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Which, tho' the night of storms looks dark and dim,
I waked. Oh! where, sweet Hebe, hast thou sped,
That draught's refreshment, oh! how quick has past;
The other poet, Hafiz, so well known in Persia as the extempore composer, who was said to write his compositions on pieces of earthenware at the entertainments where he was present, is more of a lyric bard, but his conceits are extremely flowery and farfetched. He says, expressing the blushing of a youth who brought a cup of wine to his master,
When the sun of the wine rose up from the east of the cup,
A thousand roses sprung and appeared in the rose-garden of the countenance of the cup-bearer.
It is certain that it would not be worth any man's while to study these native languages for the sake of information, or for the purpose of improving his stock of literature; but, notwithstanding this, they are so necessary for every English inhabitant who has anything to do with the natives that it is indispensable to acquire them."
"I think," said Clare, "that I must try; and as there is during the hot season in this country really nothing to do, I hope to devote the next year, when we are in our new quarters, to these languages.'
After the regiment had been about three weeks on the march, there came an order from the government fixing their destination at Cawnpore. This reached them at Bhunghulpoor, and bringing certainty with it was very welcome, as the old Spanish saying of uncertainty being the parent of torture is very often most sensibly felt as a truth by military men. Then the every-day change of scene had its charms. Sometimes during the progress through Lower Bengal at the first, their tents were pitched by the river Ganges, in the vicinity of numerous groves of bamboos, tamarinds, and plaintains ranged by the native huts, the ground flat, and the country mostly laid out in rice-fields. The excitement of the excursions in quest of sport in the neighbourhood in the way of shooting formed the great amusement of most of the officers. Sometimes their encampment was on a wide sandy plain, with not a single landmark to vary the monotony of the scene. Often times their march ran through a tract of country with long grass, which grew to the height of an ordinary willow plantation. When the regiment had to cross nullahs or large watercourses which were not fordable, the authorities had taken precautions to have bamboo bridges thrown across; and this truly useful tree, which grows in such abundance, unites both strength and elasticity in serving the
purposes of anything required for bearing heavy weight. When the elephants arrived at these bridges, they were always suffered to feel their way, and if the bridge was strong enough, their instinct could be invariably relied upon, and they were suffered to go across by their mahouts; but if the contrary, their loads were taken off, put on the garees, or native cars, and the mahouts swam the sagacious animals across. Clare was forcibly reminded of the account in Rollins's Ancient History of the Carthaginians, where it is said that the troops of Hannibal formed platforms for the elephants to cross the rivers; whereas no animal that walks the earth is more at home in the water than an elephant. Their route lay through groves of trees one day, where the monkeys in hosts, reverenced as they are by the natives, were seen gambolling and frisking.
When a rainy day came on, the situation of the officers and the men was more uncomfortable than anything that can be fancied by one used only to European campaigning; but fortunately rainy weather during the cold season of the year in India is never continuous. It is the only season that it is possible for Europeans to march in. The officers had their light baggage required for the necessity of the march carried in small baskets, which were slung to each end of a bamboo, and which a native bears away on his shoulder, the elasticity of the bamboo rendering the weight of the baskets, which are called pitaras, scarcely felt by him. More frequently than in any other locality had they their tents pitched in a mango-grove, called, in the semi-Asiatic language which the English practice in speaking of Indian subjects, a mango-tope. When they got to the Rajmahal hills, they had round them all that has been written descriptive of the wildness of an Indian jungle, its extensive tracts planted with the sircoonda, the native reeds, which grow thick and to the height of twenty feet; the impervious thickets of bare and other Indian brambles; also forests unexplored, and through such lay the muddy paths which the troops had to march. The soldiers' tents being carried by the elephants, they were all in due order to be found at the end of the day's march, but as the officers had theirs carried in the garees, the muddy and almost impassable roads were too much for the native bullocks who bore them. The natives who construct these vehicles have no idea of putting springs to them. They are, therefore, a dead weight to draw, for the unfortunate beasts who drag them along have their yokes simply placed on their necks, and if the wheels move upon a smooth level they go along at the rate of about two and a half miles an hour, but if the road be deep, it is no uncommon occurrence for the bullocks to sink under the exertion. At the best in such a country it is absolutely necessary to put on an additional team, and even then the locomotion
is not by any means swift. So it happened that the garee bearing the tents in which Williams and Clare trusted for a domicile after the first day's march in the Rajmahal hills was over, in place of being carried to the end of the day's journey, met with the fate of having its wheels stuck in the thick slimy road, and one of the bullocks in his efforts to draw it out fell down prostrate. There was no house, no shed, and no signs of habitation to be seen. the country people there was no human being near. The wretched natives, with the exemplary resignation peculiar to the Hindoo race, when they saw the animal sink down and die, sat down, and, covering themselves with their muslin dresses, smoked till it was nightime, when they fell asleep. According to the statement made by one of them, when they were found in this situation the next morning, during the night a tiger came from the jungle and carried away the bullock which had fallen.
When the day's march was over, Williams and Clare, finding no tent or shelter to go to, got the loan of two dhoolies from the medical department, and had them placed under the small pall which had served them for a stable tent, and for their dinner they had to trust to the hospitality of their brother officers. At night they slept in the dhoolies, and the next day were with the regiment on its march. They arrived with it at its destined encampment, which was by the banks of the river Ganges, opposite to three rocks, which looked like specks in the distance, but were still in the centre of the stream. The central, or largest one, about a hundred yard across, had a hut on it, in which a gosseen, or Hindoo devotee, used to live, whose sanctity of life had been the theme of many native compositions.
Williams and Clare waited patiently during the whole of the day, and expected that some tidings of their missing tent should arrive, but nothing was heard of it, and the next morning they resolved to get the colonel's leave to go back in search of it. They rose, then, about an hour before the time that the regiment commenced its march, and got on their horses with a determination of going back to the place where they should find their tent. They rode in the dim light of the falling moon through the thickets of wild plum-trees, on what was the track of the regiment the morning before, a patch merely discernible until they had the morning light, which showed them the narrow passage through immense plains of native reeds, thick, close, higher than a man on horseback could see over. This, for four or five miles, was a gloomy prospect, but when they came to an opening in the jungle they asked some natives whom they saw as to what the distance was from the last place of encampment. These Hindoos, unlike the soft, effeminate race of Bengaleese, were stout-limbed, hardy mountaineers, small in stature, rough in feature, long black
hair; the clothes which they wore were of the same cut as the rest of the natives of India wear, but were of coarse, thick materials fitted for the inhabitants of hilly countries; there was the turban, the naghurka, and the dhoote, with the calves of the legs bare, and the rough untanned leather shoe. They heard Williams say the name of the place of which he inquired (Rajmahal), and they pointed to the direction of the compass where it lay, and said it was three logs away.
Then Williams said to Clare that they should ride to Rajmahal, and some miles from that place was the residence of an indigo planter, that they ought to go there and ask him for the hire of some bullocks to be sent to take up a garee that was detained on the road. This Clare agreed to, and they rode on. They had much conversation together relative to the curious country which they found themselves in; the manners, customs, religion, interior of habitations, and curious prejudices of the Hindoos all throughout India, Williams said, were almost wholly unknown by Europeans, although we had been so long in the country; they are priest-ridden to an extent which is scarcely conceivable, and yet there is very little of useful intelligence or superiority of mind observable in the Brahmins or priests, who are the most respected men in each village you come to, and whose word is law. Such an absolute power is accorded to birth that, unlike any other country in the universe, no individual can by any measure of talent, perseverance, or fortuitous good, ever elevate himself into respect with his fellows, but must be the same as his ancestors were. That the occupation of such men differs, dependent as it is on the culture of the mind, which all men know is wholly formed for good or evil by the education which it receives, is so straitened by the rules of their caste, as to make it imperative that they should be inexorably obliged to follow in the beaten track which had been chalked out for its progress by the practice of their forefathers from time immemorial.
"Then," said Clare, "is it possible that a man who makes money here, and there are many in Calcutta and elsewhere who do so, is not thought highly of by the rest of the natives?"
"He may be in possession of any amount of wealth," said Williams, "and with it he may procure himself any number of luxuries or comforts; his houses, his dresses, and his equipages may be what the most unlimited wealth could procure, but still he could not lose the name of being low caste if he were such by birth, and the Brahmins, or military caste, would not mix either in society with him, or on any account suffer one of their relations. to marry him."
Then," said Clare, "if that's the case, I wonder at such men who have made their fortune not turning Christians, for with heir means they might make friends with the English merchants."
"The prevalence of caste was so great," replied Williams, "that, notwithstanding the low estimation in which such men as queets, who are the natives that generally succeed in making their fortune, is held, they still have a dread greater than anything which we can conceive of departing from the customs of their progenitors; and when we come to know that their own brothers and kinsmen dare not associate with them, if they lose caste, one ceases to wonder at the awe which such a tremendous interdict inspires."
THE PATRIARCH REPROVED.
BY LOUISA STUART COSTELLO.
THE Patriarch lay before his tent;
The pitying host brought water clear
Gave him good welcome and good cheer,
And bade him rest and eat.
"And let us," said he, "ere we share
"I cannot," said the stranger, "sue
Then rose the chief, his anger burn'd,