LIEUTENANT BACON'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS IN HINDOSTAN.
HAS the reader ever met with a brisk, active, roystering, young man, full of blood and animal spirits, with that recklessness and self-assurance which may be derived, as GUIZOT maintains, from feudalism, but which is certainly distinctive of the professors of arms, especially of half-caste services, or of such of his lajesty's regiments as are eschewed by the "gentlemen ? " An individual of the class we speak of is full of boisterous good-humour, though often giving offence to gravity, without intending it, through love of mischief or want of thought ; and is constantly in scrapes, which no one but himself could get out of, as no one but himself would have got in. Such a one is very averse to public retrenchment; contemptuous towards civilians, unless rich and grand ; and, as a general rule, looks upon creditors its the light. of rogues. lie is mostly teeming with his own adventures, which are the most extraordinary things its nature ; and then with those of his friends, which take the next rank among the wonders of the world. His notions of love are gotten from the guard-room, or at best the subscription ball ; of gallantry, from the modes of the cabin, the barrack, or the foreign station. He takes his compliments from the poetical commonplace-book, or from the plays he may be acquainted with. Ile is full but not choice of anecdote and good stories, which he narrates at length, and not without cha- racter, although given to embellish and sometimes to bore. His experience of life is considerable, but limited to the camp, the road, the mess-room, et id genus, or to parties where he is invited by virtue of his uniform. He is a lover of his profession, though with no higher idea of it than what springs from the excitement of motion and the certaminis gaudia. His nature, or rather his temperament, is not bad ; and his sympathies are extensive,— except in relation to parents, husbands, money-matters, and points affecting the discipline of use service. Such a one, if lucky, lives and is promoted, when time, training, and the weight of responsibility, sober him down into "a worthy man and an excellent officer." If unfortunate, he dies of intemperance, climate, or su:cide; or becomes food for powder; or he is sub- dued by age mid half-pay into that sorry animal a thrifty sen- sualist; or drops into an old twaddler—a military laudator tem- poris act. Should the reader have seen this sortof person in life, he may now meet him in two volumes octavo. If not, Lieutenant BAcorea .First Impressions in Hindostan will ;five him the reflection of a
very excellent specimen 4.f the genus, and with more acquired
of an elephant, and in that manner draw himself completely up: so that a super- accomplishments and natural gifts than often fall to their lot. fiend observer would be apt to think that be had employed a spring, when such Mr. BACON is a draughtsnian, with a natural eye for the beauties was not the ease. This latter is, I believe, a very general notion among thine of landscape, which his studies have sharpened aud improved. who have not been close observers of the animal, and even among many people He is an ardent lover of field sports and exploring adventures, in India. The correction here offered is not formed upon the strength of my
wben he misses his mark, and courage
with sense enough to tell own remarks merely, but I have the opinions of many true sportsmen tobaek it. enough to own when be is afraid. He has some historical and INCIDENCE OF INDIA N TAXATION. sonic scientific knowledge, though the former i perhaps not very In passing through the outskirts of the village, I saw a man engaged in the s operation of distilling. spirits from grain; and I easually entered into ennversas original or profound : he possesses a quick eye for the points of tion with him, for the purpose of gaining what little information I might, with character and manners, and the power of telling what he sees, regard to the procese, &c. In the course of his story, he infurined me that at observes, thinks, or hears, in a manner hummous and lively, times he sold large quantities of liquor for at least six times what it cost him to though often literal. But the taint of the camp and mess-room distil it. I immediately remarked to him, that, finch being the case, he matt is on 11n, and has produced some passage objectionable in point doubtlessly be a very rich man, notwithstanding his squalid appearance and the
of taste, many in point of tediousness. Should his First impress evident misery of his hut. 'ions reach a second edition, all, or nearly all of what he calls his a man to be called tick when lie is starving ? sly wife and childreu would reports, had better be omitted, unless in the few cases where they die of absolute want if I were to allow myself the luxury of one sufficient meal contain information. daily. I must give up tru.le if the Tithsechhtr will nut remit me a portion of The points of our author's route do not greatly differ from those the duty levied upon my still. I am now in arrear, from inability to pay; and ehall soon have my still seized, if God does not aid me : then I shall be cast of Dr. SPRY in Modern Indiu. But Mr. BACON begins sooner, goes further, and travels a different way. He commences with his l inquired what rate of tax be paid to the treasury ; and lie assured me that voyage to India ; all which might be advantageously spared, except he was required to seud in daily a sum of eight rupees,—that the average sale his general acc..unt of life at sea, his brief description of the gales of his wine amounted to about ten rupees,—leaviug only two for the price of they encountered, and their adventure with the pirate. Lauded material, labour, wear and tear, and the consimintion of his furnace.
at Calcutta, he desclibes his own occupations and the life led by TIME OF TRAINING AND VALUE. OF ELEPHANTS. soldiers in cantonments. Ile is then ordered, like Dr. Spite, to Seven or eight months' tuition will geuerally render an elephant quite fit for Cawnpore; but precceds up the Ganges instead of by land. any kind of work ; and lie is commonly sent to market within six months ofhie capture. The value of a propel ly- ti eined elephant its India, sound, and with. From Cawnpore he is sent to Merat ; whence he mikes a journey out blemish, varies from SOO to :3,000 rupees, according to their age, size, and . to the Himalaya Mountains, several sporting exeursions, and a aceuireineuts; but the average price is about 1,000 or ',WO, for which latter few trips to Delhi, where he saw amoogst other sights the Great MIDI a vely good slaluirri elephant may be purchased. Mogul, and a Nabob hanged for subornation of murder. After FRAGMENTS FROM A NATIVE ENTERTAINMENT.
six years travelling by land and water—adventures on foot, its The players more especially, as their interest rises into the highest excite. ralanquin, and on horses and elephants—many meetings with ment, vie with e IA other in reducing the loudest notes ; and the vehement some characters and a great nuniber of commonplace people— grimaces, of which they seem perfectly unconscious, while every thought is abseil bed in admiration of the uttnehni's skill, or of their own excellence, is Lieutenant BACON got permission to return to England, and ludicrous beyond description. So vehement, so wild and energetic are their descended the Junina on his route back to Calcutta, as he had movetnents, as to have the appearance of intoxication ; and when the dance is ascended the Ganges on his outward voyage. concluded, these men are quite Os much fatigued as the dancers vteiresrTisetlhveesir, The subject matters Mr. BACON touches upon are too numerous whit have been borne up, till quite exhausted, by the smiles and ch to particularize; but the headings of a few extracts, and the ex- audience, and ever and anon a peep into the little mirror worn as a thumb-ring. tracts themselves, will give an idea of their nature and variety. The movement.; of the dance are extremely' graceful ; we have nothing in England to which I can compare them. At tirst, the action is quiet and ex. It should be remarked, however, that as condensation is not our plessive of soft delight ; then, as the dance pi oceeds, the music : ise3 in tone, author's forte, the length of many of his best passages militates and the cuuntenauce and gesture grow mole anima:ea, suggestitig love, then against their quotation. aduration ; then alternately, or iu accordance %vitt' the hinnour of the song, fear, FORETHOUGHT IN rrnale WORKS ABROAD. 1101D 1.,2,■.., attietion, hatred, and other at dent feelings, until laall music and song, asceutling in force and sentiment, inspile the dant:ere with niost passionate About five miles from the cantonment iv liankipore, the civil station ; whither gesticulation. speaking the language of fervent hive and sometimes even of I went, with our commanding efficer, upon a visit to a friend, for the purpose despair ; and this I have more than once seen depicted with a truth we could of seeing the Gobi, an enormous granary built of maennry, in the form of a bee. hardly expect froin them. So warmly .la the dancers enter into the sphit of hive, and which was erected by. our Government, many years since, for the their own performance, that their excitelmint pi °duces complete suspension of supply of their troops in caee of famine. The plan of the thing is ridiculous in the faculties, and thoy are led away by the tad nivtrons in attendance, to ha the extrenie, and utterly inapplicable to the purpose intended. l'pon the plied tvith more :anti inure stimulants, so as to prep ire them for a second an. summit of the cone is a large hole, whiell is reached by two staircases tater- pearanco. The wear and tear of this constant labour and excitement, together nally, and thrinigh which it was intended to shout the grain : at ths base is a with all sorts of excess and dissipation, breaks up the constitution and despoils small dour, by which it was proposed to take Out the required supply. The building is one hundred feet in height 4 one bundled in diameter, and the wear longer than three or four years; after which she is cast aside, or exercises trails at the base are twenty feet in thiektiess ; the work was undertaken and her art among the lawest of tin' low.
completed ere the folly and impracticabily of the design ()centred to the wise Among these wha iteted fur our entertainment on the evening in question, beads wha Omitted it. A second thought was alone sufficient to set aside the was an exeeption to this rule; sod a secenil, alai also seemed to promise the feasibility of the scheme. The door at the base once opened, could never be again eame. The farmer Wai Alfitia, the Catalaai of the East ; in volume and cool- closed, on account of the enormous pre.sure of the grain, which would continue pass of voice superior to all her conmetiters ; awl who, by virtue of her charms to flow forth until the door should he buried and choked ; and then again, the wells, or the speculations of tl:e husbandman, as upon a former ()evasion ; but I a .. et 5
A full.grown Bengal tiger will rear himself upright from the ground at least ten feet ; and in that posture would easily be able to fix his elaws upon the back " Rich, Sir !" said the poor emaciated being, extending his bony arm, ail
into prison, and my family will starve."
the persou of its charms in a very few month,. No natichni is expected to and accomplishments, bad been takon into great favour by Lord Combermere.
accumulation of so touch grain in so high a temperature would endanger a for- She • is itow mute than a little ptess,', but still her voice is without a tival ; and mentatioo, which, in despite of twenty feet of masonry, wind,' have blown the this, together with her very graceful action, excites universal admiration, not. (.iota into the skies. It has never been put to the use fee which it was in. withstanding her Mei, charms. She was, en this occasion, very splendidly tended, and never will be: at present it is eecitpied as a stole-roma and maga-
dressed, aud adorned with jewels of great price, in place of the tawdry imitations zinc. 'flue general opinion appears to be, that this, and one or two similar usually worn by the women of her etas+. The dress and ornaments in which buildings in other placte, were designed as a mere job or bonus to the engineer she danced were said to be worth 40,0n0 rupees (about 4,000/.), her own who perpetrated their erection. property: her nose-ring was particulaily costly', being set with diamonds and
NATIVE WELL SINNING IN SANDY SOILS. emeralds of the most valuable kind; it was also much larger than they are usually The country all mound Sallartinpore is highly let tile, though here, as in the worn. Nly fur countrywomen would, I fear, he sorry to be compelled to add vicinity of 'hatband, the agriculture is sadly impeded by an insufficient irriga- such an appendage to their charnis ; and yet it is certain, that those who are tion. I had no intelligent jemnintlar to famish me with the precise number of accustomed to the ornament, consider that it enhances the beauty of the
wearer, rather than the contrary.
bad an opportunity of inspecting the method of constturting wells adopted by When Emma withdrew, we hall a short interval of comparative quiet, while the natives, which appeared to me an excellent mill ingenittus plan. The soil a handsome supper was served : it was something more in the European style being very loose and sandy, renders abertive n11 attempts to sink a shaft in the than is generally prepared by uativcs ; but there was no lack of luxuries pee'', usual way—the excavatinn being retilltd with the falling earth as fast as the liar to the East, fur those who pteferred them to hermetically scaled fisit and
labour proceeds. To obviate this itnnedilnent, the natives have recourse to an carrots, or parsnips, brought front England in the same way, and placed upon expedient which is thoroughly successbil. Upon the intended site of the well, the table as choice fruit. Hindu Rao paid little attention to the substantials, nor before they commence the process of boring, the workmen build up (arcuate ilia he in any way appear iuclined to indulge in the champaign. burgundy, claret,
447■11111 of solid masonry, of the dimensions inoposell for the work: this is and other costly wince, liberally supplied fur his visitors; his whole affection tinned ta a certain height, in proportion to the breadth and weight of the ina- seemed absorbed in the cherry-brantly,—a beverage highly esteemed by those tette!, :nal then the operation of digging commences withiri the cylinder ; the natives whose religious prejudices have little rule over their appetites ; and be- mammy being allowed to sink gradually into the earth as the soil is removed. fore our refection wasconcluded, three or four pints of this had disappeared under As the column disappears below the surface, the masons continue to build upon his sole care. 4t; great care being taken to preserve the perpendicular, and to keep the super- Vhen the nand, was lesumed, finding that the Nlaha-rajha, having taken
Incumbent weight above equal to the increasing resistance, his hookka, was dosing into a must celestial stupor, I threw myself upon one of
THE TIGER SPRING. the couches, and composed myself to sleep, amid the screaming, scraping, and It la, perhaps, worthy of mention, as tending to correct an erroneous idea drumming, whieh appeared SO deeply interesting to the rest of the audience. I arommonly received, that tigers never, or very seldom, leap upon the object of slept lung and soundly ; and should probably have continued to do so much their attack : I mean that, in their charge, they do not entirely quit the longer, bad I not been awoke by my Kraut, who came to inform me that ground. They generally, in all cases which I have seen, raise themselves erect the company were dispersing. upon the hind.lrgs when within a few paces of the object they are charging, A most uncomfortable scene was presented to my waking senses. The and taking a step or two in this upright posture, they cast themselves with all rays of the morning sun were striking through the openings in the awning, their force against it, stiiking at the same time with their paw.. Some few forming a most sickly mixtuie with the declining glare of the few torches sportsmen have averred that they have seen the tiget lenilifpon his prey or upon still burning. The last set of natichnis were just making their salaam., .and his foe. Now, positive inforniation is certainly better than negative: it is nu their jaded looks and soiled apparel formed it miserable contrast to the brilliant reason the clock did not strike thirteen because I did not bear it ; and I do nut illusions of the previous night. Groups of yawning, ghost-like officers, mean to say that the tiger never does leap upon his victims or never has were standing, stretching themselves, and discussing the means of conveyance done so. back to cantonments, or the possaality of another millibar entertainment else- We know that this animal, like the cat, is formed with peculiar powers for where. The spotless white carpet of the previous night was streweti with the Lapin ; and that, when pursued, it has been k •n to spring over brooks, en- remnants of the feast, soiled with crushed fruit, and stained with wine; "Pt/ closures, and other obstructieus, with a wonderful bound. It would be absurd, bottles, broken glasses, and destroyed ornaments were scattered about in all 'II' gam to say that it never does leap in making its charge, or in fixing itself rections; and upon a charpaha brou,glit in for his accommodation, lay the Ma- upon an adversary. I merely affirm that it very seldom does so, instinct or lia.rajha himself, stretched in a heavy sleep, which the united clamour of. all his experience teaching that the other mode is the Inure effectual of the two. retaiuers, to say nothing of sundry blows and thumps bestowed upon his royal panne, failed to dispel. On the ground beside him, was his booklet of state, capsized ; and an expiring lamp disclosed a whole regiment of empty chin ty- ht andy bottles lying near ; and to close the picture, in one corner, with his face Opel the hate soil, his arm thrown over his head, lay the Meer Sahib, the 3•1411 i-iajlai's spiritual adviser, the priest of his household, who, lest his lord should take more than a becoming share, had been assisting him in the con. sumption of the intoxicating beverage, "albeit his lips were scarce wiped since he had drunk last."