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and high-spirited. The villages have commonly little mud forts attached to them, which on the late reduction of the country by the vizier, frequently made a gallant defence, even against our regular troops acting with him: those forts are now mostly dismantled. As- we left the Jumna and approached the Ganges, we found the country more populous, better cultivated* and abundant in cattle, the late famine having raged with much less violence in this part of the Douab. I wish also to impute it in some measure to the better government of our ally the vizier, under British influence.
Caunpore is- the Company's most remote northerly military station, except Futty-Ghur. It does not seem to be judiciously chosen; for, if with a view to protect the Douab, Etaya appears to be preferable: if to support the vizier's government in Lucknow, the opposite side of the river seems to claim the preference. The brigade stationed at Caunpore, consists of about ten thousand men, including infantry, cavalry, and artillery; from which I understand the force at Futty-Ghur is a detachment..
Thus, from Mr. Cruso's journal, contained in about five hundred folio manuscript pages, and the valuable communications from Sir Charles Malet, I have conducted the embassy from the Taptee to the Ganges; a journey exceeding eight hundred miles, chiefly through a country hitherto but little known. It is not my intention to enter into military details at the different cantonments in the Bengal provinces* jior to particularize the manners, customs, amusements, and local habits in the British character, which are fully discussed throughout the remainder of the journal. The
journey from Surat to Caunpore had been entirely among the natives, and I selected only what I thought would furnish novelty, interest, and entertainment. The narrative, exclusive of more valuable information, has given life and spirit to a set of unconnected memoranda, collected from the information of Gosaings, Vanjarras, and other travellers at Dhuboy, which were reserved for a separate chapter, as not being derived from my own knowledge. In the sequel I shall sedulously confine myself to the general aspect of the provinces, the remains of the once-splendid cities, and the native inhabitants of a country, which, like Guzerat, was formerly dignified with that expressive title, the PARADISE of Nations.
- Scenes, where the gorgeous East with richest hand
The journal dwells with grateful delight on the warm reception of Sir Charles Malet and his party at Caunpore, particularly under the hospitable roof of their friendly host Mr. Munro ; and the successive entertainments provided for them by the commandant Colonel Ironside, and the officers on that station, amounting to
about three hundred. Friendship and hospitality so universally mark the British character in India that I shall suppose it always understood.
Among the various amusements at Caunpore were abundance of Nautches, or exhibitions by the dancing-girls of the country, which, however pleasing, were far exceeded by a set of young girls lately arrived from Cachemire, of such surpassing beauty, grace, and elegant accomplishments, that, not venturing on the detail, I shall proceed to the distressing circumstances attendant on the nightly visits of the numerous wolves by which the cantonment and its vicinity had been for some time infested. These savage animals were it seems first attracted thither in such numbers, during the late dreadful famine, by the dead bodies of the poor wretches, who, crawling for relief, perished through weakness before they could obtain it; and filled up every avenue to the cantonment with their sad remains. Long accustomed to human food, they would not leave their haunts, and were now grown so fierce, that they not only frequently carried off children, but actually attacked the sentries on their posts, who had in consequence been doubled. The first night the embassy arrived at Caunpore, Sir Charles Malet ordered his cot, or bed, to be placed in the garden, and was surprised in the morning to hear that a goat had been carried off from very near the place where he slept.
Three of these monsters, as Mr. Cruso was credibly assured, had attacked a sentinel, who after shooting one, and dispatching another with his bayonet, was overpowered by the third, and killed at his post. While the embassy was there, a man, his wife, and child, sleeping in their hut, the former at a little distance, the mo
VOL. IV. M
ther was awakened by the struggles and shrieks of the child locked in her arms, which a prowling wolf had seized by the leg, and was dragging from her bosom. She grasped the infant, and exerted all her strength to preserve it from the foe, but in vain; the ravenous animal tore it from her maternal embrace, and instantly devoured it.
After a few delightful days at Caunpore, on the 10th of August we reluctantly entered the budgerows, or boats, provided for our voyage to Calcutta, consisting of one for each gentleman, a kitchen-boat, and others for the clerks and servants of the embassy. We dropped down with the stream to Nudjuf Ghur, at eighteen miles distance, where we were hospitably entertained for some days by Colonel Ironside, commandant of the station.
On the 15th we reimbarked, and keeping close along the banks of the Ganges, covered at this season by the most luxuriant vegetation, we had a distinct view of a varied scenery, consisting of pagodas, fortresses, and villages, in various stages of prosperity and decay; with dark groves and rich pastures, abounding with flocks and herds; which, uniting with the irregularity of the shore, afforded a constant succession of delightful objects.
We arrived on the 18th at Allahabad, an imperial fortress built by Akber, Jehanghire, and Shah Jehan, (three succeeding princes on the throne of Delhi) on the site of the ancient and holy Hindoo city Praag, proudly situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna: one face of the fortifications extends along the banks of each of these celebrated rivers. The outward appearance of the walls resembles that of Agra and Delhi, though less magnificent. The expensive gates and other costly workmanship, rather indicate the elegant enclosure of a palace than a strong and judicious fortification. In the first is a pillar inscribed in Persian characters with the names of the imperial descendants of Timur; the expenses of the building are engraved in the Hindoo language. The second court forms an oblong square, surrounded by a range of handsome apartments, covered with domes, formerly occupied by the royal household. The third square contains the famous subterranean Hindoo temple, erected over the pepel tree, from whence the city takes its name. This celebrated tree is said to have resisted every attempt made by the Mahomedan invaders to destroy it, and many are the stories told to that purpose. In consequence of these vain efforts, the Mahomedans themselves are said to have called the spot Allahabad, or the Abode Of God.
The temple being perfectly dark, we descended by torch-light to a square supported by numerous pillars, extremely damp, and pervious to the water from the surface, which drops down in many places, and makes the floor wet and dirty. The sides are filled with niches, containing a variety of Hindoo deities of a similar character, and much the same kind of sculpture, as many in the excavations at the Elephanta. On the side facing the sea is the celebrated pepel tree, (ficus religiosa, Lin.) preserved by miracle, and surrounded by a low circular wail, like most consecrated trees of the Hindoos.
The inner square contains the palace; situated in the centre, it overlooks twelve other squares, in which were the habitations of the royal concubines, where the voluptuous monarch could receive the homage of the whole without moving from his apartments. The palace is heavy, incommodious, and ill executed. It forms a