I thought the aides-de-camp would be
wretched, and L. E. is not well enough to go out; but to be sure, these
tents! If it were not for the real misery to so many people, the
incidents of the day would have been rather amusing. There is not of
course a tent for the servants, so they are living in the khenauts (the
space between the outer covering and the lining of our three tents), and
there are thirty sleeping in my outer room, if room it may be called.
The difficulties went on increasing. W.'s greyhounds, ten of them, were
standing where his tent (now at Hissar) usually is, and the men said
they would die, so we put them in the khenauts and told the dogs that
they must not bark and the men that they must not cough, and hitherto
they have been very quiet. My syce came to tell P. that my horse was not
used to stand out all day in the rain, and that if it did Mr. Webb would
kill him. I should assist at the execution, though how the poor syce
could help it I don't quite see. I would have given Orelio my own
blankets willingly and put him to bed with my own nightcap on, but
unluckily the bed did not come till the afternoon, and was then a
perfect sponge. However, we lodged the horse somehow. Then F. had two
Barbary goats, which she had ordered on the lemur's death, thinking they
were pretty, soft, hairy things, instead of which there arrived two days
ago, large, smooth, _bleak_-looking English goats. However, she told me
to take the greatest care of them when they came up. At twelve, a coolie
without a stitch of clothes on, walked in with a Barbary kid on his
back, stiff and stark. No interpreter at hand, so where the mother was
remained a mystery. F. might have fancied to her dying hour that I had
let her Barbary goats die--nobody ever thinks their children or pets are
properly taken care of; so I set off rubbing, and made my two boys,
Soobratta and Ameer, rub the kid too, and we poured hot things down its
throat. We should have been worth millions to the Humane Society, but
the kid would not come to. Then I made them dig a hole in the outer tent
and put charcoal in it, and when it was quite hot we took out the
charcoal and put in the kid--just like singeing a pig; but it was a
bright idea, and quite cured it. Just as we had got the little brute on
its legs, the mother was brought in, and we went through the same
process with her. When they were quite well, they were also sent to
sleep in the khenauts.

The bandsmen, who are chiefly Europeans, came to say they had no
shelter. 'Sleep in the khenauts,' was the only answer; and we gave them
what remained of our dinner, for the kitchen was under water. Mr. ----
arrived, and I asked him to dinner too. It is fine to-day, and the tents
came up in the middle of the night. We have got a paper of the 24th
November, so the overland has arrived, and G. will bring us some letters
to-morrow.


Saturday, Feb. 2.

And he has brought plenty--your's and E.'s Journals amongst others.


Mahem, Tuesday, Feb. 5.

I was taken with a worse attack of ague than ever as I was writing to
you on Saturday, and was obliged to go to bed for two days. Luckily, it
went off just before marching time yesterday morning, and I am taking
narcotine at all convenient hours. I believe it is a remedy that has
been invented in this country--at all events introduced--by Dr.
O'Shaughnessy. Dr. D. has tried it in many cases, and it has never
failed where the patients can bear it, but it makes many people quite
giddy and delirious. I do not mind it at all, and am much better to-day.
Two of our bearers, old servants, are dying of cholera from that last
wetting.



CHAPTER XXXIV.


Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1839.

Another rainy night, and we have come on to another sloppy encampment,
and I am sorry to say those bearers, and two more, have died of cholera
to-day--all owing to the wet, Dr. D. says. The magistrate here has
politely offered us his house to-morrow, and as Captain P. sends back
word he cannot find dry ground for half the dripping tents, U. Hall will
be a God-send.


Thursday, Feb. 7.

Dear U.! such a nice, dry, solid house. I suppose it would strike us as
small on common occasions, but it looks to me now like the dryest, best
built, most solid little palace I ever inhabited, what people call
'quite Palladian.' I rather like hitting myself a good hard knock
against the thick solid walls, and then the pleasure of walking along
the hard floor without fur slippers and without hearing the ground
_squelch_! The quiet, too, is worth its weight in gold (though how it is
to be weighed I don't quite know).

F. and W. went out coursing this evening. G. was detained by letters
just as he and I were going out, so I thought it would be polite and
sent to ask U. to go out with X. and me; and he brought me a little
wooden cup of his own turning, with which I was obliged to be quite
delighted, in fact I was; it was a very good little cup, and then he
said, 'I did it from recollection of the famous vase in the Vatican.
Does it remind you of Rome?' I could luckily say I had never been there,
but I am not very sure that that little box-wood cup and the mud walls
of U.'s house would naturally have brought Rome into my mind.


Sunday Evening, Feb. 10.

We went into our tents again on Friday, with a long march of fifteen
miles. The tents were still damp. By twelve o'clock I began to shiver,
tried to go out in the afternoon and came back in a regular shake, had a
horrid night, and after yesterday morning's march was obliged to go to
bed again with violent head-ache and fever. It has gone off this
afternoon, and the day's halt has been a great mercy; but Dr. D. says he
does not think I shall get well in a camp, it disagrees so utterly with
me. G. has ascertained there are four good rooms in the Residency at
Delhi, which is never occupied now, so X. has gone on with my furniture
and servants, and to-morrow I am going to drive straight on there; the
camp will come to Delhi on Tuesday. I shall only be half a mile from
them, but out of the noise and in a dry house. I have grown just like
that _shaking_ wife of 'Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaws.'


Monday, Feb. 11.

I made out my double march most successfully with three relays of
horses. X. rode out to the other camp to show me the way in; he had had
all the broken windows glazed, and Mrs. B. had sent curtains; the rooms
look very clean and nice. The house stands in a small shady park, with a
nice garden, and the quiet is delightful. I went to sleep directly
after breakfast, and am better, thank you. W. came on to Delhi to set
all his shooting expedition going, and he dines here with X. and Dr. D.,
who are encamped in the court-yard, and they will drink tea with me. I
often think of former days and of being ill at Bower Hall and at
Langley, with you and L. taking all the trouble of it, and that it is
done in a different _method_ now--X. coming in when I am in my
dressing-gown on the sofa, to ask about the numberless articles that a
crowded camp necessitates, and saying, 'I have had relays of bearers for
Rosina, because I should like her to be there with me, that she may show
me how to arrange your rooms; and is there any particular diet the
khansamah should provide? I shall send on the young khansamah, he says
he knows what you like; and when I am gone, Captain L. E. begs you will
send to him, if you think of anything that will make you more
comfortable.'

It is very good of them, poor dears! and I think I give them a great
deal of trouble; but then I never meant when I came into the world to be
nursed by all these young gentlemen. It cannot be helped; everything in
India must be done by men. Giles is very useful on these occasions, and
what people do without an English man-servant, I can't guess.


Tuesday, Feb. 12.

This must go. Such a volume! it may as well go to the Admiralty. G. and
F. arrived at the camp this morning, and F. is sitting here. They are
only half a mile off, but Dr. D. has made up his mind that I shall not
go near the camp till all parties and dinners are over. G. is going to
drive me out this afternoon.


Residency, Delhi, Monday, Feb. 18.

I have been staying here a week to-day, with some degree of success,
though I had a great deal of fever yesterday. F. went over yesterday
with three or four of the sketching gentlemen to the Kootûb, and comes
back to-morrow. Dr. D. would not let me go when it came to the time, and
indeed it was impossible, as it turned into a fever day, but I should
have liked to see it again. I heard from F. to-day, and she says it is
more beautiful than ever, and that they shall stay till to-morrow
afternoon, for they have found such quantities of sketching to do. It is
certainly _the_ place in the plains I should like to live at. It has a
feeling about it of 'Is not this great Babylon?' all ruins and
desolation, except a grand bit or two of magnificence kept up by the
king. Then, in the modern way there are nice drives, and a considerable
congregation of shawl merchants and jewellers. Our agate mania still
continues, and there is no end to the curiosities that have been brought
to light, or the price to which they have risen. They have been a great
amusement, as I have not been able to sketch, and altogether this is
rather a comfortable life for India. F. comes here for two hours in the
morning. Captain X. and Dr. D. superintend breakfast and luncheon. At
four, G. always comes, and we take a drive, and then, after six, I grow
feverish and am glad to be quiet till bed-time; and there is a little
undercurrent all the morning of W. O. and Captain L. E., and agates and
presents of flowers, &c. Major J. and Captain T. have come over to see
us; indeed the whole plain is dotted with the tents of people who have
come to see G.; he says he never had so many applicants before.


Tuesday, Feb. 19.

W. set off this morning on his tiger-shooting expedition. It has failed
in some respects. General E. is ordered off to join Sir S. R. at Bombay,
and G. cannot give leave to a Mr. H. here, who is a great tiger-hunter;
but he has a chance of another friend, and our native ally, Hindû Rao,
is going with him, or rather after him, for he says he cannot possibly
leave Delhi till the Lord Sahib goes, and every afternoon Hindû Rao
comes to the door with the carriage, and trots by its side all the way,
in his purple satin dress, and with his spear and shield. He says he
knows G. likes him, and he also knows the reason--that he has nothing to
ask for. He is very rich, and manages his money very well; and he likes
G., because he says 'he is real gentleman, as well as a
Governor-General, and treats other people as if they were gentlemen
too.'

Such a tea-pot to-day!--green serpentine, with a running pattern of
small rubies set in it. Much too lovely!

F. came back this afternoon, rather tired, but says the ruins are all
beautiful.


Wednesday.

I have had two Delhi miniature painters here, translating two of my
sketches into ivory, and I never saw anything so perfect as their copy
of Runjeet Singh. Azim, the best painter, is almost a genius; except
that he knows no perspective, so he can only copy. He is quite mad about
some of my sketches, and as all miniatures of well-known characters sell
well, he has determined to get hold of my book.

There is a fore-shortened elephant with the Putteealah Rajah in the
howdah, that particularly takes his fancy. However, I do not want them
to be common, so I cut out of the book those that I wish to have copied,
and I never saw a native so nearly in a passion as he was, because he
was not allowed the whole book. Their miniatures are so soft and
beautiful. F. has had your likeness of my father copied.


Camp, Thursday, Feb. 21.

I was quite sorry to leave the Residency yesterday, all the more so,
from my ague having been particularly severe last night; it is very odd
that nothing will cure it. However, we shall be at Simla in three weeks,
and there was a good deal of rain again last night, which is against
ague.


Friday.

We had such a frightful thunder-storm last night for three hours, with
rain that might have drowned us all; I never heard such a clatter. _Our_
tents stood it very well, but a great many tents were beat down, and all
the servants' tents were full of water. Luckily, this advanced camp
escaped great part of the storm, and the tents are much drier than those
we left. This is not good weather for ague; it goes lingering on, and
they say will do so, till I get to the hills. I keep very quiet, but I
shall be glad to be settled at Simla. You know I never could quite
understand the Psalms, but I see what David means when he says, 'Woe is
me that I am constrained to dwell with Mesech, and to have my habitation
in the tents of Kedar.' Mesech I think he was wrong about. I should have
no objection to dwell with him in a good house of his own, but the tents
of Kedar are decidedly very objectionable and 'woe-is-me-ish;'
double-poled tents, I have no doubt, and lined with buff and green.


Sunday, Feb. 24.

The idea of the December mail arriving this morning! letters of the
26th, less than two months old.

'Oliver Twist' we have read, doled out in monthly parts nearly to the
end, and I like it very much--but 'Nicholas Nickleby' still better. We
have left off there, at Miss Petowker's marriage, and Mrs. Crummles'
walking tragically up the aisle 'with a step and a stop,' and the infant
covered with flowers. There never was such a man as Dickens! I often
think of proposing a public subscription for him--'A tribute from
India'--and everybody would subscribe. He is the agent for _Europe_ fun,
and they do not grow much in this country.


Paniput, Tuesday.

We are progressing every day, but this is the same road we passed over
last year, so if there had been anything to say about it, you would not
wish me to say it twice over. Mr. ---- is with us, remarkably dull; but
since I have got him to tell me anecdotes of the Delhi royal family shut
up in their high walls, and of all the murders he has known, or
suspected, I think the time passes pleasantly, and he goes away early.

I am much better, and began dining down again yesterday, and the weather
has changed, which they say is to blow away all fevers; but Dr. D. says
the hospital is quite full, and the deaths amongst the servants this
year have been quite lamentable.


Gornadar, Wednesday, Feb. 27.

L. E. and Z. nearly had a tiff to-day. L. E. has taken charge of the
stables since Captain M. went away, and as there are sometimes from
sixty to a hundred horses there, while presents are going on from native
princes on the march, besides all our own horses, it is like a little
regiment occasionally, and L. E. is very gentle and quiet in his manner
to the syces and with Webb.

Captain Z. came into my tent this morning and flung himself into my
arm-chair--Mr. D.'s chair, that sacred piece of furniture. I thought it
an odd measure, but could not help it, and he began: 'I was just going
to say--what a delicious chair this is! such a spring!--I was just going
to say that I have been talking to Webb about your open carriage. I
understand you want it up here. I think of sending it to Dehra, for, as
I told Webb, the oxen can bring it back from Barr,' &c. I looked rather
frosty, and said I would think about it and let him know, and put it
off; and then he launched out about Paul de Cocq's novels, still seated
on that much-loved chair--'my goods, my property, my household stuff.'
As soon as he was gone, I got hold of X., who said he too had been
surprised, but thought that perhaps Captain L. E., who is acting for W.
in his absence, might have found he had too much to do, and so had made
over the stables to Z.

Then L. E. arrived, saying he really had been quite annoyed, happened to
be particularly fond of horses, had not a bit too much to do, had found
Captain Z. the other day giving orders about the relays for the march,
and had therefore taken the liberty of calling the four native coachmen
together and desiring them never to take orders from anybody but
himself. If Lord A. had chosen to ride that morning there would not have
been a riding horse on the line of march; but of course if I had told
Captain Z. to take charge of the stables, he would give it up, &c. I
said I never told anybody anything, and so I suppose they will settle it
between them.



CHAPTER XXXV.


Kurnaul, Thursday, Feb. 28, 1839.

We came in this morning with the usual fuss of a cantonment. I always
dread coming back to the two or three regiments we have met before,
because they are all so excessively astonished we do not know them all
again. That would not be possible, but at the same time I feel that it
is very stupid I should never know one. This time there is a hope--I
always know Colonel S., because he has only one arm; and two of the
other regiments went with us to the Punjâb, so we have not had time
quite to forget them. L. E. and Z. have evidently 'had it out,' and L.
E. has conquered. He was quite as firm as his natural gentleness would
allow, at luncheon-time, about all his arrangements. He had heard of a
new horse that would be worth looking at. He had sold a pony, found a
coachmaker, chosen a lining, rather thought we must have a new open
carriage, had made arrangements for leaving here my elephant, which has
got a rheumatic fever and can't move any one of its poor dear lumps of
legs without screaming.

In short, Z. was defeated with great loss. This place looks quite as
ugly as it did last year; all barracks and plain, and not a tree in
sight. I cannot think how people bear their cantonment life so well as
they do.

We have been setting ourselves up with mourning here, for poor ----, and
collected all the black goods in the place, consisting of four pairs of
black gloves, with a finger or so missing, and a pair of black earrings,
which I thought a great catch; and so they were, in fact--I was caught
quite out. They had evidently been made for the Indian market, and had
only mock hinges and clasps. Nobody could wear them; but they are nice
earrings if there were any way into them.


Friday.

We had an immense party last night. There are between sixty and seventy
ladies living here--most of them deserted by their husbands, who are
gone to Cabul; and they generally shut themselves up, but last night
they all agreed to come out. There were some very pretty people among
them; that little woman who marched with us last year, and whom we
called 'the little corpse,' came out again more corpse-like than ever.
The aides-de-camp had been agreeing in the morning to draw lots which of
them should dance with her, but afterwards settled it was the business
of the junior aide-de-camp; so they introduced Captain Z. to her, and he
is in such a rage this morning.

I am sorry to say we heard of an accident to W. O. to-day. We hope it
may turn out very slight, but it is alarming to think what it might have
been. He and the K.s had just arrived at Mazuffernuggur, and he was
driving their carriage, when a sudden jolt threw him first on the horses
and then under the wheel, which went over him just above the left hip.
No bone was touched, and there was evidently no internal injury, and
General K. said he had had as yet no fever, but of course he must be
laid up for a time, and probably will have to give up his shooting
party, which will be a sad blow, after having taken so much trouble to
organise it.

It must have been a frightful accident to see. 'Mon Dieu! ce que c'est
que de nous,' as that old housekeeper at the Château de Bilhère used to
say in her odd pâtois. An inch more or less might have been fatal to
dear W.


Saturday, March 2.

W. has had a good deal of fever in the night, but wonderfully little
pain. The shooting party is, however, quite out of the question; and as
the K.s must be longing to go on with their expedition, we all thought
it better that F. should go to take care of W. It is about forty-five
miles from here, and it takes about twenty-four hours to lay a dâk for
that short distance, and then you only average about three miles an
hour. One longs for a chaise and four and an inn under these
circumstances. A railroad we cannot even understand with our limited
locomotive capacities. F. has sent off her tents and baggage, and will
go to-morrow with Jones and P. to take care of them. I think poor W.
must want some of his own family. G. and F. went to the Station ball
last night. F. says there never was anything so amusing as the speeches.
A long one about G., and another about F. and me--what we had done for
society--added to its gaiety, and raised its tone, &c. &c. I should have
thought it was all the other way--that society had lessened _our_
gaiety, and lowered our tone; but who knows? there is a change
somewhere, it appears.


Sunday, March 3.

A very good account of W. this morning; he writes a few lines himself:
the next thing will be that he will go out shooting, so it is lucky F.
will be there to stop him. G. had another great dinner yesterday, and
then we went to a play that the privates of the artillery had got up,
supposing, or rather '_knowing_ that we were very fond of theatricals.'
They acted very well last year, but this was very much after the fashion
of Bottom the Weaver and Snug.

I only stayed through half of it, but F. said the second farce was worse
than the first.

F. and P. set off at half-past three to-day. He drove her in his buggy
the first sixteen miles, which will save her part of a long dâk journey.
She will not have quite thirty miles of palanquin, and will arrive
about seven to-morrow morning.


Thanesir, Tuesday, March 6.

We left Kurnaul yesterday morning rather late (at least we call
half-past six very late), for there was to be a great procession. All
the colonels and various others insisted on riding half-way with G., so
he cantered along in the sun, looking very hot, and very much obliged to
them, and casting longing looks at the open carriage at his side. All
our aides-de-camp turned back to pass another day at Kurnaul from the
half-way halt. Q. alone, guarded by his engagement to Miss U., was
enabled to go on steadily to take care of the camp. I never saw anything
so happy as the aides-de-camp were at Kurnaul; flirting with at least
six young ladies at once, visiting and luncheoning all the morning; then
our band played on the course in the afternoon; then there were dinners,
balls, plays, &c., and they always contrived to get a late supper
somewhere, so as to keep it up till four in the morning. I dare say
after four months of marching, during which time they have scarcely seen
a lady, that it must be great fun to come back to the dancing and
flirtation, which is, as we all know, very considerable amusement at
their age. I often think that with us their lives must be necessarily
dull and formal. Colonel T. had asked them all to dinner and music, and
they have all come back to-day, having had a charming evening.

C. sung, and Mrs. C. sung, and there was a harp, and a bride, &c. I
wish you could see Mrs. ----. She is past fifty--some say near
sixty--wears a light-coloured wig with very long curls floating down her
back, and a gold wreath to keep it on, a low gown, and she dances every
dance; and her forward step, and side step, with an occasional Prince of
Wales step, executed with the greatest precision, gave me sentimental
recollections of Jenkins, our dancing-master. He would have looked
admiringly at Mrs. ----'s performances.

P. got back this afternoon and brought a letter from F., who got over
her journey very well. He says W. is really quite well, though very
weak; but had begun smoking again, in defiance of the doctor.

They are to begin their march to-morrow, K.s and all together; W. in a
palanquin. The K.s must have had a horrid fright; the great jolt that
threw him off, shook them so, that they did not think of looking at the
coach-box, and only thought the horses were going very wildly. The syces
stopped the horses, and then told them that W. was lying in the road.
They were luckily close to the tent. He spoke at first and then fainted;
but he seems to have suffered very little pain. I hope he will not go
out shooting; the heat is very great, and will increase every day.

We are going to halt here to-morrow. It is a famous place for Hindu
devotion, I believe the most sacred in India; and all the Hindu sepoys
of the escort were very anxious for a halt, and a religious _wash_ in
the tank. G. and I stopped on our way in, to see the tomb, which has
that famous temple in its centre, and all our bearers and syces rushed
down to the water with great ardour. The Hindu religion has two
merits--this constant ablution, and the sacredness of their trees. This
place is really pretty from the avenues of peepul trees. It is so long
since we have seen a tree, that I am quite glad we are going to stay a
day with them; but our Mussulmaun followers will spoil them, they say.


Wednesday, March 6.

And so they have. G. and I went on the elephants yesterday evening to
see the town with our dear Mr. C., who took us up again at Kurnaul, and
J. and Mr. B. and various others. There was a great deal to see, and
just as we were turning towards home, we heard a violent _émeute_, and
several Brahmins came running after Mr. C. to say our camel drivers were
cutting down the trees, close by their mosque. Mr. C. had in the morning
sent sepoys with the camel drivers to prevent it, so he begged G. would
go himself to see justice done. It was a wicked scene. About two hundred
camel drivers working away, and three of the finest trees reduced to
stumps, and about a thousand Brahmins tearing their hair and screaming,
without daring to interfere.

We all flew into violent rages. G. sent off Captain Z. with one party of
the body-guard, and he _captured_ ten camel drivers and sent them off to
the camp. J. always throws out more legs and arms when he talks
Hindustani than any other human being, and he looked like an enraged
centipede, and finally jumped out of his howdah and began laying about
him with one of the despoiled branches. Mr. C. preached with much
unction to the Brahmins. Mr. B. looked vinegar at them, but was too
Indianised to speak.

The result was, that we took sixteen of the ring-leaders, made them
leave all the branches they had cut--so that the poor camels will be
starved--and marched home in great glory.

Captain D. has levied a fine of a hundred rupees on the camel men, and
paid it to the Brahmins, and as peepul trees grow again and rupees never
do, the Brahmins are comforted.


Thursday, March 7.

We marched this morning only eight miles, which is pleasant; and what is
still more so is, that there is a dâk bungalow close to our camp quite
empty--not a traveller stirring--so I have my furniture put into it, and
am comfortable. The heat of the tents the last three days has been
dreadful, and when I went down to luncheon just now the thermometer was
91° in the largest and coolest tent. X. and P. had some plans to copy
for G., and were so giddy they could not see. Q. had the headache. Z.
was in bed with fever. The doctor was simply depressed to that degree he
could not speak; and even G. thought it would be as well, if this heat
lasted, that Dr. D. should give him a black dose just to put by his
bedside. Of course there was no necessity for taking it, but he felt a
little odd, and it would be as well to have it at hand. J. came back
from luncheon quite charmed with this little bungalow, which is as cool
as an English hothouse at least, and looks on some beautiful cornfields,
and 'the browsing camel bells are tinkling' rather prettily.

I have not lived near the camels except at loading time, and had no
idea they could be so quiet and merely tinkling. I have made such a nice
little purchase to-day--two little girls of seven years old, rather
ugly, and one of them dumb. I gave three pounds for the pair--dirt
cheap! as I think you will own. They are two little orphans. The natives
constantly adopt orphans--either distant relations, or children that
they buy--and generally they make no difference between them and their
own children; but these little wretches were very unlucky. They belonged
to a very bad man, who was serving as a substitute for a sick servant
whom we sent back to Calcutta. This man turned out ill and got drunk,
upon which all the other Mussulmauns refused to associate with him, and
he lost caste altogether. Giles was very anxious to get rid of him, as a
drunken Mussulmaun is something so shocking we are all quite _affected_
by it. On Monday he gave us an opportunity to leave him at Kurnaul. I
had tried to get hold of these children at Simla, hearing they were very
ill-used, and that this man was just going to take them down to Delhi to
sell them into the palace, where thousands of children are _swallowed
up_. Luckily, his creditors would not let him go, and I told A. to watch
that he did not carry off the little girls; so to-day he sent word I
might have them if I would pay his debts, and the baboo has just walked
in triumphantly with them. They have not a stitch of clothes on; and one
of them is rather an object, the man has beat them so dreadfully, and
she seems stupified. I hope to deposit them finally at Mrs. Wilson's
orphanage near Calcutta.



CHAPTER XXXVI.


Simla, Tuesday, March 19, 1839.

Don't you see, that now I am come back to Simla, a Journal will be out
of the question; nothing to put into it.

'Pillicock sits on Pillicock's hill, Halloo Loo! Loo!' (which I take to
be a prophecy of our playing at Loo every evening.) We came up in two
days from Barr, a very fatiguing business at all times, though Mrs. A.
had sent me down a hill dhoolie, in which I could lie down, but it makes
all one's bones ache to be jolted in a rough sedan for eight hours. The
second day it poured till we came within sight of Simla, and with a
sharp east wind from the mountains, the misery of all the dripping
Bengalee servants was inconceivable. The gentlemen looked unhappy
enough, as the hill ponies make slow work of the journey; and Dr. D. had
a violent fit of ague before we arrived at Hurripore. X. abjures the
aide-de-camp on these hill excursions, and appears '_en blouse_,' a
mixture of 'a brave Belge' and a German student.

We found Simla very white with snow; the thermometer had been 91° in our
tents that day week. But I do not think it at all uncomfortably cold
here. Giles had preceded us by two days, and had got all the curtains up
and the carpets down, and the house looked more comfortable than ever.
It is a jewel of a little house, and my own room is quite _overcoming_;
so light and cheerful, and then all the little curiosities I have
accumulated on my travels have a sweet effect now they are spread out.
The only misfortune of my room is, that a long insect, much resembling a
gudgeon on six legs, has eaten up your picture frame: the picture I took
with me in my writing-desk, knowing that the gudgeon would have eaten
that forthwith, but the frame, in an unguarded moment, I trusted to his
honour, and this is the result. However, the glass he could not digest,
and a wooden frame our own carpenter can make.

F. left W. O. after his first day's tiger-shooting, and in marching up
from Seharunpore with the K.s and Mrs. L., W. actually shot a tiger ten
days after he had been run over, and he writes me word to-day that he is
quite strong again, and that they had killed eight tigers in five days.
One tiger got on an island about the size of the table, with a swamp all
round it, that the elephants could not pass. The jungle was set on fire,
and W. says it was beautiful to see him try to fight the fire with his
paws, but when he found he could not conquer it, he charged the
elephants, and was shot on the head of W.'s elephant.


Saturday, March 23.

We have had a little more snow and a great deal more rain, but now the
weather is beautiful, and the servants are beginning to thaw and to move
about. F. has had two dreadful days of rain in camp--a warning to her,
and she says she is beginning to give up her love of tents. Q. is gone
down to Barr to fetch her up the hill, but she will not now be here till
Monday.

We have not had a great many visitors. There are forty-six ladies and
twelve gentlemen, independent of our party, and forty more ladies and
six more gentlemen are expected shortly, so how any dancing is to be
managed at our parties we cannot make out. The aides-de-camp are in
despair about it; they are all dancers, and they have engaged a house
for the Miss S.s and their aunt quite close to ours--'Stirling Castle,'
a bleak place that nobody will live in, and that in general is struck by
lightning once a year; but then it is close by, and then they want a
ball. They have got A. and all our married gentlemen to promise to dance
every quadrille, but still we can't make out more than twelve couple,
and it will be dull for the sixty who look on. They are writing to their
friends in the plains, and asking eligible young officers to come up and
lodge with them. E. N. has settled to come here instead of going to
Mussooree, and had taken a house and was to _board_ with us; but Mr. J.
has written to ask him to live with him--_he_ must dance. 'At all
events,' said X. as we were riding home, 'those two little windows in
the gable end of Stirling Castle look well, and when two little female
forms are leaning out of them, I can conceive nothing more interesting.'
Our band twice a week is to be a great resource. G. bought W. O.'s old
house, and has made it over to the aides-de-camp, which saves them some
money, and in the grounds belonging to it we have discovered a beautiful
little terrace for the band, and the others have persuaded P., who is
'laying out the grounds,' to arrange a few pretty paths for two, and
also to make the gates so narrow that jonpauns cannot come through
them, so that the ladies must be handed out and walk up to the music.


Tuesday.

F. arrived yesterday. W. O. writes word that he has just killed his
thirteenth tiger.


Saturday, March 30.

This must go to-day, G. says. It is a shockingly thin concern, but it is
not three weeks since the last went, and, as I tell you, a second Simla
year journalised would inevitably throw you into a deep slumber.


Simla, Wednesday, April 3, 1839.

I feel rather cold and hungry without my Journal. I have got such a
habit of telling you everything, that somehow I cannot hinder myself
from bestowing my tediousness upon you. I rather think I am like Mr.
Balquwhidder, who found that the older he grew, and the more his memory
failed, the more easy it was for him to preach a long sermon, only his
congregation would not listen to it. You are my congregation. Our
present set of gentlemen are so _larking_, I hope they will contrive to
keep themselves and Simla alive this year. I think I told E. they had
advertised a pigeon-shooting match for seven o'clock on the 1st of
April, there not being a pigeon within twenty miles of this place.

Mr. C. arrived at the place, which was a mile from any house, armed with
two guns, in a regular shooting dress, and followed by three hirkarus to
pick up the birds, and he was met by one of X.'s servants with a note,
enquiring 'Does your mother know you're out?' As he hates getting up
before nine, he had some merit in taking it good-humouredly.

There are several very pretty people here, but we can hardly make out
any dinners. Most of the ladies send their regular excuse, that they do
not dine out while Captain So-and-so is with the army. Very devoted
wives, but if the war lasts three years, they will be very dull women.
It is wonderful how they contrive to get on together as well as they do.
There are five ladies belonging to the regiment, all with families, who
have now been living six months in one small house, with only one common
sitting-room, and yet they declare they have not quarrelled. I can
hardly credit it--can you?


Friday.

The _recoil_ from the plains to the dry, sharp air has a shocking effect
on the household. Captain Z. has been very ill since Monday, Captain Q.
knocked up with fever, Dr. D. ditto; a very severe case. F.'s ayah
tumbled down a hill, and cut her knee dreadfully. Rosina and her husband
and ten more servants all ill with fever. Mars a bad headache; Giles
ditto. St. Cloup, a confirmed case of liver complaint. That puts us all
in a great fuss; the instant he complains we all think of our dinners,
and are full of little attentions to him; we are now trying to hope that
gout may come out, but the fact is, they have all knocked themselves up
by fancying that, because they are in the hills, they may go out in the
sun without an umbrella, and nobody ever can, with impunity. If
Shakspeare ever said a wrong thing, it was that the sun 'looks upon all
alike.' It is anything but alike; he looks uncommonly askance at you,
and quite full at us. The band played on Wednesday in a new place we
have made for it in our garden. Such a view of the snowy range! and such
a pretty spot altogether! and all the _retired_ ladies come to solace
themselves with a little music, and to take a little tea and coffee and
talk a little.

W. O. has killed his seventeenth tiger. I had a letter from him to-day.
They had been after a great _man-eater_, who has carried off seven or
eight people lately, and the Thanadars of the villages around had begged
them to try and kill it. They took with them a Mr. P., an engineer they
found making a bridge, who had never been out hunting before; and lent
him an elephant and two guns. The first day they saw the tiger at a
great distance, and Mr. A. and W. took care not to fire for fear of
losing his track, but they 'presently heard a tremendous shouting, and
bang, bang, with both guns. This was P. at least half a mile off, and on
his coming up, he said he had seen the tiger in the distance, and it was
"dreadfully exciting work." The next thing we heard of the tiger was
upon my elephant's head, but he was shaken off directly, and after two
or three charges, killed. About five minutes after he was dead, up comes
Mr. P. in an awful state of excitement, with a small umbrella neatly
folded up in his hands, and carried like a gun. "Am I too late? Is he
dead?" "Yes, but where are your guns?" "Good heavens! I thought this was
them. I must have thrown them away in my excitement and taken this
instead." And so he had--and both A.'s and my guns which we had lent
him were found in the jungles, after some trouble.'


Sunday, April 7.

W. and Mr. A. have at last killed another dreadful tiger, or rather
tigress, which they have hunted for and given up several times. She has
carried off twenty-two men in six weeks, and while they were at the
village, took away the brother of the chief man of the place; took him
out of his little native carriage, leaving the bullocks untouched.

They found her lair, and W. says they saw a _leg_ and quantities of
human hair and bones lying about it, and they saw her two cubs, but the
swamps prevented the elephants going near, and the mahouts would not go,
so they gave it up.

But the next day she carried away a boy, and the villagers implored them
to try again. They came to the remains of the boy, and at last found the
tigress, and brought her out by killing one of her cubs, and then shot
her--but the horrid part of the story is that the screams of the boy who
was carried off were heard for about an hour, and it is supposed she
gave him to her cubs to play with. Such a terrible death! Altogether, W.
and Mr. A. (to say nothing of P. and his umbrella) have killed
twenty-six tigers--twenty large ones, and six cubs--which is a great
blessing for the country they are in.



CHAPTER XXXVII.


Thursday, April 11, 1839.

We had Mrs. A., Mrs. L., and Mrs. R. to dinner yesterday, as we find it
the best way to dine the most companionable ladies _en famille_ when we
can furnish gentlemen enough of our own to hand them in to dinner.

G. ought to dress himself as an abbot, and with his four attendant monks
receive as many nuns as the table will hold: the dress would make all
the difference, and otherwise I do not see how society is to be carried
on this year.


Friday, April 12.

I wish my box of gowns would ever arrive, don't you? I believe now, if I
see it when we go down from the hills this year I shall be lucky. Do you
recollect sending me a pink striped gown, a long time ago, by a Mr. R.?
I had it made up only lately, and put it on new last night: it was
beautifully made, 'and I never looked more truly lovely!' but there was
an _odd rent_ in the sleeve which, Wright said, must be the tailor's
fault. I put on my sash and heard an odd crack under the arm; then
Chance jumped into my lap, and there was an odd crack in front. I sat
down to dinner, and there was _another_ odd crack behind. In short, long
before bed-time my dear gown was what Mrs. M. used to call 'all in
_jommetry_'--there was hardly a strip wider than a ribbon, rather a
pretty fashion, but perhaps too undefined and uncertain: that comes of
being economical in dress. The next gown you send me shall be made up
the afternoon it arrives, but you need not send any more till we come
out to India next time. I really think _this_ banishment is coming to an
end. Now we have broken into the last year but one, it seems like
nothing. We have forsaken the buying of shawls and trinkets, and have
gone into the upholstery and furniture line; everything is done with a
view to Kensington Gore. I have just been writing to C. E. for a few
Chinese articles--a cabinet, and a table or so, to arrive at Calcutta
next year, and not to be unpacked. I have an arm-chair and a book-case
concocting at Singapore, and a sort of table with shelves of my own
devising, that is being built at Bareilly, under the magistrate there.
That, I think, may prove a failure, but I have a portfolio and inkstand
on the stocks that will be really good articles. I got some beautiful
polished pebbles from Banda and Nerbudda. (I have not a notion where
that is, but everybody here seems to know; I only know my pebbles were
ordered eight months ago.) I thought they would have been small trashy
things, but some of them are beautiful, like that great stone you had in
a brooch, and I am having them set in silver, as a portfolio incrusted
and enchased, and all that sort of thing. It will make a shocking item
in my month's expenditure, but then it will be an original device, and
when I go home of course everybody will observe: 'An Indian portfolio, I
see, Miss Eden,' and I shall carelessly answer, 'Yes, those are the
common Bazaar portfolios, but you can have very handsome ones made, if
you like to order them, and then, of course, everybody will write out
for a common portfolio.


Saturday.

Nothing like a prophecy to ensure its not being fulfilled. Because I
said that box would not come till next year, this very morning, after
luncheon, a long file of coolies appeared ascending the hill, and the
result was twenty-five boxes of _sorts_--preserves and sweetmeats and
sardines and sauces from France, a box of silks and books from ditto.
More books from Rodwell, and though last, much the greatest, 'in our
dear love,' my two boxes of gowns and bonnets.

Thank you again, dearest, for all the trouble you have taken, and very
successful trouble it has been.

Tell E., Wright of course thought her tapes, pins, &c., the most
valuable part of the cargo, as I was living on a few borrowed pins,
large and pointless. I suppose I shall wear the head-dress eventually,
and one cap with long streamers looks very tolerably, but there is
another with quantities of loose tags, in which I look exactly like
Madge Wildfire. It may perhaps be subdued by pins and stitches; but if
not, it suits F. remarkably well.


Monday.

I thought it due to you and to myself to wear something new, so I put on
that cap with the long tags for church yesterday morning, and Mrs. R.
and Mrs. A. both found their devotions much interrupted thereby. We went
to afternoon service at church in the Bazaar, to hear a new clergyman,
who has come up for his health, and looks half dead, poor man.


Wednesday, April 17.

We had our first dance last night, and it has been one of the gayest we
have had here; only fourteen dancing men, but they never sat down, and
they had Quadrilles and English country-dances and waltzing, and
altogether they all liked it, and beg to have another as soon as
possible.

It is rather touching to see our serious Q. dancing away as if his life
depended on it; and A. and C. and all the secretaries danced away too,
and they were all amused at a small expense of trouble. Between the band
and our dinners they are all becoming acquainted and good friends, which
is lucky, for I think half the ailments in India come from the solitary
lives people lead.


Friday, April 19.

W. O. arrived yesterday morning; he looks uncommonly well, considering
that he has ridden sixty miles since three in the morning, and it is
very hot even in the hills. He and Mr. A. have killed thirty-six tigers,
the largest number ever killed in this part of the country by two guns,
and his expedition seems to have answered very well.

I began Wilberforce's Life when our new books came, but am disappointed.
His journals are too short and terse, like heads of chapters; however,
there are some good bits here and there, and I like the man himself very
much. 'The Woman of the World' is a very amusing novel; evidently Mrs.
Gore's, though she writes so much that I suppose she does not put her
name to all her works, but it is impossible to mistake them. 'The
Glanville Family' we got from Calcutta, as you said so much of it, and
we all thought it very amusing; but, in fact, 'Boz' is the only real
reading in the amusing line--don't you think so?

Our aides-de-camp gave a small fête champêtre yesterday in a valley
called Annandale. The party, consisting of six ladies and six gentlemen,
began at ten in the morning, and actually lasted till half-past nine at
night. Annandale is a thick grove of fir-trees, which no sun can pierce.
They had bows and arrows, a swing, battledore and shuttlecock, and a
fiddle--the only fiddle in Simla; and they danced and eat all day, and
seemed to have liked it throughout wonderfully. Oh dear! with my
worn-out spirits and battered constitution, and the constant lassitude
of India, it seems marvellous that any strength could stand that
physical trial, but I suppose in our young Bromley ball days we should
have thought it great fun. These young people did, at all events. They
give another pic-nic next Thursday, and we are getting up some tableaux
and charades which are to be acted here; the dining-room to be turned
into a theatre. They are a very popular set of young men, and I bless
their little hearts for taking so much trouble to carry on amusement;
but I think they _go at it_ rather too eagerly, and it will end in
disappointment to some of them. The expense of these parties will not be
so great to them, for both St. Cloup and Mars came to me yesterday to
know what they were to do. 'Ces messieurs' had asked for a few 'petits
plats' and a cook or two; and the man who makes ice had been to Mars for
French fruits to make it with.


Wednesday, April 24.

I had a young flying squirrel given me a week ago, its eyes shut, quite
a baby; it sucks beautifully, and now its eyes are open. I keep thinking
of Lord Howth and his rat. It is very like one, only with beautiful
sable fur, and a tail half a yard long, and wings; at present very
playful and gentle, but I detect much latent ferocity, that will be
brought out by the strong diet of almonds and acorns to which he must
come at last.


Saturday, April 27.

We had a large dinner yesterday of the chief actors and actresses, and I
had had an immense gilt frame made, and put up in the folding-doors of
the drawing-room; and after dinner proposed carelessly that they should
just try how tableaux would look, and with our shawls and veils and W.'s
armour we got up two of the prettiest little scenes possible; I dare say
much better than if they had been got up with more care. Mrs. N., Mrs.
C., X., and P. acted two scenes from 'Old Robin Gray,' while C. sang the
ballad, and then W. and X., with Mrs. R. and Mrs. L., acted two scenes
out of 'Ivanhoe.'

It was a new idea to Indians, and had the greatest success, and the
acting a ballad makes a great difference. It used to be dull at Woburn
for want of a _meaning_.

Three of the ladies were really pretty; but the odd thing is, that Mrs.
R., the plain one, looked the best of all, and sat like a statue. It was
a very pretty sight.

Our gentlemen gave another pic-nic down at the waterfall yesterday, and
they say nothing ever was so delightful; and it is to be hoped it was,
as it began at seven in the morning and lasted till eleven at night.

Then there has been great interest about our theatricals on Tuesday, but
it is a difficult matter to arrange the parts so as to give satisfaction
to all the ladies concerned.


Saturday, May 4.

My flying squirrel is becoming familiar, and flies a little; that is, it
takes long hops after me wherever I go, and I feel _be-ratted_. The two
little girls I bought are turning out very nice children. Wright and
Jones are teaching them to work, and make quite an amusement of them.
The dispensary which was built by our Fancy Fair proceeds was opened by
Dr. D. this week. G. and I rode to see it yesterday, and it is a nice
little place, with a very good room for surgical cases, of which,
luckily, there are none at present, but Dr. D. had ten patients this
morning; one was a Tartar woman, another a Cashmeree, and some Ladakh
people. Such an odd result of drawings and work. One of the native
doctors attends there, and has taken such a fancy to it that he has
asked leave to remain here when we go down to Calcutta, and he means to
give up Government House. God bless you, dearest. I suppose you are
going out every evening. I cannot say how I like your London campaign.
It is such an amusing story that I want it to begin again.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.


Simla, May 23, 1839.

A letter to you which is to go by the Persian Gulf only departed to-day,
and I believe there will be no regular steamer for nearly six weeks. A
sad interruption to our little communications. A few days after my
letter to you was sealed, G. got the official accounts of the taking of
Candahar, or rather how Candahar took Shah Soojah, and _would have_ him
for its King. There never was anything so satisfactory. I hope M. and
Lord M. will have received and shown you the copies of Sir A. Burnes's
letters; it was such a picturesque description of the business. M. wrote
me a very good account of it. He says:--'Five days ago we poor
politicals were assailed from all quarters, from the commander-in-chief
to the lowest ensign. They were all exclaiming how we had deceived them;
that we had given out that Shah Soojah would be received by the chiefs
and people of his country with open arms; that the resources of the
country would be laid open to the British army--instead of which, he was
opposed by his own countrymen; no chiefs came near him; the army was
starving in a land of milk and honey; in fact, we had deceived
ourselves, and that Shah Soojah's cause was impossible. A little
patience, and the fallacy of these sentiments would be proved. The
sirdars left their late capital with scarcely two hundred followers;
their most confidential servants deserted them, for to the last their
measures were most oppressive, and they were heartily execrated. Every
great chief with numerous followers came out to meet the Shah, and
greeted him on his arrival in his own country with every demonstration
of joy; the poor crowded about him, making offerings of flowers, and
they strewed the road he was to pass over, with roses. Yesterday the
King went to visit the city (we are encamped about two miles from it);
every person, high and low, seemed to strive how they could most show
their devotion to his Majesty, and their delight at the return of a
Suddozie to power. The King visited the tomb of his grandfather, Ahmed
Shah; and the _Prophet's shirt_, which is in keeping of the Mollahs in
charge of the tomb, and which was brought out by the sirdars when they
were trying to raise a religious war against us, was produced, and the
King hugged and kissed it over and over again.

'The populace are the finest race of Asiatics I have seen; the men tall
and muscular, the women particularly fair and pretty, and all well
dressed. It seems as if we had dropped into paradise.

'The country that we have been traversing for two months is the most
barren and desolate eye ever rested on; not a tree nor a blade of grass
to be seen; we were constantly obliged to make marches of twenty miles
to find water; the hills were only huge masses of clay. The contrast now
is great; the good things of this life are abundant; luxurious crops,
which will be ready for the sickle in three or four weeks; extensive
plains of green sward for the cattle; endless gardens and orchards; the
rose-trees grow wild, eight or ten feet high; fruits of all kinds;
rivulets flow through the valley; the birds are all song birds, and the
air rings with their notes; in short, we have reached the oasis at last,
and are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

'The people are all at their occupations as usual, and seem to have
perfect confidence in us. The natives all agree in saying that Dost
Mahommed, upon hearing of his brothers having fled, will follow their
example, &c. I am very happy in my appointment, and I feel I have a
great deal more to say to you, but this must go.'

Poor M.! In to-day's Calcutta paper there is the death of his pretty
little sister, who came out not two years ago; she very nearly died
during the first hot season, and now has been carried off by a return of
the same fever. Certainly this public news is very satisfactory; the
whole thing done without bloodshed; and the effect on the people here is
wonderful; the happiness of the wives is very great: they see, with
their mind's eye, their husbands eating apricots and drinking acid
sherbet, and they are satisfied. Our ball to-morrow will be very gay,
and I have just written to P. to stick up a large 'Candahar' opposite
the other illuminations.


Saturday, May 25.

The Queen's ball 'came off' yesterday with great success. We had had,
the beginning of the week, three days of rain, which frightened us,
because it is a rain that nothing can stand. It did us one good deed on
Monday--washed away the twenty-four people who were coming to dine with
us, which was lucky, as the greater part of the dinner prepared for them
was also washed away by the rain breaking the skylight in the
dining-room, and _plumping_ down on the table. I went down by myself to
Annandale on Thursday evening, to see how things were going on there,
and found X., who has been encamped there for three days, walking about
very conjugally with Mrs. N, to whom he is engaged. I felt rather _de
trop_ as they stepped about with me, showing off the preparations. It
was a very pretty-looking fête; we built one temporary sort of room
which held fifty people, and the others dined in two large tents on the
opposite side of the road, but we were all close together, and drank the
Queen's health at the same moment with much cheering. Between the two
tents there was a boarded platform for dancing, roped and arched in with
flowers, and then in different parts of the valley, wherever the trees
would allow of it, there was 'Victoria,' 'God save the Queen,' and
'Candahar' in immense letters twelve feet high. There was a very old
Hindu temple also prettily lit up. Vishnu, or Mahadevi, to whom I
believe it really belonged, must have been affronted. The native dealers
in sweetmeats came down to sell their goods to the servants and
jonpaunees, and C. and X. went round and bought up all their supplies
for about twenty rupees for the general good. We dined at six, then had
fireworks, and coffee, and then they all danced till twelve. It was the
most beautiful evening; such a moon, and the mountains looked so soft
and _grave_, after all the fireworks and glare.

Twenty years ago no European had ever been here, and there we were, with
the band playing the 'Puritani' and 'Masaniello,' and eating salmon from
Scotland, and sardines from the Mediterranean, and observing that St.
Cloup's potage à la Julienne was perhaps better than his other soups,
and that some of the ladies' sleeves were too tight according to the
overland fashions for March, &c.; and all this in the face of those high
hills, some of which have remained untrodden since the creation, and we,
105 Europeans, being surrounded by at least 3,000 mountaineers, who,
wrapped up in their hill blankets, looked on at what we call our polite
amusements, and bowed to the ground if a European came near them. I
sometimes wonder they do not cut all our heads off, and say nothing more
about it.


Sunday, May 26.

The aides-de-camp are about as much trouble to me as so many grown-up
sons. That sedate Captain P. followed me to my room after breakfast, and
thought it right to mention that he had proposed to Miss S. on Thursday,
and had been accepted, and that the aunt was agreeable, and that he had
written to the stepfather, Colonel ----, for his consent, which he had no
reason to doubt, &c., and that he hoped I would not mention it to
anybody but Lord A., as they were exceedingly desirous Captain L. E.
should not know it, but Mrs. S. wished I should be told. If the kitchen
poker or church steeple had gone and proposed, it would not have been
more out of character, P. has always seemed so very indifferent and cold
to ladies; though ever since we have been here, we have observed how
altered he was, and what high spirits he was in; and then I met him the
other day carrying a little nosegay to Stirling Castle, which looked
suspicious and unnatural. Still the shock was great, and the only thing
I could think of at first, was to ask with infinite and mistaken
promptitude if she were a nice girl, to which P. naturally answered that
of course she was--a very nice girl indeed; and I said I had had no
opportunity of speaking to her when she dined here, but that now I
should take pains to make her acquaintance. And then we discussed his
prospects.

He cannot marry for a year at soonest, even if Colonel ---- consents
then; but she is only eighteen, and her father will not let the elder
one marry till she is twenty. P. is going away next week on an official
tour to Cashmere, a sort of scientific survey which G. wants him to
make, and he is to be away four months.

That business was settled, and after luncheon L. E. came, very unhappy
in _his_ mind--_and_ thought I must have observed it. He had been on the
point of proposing to Miss A. S., when he had been intercepted by the
astute aunt, who said she could not but observe his attentions, and
thought it as well to mention that A. was engaged. He said, so he had
heard, but he did not believe it, and thereupon wrote to the aforesaid
A., and brought me his letter and her answer, and his letter to the
stepfather and the aunt's letter to him, and he thought that with my
knowledge of the world, I could tell him whether it did not appear that
she was only sticking to her engagement because she thought it right,
&c.

I could not possibly flatter him. She is a pretty-looking girl, who has
evidently fretted herself into bad health because Colonel ---- would not
consent to her marriage with a Mr. ----, she being eighteen, and her
lover the same age. As she has never heard from the lover since he
joined the army of the Indus, it is very possible _he_ is inconstant,
and that is what L. E. goes upon; he does not care how long he waits,
&c. (and I think he will have to wait some time), but in the meantime
perhaps I would speak to Mrs. S., and above all things Captain P. was
not to know. That is always the end of all confidences; and in the
meantime, as P. lives in a broad grin, and L. E. in a deep sigh, I
should think their secrets will be guessed in a week. Thank goodness,
now they are all engaged, except Z., who is not likely to fall in love
with anybody but himself.


Wednesday, May 29.

We had a theatrical dinner yesterday, and a rehearsal of our new
tableaux, which promise to be very successful. Six from the 'Corsair,'
and five from 'Kenilworth.' We had them at night to try how Gulnare
would look with her lamp going to visit Conrade; and I had another grand
idea, of a trap-door, down which Amy Robsart is supposed to have fallen,
at least four inches, so that she must have had every bone in her body
smashed; and Varney with a torch looking into it, and Leicester and
Trevilian in despair, made it a most awful business. The rehearsal was
rather amusing; all the gentlemen in their common red coats, and a
pretty Mrs. V., supposed to be Medora, was sitting with the shovel in
her hand, and said in such a quiet way, 'This is, in fact, a guitar;'
which, as she is dreadfully shy, and not given to speak at all, was one
of the best jokes she ever made.



CHAPTER XXXIX.


Thursday, May 30, 1839.

Our steady doctor gave his ball last night. He was asked for one by Mrs.
L., and found it an easier way of returning civilities than giving a
number of dinners.

Wright and I have been down two or three times to arrange his house, and
put up his curtains, and he had enclosed all his verandahs with branches
of trees and flowers, so that it really looked very pretty. He is very
popular from his extreme good-nature in attending anybody that wants
him; he never takes any fee, and he takes a great deal of pains with his
patients, and, moreover, he is a really well-informed man, and liked in
society. So everybody whom he asked to his ball made a point of going,
and they actually danced from eight at night till five in the morning;
and they said it was one of the gayest balls ever seen.


Saturday, June 1.

We had our tableaux last night, and they were really beautiful. I am
quite sorry they are over. We had each of them three times over, but
still it is like looking at a very fine picture for two minutes and then
seeing it torn up. Mrs. K. as Queen Elizabeth, dragging in Mrs. N. as
Amy Robsart, was one of the best; and Medora lying dead, and the Corsair
in his 'helpless, hopeless brokenness of heart,' was also beautiful, but
in fact they all were so, and G. is walking up and down his room this
morning, wishing they would be so good as to do it all over again. The
enthusiasm of the audience was unbounded. C. recitatived Lord Byron's
words for the Corsair, but wrote songs for Kenilworth; the last,
alluding to Amy's death, 'He comes too late,' was worthy of Mrs.
Arkwright. After the tableaux were over, W. O. gave his first
entertainment, a small supper, to Mrs. K., Mrs. L., Mrs. V., Mrs. N.,
and all the aides-de-camp and one or two gentlemen, and, as the ladies
would not go unless F. and I were there, we went down to his bungalow at
eleven, leaving G. to see our guests out. W.'s supper went off
remarkably well, and his house looked very pretty. St. Cloup thought he
had better give a look at the supper, and when I told him we were going,
he said, 'Oh! alors il faut que M. le Capitaine fasse un peu de dépense.
Je vais pourvoir à tout cela.' The dresses were magnificent last night,
and W. O. looked very well in his corsair's dress. Mrs. N. is not rich,
so I make an excuse of her kindness in acting to send her a green satin
pelisse, as Amy's 'sea-green mantle,' and a very handsome lace dress
with a satin slip from G.


Monday, June 3.

G. has had letters from the army up to May 7. The Shah seems to be as
quietly and comfortably settled as if he had never left his kingdom, and
Sir J. Keane writes most cheerfully about the army, makes very light of
the loss of cattle, and says the soldiers were never so healthy. There
has been on an average one-third fewer in hospital than is usual in
cantonments, and very few deaths.

The followers of the sirdars were reduced to one hundred, and the
sirdars so unpopular that two of our regiments were gone to fetch them
in, almost more as guards than anything else. G. and I have been riding
about the last three days with Mr. A., looking at the Dispensary and the
Asylum and a Serai, the three charities of Simla. The Dispensary has
been built from the proceeds of our fancy fair last year, and opened by
Dr. D., who attends there every morning, and it does so much good that I
am quite heartened up into trying another fancy fair this year, and am
going to send out the circulars this blessed day. It is an odd list of
patients at the Dispensary. There is a Thibet _Tartar_ woman with a
Chinese face, and a rheumatic daughter, and there are people from
Ladakh, and Sikhs and mountaineers, and quantities of little black
babies to be vaccinated. I have not an idea what to do for the sale. The
trick of the drawings to produce such an immense sum cannot be tried
again.


Wednesday, June 5.

This must go, dearest, G. says--where to, I have not an idea, but I know
it will never reach you: it is like going to call upon you, when you are
out, which under present circumstances would be uncommonly disagreeable.
But no steamer can go for two months, so we must hazard something by
that stupid, old-fashioned sailing apparatus.

We are all quite well, and the climate quite beautiful--a _leetle_ too
hot, but not worse than an English August day. Mr. L. gave another fancy
ball last night, and yesterday morning we had a deputation from the
Station to ask us for a day on which they are to give us a ball. We
named June 18 (Waterloo and all that), and that is to close the season,
and then we are to take to the rains for three months.


Saturday, June 8.

Our play last night went off beautifully. I do not know when I have seen
better acting, and Mrs. C. really acts as if she had done nothing else
all her life. I suppose it is easier in a room with carpets and chairs,
and doors and windows, and then she has been brought up in France, and
has the quiet self-possession of a French actress, and her arms are
always in the right place, and she does not seem to think about acting;
then she sings very well and looked very handsome, so that altogether,
to Anglo-Indians, who never see female parts acted except by
artillerymen or clerks, it was a great pleasure.

We made such pretty scenery, too, with a lattice window, and some steps
and a few shrubs and plenty of curtains. After the play they danced five
or six quadrilles, had some supper, and went off, all pleased; and they
want more of these evenings, but it is thundering and pouring to-day,
and it is no use attempting to give parties in the rains. I wish my
drawing paper would not begin to spoil already, but it is turning into
blotting paper. Luckily I cannot find anything to draw just now. It has
occurred to me that when we go home I shall not be able to show you what
an Indian woman is like, and to be sure we have seen very few; but some
of the Paharee women are very pretty, who go about the hills cutting
grass and wood. I met some yesterday and asked them to come and be
sketched, and they said they would, but they have never arrived. Some of
the nautch-girls in the bazaar are very pretty, and wear beautiful
ornaments, but it is not lawful to look at them even for sketching
purposes, and indeed, Mr. N., one of the magistrates, has removed them
all from the main street, so the bazaar is highly correct, but not half
so picturesque as last year. There are very few children ever to be seen
in it. Natives who come to open shops, &c., never bring their families,
from the impossibility of moving women in a sufficiently private manner,
and I very often think that an English village with women and children
walking about must be a pretty sight. They do go about, don't they? I
forget. Poor Mrs. ----, who had a shocking confinement in our camp last
year, has had a worse now; for thirty-six hours Dr. D; could not leave
her for a moment, and for twelve it was not possible to know whether she
were alive--no pulse, and quite cold. We had made all arrangements for
putting off our party yesterday, but she rallied in the afternoon, and
is going on well now. I never saw Dr. D. quite overset before, nor
indeed the least perturbed but he fairly burst out crying when he came
to my room on his way home, and said he did not think anything could
induce him to go through such horrors again; and it was very unlucky
that, just as he was so thoroughly worn out, a poor Paharee was brought
into the Dispensary almost crushed by a tree falling on him, and Dr. D.
had to go and cut off his leg before he went home. I rather wonder how
surgeons enough can be found for all the pains and aches of this world.


Wednesday, June 12.

Captain P. goes off early to-morrow on an official tour to Cashmere, and
will be away five months. He and Miss S. take it very quietly, but they
looked rather unhappy last night.

He had brought me in the morning some Berlin work which the two sisters
had done for the fancy fair, and which they had sold to him in advance
for a mere trifle, and he wanted to know if it were the right price. I
thought it very right in the romantic view of the case, but very wrong
as touching the interests of the poor Dispensary. I told Miss A. S. (the
sister-in-law as is to be) that I should like to buy some of their work
at a dearer rate, and she said there would be plenty, 'but at present I
am working a table-cover for Captain P.' Then she asked if I wanted any
polished pebbles--'I have a great many, but I have given the best to
Captain P.,' just the sort of way in which people make a fuss with their
brothers-in-law at first. It goes off, does it not, Mr. D.?


Saturday, June 15.

We have been a long time without letters, and nobody knows when we shall
have any again. There are several stories left _hanging_ on something
which ought to have been cleared up a long time ago, and never will be
now--poor L. E. L.'s death! We have heard twice from you since the first
account, and it never appeared whether Maclean was 'a brute of a
husband,' or she, poor thing! very easily excited. Then, that Baily, the
supposed murderer(?), we never could find the end of that story.

I went out _pleasantly_ yesterday evening, quite a new idea; but as we
have so much to do for the little amusements of other people, I thought
I might as well for once amuse myself, so I went after dinner to see Mr.
and Mrs. C., and I was to lie on the sofa and they were to sing, and so
they did, beautifully, all sorts of things; she sings equally well in
five languages, French, English, German, Italian, and Hindustani, and
Mr. C. sings anything that is played to him without having any music.
Altogether it was very pleasant, which was lucky, for I meant to be at
home at eleven, a very undue hour for Simla, and a violent thunderstorm
came on which seemed to be splitting the hills into small shreds, so I
could not get home till one, which Wright thought very shocking. I
cannot imagine when we go home how we are to get back to reasonable
hours.



CHAPTER XL.


Wednesday, June 19, 1839.

I must tell you for the children's sake such a touching trait of my
flying squirrel. It is the most coaxing animal I ever saw, and lives in
my room without any cage, or chain, and at night I always shut him up in
a little bath-room, leaving the sitting-room and the dressing-room
between him and me. I was woke two nights ago by this little wretch
sitting on my pillow and licking my face. I thought it was a rat at
first, and did not like it; indeed I did not like it much better when I
found it was the squirrel. I called up Wright, who carried him back to
his room, where she found he had broken a pane of glass, got out into
the garden, where he had never been before, and come in through the
window of my dressing-room. I always have it open, as the nights are
very hot, and I try to expect that the air will come into the bedroom,
and that the thieves will not come further than the dressing-room.
Wright would not believe that he had really been so clever; however, she
stopped up the broken pane and shut all the doors, and a quarter of an
hour after, I heard another little scratch, and there he was again
patting my ear, so then I gave it up, wrapped him in the mosquito net,
and let him sleep there the rest of the night. But it must have been
pretty to see him hopping through the garden and finding his own way in.
We went last night to the ball given to us by the Station: it was not at
all a fatiguing evening, and it is the last for some time.


Friday, June 21.

I have been carrying on a suit in Colonel ----'s very unjust court for
an unfortunate native tailor, attached to our house, who cannot get a
small debt paid that has been due to him for a year; and these horrid
magistrates are worse, if you can conceive such a thing, than common
English magistrates--worse than that Blackheath man who interfered with
William the pedestrian, and whom we burnt in effigy on the lawn at Eden
Farm; these men spited this poor tailor, because, finding they would not
hear him, he gave a petition to G. Then the magistrates found they must
attend to him, so they made him come every day to their court, and at
the end of the day said they had not time to summon the debtor, and he
must come again. They did this four days running, which is ruin to a
native who just lives on his day's work. So I went to G. again, and he
wrote a thundering note to them, and an hour after they sent the man his
debt--but they are two extraordinary individuals. Our old khansamah said
that the chief native officers of their court had threatened him that,
if he would not give them twenty-five rupees apiece, they would summon
his wife to appear in court, which is the greatest disgrace can befal a
Mussulmaunee, and a complete loss of caste. Nobody would believe the old
man's story at first, but I sent him to Captain B., who heard his story,
found he had plenty of witnesses, and took him up to the court. Mr. ----,
the second magistrate, wrote word to Captain B. that 'the case had been
fully proved, and your old khansamah comes out with flying colours.'
This sounded very well, as it was always supposed that no servant from
the plains could get any justice against ---- and ----'s officers, and we
were rather proud of it, but I bethought myself yesterday that we had
never heard what became of the culprits, so I got G. to write and say
that as Mr. ---- had been so kind as to offer an English translation of
the proceedings, I should be very much obliged to him for it; and there
came such a paper--such a bit of real magistracy! 'The court cannot deny
that the case has been fully proved;' just as if they ought to deny it;
but as it was a delicate matter interfering with officers so immediately
connected with themselves, they did not know what punishment to
inflict, and had taken bail of the principal offender, and there he is
acting still as vakeel of the court, and extorting bribes from every
wretched native that comes for justice--very few do come here. G. was in
such a rage, and wrote a minute on their paper that they will not
forget, and is sending the whole thing to the principal court at Delhi.
It is horrible to think how this class of Europeans oppresses the
natives; the great object of the Government being to teach them reliance
on English justice, and the poor natives cannot readily understand that
they are no longer under their own despotic chiefs. They will be a long
time understanding it here.


Sunday, June 23.

I went before breakfast yesterday with Captain L. E. and Captain Z. down
to Annandale, where he had sent tents the day before. F. came in the
middle of the day, and we stayed till the cool of the evening. I wanted
to sketch the children sleeping under the little cascades of water which
fall upon their heads. All the babies of the valley are brought up in
that fashion, and some of them have great hollows at the top of their
heads. It was very hot in the valley, but it was rather a nice way of
passing the day, and we got home just as a great storm began.


Thursday, June 27.

I did not think of sending this for ages, but the Calcutta authorities
have fitted out a Chinese clipper to go to the Persian Gulf, and seem to
think the letters may be in England in three months. My Journal may be
a help to them; for if you observe, our mutual Journals go safely, so I
let them have it from pure kindness. It is the only letter I send, and
nobody seems to guess when we can write again, not for two months
certainly, so do not fidget about us. We are all well and prosperous.


Simla, Monday, July 1.

I sent off a short Journal to you on Saturday, which you will probably
never hear of, as in the dearth of Bombay steamers, the Government has
been trying a new experiment of taking up a Chinese clipper which will
probably be of little use, and they have sent her to Aden with our
letters, and have puffed their experiment so successfully that they have
actually entrapped me out of a large slice of Journal, so that portion
of my life will never be heard of again--'a blank, my lord.'

I should not care what becomes of the letters I write, if I could get
any to read. This is such a tiresome time of year for that, and I get
such yearnings for letters, and such fancies come over me. It seems an
odd thing to say to you, but I dare say you have the same thoughts with
regard to me, but I sometimes think _if_ anything should have happened
to you, what would become of me? and then the thought gets fairly into
my head, and runs into all sorts of details, till I cannot get to sleep,
and know it is very wrong, and then I ask Dr. D. for a little medicine
and I get better, but in the meanwhile it is horrid to be so far off.
However, of course you are very well, and so am I; only mind we keep so,
because we really must meet again, we shall have so much to say. We
heard of dear old Runjeet's death on Saturday. It took place on the
27th. It is rather fine, because so unusual in the East, that even to
the last moment, his slightest signs, for he had long lost his speech,
were obeyed. It is almost a pity they were, only that one is glad such a
master mind should have its dues to the last; but the despatch says,
that on the last day the Maharajah sent for all his famous jewels, his
horses with their splendid trappings, the surpêche and pearls given him
by G., and ordered them to be sent to different shrines with directions
that the Brahmins should pray for him; that Kurruck Singh (the heir) and
the sirdars who were sitting round his bed burst into loud lamentations
and said, 'What will become of us if you give everything away?' and the
Maharajah wept, but said it must be so. Then he ordered the Koh-i-noor
(the famous diamond) to be sent down to the temple of Juggernaut, but
his sirdars again represented that there was not such another diamond in
the world, and that the whole wealth of India could not repurchase it,
and he consented to let that remain. But the distribution of jewels went
on till the evening, and he is supposed, his newswriters say, to have
given away the value of two crores of rupees. It is a great pity such a
collection of precious stones, quite unequalled, should be dispersed to
these shrines, where they will never be seen again. The Rajah Dhian
Singh, the prime minister, seems at present to manage everything, and to
be in as great favour with Kurruck Singh as he was with the father; and
as he is a very superior man, with dominions of his own almost equal to
the Punjâb, things may go on quietly if he remains in favour; but young
Noor Mahal Singh, Kurruck's son, is coming back from Peshawur,
determined to make himself prime minister to his father, so there may be
a danger of a fight. G. declares that no degree of confusion (and I am
willing to make as much as possible, if it would be of any use) will
keep us here another year, so it is no use blowing up the coals amongst
the kings. Our poor fat friend Shere Singh has sent his chief adviser
here, to ask protection and advice, and he brought me a very pretty
letter from little Pertâb, and I have just been signing a Persian answer
to it, and equally pretty, I am confident. I just ran my eye over it to
be sure that Mr. C. had expressed my real sentiments, and I think it
looked very like them. Shere Singh is in a terrible fright.


Tuesday, July 2.

The accounts from Lahore describe great dismay and real grief amongst
Runjeet's subjects. Two of his ranees have declared their determination
to burn themselves with him; but as their stepson Kurruck has implored
them not to do so, it is to be hoped they will give it up, if they are
sure of kind treatment. I begin to think that the 'hundred wife system'
is better than the mere one wife rule; they are more attached and
faithful.


Wednesday, July 3.

There have been two dry days without fog or rain, so we took advantage
of them to be 'at home' last night, and the people all came and danced
very merrily for two hours, and in the middle of the party, the express
with the overland mail arrived--rather a disappointment, as it only
comes down to April 15th. I presume your letter is coming, and in the
meanwhile you were well to the 15th; but I want your view of things,
instead of having to pick them out of "Galignani". Those poor dear
ranees whom we visited and thought so beautiful and so merry, have
actually burnt themselves; but I am not going to tell you any more about
Lahore for the present, as G. gets every day from his native newswriter
such quaint and interesting accounts of all the intrigues, and events,
and lamentations there, that I will send you the papers--I am sure they
will interest you. The death of those poor women is so melancholy, they
were such gay young creatures, and they died with the most obstinate
courage.



CHAPTER XLI


August 1, 1839.

This will be more a letter than a Journal, as I have skipped more than a
fortnight, partly because I have been obliged to give all my little
leisure to drawing for the fancy fair, and then, that I have had ten
days of the same ague I had in the plains, from the same
reason--constant rain and fog. It is a tiresome complaint while it
lasts, from the violence of the headache and pains in the bones, but I
do not think it does one much real harm, at least not up here. It
stopped only four days ago, and I feel quite well again. We are very
quiet just now. Rains and fogs the whole day, till towards five o'clock,
when it kindly holds up to allow us to go out for an hour and a half,
and then it kindly rains again so as to prevent anybody coming to
dinner. G. and I went yesterday to show F. a beautiful new walk we had
discovered; that is, we call it a walk, though there is nothing to walk
upon but a goat-path, but it leads to a beautiful hill which stands bolt
upright by itself, looking down on various little villages in the
valleys. The first time we went, the jonpaunees contrived to carry me
most part of the way, but this time what little path there had been was
washed away, and we had to walk with sticks in one hand and to cling to
the rocks with the other, and the jonpaunees crept along just under the
path to catch us if we slipped. I never saw anything so beautiful as it
was, the ground so green with all sorts of ferns, and covered with iris
and mountain geraniums, and such an amphitheatre of mountains all round,
with great white clouds in the valleys, just as if the mountains had let
their gowns slip off their shoulders. Our Bengalee servants, who turn
out in great numbers when we walk, evidently thought it a service of
great danger, particularly when one of my boys slipped down a little
waterfall, and looked, as G. said, in his red and gold, like a large
goldfish floundering about in the pool below. My old jemadar came and
gave me a regular scolding this morning, which he had evidently got up
with great care in his choicest English. 'Soobratta tell me, my lord and
my two ladies take very dangerous walk, so I just ask of ladyship's
favour to ask my lord not to order any more such walk. Ladyship not
strong constitution' (that is a long word they have picked up from the
native doctor, who always tells me so), 'and what for she walk when she
can be carried, and why go on bad road? I see our bheestie's
(water-carrier) cow last week tumble down hill, and she roll over and
over till she come _kill_ at the bottom, and if ladyship see that, she
never go dangerous walk again.' He walked off quite satisfied with
himself and his oratory, and I own, I think the roll and 'come kill' of
the bheestie's cow is pathetic and conclusive.


Tuesday, August 6.

I have had such a piece of _shawl_ luck; everybody's mind gets a shawl
twist in India, you must understand; and moreover we are all making up
our packets for England now.

This place is full of Cashmerees, and they never come further south than
Delhi, so this is our last shawl opportunity. Q. came into my room with
a magnificent black one, a regular fifty-guinea shawl, and said the
owner had told him to show it to me. I said it was very beautiful, but I
could not afford any more expensive shawls, and he said if I really
fancied it, he would try and beat the price down. I said no, but at the
same time asked, in a fatal fit of curiosity, what the price was, and he
said, 'Perhaps I can get it cheaper, but the man says you may have it
for 240 rupees.' (24_l._) Upon which I said with infinite
promptitude--'Oh, then, run for your life and pay him directly, before
anybody else sees him!' and Q. thought it advisable himself, for he said
some of the other Cashmerees were offering him more for it. The shawl
has been compared with three bought by Mrs. R. and Mrs. A. for fifty
guineas, and there is not a shade of difference; in fact, it is a
perfect beauty, quite a catch.


August 18.

I am uncommonly unhappy in my mind. My dear little flying squirrel, that
I had brought up to "man's estate" from three days old, died yesterday
of cholera. I never mean to witness the death of a pet again. To be
sure, Chance has lasted so many years that I have not had much practice,
but I am quite wretched about this poor little animal. He was so
coaxing, and though my doors and windows are never shut, and he had no
cage, he never thought of stirring out of my rooms. When I came home, he
used to stick his little head out from under the pillow and hold out his
paw for my hand and bite it all over; and when I was dressing, he always
sat on the glass, or on Wright's shoulder, with great black eyes like
Pamela's fixed on my hair, which he helped to arrange occasionally. When
G. came in the evening, he climbed up the arm-chair and sat on his
shoulder, apparently whispering to him; and though G. said the squirrel
was only pulling his ear, I am convinced he had more to do with public
affairs than people generally supposed. I never saw such a good little
thing or such a clean pet. He never ate anything but two or three
spoonfuls of tea, but yesterday he got hold of a pear the servants were
taking away from luncheon, and it killed him in a very few hours. My own
belief is that as _people_ in India are uncommonly dull, the surplus
share of sense is "served out" to the beasts, who are therefore
uncommonly clever, and their talents are developed by their owners
leading such solitary lives that they are able to devote more time to
the education of their animals.



CHAPTER XLII.


Simla, Sunday, Sept 1, 1839.

I think I will begin again soon this time--first, because to-morrow is
your birthday, so, as there is a difference of half the world in our
reckoning, I begin keeping it in time for fear of accidents. Then I am
moved to write, because I was looking over, for the 180th time, Swift's
Journal, and he says, in September 1710, just 129 years ago, 'Have I not
brought myself into a fine premunire to begin writing letters on whole
sheets? I cannot tell whether you like these Journal-letters. I believe
they would be dull to me to read them over; but perhaps little M. D. is
pleased to know how Presto passes his time.' Now, you are clearly M. D.,
so I look upon that as a prophecy, and think that I am fulfilling it.
Then I have an extra hour to-day. It began to pour just after we went
out riding, and we all had to rush home and got wet through.

W. O. writes from Loodheeana that the thermometer is 104°, and only two
degrees lower at night.


Friday, Sept 6.

I had some tents sent down to the waterfall yesterday, and Mrs. A. and
G. and I went down there to breakfast. The valleys are rather hot, but
we found a shady place near the great waterfall, where it was much
cooler than in the tents, and she and I talked there very comfortably,
while G. went out 'exploring,' and Chance had a vague idea that by
running up and down the bank he might succeed in stopping the waterfall,
but though he tried for four hours the experiment was a decided failure.
Those immense purple and green butterflies called 'Purple Emperors' were
flying about in quantities--such beautiful creatures! Mrs. A. would not
bring her children, and was delighted with the noise of the waterfall,
because otherwise she would have missed the noise of the children so
much more.

Mrs. N. and X. came down to luncheon, and then we all went to a second
waterfall, which is slightly inaccessible, but by dint of ladders and
chairs and being carried by jonpaunees here and there, we arrived at it,
and a very pretty sight it was--the cave so dark and the water so
bright. It looked so nice that we settled to pursue the bed of the river
in search of a third waterfall, which everybody talks of and nobody has
seen, so we were carried and the gentlemen splashed along through the
water, and Chance slipped into a deep place and was carried down and
nearly drowned; but Jimmund jumped in and 'plucked up his drowned honour
by the locks,' and after a little rubbing he soon came to. We found the
third fall, but could only see it from the top, as there was, no path
down the sides, and then we went back to Mrs. A. at the second fall. F.
came late, and was persuaded to scramble down to the second fall, and
then we all came home to dinner. That sort of day in the open air and
the shade is very pleasant, and though it seems like a long excursion
from the steepness of the roads, it is only three miles.

W. O. writes word that their camp has been attacked by regular thieves
and twenty camels carried off, and the sentries had killed two of the
thieves.

A box of books arrived yesterday, rather the worse for having travelled
through the rains, and unluckily the Annuals are those that have
suffered the most.


Sunday, Sept. 8.

Simla is much moved just now by the arrival of a Mrs. J.,[D] who has
been talked of as a great beauty all the year, and that drives every
other woman, with any pretensions in that line, quite distracted, with
the exception of Mrs. N., who, I must say, makes no fuss about her own
beauty, nor objects to it in other people. Mrs. J. is the daughter of a
Mrs. C., who is still very handsome herself, and whose husband is
deputy-adjutant-general, or some military authority of that kind. She
sent this only child to be educated at home, and went home herself two
years ago to see her. In the same ship was Mr. J., a poor ensign, going
home on sick leave. Mrs. C. nursed him and took care of him, and took
him to see her daughter, who was a girl of fifteen at school. He told
her he was engaged to be married, consulted her about his prospects, and
in the meantime privately married this child at school. It was enough to
provoke any mother, but as it now cannot be helped, we have all been
trying to persuade her for the last year to make it up, as she frets
dreadfully about her only child. She has withstood it till now, but at
last consented to ask them for a month, and they arrived three days ago.
The _rush on the road_ was remarkable, and one or two of the ladies were
looking absolutely nervous. But nothing could be more unsatisfactory
than the result, for Mrs. J. looked lovely, and Mrs. C. had set up for
her a very grand jonpaun, with bearers in fine orange and brown
liveries, and the same for herself; and J. is a sort of smart-looking
man, with bright waistcoats and bright teeth, with a showy horse, and he
rode along in an attitude of respectful attention to 'ma belle mère.'
Altogether it was an imposing sight, and I cannot see any way out of it
but magnanimous admiration. They all called yesterday when I was at the
waterfalls, and F. thought her very pretty.

 [D] Afterwards the celebrated Lola Montez.


Tuesday, Sept. 10.

We had a dinner yesterday. Mrs. J. is undoubtedly very pretty, and such
a merry unaffected girl. She is only seventeen now, and does not look so
old, and when one thinks that she is married to a junior lieutenant in
the Indian army, fifteen years older than herself, and that they have
160 rupees a month, and are to pass their whole lives in India, I do not
wonder at Mrs. C.'s resentment at her having run away from school.

There are seventeen more officers come up to Simla on leave for a month,
partly in the hope of a little gaiety at the end of the rains; and then
the fancy fair has had a great reputation since last year, and as they
will all spend money, they are particularly welcome; but we _had_ got
through all our formal dinners, and now we must begin again.


Wednesday, Sept. 11.

W. says the heat is terrific at Lahore, 104° at night and 109° in the
day; and Captain M. says none of them have closed their eyes for three
nights. We had a large party last night, the largest I have seen in
Simla, and it would have been a pretty ball anywhere, there were so many
pretty people. The retired wives, now that their husbands are on the
march back from Cabul, ventured out and got through one evening without
any prejudice to their characters.


Thursday, Sept. 12.

W. is very much bored at Lahore, and Mr. C. has given him leave to come
back, and he will be here in two or three days. Little Pertâb is as nice
a child as ever, W. says, and remembers all the English words we taught
him. They all cried and salaamed to the picture of Runjeet Singh, which
W. had copied from my sketch, and he was obliged to give it to the old
fakeer.


Monday, Sept. 16.

W. O. got home this morning, having ridden from Lahore in three days;
about sixty miles a day, and the thermometer at 110°--enough to kill
him, but he does not seem the worse for it, though he looks very thin.
He says he missed one of his relays of horses and lay down under a tree
to sleep while the guide rode on for a conveyance, and when he awoke, he
found one of the Akalees (those wild bigots of whom even Runjeet was
afraid) sitting by him and fanning him with a large fan. Touching!

We are going to a ball to-night, which the married gentlemen give us;
and instead of being at the only public room, which is a broken,
tumble-down place, it is to be at the C.s, who very good-naturedly give
up their house for it.


Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The ball went off with the greatest success; transparencies of the
taking of Ghuznee, 'Auckland' in all directions, arches and verandahs
made up of flowers; a whist table for his lordship, which is always a
great relief at these balls; and every individual at Simla was there.
There was a supper-room for us, made up of velvet and gold hangings
belonging to the durbar, and a standing supper all night for the company
in general, at which one very fat lady was detected in eating five
suppers. We came away at one, but it was kept up till five, and
altogether succeeded. W., after all that journey, sat up till five.


Thursday, Sept. 19.

The July overland came in yesterday, and I have got your nice _fat_
letter from Newsalls, and the Journal of your last month in London. I
remember the pain of leaving London at the end of the second season. It
was 'such dreadful hagony,' as the boy says, in 'Oliver Twist,' that I
quite enter into T.'s feelings. E. is pretty well for the first year,
and I expect will show stronger symptoms of the disease next year. The
third year I shall be at home, to hear all about it, which will be
amazingly good fun; and in the meantime you cannot imagine the
treasures these Journals are. Only think how pleasant! An old Colonel
Skinner, a native as black as this ink, whose life you can see in Miss
Roberts' book, writes to W. that 'If the Miss Edens do not wish to
mortify an old soldier, and bring down his grey hairs with sorrow to the
grave, they will accept a pair of shawls he has ordered for them in
Cashmere, and which have just arrived. If they return them, he shall
imagine they look upon him as a native, and not as an old British
soldier.' Nothing evidently could be more palpably indelicate than to
refuse them. I am the last woman in the world to hurt anybody's feelings
by returning any shawl, to say nothing of a white one, made on purpose
in Cashmere; and if he had thrown in a scarf, I should have thought his
appearance and complexion only too fair for a British soldier. Do you
think they will be long shawls, or square?



CHAPTER XLIII.


Simla, Friday, Sept. 27, 1839.

It appears that our last letters will again be too late for the steamer.
G. always keeps the express till it is a day too late for the steamer.
In fact, if he _has_ a fault (I don't think he has, but _if_ he has), it
is a slight disposition to trifle with the English letters, just on the
same principle as he always used to arrive half an hour too late for
dinner at Longleat and Bowood. He never will allow for the chance of
being too late, and now, for two months running, his despatches have
been left at Bombay.

We had our fancy fair on Wednesday, which went off with great _éclat_,
and was really a very amusing day, and moreover produced 6,500 rupees,
which, for a very small society, is an immense sum. When we arrived at
the 'Auckland Gate,' which was the same as last year, we were stopped by
a gang of gipseys, who had their little tent and their donkey, and the
pot boiling on three sticks, and a boy plucking a fowl and another with
a hare, &c. X. and L. and a Captain C. were disguised as gipseys, and
the most villanous-looking set possible; and they told our fortunes, and
then came on to the fair and sang an excellent song about our poor old
Colonel ---- and a little hill fort that he has been taking; but after
the siege was over, he found no enemy in it, otherwise it was a gallant
action. X. showed me the song some days ago, and I thought it might
affront the old man if it came upon him unawares, so they showed it to
him first, and he adopted it as his own joke.

Then the selling at the stalls began, and everything was bought up very
quickly; then there was a raffle for my two pictures, and we reduced the
tickets to 3 rupees each, and would not let anybody take more than
three, and yet, with that they produced 75_l._ Rather a shame! but I
could not help it--a little single figure, which I had done in two
mornings, and promised to W. O., was put up to auction when he was away,
and fetched 15_l._, so I must do another for him. F. sent a great
collection of toys she had made in the bazaar, which produced 20_l._
Mr. C. was an excellent auctioneer for the four things that were to be
sold by auction--that small drawing of mine and three beautiful little
oil paintings, sent to me for the fair by a regular artist, a Mr.
Gwatkin, whose Christian names are Joshua Reynolds (he is a great-nephew
of Sir Joshua), so Mr. C. began with the picture of an old, bald
man:--'Will anybody allow me to say 100 rupees for this splendid
composition of the famous Sir Joshua Reynolds?--an absolute gem, a real
Joshua Reynolds. I beg your pardon; I have just distinguished the
surname of Gwatkin, but I was misled by the similarity of style. The
original Sir Joshua would not, however, have been affronted; those flesh
tints on the bald head are magnificent! Eighty rupees I think you said.
But you have not noticed the mountain in the background--an exact
representation of any one of the Alps, I may say of all the Alps, and
valuable to any of us who are not likely to see the Alps in a hurry.
Mr. ----, allow me to say 100 rupees for this beautiful delineation of a
calm old age, unconscious of decay; it is worth your notice.' Mr. ----
looks about sixty, and still tries (without the least success) to be a
young man. G. bought the picture for me. I went as far as eight guineas
for the second myself, but was outbid by Mr. A.; and the third, which
was a very inferior article, of a nun, hung on hand, so at last C.
turned to the Baboo belonging to his office, who was grinning at his
master's jokes, and said, 'I see, Baboo, you are determined to outbid
everybody for this valuable specimen of English art--Seetannauth Baboo
has bid thirty-five rupees for this remarkable portrait of a nun "in
maiden meditation, fancy free," and I have great pleasure in knock-it
down to him. Seetannauth Baboo, you are most fortunate.' The Baboo
clearly did not know why, but he is very rich, and the Hindus have a
great idea of the saving merits of charity; so he paid his money, and I
saw him all the rest of the day walking about, with his servant carrying
his little nun's picture after him.

We had provided luncheon at a large booth with the sign of the 'Marquess
of Granby.' L. E. was Old Weller, and so disguised I could not guess
him. X. was Sam Weller; R., Jingle; and Captain C., Mrs. Weller; Captain
Z. merely a waiter, with one or two other gentlemen; but they all acted
very well up to their characters, and the luncheon was very good fun,
and was kept up through three relays of company, fifty at a time; and as
we found all the food, the proceeds for the charity were very good. Then
G. gave some prizes for the Ghoorkas to shoot for, and the afternoon
ended with races; a regular racing stand, and a very tolerable course
for the hills, all the gentlemen in satin jackets and jockey caps, and a
weighing stand--in short, everything got up regularly. I never can care
about races, but this was a popular bit of the day with most of the
people, who had vague recollections of Epsom in their young days. Half
the stakes went to the charity. Altogether there is money enough to keep
up the hospital for four years, by which time another Governor-General
will be here; but I'm afraid when Dr. D. goes, it will not be the useful
establishment it has been. Everybody likes these out-of-door amusements
at this time of year, and it is a marvel to me how well X. and R. and L.
E. contrive to make all their plots and disguises go on. I suppose in a
very small society it is easier than it would be in England, and they
have all the assistance of servants to any amount, who do all they are
told, and merely think the 'Sahib Logue' are mad.


Friday, Oct. 4.

This has had a week's interruption, for I was taken on Saturday with
spasms, and then fever, and so on; and have been quite laid up.

The August overland arrived yesterday. Letters of August 12th here on
October 3rd. Quicker than ever! By-the-bye, I beg to remind you that we
left Portsmouth this day four years. There is something in that; I do
not exactly know what, but something--the waste of four good years, if
nothing else. Your letters from Newsalls, and all the letters, had a
quiet, pleasant _family way_ with them, but very few events. It is
rather shocking to see you regretting your London season so much. I am
afraid, my dear M., that after 'a youth of folly' you will be reduced to
solace yourself with 'an old age of cards.'

With the Bombay dâk came that shawl of Colonel Skinner's I told you we
were expecting, but we were so occupied with the letters, we could not
at first attend to the shawl; but now, upon investigation, we are all of
opinion there never was so handsome an article seen. The dâk was, I
suppose, overloaded, so that only one shawl is come. F. and I are in
such a horrid fright, lest the other should be lost. We have not the
nerve to draw lots for this one; it would be almost less unpleasant to
cut it in two.

One of our servants dropped down dead in the verandah three days ago. He
was talking and laughing with some of the others, squatting on the
ground in their usual fashion, and he just laid his head back and died.
He was a young man--one we always called Shylock, from his sharp, Jewish
look. There are several of his relations in the establishment, and their
screams were horrible: but twelve hours after they buried him. Yesterday
they gave a great feast to all the Mussulmauns, and when that is over,
they always seem very comfortable again.

Think of T. putting in a letter to F. yesterday, 'This happy result of
the war will of course ensure Lord A.'s _elevation to the peerage_;
there cannot be two opinions about that.'

Curious ignorance, combined with considerable vulgarity! 'Yet Nature
might have made us such as these,' as Autolycus says; though really I do
not see how she could, with any conscience, or without a great deal of
trouble. T. is anxious we should stop a few days at ---- on our way down,
that we may make acquaintance with 'my dear wife and daughter,' as he
fears it will not suit his finances to go to Calcutta at present. I
think I see the whole camp of 12,000 precious souls stopping a few days
at a station where there are three Europeans, just to make acquaintance
with Mrs. and Miss T.! But all J.'s letters are 'du Collins tout pur.'


Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The second shawl is come to hand safe. Capt. P. writes from Cashmere
that he has seen those that are in the loom there for us, and that they
will not be finished for some months, but he says he never saw anything
the least like them. He gives such a horrid account of the tyranny of
the Sikhs over the Cashmerees, and in their own jaghires, through which
he has been passing; their cruelty is dreadful. He has been through the
territories belonging to the Jumnoo family, to which Dhian Singh, the
prime minister, our friend Heera Singh, and an uncle of his, Gholâb
Singh, belong.

The number of persons without noses, or ears, are incredible, and Gholâb
Singh, who is the worst of all, actually flayed alive the other day 300
men who had offended him.

It is the practice of that family never to allow a female infant of
their race to live; they marry wives from other very high Rajpoot
families, but they will not give their daughters to inferior princes nor
let them live unmarried, so they are all put away as soon as they are
born. I wonder the wives do not get up a little rebellion of their own.


Wednesday, October 9.

Sir E. Ryan, the chief justice, has come up from Calcutta on a hurried
tour to see India, and has seen more in five weeks than we have by
lumbering about in a camp for two years; and, moreover, we are all
aghast and rather affronted at his looks. We meant him to come up with a
parboiled Calcutta appearance, instead of which he looks younger and
better than when we first saw him; he has a very good colour, and walks
everybody to death. He came straight here after his journey up the
hills, and met G. and me on the road, took one of our longest walks with
us, and never would listen to our offer of the assistance of a pony. He
is a pleasant man, a good Whig, and keeps up his English politics, and
English books, and English laugh, and enjoys seeing everything, and
wants a little cricket in the afternoon. He is staying with Mr. ----, but
as the visit is by way of being to us, they dine here most days.


Sunday, Oct. 13.

We have the deputation from Kurruck Singh up here now, and had a very
pretty durbar yesterday, to which they brought their presents. We asked
a few ladies who had never seen a durbar, to come, and put them behind
the crowd, and they thought it a beautiful sight. While the durbar was
going on, there came an express to Mr. A., saying that Noor Mahal Singh,
the heir-apparent, and Dhian Singh had gone into Kurruck's durbar and
shot at a favourite of his, Cheyt Singh, who was sitting so close to his
master that some of the shot went into Kurruck's foot; he begged them to
kill him and spare his favourite, but they finished Cheyt with their
sabres. We give the soldiers a ball to-morrow, and on Tuesday begin to
pack up. I keep thinking it is the first step towards going home to you,
dear M., but I wish you lived _more handy like_.

My journey will be shorter than the others'. I leave the camp at Agra;
as G. and the rest of the party leave the camp at Gwalior, and will not
be at Calcutta till the beginning of April. I shall be housed at the end
of February.



CHAPTER XLIV.


Simla, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1839.

It is rather soon to begin again, but habit is everything, and there is
a little more to say while the Sikhs are here. Our ball for them last
night went off very well. I had the verandahs all closed in with
branches of trees, and carpets put down and lamps put up, and the house
looked a great deal larger. The chiefs were in splendid gold dresses,
and certainly very gentleman-like men. They sat bolt upright on their
chairs with their feet dangling, and I dare say suffered agonies from
cramp. C. said we saw them amazingly divided between the necessity of
listening to G. and their native feelings of not _seeming_ surprised,
and their curiosity at men and women dancing together. I think that they
learned at least two figures of the quadrilles by heart, for I saw
Gholâb Singh, the commander of the Goorcherras, who has been with
Europeans before, expounding the dancing to the others.

The two chief sirdars were not even at Lahore when we were there. I
thought they might eventually be taught to flirt, and wanted Mr. A. to
try and make up a match between the old fakeer and old Miss J., who is
between sixty and seventy, and something like the fakeer. Mr. A. was
quite willing, but unluckily Miss J. did not come.


Thursday, Oct. 17.

The gentlemen got up some racing yesterday, to which the Sikhs came, and
we all went. Racing is one of the few amusements they can enter into,
and they were very much amused. G. gave a silver hookah to be run for,
and the aides-de-camp a silver cheroot box, &c. The Sikhs saw us drawing
a lottery for the races and enquired what it meant, and in their quick
way set one up. Lehna Singh sent word to twelve of his guards to start;
wrote all their names in Persian on bits of paper, and said with a
complacent smile, 'Lotteree.'

Their races were very funny. They started as fast as the horse could
go--no Sikh horse can gallop 100 yards--and then they trotted on, or
walked, or stopped; but towards the winning-post the first man always
came in waving his whip over his head, looking in a prodigious hurry,
with the others at least a quarter of a mile behind. They rode with
their heavy shields and helmets on, and one man in chain-armour, which
helped to break his horse's leg. However, G. gave him a new horse, and
gave the four winners a pair of shawls each, so they thought English
racing quite delightful.


Friday, Oct. 18.

The Sikhs had their farewell durbar to-day. They are in such a fright,
poor people! at going back to their disturbed country, that they begged
for even one of the Government House hirkarus as a protection. They say
they were sent by Kurruck Singh, whose power has now passed into the
hands of his son and his minister, and they don't know what may be done
to them when they go back.

Noor Mahal and Dhian Singh called before them the uncle of Cheyt Singh,
whose murder I mentioned to you in my last Journal, and after trying to
make him confess where some pearls and jewels were hidden, killed him
with their own hands, and threw his body out before the palace gate.
Another chief, _they_ say, killed himself in prison, but others say they
poisoned him. The Punjâb is fast returning to the barbarous state from
which Runjeet redeemed it.

The native writer describes it all so like some of the old Jewish
troubles. He says: 'The Maharajah refused comfort, and asked if he were
really king, or if the power had left him; and the Koonwur (Noor Mahal)
and the Rajah answered, that he was the Lord of the World, and that they
were his slaves. The Maharajah went out to take the air on his elephant,
and the Koonwur sat behind him and drove the flies from him with a
chowry, and the Rajah carried a chattah (an umbrella) over his
head'--and then they came back and imprisoned and beat more of his
servants.

We had some more ladies to see the durbar, and the secretaries have
become resigned to that innovation, and think it rather improves the
appearance of things.


Wednesday, Oct. 23.

P. returned from Cashmere to-day, much sooner than we expected him. He
walked into my room just as I was going to dress, and I should not have
known him the least if I had met him out of doors. He said he had
spoken to several people, who had not made him out at all. His hair is
quite long, hanging about his shoulders, and his beard half-way down to
his waist. It is a mark of respectability in the countries he has
travelled through, but it looks ruffianish here: however, it was rather
becoming. P. gives such an account of the shawls that are making for us
in Cashmere, and he has brought drawings of them that make one's
shawl-mouth water.


Hurripore, Wednesday, Oct. 30.

There! I have seen the last of poor, dear Simla, except a distant
glimpse from the Fir Tree Bungalow, where I shall sleep to-morrow.

This place is so very low, and hot accordingly. I had always settled to
make my journey to Barr last four days. More than three hours of a
jonpaun knocks me up, and the last three days I have unluckily been
ailing. I should not have set off yesterday afternoon, only that my bed
and sofa and every atom of clothes had gone on in the morning, and three
hours of any pain can be borne. So in spite of a desperate headache, I
started for Syree, with Dr. D., Giles, and Wright, meaning to get into
bed the moment I arrived. But I had the sad spectacle of my bed set down
about half-way, and the coolies smoking and cooking their dinner round
it. However, Rosina had made me up a bed on a native charpoy that did to
lie and excruciate my head upon, till the bed came up, and the doctor
made me up a composing draught; but such a night as I had! I had not
tasted anything for thirty-six hours, and about ten an insane desire
for a sandwich seized me; so, though I had heard the cooks with all
their chattels set off for this place two hours before, I called to the
hirkaru who was sleeping at the door, and told him to tell Giles I
wanted a sandwich. Hirkarus are good for carrying a note, or a parcel,
but are never trusted with a message. After making me repeat sandwich
six times, and evidently thinking it meant a friend from England, or
some new medicine, I heard him repeating as he walked off round the
bungalow, 'Lady Sahib sant vich muncta' (muncta meaning '_wants_,' and
the only word that we have all learnt, showing what _wanting_ creatures
we are). Giles made up a mixture of leg of chicken and dust, which was
satisfying under the circumstances, but still my head raved; and having
heard the jackals (which do not exist at Simla) tearing up a dog, I had
a vague idea that the sandwich was made of the remains of Chance, which
gave it an unpleasant flavour.

Then the Pariah dogs fought, and the A.s' coolies arrived with all their
things and insisted on bringing them into the bungalow.

Then the Paharrees, at least 500 of them, who were resting on the hill,
began calling to their friends, 500 more, who were cooking in the
valley. One man was calling for his friend Buddooah. 'Oh! Buddooah!
Buddoo!' to which somebody responded, 'Oh! Almooah!' and it was not
Almooah who had called; so then the caller began again at the top of his
voice: 'Oh! Buddooah!' and the answer was, 'Oh! Culloo!' but it was not
Culloo, by any manner of means; so then he called again, till he had
woke every Buddooah in camp, and I don't believe he ever found the
right one at last.

However, I arrived at the conclusion that Buddooah must be Hindustani
for 'Jack,' it seemed such a common name, and that is a great discovery;
and I also settled that, if I had had a stick and no headache, I would
have gone and taught that man to carry his own messages, and not stand
there screaming all night.

The conclusion of the night was, that a rat ran over my bed and across
my throat, and did not the least care for my trying to catch him. We
came on early this morning, and my head is beginning to improve.


Fir Tree Bungalow, Friday, Nov. 1.

F. and G. and P. arrived to breakfast to-day, and this afternoon we all
go down to our deplorable tents. There is a distant view of Simla from
this place, and very pretty it looks. Giles is taking a sentimental
farewell of it through a telescope, and lamenting over his lost garden:
'But one comfort, ma'am, is that I have brought away my favourite
gardener to look after your pheasants.' I am trying to carry down to
Calcutta some of the Himalayan pheasants, to be shipped off to your
Charlie the moment we arrive.

They are such beautiful creatures, the whole bird of bronzed blue, like
the breast of a peacock, except the tail and wings, which are of a
reddish brown, and they have a bright green tuft on their heads. I have
had some of them two months, and they have grown tame, but at first they
are very apt to die of fright. Yesterday, when I took up the last new
one to feed it, it fainted away and died soon after. However, I still
have five, and they have a snug little house, carried by two men, and a
little tent of netting, which is pitched in front of it when we halt, so
that they may run in and out without being touched. Every precaution is
taken, but still there will be many a slip between this pheasant cup and
Charlie's lip, I am afraid.



CHAPTER XLV.


Pinjore, Sunday, Nov. 3, 1839.

Yes! we are in for it now. All the old discomfort, and worse; for we
left the nice autumnal air blowing at the Fir Tree, with the fern waving
and the trees looking red, and brown, and green, and beautiful--and now
we are in all our old camel-dust and noise, the thermometer at 90° in
the tents, and the punkah going. We received the officers of the escort
and their wives, after church, which was hot work, but I am rather glad
we have so many ladies in camp: it makes it pleasanter for the
gentlemen, and at the different stations it is very popular. Last year
there were only F. and me. In ten days, when we shall have a fresh
cavalry regiment, there will be at least twenty, and about twelve of
them dancers, which is lucky, for we hear of an awful number of balls in
prospect.

They were a ladylike set that we saw to-day; one of them a striking
likeness of you--a thing that I deny to everybody else, but still I do
see it; and perhaps it is better than nothing.


Munny Majra, Monday, Nov. 4.

We began riding part of the march to-day, and the horses go very well,
considering they have had a rest for seven months. My horse is such an
angel! I really like him with a sort of minor Chance sentiment.


Umballa, Thursday, Nov. 7.

E. N. and Mr. G. met us this morning, and rode in with us, and in the
afternoon we went to see E. N.'s house, which he has furnished very
nicely, quite in his mother's style.

A Captain B. arrived from Cabul, with one or two others, and are to
march with us to Kurnaul. They all deny the report of the army ever
having suffered further distress than a want of wine and cigars, and
they are all looking uncommonly fat.

Captain D., of G.'s body-guard, brought back three of the sheep with
which he left us last year, and the 16th are bringing back in safety
their pack of foxhounds. That does not look like having undergone great
privation. Captain B. brought me two shawls from Sir W. C., very pretty
ones--at least we should have thought them so, before we were spoiled by
plenty.


Shah-i-bad.

Mrs. B. arrived last night to meet her husband. She did not know he was
come, so she went straight to E. N.'s bungalow--the usual method with
ladies travelling dâk--and he found her there when he went home from
dinner.

He said he had given up the house to her and gone into a tent, and that
the two little children had arrived with their dear little stomachs much
discomposed by the journey, and had spoilt the sofa whose cover I had
admired in the morning.

This was the place where I bought my little girls last year, and it is a
curious coincidence, that their nominal father, who went to the Punjâb
and took service with Shere Singh, has left him, and arrived at this
place last night, found Rosina's tent, woke her up in the middle of the
night, and the little girls too, and cried and sobbed and kissed the
children, and wanted very much to have them back again. They are so
afraid he will carry them off, that they will not lose sight of Rosina
for a moment. Shere Singh gave this man a rupee a day to teach his cook
English cookery like ours. The man had only waited at our table, so his
imitation of an English _cuisine_ must have been faint and nasty.


Thanjou, Saturday, Nov. 9.

The dear overland post came in just as we came off the march, and were
sitting in front of the tents, sipping gritty tea, dusty up to the eyes,
and with a wretched 'up-before-breakfast' feeling, which evinces itself
in different manners: X. and Z. sneeze at each other; W. O. smokes a
double allowance; F. suffers from hunger; I yawn; G. groans and turns
black; the doctor scolds C. because the road was dusty, and A. rushes
off to business; but this _bad bit_ was cut short by that packet.

I know so well all you say, dearest, about these _weary_ feelings of
life; not that you have any right to them, because you have so many
young lives growing up round you--first volumes of novels that you ought
to carry on to third volumes.

I have a right to feel vapid and tired and willing to lie down and rest;
for during the last four years my life has been essentially an
artificial life; and, moreover, from my bad health it is physically
fatiguing, and I feel I am flagging much more than I ever expected to
do. I should like to see you and to be at home again; but I have no wish
to begin a fresh course of life--not from any quarrel with it, for I
know nobody who is in fact more spoiled, as far as worldly prosperity
goes. I never wish for a thing here that I cannot have, and G., who has
always been a sort of idol to me, is, I really think, fonder of me than
ever, and more dependent on me, as I am his only confidant. I feel I am
of use to him, and that I am in my right place when I am by his side.
Moreover, his government here has hitherto been singularly prosperous
and his health very good, so that there is nothing _outward_ to find
fault with, and much to be thankful for. Still, I have had enough of it,
and as people say in ships, there is a difficulty in 'carrying on.'

'My blood creeps now only in drops through its courses, and the heart
that I had of old, stirs feebly and heavily within me.' It is the change
from youth to age, and made in unfamiliar scenes, so that it is the more
felt. I never had any opinion of

    The glories serenely adorning the close of our day,
    The calm eve of our night;....

and never wanted the caution,--

    Nor from the dregs of life hope to receive
    What the first sprightly runnings would not give.

The dregs never held out any promise, but the first sprightly runnings
gave a good deal more happiness than people generally allow. I am quite
sure that you and I feel unusually detached from the future, from having
enjoyed our young days so eagerly.

They were very happy lives; and very often, when I am too tired to do
anything else, I can think over particular days, with nothing but high
spirits to recommend them, that are still quite refreshing. Days when we
were making rush-mats in the garden; then your first 'coming out' at
Oxford, with Lady Grenville; the day Mr. C. gave me my parrot, in what
we called a gold cage; then, later on, visits to Longleat, and a sort of
humble adoration of Lady B. and Lady G.; and then, of all the fortnights
in life I should like to do over again, that fortnight at Burgh; ---- ----
meeting us on his little black pony, as you brought me back from Thames
Ditton, and giving me some heath and some bluebells; and then the fun of
peering out of your window, to see him on the lawn. I could draw his
picture now quite easily. Then there were some good passages at Neasdon,
when T. and E. were such dear, little, small things; so stupid of them
to grow up--they should never have consented to pass four years old.
However, it is of no use going over these things; only, when you say you
are rather tired, I merely answer--so am I!

God bless you, dearest. In two days we shall be at Kurnaul, where we
shall halt the rest of the week; such a dusty, hot place. I never meant
when I started in life to march three times through Kurnaul. However, it
is all on the way home.



CHAPTER XLVI.


Camp, Kurnaul, Nov. 13, 1839.

We arrived here yesterday morning, and it is horrible to think how by
constantly campaigning about we have become 'Kurnaul's tired denizens.'
This is the third time we have been here; the camp is always pitched in
precisely the same place; the camp followers go and cook at their old
ashes; Chance roots up the bones he buried last year; we disturb the
same ants' nests; in fact, this is our 'third Kurnaul season,' as people
would say of London or Bath.

We had the same display of troops on arriving, except that a bright
yellow General N. has taken his liver complaint home, and a pale
primrose General D., who has been renovating for some years at Bath, has
come out to take his place. We were at home in the evening, and it was
an immense party, but except that pretty Mrs. J. who was at Simla, and
who looked like a star amongst the others, the women were all plain.

I don't wonder that if a tolerable-looking girl comes up the country
that she is persecuted with proposals. There were several gentlemen at
Kurnaul avowedly on the look-out for a wife.

That Mrs. ---- we always called 'the little corpse' is still at Kurnaul.
She came and sat herself down by me, upon which Mr. K., with great
presence of mind, offered me his arm, and asked if I would not like to
walk, and said to G. he was taking me away from that corpse. 'You are
quite right,' G. said; 'it would be very dangerous sitting on the same
sofa; we don't know what she died of.'

G. gives a great _man_ dinner to-day, which is refreshing to his
womenkind, who may dine quietly in their own tents.


Friday, Nov. 15.

There were some races early yesterday morning, to which they expected us
to go; so I got up early and went with G., and luckily they were more
amusing than most Indian races. Captain Z. revels in a halt at a great
station, calls at everybody's house, eats everybody's breakfast, and
asks himself to dinner everywhere; also rides everybody's horses, and
as, when he is well fed and thickly clothed, he weighs about four
pounds, he is a valuable jockey, and he won two races to his great
delight.

The last race was run by fifteen of the grasscutters' ponies, ridden by
their owners. These ponies are always skeletons, and their riders wear
no great quantity of drapery, partly because they have no means of
buying it, and then it is not their custom. They ride without saddles,
and go as fast as they can, with their legs and arms flying in the air,
looking like spiders riding on ants. One pony which was not
particularly lame, was reckoned so very superior, that all the other
riders insisted on his carrying two grasscutters, so the poor animal
cantered in with two men on his back. I was so sleepy at the ball last
night; I had sat two hours by K., knowing I should have to go in to
supper with him, and at last, in a fit of desperation, asked Colonel L.,
one of our camp, to give me his arm. He is a regular misanthrope, and a
professed woman-hater, and never even will call on us, though he has to
come to the house every day to see G., and he looked astounded at my
assurance; however, he bore it very well, and was rather pleasant in a
bitter kind of way. We did not get home till past one. To-day we have a
small dinner, chiefly of people who have come into camp from a distance.


Sunday, Nov. 17.

We left Kurnaul yesterday morning. Little Mrs. J. was so unhappy at our
going, that we asked her to come and pass the day here, and brought her
with us. She went from tent to tent and chattered all day, and visited
her friend Mrs. ----, who is with the camp. I gave her a pink silk gown,
and it was altogether a very happy day for her, evidently. It ended in
her going back to Kurnaul on my elephant with E. N. by her side, and Mr.
J. sitting behind, and she had never been on an elephant before, and
thought it delightful. She is very pretty, and a good little thing,
apparently, but they are very poor, and she is very young and lively,
and if she falls into bad hands, she would soon laugh herself into
foolish scrapes. At present the husband and wife are very fond of each
other, but a girl who marries at fifteen hardly knows what she likes.


Paniput, Tuesday, Nov. 19.

I am so tired of being always at Paniput; are not you tired of hearing
of it? We are constantly dropping in there. There is one European living
here, a Mr. ----, the image of Jenkins, the dancing-master, for which
simple reason we have always liked him. He has no other striking merit,
but there is a halo of 'Prince of Wales's step' and 'the slow movement'
floating round him which is rather interesting.

We went to see his gaol, two miles off, and the first shower of rain of
the season chose to come just as we were half-way there, on the
elephants. A howdah is a sort of open cage without a top, and nobody had
thought of a cloak, so it was a pleasant expedition. Paniput has had
several famous battles fought at, or near it, and there is a grand
tradition of one battle where 200,000 men fought on each side, and four
were left alive. That is something like fighting; but happily it is not
true.


Friday, Nov. 22.

We have had two or three most uneventful marches, and Sergeant H., who
goes on the day before, always sends back the same report, 'Road rough
and very dusty,' or to vary it, 'Road very rough and dusty.' However, we
are always able to ride half of the way, which is a great help.

To-day we came over a wretched road and a bridge with one arch broken
and no parapet, and as Sergeant H. reported, 'Bridge in a worse state,
if possible, than last year; quite unsafe for the carriage.' After we
come in to camp, we generally all sit in front of the tents and drink
tea. The gentlemen come and ask for a cup and talk over the disasters of
the road, and it is rather a gossiping time; particularly when enlivened
by Mr. S., who is always like a sharp contradictory character in a
farce, but before he has had his breakfast he is perfectly rabid. To-day
he began as usual.

'How slowly you must have come.'

'The road was so bad,' I said.

'Yes, so everybody chooses to say. I thought it the best road we have
had, much better than any of C.'s famous smooth roads.'

'Did you come safely over that bridge?'

'What was to hinder me? I cannot think why people find fault with that
bridge, one of the best bridges I ever saw.'

'Except that it has a broken arch and no parapet,' I suggested.

'Well! nobody wants to drive on a parapet. I think parapets are
perfectly useless.'

Then C.'s palanquin went by, and as he was standing with us, Mr. S. took
the opportunity of asking, 'What wretches of children are those, I
wonder?' 'Mine,' said C., 'or you would have had no pleasure in asking.'

It was such nonsense! Little 'Missey C.' is the smallest, prettiest
little fairy I ever saw, and the pet of the whole camp; they are really
beautiful children, and S. knew the palanquin perfectly. I told him at
last he was just what our governess used to call 'a child that had got
out of bed the wrong way,' and recommended his having his breakfast as
soon as possible, and he owned, he thought it advisable himself.


Delhi, Monday, Nov. 25.

I am glad to be at dear Delhi again; it is the only place in the plains
I have ever seen worth looking at, and it looks grander and more 'great
Babylonish' than ever. We arrived on Saturday morning and rode in
through an immense crowd, for besides all the regiments here, people
have come from all parts just to ask for what they can get; appointments
are filled up in November, because all the sick people who have been
knocked up by the hot season get their furloughs for going home.

G. hates Delhi from the very circumstance of all these applicants. We
had an immense party on Saturday evening, and nobody but ourselves knows
who composed it.

There were young ladies from Meerut come for the chance of two balls,
and all the ladies of our camp, and a great many from Kurnaul, and
several young civilians who really had come in from their solitary
stations to look for wives.

F. has caught such a cold she cannot go out. We never can settle whether
we would rather have a slight illness, or go through all the festivities
of a Station.

F. has not tried it before, but she now thinks she prefers the cold,
only she has too much pain in her bones.

The people will not tempt us with many pretty things to buy, or else we
have grown particular.


Tuesday, Nov. 26.

We had a great dinner yesterday, and G. and I went to the Station ball,
which was very well managed. I do not know why one ball should be better
than another; as far as the dinners are concerned, I think they are all
equally tiresome, but balls do differ.

This was a very _dancing_ business, and we did not get away till one. It
went on till three, and I have been obliged to represent to our
_engaged_ aides-de-camp how very wrong it is of them to dance three
times with the same girl--such a waste of time to all parties.

P. is quite altered since he has been engaged, and will talk and joke
and dance in the most _débonnair_ manner. I suggested to him the
propriety of my writing to Miss S. about his dancing three times with
the same young lady, but he says he danced once under Captain L. E.'s
name, and that he got up early to write an account of himself to
'Clarissa' this morning, mentioning that he had no pleasure in society
whatever!

I have just been to ask G. to give F. and me two rings on which we have
fixed our small affections, to which he was quite agreeable; but he had
a lavish idea about buying for us two diamond bracelets, that a man from
Lucknow has brought. I think that would be rather indefensible. However,
they are gone to be valued.



CHAPTER XLVII.


Kootûb, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1839.

We made this our first march, as most of the camp have not seen it. It
is the most magnificent pillar, I suppose, in the world, and looks as if
it had been built yesterday; but all the fine ruins about it have
crumbled away sadly, even since we were here two years ago.

Those diamond bracelets were not worth half what the man asked for them,
which I am rather glad of, as I think it would have been a waste of
money, and we do not want more trinkets.

G. and I had to go last night to a play, got up by amateurs, which was
rather a failure, because the chief character did not happen to know a
single word of his part, and that put out all the others, but they
thought it rather good themselves.

This morning the General insisted on having all the troops paraded at
six in the morning, and so, as F. still has her cold, and G. hates being
left by himself, I had to ride out of camp. It was nearly dark, and they
fired the salutes right into the horses' faces, and then poked their
colours into their eyes, and drummed 'God save the King' into their
ears, all which induced them to prance. I thought it rather dangerous,
very noisy, and extremely tiresome, and I could not think of a word to
say to General M. that I had not said at least eight times over in the
last three days, so I was glad when he thought he had convoyed us out of
his grounds, and if we ever go back to Delhi again I hope there will be
a new General, so that the same topics may serve me again and look
fresh.

I had a great mind to tell him that I felt very ill, which was quite
true, but as the water at Delhi is invariably a rank poison that would
have been nothing new.


Bullumghur, Friday, Nov. 29.

We had made a pretty arrangement yesterday to go to a small private camp
at Toglichabad; a very old town with some splendid ruins about it, and
there had been a road made for us, and supplies sent; but then F.'s cold
was still bad, and my Delhi illness was worse than ever, so we gave it
up, though it looked inconsistent and foolish after all the fuss that
had been made, and X. says there was a quantity to see and sketch. I
have only been able to make four sketches since we left Simla, for
dearth of subjects; but I am glad we did not go, I had such a headache.
Half the camp was poisoned at Delhi.


Sunday, Dec. 1.

We are all well again; and just think of the pleasure of the October
mail arriving this morning, only a fortnight after the last. G. has a
letter of the 16th, only just six weeks old, but there is some mistake
about yours and the letters of the family in general. They are sent off
a fortnight too soon: at least we always have public letters and papers
dated a fortnight later, and those newspapers, besides taking off the
edge of the news for half the next month, put me in a fright. I am so
afraid, after hearing that you were well and prosperous the 8th of
September, of finding in the 'Morning Chronicle' of October 12th, that
C. D., Esq., who lives not 100 miles from Newsalls, was taken before the
magistrates for beating M. his wife, and tearing her hair and her best
shawl; or else that your new house in Stratton Street had been burnt
down before you could insure it, and that you had lost your little all,
and perhaps were found begging in the streets, surrounded by your nine
children, and causing an obstruction at Hyde Park Corner. Do you know,
that whenever I read a heap of English papers at once, 'indeed, indeed
I'm very very sick,' there is such a quantity of crime. This time the
cruelty to children and apprentices has put me in a frenzy, and there
are at least eight exemplary wives murdered by their husbands, and one
murderer gets off with six months' imprisonment, because his lawyer
chooses to make a pert attack on Lord ----, which pleases the
Recorder--so like English justice. I am also very low about politics. I
hate all those last changes, and I wish the Whigs would go quietly and
respectably out in a body, and leave the Tories and Radicals to fight it
out.


Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Last night, when we were playing at whist, I saw X. fidgeting about
behind G.'s chair with a note in his hand, and began to think you were
ill, and had sent for me to your tent, or something of that sort; but it
turned out to be an express with another little battle, and a most
successful one. The Khan of Khelât was by way of being our ally and
assistant, and professing friendship; did himself the pleasure of
cutting off the supplies of the army when it was on its way to Cabul;
set his followers on to rob the camp; corresponded with Dost Mahomed,
&c.

There was no time to fight with him then, and I suppose he was beginning
to think himself secure; but G. directed the Bombay army, on its way
home, to settle this little Khelât trouble. General ---- was led to
suppose his place was not a strong one, and took only 1,000 men with
him, but he found Khelât a very strong fort with plenty of guns, and the
Khan at the head of 2,000 soldiers. It was all done in the Ghuznee
manner--the gates blown in and the fort stormed--but the fighting was
very severe. The Khan and his principal chiefs died sword in hand, which
was rather too fine a death for such a double traitor as he has been;
and one in six of our troops were either killed or wounded, which is an
unusual proportion. They found in the town a great many of our camels
and much of the property that had been pillaged from the army. Also
there will be a great deal of prize money. Another man has been put on
the Khelât throne, so that business is finished.


Bindrabund, Saturday, Dec. 7.

This is a famous Hindu place, and we have come a march out of the way to
look at it, partly because there is a great deal to see, and then that
the sepoys and half our camp may perform their devotions. The Hindu
devotions are always inexplicable, except in the simple fact that the
Brahmins cheat them out of a quantity of money, and our Mussulmaun
servants cannot be sufficiently contemptuous to-day as to the state of
affairs.

Monkeys and peacocks are sacred here, and consequently abound; and then
they have a tradition that Krishna (who seems to have been a larking
sort of Apollo) played various pranks here, and, amongst other little
jokes, stole all the clothes of the wives of the cowherds when they went
into the river to bathe, and carried them to the top of a tree, to which
they were obliged to come and beg, before he would give them back. He is
adored here for the delicacy of this freak, and a temple has been built
to commemorate it.

We went yesterday to visit all the temples and ruins under the guidance
of ----, who led us quite wrong and wasted our time at modern temples,
when we wanted to see the old ruins, but he rather made up for it by
taking us in boats on the Jumna to look at the ghauts. However, the
whole thing was done in state, with tribes of elephants, and dust, and
all the camp, and the secretaries, who never let us say or see anything
comfortably; so F. and I settled to stay behind to-day, when the camp
moved, and to pass our morning in an old Jain temple of singular beauty,
red granite magnificently carved, but the roof and half the heads of the
statues were knocked off by Aurungzebe in a fit of Mussulmaun bigotry.
X. and P. stayed with us, and we all settled ourselves in different
corners of the building, with a quantity of grains and sweetmeats in the
middle, to keep the monkeys quiet. Our breakfast was laid out in a sort
of side aisle of grotesque Hindu columns, and at each column was a
servant with a long stick keeping off the monkeys from the tea and
chocolate. One very enterprising monkey rushed down and carried off my
Indian rubber, which is a great loss to me, and I trust it disagreed
with him. It was an elaborate building to sketch, and we were nearly
four hours about it, but we all succeeded more or less; and it was so
cool and dark in the temple, it made it quite a pleasant morning, to say
nothing of a brass antique teapot and some lovely little brass goats
which X. bought for me coming back.


Muttra, Sunday, Dec. 8.

We came on in the evening to camp, and found G. at a durbar receiving a
Vakeel from the Bhurtpore Rajah and a visit from Luckund Chund, the
richest banker in India. He has two millions of money in Company's paper
at Calcutta, and only draws the interest once in four years. He is a
jeweller also by trade, and has some very handsome emeralds in camp to
dispose of. He brought 101 trays of presents, which gladdened Mr. C.'s
heart. We had a large congregation this morning, as there is a troop of
artillery here, and the English soldiers looked so well and homelike at
church.


Goverdun, Monday, Dec. 9.

These have been very good sight-seeing days, and I think I like Hindus
just now better than Mussulmauns. They consider trees sacred, and that
makes their country so much prettier. We went to a beautiful tomb this
afternoon surrounded by old temples and tombs belonging to the Bhurtpore
Rajah. The inside of one temple is painted with the original siege of
Bhurtpore and Lord Lake running away--the Europeans were originally
painted running away without their heads, but that has been rectified.
Then we went to what they call a chuttree, or something of that kind, a
place where there has been a suttee, and there are some lovely temples
built over the ashes. There never is time enough for sketching, which is
a pity.



CHAPTER XLVIII.


Dieg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1839.

The Bhurtpore Rajah came out to meet G. to-day with a pretty retinue,
odd-looking carriages and horses covered with gold, but he is a fat,
hideous young man himself. We went in the afternoon to see the palace at
Dieg, which the rajahs used to live in before the siege of Bhurtpore,
but they make no use of it now, which is a pity. The gardens are
intersected in all directions by fountains, and the four great buildings
at each side of the garden, which make up their palaces, are great
masses of open colonnades with baths, or small rooms screened off by
carved white marble slabs, and the fountains play all round the halls,
so that even in the hot winds, Mr. H. says, it is cool in the centre of
these halls. It was a very pretty sight to-day, from the crowds of
people mixed up with the spring of the waters; and the Mahrattas wear
such beautiful scarlet turbans covered with gold or silver cords, that
they showed it off well.

There is a Colonel E. come into camp to-day: he is the Resident at
Gwalior, and is come to fetch us. He is about the largest man I ever
saw, and always brings his own chair with him, because he cannot fit
into any other. He has lived so entirely with natives that I fancy he
very seldom sits on a chair at all, and I suppose he is, as ---- says,
very shy of white females, for it was impossible to get an answer from
him. It is a curious fact that the very * * *


Khoomberee, Wednesday, Dec. 11.

I would give anything to know what curious fact I was going to tell you.
You never _will_ know it now, that is certain. To finish off Colonel E.,
I must mention that the officer who commands his escort is called Snook,
and that his godfathers, to make it worse, called him Violet. He is a
little man, about five feet high, and is supposed to have called out
three people for calling him Snooks instead of _Snook_. I am giving up
my plan of leaving G. at Agra. He has cut off a month of his tour, and
means to go straight to Calcutta from Gwalior, which is seven marches
longer than my road, and with six days there, he would only be thirteen
days later than me; the old khansamah has set his face steadily against
it. He says, I have no business to leave the Lord Sahib, and that if I
take away one steamboat full of baggage and servants, he cannot make
show enough at Gwalior. Moreover, I am so well this year, I have no
excuse for idleness, when it would be so generally inconvenient; and I
do not like to leave G. and F. for two months, now that it only saves
thirteen days. We shall all be at Calcutta by the first of March now.


Bhurtpore, Thursday, Dec. 12.

We had some cheeta hunting on the way here. Antelopes abound, there are
hundreds of them to be seen at a time; the cheetas are put in carts like
the common hackeries the natives use, and which the antelopes are
accustomed to see, so they do not get much out of the way, and when the
cart is within 400 yards, the cheeta's hood is taken off, and he makes
two or three bounds and generally knocks down the antelope. If he fails
after a few bounds, he gets disgusted and comes back to the cart. There
were two or three good chases this morning but no antelope killed, which
was rather a blessing. We went so much out of the road, that the
regiments and all their baggage got before us, and we could not go on in
the carriage, and had to ride seven miles which I thought long. The
Bhurtpore Rajah came to the durbar in the afternoon. He is the ugliest
and fattest young man I ever saw. A small face that takes up the usual
space of the chin, and all the rest is head. He is very black, marked
with the small-pox, and can hardly waddle for fat, and is only
twenty-one. He was just six years old when Lord Combermere put him on
his throne.


Bhurtpore, Friday, Dec. 13.

The rajah is supposed to have the best shooting in India, and was to
give G. the most delightful sport, so there was such a fuss to be off at
six in the morning, and such a tribe of elephants, and such jealousy as
to who was to go, and how many, and perhaps a slight wonder as to how
all the game was to be disposed of; and they were out five hours, and
came back in a frenzy; G. having shot one quail and a wild cat, and
some one else a partridge, and another had seen a hare, and the rajah
had said at the end that he hoped the Lord Sahib was 'bhote razee,'
which means more than quite delighted with his day's sport. I think he
must be facetious though he does not look so. Mr. R. stayed behind to
let F. and me see some hawking, and we took Mrs. C. and Mrs. R. and
several of the officers and went into a boat with a large raised
platform, and the men with hawks went wading into the water and put up
wild ducks which the hawks invariably caught. We could not complain of
want of sport, but it is rather a butchering business.


Futtehpore-Sickrey, Saturday, Dec. 14.

We went to a beautiful fête last night, I never saw such illuminations
anywhere. The whole town for two miles was lit up with straight rows of
lamps, and at the palace there was a square of lights with four great
arches three stories high, with doors and windows all built of lamps.
The whole thing was very well ordered.

The rajah took G. into an immense hall fitted up in the oddest way with
French chandeliers of green and purple and yellow glass, as thick as
they could be hung. Looking-glasses, and old-fashioned mirrors, and
English prints on the wall. At the end there was the 'chamber of daïs,'
very much painted and gilded, and raised three steps, and there we were
all 'set of a row,' G. on one side of the rajah and I on the other, and
all our party in chairs, and his prime minister in the centre. All round
the hall were the officers of the escort and their wives, and the
Bhurtpore chiefs, and in the middle a very select assembly of
nautch-girls. I never saw so orderly a native party. The rajah was very
nervous at first, and his wide black face full of twitches, but Mr. H.
says he was very much pleased with the success of his party, as it is
the first time he has ever seemed to act for himself. It is always a
dull job, except that I like to look at the nautching, which bores most
people. The prime minister's little boy was introduced, a deformed
little animal, and G. gave him a diamond ring, which was unexpected and
well taken.

Then after G.'s trays of presents were taken away, there came in six for
me and six for F. of rather nice little articles, dressing gowns of
cloth of gold lined with cashemere, ivory chowries and fans, silver
tissue for turbans--very pretty pickings if they had been private
presents, but I saw C. twisting his moustaches in agonies, because they
were not intrinsically worth the diamond rings we gave in exchange. I
fancied the Rajah smelt very strongly of green fat, and as it was past
eight, and we are used to early dinners in camp, I thought in my hunger,
what a pity it was that we had not brought St. Cloup, who in
half-an-hour would have warmed the rajah up into excellent turtle soup.
We had a march of seventeen miles this morning, the longest we have ever
had, so of course the wheel of the carriage locked, before we had gone a
hundred yards. We have never had an accident before, this year. Webb had
gone on with the key, so we took refuge on two elephants and jogged on
four miles, and then overtook our tonjauns into which F. and I subsided.
Then Mr. H. came up driving Captain Z. in his buggy and set him down in
the road and took me. Ten minutes after, Dr. D. caught up F. and drove
her on. Mr. H. and I drove wildly on, looking for a conveyance for G.
and thought ourselves uncommonly clever in overtaking and bringing
together four of our carriage horses, and the palanquin carriage which
is drawn by bullocks when it is not wanted, and then we found that the
pole was sent on in a cart, and there was nothing but the bullock yoke,
so we drove on discomfited. Then we came to an empty buggy and put a
trooper to guard it and sent another back to tell G. it was there, but
it turned out that it belonged to ---- of the body guard, who has been in
constant scrapes and is under arrest, so G. could not well take that.
However, H. found his own horse for him, and altogether we got into camp
in very good time, but half the people came in late with all sorts of
difficulties. Camp conveyances are very good for ten or twelve miles,
but always fail on a long march; the bearers get tired and out of sorts.
We pass Mrs. ----, your likeness, every morning, with her bearers guarded
by two sepoys, because they will put down the tonjaun and run away.


Merahoon, Monday.

It was lucky we had our halt at Futtehpore-Sickrey. Except Delhi, it is
the most interesting place we have seen, and there is more to sketch,
and in these hurried journeys I do not think it any sin to sketch on
Sunday. There is a tomb of marble here, carved like lace--it would make
such a splendid dairy for Windsor Castle, it looks so cool and so
royal--and there is a beautiful gateway, the arch of which is ninety
feet high; and then there are some remains of the Emperor Akbar, which
give a good idea of the magnificent fellow he was. The throne in which
he sat to hear petitions stands in the centre of a hall, with a cross of
stone balconies abutting from it, to four open arches. His ministers
were placed at each end of that cross, their seats looking out on the
courts below, so any grievance that was stated _to_ them, or _against_
them, they were obliged to announce at the full extent of their voices,
else the emperor could not hear them, and the petitioner below was made
certain that his grievance was rightly stated. This throne, &c., is most
beautifully carved, as you will see whenever I send my sketch books
home. There is also a lovely carved room, all over European devices,
supposed to have been built by the directions of a favourite wife, whom
he imported from Constantinople. In the centre of the court, a
_pucheesee_ board (pucheesee is a sort of chess) is laid out in squares
of marble, and there is a raised seat on which Akbar sat and played the
games; the _pieces_ were all female slaves splendidly dressed, and
whoever won carried off the sixteen ladies.


Agra, Wednesday, Dec. 18.

We came here yesterday and went off the same afternoon to see the Taj,
which is quite as beautiful, even more so, than we had expected after
all we have heard, and as we have never heard of anything else, that
just shows how entirely perfect it must be. You must have heard and read
enough about it, so I spare you any more, but it really repays a great
deal of the trouble of the journey. We passed the day in the tents, as
they were more convenient for G.'s levée, and in the afternoon came on
to this delightful house, which was Sir Charles Metcalfe's and is now
Mr. H.'s, who has good-naturedly entrenched himself in one wing and
settled us in the rest. It is beautifully furnished, and so clean and
quiet. I really love it--it is so pleasant not to feel dusty.


Friday, Dec. 20.

We went yesterday to see Secundra, where Akbar is buried, and his tomb
of beautiful white marble is up four stories of grotesque buildings,
well worth seeing; so much so that, as G. had a durbar to-night and
could not go out, F. and I went back alone, and had rather a rest, in
sketching there, for two hours, but it is impossible to make anything of
these elaborate Mogul buildings, they are all lines and domes, and
uncommonly trying to the patience. We are attempting to buy Agra marbles
and curiosities, but somehow cannot find many, and those we ordered
before we came down are not half done, but they will be very pretty. I
have got two little tombs, facsimiles of Shah Jehan's and his wife's,
with all the same little patterns inlaid. Valuable--but I wish they were
not quite so dear. We were at home on Thursday night--there seem to be a
great many people at Agra. Mrs. H., who was a Miss A., is very pretty
and nice. We stay here till the 1st, and this fortnight of rest from
tents is a great comfort. My small health is uncommonly good just now.



CHAPTER XLIX.


Agra, Sunday, December 29, 1839.

I have let a week pass by this time, partly because, since we have been
here, we have given a ball and four large dinners, seen a great many
sights, had a ball given to us and a déjeûner at the Taj, and also that
an awful change has taken place in our plans, one that it makes me sick
to think of. We are going to stay here for the next ten months: ----, to
whom G. offered the Lieutenant-Governorship, and who knew all his plans,
and who had acuteness enough to carry them on, began by accepting, and
ended by declining in consequence of 'domestic calamities which he was
unable to explain.' They say that Mrs. ---- is gone out of her mind. I
really think it must have been at the notion of coming here. It is too
late in the year to make any new arrangements, and there is so much of
importance likely to occur in the Punjâb where old Runjeet is a sad
loss, and so much to watch over in Affghanistan, that G. decided on
staying himself. Such a shock and such trouble! We have at least three
houses to build here for the European servants, the baboos, &c., and a
house to repair for the aides-de-camp. Agra is avowedly the hottest
place in India, and everybody says this is the hottest house in Agra, so
there is a whole army of engineers now beginning to see what can be done
to build up verandahs, and to make ventilators, and to pretend to make
the hot winds bearable. There are in India two regular parties, one
preferring Bengal with the hot days and the damp and the sea-breeze
blowing at night, and the other standing up for their hot winds, twenty
degrees hotter, but dry. I have never varied in thinking the account of
them terrific. From the end of March to the middle of June, they blow
unceasingly, night and day. Nobody stirs out, and all night the tatties
are kept wet, and thermantidotes (great _winnowing_ machines) are kept
turning to make a little cool air. The windows are never opened, and
they say that, at midnight, if you were to go out, it feels like going
into a furnace. However, those who are all for the provinces say, the
wind is dry and not unwholesome, and that as long as you do not attempt
to go out of the house, you do not suffer from the heat. It is a regular
strict imprisonment. Calcutta is bad, but there we had a regular evening
drive, and Government House was really cool at night; then in case of
illness there was the sea at hand, but here, if any of us are ill, of
course there is no escape. Even natives cannot travel in the hot winds.
The discomfiture is general. Most of our goods are half-way to Calcutta.
The native servants, who thought they were within reach of their wives
and families after two years' absence, are utterly desperate.

Mr. A. has thrown up his place, and goes down to Calcutta. Mrs. S. plods
back to Simla with her children, and leaves her husband here. Mrs. H.
ditto, and I think those two ladies are rather pleased, it forces them
to keep their boys another year in the country. Z. has been ill since we
came here, but the day this shock was communicated to him, he got up
electrified, dressed himself, and came to my room to bemoan his
_particular_ hard fate, so like Narcissus Fripps. 'I really am quite
overset--I have not an idea what to do--I am so afraid of the hot winds,
and this is such a place! no society whatever! Now at Calcutta I really
should have enjoyed myself.' This was said with an air of great
interest.

I saw my opportunity and put it to him, that the hot winds were very bad
for the attacks he is subject to, that Dr. D. had always wished him to
go home, and that he might now have a medical certificate, which would
save his paying his own passage, &c. And so he took the right turn, went
straight to the doctor's tent, and came back to say that he had decided
to go home. It really is the best thing he can do, and Dr. D. says it is
the only chance of his getting well.

We still go to Gwalior, and go back into camp on Thursday; we shall be
nearly a month away, and we leave X. behind, with Giles and all the
carpenters and tailors of the establishment to make up beds, furniture,
&c., for we have nothing but small camp beds, which are not endurable in
heat.


Monday, December 30.

You cannot conceive what a pretty fête they gave us at the Taj, or how
beautiful it looked by broad daylight.

The whole society, with our camp, was just one hundred people, and we
dined in what had once been a mosque, but it was _desecrated_ many years
ago. Still I thought it was rather shocking our eating ham and drinking
wine in it, but its old red arches looked very handsome.

Some of the Agra people are too strict to dance, and as much walking is
difficult in the plains, it is lucky the afternoon did not hang very
heavily; but the garden is very prettily laid out, and W. O. challenged
a fat Mr. N., an old acquaintance, to play at hop-scotch with all their
old Westminster rules. W. is wonderfully active still at all those
games, and plays at them with very good grace, and it was great fun to
see Mr. N., who is the image of Pickwick and dresses like him, hopping
and jumping and panting after him. It kept everybody in a roar of
laughter for an hour, and filled up the afternoon very well. No; the
more our plan of staying here is canvassed the worse it is--the mere
precautions that are to be taken, show what those horrible hot winds are
to be. However, I believe, as they all say, the best way is not to think
of them more than can be helped. The weather is fine now. But what I
_do_ think of, morning, noon, and night, is the utter impossibility of
our going home now in 1841. It is too sore a subject to write about, and
it had much better be left untouched, for fear it should establish
itself into a fact, but I always foresaw those horrid secretaries would
work it out if they could.

I am in that mood that I should almost be glad if the Sikhs, or the
Russians, or anybody, would come and take us all. It would be one way
out of the country. Captain C. has got an excellent appointment at
Lucknow, but he will not leave us till after Gwalior, as he thinks he
may be of use, as X. must stay here to build and superintend. Captain C.
has thoroughly earned his appointment by four years' constant service,
but he is the last of the original set, and we are all very unhappy at
his going, he is the most thorough gentleman in mind, and very clever
and original. He has always been a great favourite with G., and as I
think Mr. D. might accidentally fall in with Allan C. or find an
opportunity of seeing him, perhaps he would mention how well his son is
thought of, and how well he is now settled. Captain X. bore his
disappointment wonderfully well, and has been very amiable in many
respects. G. offered him a smaller place, which might just have enabled
him to marry, but when he found Z. was going as well as Captain C., he
thought we should be having so many strangers at once, just as we were
settling in a new place and to a new sort of life, that he would not
leave us. I really do not know what we could have done without him at
this moment. He is ordering all the new buildings, buying furniture in
all directions, and ordering up everything from Calcutta, where he had
just provided for our return. Agra produces nothing, there is no shop,
and so few Europeans that I suppose the box wallahs find no trade, so we
have been obliged to send to Calcutta for mats for the floors, musquito
curtains, even common pins.


Tuesday, Dec. 31.

I went early this morning with Mr. H. and ---- to see the Female Orphan
School. We saw the boys last week--there are 150 boys and 130 girls who
were picked up at the time of the famine two years ago, starving and
with no relations. The boys are learning all sorts of trades; and as we
are detained here another year, I thought it would be better to send my
two little girls to the other school for the time, if they will let me
have them again, to take to Mrs. Wilson. There is a German missionary
and his wife at the head of this school. He speaks Hindoostanee
tolerably, but she speaks no English and very little Hindoostanee;
however, there is another woman to assist, and they seem to make it out
very tolerably, and they are an interesting looking young couple, with
such soft German voices. Rosina took Ameeum and Jehurun there after
breakfast, and stayed great part of the day with them, but they all
three did nothing but cry, though the old body is very sensible about
them, and thinks it better they should go. Poor little things! I am
sorry to lose them; they were such funny little animals, and used to
imitate Wright and Rosina in trying to dress me, and really made
themselves useful on the march. Z. is taking home a parcel to you--two
of my sketch-books, which I want you to keep for me; the others are
unluckily on the river on their way to Calcutta. Then, a parcel directed
to you, in which there are two half shawls, embroidered all over, really
about the prettiest things I have seen, which it appeared Wright had
procured from Delhi for T. and E. She thought they would be very
suitable for two young ladies going out. I thought they were too
expensive presents for her to send, and F. and I tried to persuade her
out of it, but she said she had got them on purpose, so there they are;
and for fear you should be jealous, I have sent you a green worked Delhi
scarf. Also, in a little box directed to R., there are two press
papiers, a marble tortoise, and a marble book--Agra works, which I send
T. and E. F. has sent the girls some rings; so what you are to wring
from Z. when he arrives, are two sketch-books, a parcel of shawls, and
a little box of rings, all directed to you; and these two marble things
in the parcel to R.



CHAPTER L.


Thursday, Jan. 2, 1840.

I went yesterday evening to see my children, who seemed quite reconciled
to their fates, and were stuffing rice and curry in large handfuls. Mrs.
L., the matron, said they did not take to the other children, but
pottered after her wherever she went. Rosina went to bid them good-bye,
and was quite satisfied with their treatment.

We marched fifteen miles this morning over a very heavy road. The
mornings are very cold now before the sun rises, but the rest of the day
is very fine. They are luckily making a great deal of ice this year.
Large fields are covered with very shallow porous saucers, which hold a
very little water, and when the thermometer comes down to 36° this turns
into very thin ice, and the people collect it and pound it; they reckon
that about one-third is available in the hot weather, and it is a great
comfort.


Dholepore, Saturday, Jan. 4.

The Dholepore Rajah came to fetch G. in this morning. He seems to run to
size, in everything; wears eight of the largest pearls ever seen; rides
the tallest elephant; his carriage has two stories and is drawn by six
elephants, and he lives in a two-storied tent--ricketty, but still
nobody else has one so large. He is one of the potentates who undertake
to feed all our camp gratis, which is a popular measure with the sepoys
and servants. Scindia, the Gwalior Rajah, is encamped on the other side
of the river, about five miles off, and G. reckons that he will have
about two durbars a day for the next fortnight. He had two to-day--one
for Dholepore himself, and another for Scindia's Vakeel. The Mahrattas
are a very ragamuffin-looking race. E. is the Gwalior resident, and is
on the same fat scale with everything else, except little Violet Snook,
who is trotting about the street very busily. It is rather curious that
the camp should contain three officers rejoicing in the names of Violet
Snook, Gandy Gaitskell, and Orlando Stubbs. Are they common names in
England? Gandy Gaitskell we are uncommonly intimate with; he is always
on guard, and always dining here. Orlando Stubbs is a novelty.


Sunday, Jan. 5.

The officers of the Gwalior contingent sent to ask when they could call,
and I thought it would be good for their morals to say that church began
at eleven, and we could see them afterwards. They live five miles off,
so Colonel E. gave them a breakfast before church, and when I went out
this morning early, they were all arriving, and Violet Snook was rushing
in and out in a violent state of excitement, receiving his brother
officers, shaking hands, and bowing and ordering, and in short it was
quite pleasant to see a Violet with such spirits, and a Snook with such
manners. They all came after church, and seemed a gentleman-like set. I
think if I were a soldier, I should like to belong to a local corps, or
a contingent; they all wear such pretty fancy dresses.


Monday, Jan. 6.

This has been a day of durbars for G., which is a sad waste of time.
Scindia, the Gwalior Rajah, came in the morning to pay his visit. G.
sent a deputation yesterday to compliment him, and they had, as usual
with these great native princes, to take off their shoes on going in.
The rajah himself takes off his own shoes, and Europeans keep on their
hats if they take off their shoes. In fact, they do not really take them
off; they put stockings over them.

Scindia was four hours coming five miles to G.'s durbar this morning.
Natives think it a mark of dignity to move as slowly as possible. How
going down to Windsor by railroad would disgust them! And C., L. E., and
P., who had been sent to fetch him, were nearly baked alive on their
elephants. On the return he was polite enough to dismiss them after they
had gone two hundred yards, or they would have had four hours more. He
is young, very black, and not good-looking, but it is impossible to look
at _him_, on account of his pearls. He wears three large ropes, or
rather cables, of pearls, and those round his throat are as big as
pigeons' eggs, larger than Runjeet's famous pearls. His courtiers are
not ill off in matter of jewels, particularly emeralds. In the afternoon
G. went to return the Dholepore Rajah's visit, and see some fireworks,
&c., &c. F. and I agreed not to go, as it was four miles off, and the
Mahrattas are not pleasant natives. We went up a little hill near the
camp, from which the procession looked very pretty, and then we had the
advantage of righting a bit of wrong. Two of our band and an
artilleryman had got into a quarrel with the priests of a little mosque
on this hill, and were beating them, and the natives came rushing to us
for protection. The Europeans were evidently in the wrong, and they ran
off instantly, but I sent the jemadar to say I wanted them particularly,
and it was so funny to hear their broad Irish. 'That native, me lady,
abused me shockingly--words I could not be shocking you with repeating;
and as I cannot speak a word of their language, I _bet_ him well!' 'But
how do you know he was abusing you, if you do not know a word of his
language?' 'Oh, me lady, there could be no mistake; his abuse was so
shocking, worse luck for me that I could not answer.' 'Besides, I
translated,' one of our little band-boys said; and then the natives
produced a stick they had broken on him, and the Europeans picked up a
great stone they declared had been thrown at them, but they could not
help laughing themselves at that, it was so obviously untrue. And so it
ended in my telling the priests to come to camp with their complaint
to-morrow, and telling the band to go home, and be ready to play at
dinner; but there was something rather pleasant in this Irish quarrel.


Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Well! there never were such times! 'I am too old entirely for these
quick changes,' as the old nurse says, in Miss Edgeworth's 'Ormond,' but
I am glad of this one. G. woke me this morning by poking his head into
the tent and saying, 'Here is the overland mail come, and all my plans
are changed, and we are going down to Calcutta.' I am so glad; it is all
in the way home. I really think (don't you?) that we shall stick now to
our original time of March 1841, and it was quite hopeless a week ago. I
think this is a great piece of luck, and feel as if I could do like the
native servants. They are all quite mad, flinging themselves on the
ground, and throwing off their turbans; and at least twenty of the head
servants have been to my tent to ask if it is true, and to say, that
they are praying to Allah for 'Lordship's health,' and to thank him for
taking them back to their families. If Allah had anything to do with it,
I am much obliged to him too, and to Lordship for taking us back to
_our_ families. I could not bear Agra, and now everybody owns that the
hot winds would have been fearful, but they are all in their separate
difficulties. Mr. Y. has left his children at Agra; C. his wife; we have
left all our goods, except a small allowance of clothes; the
aides-de-camp have all bought buggies and horses, and everybody had
taken a house. W. O. spent nearly 1,000_l._ in preparations and
furniture, but a good deal of that may be retrieved. Captain X. luckily
came into camp this morning, and is going back to undo all he has done;
send off Giles and all the servants we left, and my two little girls,
and all our dear boxes. Not that I have ever seen again any box that I
ever left behind, in any place in India, and we are so marched and
counter-marched, that our property is horribly scattered, but I think
there is a chance of bringing it all together at Calcutta. Everything in
India always comes down by water, and as a good large river comes down
to Calcutta, it is a possible rendezvous for our things.


Thursday, Jan. 9.

We left Dholepore this morning, and had great difficulty in coming
along; the road for four miles was through a narrow sandy ravine.
Scindia's camp moved yesterday, and his goods had only got through the
pass at eight last night, and that owing to P.'s working all day. Our
hackeries that left camp at one yesterday are not come in at one to-day;
they had stuck in all the narrow places, and there was a dead camel
here, and a dead bullock there, and an elephant had killed a man
somewhere else, and in short it was a bad pass. Now, to answer your
letter. I hope dear E. is better, as you do not say he is not. How you
do rush about on those railways! You put me quite out of breath.


Gwalior, Saturday, Jan. 10.

We have had more letters by the second express, many of them written
since the news of Ghuznee had been known. The Gwalior rajah met us this
morning, rather to our discomfiture, as F. and I had meant to come on
quietly in the carriage, but the roads were so narrow and his train so
_wide_, that we were obliged to get on our elephants. He rides the
largest elephant in India; it is nearly twelve feet high, and G.'s,
which is generally thought a large one, looked like a little pony, and,
what was worse, was so afraid of the rajah's, that it was ten minutes
before they could be driven close enough to allow of G.'s getting safely
into the rajah's howdah. I always think that a very unpleasant part of
the ceremony, to say nothing of the little French embrace that follows.
The Mahratta horsemen are striking-looking people in their gold dresses,
with their very long spears; and altogether it was a very pretty sight,
but the rajah stuck to his dignified rule of going as slow as possible,
and we were just an hour and a quarter going the last two miles, though
he should consider that after eight o'clock, every hour of his horrid
sun is of the highest importance. Gwalior is a picturesque-looking
place, a fort on a rock, which, after all the flat plains, looks
distinguished.


Sunday, Jan. 11.

We received all the ladies belonging to the Gwalior contingent
yesterday, and the officers, only sixteen altogether, and four ladies,
two of them uncommonly black, and the third, Captain ---- remembers as a
little girl running about barracks, a soldier's daughter, but she was
pretty, and, by dint of killing off a husband, or two, she is now at
nineteen the wife of a captain here. I should think she must look back
with regret to her childish plebeian days. The husband interrupts her
every time she opens her lips, and she had not been here two minutes,
before he said in a gruff tone, 'Come, Ellen,' and carried the poor
little body off.

We have had no service to-day for want of Mr. Y. We went this evening to
see the fort and palace, and very beautiful it was, so like Bluebeard's
abode. As the elephants plodded up one steep flight of steps after
another, with the castle still frowning over our heads, D., who is not
imaginative nor jocose, said, 'I cannot help thinking sister Anne must
be looking out for us,' and we all agreed that she must. There is a
beautiful old temple in the fort--one mass of carving; and I should like
to pick out a few chimney-pieces for Kensington Gore from the carved
stones that are tumbling about these old places.



CHAPTER LI.


Monday, Jan. 12, 1840.

We dined with Colonel J. yesterday. He lives, I believe, quite in the
native style, with a few black Mrs. J.'s gracing his domestic circle
when we are not here, but he borrowed St. Cloup and our cooks to dress
the dinner, and it all went off very well. That little Mrs. T. looked
very pretty, but Captain T. planted himself opposite to her, and frowned
whenever she tried to talk, but he did not quite stop her, and another
week of society would, I expect, enable her to frown again. We went to
Scindia's durbar to-day. The palace was three miles off, and we had to
set off at three on elephants, and the heat and the dust and the crowd
were something inconceivable, but it was a curious show. The durbar was
very orderly and handsome. G. and Scindia sat together on a gold throne
with a canopy, and F. and I on two silver chairs next to G., and down
each side of the room were his sirdars on one side and our officers on
the other. After we had sat about ten minutes, the negotiations began
for our going to see the ranee, and there were many preliminaries to
arrange, and at last we _condescended_ to walk through the two rooms
that led to the zenana, for fear any of the bearers should catch a
glimpse of anything, and no aide-de-camp was to go for the same reason,
so we walked off with Mrs. H. We had sent the two ayahs there in the
morning, as Mrs. H. does not speak the language very well. Some female
slaves met us at the first door, and then some cousins of the rajah's;
in the next room _two_ stepmothers, and then an old grandmother, and at
the door of her own room was the little ranee, something like a little
transformed cat in a fairy tale, covered with gold tissue, and clanking
with diamonds. Her feet and hands were covered with rings fastened with
diamond chains to her wrists and ankles. She laid hold of our hands and
led us to her throne, which was like the rajah's, without a canopy, and
her women lifted her up, and we sat on each side of her, and then all
the relations sat in two rows on chairs, and looked uncomfortable, and
the nautch girls began dancing. The ranee is only eight years old, and
is the sister of his first wife, on whom he doted, and on her death-bed
she made him promise to marry this child. She was so shy, she would
hardly let us see her face, but the old women talked for her, and the
presents filled up the time, for the rajah had ordered that she should
put all the jewellery on us with her own little hands. I had a diamond
necklace and a collar, some native pearl earrings that hung nearly down
to the waist, and a beautiful pair of diamond bracelets, and the great
article of all was an immense diamond tiara. I luckily could not keep
this on with a bonnet. They were valued altogether at 2,400_l._, the
mere stones. F.'s were of different shapes, some very pretty, but not so
costly, but altogether it was an immense prize for the Company. Then we
had a bale of shawls, and the ayahs got six shawls, and Mrs. H. a
necklace, and besides all the diamonds, they hung flowers all over us.
We must have looked like mad tragedy queens when we came out, but
everybody was transmogrified in the same way. Some years ago, it might
have made us laugh, but W. and Mr. A., with great necklaces of flowers
on, led us gravely back to our silver chairs, and there was G., sitting
bolt upright, a pattern of patience, with a string of pearls as big as
peas round his neck, a diamond ring on one hand and a large sapphire on
the other, and a cocked hat embroidered in pearls at his side. We came
home through a grand illumination, and were thoroughly tired at last.


Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Scindia returned G.'s visit to-day, and the ceremonies were much the
same, and I think our presents were almost handsomer than his. G. asked
him to come for a secret conference into the shawl tent with silver
poles that Runjeet gave us, and in that was the gold bed inlaid with
rubies, also Runjeet's, on which they both sat, with B. and A., Colonel
J. on one side and the rajah's two ministers on the other. It looked
mysterious and _conspiring_, and the rajah's followers were in a horrid
state of alarm; they said their king had been carried off, and had no
guards, and perhaps never would be let out again. G. and the rajah
transacted a little real business, and then G. got up and asked him to
accept the tent and the bed, which quite delighted him, and he went
away.

We went on to see a much more interesting little durbar. G. had all the
old soubadars and havildars of the regiments that have been with us, all
through this march, and some of the body-guard, and gave them each a gun
and a pair of shawls. One old fellow has been fifty-eight years in the
service, and would tell his story here: he had been at Java in Lord
Minto's time, and so on, and he had five medals to show, another had
four; they are all most respectable natives. Their great desire was that
G. should pour attar on their hands, with his own hand, which is a great
distinction; and altogether it was a very touching sight, and has
pleased all the troops very much.

We had a great dinner of all the officers afterwards, which luckily was
not formal; as there was a Mr. V., a cousin of Lady B.'s, who sings
beautifully, without accompaniment, and filled up the evening very
pleasantly.


Wednesday.

The camp moved three miles to-day, that G. might be nearer the
garden-house where the rajah was to give him a dinner, and we came over
such roads! I wonder the carriage stood it. The dinner was all in the
native style, but would have been eatable, G. says, only he was on so
high a chair that he never could pick up a morsel from the table. The
rajah sent F. and me some dinner--three kids roasted whole, and covered
with gold and silver leaf, a deer, and about fifty dishes of _sorts_,
much to the delight of the servants. Wright and Jones with Rosina went
to take our return presents to the little ranee, and were charmed with
their visit.


Thursday.

G. went to a long tiresome review to-day, and F. and C. went with
Captain X., Mr. H., and Dr. D. to visit Donheit Rao's tomb. The baizee
baee erected it fifteen years ago. There is a black marble figure of
him, dressed in the same sort of gold stuff he always wore, and with all
his jewels on, and as, being of black marble, he cannot go to Mahadeo's
temple to say prayers, Mahadeo is brought and put on a table before him.
Food is served up to him three times a day, and there is a nautch going
on while he is supposed to eat. They were nautching all the time we were
there, and I think the marble man liked it. The baee endowed the tomb
with five villages, and the Brahmins in attendance eat up the food the
marble man leaves. It has made rather a good sketch. G. said, while the
review was going on, the sirdar who had been with us came and reported
that the ladies had been to the tomb and had been so much pleased that
they made a drawing of it, and that they had returned safely to camp,
and the maharajah sent his compliments, and said he was glad to hear of
our safety. I never felt much afraid, did you? but then I have sketched
before, and know what it is.


Friday, Jan. 17.

I declare I think Scindia a very nice young man, likely to turn out
well. There is an enamelled little box of spices that comes every day
with the uneatable food he sends for luncheon, and I took it up one day
and commented upon its beauty. I suppose our servants told his, for
to-day Colonel E. arrived with Bajee Rao and another Vakeel, who had
brought the little spice-box in a palanquin, with a message from the
rajah that he heard I had admired it, and that he had sent it as a
_private_ present to me, that if the Company were to have it, he did not
give it at all, but that Colonel E. was to arrange so that I should have
it. G. has paid its value to the Company, which is the simplest
arrangement, though he hardly ever will give leave to have anything
bought by private contract, but in this instance where there was no
return present he did. Colonel E. is very angry that it should be paid
for because it was entirely a private present, but I see the value of
the rule. It was very good-natured of the rajah to think of it, and I
shall keep my little spice-box with a tender recollection of him, to say
nothing of its being a lovely little article, _per se_.


Saturday, Jan. 18.

I should like to have kept this open till your letter arrived, but G.
seems to think the great packet may not come till to-morrow. Still, I
think I won't send it. G. may be wrong, everybody is occasionally. In
the meantime, I beg to say we have left Gwalior, and I shall have
nothing to see, or say, till we get back to Calcutta. So you need hardly
read the next journal--it will be so very heavy.

W. and I got up by a wrong gun this morning, one of Scindia's. There is
no carriage road, so we all travel separately in tonjauns, or on
elephants, or horses or anyhow; and _after_ I had set off in a great
fuss at being so late, G.'s first gun fired. I found W. scrambling
along on a pony, under the same delusion; and we got in here an hour
before the others, riding the last six miles as hard as we could. I was
glad to be in soon, the weather is so very hot. It has been cold for
about three weeks this year.--God bless you! I have been trying to read
over my journal and have stuck in it. What very heavy reading it is!


Jan. 20.

I have kept this open for two days, in hopes that the letters would come
in, but we have just got all the Galignanis with an announcement from
Bombay, that the Falmouth packet is not come at all; and all your
letters are there--and everybody's. It is so disheartening!--We cannot
have them for five weeks.



CHAPTER LII.


Nuddea Gaon, Thursday, Jan. 23, 1840.

That missing Falmouth packet still hangs on my mind, and I cannot digest
its loss after three days, which must be very unwholesome. We are poking
along the narrow roads and ravines of Bundelcund, always afraid every
night that the carriage will not be available, and finding every morning
that the rajah of the day (we live in a course of rajahs) has widened
the old road, or cut a new one, and picked the stones off the hills and
thrown them into the holes; and so, somehow, we come along. We have our
old friend, Mr. F., who marched with us two years ago, in camp with his
Jhansi rajah, who has met us and been durbared and visited; and a
Captain R. with _his_ rajah in prospect; and Colonel E. still here,
because we every now and then step over a mile of Gwalior territory; and
Colonel H. also, an old friend, and a sad spectacle of what two _more_
years in India have done. This morning we came in on elephants because
the _Duttyah_ rajah met G. We arrived all over dust, but still, as I was
telling G., the meeting between Dutty and Dusty was tolerably good.
Duttyah's is rather a pretty story. He was picked up 'a naked, new-born
child' under a tree at this place by the Governor-General's agent, who
was taking his morning's ride, and who carried the child to the Palace.
The old rajah, who had no children, said it was the gift of God, and
that he would adopt him; and an adopted son is, with the natives, as
good an heir as any other; but sometimes the English Government objects,
as territories without an heir fall to the Company. There were
ill-natured people who said that the Resident Agent took a paternal
interest in the little brown baby, and knew exactly under which tree he
was to look for a forsaken child; but I am sure the boy's look quite
disproves that calumny. He is more hideously fat than any boy of
fourteen I ever saw; a regular well-fed Hindu. The Government never gave
a formal consent to the adoption, but his territory is particularly
well-managed by the old prime minister; and so, upon his consent to pay
a certain tribute, he was to be publicly received as rajah, to-day, and
he and his subjects all mustered in great force, and the old minister
was fussing his heart out, to have his fat boy's elephant at G.'s right
hand, and looking very proud of his maharajah. It is very shocking, and
I hope it may never be the case in any other country, but we have seen a
great many young, petty sovereigns lately, and it is extraordinary how
like they all are to the old prime ministers belonging to their fathers.
It is rather pleasant for this boy to look at the tree where he was
found without a rag on, and to think he has a very large territory with
a clear income of £140,000 a year. W. O. left us last Monday evening; he
did not mean to stop an hour on the road, and it is horrid to think that
he is still going shaking on, with the bearers saying 'humph! humph! ha!
ha!' which they do without ceasing.


Friday.

Lord Jocelyn, who has been coming across from Bombay to join us through
sundry difficulties, writes now from Gwalior, and says that Captain E.
is to pass him on to Soonderah, where he hopes we shall have sent
horses, &c., and that he will be in camp on Thursday night. His letter
did not come till this morning, so he is probably wringing his hands at
Soonderah. It is thirty miles off, but we have sent out camels and such
of the horses as are not tired with this morning's march, but the syces
cannot walk more than fifteen miles a day. I have been redeeming from
the Tosha Khanna (the collection of native presents made to us) two or
three articles as recollections of this journey, but they price them
ridiculously high out of regard for the Company. I have bought a little
ring which Runjeet gave me, a poor diamond, but the only one within my
means, for love of the old man; a little diamond cross that was a
private gift of Hindu Rao's, and if we had not been the most scrupulous
of people, need not have been given up, and a pair of silver anklets as
mere curiosities, that the little ranee gave me. I should have liked one
of the King of Lucknow's presents, but none came within my reach.


Saturday.

This morning there came a letter written on a scrap of brown, native
paper, from Lord Jocelyn to G., saying he thought his letter to W. O.
had perhaps not been opened, that he was at Soonderah after wandering
five hours in the jungles, that he had lost his servant, 'and I hope
your Lordship will have the kindness to send somebody out to look after
me, as I cannot make anybody understand a word I say.'

He came in in the afternoon, and nearly killed Colonel E. and Mr. L. and
some of the old Indians who were dining with us by his account of his
troubles. 'They would not give me anything to eat, so I held up a rupee
and said "Dood" (milk), and they brought me quantities, but nothing to
eat at all, and as I only had six rupees and did not know whether I
should not have to pass the rest of my life at Soonderah, I said, "chota
pice" (by which he meant small change, but it is as if we were to ask
for little farthings); they did not attend, so then I stalked into a
kind of guard-house where there were some sepoys, and as _they_ paid no
attention to me, I knocked my stick on the table to excite them, and
made signs of writing and said "Lord Sahib." They evidently thought I
had no business to write to the Lord Sahib, but at last brought me a
stick and a piece of brown paper and I wrote and said "Dâk," and they
brought me a man with letter bags, and I said "Lord Sahib hi" (is the
Lord Sahib here)? upon which they all burst out laughing and every time
I said it, they all laughed more. Then I said, very majestically "Jow,
Jow, Jow," (which means "go.") Then I shut my eyes and pretended to go
to sleep, and they showed me a shed and I fetched my saddle for a
pillow, and went to sleep; but the rats ran over me, so finding my horse
was rested, I got on him and rode east, which I knew was your direction
and just as the horse refused to move another step met the camels.'

I really think he managed very well considering that the Mahrattas are
not in general very civil.


Oorei, Sunday.

We met the little Jhetour rajah this morning: such a pretty boy of
twelve years old, and Mr. F. the agent has him constantly with him and
teaches him to think for himself, and to be active and has got him to
live less in the zenana than most young natives, and he seems lively and
intelligent. We halt here a day, that G. may review the new local corps
that has been raised in this boy's territories; they were drawn up in
our street this morning, and are fine-looking people. Lord Jocelyn has
filled up the day with shooting; there are quantities of deer about, and
he had the good luck to kill one.


Tuesday.

We halted at Oorei yesterday, that G. might review those troops, who
made a wonderful display, considering that eight months ago they were
all common peasants; but natives are wonderfully quick under sharp
Europeans, and Captain B., who has been fighting in Spain and is very
active, has just hit their fancy. He goes about in a sort of blue and
gold fancy dress, and puts himself into a constant series of attitudes.

The weather is so dreadfully hot, much worse than a January in Calcutta,
but they say it is always so in Bundelcund. G. and I are quite beat out
of riding any part of the march, even before seven o'clock, but F. still
rides.

She and G. have gone on arguing to the end about the tents. He says, he
should like before he gets into his palanquin, to make a great pyramid
of tent pins, and put the flagstaff in the centre, with the tents neatly
packed all round, and then set fire to the whole. He thinks it would be
an act of humanity, as it would be at least a year before they could be
replaced, so that nobody, during that time, could undergo all the
discomfort and bore he has undergone. She declares it is the only life
she likes, never to be two days in the same place; just as if we ever
were in '_a place_.'



CHAPTER LIII.


Culpee, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1840.

This is our great place of dispersion. G., A., and Mars start to-morrow
for Calcutta, Lord Jocelyn for Agra, C. for Lucknow, and we on our march
to Allahabad. M., H., and Colonel E. take up G.'s dâk the next
day--that is, they inherit his bearers and follow him as fast as they
can, and the rest of the camp go with us. We found Mrs. C., Mrs. N., and
the Y.s, all in their separate boats at the ghaut here, which was a
curious coincidence, as everybody started on a different day, and a
great delight to X.


Thursday, Jan. 30.

Lord Jocelyn passed two hours in my tent, talking over old days. He is
very amusing and pleasant, and rubs up a number of London recollections.

We all had an early dinner at three, and then he started in a dhoolie.
There were no spare palanquins in camp, and a dhoolie is a sort of bed
with red curtains, that sick soldiers are carried in, very light, but
squalid-looking.

The street was full of officers, and soldiers, and servants; everybody
in camp assembled to wish G. good-bye, and Lord Jocelyn came out in a
flowered dressing-gown and slippers, with a cigar and a volume of a
French novel, and took possession of this wretched bed, and seemed quite
delighted with it. His servant followed on a camel. G. and A. then set
off in the shut carriage, which is to take them two stages, Mars with
palanquins having gone on in the morning. G.'s going is a great grief.
It is somehow impossible to live without him here, and then India is
such a horrid place. People who care about each other never ought to
part for a day; it is all so uncertain, and communication is so
difficult. F. and H. made a short march of five miles, just across the
Jumna, and C. came on with all the rest and passed the evening with us,
and then set off for his appointment at Lucknow. He is a great loss in
every way, and has been with us for four years nearly. M., Colonel E.,
and H. we left on the other bank; they are to follow G. to-morrow.


Friday, Jan. 31.

Captain D. is in a considerable fuss. Colonel ---- seems never to have
recollected that though so many individuals have left the camp, their
property and servants remain there, just the same, and that the public
officers, with all the clerks, must march on; so there is the same want
of sentries. He ordered off half of the regiment that had come to escort
us to Allahabad, and Colonel B., who only joined last night, sent word
that he had only 300 men to do the work of 1,000. The sentries are
withdrawn from all the private tents, and all the silver howdahs and
waggon loads of shawls, jewellery, arms, &c., of the Tosha Khanna, are
brought into the middle of the street. I should have liked to have
robbed it for fun; in the first place, for the value of the goods, and
then it would have put D., L., and the baboo into such a state of
horror.

Nobody _was_ robbed but Mr. ----, who always is, and looks as if he
always must be; he seems so helpless, and dangles his hands about in a
pair of bright yellow gloves, quite new, and too large for him, and
says, 'It is very odd how the devils of dacoits persecute me.'

The other day they stole his horse: he had put five police to guard it,
and the thief just cut the ropes, jumped on its back, and rode off, and
has never been heard of since. It is very convenient stealing a white
horse in this country, because the natives always paint them, sometimes
in stripes like zebras, and sometimes in zigzags, and always give them
scarlet, or orange tails, and orange legs; so they disguise a stolen one
instantly.

Mr. T. is such a prim boy; he is very gentlemanlike-looking, and seems
very amiable, but he is certainly prim. His uniform is so stiff he
cannot turn his head round, and he talks poetically whenever he does
speak.

F. declares he quoted to-day something from _Mr._ Thomson's 'Seasons.' I
wish when he gives us his arm that he would _shut it up_ again. He
sticks it out almost akimbo, so that it is impossible to _hook on_ with
any certainty.


Ghautumpore, Sunday, Feb. 2.

We have halted here to-day to allow more troops to come and protect the
general property.

I heard from G. from Futtehpore. He says he can sleep very well in his
palanquin; he might call it rather a slow conveyance, but thinks of us
marching, and blesses his own fate. Mr. Beechey, the painter at Lucknow,
sent me to-day a miniature of G., done by a native from his picture. It
is a shocking caricature, but a very little would make it like. I can
make the alteration myself; and if I can get it smoothed up at Calcutta,
I will send it home, and the girls can hang up 'the devoted creature' in
their room. Mr. Beechey says he has sent me the original sketch in oils
to Calcutta. It was an excellent picture, and I hope he has not touched
it since.


Jehannabad, Monday, Feb. 3.

I heard again from G. from Allahabad; in fact, he is very little in his
palanquin. All the magistrates and collectors of the different districts
had placed their carriages and buggies at his disposal along the road
that they knew he must go; so he gets on very fast, and then rests all
the hot part of the day in a bungalow, which gives time for his
palanquin to come up. He had gone thirty miles at one spell in a
carriage drawn by four camels.


Futtehpore, Thursday, Feb. 6.

I have missed three days. They are all so exactly alike and so more than
ever tiresome now G. is gone; I cannot get on at all without him. There
is nobody else in this country who understands me, and you keep standing
there such miles off, that you are not of the least use when I want you
most. Then your letters did not come last month. You cannot imagine what
companions your letters are, and I want one so very much just now.

We have come back to-day, to one of our early halting places two years
ago, so that looks as if we really were coming to an end of our
wanderings in the wilderness, and I am sure it is high time we did. All
the chairs and tables are tumbling to pieces, the china is all cracked,
the right shoe of my only remaining pair has sprung a large hole, the
brambles that infest the jungles where we encamp have torn my gown into
fringes, so that I look like a shabby Pharisee, and my last bonnet is
brown with dust. I am obliged to get Wright to darn a thing or two
surreptitiously; the tailors think it wrong and undignified to mend.
Altogether I can conceive nothing pleasanter than coming to a completely
fresh set out at Calcutta.

General E. passed through camp to-day in his palanquin, and stopped for
two hours and came to see us. I recollect him so well with the F.s and
G.s as 'Elphy Bey,' and never had made out it was the same man till a
sudden recollection came over me a week ago. He is in a shocking state
of gout, poor man!--one arm in a sling and very lame, but otherwise is a
young-looking general for India. He hates being here, and is in all the
first struggles of 'a real ancient Briton.' (Don't you remember how you
and I were 'ancient Britons' always, when we fell into foreign society?)
He is wretched because nobody understands his London topics, or knows
his London people, and he revels in a long letter from Lord W. He
thought G. very much altered since he had seen him, and G. thought the
same of him. I suppose it will be very dreadful when we all meet. 'Oh!
my coevals, remnants of yourselves,' I often think of that. What sort of
a remnant are you? I am a remnant of faded yellow gingham.

General E. said, 'It seems odd that I have never seen A. since we were
shooting grouse together, and now I had to ask for an audience and for
employment. I got a hint, and rather a strong one, from the
Governor-General to take Delhi in my way to Meerut, and to look at the
troops there and be active in my command.' He went off with a heavy
heart to his palanquin, which must be a shaky conveyance for gout. One
sees how new arrivals must amuse old Indians. He cannot, of course,
speak a word of Hindoostanee, neither can his aide-de-camp. 'My groom is
the best of us, but somehow we never can make the bearers understand us.
I have _a negro_ who speaks English, but I could not bring him dâk.' I
suppose he means a native; but that is being what the 'artful dodger' in
'Oliver Twist' would have called 'jolly green.' He can hardly have
picked up a woolly black negro who speaks Hindoostanee. I wish I knew.


Kutoghun, Sunday, Feb. 9.

We have halted here for Sunday under a few trees, which they call
Kutoghun. I don't see any houses within ten miles.


Syme, Feb. 10.

We were met this morning by two Shuter sirwars, bringing invitations
from the serious party at Allahabad to a fancy fair and a supper, and
from the wicked set, to a ball and a supper, and begging us to name our
own days. We have but Thursday and Friday, and it is rather hard, after
a long march and before an early boat, to put in these gaieties.
However, we cannot help it, but have declined both the suppers.


Allahabad, Friday, Feb. 14.

There! we arrived yesterday; the last time in my natural life in which I
will make a long dusty journey before breakfast--at least, that is my
hope, my intention, and my plot; of course I may be defeated in after
years.

The camp is breaking up fast; camp followers asking for rupees in every
direction; a fleet of boats loaded, and more wanted; all useless horses
and furniture are being sold off by Webb at the stables; and to-morrow,
of all this crowd which still covers five acres, there will be nothing
left but Captain C. alone in his tent.

The fancy fair looked pretty in the evening--very 'Vicar of
Wrexhillish,' such a mixture of tracts and champagne, &c., but the
cheapest shop I have been in in India. We brought home nearly a
carriage-full of goods, which will do to give to the servants. To-night
there is the ball. We have written to beg it may be early, and we go on
board the budgerows to sleep, and they take us down to the steamer
to-morrow. X. and fourteen boats'-load of trunks went this morning, and
there are about thirty-five more to make their way to Calcutta without
steam--carriages, horses, &c.--which will arrive about a fortnight after
us.

I heard from G. about 250 miles from Calcutta: quite well, and delighted
with his _rapid_ travelling--four miles an hour!



CHAPTER LIV.


Benares, Monday, Feb. 17, 1840.

I sent off my last letter from Allahabad, and it is almost hard upon you
to begin again; it must be such dull reading just now. Our Allahabad
ball was what they considered brilliant, seeing that it brought out
their whole female society except two, who were very ill, and there were
four dancing ladies and four sitters-by.

They were kind enough to give us supper early, where I can always
console myself with mulligatawny soup (I think it so good--don't you?),
and then F. and I came off to our separate budgerows. G. is in a great
state of popularity in the Upper Provinces; all these people talked of
him with such regard and admiration, and he had evidently exerted
himself to talk very much during the four days he passed here, without
the least idea, poor innocent man! how everything he said, was to be
repeated. I heard from him near Burdwan; they are out of carriage roads,
but he still likes the palanquin, and slept very well. He and A. took a
long walk in the morning while Mars cleared up the palanquins for the
day, and then another in the evening while he made them up for the
night. They have lived on their cold provisions and seltzer-water and
tea, and slept as much as they could. They passed through a jungle where
a man had been killed by a tiger some time ago, so the bearers thought
it necessary to make a great noise, and fire matchlocks constantly, and
make a boy walk before, playing on a fife. G. says, they may have saved
his life, but they spoiled his night.

Our budgerows were very comfortable, but somehow I was just as sea-sick
as if mine were the Jupiter. We got down to the flat by three o'clock on
Saturday afternoon, and found O. Giles had arranged everything very
comfortably. We have sent for letters.


Ghazeepore, Feb. 18.

We got no letters, but Captain F., who had been waiting a day and a half
to see us, came on board with some newspapers and two very pretty
sandal-wood boxes he has had made for us. He looks very happy, and G.,
who stayed at his house on the way down, was quite delighted with his
look of comfort, and the way in which his house was fitted up. A retired
aide-de-camp always carries off very _genteel_ notions of setting up
house. We have seen it in several instances.

G. has had a _levée_, and begun his little dinners, and was received
very brilliantly at Calcutta.

We stuck on a sand-bank to-day for seven hours, or rather our steamer
did, and we left her, and floated independently down in the flat to a
safe place, till she could pick us up. We suppose the other steamer is
sticking in the same place, as she has not come up to-night.


Wednesday, Feb. 19.

A jewel of a man in a small boat came floating up with a yellow dâk
packet in his hand, which he put on board--two letters from G. and W. O.

The wind is so high, it blew us on another bank to-day, and upset all
the furniture. It was just like being at sea, and the river is so full
of sand-banks, we have anchored till the wind goes down. I wish it would
only mind what it is about, for it is uncommonly cool and pleasant, if
it would only be a thought less violent.


Friday, Feb. 21.

Nothing of the other steamer. The 'Duke of Buccleuch' has been lost off
the sand-banks, the passengers all saved, but I expect my box of
clothes, which was to come this month, was in her. She has generally
brought boxes for us. We were aground again for three hours to-day, and
the Hindus all went on shore to cook their dinners; but the wind was so
high they could not make the fire burn, and the captain called them back
just as their dinners were half-cooked. It makes them wretched, poor
people! A Hindu will only cook once in twenty-four hours, and then, if
any accident happens, if a dog, or a Christian touches their food, or
even passes too near it, they throw it all away and go without. Our
Hindus would not try to cook again to-night when we came to anchor, and
they may not eat in a boat.


Saturday, Feb. 22.

We stopped at Monghyr to-day for coals. We found plenty of letters
there. G. says it will be quite necessary for W. O. to go to China; but
there will be nothing for the troops to do, so that he may return in
four months, and will just escape the hot season. My poor box _is_ at
the bottom of the sea. Cockerell and Co. have signified as much to G.,
and they think there was also a box for F. I particularly grudge the
gown Lady G. worked for me. I was wishing to see it so much. It is an
inconvenient loss, for if we arrive on Saturday, as we expect, I shall
have no bonnet to go to church in on Sunday, and I have been embittering
my loss by reading over M. E.'s list of pretty things. However, if one
is to have a loss, a box of clothes is the most reparable, and I must
try to fit myself out at Calcutta for the rest of the time we are in
India. This shipwreck will be my 'Caleb Balderstone's' great fire; much
shabbiness may be excused thereby. The second steamer came in just as we
left Monghyr, but not in time for us to speak to any of them.


Wednesday, Feb. 26.

We have gone on, sometimes sticking on a bank for an hour, sometimes not
able to make the post town we wished to arrive at, but we generally make
seventy, or eighty miles a day, very satisfactorily, and have almost
always picked up a letter from G. or W. Last night we exerted ourselves
amazingly, stuck up sails, went on in the dark, tried to sit as lightly
and as pleasantly as possible on the water, in hopes of arriving at
Commercolly, where we counted on finding the overland letters. We
succeeded in reaching Commercolly, and there found the dâk baboo with
two Calcutta newspapers for us, and not a line for anybody. Now we have
left the short cut to Calcutta, there is so little water, and are going
round by the Sunderbunds, where we shall see nothing but trees and
jungle for four days; the fifth I hope we shall arrive at Calcutta. It
is becoming so hot.


Cuhia.

This is a collection of native huts, where there is a deposit of coals,
but there was also a dear native baboo who stepped out with a parcel of
letters, one from G., saying that the December overland had arrived, but
as he did not think there was any chance of the letters finding us, he
had only sent one or two; and he mentioned any little news he had
collected.

He was quite right in his principle, but as the letters have found us,
what a pity he did not send your packet, which he mentions.

It is a horrid thing; a great liberty; but G., in his Grand Mogul way,
opens all our letters, and is evidently revelling in yours and the
girls' journals. Indeed, he says so; and adds he is so hurried and
worried he had not time to find the journals. Such impertinence!


Barackpore, Friday, March 13.

There! this is not a journal this tune; it must turn into a letter, for
I have had no time. We arrived at Calcutta late in the evening of
Sunday, the 1st March. We ran down a native boat in the dark, and got a
great fright from the screaming of the men, who were however all picked
up immediately, and natives, one and all, can swim for two or three
hours without fear.

We found W. O. in his dressing-gown, and G. in bed; however, he got up
and came to us; he complains of being very much over-worked, and of
being over-bitten by the musquitoes. They are dreadful; still there is
something in the cleanliness and _solidity_ of the house, and in its
space, that looks very attractive after the tents and boats. It is lucky
we have had that march as a set-off, otherwise the change from Simla
would be too shocking.

Do not you remember the story my father used to tell us, when we were
children, of how his friend the old Duke of Marlborough went to dine
with a neighbour, a poor clergyman, whose house was small, whose fires
were low, and whose dinner was bad, and when the Duke drove back to
Blenheim and entered that magnificent hall, he said with a plaintive
sigh, 'Well! home is home, be it never so homely.' So say I, on coming
back to this grand palace, from those wretched tents, and so shall I
repeat with still greater unction when we arrive at our dear little
villa at Kensington Gore. If it should please God that we ever do so,
mind that you and your girls are on the lawn to greet us.

      PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE, LONDON.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

has a levee in the morning=> has a levée in the morning {pg 15}

shawls are not fine shaws=> shawls are not fine shawls {pg 134}

with repating=> with repeating {pg 369}





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