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Title: The Young Cadet

Date of first publication: 1836

Author: Mrs. Hofland

Date first posted: Sep. 14, 2013

Date last updated: Sep. 14, 2013

Faded Page eBook #20111101

This eBook was produced by: David Edwards, Ross Cooling & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


S. Williams Del.         S. Springsguth Steel.

in one of which sat the little Bridegroom gleaming and glittering like a rich Jewel in a Velvet Casket.

Page 130.





&c. &c. &c.


I have the greatest pleasure in presenting you, by the permission of your dear mamma, this little book, because I know you are fond of reading the Travels of Alfred Campbell, and may therefore be pleased with those of Henry Delamere.

I have lately heard from my friend, your tutor, that you are improving daily in every branch of your education, at which I rejoice exceedingly; not only because I love you, and wish you to grow up a learned and good man, but because I consider it particularly your duty to use extraordinary exertion, that you may prove yourself worthy of being the son of a father, whose splendid genius, extensive knowledge, and superior virtues, call upon his sons to follow his steps so far as they are able.

With sincere desire and heart-felt hope that your future years may realize the promise of your childhood, I remain, my sweet little friend,

Your affectionate

and faithful servant,

B. Hofland

June 12, 1827.


In preparing a new edition of "the Young Cadet" for the present year, I have been induced to alter the original, in so far as to omit that account of the Burmese War which formed a great object of interest at the time it was written, but is now become less attractive.

I have done this for the sake of giving my young readers abridged accounts of various places and circumstances, detailed in that admirable new work, "Scenes and Characteristics of Hindostan," by Miss Emma Roberts. Her delightful volumes combine all the charm of fiction with the value of truth; and she will, I trust, pardon me for transplanting a few flowers from her brilliant and extensive garden, for the welfare of the young, to whom I earnestly recommend the source from which I have drawn, in order to give them pleasure and information.



September 5, 1836.



Introduction to the Cadet's family.—Arrival of the important letter.—Feelings of a kind and virtuous family.—Religious resignation of the mother.—Sensible exhortation of the father.—Inquiries of the children on the subject         Page 1


The East India Company.—Their possessions, powers, and conquests.—History of Hindostan.—Irruptions of the Turks.—Tamerlane's ferocity.—Hyder Ali.—Tippoo Saib. Extension of power in Asia         Page 9


Character of Henry.—Anxiety of his parents.—Preparations for his removal.—Presents of the little ones.—Summons to the ship.—Sorrowful parting with his family.—with his father.—They sail.—Sea-sickness and recovery.—Arrive at Madeira.—Beautiful view of Funchal.—Proceed to St. Helena.—Ceremony of Crossing the Line.—Arrive in Chapel Valley Bay         Page 21


They arrive at the Cape of Good Hope.—History of this place.—Tremendous storm for some time prevents their landing.—Pleasant run from thence to Madras.—Henry's surprise at landing.—New trees, new birds.—A new world around him         Page 34


Henry writes to his parents.—His description of the Madras roads.—The Black and White Towns.—The inhabitants.—Pride of the Mahometans.—Grace of the women.—The Peons.—Dubashes.—Native troops.—Armenian gentlemen.—Wealthy natives.—Description of a pagoda.—Its hideous idols.—Affectionate conclusion.—Proceed to Ceylon         Page 46


Description of Ceylon.—Voyage to Bengal.—Enters the Hooghly River.—Calcutta.—Letter to John.—Description of the inhabitants.—Black Hole, and Governor Holwell's sufferings.—Jewish congregation.—Barrackpoor.—Howdah elephants.—Letter concluded         Page 57


Voyage to Berampore.—Moorshedabad.—Elephants.—Ruin of Gour.—Fakirs.—Monghyr and its springs.—Henry arrives at Benares.—Writes to his mother.—The streets, pagodas, Bramins, mosques of Benares.—Letter continued.—Henry removes to Cawnpore.—Method of travelling.—Description of Allahabad and Cawnpore.—Letter concluded         Page 68


Henry's letter to his brother, with a description of the mode of living by the Anglo-Indians.—Numerous servants.—Large dinners.—Children.—Fêtes of the natives, &c.         Page 76


Henry's letter to his sister.—His commission.—Removal to Agra.—Mode of travelling.—Camp dinners.—Tigers in the jungles.—Henry's adventure with one.—Horrible murder by the Thugs         Page 89


Letter from Oude.—Description of the splendid processions at the Buchra Eade, at Lucknow         Page 102


Henry to his father.—Delhi, its buildings and court.—Account of the Begum Sumroo.—Colonel Gardiner's marriage with a native.—Return to Bengal         Page 111


Henry writes to his sister.—Account of his journey to Bengal.—Escape from a Cobra Capello.—Arrival in Calcutta.—Dancing girls.—Dancing serpents         Page 117


Voyage to Bombay.—Madras.—Pondicherry.—Goa, new and old cities.—Convent.—Tomb of Xavier.—Departure from Goa.—Arrive at Bombay.—Beautiful neighbourhood.—Good living and hospitality.—He determines to visit the Caves of Elora         Page 125


Sets out for Elora.—Visits Elephanta.—Pleasant sail to Panwell.—Proceeds on horseback.—The Ghauts.—The Temple of Karli.—Arrives at Poonah.—Pursues his way to the village of Elora         Page 134


Arrives at the excavations of Elora.—Temple of Keylas.—Its insulated state, prodigious size, and elaborate finishings.—The area.—The obelisks.—Sphinxes.—Galleries and statues.—Visits Teen Tal.—Its grandeur, statues, &c.—Continuation.—Temple of Visvacarma.—Temple of Juggernaut         Page 140


Temple of Indra.—Leaves Elora.—Poonah, and burning of Malabar widows.—Aurungabad.—Splendid monument.—Aurungzebe.—Punishment of an Hindoo.—The Fakirs.—Festival at Poonah.—Conclusion         Page 154



Introduction to the Cadet's family.—Arrival of the important letter.—Feelings of a kind and virtuous family.—Religious resignation of the mother.—Sensible exhortation of the father.—Inquiries of the children on the subject.

"You have indeed a numerous and lovely family," said Mr. Wingrove to Mr. Delamere, as his lady and her eight children were quitting the dining-room; "but you must frequently feel great anxiety on the subject of providing for so many, in such a manner as their birth and education entitle them to expect."

"I am not without anxiety, my friend," returned Mr. Delamere, "but there is at present no painful solicitude in my mind on that account, for I have always observed that those young persons who belong to a numerous family do best in the world, from being compelled early in life to think for themselves, and act with energy and industry. I have brought up my eldest boy in such a manner, that I trust he will be a father to the girls if they should have the misfortune to lose me. He has been constantly told, that although he will be the possessor of my estate, he must take my duties along with it; and that although he will be richer than his brothers, he will yet have more claimants on his justice and generosity. The younger have all been taught from the cradle, that in some way or other they must be self-dependent; that on their own exertions alone they must rely to maintain their rank in society, since their father can give them little besides the education necessary for their future advancement"

"I could gather as much from the conversation I held just now with the two little boys; for John told me he was designed for a lawyer, and he gave me proof of considerable classic attainment, whilst little William displayed great emulation in learning also, giving me a hint that he read chemistry, from which I conclude that he is designed for a physician: they are however too young for any thing to be decided upon. But what do you mean to do with Henry? he is fifteen, and such a fine, well-grown boy, that he will soon be of an age to fix upon his future plans?"

"It is respecting him that I am most solicitous: he is a clever, sprightly fellow, with such a spirit of enterprise about him, and such an insatiate curiosity for exploring distant regions, that he seems born to be a traveller and a soldier; but as a retired country gentleman, and in the present happy state of peace, there appears little chance of my providing for him in that way to which his inclinations point."

"But you have a friend, my dear Delamere, who lives in the busy world, and is not without the power of assisting your views. I like the boy exceedingly; he is a fine, open-hearted, generous youth, has been, I well know, brought up in sound principles of religion and morality, and is full of that warm affection for his family which is likely to preserve him in those principles which he imbibed from the lips of his parents in the dear home of his early life:—yes! yes! I will not forget Harry."

Mr. Delamere did not mention this conversation to his son Henry, lest it should lead him to form hopes of a wild and desultory nature; but when their kind visitor, Mr. Wingrove, had returned to London, he took more than common pains to impress on the mind of the boy, a necessity for attending to his studies, of gaining, especially, a knowledge of geography beyond what he possessed, improvement in modern languages, and the practice of mathematics so far as he was able.

One evening, the following autumn, the family were all thrown into astonishment, and, indeed, temporary confusion, by the arrival of a letter from Mr. Wingrove to Mr. Delamere, presenting him with a cadetship for Henry, who was required to prepare himself as soon as possible for his appointment, as his friend proposed that he should sail, soon after Christmas, in the Unicorn East Indiaman, bound for Calcutta.

The idea of Henry going to leave them, and especially to go such a long long way, and to sail upon the wide ocean, awakened the utmost consternation in the minds of the younger children; and even John, the eldest, felt for a time overpowered by it, especially when he observed his mother look extremely pale, and saw that, as she bent over the little babe which lay upon her lap, tears, which she endeavoured to conceal, were dropping upon its head. His heart laboured with manly and generous thoughts, and pressing closely up to his father, he said—"Dear father, do not let Henry go and leave us! at least not for the sake of money, or any thing of that kind. You have often said, you hoped I should do my duty by my family; let me give the first proof of fulfilling your wishes, by sharing the privileges of my birthright with dear Harry."

"But don't let me refuse this cadetship. Oh, no; pray let me go to the East Indies!" cried Henry. "I thank you, dear John, a thousand times, for all the good you intend me; and I hope I shall live to be as good a brother to the little ones as you are: but I must travel, I must fight, I must get to be a man in the world, or it will break my heart."

"But it will break my mother's heart to see you go," said John.

Henry threw himself on his knees by the side of his beloved mother, and as he bound his arms round her and the innocent babe on her lap, looked inquiringly and almost tremblingly into her face, as if to beseech her consent to his departure.

"My dear child," said Mrs. Delamere, suppressing her emotion as well as she was able, "I not only fully consent to your acceptance of this gift, but am truly grateful to the good friend who has procured it, and hope that you will hereafter so conduct yourself as to merit his kindness. I am now the mother of nine children, and cannot expect that they should all remain around me. It is the will of God that each should seek to establish himself, for it is the condition of our nature, and I can resign you to His providence, Henry, because I well know his eye is upon you every where; and since not a sparrow falleth to the ground without his permission, surely my child will be under the highest, the only sure protection, whether present or absent."

"Thank you, dear, dear mother!—go where I may, I shall never, never forget——"

Poor Henry could say no more, for his heart was too full, and whatever might have been his wishes a minute before, he now clung to his dear parents and sisters with an intensity of affection that seemed as if he found it impossible to leave them. Mr. Delamere was much affected, and felt that it would be indeed a great trial to part with a child of so amiable and loving nature—one, too, whose gaiety of disposition and sweetness of temper had made him the life of the house and the darling of every creature around him; he struggled, nevertheless, with his feelings, and addressed himself to his two eldest sons with peculiar earnestness and tenderness.

"Dear John, I hope Henry will never forget the proof of affection you wished to give him, nor the information I now give you both—that it is not in his power, as an honest man, to alienate his future possessions, even for the most generous purposes. He is the representative of an ancient house, and will one day be its head, and it is his duty to hold his property unshackled and unembarrassed, so that all the branches of his family who need it, may find a home and protector in his house, without injury to his own progeny, should he have one. He must be the master of many servants, the guardian to many dependents, the landlord to many tenants, the example to other gentlemen similarly situated, and also to many descendants, the children of those children around us. With so many duties to perform, you will see the necessity of not pressing upon him beyond his powers; of conceding to him all those natural rights which he holds from the laws of his country, and for the general benefit of the whole, more especially your sisters; and I hope all my younger boys will, in a different but equally effective manner, feel proud of going out, like Henry, into the world, and attaining independence by honourable exertion."

The countenance of each boy brightened up as they severally declared, "that they were determined they would try and be men as soon as they could," whilst Henry, whose dreams of the future were always the most sanguine, took the hand of his favourite sister, and promised "that he would give her a fortune at all events."

"But, dear Henry," said the poor girl, as she clung fondly on his arm, "what is it to be a Cadet? What are you to do? Where are you to go?"

"These are indeed very important questions, Selina," replied the youth, "and such as I must myself ask of my father; for although I am sure Mr. Wingrove has done me a great service, I am certainly as ignorant of the nature of the obligations it imposes as you can be."

"I will tell you all which I know of the matter to-morrow," said Mr. Delamere, "for it is now time that we had family prayer, which will compose our spirits, and remind us how much it is our duty to beg a blessing on the new path which is opened for one of our circle so young and inexperienced as our dear Henry."


The East India Company.—Their possessions, powers, and conquests.—History of Hindostan.—Irruptions of the Turks.—Tamerlane's ferocity.—Hyder Ali.—Tippo Saib.—Extension of British power in Asia.

The following morning, it will be readily believed that Mr. Delamere's chair was environed by several blooming children, who, although silent from modesty and respect, looked up to him with eyes that said, "Pray, father, what is a Cadet?"

"A Cadet is a youth sent out by the East India Company at their own expence (as to his voyage) to join their army; where, when an opportunity occurs, they will present him with a commission."

"But what is the East India Company?" said John.

"It is a body of the greatest merchants in the world, John, who hold, by a charter from our government, immense possessions in Asia, levy armies, support a governor in the style of an emperor, and pay a prodigious revenue to the mother country.

"But how did they get this country at first?"

"In order to answer that question properly, my dear, it is desirable that I should give you a few of the leading historical facts respecting the country now become so interesting to us all, and of so much importance to Henry. Fetch your map of Asia and lay it on the table, as it will be useful and pleasant to see the relative situation of those countries I may have occasion to name, and I will then tell you, as briefly as I can, that which you desire to know."

A gentle murmur of thanks, a close encircling of the kind father's seat, succeeded; Mr. Delamere then spread the map before them, and thus resumed his discourse to his lively, but attentive children.

"Asia, which is the largest, as well as most illustrious quarter of the globe, (as being that in which man was first created, and where the glorious scene of his redemption took place,) is, you will perceive, divided into but a few immense empires, if we consider the riches, population, and power of each. The consequence of this extent of territory is, that the reigning sovereign and his court know little of the countries they govern, which are, in fact, ruled by deputies, under the names of Soubahs, Nabobs, and Rajahs, who oppress the subjects, rule them with despotic power, and when they have increased their own wealth and importance sufficiently for the purpose, rebel against their head, or make war upon each other.

"These remarks apply more particularly to the empire of the Moguls, or Hindostan, which you see, by the map, is bounded on the north by the mountains of Tartary and Thibet, on the east by Assam and Aracan, on the south by the sea, and on the west by the river Indus. It is a land rich in all the productions necessary for man, and was originally inhabited by a mild and ingenious race of men, who, with little energy as to the more important objects of life, were yet capable of pursuing elegant and useful arts."

"Those were the Gentoos, I believe?" said Selina.

"They were, my dear; these continue to be the principal inhabitants in point of number, but they have been conquered and overrun by the Mahomedans, who are called the Moors of Hindostan, and whose language it will be necessary for Henry to acquire as soon as he is able. Several of you will recollect that Alexander the Great penetrated India as far as the Ganges, (and I dare say even William could tell me what the gigantic king Porus said to the great Grecian conqueror,) but he could not be said to subdue this noble country; and we know but little of its internal situation till the year 1000 of the Christian era, when a terrible irruption of Mussulmen drove the sovereign from the capital, and established the religion of the Koran by the point of the sword."

"That is the only way to do it," observed John in a low voice. His papa continued.

"In 1398, Tamerlane, a Tartar prince, poured over the plains of Hindostan a flood of ruin. His furious hordes, directed by abilities that would have merited his appellation of 'the Great,' had they been properly directed, in their ferocious conquests exceeded all that imagination can conceive of destructive cruelty, and went far beyond their former invaders. Tamerlane was called from his labour of blood on the plains of Delhi, where he had secured immense treasures, to conquer Bajazet, Emperor of the Turks, whom he took prisoner, and is said to have confined in an iron cage. He died in the midst of his glory in Egypt, which he had subdued also, and left the Mogul Empire to his successors, who managed it in the manner I have mentioned, each despot giving power to other despots, generally more tyrannic than himself. From these arose, in 1667, the famous Aurengzebe, who was a great and politic prince, capable of consolidating and extending his mighty empire, and whose conduct, after he took possession of the throne, merited more praises than we can give to any of the progeny of Tamerlane. At his death, four of his grandsons disputed the throne, and the empire, weakened by these contentions, invited the incursions of the Mahrattas; and it was no wonder that Nizam, a successful general against these invaders, became, in fact, the governor of the country, whose weak and quarrelsome princes afforded no rallying head for the people. A great country, my dear children, like a private family, should be at union with itself, if it would escape the evils of a foreign tyranny.

"Nizam, it is said, invited Kouli Khan, the Persian monarch, to invade Hindostan, and we are assured this conqueror destroyed two hundred thousand Gentoos, and took no less a treasure than the value of two hundred and thirty-one thousand millions of our money, when he fixed the heir in the throne of his ancestors at Delhi. This empire has since then fallen into that decay inevitable to its impoverished state, and was again plundered in 1756. The city of Delhi was taken in 1803 by the British under General Lake, and continues a part of the possession of the East India Company."

"But, dear papa!" said little William, "you have not yet told us who that Company is, and what made them go to Asia among these strange people."

"The whole of the country I have spoken of, my dear child, was formerly known to us Europeans only through the traffic we had with them by means of the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the caravans which crossed the Arabian Deserts with merchandise, which they disposed of at Grand Cairo, Aleppo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian marts; but, in 1497, Vasca de Gama, an enterprising Portuguese, having succeeded in sailing round the Cape of Good Hope and reaching Calicut (at that time an extensive sovereignty), a new world was opened for the enterprising spirit which was then set afloat by the discovery of America, and every important power endeavoured to avail themselves of it.

"Portugal first obtained leave to plant a colony, for the purpose of mutual benefit to the two nations concerned, on this coast; and Gama himself died viceroy of the Indian settlements which were the result of his discovery. France followed, but did not effect much, for the habits and genius of this great nation are not commercial. The government of the United States, on the contrary, formed an East India Company, which have realized great wealth and power. England, you may be certain, was not idle when others were busy, but for a long time circumstances were against her. Queen Elizabeth, in the latter part of whose reign the proposal for forming such a company originated, was grown too parsimonious to afford necessary aid; and though carried into effect in the reign of James the First, yet it did not get sufficient parliamentary assistance till the beginning of the last century, since which time other beneficial acts have also passed, and the immense increase of territory and wealth which has during that period accrued to this great body, and through them to this country, is now beyond belief."

"But, dear papa!" cried little Frederick, "if they went there to trade with the natives, ought the company to fight with them, and take their cities and fields, as if they were enemies?"

"My dear child, wherever there is a conflicting interest, it must needs be that offences will come. As I have already shewn you, this country has been always subject to wars among its subordinate princes, and such of those as made it the interest of our Company to assist them with money, men, or arms, could not fail to find them friends, whereby the opposite party were of course made enemies to the new comers.

"The native soldiers are valiant, but so completely undisciplined, that the value of our military tactics were soon appreciated, and we were of course courted by many native princes, though hated by others, and no doubt can arise but that these princes in their aggressions merited the chastisement they received. That many wrongs have been committed, that our people have exercised a haughty spirit towards those on whom they have intruded, I cannot doubt; but I also do firmly believe that the Gentoos, under our dominion, are better protected, and more kindly treated, than by any of their native princes. The sense of justice, the rights which spring from good laws and good government, are so entirely unknown in that unhappy country, save by the British population, that one can scarcely consider any circumstance which introduces a new order of things, in any other light than a blessing."

"I suppose we always beat them, if we fight at all?"

"Not always, for they are much improved by being so frequently engaged with us; besides, the French, when at war with us in Europe, have afforded our enemies in the East instruction. Great numbers will sometimes carry the day, against even the finest troops and the highest courage. You recollect, that Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta, are the three places where we were originally permitted to station ourselves. The latter place is the capital of Bengal, and in 1756, Nabob Surajah Dowla, governor of that province, overpowered our garrison, and threw Colonel Holwell and his companions into a place named the Blackhole, where a hundred and twenty-three died of suffocation, only twenty-three surviving the sufferings of that horrible night. An account of this unparalleled act of barbarity was written by Mr. Holwell, who survived and became afterwards governor.

"With Hyder Ali, an usurper, and Tippoo Saib, his son, the Company contended for many years: they were sovereigns of Mysore, a country lying between the Carnatic and Cape Komorin, of which Seringapatam is the capital. In 1792, Lord Cornwallis laid siege to this city, and compelled Tippoo to pay an immense sum for its ransom, taking his two sons, then about the age of you, Charles and William, as hostages, till the treaty was fulfilled—a circumstance the more affecting, as their mother, a very amiable woman, had died within a fortnight."

"Surely, papa, that was very cruel?" cried the younger children.

"Not so; the usage of the country, and the faithlessness of the tyrant, rendered it necessary. Speaking of cruelty, I ought to tell you, that in taking the forts, no less than forty Europeans, the remains of five hundred, were found in one of Tippoo's dungeons, who, although prisoners of war, had been treated with the most horrid barbarity, being almost famished by hunger, and maimed by torture. The innocent hostages were brought to the English camp, with all that gorgeous display of wealth for which the east has been so long celebrated; they came in a howdah, borne by a milk-white elephant, the trappings of which were richly embroidered, and hung down to his feet, and were accompanied by the first minister of the sultan, their father, and preceded by an immense cavalcade of soldiers and servants. They were handsome boys, and most splendidly clothed in silver muslins and turbans, with jewels, and their demeanour was dignified and interesting. Lord Cornwallis received them affectionately, presented them with watches, and, in short, made them as happy as he could do."

"But what became of their father?" said Selina.

"After his affairs were settled, and his sons returned to him, he renewed his aggressions against all his neighbours, and fell in 1799, when Seringapatam was finally taken by the British, and the crown restored to the legitimate heir, whose ancestor had been dispossessed by Hyder Ali. Treasures and money, to the amount of more than a million sterling, were found in the palace of Tippoo; but the jewels worn about his person, and which were inestimable, have never been brought forward: the body, when recognised, was stript of them. In these wars of the Mysore, the Duke of Wellington, then a very young man, laid the foundation of that knowledge, and exercised that courage, which rendered him afterwards the greatest general in Europe.

"The latest wars we have been engaged in were with the Burmese, a people whose dominions lie in the eastern peninsula. They had taken it into their heads, that they were the people destined to drive the British out of India, and therefore made an irruption on the neighbouring states, and took Rangoon. The end of this affair was, their utter discomfiture, the loss of the finest portion of their dominions, and the payment of a large sum of money, in order to prevent the violation of their capital, by the presence of the infidels. The higher orders are cunning, faithless, and tyrannical; the lower, a most pitiable race, who found, in their invaders, that mercy and support, never afforded by their own government. Never did the British army prove its power of endurance, in addition to activity and courage, more fully than during their long suffering march into Burmah, under Sir Archibald Campbell, an excellent general, and most worthy man."

"But, papa, did they get more money than paid their expences?" said Selina.

"I apprehend not, my dear; the days of Indian wealth are gone by, although a great deal of shew and glitter may still be found, on state occasions, among the native princes, of which Henry's letters will, I trust, give you some account. I trust my son does not go out with any false ideas of amassing wealth, much less of wringing it out of the poor natives; he goes to discharge certain duties, which will entitle him to a respectable situation in society, and render him eligible to that which is higher. God forbid that he should ever forget to protect and defend the right, so far as he is able—that he should become luxurious and extravagant, for that is the foundation of avarice and oppression."

"God forbid indeed!" ejaculated Henry, as the tears sprang to his eyes, and he silently grasped the hand of that dear father whose watchful care he felt at this moment to be alike dear and invaluable.


Character of Henry.—Anxiety of his parents.—Preparations for his removal.—Presents of the little ones.—Summons to the ship.—Sorrowful parting with his family—with his father.—They sail.—Sea-sickness and recovery.—Arrive at Madeira.—Beautiful view of Funchal.—Proceed to St. Helena.—Ceremony of Crossing the Line.—Arrive in Chapel Valley Bay.

Mr. Delamere had little further opportunity for informing his young family on these points at present, for he deemed it necessary to give all his time to the improvement of that child who was so soon to be removed from him, whose education it was therefore necessary to complete, so far as time allowed, and whose principles it was his duty to render as stable as his early youth and pliant mind permitted. Henry was a courageous, high-spirited, and honourable boy, of a generous and cheerful temper, a compassionate, affectionate heart. He had been from his cradle brought up in the performance of religious duties, carefully instructed in scripture truths and the rites of the Established Church, of which his parents were worthy members and so dearly did he love those parents, that at this time the simple fear of grieving or offending them would preserve him in the path of virtue: but yet he was the source of much anxiety, for he was extremely young, full of those buoyant spirits and those agreeable qualities which expose gay hearts and pliant natures to temptation. Many a time would tears start into the eyes of his mother, when she beheld him eagerly preparing for his departure, or heard him descant on the pleasures in store for him; and often would a sigh rise to the father's lips, when he reflected on the distance that would part his lively boy from the counsels which were wont to guide him.

The younger children gazed in astonishment at the numerous articles provided for his wardrobe, and his amusement, during the long voyage before him, and every one produced something from his own little store, which might add to the pleasure of the traveller. One sister knitted a purse, another made a portfolio; one little girl brought her doll as her best treasure, and her youngest brother his kite; and as it would have grieved them to refuse their gifts, Henry took them to his mother, and in a voice full of extreme emotion, entreated her to put them carefully by, adding, "If ever I return, I will claim these presents of the children that gave them. Yes! mother, these dear creatures and my sister Selina must be my care, if it please God to prosper me. My eldest brother must allow me the pleasure of sharing his duties, and being a kind of father to them. I shall not always be thoughtless little Harry, you know."

At length the summons came, Henry must join his ship, now lying off Deal, and it was happy for all parties that not an hour could be lost. Mr. Delamere accompanied his son, but of all the rest of the family, leave must be taken. Servant after servant claimed attention, for they all loved Harry, whose faults and rogueries, whatever they might have been as a heedless boy, were all forgotten at this moment, and praises were mingled with lamentations on every side; yet their kindness, though it really affected him, was not like that of the clinging, weeping sister, the quiet, silent, wringing pressure of his brother John's hand; and what was even that to the low smothered tone with which his mother blessed him? her fond kiss, her tearful smile, put to flight all his mustered resolution, and his father was obliged to lead the sobbing boy to the carriage, in a state of distress that for a short time was completely overpowering.

Many hours had passed, the passion of grief had exhausted itself, and a few hours of unbroken sleep had recruited the faculties of our traveller, when he reached the sea-port from which he was to sail to another far distant country, and realize all the wishes of his inquiring mind. It is however certain, that the idea of parting with his fondly-beloved, his deeply-venerated father, again affected him so severely, that he would gladly have resigned at this moment all his long-cherished wishes, if a sense of duty had not come to his assistance. He had the good sense to know, that having gone so far, he was bound to go farther: and rousing all that was manly and firm in his nature, he determined neither to disgrace himself by retracting any of his former professions, nor wound the heart of his father, by sinking under the pain of parting, as he had done in the first instance.

This praiseworthy magnanimity in Henry became its own reward. He found his spirits rise when he went on board the ship, the sea-breeze seemed as inspiring as the cricket-ground at home had ever been, and he was again conscious of his usual wishes for that destination he was called to fulfil; and when he found himself strained for the last time to his father's bosom, he was enabled to say, "Pray tell my mother that I am very happy, dear father."

The father whispered one word of approbation, and closed a scene he bore with difficulty by descending to the boat. There were other fathers, other partings, and other sufferers, but for a short time Henry forgot all the world save his own dear parent; and, when the last glance of his figure was completely gone, sought only to hide himself and his feelings from every eye, yet he had one sense of consolation in having quitted his father with fortitude.

The wind was favourable, the ship was under weigh next morning, and soon began to clear the Channel; but poor Henry then began to experience that trouble to which new voyagers are generally subject, and long before he lost sight of his native shores, suffered all the depressing sensations of sea-sickness. He had never known more than a day's illness within his memory, and that had been soothed by the tenderness of his mother, or amused by the playfulness of his companions; and now, when he felt so much worse, to meet no attention, save that of a joke from his messmates, or assistance, except from a menial, at first struck him as hard to bear. He found that there were others who suffered equally, reflected that he had entered on a course which, whether of hardship or ease, was certainly of his own choosing, and remembered that its evils had been pointed out to him, and he had promised to meet them firmly; he therefore set himself to endure, and bore his first trial with as much heroism, or more, than any other passenger.

In the course of a fortnight, health and appetite returned, and the captain congratulated Henry on what he termed his resurrection. He now became capable of attending to what was around him, and was never weary of admiring the noble vessel in which he sailed. The beauty, cleanliness, convenience, and even elegance of his floating home, the excellent table, the pleasant company, the commanding yet protecting air of the captain, the friendly manners of the ladies, all struck him as being charming and delightful, and he began to wonder that any person could consider a long voyage disagreeable, unless, like himself, they had suffered from sea-sickness.

This agreeable change had taken place about ten days, when he was one morning called on deck to hail that sight of land which even the oldest seaman greets with joy. He beheld Madeira rise from the bosom of the blue deep, like a rich gem embossed with emeralds. Every moment it became more and more apparent, the lofty mountains covered with forest wood, the grounds below covered with vines; and then the town of Funchal itself, the houses rising tier above tier, intermingled with churches and monasteries, met his view, and he felt as if this alone repaid him for all the sufferings of his voyage.

This sensation greatly increased on entering the island, which presented on all sides something so totally different to every thing he had left in his own country, as to offer at once the gratification and the stimulus to curiosity. The city was populous and handsome, yet there was not a single carriage, except clumsy cars drawn by oxen. The very cornucopia of Nature appeared to be emptied here, in the quality and quantity of fruit: but even from this sight, grateful as it is in such a climate, he was withdrawn to gaze on a procession of monks, and a body of inhabitants, whose dark complexions, indolent gestures, and unknown language, gave him that sense of being for the first time in a foreign land, which all who have experienced it will remember.

It so happened, that the ship in which Henry sailed was laden with stores for St. Helena, and the captain therefore lost as little time as possible in taking in what was necessary at the Madeiras, and he desired the passengers to return to the ship as soon as possible. Henry urged his wishes to examine the island, and especially to climb the mountain of Rica Ruiva.

"The thing is impossible," returned the captain, "and were it not so, you would see nothing but the sea, and you will have enough of that, I promise you. All the world knows, that Madeira was discovered by the Portuguese, who found it covered with wood, which they set on fire to clear it. They escaped with difficulty, the fire burnt for seven years, and so fertilized the soil, that they afterwards raised an unequalled abundance of sugar and wine, the last of which continues excellent to this day. The inhabitants are mostly poor, or proud; but it is a jewel of an island, and the prettiest thing in the Portuguese diadem, if they knew how to polish it; but don't stay to talk about it now."

Henry returned reluctantly, and looked back with eyes that lingered on the beautiful novelties around him: it was now evening, and he saw a group of the lower inhabitants, who appeared to be vine-dressers, dancing under the shadows of the beautiful paibanco trees, to the sound of the Spanish guitar, and added to the beauty of the spectacle in the distance—no wonder he was sorry to depart.

The second part of the voyage proceeded less rapidly than the first, and Henry began to think the words of the captain true as to his having "enough of the sea;" but he was happy in the society of the passengers, who became more friendly with each other the farther they proceeded; and books in the early part of the day, and a dance on the deck in the evening, beguiled the time; whilst the store of luscious fruits taken in at Madeira preserved their health, in despite of the increasing heat which they now experienced. Every day would the heart of Henry anxiously revert to his dear home, the occupations and the improvement of its inhabitants, and birthdays, holydays, and visiting seasons, continued to awake in him the most lively interest; he had no doubt that they all thought of him with as much tenderness as he remembered them, and he rejoiced in the belief that neither climate, country, nor circumstances, could break the tie of affection which bound them to each other.

After their continuing a steady progress some weeks longer, unmarked by any incident, Henry was one morning awakened by an uncommon noise among the sailors, which, notwithstanding there was no enemy to dread, gave him the idea of preparation for an engagement. He had just begun to dress, that he might see what was stirring, when a sudden irruption was made into the cabin, and an old sailor, fantastically dressed up to represent Neptune, attended by various personages, whose appearance was rather comical than classical, gave him to understand, "that the ship was then passing the line, and he must be immerged in the seas of the new hemisphere to make him free of the South." Henry had heard of this old joke, and gladly paid the fine, which was imposed on several passengers as well as himself, and gave the sailors their usual treat of grog on such occasions: but one young man who resisted underwent the penalty, and was roughly handled by the seamen, and laughed at by the passengers for his obstinacy.

Continual inquiries as to the state of their progress, conversations on Bonaparte, and renewed diligence in gaining as much of the Moors' tongue as their situation admitted, filled up the time till they arrived within sight of St. Helena, which is seen from a great distance, Henry thought himself fortunate in seeing this remarkable place, which is not often visited by outward-bound ships; and, young as he was, he could not forbear to reflect much on the fate of that great warrior, for whom this mighty rock formed first a prison, and now a tomb.

As they drew near to this remarkable island, the difference betwixt it and the beautiful Madeira struck him forcibly. Sometimes it appeared like a stern-looking castle or fortress, rising in frowning grandeur; at others, like a mass of broken rocks thrown by some sudden convulsion of Nature from the bottom of the deep; but in no point of view could he conceive it to be the abode, much less the pleasant habitation, of man. "Ah!" said he to himself, "how must the hearts of gay Frenchmen and their wives have sunk within them, when from the deck they contemplated their future home! at least their sacrifice was noble who followed the fortunes of a ruined master to such a melancholy exile; and whatever were the faults of him who so long embroiled Europe and spilled the blood of her sons like water, their attachment is honourable to those who gave and him who received it."

In due time the vessel wound its way to the only point of entrance to the island, called Chapel Valley Bay, which is fortified not only by fifty large cannon, but by the perpetual dashing of prodigious waves, as if nature herself denied access to her most inhospitable shores, which are at length only reached by a small boat, which lands a few men at a time in a little creek. The impression of desolation was aided in the mind of Henry at this moment by large flights of sea-birds, a gloomy atmosphere, and a threatening wind, which blew so strong as to have nearly prevented their landing at all, a circumstance by no means uncommon. When this difficulty was got over, those persons who had no merchandise to dispose of or to purchase, eagerly began to form into a party for the purpose of exploring the island, and as our young friend was one of them, he found himself more agreeably situated than at their last landing, as he had plenty of time for seeing any object of curiosity.

For those who have been many weeks at sea, confined to one monotonous view, apparently cut off from the wide world, and placed upon an element capable of opening every instant and swallowing them alive, and when appearing most smooth and smiling, liable in a single hour to exhibit the most alarming change, the simple circumstance of feeling solid earth beneath their feet is a delightful change. They look round on all living creatures as a kind of new-found brethren, renew their acquaintance with houses and trees, feel their hearts glow with veneration at the sight of a church, and busy their minds with eager comparisons between the things they behold, and the dearer things which they remember.

These emotions filled the mind of Henry with pure delight, as he pursued his way into the higher part of St. Helena, where every step which took him from the shore presented objects of beauty, and conquered the impression of barrenness and desolation hitherto inspired. In fact, a rich though shallow coat of earth covers this mighty rock, which produces fruit-trees, feeds cattle, supplies wheat in small quantities, and vegetables in abundance. There are no forest-trees, but the vine has been propagated successfully; and the ground is so broken into green hills and rich valleys, as to render views from the interior frequently very beautiful, and give the idea of a paradise in the mighty ocean, fenced in by a fortress of impregnable strength.

In due time they reached the former home of Bonaparte, and were minutely informed of all those particulars which have been so often transmitted to Europe, that repetition is needless, respecting the situation, the conduct, and death of Bonaparte. All viewed his grave with interest, and Henry felt again that pleasure a traveller cannot fail to experience in actually viewing scenes of which he has heard much, and greatly desire to behold.


They arrive at the Cape of Good Hope.—History of this place—Tremendous storm for some time prevents their landing.—Pleasant run from thence to Madras.—Henry's surprise at landing.—New trees, new birds.—A new world around him.

The examination of St. Helena only quickened the desire to proceed in our young traveller, and he was not sorry to be summoned on board. They proceeded with somewhat of a brisk gale, and soon lost sight of the pinnacled rocks, ceased to talk of the dearness of provisions there, and the impositions of the natives, and began to look forward to their arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, which is always deemed a point of great importance.

Henry borrowed from a lady Mickle's translation of Camoen's Lusiad, a poem written on the discovery of India by Vasco de Gama, which he read at this period with great pleasure; but when he arrived at the description which is there given of the storms which took place off the Cape, for which they were steering, he could not help saying, that he thought the poet had made them too tremendous.

"I shall be very glad," returned the captain, "if you continue to think so; but as you have seen very little rough weather yet—for we had only a slight rocking even in the Bay of Biscay—I cannot allow you to be a judge. Not that I like the description of Camoens at all, for he must needs paint the spirit of the storm, by way of increasing its horrors and ugliness, and to my mind he had done far better in giving its natural effects, which every body can conceive, and which far exceed in grandeur and terror any conception of man; in a very few words, our own service in the Prayer-book gives a better idea by half."

A few days after this conversation, the joyful tidings of land being descried from the topmast was given, and Henry hastened with others to the deck, each holding a glass, for the purpose of descrying the welcome terra firma. In a short time they discovered the Table Mountain of the Cape of Good Hope, and before the sun went down, had the satisfaction of discerning not only that, but several other prominent landmarks with the naked eye.

The following morning Henry rose soon, impatient to observe all that could be seen, and anticipating a day of uncommon pleasure, because he apprehended it would be one of activity and diversity. To his great surprise, he found the captain giving various orders, with a tone of such anxiety as bespoke in his care that pain rather than pleasure was expected; and on looking up, he observed the mountain covered completely with light vapoury clouds, resembling snow.

"You see," said the captain, "the Table is having the cloth laid upon it; and we sailors can assure you that it is a bad preparation for a dinner, should those fleecy-looking wind-messengers descend; depend upon it, we shall have one of those storms which caused the first name given to the place to be Cape Tormentoso."

"I believe the native inhabitants of all the land in our eye are the Hottentots; but that, although the Portuguese were the first discoverers, it was the Dutch who first planted a colony: am I right?"

"You are. For many years, the Dutch, in their voyages to the Indies, used to land here to take in water and provisions, and the ships going out used to deposit their letters under a case of iron, covered by a stone, which the ships returning took home, and conveyed thus intelligence of their voyage to different parts. John Van Riebeck, a surgeon, and a man of abilities, first conceived the idea of forming a better establishment, for the purpose of aiding his country, by a settlement, which being about midway from their possessions in India and Europe, might afford assistance to travellers from each country. His plan was adopted by their East India Company. Ships were sent out, the friendship of the natives ensured, Cape Town built, land granted to settlers on advantageous terms, and the place became wealthy, populous, and productive."

"But did they incur no trouble from their savage neighbours?"

"For about ten years they were engaged in continual skirmishing to maintain their footing, but after that became easy; and during that time proved that the soil was well worth cultivation, and the climate favourable. Farther up the country there are many wild beasts, more particularly lions, tigers, leopards, and wolves, but they rarely come near the coast, where they have yet abundance of game, particularly large herds of deer, and where the birds are numerous and beautiful, and, so far as I can learn, no country in the world boasts an equal number of curious plants. At a considerable distance from the coast, there is a settlement of the Moravians, who have made converts of a number of the natives, and whose collection of botanic curiosities is prodigious, being assisted in their researches by those sable brethren to whom they have imparted far better things."

Whilst the captain had been imparting this information, the dense mists he had termed the "table-cloth" had crept down to the very foot of the mountain, and quick blasts of wind coming from the land-side, whistled among the cordage, and violently shook the sails of the vessel, many of which were now reefing. When summoned to breakfast, every face wore disappointment, and all the more experienced said it would be a day or two before they made the port—a thing which appeared to the novices next to impossible. They had, however, no time to dispute on the subject, for the wind suddenly rose tremendously high; a sudden swelling of the waves communicated the idea that there was a wind below the surface of the sea, not less than over it, and a terrible confusion arose throughout the maritime dwelling.

Soon after, black clouds overspread the face of heaven; all sight of the deceitful coast was denied; the waves, impelled by the wind, and rising every moment higher and higher, seemed to come as revengeful enemies from the land to forbid their approach; and many were extremely desirous that the captain should stand out for sea, and give up all intention of visiting such an inhospitable shore. In general, this gentleman, though firm and authoritative among his men, was not only gentle and conciliating in his manners, but of a disposition to comply with any request properly urged; but, on the present occasion, Henry observed that he turned a deaf ear to all remonstrance and entreaty, and making up his mind to meet the difficulties before him, either enforced obedience or silence on all around. Henry, in despite of the greater objects of surprise and curiosity around him, could not forbear giving his unqualified admiration to this conduct, which he considered not only praiseworthy in itself, but as affording a most salutary lesson to himself; and many a time did he inwardly ejaculate—"If ever I am called upon to hold the lives of others in my power, to combat with danger, or to enforce command, God grant I may act like Captain Murphy!"

In a short time the storm so increased in its terrors, from the more rapid swell of the waves and the loud pealing of thunder, the vessel was pitched so violently, and her rigging was so injured, that many of the passengers gave themselves up for lost, and only one besides Henry was permitted to remain on deck, lest they should suffer for their temerity on the one hand, or impede the efforts of the seamen by their expressions of fear on the other. Henry had attended much to the working of the ship ever since they left Madeira; he understood the sea-terms, and he now lent a willing and able hand to every manoeuvre for her preservation which was pointed out, whilst he kept his mind in that state of quiet endurance of evil, and calm expectation of good, which his father had frequently said was the only kind of courage to help a man in the time of need. Henry was aware that even he, young as he was, might, on the present occasion, practise this species of manly bearing, though he could not have done it on the field of battle; for there, anger for the wound he had received, or revenge for the death of a companion, might, in addition to the arrogancy natural to a young impetuous soldier, have rendered him too eager to be guarded, too venturesome to be wise. He had now to contend with danger in a way that rather asked the strength of fortitude than of valour, yet it asked for exertion against that grief which was awakened by the thoughts of home, that fear the existing terrors around him were likely to awaken; but he rallied his mind, he lifted up his heart to God, and felt that, in the midst of this awful scene, he had a heavenly Protector, who was above all, and commanded all, and who, in another state of existence, would give him life eternal for present death.

Often did he think on those words in the Psalms to which the captain had lately referred, and acknowledge how admirably they depicted the state in which the vessel now stood, but he did not speak either of his recollections or feelings to him or to any one; it was a time for acting, not talking; and in those pauses from labour, when his thoughts could retire to his own breast, and, as it were, attend to their own business, he was aware that it was his duty, in deep humility, to prostrate his heart before God, submitting to his will, recommending also the souls of all that partook his situation.

Night closed upon them, the thunder ceased, and the forked lightning no longer showed those fearful abysses of the parting waves which had so long threatened to swallow them; but as the hurricane still raged, their danger appeared hidden from them only to render them the surer prey. Henry descended into the cabin, at length, to take some necessary refreshment, of which he stood in extreme need, and there found all the passengers assembled, in that state of fearful expectation, silent awe, and bitter sorrow, which bespake the effect of their situation on different minds. It was a moment when all disguise was dropped, and some of high vaunting displayed miserable pusilanimity; whilst, in several instances, timid women looked pale, but placid and resigned. It was to Henry a heart rending scene, and affected him infinitely more painfully than the threatened death which he beheld above. There was something in the sublimity of the latter which was stimulating in its magnificence; but the faint breathings of sighs, the wailings of fear, and even the quietness of the firm, were affecting and distressing to his compassionate heart; and when, with great difficulty, from the perpetual rocking and pitching, he had obtained a little biscuit and swallowed a small portion of brandy, he returned to the deck.

"You well deserve to carry good news to the poor wretches below," said the captain, "for you have proved yourself worthy an admiral's honour; return, and tell them we have got on a good tack, and the breakers are subsiding ahead. I thought this before I sent you down, but am now certain of it."

Henry did not wait to hear the observations nor exclamations which followed this good news, for he hastened to rejoin the indefatigable man, who was to him the most interesting person on board. A second night did he continue to watch and labour, but was rewarded by seeing the sun go down on a gradually improving state of weather; but the surf was high, and the gale still brisk; when, by the wonderful skill and alacrity displayed by the captain and crew, the ship at length drove with amazing celerity into the bay.

Although the Cape of Good Hope now belongs to the English, who took it twice within a few years, a great number of its first inhabitants are found there, together with many French and other Europeans; and Henry was exceedingly amused with all around him, save the original inhabitants of the soil, whom he pitied, yet could not approve. The cleanliness of the Dutch, placing the filthy habits of the Hottentots in the strongest point of view, rendered them the more disagreeable; but the avarice and meanness of the settlers would, in a more lengthened stay, have shown him, that immoral dirt is the more disgusting of the two.

Provisions and water being obtained, the Table Mountain visited, old friends looked at, and letters dispatched for England, they became as impatient to quit this place as they had lately been to arrive at it; and as the weather was now very fine, they enjoyed a pleasant and speedy run to Madras.

Being prepared for the high surf, the danger of reaching the shore on the present occasion appeared trifling to them, after the tempest we have mentioned, and they rather enjoyed the landing, which is effected by boats of a particular construction, and which placed them in a few minutes high and dry upon a fine beach, apparently out of the reach of all injury from that mad surge which had so lately threatened them, and still appeared to rave against them.

Here, then, was Henry in Hindostan! that country which must be to him a future home, and how strange a one it was! All he had seen of novelty before was far short of this; for not only was he surrounded by such vessels, carriages, and people, as he had never beheld till now, but the very trees were strangers; and as he proceeded, the rich broad-leafed plantain, the bending bamboo, the tall palm, the curious cocoa-nut, and the majestic banian, each claimed his surprise and admiration, and told him he was on a soil he had never trod before.

Nor did the inhabitants of these trees less delight him; for here the green parroquet spread his wings at liberty, and numbers of those brilliant birds, seen only stuffed in the museums of Europe, flitted about in all the glowing glory of life and beauty.

Madras itself struck him as magnificent: Fort George, its garrison, is high, commanding, and without any architectural pretensions, is yet imposing. The city is divided into two parts, the Black and the White Town; and to the latter, as the residence of the Europeans, Henry was conducted by those of his fellow-travellers who were acquainted with the place.

The hospitality practised in the East Indies is so extensive, that few persons are under the necessity of making a temporary stay at the houses of public entertainment; but Henry considered himself one of them until his letters were delivered; and with three other gentlemen he proceeded, under the captain's direction, to the principal street of the White Town. Every step presented new and extraordinary sights, which he beheld with all that vivid enjoyment of the wonderful which belonged to his age; and we think our young readers will at this period of his travels read his letter to his dear family at home, describing his feelings, as well as the objects which excited them, with more pleasure than our own description, and shall therefore continue this account of our young Cadet, through this natural and characteristic channel.


Henry writes to his parents.—His description of the Madras roads.—The Black and White Towns.—The inhabitants.—Pride of the Mahometans.—Grace of the women.—The Peons.—Dubashes.—Native troops.—Armenian gentlemen.—Wealthy natives.—Description of a pagoda.—Its hideous idols.—Affectionate conclusion.—Proceed to Ceylon.


"I have at length arrived at Madras, and find myself in a land of wonders. Every thing around me presents a moving picture of extraordinary character; and although I fancied, from the descriptions I had read, and the views I had seen, that every object would be familiar to me, yet I find them not less new and striking in the effect they have upon my eye, than if I had not read or heard of them before.

"The White Town of Madras looks very handsome to those eyes which have long desired the sight of human habitation, although the houses are only one story high; they are fiat-roofed, built of brick, and covered with a plaster made of sea-shells, which no rain can penetrate. There are three principal streets, barracks, hospital, town-house, &c. surrounded by a strong stone wall, with batteries, bastions, flankers, cannon, and all those means of defence which seem to belong to a fortress placed in the land of enemies. It is inhabited by merchants and their dependents, military men, and troops of the natives under our command. The Black Town is inhabited by Gentoos, Mahometans, Jews, and Indian Christians, who are chiefly Armenians; it is also a fortified place. The streets are wide, with trees planted to protect the inhabitants from the burning heat of the sun; but a considerable part of the town consists of miserable cottages, which are inhabited by a crowded and poor population; so that, although many are rich and exhibit marks of wealth, they are contrasted by the extreme of want; but, they tell me, this is rather an appearance than reality. In this town there are several pagodas, which are the Gentoo temples, and are full of the most hideous idols; but none of them give an idea of those large and costly places I expect to see hereafter.

"Ah! what a delightful thing did I find it yesterday, to assemble with my countrymen once more in the house of God, and offer up prayers for those I loved, and praises for the mercies I had experienced, with so many similarly situated! I had witnessed, even in this short time, so much of what was strikingly ridiculous and disgusting in the religious ceremonies of the proud Mussulmen and the silly Hindoos, that I felt as if I could never sufficiently express my gratitude for having my own lot cast in the 'goodly heritage' of Christian light. Dear mother, be assured, that the lessons you have given me will grow only the firmer in a place where I am every day compelled to feel their value and their truth.

"But my brother John bade me tell him something about the Bramins. I must begin by observing that all the native inhabitants of Hindostan are divided into four great tribes, and that of the Bramins is the most noble, being, like the Levites among the Jews, the only one which can officiate in the priesthood; but they are not all priests, as we used to suppose, but are merchants, agriculturists, &c., but never in any menial capacity; and I assure you that they are as proud and hard-hearted towards their humbler countrymen, as any conquerors could be, and, generally speaking, are by no means the amiable personages we boys at home used to fancy them. The second tribe is the Sirri, who are military men, but blend other business with that profession. The third is the tribe of Beise, who are merchants, brokers, banias, or shopkeepers. The fourth is that of Sudder, who are menial servants, and can never raise themselves above the disadvantage of their birth. Besides these there is the cast of Harri, who are held in detestation by the rest, and never employed but in the vilest occupations.

"Besides these grand distinctions they have grades arising from the superiority of one city to another, and they would die on the spot rather than give up one inch of their prerogative. I do not pretend to judge of such matters; but this system of holding back all progressive virtue and merit, appears to me so bad, that I do not wonder that so many strangers have intruded on their country, and become their rulers. But I will not moralize about them, when you are all asking what they are like? Come, my dear Selina, you shall have a camera-obscura view of the road on which I have been driving. The grand drive here leads from the fort to St. Thomas's Mount; it has a fine avenue of trees, the whole nine miles; and at the distance of seven, is a race-course and a handsome stand. All the way as you go, there are garden-houses in the country, with beautiful verandahs and porticoes, which, being covered with chunum (a plaster which resembles white marble), have a beautiful appearance.

"The carriages are all English, and I need not describe them, as there is not, so far as I have seen, any thing remarkable: therefore, leaving this gay promenade, I will take you with me into the Black Town, in that part where the population is chiefly Mahometan. These fellows like not us; there is a curl of the whiskers, a flash of the eye, a proud curbing of the rein, or the step, as they pass an Englishman, which bespeaks an angry sense of his superiority—a remembrance that he now occupies the ground they sought to subjugate. I must confess, however, that they are a brave and enterprising race; I like their boldness better than the servile supple natives, of whose simplicity and harmlessness I have very little opinion; for certainly a more cheating, extortionate, usurious, and invincibly obstinate race, never existed. They are handy, it is true, and are therefore, in one sense, agreeable servants; but being also lazy, proud, and dishonest, are very unfit for being about careless young travellers. Ah! how you would have laughed to have seen us all at daybreak, the first morning after our arrival, when half-a-dozen of the natives, in white dresses, red turbans, gold ear-rings and finger-rings, poured into the dormitory, and applied themselves, with amazing dexterity, to dressing, shaving, or shampooing[1] each of the party! I never felt so odd in my life, as when one of them began unexpectedly to wash my feet. I felt, indeed, as if we were both degraded by the action; and the poor fellow was so adroit in his business, and even elegant in his motions, that I could scarcely forbear to conceive he had been born to far higher employments, and stooped to me as a captive bends to a conqueror: so that, on the whole, I found it disagreeable enough, and I hope that I shall not be amongst the number of those who are ruined by the luxurious and effeminate practices of the East.

"These sensations were still more excited, when I made my first entrée to a palanquin, which is always attended by nine men, who have no other clothing than a cloth twisted round the middle, and who carry you by turns, four at a time. The carriage itself is like a bed with panels, which are painted and varnished like the panels of a coach, with Venetian blinds and sliding doors, handsomely lined with leather, silk, or chintz. It has poles like a sedan chair, and you may lie at your length, or sit up and look out as you please. The bearers will run with you twelve miles in three hours, frequently relieving each other, singing as they go in a measured cadence, which seems to assist their steps.

"But let us look around once more.

"There goes a group of native women, carrying water to their houses, in just such urn-like vessels as you read of in Alfred Campbell's Visit to Samaria, for I understand they are common all over the East. These women walk gracefully, have fine persons, and although their dress consists of only one piece of cloth, it is so managed as to be not only equivalent to other garments, but perfectly picturesque. It passes round the loins, then covers the bosom, and is either thrown, hood-like, over the head, or falls negligently, mantle-wise, over the left shoulder. Their shining hair is disposed elegantly in folds on the crown of the head, and often ornamented with chaplets of yellow flowers.

"They are succeeded by men with red turbans, breastplates, sashes, and swords, and with belts of leather, or tiger skin. These are Peons of the Zillah, or police foot soldiers. After them come a party of Dubashes, fat looking black men, with very white dresses and turbans, and large ear-rings. These are a kind of agents, ready to execute any commission for you.

"Now come a body of horsemen, well dressed and mounted in the English mode. They have comparatively light complexions, and are accompanied by an officer carrying a chowrie or fly-flap, which is made of the bushy tail of the Bootan cow. These are the body-guard of the governor; they are followed by a corps of black soldiers, completely dressed as British troops, except the cap, which is peculiar to the sepoys of the Madras Establishment; they are a very fine regiment indeed.

"Now comes a monk of pale complexion, grey hair, and highly intelligent countenance—he is indeed an Italian, and his black robe, white cords, and small scull-cap, altogether present a picture of great interest: he belongs to the Capuchin convent in the Black Town.

"Near him walks an Armenian gentleman; he is a fine-looking young man in a white vest, blue sash, and high velvet cap; and he stops to speak with a priest of his own country in a purple robe and mitre cap, who is a stout man with a long bushy beard. They are succeeded by a large man, well mounted, wearing a shawl turban, gold-threaded sash, and silver-headed creese (or dagger). The housings of his horse are embroidered with gold, his reins are silk, and he is decorated with a breastplate of shells. A servant runs by him with a screen shaped like a spade, so as always to shade his face; he looks vain but cheerful, and is the native of a distant province—a man in power, as I judge from his appearance and the salaams[2] he receives. But I must finish my pictures of men and women, whether low or high, Mahometan or Gentoo, to give you that of a pagoda, the temple of the Hindostanee.

"A high solid wall, built in an oblong square, incloses a large area. At one end is the gateway, above which is raised a pyramidal tower, which is ascended by steps in the inside, and divided into stories; the central spaces on each side are open, and become smaller as the tower rises; the light seen through them has a beautiful effect, and they are completely covered with sculpture; but this is rather elaborate than elegant. When you have passed through the gate, you find yourself in a spacious paved court, in the midst of which stands the inner temple, which is raised about three feet from the ground, open, and supported by numerous stone pillars. An enclosed sanctuary at the end contains the idol; but all the other parts of the pagoda are also covered with images of their numerous and hideous deities, most of which look as if they were made to frighten naughty children. Vishnu the preserver, Siva the destroyer, Kamadova riding on a parrot, Agare on a ram, and Varoona, god of the seas, mounted on a crocodile, meet your eyes in black granite at every turn, and appear to me vile guests for such stately mansions. Before the exterior we frequently find a bull, as large as life, extended; but within, the figures are far less prepossessing.

"Around the whole court is a deep verandah and colonade, which in many parts, I am told, consists of pillars of marble, enriched by precious stones. Near every pagoda is kept a huge wooden car, which is, in fact, a portable temple; on which, at certain seasons, some favourite idol is placed for the purpose of processions, when immense crowds unite in the labour of moving it.

"I must now conclude this letter, as I am summoned to my ship, and trust that long before it reaches you, I shall be safe at Calcutta. Dear mother, after what I have said of Hindoo temples and deities, I hope you will readily believe that I feel more value for the true faith than I ever did before, and am aware that I can never be sufficiently grateful for the blessing of being educated in Christian principles. God grant that your advice may always rest upon my memory, and influence my heart and conduct, so that, although I am thrown at so great a distance, I may be worthy of my excellent parents and my dear country!

"When I think of you all, when I reflect that on this letter your eyes will glance, your kind observations arise, my heart grows so full, that I dare not remember the situation in which I am placed; but, nevertheless, I know that I am in the element which I long wished to explore. Life is before me in all its varieties, an honourable profession, and, as I hope, a respectable competence, and I enter on my task with a light heart; so do not allow yourself a moment's uneasiness for your thankful and affectionate son," &c. &c.

Henry returned to his ship in high spirits, being amused by all he had seen, and glad to increase his stock of knowledge by all the inquiries he could make from those on board. From them, in sailing near the coast, he learned the ancient and present state of Calicut, once an empire, and the scene of the notorious Hyder Ali's irruptions and cruelties, but now principally in possession of the English, who took it from Tippo Saib, who himself fell at Seringapatam, in the same line of country, being a part of Malabar. The capital is now principally supported by the importation of the teak tree.

Time passed pleasantly; and he recognised, either by sight or description, every object of interest; but none were found so important as the Isle of Ceylon, to which Henry was enabled to make a flying visit, through the kindness of the captain, who happened to have some business with a merchant resident near the coast.

[1] Shampooing is a pressing and gentle friction applied to the limbs after fatigue, and is considered a refreshment; the operator concludes this service with pulling the joints till they crack. This custom has been lately introduced into this country, and is said to have a very good effect on rheumatic and paralytic patients.

[2] A bow with the hands crossed on the breast.


Description of Ceylon.—Voyage to Bengal.—Enters the Hooghly River.—Calcutta.—Letter to John.—Description of the Inhabitants.—Black Hole, and Governor Holwell's sufferings.—Jewish congregation.—Barrackpoor.—Howdah elephants.—Letter concluded.

Well might Henry be delighted with Ceylon, that land of fruits and spices, for it appears a kind of store-room, in which Nature has hoarded up all her choicest productions. It is fertile in various kinds of rice, which in these regions is the staple food of man; and pepper, ginger, sugar, cotton, and mangoes, are abundant, besides the gorunda goucha tree, which produces cinnamon, which is its bark, and a nut, which is used for oil. The vegetable wealth of this island is indeed astonishing, and it is also rich in precious stones and mines of gold and silver. Henry had seen poor Chuny in London, so that he thought himself acquainted with the form of the elephant; but those which he saw in Ceylon, employed in the service of man, and adapting their mighty strength and intelligence to his use, astonished and delighted him. He found that the elephants of Ceylon are deemed superior to those on the continent of Asia, and that the island produces also buffaloes, deer, hogs, goats, tigers, monkeys, and jackals, a great variety of curious birds, many serpents, and some of an enormous size. From these latter detestable animals he was not likely to be annoyed, as he had no time to explore the country; but he was awakened, the only night on which he slept on shore, by the melancholy cry of the jackals. On rising and looking out half asleep from his window, he saw only the broad hanging leaves of the bigaha tree, which is always in motion, and held in great estimation by the natives, who place their idols under it. A glance at these strange objects told the poor boy that he was in a new country, far from that of which he had been dreaming; but as he saw no object of annoyance, he returned to his bed, satisfied of his safety, and pleased to remember, that if his own beloved country boasted not the sparkling ruby, nor the fragrant spice tree of Ceylon, neither was it subject to the fangs of the tiger, nor the poison of the serpent.

Leaving this rich island, which is of an oval form, sixty miles wide, and two hundred and forty long, they entered the Bay of Bengal, and being favoured by the weather, soon achieved the long-desired voyage, and found themselves entering the Hooghly, a branch of the sacred Ganges, that river which the Hindoos considered capable of conferring immortality and eternal happiness.

On the eastern bank of the Hooghly, about one hundred miles from its mouth, rises the city of Calcutta. If Madras be striking in its strong walls and fortified air, rising from a stern sandy soil, infinitely more so is this eastern city of palaces; and the ground around it, which is called "Garden Reach," from the number of beautiful villas and gardens, shrubberies and lawns, which bespangle it, seem a neat frame for such a noble picture. Calcutta is built only of brick: but it is so covered with the beautiful white chunam, that the effect of marble is produced; and as the government-house, the fortress, and esplanade, open to the eye, are seen in conjunction with a magnificent spread of river, enriched by shipping, and animated by a diversity of light vessels rapidly moved by natives in gay and various costume, nothing can exceed the magnificence, vivacity, beauty, and interest of the objects it presents. No European city can vie with Calcutta in the striking effects, the pleasurable emotion it excites in a stranger.

Nor does landing destroy the charm of novelty and beauty which thus seizes on the senses, but rather increases it; for on every side the traveller beholds all that entrances him with surprise as being new, united with that which is endeared to him by being familiar. Coaches, chariots, tilburies, and barouches, are seen driving along, and reminding him of dear old England; whilst black drivers, in muslin wrappers and turbans, tell him that he is far from thence; and when he sees Armenian and Gentoo merchants, dressed in shawls, and lolling in landaus made in Long Acre, he cannot forbear to think how extraordinary a scene he is witnessing, in thus beholding his countrymen residing in the land of another people, at once in a state of close union and complete division; exercising the command which belongs to power, where they had once no claim but that of permission, and blending conjunctly the benevolence of protection, and the tyranny of assumed right, over a weak but unchanged population.

Though Henry was received in the most kind and courteous manner by the family who expected him, and was exceedingly delighted with all around him, yet he could not fail to be sorry to part with the captain and his fellow-voyagers, for they seemed to him a part of his own country; of course, he did not neglect to write when the vessel returned, and we therefore transcribe his letter to his brother.


"Depend upon it, Calcutta is the finest place in the world. I know there are towns with far larger and grander buildings; but then they are not half so clean, and new, and beautiful, as this bride-like city. I have been standing on the roof of the house the last half-hour for air, and as it was midnight, had an opportunity of seeing all the gay company returning from an entertainment at the government-house; and I assure you I never witnessed any thing that could compare with the splendour and gaiety exhibited. Whilst the torches of servants were flying about in all directions, lighting the coaches and palanquins, I started at the cry of the jackals, and remembered that Calcutta, with all this show of population and grandeur, is yet surrounded by a jungle, where the tiger prowls for his prey, and too frequently seizes on the defenceless native; that the palaces by which you are surrounded are little more than the growth of half a century.

"Here, as in Madras, there is a Black Town, as well as a White one; indeed, the place seems to me a home for all the people of the earth. Chinese, Arabs, Persians, as well as Armenians, and every tribe of Hindostanee origin, may here be met with, and the Black Town literally swarms with population. The difference between the domestic servants here, and those of Madras, is striking, as they are here completely covered by a loose robe with wide sleeves, full trowsers, slippers, and a flat turban half shading the face and neck; in speaking, they join their hands, and lift them forward with a respectful, deprecating air. They are delicately clean in their persons, and graceful in their motions; and it is from these qualities, and their humble manners, that they have established the character many writers give them: but, in fact, the Bramins of India are the proudest people I ever met with, and the most cruel and insolent to their own countrymen of inferior caste.

"I have been here a week, and, as you may suppose, have run all over the town, or been run with by others; but the truth is, that I have been taken by Mr. ——, my kind friend in his curricle. The government-house is very splendid; but I was more delighted with the venerable form of the Marquis of Hastings than all the trappings of state by which he was surrounded. I was delighted with the museum, where I saw an amazing number of war instruments from all parts of India, together with specimens of their sculpture, and some very beautiful ones of the nutmeg and clove plants, with other oriental curiosities.

"There are two establishments for the education of natives under our protection, being colleges for Mahometans and Hindoos, who are taught by Moonshees and Pundits, that they may be qualified to fill the place of petty officers in the Company's service. In the former, I was exceedingly pleased by the intelligent looks of both teachers and learners; in the latter they appeared to be stupid-looking fellows, not likely to make much progress.

"There are many charitable institutions in Calcutta, and a noble reservoir of water, which is supplied by springs; near to which is a monument erected by Governor Holwell to the memory of those unfortunate persons who perished in the Black Hole—a circumstance you remember my dear father mentioning to us. It is now little more than sixty years since the Nabob Surajah Dowlah crammed one hundred and forty-six of our countrymen into a hole of eighteen feet square (amongst whom was a lady), to die by most horrible sufferings; while seventy thousand Moorish troops were encamped around them. What a change has taken place since then! indeed that change was soon effected, for the victors held their 'vantage ground only for a short space, and no one can regret their removal.

"There is also a fine Botanic Garden belonging to Calcutta, with which I have been much pleased, on account of the novelty and beauty of all I saw, and the extraordinary fragrance of the flowers; but if I had understood botany, I should have had more pleasure a great deal. Knowledge of any subject increases our interest tenfold, and I hope henceforward to get rid of my schoolboy haste in dispatching lessons of any kind, and to study for the sake of improving my mind instead of finishing my task.

"I was much struck with the Armenians at Madras, and now admire the women as well as the men. They are very pale, but their eyes are large, dark, and expressive, their features full of intelligence and pensive softness. They wear on their heads a cap with jewels in front, like a tiara, over which they throw fine shawls, which, descending in graceful folds, veil their forms, yet add to their dignity. I have been to the Armenian church, and was much pleased with the air of deep devotion apparent in all the worshippers; but the assumed splendour in the dress of the priests, and the ceremonies of wrapping the Gospel in gold tissue, did not suit my taste, from being used to the plain good sense and simplicity of our own establishment; nevertheless, there was much to admire and approve in all that I beheld, and the church itself is a neat plain building, well calculated for a Christian temple.

"I have also seen a little Jewish congregation, which was very striking, for I could have fancied that the Patriarchs themselves, in a state of Babylonish captivity, had been placed before me. Their long silver beards, handsome but marked features, and the kind of half-lighted, dungeon-like room where they assembled to read the Old Testament from an ancient manuscript volume, favoured this idea; and as I gazed upon them, my very heart ached with the intense desire I felt, that they would come to that light which our Lord brought to a benighted world, and was offered first to their forefathers—that instead of skulking in holes and corners to worship the true God, they would add to that worship, faith in His Son, and gratitude for His great sacrifice.

"What a contrast was afforded, in both these places of worship, to a Hindoo pagoda and its hideous idols! Compared to them, the Mahometans' worship is really respectable; and the veneration these people entertain for Abraham and Moses, seems to me a kind of connecting link between them and us, which one can never feel for the Gentoo idolaters, who, whilst they adhere, with the most obstinate stupidity, to their religion, yet appear to know its folly and frivolity, as the makers of idols continually recommend them to the English, with 'Please to buy them for the children, masters.' Surely this is the height of folly.

"At this time, the Holy Scriptures are printing here in no less than sixteen different dialects; so that we may hope, in the course of another century, knowledge of the most important truths will become general in this immense country, especially as upwards of an hundred schools are established by the Company.

"The Governor has a beautiful seat at Barrackpoor, about fifteen miles from hence, on the banks of the Hooghly. Our kind friend took me there in his budgerow, as I preferred going by water, to traversing the fine road which leads to the park. I was much pleased with the whole scene, which combines the character of an English nobleman's residence with that of an eastern prince; but nothing struck me so much as seeing the Howdah elephants carrying out the governor's domestic party for their evening airing. Near the park is a cantonment for five thousand sepoys, with several streets of neat-looking bungalows for the officers.

"But I must now say something of myself. I have been received every where most kindly, and find I am shortly to be sent to Benares, the very place I so ardently desired to see, as the —— regiment is now in the neighbourhood, to which I am to be attached. Mr. —— thinks that I shall get a commission very soon; but whether that is the case or not, I hope I shall see service and learn my duty. He has given me much good advice, particularly on the subject of not attaching myself too strongly to young officers of whose character I am ignorant: and I mean, therefore, to find my pleasure rather in observation on the country and the inhabitants, than in society. This resolution is the more necessary for me, because you well know, dear John, that I was always given to hasty friendship, and got into more scrapes at school that way than any other boy, as you may remember, for you had no little trouble to get me out of them. Ah! my brother, when the remembrance of your kindness, or that of my beloved parents, comes over my mind; when my happy home, the haunts of my childhood, or even the images of our dogs and horses, rise in my memory, for a time it completely overpowers me, and I feel as if I would give the whole wealth of the Indies twice told, to be with you again, and never, never leave you more. But do not be uneasy on my account; these acute recollections do not last long; and I soon shake off my sorrow, look round on the new world before me, and feel delighted with all it presents, and impatient to see more.

"You shall hear from me as soon as I am stationary; and in the mean time, with duty to my parents, and love to all the dear young ones, I am, my beloved John, affectionately yours,

Henry Delamere."


Voyage to Berampore.—Moorshedabad.—Elephants.—Ruins of Gour.—Fakirs.—Monghyr and its springs.—Henry arrives at Benares.—Writes to his mother.—The streets, pagodas, Bramins, mosques of Benares.—Letter continued.—Henry removes to Cawnpore.—Method of travelling.—Description of Allahabad and Cawnpore.—Letter concluded.

Not long after despatching this letter, Henry set out with an officer and company of troops in a budgerow (which is a long vessel with an awning, well calculated for river voyages), up the Hooghly for Berampore. He was exceedingly pleased with the views presented as the vessel gently moved forward, and showed characteristics of the country; particularly when they saw a neat Indian village, where the elders were assembled under a group of trees, and the young men were driving home their flocks of cream-coloured cattle, and the women bringing down their brazen urns to fill them with water, in the same way that Rebecca of old went forth to the well at eventide. He was also amused with the busy scene presented by the river itself, as vessels of all forms and sizes, laden with merchandise, and frequently managed by the most picturesque-looking navigators, were continually passing: many of them were covered with matting, and looked like floating cottages.

From Berampore they proceeded to Menshedabad, a place of considerable importance, where minarets, domes, and palaces, conveyed the idea of a Moorish city in perfection. In the neighbourhood is the Meetie Jeel, or pearl lake, on which stands a superb palace, raised by Alinudy Khan. This magnificent place, built chiefly of the finest marble, was already in decay; but whilst Henry was looking at it, and lamenting its ruins, he saw ten fine elephants brought down to the lake by their keepers, which diverted his attention. They were thin, and had an air of having also fallen from the high estate they once held in the palace; but yet they marched with a proud step, as if conscious that they had belonged to royalty.

They next stopped at Gour, or Guara, once the capital of Bengal, and showing ruins fifteen miles in length by three in breadth. This ancient city flourished above seven hundred years before the birth of Christ; but it is now gone down to the dust so completely, that it must be searched for to be found. The luxuriant foliage of India, with astonishing avidity covers the mouldering wall, and climbs the falling turret; and although abundance of ruins mark the site of Gour, when you reach the ground they occupy, it is necessary to toil over bush and brake to arrive at them.

A short time after leaving Gour, Henry was shown the habitation of a Fakir, who had lived in solitude and silence a great number of years, and lately completed his self-imposed miseries by drowning himself in the sacred waters of the Ganges. The Fakirs are a class of persons to be met with all over Hindostan, who give up their lives to tormenting themselves, in the hope of thereby securing immortal happiness. Some put live coals upon their heads, or hold them in their hands; others sit in one posture till they lose all use of their limbs; twistings of hair, dislocation of joints, long fasts, severe immersions, the suffering of years, and the sacrifice of life, are the common self-inflictions of these unhappy and deluded beings.

The cotton plant, with its bursting pod, disclosing that beautiful substance, which affords to us such various, elegant, and useful articles—the indigo shrub—the betel plant, and the graceful bamboo, all varied the way as they proceeded to Monghyr, which is remarkable for a hot spring. It is gathered into a walled well, round which, as formerly at the Pool of Bethesda, numbers of cripples and sick people were assembled; but the healing stream was guarded by many stout healthy Bramins, who never suffered the pennyless to approach the stream; and even when Henry had relieved a poor wretch, took the money instantly from him—a decisive proof of the hard-hearted avarice common to this celebrated caste.

Henry now approached the celebrated city of Benares, having passed Ghazipoor, and seen in its neighbourhood a mausoleum erected to the memory of the venerable Marquis Cornwallis. As Benares is the finest city now left in the possession of the Gentoos, and a place which every Indian traveller desires to see, we shall offer Henry's own account of his view of it in a letter to his mother.

"My dear mother,

"I write to you from the very focus of oriental learning and splendour—'the land of roses, the garden of beauty.' It is, in truth, the most curious place you can conceive, and can only be seen in a palanquin, or on horseback; for the streets are so narrow, and you find such crowds of people in them, that you are obliged to have a police trospee to clear your way, or you would not be able to get on at all. The houses are built of brick, and form a kind of labyrinth of lanes, being six or seven stories high, and frequently connected with each other by small bridges thrown across the street. These houses are painted in stripes, or ornamented with the Hindoo deities. The shops are all in distinct streets, according to their trades; in one are embroiderers of gold and silver muslin, which they do so beautifully, it would be a treat to the girls to see it; in another are displayed the finest shawls; a fourth is filled with jewels; a fifth with jewel merchants. Several streets are entirely filled with the makers of brass idols, together with lamps, dishes, and vessels of the same metal, and these are really splendid.

"You meet in the street numerous Bramins, in open palanquins with crimson canopies, or hackrees, drawn by two showy horses, with flowing manes, richly caparisoned. The women are beautifully formed—wear garments of the richest materials—walk gracefully, yet fetch their own water, and therefore form a striking feature in the population. The most remarkable, however, is that of the great number of Hindoo youth of high caste sent to Benares for education. These do not reside in schools, or colleges, but board in the houses of the Bramins who instruct them, to the number of six or seven only.

"I went into one temple dedicated to Mahadena, which was externally covered with sculpture, and internally with flowers, and so far attractive; but, considering the character of Benares as the seat of learning and religion, the pagodas are by no means grand or numerous. Adjoining this temple was a sacred spring, which I found guarded by a fat, stupid-looking Bramin—as fine a picture of lazy pride and ignorant dulness as you can well imagine.

"I visited also a famous mosque built by Aurungzebe, in the heart of the city, of the very materials which had constituted their proudest pagoda, to commemorate the triumph of the crescent in India. What would this proud Mussulman have said, could he have known that the cross would so far have laid low his boasted acquisitions, as it has done in our time, and that his descendants and their opponents would alike have crouched at the bidding of these 'Christian dogs' whom they despised with so much scorn, and, when opportunity offered, treated with such barbarity!

"I saw also a fine observatory built by a Hindoo rajah, who must have been of a very different description to any of his race; and in the very heart of the city is a school founded by a wealthy Bramin, who is really a liberal man, and certainly not an enemy to Christianity; so that it would be wrong not to allow him merit."

(In continuation.)

"Unexpected information has removed me from the neighbourhood of Benares to Cawnpore, from whence I resolved to dispatch my letter. I have had a very pleasant journey, setting out after dark, and travelling in a palanquin, on which I could lie or sit, as I felt inclined. My clothes were packed in neat hampers, and the palanquin had drawers, writing-desk, two or three books, and a lamp; likewise a canteen convenience for meals. I stopped every day twice, to wash and take refreshment; and found relays of bearers every ten or twelve miles, so that nothing could be more convenient and comfortable.

"I saw in my course Allahabad, an ancient city near the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna; near which I visited a subterraneous cavern, where, during the reign of Moorish persecution, the Gentoos retired to perform their own superstitious rites. Even now, multitudes of pilgrims crowd to the confluence of these sacred rivers, and every year there are some who voluntarily rush to death; and when the swollen corpse rises again to the surface, it becomes the prey of the vultures which hover round the scene of sacrifice. Who that beholds such horrid spectacles, can forbear to desire the conversion of a people so unhappily blind to present happiness and eternal glory!

"Cawnpore is a noble-looking place, with numerous domes and cupolas, and a large inclosure for tombs, which is much more grand and solemn than any church-yard I have ever seen. The Mahometans are fond of walking in their cemeteries at the hour of sunset; and their serious deportment, flowing garments, and stately step, suit well the solemnity of such scenes. Altogether, I am pleased with this town: there are good houses and bungalows[3], fine Howdashed elephants, gay barouches and tilburies; and, on the whole, it seems a second Calcutta.

"And now, dear mother, with love and good wishes to every one of my beloved brothers and sisters, and more gratitude to yourself and my excellent father than I have words to express, I must say farewell, &c. &c."

[3] Garden houses.


Henry's letter to his brother, with a description of the mode of living by the Anglo-Indians.—Numerous servants.—Large dinners.—Children.—Fêtes of the natives, &c.

"Being now, my dear John, settled for a short time at Cawnpore, in the beautiful bungalow of my father's friend, Colonel S——, I think I cannot do better than give you some account of the things around me, as I understand, and indeed perceive, that the same services and circumstances take place in all the other houses where we visit.

"I ought to tell you, in the first place, that the bungalow, or country house, where I am a happy guest, is very large, and beautifully furnished; yet it is only built of cutcha, that is, unbaked mud, and covered with tiles. The rooms below are built en suite, and the doors kept open for circulation of air; but a sort of gauze work, formed of split bamboo, and coloured green, is put up, to give some degree of privacy to each. The furniture is placed at some distance from the walls, to keep it from insects, which are very destructive; indeed there are neither looking-glasses nor curtains admitted, as they are found to harbour musquitoes and white ants, the plagues of every part of India. The floor is covered with chunam, over which is laid matting, and upon that a setringee, which is a kind of thick calico, made by the natives, and looking very handsome. The garden, upon which we look from the verandah which surrounds the bungalow, is very beautiful, and enriched with mangoes, plantains, melons, oranges, shaddocks, custard apples, and guavas, besides multitudes of beautiful flowers, such as I never saw at home, the perfume of which is equal to their beauty.

"You have heard how many servants are necessary in Hindostan, even to an European; I will name a few of the principal; the head of them is a khansanah; I believe he attends to all the confectionary and fiddle-faddle dishes at table, and then takes his place behind his master's chair. Every person in the family has a khidmatzu, who attends on them in the same way. Then there is the abdar, or butler, who cools the wine; the hookah badar, who takes care of the colonel's pipe, and who, like his khansanah and abdar, is splendidly dressed, and stands at his back. Then we have two cooks and two maulsaulchees, who are Mussulmen, as the Hindoos can have nothing to do with the kitchen, on account of their religion forbidding the slaughter of any animal: indeed, they will not even touch a clean plate, in consequence of its having been defiled some time.

"The sirdar bearer is a Hindoo; he takes care of the oil, and two mates assist in pulling the punkahs. The meter, or sweeper, is also a Hindoo, but of a low caste; but in my opinion he is worth all the rest, for he does what they leave undone. Then there is the ayah, and the metranee, her assistant, who are ladies' maids, and the dirzee. These are the house servants, to which must be added those who take care of the baba logue, or nursery, which are ten more, for the colonel has five children, and in every family here each child has two for its share. As every servant thus employed makes as much noise as possible, under pretext of amusing the child, and all the other servants exalt their voices, in order to be heard, I beg you will try to conceive how much noise must be submitted to in every gentleman's house who has a family; but you will never be able to do it: when I was at home, leading all of you into mischief, our dear parents out—Sally scolding—the housekeeper insisting—and James laughing, it was all a mere nothing to the perpetual uproar of an Anglo-Indian establishment.

"Our out-of-door servants consist of the bheestie, or water-carrier; the two chuprassies, who are a kind of running footmen; and being high-caste Bramins, always appear with swords by their sides. There are hurkarus, but they are a low people, who perform the same offices, and sit in the ante-rooms, to answer the question (qui hi), 'who waits?'

"Then there are mallees, who take care of the garden; the dobhy, or washerman; the berry wallah, who has the charge of goats or sheep; and every horse must have his syce and grass-cutter. To this moderate account add eight bearers, four punkah-pullers, and extra helpers in each department, and you will see what an assemblage it will make, and how much noise must be inevitable.

"I retract now what I said hastily, John, in an early letter, about the cunning and selfishness of the people who serve you, for I firmly believe that good masters make good servants here as well as elsewhere. In this family, such is the devoted affection of the servants, I am certain many of them would die for their employers; and Colonel S—— assures me, the activity and honesty of his khansanah greatly assists his income. The syces, who frequently take valuable horses from one station to another, have never been known to fail in their duty, under so strong a temptation as the temporary possession of a valuable horse certainly offers; and even when they have been taken ill, and died on the road, they have in many cases, by great exertions, placed their charge in the hands of English persons, in order to ensure its safety.

"Never boast in England of your hospitable entertainments, I mean so far as concerns the quantity of fare set before the company; for here we never have a few friends, without placing a dinner before them that would do for a corporation feast at Norwich. I have seen, at one time, a sirloin of beef, a saddle of mutton, ham, turkey, fowls, ducks, tongues, pigeon-pies, curry, &c. But it is no use recapitulating; the whole table is covered twice in this way, for the second course is little less substantial than the first. The worst part of the business is the great waste of victuals; for as the Hindoo poor around will not touch it, the greatest part must inevitably be lost.

"The wine is kept cool by wetted cloths tied round the necks of the bottles, like little petticoats, the colour being contrived to tell the nature of the wine. They tell me, that the burra khanas, or grand dinners at Calcutta, afford a very attractive spectacle, and remind the gazer of those baronial feasts of which we have read, but never seen; but there can be no better description than that of Miss Roberts:—

"'In a hall, paved with marble, supported by handsome stone pillars, and blazing with lights, sixty guests perhaps are assembled; punkahs wave above their heads, and chouries of various kinds, some of peacock's plumes, others of fleecy cow-tails, mounted upon silver handles, are kept in continual agitation, to beat off the flies, by attendants beautifully clad in white muslin. At every third or fourth chair, the hookah, reposing on an embroidered carpet, exhibits its graceful splendours; but unhappily the fumes of the numerous chillums, the steam of the dishes, the heat of the lamps, and the crowd of attendants, effectually counteract the various endeavours made to procure a free circulation of air.'

"Here you have the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, before you; though we may say, 'if not a feast, we have a hecatomb' before us, the supply of good victuals will not suffice for comfort; indeed it helps to destroy it.

"Balls here are very different from such meetings at home; for so far from ladies being wall-flowers, they have each two or three gentlemen waiting for a chance of dancing with them. I suppose I must get a commission before I have any chance for a partner; I am sure I am tall enough now. Every one here is fond of dancing, to the great surprise of the natives, who think it very foolish in people who are rich enough to hire dancers, who would do it for them. To judge by appearances, a good many English would indeed do little enough for themselves: the children here look pale and languid, and are scarcely able to play or amuse themselves; and even when naturally clever, scarcely learn any thing.

"All the country stations are called mafussil. I believe this of Cawnpore is (taken altogether) the most agreeable; but the extreme delight and novelty I experienced at Benares, render my present pleasures comparatively tame, although I have many comforts here to which I was then a stranger. I will take the opportunity of my present leisure, to say something of the fruits and trees peculiar to this country.

"The first is the mango, which grows on a very beautiful stem, something like our walnut trees, but more graceful; the blossoms grow in pyramidal bunches, and are followed by clusters of fruit, each attaining the size of a good pear. Whilst ripening, you see them on the same tree, all shades, from an apple-green to a glowing crimson. In some parts I understand a mango will attain the weight of two pounds; the skin is smooth, the flesh more cool and delicious than the finest peach, and until the country of Tavoy was added to the possessions of the Company, it was considered the finest fruit India produced, but it now yields in honour to the mangostein, which has been thus described to me:—

"The mangostein[4] grows upon a very ornamental tree, about twenty feet high; the leaves are large; the flowers resemble those of the camellia japonica, and the general arrangement of the branches is beautiful and majestic; the fruit, when ripe, is the size of an ordinary orange, the rind of a similar thickness, and thin membranes divide the pulp into six portions; this pulp has been described to me by many as most exquisite, but none of them agreed as to the flavour; it has not hitherto been transported out of its native soil. The durion is another Burmese fruit, and a very singular one, being so noisome in its smell, it is a wonder any person ever ventured to taste it; but having done so, the pure white pulp it encloses was found delicious, wholesome, and possessing so much of animal flavour, as to be sustaining also; it is said never to pall on the appetite, and even to restore the tone of disordered stomachs. When full grown, it is nearly as large as a man's head: it is covered with a kind of scales, and when too ripe, these burst, the pulp putrifies, and the seeds drop to the ground; these may be roasted like chesnuts, but they taste of turpentine and camphor, and smell as bad as the fruit, which I fancy is more like Harrowgate water than any thing else, from what I can learn.

"I must not omit the bread-fruit, of which there are two kinds, the inferior being called jacca; it is by no means a tempting thing, but affords a coarse food, not to be named with potatoes. After it comes the banano, of which the fruit is abundant, sweetish, but insipid; it is said, that one acre of land will produce eighty thousand pounds weight of bananas, each being about half-a-pound.

"The tamarind tree is very beautiful, being very like our own acacias, and its acid juice an important addition to the luscious fruit. The papan is a fruit as large as a moderate sized melon. The pine-apple, the oranges of various kinds, and the Otaheite apple, are said to be imported; but the pillaw, with its bag of nuts—the carambale, with its juicy berries like the grape, are, I believe, native. Figs, mulberries, grapes, plums, and apples, are also to be met with in many places.

"Now let me tell you a little about trees, for they are here so splendid, as to make the whole country seem like one magnificent garden. The cotton tree deserves to be named first, on account of its usefulness; it grows fifty feet high without a branch; but after that, throws out numerous boughs covered with purple flowers, which protect pods, in which lie the pure white cotton, which gives clothing to all, and food to thousands in its manufactory. Then comes the mulberry tree, which feeds the silk-worms, and we well know their value. From the fibres of the cocoa-nut, excellent cordage for shipping is produced; but I believe the natives here would give preference, even over all I have named, to those which produce oils, for as they kill no animals, these trees are required both for food and light. The sweet ponna tree, which is a forest tree covered with sweet-scented flowers, yields seeds, from which all the common lamp-oil is extracted. Then there is the castor-oil tree, and the phutwarrah, which produces abundance of nuts, from the kernals of which oil is extracted. I need not tell you that madda and indigo plants produce excellent dyes, and are cultivated to a great extent in India on that account.

"Of the magnificent flowering shrubs and trees in this country, I can really convey no idea by words, any more than I could enable you to scent their perfume; the fulness of blossoms and brilliance of colour may be shown by a painter, but cannot be described even by a poet. I will, nevertheless, confess to you, that the birds and insects please me even more than the flowers; there is something in life and motion that is more endearing than can be found even in the finest productions of inanimate nature.

"The first hours of morning is the time when you see these winged flowers to the greatest advantage; then, and again in the evening, every description of the parrot and parroquet, and many birds I cannot name, clothed in purple, scarlet, and yellow, may be seen glancing from point to point, and appearing anxious to shine in the sunbeams; small doves, with pink breasts, blue jays, green pigeons, crested woodpeckers, and byahs, whose breasts are of the brightest yellow, together with fly-catchers, a bird of slender form and emerald-green colour, offer to the eye and the mind a source of the purest delight. The butterflies are every where abundant, and of very various descriptions, but always gorgeously beautiful in their colouring; and to them are added many other insects, of brilliant hue and elegant form; they seem expressly made to live amongst oleanders, banbools, the sweetest of all flowers, and those lovely ones which vary their hues through the day, and die at night, the name of which I have never heard.

"But the children are going to have a kat portlee nautch, and I must make one, for themselves and their friends are to me a pretty spectacle, reminding me of the dear little ones at home, when Selina had contrived some particular amusement for them in the drawing-room. Our own and neighbours' assemblage here, on such occasions, is rendered the more interesting, from the introduction of a few native children, clad in white muslin chemises, with silver bangles round their wrists and ankles; many of these children are perfectly beautiful save for their complexions, to which my eyes are now pretty well accustomed, and I delight in the expression of pleasure flashing from their fine dark eyes, as they gaze on the spectacle which brings them together.

"But you will ask, 'what is this spectacle?' I answer, it is a dramatic entertainment, performed by a man, a goat, and a monkey dressed as a sepoy, who go through a great variety of evolutions, and understand each other so well, and play into each other's hands with such ability and good humour, that I really think, many of your first-rate performers in Europe might take a lesson from them to great advantage.

"By the way, talking of lessens, I must say, that many youths here, the sons both of officers and civilians, do great credit to the education they have received, whether from parents, friends, or masters; I am ashamed to say, that many are much better read than I am in general, and at least my equals in the classics; and to this, they add a knowledge of Hindostanee, which I can never hope to attain, for it is their native tongue, all the children speaking it long before they gain English. From this it appears, that we are quite wrong in supposing it absolutely necessary for children to be sent to Europe for education, and equally so, that young men from home are required to take situations of emolument, or even employment here, for they have plenty for that purpose inured to the climate, and capable of its duties. Their merit makes me greatly distrust my own success, dear John; nevertheless, I must do them justice, and I will not despair for myself, but continue every means for my improvement. So adieu, with more love and good wishes than I have time to give, &c. &c."

[4] See Mudie's admirable work.


Henry's letter to his sister.—His commission.—Removal to Agra.—Mode of travelling.—Camp dinners.—Tigers in the jungles.—Henry's adventure with one.—Horrible murder by the Thugs.


"I know you are never more happy than when you have good news to communicate, therefore I commission you to tell my dear parents, and after them all my beloved brothers and sisters, that Henry is become a soldier and has actually entered on the business of his new situation, for my commission arrived from headquarters, along with orders for a removal to Agra.

"You will perhaps say fighting is the business of a soldier, and we are now at peace in India; true, my dear Sely; but I assure you, in this hot country, it requires no small exertion to prevent both officers and men being totally unfit for service, should they be called unexpectedly to take part in actual warfare. Such is the courage of our troops, that I am persuaded it will never fail in the field, and the very excitement of a battle will supply much of that courage necessary to the fighting man; but if he is not in a state of discipline, as regards his habits and his health, all his courage may be unavailing, when contending with a body of natives, treble the number of British, to whom the climate is probably as favourable as to him it is the contrary. I assure you, many experienced officers have told me, they found more difficulty in conquering themselves in minor points, than they had ever found in opposing their enemies; thanks to the wise as well as kind education given to me, I may look forward to an escape from the besetting sins of which luxury and idleness are parents.

"Nothing can exceed the bustle and novelty of an Indian removal, when, as in our present case, many families, each of which has an immense establishment, are the travellers. To those who step out of their own carriage to enter a mail-coach in England, to go a couple of hundred miles, nothing could seem more unnecessary than the immense preparations for such a transit which are here imperatively called for. In the first place, you have an auction, in order to dispose of those things it would be inconvenient, or perhaps impossible to take; in the next, you have such a packing of goods and chattels as we can form little idea of, for rust, ants, and rats, will destroy almost any thing, and the very house itself be soon in ruins, if left without a resident. Next, you must purchase every thing requisite for food—procure tents under which to sleep and to cook—procure hackeries (or bullock-carts) in which to convey the female servants—hire camels, or an elephant, for the carriage of baggage—see glass, china, looking-glasses, and wash-basins, packed for men to carry, and order the disposal of gridirons, frying-pans, and all the wants of a moveable kitchen. The khansanah must have a horse—the khidmutghars bestride camels—the children be accommodated with a palanquin carriage drawn by bullocks—in short, three persons require the attendance of a hundred; therefore, you may judge what a body would accompany Colonel S——'s family of nine persons.

"The master of this family was on horseback with his regiment—I drove Mrs. S——in a buggy, and was exceedingly amused by the appearance of the party on our setting out; still better, however, did I like my journey, when, on our first halt, I found the abundant comforts provided by our little army of followers, many of whom had preceded us, and provided comforts in the midst of the widest jungle, only to be expected in the houses of the wealthy, and of which my Dâk travelling had given me no idea. Our tents were pitched, our breakfasts preparing, and many of our four-footed helpers already reposing after their toils; during the middle of the day we rested, and I never had a better dinner than our cooks contrived to procure from fires made in this wilderness, and viands partly procured there, as several of us found very good sport in the woods, and added game to the excellent Burdwan stew preparing. Immediately after this meal, away went cooks, mussaulchees, and others, after rapidly packing up all the utensils required, and set forward to furnish our evening entertainment.

We stopped one day on our road for general relief, and were happy enough to be stationed in a most beautiful spot, richly wooded, adorned by a small silvery lake, and near the ruins of a once splendid city, of which I have made two or three sketches for you. Here we received visits from several persons, making the same route with ourselves; and I was particularly amused by one gentleman, who had just returned from Oude, and whose information, respecting the king and his splendid pageants, I will give you as soon as we are a little settled. In the course of the day, we were amused by witnessing the long procession of a native noble, in honour of his son's betrothment, a boy, I should think, not more than ten years old. First came a troop of camels, jingling all over with bells, and bedizened with tufts of various colours—then many bullock carriages, covered with scarlet cloth, and these were followed by open palanquins, canopied with fringed curtains, in one of which sat the little bridegroom, gleaming and glittering like a rich jewel in a velvet casket; after these, a stately elephant, with a silver howdah, appeared, which was shaded by an umbrella of various colours; and this was followed by a motley group of suwars, or soldiers, ill-clad and ill mounted, the whole finished by the outrè appearance of an old English gig, in which sat two grave Turks, in flowing green robes, and white turbans, appearing as grotesque and incongruous as any thing you can well conceive.

"The procession was rendered more interesting and romantic, from the beautiful country through which it wound its way, and the loud shouts of the party communicating an idea of the importance and the happiness of the nuptials. We were soon, however, called upon to think of other matters, as our attendants informed us that a tiger had been seen prowling about the ruins the night before, and there appeared every reason to expect his visit in our own encampment, since the smell of the victuals was but too likely to allure him. Not only are wild beasts drawn to follow temporary resting-places, but birds also; and we had no doubt that all we left behind would be taken good care of by troops of vultures, adjutants, and others of the cormorant tribe.

"As evening advanced, talk of the tiger increased, and although no great dread pervaded the inhabitants of the female tent, yet Captain —— being assured that the body of a native, partly devoured, had really been seen within a little distance, thought it right to look after the perpetrator of such deeds. Two other officers arose, and offered to accompany him, and I begged leave to join them, and we all took the arms necessary for the purpose. We were attended by three natives, sepoys, because they understand the habits of this ferocious animal, and are quick in detecting his lair. We had proceeded a very short way into the jungle, when one of them gave the alarm, and Captain ——, to whom I was speaking, pointed out to me what appeared like the twinkling of two bright glow-worms, from some brushwood opposite. I then became instantly aware these were the glaring eyes of the tiger, but not seeing his huge brindled form, was not sensible of the terror it was calculated to inspire; and though I prepared to fire, I very foolishly (in my own mind) wished the creature to come out, and make sport for us; when, just as my piece went off, he vaulted clean over my head (being on higher ground than that we occupied), and seized on one of the native troops behind us. Captain ——, with admirable presence of mind, turned and lodged the contents of his piece in the body of the tiger, which fell dead upon his victim. There was a ball found in the animal's shoulder, which we thought must have been mine, and perhaps had been the cause of that tremendous spring which led to the poor man's death. On examining him, we found the bones of his head literally crushed by the fangs of the tiger. I cannot tell you how great a shock I experienced; but we all agreed to say nothing on the subject till morning, lest apprehensions of further intrusion from such visitants should be awakened among the ladies.

"If it were not for tigers and bears, the jungles would be perfect paradises—the beautiful antelopes, silver grey foxes, stately nylghaus, together with innumerable birds, flowers, and shrubs, forming themselves into arcades and bowers; the patches of beautiful greensward, sometimes covered by a venerable banana, and his thousand pendant boughs through which sunshine and shadow alternately prevail, render these places charming. It is true, they have also many of the serpent tribe nestling in these green retreats, and the boa-constrictor arrives unmolested to a tremendous size in many of them; and I must own I was not sorry, after our tiger adventure, to find myself reaching more immediately to the neighbourhood of cities. Even here, however, jackals prowl nightly, and their melancholy howlings are much less endurable than the chattering of the monkeys in the jungles, which amused me very often, though they are an animal for which I have very little affection; commend me to one good-natured terrier, in preference to even the most cunning of the tribe.

"Nothing can be more exciting than the sports of India, since, in almost every case, they combine danger and difficulty, with the stimulants of novelty and exercise, and they are earned on amid the most luxuriant scenes the hand of nature ever spread for her creatures. Formerly, native princes, especially the Nawab of Bengal, would take the field against his four-footed subjects with a body-guard of cavalry, and himself and European guests, set out in splendid palanquins, followed by elephants, horses, and camels, to be used as occasion required. They were accompanied by greyhounds, hawks, and cheetahs, which are a small leopard trained to the chase, and wearing hoods like our carriage horses: these are always used for hunting the tiger; but this sport is no longer carried on in this princely style; nevertheless it is still noble and spirit-stirring in a great degree, and strikes a stranger the more, from the contrast it offers to the general languor of Anglo-Indian manners, and because ladies delight to witness these diversions, and to partake the inconveniences attending a bivouac in the jungles. There are no pheasants in Bengal, but the pea-chick supplies their place, and jungle fowl are also excellent for the table; and it is by no means uncommon to make parties into a jungle, who agree to live only on the produce of their own exertions. For the purpose of tiger-hunting, elephants are required, since few horses can be brought to face the tyrant of the jungles; indeed the elephant frequently shrinks from an encounter. His great endeavour is to receive the tiger on his tusks, or crush him by his weight; and hunters are not unfrequently placed in great danger, from the unwieldly animal throwing himself upon his side, in order to overwhelm the assailing tiger, which, if it does not fully answer, of course exposes the persons in the howdah to a twofold danger.

"But there are, dear Selina, worse animals than tigers in India, the poison of whose tongues exceed in fatality its most insidious serpents. These are an organized body of murderers, called Thugs, or Phansegars, the business of whose lives it is to destroy, and afterwards rob their fellow-creatures. Certain portions of this most horrible and detestable body, make it their business to discover who among friends or strangers is about to travel; of which they give information to others, who then fall in with the persons in question, it being common in India, for the sake of general safety, to make such associations, and proceed in a body, as a security against wild beasts and robbers; a third portion proceed in advance, to places pitched upon, where they prepare graves for their intended victims. On reaching the spot pitched upon, the men who have been associating as friends and brothers with the unsuspecting travellers, suddenly throw a prepared noose round the head of the unhappy man, and seldom fail to perpetrate instant death; for although probably a stronger man and capable of resistance, the terrible facility obtained by practice, enables them in a short time to dispatch alike the aged or the youthful object of their wicked designs.

"So soon as they are assured of his death, they proceed to strip the body and bury it, in some cases finding perhaps considerable booty concealed close to the person; but in many instances they have practised upon travellers, with scarcely the means of purchasing a single meal. It appeared, from the confession of one of these wretches, whose horrible account was afterwards fully borne out by the relatives of the deceased, that within a short time they had thus destroyed forty-two persons. In several instances they were men of consequence, travelling with a number of attendants in palanquins; and one person in particular, they followed four whole days before they could find the opportunity they sought. Another day they murdered six palanquin-bearers, two women, and two children, although well aware that a very few rupees and their cooking vessels were all they could possibly obtain. No other banditti, or thieves of any description, I have heard, or read of in any country, have committed the most awful of all crimes with so much apathy and reckless depravity; indeed the burkings at Edinburgh were the only murders at all resembling these in the records of human atrocity. I ought here to remark, that the system was only exercised upon their own countrymen, considering that any British subject would be soon missed and rigidly sought; they never appear to have ventured on a prey that was so likely to bring them into trouble.

"These sanguinary deeds, if one may so term the extinction of life, with an especial care to shed no blood, generally took place in jungles, near to which probably a large party might be sitting, so that no suspicions of evil intention could arise, till the instrument of destruction was felt on the throat of the sufferer. This is said to have been a long damp napkin, twisted so as to occupy little room on the person of the Thug who used it.

"I have been assured that there are five classes of murderers in Hindostan, found in different parts of the country, and using different means for the same hateful and appalling end. In 1811 sixty-eight persons, called junadars, were proved to be murderers, through the means of deleterious drugs; another band were expressly devoted to destroying the pilgrims to Jaggernaut. In every case, robbery was the end for which murder was committed, a circumstance the more remarkable, because the dacoits or thieves of India are considered the most expert in the world; they are so supple as to make their way into tents, even while the party are seated there, and stealing as it were their goods before their eyes; of course they are the last of their own wicked class who have an excuse for their assassinations.

"It is hoped that the methods taken by the Company's servants, by planting Chokies, or station-houses on the public roads, and by otherways guarding travellers, will, after a time, render these murders unavailing for their purpose, and thereby put an end to the attempt, in addition to prompt punishment of the guilty. Many a poor traveller has been reported as slain by tigers, that found his grave from the cruelty of his fellow man, who, when devoid of religious principle, is the most heartless, avaricious, and ferocious animal, that walks on earth.

"We are now at Patna, which is a fine city, but with a very melancholy recollection attached to it; for here forty British prisoners were invited, as friends, by Mir Cossim, and butchered by his troops in cold blood. I have every reason to expect being sent to Oude myself, in a short time, therefore I have forborne relating the account, which amused me in the jungles. Be assured, I will tell you whatever I think will entertain you, and believe me, ever your truly affectionate brother, &c. &c.

"P. S. Never omit, dear Selina, to keep me as much as you can in the memory of the little ones; however happily I may be situated, or however highly gratified, my heart is still with my family and my country; and anxiously do I hope to retain my present feelings, for there is a pleasure mingled with the pain they give me. I think I must be a better man for my attachment to those so near to me in blood, so much above me in virtue."


Letter from Oude.—Description of the splendid processions at the Buchra Eade, at Lucknow.

"Here I am, dear John, at Lucknow, the only place now left which realizes the dreams of my school days, when I read the Arabian Night Tales till my head was almost turned. I have arrived just at the time of the celebration of the Buckra Eade, which is a commemoration of the offering of his son by Abraham; but the followers of Mahomet maintain, that Ishmael, not Isaac, was the intended sacrifice. It is a season of great rejoicing and benevolence; for as numerous animals are offered in sacrifice, the richer Mahomedans supply their poorer brethren with goats and sheep for that purpose, and every house is blest with a plentiful feast.

"The first preparation for this grand occasion is the washing and painting the elephants, also oiling: their skins; after which they are decorated with embroidered jhools of the most costly descriptions, surmounted by howdahs of silver or beautiful enamel. The horses are caparisoned with equal splendour; their tails are dyed scarlet, the saddles and stirrups are of solid silver, and they have costly necklaces, composed of medallions of rich beads, their heads being adorned with tufts of silk, which have a very picturesque effect. The camels are decorated in a similar manner. All the troops have new clothing; and different regiments are differently arrayed, but all in a costly and striking costume; and amongst them the warlike music of the dunkahs, or kettle drums, is constantly heard, and appears at this suitable.

"The van was formed of the camels; after which came the gunners; then two troops of cavalry; next, a body of suwars, in scarlet cloth, and caps of black lambskin; these were followed by a body in grand barbaric costume; after which arrived the most gorgeous part of the spectacle, the king and his court. The monarch himself was seated on a throne, in a triumphal silver car, canopied with crimson velvet, embroidered and fringed with gold, and drawn by four elephants, matched exactly in size and colour. The great men by whom he was followed had only two elephants each, but all glittered with gold and silver, gems and brocade. Their turbans were adorned with costly aigrettes of jewels, clasps, studs, and belts; even their slippers were enamelled by gems; and the rich tissues and beautiful shawls, in finely-flowing drapery, aided the general effect. Round their chariots, chebdars, chupraises, kurkaries, and other state attendants, brandished their scimitars, fanned the air with their chowries, and shouted forth the titles of the puissant personages to whom they belonged. A cloud of irregular horse hovered on either side, tilting and curvetting in the most graceful manner; and after them came the led horses of the king, splendidly caparisoned, and led by grooms in the richest liveries.

"After these came the royal palanquin and paalkie, which are constructed entirely of wrought gold, and carried by bearers in long scarlet vests, embroidered with gold, and their turbans ornamented with the emblems of royalty. There was also a state carriage, of English make, drawn by eight black horses, and driven by an English coachman. Then came those English gentlemen in the king's suite, mounted upon elephants; and the whole was closed by horse and foot soldiers; those belonging to the Company with colours flying, and bands playing, while hundreds of bannerales of gold and silver tissue were flaunting in every direction.

"When this gorgeous multitude arrived at the place appointed, the cavalcade being properly arranged, the king, who is about to offer his sacrifice, receives from the moollah, or high priest, a knife, which he plunges into the throat of a camel, prepared for the occasion. This is followed by a discharge of cannon, and then it is considered that the religious part of the ceremony is concluded, and the rejoicings of the day are begun; the animal thus slaughtered is prepared for the royal table, and happy is the courtier who is honoured with a share of it.

"The festivities of the Buckra Ede are concluded by fireworks and illuminations in the town; nautches and music are the amusements of the ladies in their zenanas; and the king gives a spectacle of wild beast fights to his guests, at which I was surprised to see many British ladies present. I did not think they cut a good figure, in any sense of the word, for the spectacle was a very barbarous one, and their clothing looked shabby in substance, and inelegant in fashion, as contrasted with the rich material and flowing draperies around them.

"The King of Oude sometimes will be present at the marriage of an European, and has sometimes given the bride away. On such occasions it is customary to give splendid presents, but so rigid are the laws of the British government, that the bride is not permitted to accept them, and sees, with extreme mortification, trays of brocades, shawls, and jewels, offered to her sight, and then snatched away for ever.

"At Delhi and Lucknow alone are to be seen such pageants as I have described; but in every place the inhabitants have their seasons of festival, connected with their religious ceremonies; and at this time they will frequently associate pleasantly on such occasions; but formerly they were scenes of quarrel and bloodshed, between Hindoos and Mussulmen. During the celebration of the Moharrun, although a fast of the most mournful kind, several splendid processions take place. It was instituted in honour of Hossein, and his death is dramatically represented on the last day, and his funeral obsequies performed with great pomp, and an appearance of sorrow that is surprising. Even the poorest person will contrive to subscribe something towards the splendour of the funeral of their idolized hero, for whose achievements I must refer you to books, those treasures you can always command, but which we rarely enjoy in comparison."

(In continuation.)

"I conclude my letter from Agra, whither I came by Dâk, and from the incompetence of my bearers, had a very unpleasant and even dangerous journey; but I am already more than repaid by what I have seen of this enchanting place—I call it so, on account of the beauty of the buildings, and the romantic and impressive character of its scenery. So far as I can learn, the society here, and their amusements, are at a low ebb; but I have personally no right to complain of inhospitality—indeed that is unknown in India.

"You have heard of the Taaje Mahal, the Palace Tomb built by the Emperor Shah Jehan, to the memory of his beloved wife, Moom Taza Mhal, to whom he declared, when dying, "that as she had surpassed all other women in beauty and virtue, so should her tomb surpass all others;" and well did he fulfil his promise—would that I could describe it to you properly!

"Imagine, dear John, a wild and desolate plain, in which you find a palace of red stone, inlaid with pure white marble, surmounted by domes and open cupolas, and which seems to have been raised by the hand of an enchanter; this is the gate of the Taaje Mahal only, and from its grandeur, symmetry, and elegance, is worthy to detain you from the principal object. Having passed through this majestic entrance, you find yourself in most delicious gardens, in which marble basins receive the tribute of numerous sparkling fountains, and at the end of a long avenue of graceful cypresses, the Taaje arises like a fairy palace. It is built of polished marble, so exquisitely white and shining, it might be mistaken for mother-o'-pearl. The mausoleum is placed upon a marble platform, but the place of actual sepulture is a chamber within the platform, around which are suites of apartments, with lattices of perforated marble for the admission of air from the garden. At each of the four corners springs a lofty minaret—the centre is crowned by a dome, and the whole chaste and beautiful, yet strictly oriental. Never did affection devise so rich an offering to the memory of the lamented one, by whose side his dust now reposes, after a reign of many disasters. To this emperor we owe our first settlement in Hindostan, which was a grant of land in Bengal to an English physician, whose skill had been beneficial to one of his daughters. He appears, therefore, to have been a man of kindly affections and generous disposition, not less than one of most magnificent designs.

"The mortus musjid, or pearl mosque, is so very beautiful and splendid a building, that many persons prefer it even to the palace tomb. Its richly-sculptured arcades, fine cloisters, elegant cupolas, all of white polished marble, when seen by moonlight, are perfectly magical in their effects, and seem to transport you into a new and beautiful world, of which you had hitherto no conception.

"The fort, the palace, the durbar, or hall of audience, are striking and beautiful, as well as costly proofs of the wealth, taste, and power of the princes who raised them; but they fail in exciting great admiration after visiting the places I have first named.

"The palace is very splendidly adorned with silver, spar, and other glittering substances; but what struck me the most, was the circumstance of the pavement being cut into channels, for the purpose of allowing a perpetual flow of water through them in the hot season, for that was truly a luxury to be envied.

"The tomb of Utta ma Dowlah is within the compass of a morning drive from Agra; and from the roof I saw the most splendid view on which my eyes can ever look. Near to it were the gardens of the Rambourgh, beautiful as those described in the Arabian Tales; and for many a long mile the blue waters of the Jumma glided through a rich champaign country, whilst opposite, the city of Agra, with its bastioned fort, marble palace, broad ghauts, intermixed with trees, stands in all the pomp of eastern architecture; whilst beyond, in silvery lustre, gleams the Taaje Mahal, rising above the darkly-waving cypresses, that speak of its funereal character.

"I have never seen marble nearly so abundant as at Agra; they tell me it is brought from Oodipore, and that Bundelkhund furnished the precious stones, so freely used in the palace and other places.

"Adieu, dear brother! I am about setting out for Delhi, or Shahjihanebad, from whence I will write; but my accounts of it will necessarily be short, as my mission will conclude there, and a journey of immense length succeed. No matter, I am still in health, despite the heat of Agra, and the many evils which arise to blight our enjoyments, even in the most glorious scenes of Asiatic splendour.

"&c. &c."


Henry to his father.—Delhi, its buildings and court.—Account of the Begum Sumroo.—Colonel Gardiner's marriage with a native.—Return to Bengal.


"I write to you from the magnificent city of Delhi, the destruction of which by Nadir Shah, I well remember you described to us one winter evening, when I little thought of ever seeing the place, whose riches so far exceeded my ideas, and whose destruction drew tears from my eyes. Since then Abdallah took it, and gave it up to pillage; and in the beginning of this century it was taken by Lord Lake; but the British conqueror did not resemble the preceding ones.

"Delhi is enclosed by walls of red granite, and entered by magnificent gateways; groves of trees appear to surround it, beyond which, domes, mosques, minarets, and a palace of immense dimensions, are beheld, with the blue Jumma gleaming in the distance.

"The palace is named the Peacock Throne, and the audience-chamber said to be that described as—

'Oh if there be an Elysium on earth, It is this—it is this!'

and certainly both that and the luxurious gardens which appertain to it, deserve all that can be said of them. The Chandery Choke, or principal street, is wide and handsome, Grecian piazzas, porticos, and pediments, frequently forming the fronts of both Moslem and Hindoo dwellings. The crowds I first witnessed at Benares, where the streets are narrow, is almost equally striking here, where animals of all kinds parade through the street, jingling their silver ornaments, and tossing their tuft-adorned heads. Delhi is full of great persons, and not one of them passes along without having his titles shouted forth by his followers, and these being aided by venders of every description, trumpeting elephants, neighing horses, and discordant musicians, the noise is intolerable.

"To this nuisance is added a more than common portion of that general plague, dust. The aridity of the soil, the frequency of the fiery simoom, which lasts four months, and the neglect of the natives, renders this evil greater here than in any part of India; and to that is added the plague of flies, which are a kind of animated dust, trebling the inflictions of the former.

"Since I came here, I have heard frequent mention of Colonel Gardiner, as a man of wonderful courage and abilities, who has gone through so many adventures, and achieved so many exploits, as to be the most remarkable man in Hindostan. He married a native Princess, who retains her religion and the habits of her country, and whose daughters are allowed to take the rank of their mother.

"I have also heard much of the Begum Sumroo, now a very aged woman, but retaining her faculties and her activity in a wonderful manner. Early in life, this Princess, then a very young widow, married Sumroo, a German adventurer, whose name is stamped with eternal infamy, as the man who invited the English to the table of Cossim, at Patna, and murdered them. Being desirous of returning to Europe, much against the wishes of the Begum, she, by her intrigues, induced him, in a moment of alarm, to destroy himself, since when she has reigned alone, and has made the Company heir to her dominions. She has had no children to either of her husbands, so far as it is known. She is immensely rich, and very generous and hospitable; but her character is stained with cruelty; and though her political abilities are allowed, her charities extensive, and she has made the fortunes of numerous dependants, it is said she has not one sincere friend in her circle, though unquestionably she has made the fortunes of many.

"One instance of her cruelty and revenge has been related to me, which places her in so diabolical a point of view, as to render her detestable in my eyes. Being at one time jealous of a young slave, she caused a place to be dug under her apartment, into which the poor girl was thrust alive, and the aperture covered up. Knowing that all the inhabitants of the palace were grieved for a beautiful and probably very innocent creature, whose cries for mercy they could still hear, she caused her bed to be placed in the apartment, thereby guarding her victim, and enjoying her groans and sufferings.

"Oh, how much pleasanter is it to speak of places than persons, when they are so wicked! The Kootah Minar, a tower two hundred and forty-two feet in height, which rises in the midst of the ruins of old Delhi, like a solitary mourner for its desolated brethren, is exceedingly admired: but its founder and the time of its erection are unknown. Bentinck Square tells of its present occupiers, and is well worthy of the country which has erected it—a large quadrangle, entered by four streets, presenting fronts of Doric columns with piazzas behind, is worthy the name of Delhi, and forms suitable abodes for those who are 'merchant princes,' like those of Tyre and Phoenicia.

"I shall quit this splendid city without regret, but not the less rejoice that I have seen it, for the wide earth scarcely contains one so remarkable for its sufferings and its riches; to this might be added the extraordinary perfection to which its artificers of every description have arrived. From their nearness to Cashmere, a constant intercourse with that country is carried on; the beautiful shawls woven in Cashmere are embroidered in Delhi with silk or gold, and are considered the best all over India. The goldsmiths and jewellers produce work of a very superior description; and the artizans in ivory are equally excellent.

"From all I can learn, our missionaries in India (of whose piety, patience, zeal, and activity, too much cannot be said) are beginning to see some good arising from their indefatigable exertions. The pilgrimages to Jaggernaut are fewer, and the horrors formerly practised greatly diminished. The Holy Scriptures, and many tracts explanatory of them, are diffused in various dialects; and I cannot think so meanly of the intellect of the natives, as to suppose they will not in time revolt from the hideous idols by which they surround themselves, and with thankfulness accept the more merciful creed of that people, who, although too frequently ungracious in their manners, have unquestionably improved the condition of their country. The memory of many Englishmen is dear to the Indians, and their good deeds familiar to their minds. I believe if Hastings (the governor persecuted at home) had died here, he would have been held as a saint amongst them; and I am happy to say, that our good king's sons (both the dead and living) are remembered with the warmest esteem. Many of the natives wish that the Earl of Munster should become viceroy at Bengal; and really it seems to me a very natural desire, and proper situation. But I am no politician, dear father, but only your truly grateful and very affectionate son, &c. &c."


Henry writes to his sister—Account of his journey to Bengal.—Escape from a Cobra Capello.—Arrival in Calcutta.—Dancing girls.—Dancing serpents.


"I am once more at Calcutta, for which I am very thankful; for as the rainy season has begun since I set out on my long journey, I was exposed to such discomforts as you can form little idea of. The former part I performed by dâk, and was by no means sorry to escape the glare and dust of Delhi, and regain the shade of the jungles; but on reaching those parts of the country subject to the swelling of the streams from mountains in the neighbourhood, both myself and bearers were in a bad plight. They were, however, careful and courageous; I gave them many good words, and as much brandy as I could possibly spare, and we got on very well considering. As they could not in conscience drink out of my cup or glass, I could only pour the brandy into the palms of their hands. Once we were obliged to cross a very considerable river, upon a raft made of boughs, at a time when it was too dark to see how fragile a support was provided; but as we were entering Bengal, I had the great good fortune to join a large party removing to Barrackpoor, and able to lend me a tent. Here indeed I had so narrow an escape from danger of the most painful kind, that I must relate the incident, knowing that your grateful heart will ascend to Heaven in thankfulness for my preservation.

"I had risen; and as my slippers were close to my bed, had put my right foot into the nearest, when a khitmudgar, belonging to the party, entered to call me. The man saw my left foot extended towards the other slipper, on which he uttered a violent cry, and ran out of the tent to obtain assistance. I thought the man was seized with madness; but, lo! from the slipper up rose a Cobra de Capello, or hooded snake, rearing its terrific head in nearly a straight line, at less than two feet distant from me, so that a single dart would have made me inevitably its victim. I dared not to move, even for security; and you have no idea, my dear Selina, what long hours even minutes become in such a situation. Having no weapon of defence, no power to fly, without approaching my enemy still nearer, all I could do was to watch his motions, by fixing my eyes on the malignant stars which beamed in the head of this terrific creature. My power of doing this was ebbing away, and I certainly began to experience those sensations ascribed to fascination, when one of my faithful bearers entered the tent with a bamboo cane, and cleverly killed the snake in a moment. Ah, poor fellow; how richly did he repay to me that which he considered extraordinary kindness, although it was in fact but common humanity.

"I dare say you know the general form of this scourge of India; but yet I send you a drawing of it, and a bit of the skin, which is beautiful and curious. These creatures are from three to eight feet long, and have two large fangs hanging out of the upper jaw; the head and neck are covered with scales, and the eyes fiery. The one of which I speak was five feet only, and had coiled itself very closely, as you may suppose; but its bite would not have been the less fatal to me because it was young.

"You will not wonder that I hailed Calcutta as a dear home; and as I gazed on its white buildings, verdant environs, and noble river, it appeared to me a fairer abode than all I had beheld in my absence. In truth, I had the happiness of finding there friends which would have made any place dear to me. It is only the stranger in a strange land that can know the value of a warm reception, or the charm attached to the voice of a friend.

"Being now pretty well recovered from the fatigue of my journey, and having had the pleasure of giving decided satisfaction to my superiors, and got into a little better trim as to my clothing, I last night made one at a party given by Sir ——, where, for the first time, I saw a superior nautch, the best dancing girls in India being the performers. I assure you, these personages, when celebrated, are of great importance, for a lady who ranks as a prima donna with you, will cost two or three hundred rupees a-night, and will not go up the country for less than five hundred, which is sixty pounds of our money. They dress very splendidly, wearing silken trowsers, over which there is a very showy, full petticoat, richly embroidered, which flies out in their whirling motions, and gives great effect. Their feet and ankles are bare, but the latter are ornamented with rows of small silver bells, which they move in cadence with their music; and they have also castanets in their hands, which they manage very adroitly. There are generally four of these females, who alternately relieve each other as they become exhausted with the fatigue of the dance, that being rendered extremely laborious from their custom of singing with it. I assure you, nothing can be more graceful and agile than the motions of these women, who are generally very handsome; indeed, if you can allow for the dark olive complexion, you would call them beautiful. Their fine tresses of hair, perfumed and adorned with fragrant flowers, their teeth of dazzling whiteness, shown between small coral lips of delicate form, together with finely-modulated noses, soft yet brilliant eyes, and shapes of the most pliable and elegant construction, give them a right to this praise. When you can get them to dance to their own soft voices, it is really delightful to behold them; but, unfortunately, they are always accompanied by a parcel of fellows who play tam-tams, a most execrable kind of little drum, vile guitars, and abominable cymbals, and add to these a most intolerable roaring out with their own voices. These fellows, as they proceed, become so enamoured of their own noise, that their exertions, their gestures, and profuse perspiration, are one moment excessively ludicrous, the next disgusting; they become absolutely convulsed, and make the most hideous grimaces you can conceive; so that nothing in nature can be less accordant with the graceful or gay motions of the dancers who certainly merit a very different style of music.

"To-day I have witnessed a dance of a very different description, that of serpents. These terrible, beautiful, but to me detestable creatures, are caught and tamed by a tribe of musical itinerants, who have the secret of drawing them out of their holes, catching them, and extracting the poison from them. Most probably the art is very ancient, for you know in the Psalms we read of the 'deaf adder, that stoppeth her ear, and will not listen to the voice of the charmer.' I understand they use the tabor and pipe to draw the reptile from his hole; but how they contrive to render him harmless, remains a secret to all but the initiated. So well do they manage it, that even the Cobra de Capello will spread his hood, spring at his master, and actually draw blood by the bite he inflicts on the leg, and the man remain uninjured, beyond the slight wound. At another time, a large serpent wound his muscular form round the man's leg and thigh, in the most terrific manner; but, on a particular tune being played, unloosed his gripe, and, retreating to his basket, indulged in a comfortable nap, content with having earned his daily food. At the word of command, they will fight with each other, or perform those various convolutions called dancing. Several gentlemen present admired their graceful movements; but I must confess that it was to me a very disagreeable sight, and I was heartily glad when the men and their supple protégées were gone. My own affair with the Cobra de Capello was much too recent for any of his family to be agreeable in my eyes. Besides, I really do think that all the serpent tribe are singularly hateful to man; and I know many brave men who are decidedly of my opinion, and consider it mere affectation and bravado in those who affect to admire this display of their beauty. It is not less certain that they give proofs of such intelligence that we cannot be surprised that our Lord called them wise, and that one should be pitched upon by the Evil Spirit as the vehicle of his designs, when he sought the ruin of man.

"And now, my dear girl, I must say adieu, for I am again going on ship-board, ay! and for a very long voyage too. Do not deceive yourselves, and think I am coming to England, though I am going to sail thitherwards. No, no; many a long day must pass, before the dear shores of my native land meet my view; but I am happy to say, that I am going to Bombay, where I shall be stationed for some time. I count myself singularly lucky in a circumstance which will enable me to see so much of our settlements; and it shall go hard with me, but I will go from thence to Elora, the most wonderful place in the world for its excavations. Captain Seely has written a very clever book about them, and I am impatient to see them; and I understand the thing is much more practicable now than it was when he accomplished it, owing to the increased power and influence of the Company in that quarter. Whatever I see, and wherever I may be, you will be present to my thoughts; and whatever I can relate to give you pleasure, be assured will never be omitted by

"Your most affectionate,



Voyage to Bombay.—Madras.—Pondicherry.—Goa, new and old cities.—Convent.—Tomb of Xavier.—Departure from Goa.—Arrive at Bombay.—Beautiful neighbourhood.—Good living and hospitality.—He determines to visit the Caves of Elora.

[Henry to his brother John.]


"Here I am, my dear brother, after such a delightful voyage, that had I not known what it was to see old Ocean in a rage, I never could have believed that so fair a mirror could have been so transformed. The whole voyage was a kind of coasting, as you may suppose; and there were times when we enjoyed very beautiful views of the country. We put in at Madras, but for so short a time as not to afford me any new matter for observation. We also stopped at Pondicherry, with which I was much pleased, especially with the surrounding rice-ground, which exceeded any thing I have seen in India; the port is, however, very bad; we had great difficulty in landing, and afterwards in regaining our ship, the flux and reflux of the tide on a sandy shore being very troublesome and dangerous.

"I was sorry not to see the Island of Ceylon again, but was highly gratified by being permitted to accompany a brother officer to the interesting city of Goa, where we stayed a day and night. There is an old and new town of Goa, and time was, that no European settlement in India could vie with this, the metropolis of Portuguese possessions. The port is considered the finest in the Indies; and no expense has been spared to fortify it with castles and towers, which are abundantly furnished with good cannon. We entered the outer harbour in a small coasting vessel, called a patamare, and rowed rapidly up a second reach, where stands modern Goa, in the appearance of which I was much disappointed. It is some miles below the old city, which was our object of curiosity, and it was necessary that we should apply to the governor here for permission to see it. We remarked that the inhabitants looked poor and indolent, yet proud and affected; and there appeared scarcely any thing going on amongst them indicative of that commerce they once undoubtedly enjoyed.

"Having obtained permission, we proceeded, and were delighted with the thick plantations of the cocoa-nut (which is always graceful, that clothed the bank on either side of the water, and from the midst of which we soon saw the churches and monasteries, the palaces and prisons, of Old Goa peering out. In this place the horrors of the Inquisition were for many years practised in the most cruel manner, and it is therefore no wonder that it is forsaken as much as possible by all mankind. There is yet an air about it of great interest, the palaces of the archbishop and viceroy, a magnificent square (in the centre of which auto-da-fés have been performed), and the numerous convents, all wearing the appearance of loneliness and desolation, of decaying grandeur and melancholy seclusion, which, for the time we view them, cannot fail to awaken our regret. Besides, in this place repose the bones of Francis Xavier, called the 'Apostle of the Indies,' and whose zeal in the propagation of Christianity entitles him to our admiration and gratitude. Vasco de Gama also, the brave adventurer who first weathered the Cape of Good Hope, and opened the way for the great Albuquerque (who made himself master of Goa), ended his days here, crowned with the honours he merited.

"Our first business was to find our way to the Augustine convent, for whose superior we had a letter of introduction. Never shall I forget the deep full sound of its melancholy vesper bell, as we entered the church, which was large and magnificent. Nothing could be more striking than the contrast between the place of worship and the small number of worshippers. The priest, the chanters, and even the tinkling bell used in their service, seemed oppressed by the silence of the place, and unequal to filling the vast cavity around them.

"After prayers, whilst a servant was dispatched with the letter, we walked round the cloisters, which are adorned with paintings in fresco, the subjects being generally the martyrdom of the brethren of the order. On my expressing a desire to find the tomb of Francis Xavier, a young sacristan led me to a dark chapel which contains it. It is richly ornamented, but his ashes are said to be contained in a silver chest above, around which lamps of silver are hung. Below this are four reliefs, beautifully wrought in bronze, describing his preaching to the idolaters, his baptism of the converts, his persecution, and death. It was impossible not to feel affected by the memory of a man so nobly devoted to the cause of Christ, and to lament that he belonged to a church which could make the ground-work of his labours the foundation on which to raise the most terrible of all tribunals.

"After leaving the tomb, we were conducted to the senior brother of the Augustine monks, who was polite even to officiousness, and gave us some excellent Lisbon wine and biscuits. He was by birth an Indian, of a deep yellow complexion, and probably from a distant province, as the natives of Goa are of a shining black complexion. He was a man of no information whatever, as my companion, who spoke his language, assured me; and indeed the way in which he carried and exhibited a large bunch of keys, showed me that he had much more of the old housekeeper about him than the student. He gave us, however, excellent beds, with fine linen, which in this sultry climate is a great luxury, and showed us every possible kindness.

"The next morning we rose at the sound of the same deep-mouthed bell, and went down into the cathedral, where we found the canons in their stalls, the sacristans, vespers, and choristers in their places, and the dean officiating. One old Portuguese gentleman and ourselves constituted the congregation. Afterwards we breakfasted with the monks, and then set out to inspect the city. Within a walk of two miles we saw seven fine churches, and found every where the complement of pastors belonging to the establishment, with their black or white robes, small caps, silk cassocks, red scarfs, and glittering vestments; but where were their flocks? In one place we saw a few common black native Christians, and in another a few Indian-Portuguese; but the rest of the churches were desolate.

"The convents, in like manner, are nearly deserted, not one of them having their brotherhood complete. The palaces are sinking rapidly, and grass grows all over the streets. The black natives are a fine grown people, of athletic frame, with curling hair, white teeth, and bright cunning eyes. The general character of the inhabitants of Goa is very bad: they are proud, indolent, fierce, and revengeful; and the women are said to understand the practice of poisoning but too well. Altogether, our little excursion was one of great interest and pleasure, and the return to our ship most delightful, in the views it presented on either side of this fine harbour; the fortifications are indeed magnificent, and the channel, in running up the country, divides it into beautiful little islands and bays, abounding with verdure.

"On the third day after this, we arrived at Bombay, which, like Goa, was once in the possession of the Portuguese, and was given to Charles II. as a part of the marriage portion of his Queen. The clergy then resident objected to the town being possessed by English heretics, and it was a long time before the affair was settled; and when that was done, the crown found it best to make it over to the East India Company, who consider it their third settlement.

"I was much pleased with the docks, on my arrival at Bombay, but the town did not strike me in the same way as Calcutta had done, but I saw in a moment, it was infinitely superior to Madras. A three weeks' stay has rendered me decisive in preferring it even to the former, for the rides about it are most beautiful. The mighty range of mountains called the Ghauts, or Gauts, which run within a distance of about an average of fifty miles from the shore, all down this coast, have a wonderful effect on the landscape every where, and the different kind of building occasioned by such a variety of inhabitant, spread over the face of the country objects of the most curious and captivating nature, so that you are never wearied of inspecting them.

"We have here ruinous convents and monasteries, erected by its first conquerors the Portuguese, noble country-houses of Englishmen, Mahratta fortresses, Hindoo pagodas, and Mahometan mosques. The villages of the Hindoos are patches of rich cultivation, on which the eye rests with delight; and we have groves of cocoa-nut and date trees, rich in all the luxuriant pride of vegetation.

"If we turn our eyes toward the sea, we have a fine sandy beach and a beautiful isthmus in view, called Malabar Point, thickly studded with villas; and within fourteen miles is a pleasant little island called Salsette, on which there is a military station; so that we have a charming sea-breeze, and the most pleasant water excursions you can possibly conceive.

"There is also another great advantage in Bombay over Calcutta, which affects persons with families very much, and is of consequence even to a young fellow like me. The servants in Bengal will only do one thing for you; and, let the necessity be ever so urgent, not one of them will do the least piece of service, except that for which they are expressly hired; so that an incredible number must be kept, which is in itself a great nuisance. The Bombay servant is precisely worth five of the Calcutta menials. Every material for the table is had in abundance, and very reasonable; the houses are larger than the Calcutta houses; but I have not hitherto thought the parties quite so pleasant which may be owing to the wider range in which hospitality is practised, and of which it would ill become me to complain. My whole mind is now bent on visiting the celebrated excavations of Elora, which, so far as I can learn, far exceed what Belzoni has recited of those in Egypt, and even what Captain Mangles visited in Arabia Petræa. There is a work on the subject in the British Museum, which, you may remember, was shown to my father when we were with him: but we were then such little boys, I can remember but few of the plates; nevertheless, the impression they made upon me remains the same, and I feel inclined to encounter any dangers, rather than omit seeing them whilst I remain on this station.[5] I believe I am at present not more than three hundred miles from Elora, which lies within a few miles of Auringabad, which is itself well worth visiting. The great difficulty is that of reaching the place, the road to it being in the possession of the Mahrattas, who are a people so savage and uncivilized, that there is just cause to apprehend danger when travelling without a military guard. However, I must venture; and as we are now at peace, and apparently, indeed, in friendship with them, I must hope for the best.

"Adieu! believe me, your most affectionate brother, &c. &c.

"Henry Delamere."

[5] Mr. Daniell's Views, from Sketches by Mr. Wales, a most elaborate and magnificent work.


Sets out for Elora.—Visits Elephanta.—Pleasant sail to Panwell.—Proceeds on horseback.—The Ghauts.—The Temple of Karli.—Arrives at Poonah.—Pursues his way to the village of Elora.

[Henry to his brother John.]


"Well, my dear John, here I am at last, and, oh! how do I wish that you were with me, that we might gaze together at this most wonderful and stupendous of all the works of man, this Temple of Keylas! I will, however, not waste time and paper in exclamations, but proceed regularly to tell you how I have managed to effect my purpose, and arrive at a place where so few have arrived before me.

"I took Captain Seely's book for my guide, as I was certain he understood the route necessary; at least, I wished, as nearly as I could, to tread in his steps, and therefore I made it a point, in the first place, to go to the island of Elephanta, being thus far accompanied by many friends; so that it was altogether the excursion of a party of pleasure, such parties being frequently made from Bombay.

"The island has its name from a statue of an elephant, of immense proportions, carved out of the solid rock. It is of considerable elevation, and famous for the caves which are hewn in the living rock, and contain colossal figures of four of the principal Hindoo deities. The view from these caves is most magnificent, and better worth seeing than the caves themselves; for they are much injured by the admission of water from the top; and though surprising, are not to be named with any of the numerous temples in this place. However, the whole trip was delightful, and the sail we had passing by Salsette, and forward to Panwell, where I parted with my friends, I must always remember as the pleasantest voyage of my life.

"I now began to travel by land, and, making the best bargain in my power, addressed myself for Poonah, which was nearly sixty miles distant. My travelling accommodation was by no means good; but a man who had travelled so much, was not likely to be easily frightened at deficient conveniences; so I set out in good spirits, determined to make the best of every thing, being mounted on a tolerable pony, called here Tattoo, with two bullocks to carry my luggage, and their drivers.

"Thus equipped, I pushed on to Capooly, a poor village, where, having far outstripped my servant and the provisions, I was at a great loss for food, which, however, I supplied in some measure by bathing, which is a refreshment of incalculable service in these hot climates. To my great satisfaction, they came up before I set out again, and I determined for the future never to leave them so far behind. We passed the night in a tent at the foot of the Ghauts, and I never remember enjoying moonlight scenes more in my life, than in the novel and picturesque views around me.

"The following day I began to ascend the passes in the mountain before me, and was every where delighted with the wildness of the scenery around me, the freshness of the mountain air, and the sylvan objects occasionally presented of little Hindoo farms. In the course of my journey, I saw several fine tanks, which are in this country often made as a public charity; and in a hot climate may deservedly rank with the greatest benefits a man can bestow on his fellow-creatures. They are often made by damming up an outlet, and not unfrequently finished at a prodigious expense of money and labour; but, unfortunately, there are no funds appropriated for repairs, from which circumstance many of these noble works are going to decay.

"I afterwards passed through the open country to the mountain of Eknerah, where there is a large temple hewn out of the living rock, called the Temple of Karli. On entering this surprising place, I found a ponderous arched roof of solid stone, supported by two rows of pillars, the capitals of each surmounted by a well-sculptured figure of a male and female, seated, with their arms encircling each other, on the back of crouching elephants. The vestibule to this temple was very noble, having the sitting figure of Budah at the entrance. I thought this temple so far superior to the caves of Elephanta, that it quickened my desire of proceeding to Elora. My next place of halt was Teligaum, where I procured another Tattoo and some cold provisions, which I placed, along with my pistols, in my holster. I was anxious to get on to Poonah, where I had friends that would receive me; and I could not expect my baggage to get up to me.

"It so happened, that after a day of great fatigue, I entered Poonah just as the sun was descending in all his glory; and nothing could exceed the effect thus given to the appearance of a noble city, containing all the most striking features of oriental magnificence. The Rarbutti temple, Hindoo palaces, white terraced houses, castles and gardens, intermixed with the buildings and shops of all descriptions, with open windows, and the goods exposed on declining platforms, formed a tout ensemble highly amusing. This was animated by that variety of inhabitants always so striking; Arab horsemen, completely armed, and mounted on fine chargers; pretty Hindoo women, in milk-white vestments; Jews and Portuguese Christians; state elephants and led horses, richly caparisoned; and occasionally a British siphanee in his neat dress, altogether made a moving spectacle of the most lively description.

"I was received at the house of my friends with all the usual hospitality of the country; and after taking sufficient rest, I was provided by my friend, Captain S——, with a fresh horse, new coolies, and a guard of siphanees; and I set out for our military station at Seroon, and accomplished my journey of forty-two miles thither in one day.

"Here again every civility was accorded me; but it might truly be said, that after I left my friends here, I left the civilized world behind me. I had abundant opportunity for observing the ravages made by the Mahrattas among the peaceful Hindoo villagers, and several parties of Bheels and other robbers (for this country abounds in organized bands of freebooters), frequently approached us. My band of siphanees always took care to show their arms on such occasions, and we did not experience any actual insult. The latter part of the journey was almost entirely through a jungle, in which the Bheels find snug hiding-places; and in the whole of my road I did not find one tolerable village till I arrived at that of Elora, which is about a mile distant from Elora itself.

"This place is embosomed in trees, and inhabited by Bramins, and guarded by a body of Raypoots. The first place I entered was a pagoda, which, seated in a most romantic-looking spot, offered me that protection from the sun in which I stood greatly in need. A fine tank was before me, and a grove around me; and here I waited till my baggage arrived, and the means of refreshment after a long hot ride were afforded me.

"And now I must bid you adieu till to-morrow, when I will resume my letter; assured, that, although I have no means of conveying to you my own sensations of delight on finding myself so near the object of my desires, yet, that you will be pleased with the efforts of my pen and pencil, intended for your amusements."


Arrives at the excavations of Elora.—Temple of Keylas.—Its insulated state, prodigious size, and elaborate finishings.—The area.—The obelisks.—Sphinxes.—Galleries and statues.—Visits Teen Tal.—Its grandeur, statues, &c.—Continuation.—Temple of Visvacarma.—Temple of Juggernaut.

[Henry in continuation.]

"I well remember that Captain Mangles described his emotions as vivid in the extreme, when at a great distance he perceived a temple cut in the pinnacles of a rock in the desert, glittering in the sunbeams. Such were my sensations, when, after taking a hasty meal, I pushed forward with my attendants for the temples of Elora, nor can I describe the overpowering emotion which seized me, when I actually beheld the great temple of Keylas before my sight.

"The perfect calmness and deathlike tranquillity of all around, the solitude of the adjoining plains, the mountain before me, which, for more than a mile, is perforated in every part with such magical skill and power, that it appears to have been the work of more than human hands, have an effect on the mind which renders wonder and delight even oppressive. The more I gazed, the greater was my astonishment; and every step which brought me farther into the temple, rendered this unparalleled perforation the more surprising.

"Only think, John, of a stupendous temple, within a large open court, with all its parts perfect and beautiful, completely detached from the neighbouring mountain by a spacious area all around, two hundred and fifty feet deep, and one hundred and fifty broad, yet all actually cut out, and from this very mountain! The height is one hundred feet, the length one hundred and forty-five, the breadth sixty-two, and the doors, windows, staircases, all perfectly formed and polished; containing five rooms divided by rows of pillars, figure galleries, or verandas, with not less than forty-two gigantic figures of the Hindoo mythology; the three galleries containing and occupying between four and five hundred feet of excavated rock. Is it not beyond belief that the hands of man could effect such a work—that the mind should conceive it?

When one considers that the chisel alone could have been employed in effecting this elaborate work—an instrument so slow in its operation, and requiring, even for a single isolated statue, that niceness of admeasurement, you may remember we once witnessed, in the attelier of Mr. Behnes, in London, it appears inconceivable that such an extensive work, with so many various parts, and such copious details, could have been hewn out of the solid granite. We can form no idea of the number of hands employed, the rules by which the labour of each was adjusted, nor the expence incurred. Of one thing alone can we be certain, which is, that the country must have been in a far different state to that it has enjoyed for many centuries. There must have been a prodigious population, profound peace, abundant wealth, an absolute prince, and numerous subjects well informed in those arts which are here exhibited so strikingly.

"Within the court, and opposite to the verandas, stands 'Keylas the Proud,' a mighty mass of rock; but this I will leave, and carry you with me, as well as I can, through the temple itself.

"We entered the area at the western front, passing through a handsome gateway. Here a variety of sculptured figures and ornaments, in high relief, arrest your attention, with the goddess Bhavani on the right, Ganessa on the left, and two elephants with their trunks entwined; and here the whole area appears hewn out to make room for the grand temple. On either side there is a ledge of rock, which serves as a bridge for communicating with the great temple, and under this bridge is a communication between the areas. A few feet beyond these are two large obelisks, eleven feet square, and forty-one feet high, the shaft at the base being seven feet; so that, you see, they are larger than the famous Needles of Cleopatra.

"They are indeed beautiful objects, and are alone worth coming a long way to see. They are handsomely carved, and have had an animal of some kind at the top of each. There are long ranges of apartments, on either side of this entrance, all covered with their absurd mythological stories, and frequently as indecent as they are ridiculous; but the labour evinced in these specimens of ancient lithography is not the less remarkable. We have now passed the gateway, and entered the body of the temple, on each side of which are two flights of stairs, which bring you to a portico; on this are the figures of two sphinxes, which I thought very remarkable, as it seems a connecting link between the ancient religion of this country and that of Egypt; and I have understood Sir Stamford Raffles found a sphinx at Java, which extends the supposition as to the diffusion of this belief over the East.

"When you have seen these figures, you ascend three steps, and enter a separate room, in which the sacred bull Nundi is seen in a state of repose. You descend seven steps, and enter a kind of balcony, where the nobat (a large drum) and pipes are sounded at certain hours; from this you have a fine view of the plain and the village of Elora, at a distance. The whole range of excavations standing upon a considerable elevation, and having a gentle acclivity, enjoy a beautiful prospect; and when, leaving the outer view, you recross the passages, and look down into the piazza below, with its numerous deities, the pillars, and the court, nothing can be conceived more picturesque in effect—it realizes all the fairy tales of our childhood, in its grandeur and vastness.

"The great hall of the temple is enriched by two gigantic Chubdars (i. e. keepers of silence), placed on either side of the door; and the hall itself is divided by four ranges of pillars, the middle space being much wider than the rest. These noble pillars were to me the most beautiful objects; for I have really not knowledge enough of the Hindoo mythology, and the attributes of its deities, to look with any pleasure or interest upon their hideous and disgusting forms. I have not the least doubt, but you, who read so much, know more about these gentry than I do, and therefore you will award them their places in a temple, which I grieve to think should have been dedicated to any thing so vile and hideous.

"After wandering in the temple till the sun had set and the moon arisen, shedding her clear mild rays on this magnificent object, with that brilliancy of light and depth of shadow which give so much effect in works of this description, I was at length obliged to return to the village, where my tent was pitched; my servant prepared a curry, and the great fatigue I had undergone made me sleep soundly, in despite of that nervous irritability so generally produced by the pleasure I had experienced.

"The following morning I formed an acquaintance with an aged Bramin, who was willing to become my guide to Elora, as I was impatient to visit the temples of Do Tal, and the arched temple of Visvacarma, preferred by some to that of Keylas itself.

"The first object to which my attention was drawn on my second visit, was Teen Tal, called also 'Rama Swaming's Dwelling:' it is a vast excavation of three distinct stories, with massive pillars, rich sculpture, and fine flights of steps. The insular situation of Keylas gives it one advantage over this wonderful work, but, in all other respects, it is not less surprising. There is a fine area, from which the whole front of three stories appears to the greatest advantage; to each story are appropriated eight square pillars and two pilasters. The rooms are very fine, and one contains a large figure of Siesha, who, the Bramin informed me, passed through seven incarnations, and in the last was born in the human shape. There were also very large figures of Angeri and Adnant, in a sitting posture, the crown of their heads touching the ceiling within a few inches; every where through this excavation are fine cisterns of beautiful water.

"On ascending the stairs, we found a large figure of Cuvera, the god of riches; and facing the southern entrance, a large figure of Sey Doo, their immortal serpent, that assumed the human form: near to this curious subject were five gigantic brothers, sitting under a canopy of waving drapery, upheld by small figures. They have evidently received the highest finish the artist could bestow; and my old Bramin gave me a long account of their origin and deeds; but all was so extremely absurd, that it was impossible to look in his venerable and intelligent countenance, and think that he could believe one word of the nonsense he uttered; yet it is not less certain that he did, and there was something extremely imposing in his seriousness. It is impossible for me to describe one half of the rooms and figures which I afterwards saw; but I must not omit to mention, that in another place we found seven figures, sitting also under a canopy, and greatly resembling each other. Their faces were all painted with oil and red ochre, which gave them a most ludicrous appearance. The principal one I understood to be Sita, who was a virtuous damsel, that ran all the way to Ceylon, to escape from King Ravan: there are annual feasts in honour of her purity, and I understand she is a very popular person.

"This excavation was altogether so very superior to any thing I had expected to see after Keylas (with the exception of Visvacarma), that when I arrived at the temple of Do Tal (or two stories), I thought it comparatively very poor; 'tis true, I was now wearied, and evening was coming on, but yet I do not think it possesses any striking beauty. The area is a hundred and two feet long, the breadth forty-four feet; the upper stories are in good order, but the lower ones injured. There are not many sculptured figures here, and only statues of Rama Chandra and his two brothers. In any other place, Do Tal would be a great wonder, but at Elora it becomes a secondary object; it closed, however, my second day's search; and as I now grew better satisfied from habit with our general safety, I caused my tent to be pitched near the mountain, and closed my eyes amid the proudest wonders of Elora. I need not tell you, for your own heart will, that you were, in one sense, constantly present with me during this day and the former, and that I sincerely regretted your absence, at the same time."

(In continuation.)

"Temple of Visvacarma.

"I write to you now, my dear John, sitting under the mighty arch of the Temple of Visvacarma, after sitting three hours opposite to it, in order to make the accompanying drawing; for I am well aware, that in all matters of description, the pencil goes far beyond the pen in conveying an accurate idea. But indeed, my dear brother, neither the one nor the other can convey to you an adequate notion of this stupendous excavation; it penetrates more than a hundred and thirty feet into the solid rock, forming a deep and spacious temple, with a magnificent arched roof, apparently supported by a series of octangular pillars, which go completely to the end. In front are immense figures of Visvacarma, who was the Vulcan of the Hindoo mythology, attended by Karli and Canarah.

"The area in front is about fifty feet, and on the basement floor is a kind of veranda, encircling an apartment probably intended for an orchestra, as the cylindrical drums, pipes, and bells, are much used in the Hindoo worship. It is, at all events, a beautiful apartment, and from it you enjoy the finest possible view of the temple. The roof is especially fine, being carved into ribs of stone, that have at once a light and strong appearance, and which rest on a beautiful projecting architrave, the foot of every one being adorned by a sitting figure of the most finished sculpture. The Temple of Karli somewhat resembles this, as does that of Elephanta, but neither of them can compare with it; for, in addition to the magnificent columns, there is a deep grand frieze connecting these massive supporters with the roof, which is covered with sculptured figures, in high relief; so that the whole is complete in all its parts, and is at once rich and light, massive and elegant. My admiration of this extraordinary production greatly delighted the old Bramin, who still continued to accompany me: he is certainly a very pleasing old man, and seems entirely free from that pride and obstinacy, which is so conspicuous in the inhabitants of great cities, of his own sacred caste. He expressed, with natural zeal, great sorrow for the desertion of these glorious temples, and great anger towards the memory of Aurungzebe, who had done his best to blow up some of these fine excavations with gunpowder; and I shall never forget the horror of his countenance, when he told me of the sacrilege committed by this conqueror. It appears, that on finding it impossible to effect this cruel and shameful purpose, the barbarian ordered his soldiers to slay a cow within the sacred walls of one of the finest temples, in consequence of which it is defiled for ever, and not one of the Hindoos would, on any account, ever enter the once sacred enclosure. To say the least of this, it was a hateful exertion of power over a prostrate and suffering foe; but such, generally, has been the conduct of the Crescent in the day of its power.

"My third day's examination was given to the Temple of Juggernaut, the Lord of the Creation. This is the same terrific personage, whose temple, at Orissa, has made so much noise in the world, beneath whose ponderous car, men, women, and children, have been thrown by their enthusiasm to perish, as many respectable Europeans have grieved to witness. When poor Ferdinand de Pinto described the movements of that mighty car, near three hundred years ago, and spoke of people seeking to win heaven by laying themselves under its wheels, his tale was ridiculed, and he was named the 'Prince of Liars;' but the thing has now ceased to be a wonder; and there can be no doubt, but on this very spot, centuries on centuries ago, the same mad follies have been exhibited. I am most happy to say, that these shocking practices have so far abated, that, on several late annual festivals of Juggernaut, there have been found no self-sacrifices; and that so little respect was found for the grim idol, that, it was difficult for the priests to procure a sufficient number of persons to move his ponderous vehicle. It seems, however, that a rich Hindoo, within a few years, left the sum of thirty-five thousand pounds towards improving the road from Benaris to the Temple of Juggernaut; so that this bloody-toothed idol has a few friends left.

"From this temple to the one at the extremity of the southern range, I find, on measurement, to be a mile and a quarter. All are dug out of the same mountain and the same species of rock; but there is none absolutely separated from the parent mountain, besides Keylas, or Kaloise, which I have already described. This of Juggernaut is extremely grand; but the area in front is nearly filled up with pieces of fallen rock, so that you have some difficulty in gaining a complete view; but you find, on inspection, that not one of the temples is more highly finished, or more magnificent in effect. The ceiling is supported by twelve pillars, ten feet in girth, beautifully fluted, and tastefully decorated with wreaths of flowers. The length of the apartment thus supported is nearly sixty feet, and the veranda, or outer front, is fifty feet in height. From the basement it is covered with figures of lions, kneeling men, and serpents; and the whole of this grand basement appears to rest on the back of four elephants. The whole of this temple and the veranda have something light and elegant; it seems a place where one might like to live. It has not the magnificence of Keylas, and it is far more injured than Visvacarma; but it is more cheerful than either, and not less elaborate in all its ornaments. I should yet judge, from appearances around, that it never has been completed; probably the stone[6] was found too hard to work upon, for there are proofs in all these temples, that some parts have been found to resist the chisel effectually, as you see now and then a piece left in an unsightly manner, in the midst of an elaborately-finished frieze; such pieces are always found in the upper, or quite exterior part of the temple where they occur.

"Close to this temple, and indeed connected with it, is a small one, dedicated to the hero Adnant, who is represented in a figure about four feet high, in a sitting posture. In this small excavation the same pains are taken for the purpose of embellishment: it is supported by four quadrangular pillars, and in the centre of the shaft is a tiger's head, with a wreath of flowers in the mouth, most tastefully executed. The statues here are more injured than in any other of the temples, owing to their being exposed to currents of air.

"I shall now close this long letter, as the return of two siphanees to our military depôt will enable me to forward it, through the officers, to you; but to-morrow I shall continue my observations. Be assured, that I am very well, though my provisions are reduced, and I am now living on rice and vegetables, and drinking the pure water, which pours, in two prodigious cascades, down this most romantic of all mountains, affording to every one of the excavations an abundant supply. At present, I have taken up my abode within the veranda of this temple, and consider the use of one of its splendid cisterns as my chief luxury. I find myself secure from the snakes, which was not the case in my tent, when pitched in the valley; and I met with no opposition from the Bramins, as I apprehend I am not in that which was considered the more holy part.

"Adieu, my dear brother! give my love to all my dear home circle; never shall I again send it from a place so singular and so contrasted with my own dear home.

"Henry Delamere."

[6] I was informed by my friend, the late Mr. Smith, of the British Museum, that in the interior of a large granite rock, there is frequently found considerable moisture, so that it may be wrought with comparative ease; whereas, on the outer part it is perfectly hard. Such was the case with the Portland stone at the time when St. Paul's Cathedral was building; in consequence of which, Sir Christopher Wren caused many blocks to be worked on the spot; but the difficulty of conveying them with safety, after they had been so wrought, occasioned him to abandon that method of proceeding.


Temple of Indra.—Leaves Elora.—Poonah, and burning of Malabar widows.—Aurungabad.—Splendid monument.—Aurungzebe.—Punishment of an Hindoo.—The Fakirs.—Festival at Poonah.—Conclusion.

[Henry to his Brother John.]

"I began this letter in the Temple of Indra, my dear John; where I shall end it, I cannot tell. It is now three days since I dispatched my last, during which time I have surveyed every part of the excavations, several of which, though of a smaller character than those I have described, are well worth seeing; but I shall confine myself to speaking of the one from whence I date, because I have made an elaborate drawing of it, and I hope I can give you a good idea of it. Taking it altogether, I think the front is the most striking of any of these stupendous and beautiful works; at least it is second only to Keylas, and decidedly superior to Teen Tal, which is, however, the larger.

"This temple, like that of Keylas, has had a wall in front, for there are gateways left standing; and you see, by the drawing, that there is an obelisk as an ornament to the entrance. My old Bramin friend assures me that there were two, but that one was removed by Aurungzebe: but of this I have my doubts, because I can perceive no remains; and it is evident that the present one was used to hold lights at the top, on festivals.

"I entered this curious excavation at the upper story, by a communication from the Temple of Juggernaut, which also gives an opening to another, viz. Parasa Kama, and, in doing this, convinced myself that these excavations had been begun at the top and continued downward; and that the workmen had found themselves able to effect the most difficult and delicate part of their labour best, the more they proceeded. The present noble excavation looks directly into the area, and faces an insulated temple in the court below. It is formed by sections of pillars into nearly two square apartments, within each other. The inner square has a raised floor, and an altar placed in the centre. The floors are richly carved in many places, and the roof is supported by pillars of immense dimensions, twelve in number, each finished with a large globular top, compressed like a pillow, and beautifully fluted, the shafts and pedestals being elegantly sculptured in relief. Not only are the walls adorned with pilasters, but there is scarcely five inches of them left undecorated with wreaths of flowers, and emblems of their religion, amongst which a sacred string is predominant. At the north and south ends of the apartment are statues of the god Indra and his wife Indranee. These personages are of the more importance, because they gave name to the country originally called Indu, but corrupted to Hindu, or Hindoo.

"At the north and south sides of the temple are gigantic figures of various deities, whose names I cannot remember; and indeed I must now take leave of these mighty temples, this wonderful mountain and enchanting valley, the peaceful village and the melancholy Bramins—my time is expired—my duty calls me, and I must return to another world, which will seem to me almost as wonderful as to the hero whom Homer sends into the mansions of Erebus and the fields of Elysium, for surely my journey hath partaken of both. The wild, the beautiful, the ancient, and the grand, in all their most striking features, have been exhibited to my delighted gaze; but they have been alloyed by the proofs of a debasing idolatry, absurd in its mysteries, disgusting in its objects, and perpetually pressing upon the heart a deep sense of the degradation of those very men whose art and power is so strikingly displayed.


"Here am I thus far on my return: and the kindness with which I am treated, the interest taken in my details and drawings, make me only regret that I am obliged to pay so short a visit, for the kindness of Captain and Mrs. S—— is greater than I can express. But indeed there is no place in the world like India for genuine hospitality. Every body who has a house, seems to think he holds it as much for others as himself; and from living in a land of strangers, every additional guest conveys the idea of increasing a sacred band of one's own countrymen around them. When I arrived here, to tell you the truth, I was in a very exhausted state: the weather had been excessively hot, and my labours of examination had been beyond my strength. My friends here think that my Hindoo table of herbs had contributed to this end; but I do not think much of that, for I enjoyed luxury, compared to my situation on travel. I have, however, at present every advantage, and may already be said to be well.

"To these comforts are added that sweetest of all pleasures—excellent society. Captain S—— is a man about fifty, has seen a great deal of the world, and is well acquainted with this country in particular. You have undoubtedly heard of the hateful practice in Malabar, of widows burning themselves on the same pile with their husbands. As I never could, I am certain, prevail upon myself to attend a spectacle of this nature, I will relate to you the manner in which Captain S——witnessed its performance.

"The burning of a widow with her husband is called a Suttee, and is considered an act of the highest piety and grandeur, none but persons of family importance thinking of such a sacrifice. Captain S——, hearing that such an exhibition was about to take place, thought it his duty to repair to the spot, and, if he could do so with any propriety, interfere to prevent it; but this he found to be impossible. The widow had been married a very short time—she was only twelve years of age, and the late husband was an ill-favoured man of fifty. At the time of his arrival, the funeral pyre was constructed in the form of an altar, decorated with large branches of trees, and upon it was laid the body of the deceased. A procession of Bramins were walking around, also a great number of their usual musicians beating tam-tams and cymbals, and the whole affair wore the air of a festival.

"In a short time the victim widow appeared, walking between two Bramins, and followed by her relations: her youth, beauty, and the utter improbability that she was drawn to the awful sacrifice from love to the poor wretch before him, induced Captain S—— to press eagerly forward, and question the Bramins as to the validity of her death. All his objections were speedily over-ruled, by the assurance, 'that her death was completely voluntary, and not only enjoined by the shaster, but permitted, as a religious usage, by the government.' In doing this, he obtained a close view of the widow, whose completely stupified air assured him that they had given her opium till her senses were nearly gone. When arrived at the pile, she took off her costly ornaments, or rather tried to do so, for she had not the power, and was assisted by the women; after which, a burning torch was placed in her hand, with which she was to set fire to the branches around her: she mounted the place, and sat down by the corpse; but how she used the torch could not be seen, for in a moment the whole place was simultaneously fired by the assisting Bramins, and the tam-tams redoubled their discordant sounds, to drown the cries of the expiring woman, if, in her agonies, any such escaped her.

"At another time, he saw a woman about to be burned alive in a pit with her husband, that being the mode used in some provinces: this poor creature was only eleven years old, and merely betrothed to her husband; and at the time when he reached the place, her mother was hanging upon her in all the agonies of extreme distress, forming a spectacle that must have touched the heart of any human being, save that of a bigoted Bramin. Captain S——had by that time learned, that, according to their own laws, a woman cannot burn till she is of full age (viz. sixteen), and that all opium is forbidden. As it was evident to all that she had been affected by taking this drug, and both her parents were present attesting her age, and it was known to all her neighbours that she was not yet a wife, he so protested against the illegality of the burning, that he finally rescued the victim, and rendered even the crowd sensible that he was right in so doing.

"That some women burn willingly, there can be no doubt, but I believe they are very few in number. Captain Seely mentions one, who on being dissuaded, put her finger into the flame, and held it there resolutely, to show she despised the pain; but though ardent affection, family pride, and that heroism which is consistent with the gentlest natures, may sometimes thus operate, it is assuredly but very seldom; and these unnatural murders may, with great truth, be laid at the door of the priests, who keep them up as a part of the ancient religion. They cannot be such fools as not to know, that if, in the course of providence, one parent is taken, the value of the other increases tenfold to the children; yet they shut their hearts to the cries of nature, alike from the parents and offspring of the victim; they immolate not only an innocent creature of life, by the severest of all tortures, but deprive age of its support, and youth of its protector. A more diabolical system of cruelty never held the sanction of law amongst any people upon earth.

"Infanticide used to be very common; but this crime, like the burning of women, is much on the decline; yet even now, if a man of high caste has a female child born, more than he can conveniently provide for, he does not hesitate to have the babe strangled, or killed by opium. It was once the practice to drown them, but the presence of the Europeans prevents this a good deal at this time. When men were so sick as to be given over, they used to take them to the Ganges' banks, where the waters might flow over them, or crocodiles devour them, as it happened; and in some parts, where the river is held more particularly sacred, this is still done, but it is by no means so common as it used to be. The pains taken by the Company to enlighten the minds of the natives, certainly has a happy effect, though the progress is slow. There are in fact few, very few, converts to Christianity; but there is a general amelioration of prejudices, a consultation of their own judgment, rather than the absurd dogmas of their priests, which will in time lay a foundation on which to build up a pure religion; and it appears to me as if, in this respect, it were better to travel slowly, than to ruin all by attempting too much.

"In entering on this subject, I lost sight of my general journal-like style; the great interest it necessarily excites in every mind must be my excuse. I must now tell you, that on quitting Elora, I went to visit Aurungabad, which is only thirteen miles from the excavations, and a place of great importance. The first thing I found worthy of attention, was the tomb of the great Aurungzebe, in the little town of Roza, within two miles of Elora. This mausoleum is neither grand nor elegant, but there were many lamps burning in it, and a number of Pirs (holy men) were guarding it. The tomb was covered with green velvet, having rich tassels, and fringe of the same colour, which is sacred in the eyes of Mussulmen.

"Soon after this, I arrived at the astonishing fortress of Dowlutabad, a pyramidal rock, rising abruptly to the height of more than five hundred feet—its insulated position and scarped sides offer a singular specimen of ingenuity and labour; it is defended by four walls, within each other, and the town within them; but the most extraordinary thing is the fortress in the upper works, which would insure destruction to any assailants who had carried the lower walls; I mean, of course, to speak of the mode of warfare practised by Asiatics, who have indeed long considered Dowlutabad as impregnable: our system of military tactics has proved these hill-forts no longer available.

"Leaving this striking object to the right, I pursued my way to Aurungabad, which I found a large but decaying city, bearing every mark of past glory and present dejection. The streets are wide, the mosques and caravanseras large and elegant, and the shops exposed to view so many costly articles of India produce, that even I was tempted to become a purchaser. A few groups of handsome-looking Mussulmen were standing about the streets, from whom I experienced much politeness in the way of answering my inquiries: but the whole place reminded me of Goa; it was indeed less deserted, less melancholy, and much less sacred, but it carried the same deplorable air of sinking into ruin.

"I did not fail to examine the far-famed mausoleum of Rahea Doorany, the favourite wife of Aurungzebe, that being, indeed, a principal object in my visit to this city. It was built, I believe, nearly after the model of Taaje Mhal. In the first place, you pass a large gateway, covered with plates of embossed brass, and enter a court, in the centre of which is a piece of water, with thirteen fountains, all shaded by a profusion of beautiful trees. At the upper end, built on a terrace, stands the fabric, which is ascended by a few steps. The material of the building is white marble, and it is ornamented with the most exquisite trellis-work; it is surmounted by a lofty dome; the tomb is inclosed in the centre with an elegant screen of the most beautiful trellis-work, like the meshes of a fishing net; the delicacy of the chiselling is really beyond conception; and the fine marble wall inclosing the whole is chastely magnificent. The tomb itself corresponds with the superb edifice; over it was thrown a covering of scarlet velvet, with a deep gold fringe; the whole is said to have cost no less than ninety thousand pounds.

"Such was the place consecrated to the memory of a wife evidently beloved with tenderness, by a man of as savage and ferocious a character as any on record! such was the expense incurred by a man, whose descendants are at this moment supported by pensions from the East India Company of merchants!

"The palace of Aurungzebe never was very magnificent, for he was a man more fond of power than show, and besides was very avaricious, which rendered his expensive tomb the more remarkable. I have nothing, therefore, to say farther of Aurungabad, than that I witnessed there the very painful and disagreeable ceremony of a Hindoo regaining his caste, who had forfeited it.

"When a man has performed an act of apostacy, or in any way become defiled, by which he forfeits the honour of his birth, he may be restored, by having two large hooks run into the flesh of his back, by which means he is fixed on a pole, which is itself placed horizontally upon another that is planted in the ground; and by means of a rope at the opposite end to his own prostrate body, he is swung and twirled for the space of half an hour, when the act of penance is completed.

"I have already mentioned the Fakirs, or men who live in perpetual misery. I have seen, in the course of this journey, several who have far exceeded all I could have conceived on the subject. One man was swinging by his heels in a tree over a slow fire; another had held his arm in one posture, till the muscles were so stiff, he could not bring it down; a third had an iron pin run through his tongue; and I saw one man that had hopped on one leg with the other tied up, until it was contracted and perfectly useless.

"At Poonah I have witnessed a much pleasanter spectacle, in the festival of the goddess Sita. It was really a gay kind of fête, for there were painted lanterns, wreaths of flowers, bands of dancers, and jugglers in abundance. These fellows used to be among the wonders of the East, but since their curious feats have been exhibited in England, there is no need for me to describe them. I shall send off this long letter and the drawings, accompanied by my purchases at Aurungabad, in which every dear member of my family will find that I have remembered them. It is true, that with the exception of the shawl for my dear, dear mother there is little of value; and I may repeat our old nurse's adage in making my little offering—

'The gift is small,  But love is all.'

And truly that love is greater than I have the power to express. Far from being diminished by distance, or diverted by circumstance, every day and every scene draws my mind still closer to you all; and many an hour of pleasant reverie do I enjoy, wondering whether you are all altered as I am, and trying to imagine how my sweet Selina looks in the dress of a woman, and lovely little William in that of a man.

"Farewell once more! present me dutifully and affectionately, as you know I desire to be to our inestimable parents, and all the rest; and believe me, dear John, most sincerely yours, &c. &c.

"Henry Delamere."








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5. Blind Farmer and his Children.

6. Clergyman's Widow and her Young Family.

7. Daughter-in-law, her Father, and Family.

8. Elizabeth and her three Beggar Boys.

9. Good Grandmother and her Offspring.

10. Merchant's Widow and her young Family.

11. Rich Boys and Poor Boys, and other Tales.

12. The Sisters; a Domestic Tale.

13. Stolen Boy; an Indian Tale.

14. William and his Uncle Ben.

15. Young Crusoe; or, Shipwrecked Boy.

Published (by Assignment of A. K. Newman & Co.) by



Transcriber's Notes:
hyphenation, spelling and grammar have been preserved as in the original
Contents Chapter I., the importtant letter ==> the important letter
Contents Chapter II., Turks—Tamerlane's ==> Turks.—Tamerlane's
Contents Chapter III., his family—with ==> his family.—with
Contents Chapter XII., his sister—Account ==> his sister.—Account
Page 4, soon after Chrismas ==> soon after Christmas
Page 5, on his kness ==> on his knees
Page 74, in their cemetries ==> in their cemeteries
Page 114, is to it speak ==> is it to speak
Page 117, to Bengal—Escape ==> to Bengal.—Escape
Page 119, charm at tached ==> charm at- tached
Page 130, but two well ==> but too well
Page 133, Auringabad possibly should be Aurungabad
Page 134, Temple of Keylos ==> Temple of Keylas
Page 163, remind me of Goa ==> reminded me of Goa

[The end of The Young Cadet by Mrs. Hofland]