August 29

Saturday, August 29th.—A grilling day. It is very difficult, this waiting. No.— had 450 wounded in yesterday, and they were whisked off on the hospital ship in the evening. It doesn't look as if there would be anything for us to do for weeks.

August Twenty-Ninth

Doctor McGuire, fresh from the ghastly spectacle of the silent battle-field said: “General, this day has been won by nothing but stark and stern fighting.”

“No,” replied Jackson very quietly, “it has been won by nothing but the blessing and protection of Providence.”

Lieut.-Col. G. F. R. Henderson, C.B.

 

 

A cool comfortable day; laid out Company streets this forenoon and everything looks as though we were to remain in camp several days. Torbet's cavalry has been engaged all day, but was driven back about 4 o'clock when our Division was sent out to support it. The enemy fell back as soon as they discovered our infantry. We followed the rebs about five miles, returned about half way to camp, and bivouacked. There's good news from Grant's army to-night. We await anxiously for the returns from the Chicago convention.

August 29, 1862

Received $25.00 to-day, which is half the State bounty. Friends of the soldiers are coming and going all the time. One day is much like another, and yet there is an endless variety. We have guard mount in the morning and then drill for a couple of hours. Then we are free to visit with our friends. We have lots of them nowadays. No one seems to lack for them. It reminds me of how well people are apt to speak of the dead. While alive we say all sorts of mean things to them and about them, but when they are gone it all seems forgotten and we only remember their good qualities. Some way the very kind attention we receive reminds me of that.

August 29

August 29, 1869.--Schopenhauer preaches impersonality, objectivity, pure contemplation, the negation of will, calmness, and disinterestedness, an aesthetic study of the world, detachment from life, the renunciation of all desire, solitary meditation, disdain of the crowd, and indifference to all that the vulgar covet. He approves all my defects, my childishness, my aversion to practical life, my antipathy to the utilitarians, my distrust of all desire. In a word, he flatters all my instincts; he caresses and justifies them.

This pre-established harmony between the theory of Schopenhauer and my own natural man causes me pleasure mingled with terror. I might indulge myself in the pleasure, but that I fear to delude and stifle conscience. Besides, I feel that goodness has no tolerance for this contemplative indifference, and that virtue consists in self-conquest.

August 29

August 29, 1880.--To-day I am conscious of improvement. I am taking advantage of it to go back to my neglected work and my interrupted habits; but in a week I have grown several months older--that is easy to see. The affection of those around me makes them pretend not to see it; but the looking-glass tells the truth. The fact does not take away from the pleasure of convalescence; but still one hears in it the shuttle of destiny, and death seems to be nearing rapidly, in spite of the halts and truces which are granted one. The most beautiful existence, it seems to me, would be that of a river which should get through all its rapids and waterfalls not far from its rising, and should then in its widening course form a succession of rich valleys, and in each of them a lake equally but diversely beautiful, to end, after the plains of age were past, in the ocean where all that is weary and heavy-laden comes to seek for rest. How few there are of these full, fruitful, gentle lives! What is the use of wishing for or regretting them? It is Wiser and harder to see in one's own lot the best one could have had, and to say to one's self that after all the cleverest tailor cannot make us a coat to fit us more closely than our skin.

"Le vrai nom du bonheur est le contentement."

... The essential thing, for every one is to accept his destiny. Fate has deceived you; you have sometimes grumbled at your lot; well, no more mutual reproaches; go to sleep in peace.

205. John Adams

Philadelphia, Friday, 29 August, 1777.

The newspapers inclosed will give you all the intelligence of any consequence. General Washington, with a very numerous army, is between Wilmington and the Head of Elk. Howe will make but a pitiful figure. The militia of four States are turning out with much alacrity and cheerful spirits. The Continental army under Washington, Sullivan, and Nash, besides, is in my opinion more numerous by several thousands than Howe's whole force. I am afraid that he will be frightened, and run on board his ships, and go away plundering to some other place. I almost wish he had Philadelphia, for then he could not get away. I really think it would be the best policy to retreat before him, and let him into this snare, where his army must be ruined. However, this policy will not be adopted.

In a letter from good authority, Mr. Paca, we are informed that many dead horses have been driven on the eastern shore of Maryland; horses thrown overboard from the fleet, no doubt.

Prices current. Four pounds a week for board, besides finding your own washing, shaving, candles, liquors, pipes, tobacco, wood, etc. Thirty shillings a week for a servant. It ought to be thirty shillings for a gentleman and four pounds for the servant, because he generally eats twice as much and makes twice as much trouble. Shoes, five dollars a pair. Salt, twenty-seven dollars a bushel. Butter, ten shillings a pound. Punch, twenty shillings a bowl. All the old women and young children are gone down to the Jersey shore to make salt. Salt water is boiling all round the coast, and I hope it will increase. For it is nothing but heedlessness and shiftlessness that prevents us from making salt enough for a supply. But necessity will bring us to it. As to sugar, molasses, rum, etc., we must leave them off. Whiskey is used here instead of rum, and I don't see but it is just as good. Of this the wheat and rye countries can easily distil enough for the use of the country. If I could get cider I would be content.

The business of the country has been in so critical and dangerous a situation for the last twelve months that it was necessary the Massachusetts should have a full representation, but the expenses of living are grown so enormous that I believe it will be necessary to reduce the number of delegates to three, after the campaign is over.

St. Martin Aug. 29, 1884

There was nothing definite to quote in my conversation with the Professor[228 ] about Liddon. He hardly knows the better side of Liddon, as a preacher, and as a religious force. He sees that he is not a very deep scholar, and thinks his admiration for Pusey a sign of weakness, I think he once used the term fanatical—meaning a large allowance of one-sidedness in his way of looking at things. Indeed, Döllinger is influenced by nearly the same misgivings that I felt some months ago; and he has not had the same opportunities for getting rid of them. For instance, the Dean of St. Paul's[229 ] assured me that Liddon, far from reclining on others, is masterful and fond of his own opinion. Moreover, Liddon's attitude in the question of Church and State, is a matter which the Professor and I judge very differently, and it is a difference which it is useless to discuss any more.

I am waiting very eagerly for the speeches in Midlothian. They will be almost the most important of his whole career.

Forwood's proposal of equal electoral districts is another sign of dissolution in Toryism. The principle of setting a limit to inequality might be defended much more plausibly. I am glad to figure in your company in Northumberland as well as at Cambridge. Your experiment[230 ] is perhaps worth trying, and Stuart knows his people too well to promote it if it is likely to fail. An outsider has not any secure means of forecasting; but I shall retain some hesitation.

Your letter was waiting here when I came from Tegernsee, where I have spent another few days with my Professor.[231 ] Knesebeck, the Empress' secretary, was there; and I was dismayed to learn that Morier has spoken to him in the most hostile terms of our foreign policy. I was sorry, in London, that you did not see more of that strong diplomatist in Downing Street.

In the doubt as to your movements I direct to Hawarden, where I hope you will see the excellent, learned, homely, humble Bishop of Chester, whose virtues ought to disarm even the recalcitrant Dean.[232 ] In about two months I hope we shall meet.


[228 ] Döllinger.

[229 ] Church.

[230 ] Scholarship (£10) for Northumberland miners, comprising a month's residence at Cambridge.

[231 ] Döllinger.

[232 ] Dr. Howson.

135. Abigail Adams

Boston, 29 August, 1776.

I have spent the three days past almost entirely with you. The weather has been stormy. I have had little company, and I have amused myself in my closet, reading over the letters I have received from you since I have been here.

I have possession of my aunt's chamber, in which, you know, is a very convenient, pretty closet, with a window which looks into her flower garden. In this closet are a number of bookshelves, which are but poorly furnished. However I have a pretty little desk or cabinet here, where I write all my letters and keep my papers, unmolested by any one. I do not covet my neighbor's goods, but I should like to be the owner of such conveniences. I always had a fancy for a closet with a window, which I could more particularly call my own.

I feel anxious for a post day, and am full as solicitous for two letters a week, and as uneasy if I do not get them, as I used to be when I got but one in a month or five weeks. Thus do I presume upon indulgence, and this is human nature. It brings to my mind a sentiment of one of your correspondents, to wit, that "man is the only animal who is hungry with his belly full."

Last evening Dr. Cooper came in and brought me your favor, from the post-office, of August 16, and Colonel Whipple arrived yesterday morning and delivered to me the two bundles you sent and a letter of the 12th of August. They have already afforded me much amusement, and I expect much more from them.

I am sorry to find from your last, as well as from some others of your letters, that you feel so dissatisfied with the office to which you are chosen. Though in your acceptance of it I know you were actuated by the purest motives, and I know of no person here so well qualified to discharge the important duties of it, yet I will not urge you to it. In accepting of it you must be excluded from all other employments. There never will be a salary adequate to the importance of the office or to support you and your family from penury. If you possessed a fortune I would urge you to it, in spite of all the fleers and gibes of minds which themselves are incapable of acting a disinterested part, and have no conception that others can. I have never heard any one speak about it, nor did I know that such insinuations had been thrown out.

Pure and disinterested virtue must ever be its own reward. Mankind are too selfish and too depraved to discern the pure gold from the baser metal.

I wish for peace and tranquillity. All my desire and all my ambition is to be esteemed and loved by my partner, to join with him in the education and instruction of our little ones, to sit under our own vines in peace, liberty, and safety.

Adieu, my dearest friend! Soon, soon return to your most affectionate

Portia.

P. S. A very odd report has been propagated in Braintree, namely, that you were poisoned upon your return, at New York.

Woman

Sunday, 29.

Ever the feminine fades into mystery,

Pales undistinguished into the powers of nature,

There working with earnest force in silence,

Bashful and beautiful in its reserves.

Divination seems heightened and raised to its highest power in woman, like mercury, the more sensitive to the breath of its atmosphere;—the most delicate metre of character, as if in the finest persons, the sex predominated to give the salient graces and gifts peculiar to woman. The difference appears to be of bias, not of positive power, of thought and feeling differently disposed, and where the extremes merge towards unity, not easily discriminated. Still, each preserves its distinctive traits under all differences, neither being mistaken for the other. A woman's thought is not taken for a man's, nor the contrary; though the outward expression were the same, each preserves its sexual tone and color. Any seeming exceptions are counterfeits, and confirm the law that sentiment is feminine, thought masculine, by whomsoever expressed; neither can blend fully and confound the other under any metamorphosis, sex being a constant factor individualizing the personality of souls. The ancient philosophers had so good an opinion of the sex, that they ascribed all sciences to the Muses, all sweetness and morality to the Graces, and prophetic inspiration to the Sibyls.

Women have been subject alike to the admiration and contempt of men. It were handsomer to quote the poet's praises than blame, the Greek poets Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides especially. I like to enrich my pages with some of their fine lines, and not less for the new interest taken in the sex.

Æschylus.

"Wedlock is a state preordained of Destiny, and its

Obligations are more binding than an oath."

"Bite thy lips or ever thou speak words of impurity."

"Can heaven's fair beams show a fond wife a sight

More welcome than her husband from his wars

Returned with glory, when she opes the gate

And springs to welcome him."

Euripides.

"Men need not try where women fail."

"To a father waxing old

Nothing is dearer than a daughter; sons

Have spirits of a higher pitch, but less inclined

To sweet endearing tenderness."

"Happy is it so to place

A daughter; yet it pains a father's heart

When he delivers to another's house

A child, the object of his tender care."

"A wise man in his house should find a wife

Gentle and courteous, or no wife at all."

"With silence of the tongue

And cheerfulness of look I entertained

My husband; where my province to command

I knew, and where to yield obedience to him."

"When the wife endures

The ungentle converse of a husband rude

In manners, in his person rude, to die

Were rather to be wished."

"If well accorded, the connubial state

From all its strings speaks perfect harmony;

If ill at home, abroad the harsh notes jar,

And with rude discord wound the ear of peace."

"For women are by nature formed

To feel some consolation when their tongue

Gives utterance to the afflictions they endure."

"O trebly blest the placid lot of those,

Whose hearth-foundations are in pure love laid,

Where husband's breast with tempered ardor glows,

And wife, oft mother, is in heart a maid."

Sophocles.

"Note well a house that is prosperous among men, and you Will find virtue among its women folk."

"Seek not thy fellow-citizens to guide

Till thou canst order well thine own fireside."

Cuttack, August 29, 1843

OURANG-OUTANG.

I had been sitting in the verandah reading, and went away for a few minutes to speak to my wife. When I came back my chair was occupied. There, sitting as quietly and demurely as possible, was an enormous ourang-outang, or monkey of some sort. When I first caught sight of him he had my book in his hands, and was to all appearance reading. It happened, however, to be rather a stupid book, and he very soon threw it down; he then placed his hands upon his knees and sat perfectly still, just as if he had been meditating on what he had been reading. I should say, as nearly as I could judge, that he must have been above five feet in height, supposing him to stand erect. He sat as upright as any man.

After watching him for a minute or two, and observing that the calves of his legs were thicker and more like those of a man than monkeys' legs usually are, I stepped quietly back and called my wife. All this time I had not seen his face; however, as she came, one of the parrots screamed, and the old gentleman turned his head. His face was very dark, with large whiskers and beard, and hair all perfectly white; his body a light-brown, and his face and hands peculiarly large. As soon as he saw me he half rose, laid both hands on the elbow of the chair, and began to grin and show his teeth and spit at me. I did not quite like it, as I was afraid he might make a spring in my direction; yet I knew that my voice would at once frighten him away, if I raised the horrid unearthly yell used by the natives to scare wild beasts, and which even the tiger will hardly resist unless much pressed by hunger.

Still I felt more inclined to watch him. Once I thought of going round the other way and getting my gun, but really he looked so much like a man that I could not have shot him. He continued to grin and spit until I turned away, hoping he would resume his former sedate position. As soon, however, as he thought my eye was off him he rose leisurely from his chair, stepped slowly out of the verandah, caught hold of a branch of the banian-tree, and swung himself up into it. As he did this I saw that he had a long tail, so he could not, I believe, have been an ourang-outang. Indeed I never heard of them coming into this little island, nor, I think, into the district. I went into my study, and immediately afterwards heard him scuttling away over the roof of the house. I have not seen him since, but if he comes back I shall try to make friends with him by giving him food, though I believe he belongs to rather a treacherous family.

Whilst on this subject, I will mention another monkey which I saw a few days ago. It is almost two feet in height, quite black, except a circle of light-brown hair round its face, and is held in high veneration by the natives. They come chiefly from a place up the country called Brinderbund, where it is said there are nothing but Brahmins and monkeys.

I was once driving with a friend when we met a party of pilgrims, who had two or three monkeys with them. We stopped and spoke to the people, and one of the monkeys came into the carriage and perched himself on my lap. I offered the people two rupees for him, but they said they were going to take the two to Juggernat'h, where the Rajah would buy them. I asked how much they would take for them; they said fifty rupees for the pair. This I could not afford, and I told them so; they then said I might have them both for twenty-five rupees. This, however, was more than I could give, and we therefore drove on, though I was very unwilling to part with the little fellows, that seemed to have taken quite a fancy to me.

The manner of reception at the judge's is much the same as I described in my last; but here there are, however, two or three different additional servants, who with long chouries keep flapping the insects off the table and the faces of the company. Here is also plenty of mutton; and cheese from England. All the side dishes are of silver.

In the drawing-room most of the tables are marble. From the ceiling is suspended a number of small plated chandeliers with glass drops; in another room is a good piano-forte, and after dinner some very tolerable music and singing. There is also a little rational conversation.

A BACHELOR'S PARTY.

But now let me describe a bachelor's party at the commissioner's, who, by the way, is above the judge in rank and in salary. I say a bachelor's party, because his wife is gone to England for her health, and he cannot therefore invite ladies. Before dinner there is much general conversation about races, church-building, hunting, the paucity of chaplains, &c. &c. Some magnificent prints are brought forward; a set of splendid silver medallions of sacred history are examined and admired; some ancient coins and inscriptions are submitted to the inspection of the unlearned; the last English reviews are brought under discussion.

In the mean time the gentlemen are lounging upon ottomans about a large marble table, the host going from one to another, speaking to and trying to please all. To the sportsman he speaks of his gun, to the chaplain of a project of building a new church, to the engineer of the aërial steam-ship, and, in short, makes every one pleased both with himself and his neighbours. I need hardly tell you that our commissioner at Cuttack is a most agreeable man; his great object is to make others happy, and his kind good-natured face is welcome everywhere. He is about thirty-six years of age, fond of sporting, fond of reading, fond of children—although he has none himself. Every one likes him, from the judge to the faquer, from the highest to the lowest—unless, indeed, the lawless, and those he does not spare. He has the grand tact of rendering himself agreeable to everybody, and the means by which he does this is the exercise of a kind heart. He does not obtrude his concerns, but listens patiently and with interest to the remarks of others; and this, remember, with cheerfulness and pure morality, is the means by which any person may make himself beloved.

But to return: the conversation turns upon church music.

"You have an organ, Commissioner, have you not?" says one.

"Yes, but I very seldom use it."

"You should send it to the church," said I.

"Well, I have sometimes thought I would, but I am afraid you have no place for it; and, besides, I don't know whether the tunes would do."

"Let us judge of that," says the magistrate; "give us a tune whilst they are putting the dinner on the table."

"Very well; and I am sure, if the padre likes it, he is very welcome to have it till Mrs. M. comes back."

Thereupon we adjourned to an adjoining room, where there was a very large upright organ, but, as Mr. M. said, "only a grinder." He puts in the church barrel, and, turning the handle, plays, one after another, several really beautiful psalm-tunes, whilst every one stands serious and attentive. At last dinner is announced. The style is much the same as at the judge's, except that almost all the dishes are silver, and there is a magnificent racing-cup of the same metal in the centre. The eatables, however, are many of them English. There is fresh salmon brought from England, English soups, English potatoes, carrots, oysters, cheese, &c. &c., all brought out in canisters hermetically sealed.

Of course, as everywhere else, the beer, wines, &c., are from England, for so devoid are we of any trading community, that in this splendid climate no attempt has ever yet been made to manufacture wine. Beer we could not make, at least so they say, for want of barley;[4] but I believe that pine-apples, of which we get three or four young juicy ones for a penny, would make splendid wine. England has no pine-apples at all like ours. Then there are preserves and pies made of green-gages, apricots, &c., all from home. Here also, as at the judge's, there is abundance of champagne, or, as we call it here, tokay. After dinner, at all houses, each person takes a small glass of liqueur.

At the commissioner's, being a bachelor's party, we remained in the dining-room. Cigars were introduced, with coffee and brandy-and-water for those who liked it. I will now relate an anecdote I heard there:—

A TIGER-STORY.

"Why, B.," said Mr. M., "I heard you had an adventure yesterday. What was it?"

"Oh! don't ask me; it makes me almost sick to think of it."

"Oh, nonsense!" from all present.

"Well, if I must, here goes." Then drinking off a glass of wine B. began: "I suppose I must make a regular history of it, so I will commence at the beginning. Last evening, in the bright and balmy, or I should say gorgeous, splendour of an oriental sunset, when the brilliant tints of—"

"Bah! B., don't be too absurd," cried some of us; "tell us what it was without all this brilliant balmy nonsense."

"Why, I thought I was poetical; but I see you have no poetry in your souls; so I will condescend to prose. I was obliged yesterday afternoon to go down the river for a short distance; I had a boat and three natives. When I had completed what I wanted I returned, and was paddling along, not far from the bank, just on this side of those enormous blocks of iron rock

which keep the river from overflowing, and form such a splendid monument of the great mechanical powers of the ancient Hindus—"

"Come, never mind the antiquities; we will have them another time. Let us hear your own adventures now."

"Well, I had just rounded this point when one of my men called out most vehemently, 'Look, sir, look; there is a tiger!' My eyes were instantly turned in the direction towards which he pointed, and there I saw a most fearful sight. A man was tearing, springing, bounding towards the river, and a hundred yards behind him followed a large panther, pursuing him with those rapid leaps for which that animal is so famous. I instantly ordered my people to pull towards the shore, in the hope of rescuing the panting wretch who thus struggled for his life. Before we reached the bank the man had made a bound into the water, and stood immersed up to his neck. I suppose he was too much exhausted to swim, for we could hardly hear his voice as he called to us to make haste.

"At this instant I saw the dark blunt snout of an enormous alligator rising slowly above the surface, as he made his way towards his intended victim. I shouted to the man, 'Crocodile! crocodile!' He heard me, hesitated an instant, then rushed back to the bank. This sudden movement disconcerted the panther, who started back a few paces, and the next moment our boat shot within reach. 'Come hither,' I exclaimed. The man made a spring; the panther leaped forward, and, as I seized the former by the arm, the latter seized him by the leg.

"Oh! the shriek of the poor victim! I shall never forget it. Foolishly I had not brought my rifle, but I shouted to the men to strike the beast with their oars. No; the cowardly wretches shrank down in the farther end of the boat, and would not move. I could do nothing, therefore, but pull at the man's shoulder, whilst his horrid shrieks were ringing in my ears. Had I let go, the panther would instantly have carried him off; had there been another European with me, the man might have been saved.

"This takes long to describe, but it was all the work of a few seconds. Presently I felt that I was drawing the man more towards me; I looked, and saw the flesh of the leg peeling off in the jaws of the panther until it came to the ankle, where, with one crunch, the bone was severed, and the beast galloped off with the fearful mouthful. I now drew the man, who by this time was quite senseless, into the boat. I tied my handkerchief tightly round the upper part of his leg, and with a piece of wood formed a sort of tourniquet. We brought him to Cuttack, and sent him at once to the hospital; but he died in the course of a few hours."

"What a horrible affair!" exclaimed several voices.

POWER OF THE HUMAN EYE.

"But I thought," said I, "that the voice, or even the eye, of man was sufficient to make any beast quail."

"So it is, provided they are neither very hungry nor very much excited. This beast had been engaged in a long chase, and nothing could have frightened him from his prey."

"Ah! of course that would have made a difference," I replied; "but Mr. L. had a little adventure the other day which seems to prove the power of the eye of man."

"Oh! there is no doubt that man is master of all, and I believe many natives have been preserved by the power of the human eye, and many more might be saved if they only had the coolness to exercise the power which has been bestowed upon them. But what was the adventure of L.'s?"

"It was nothing very wonderful or exciting. He was staying at Chugga for a few days; and one morning he went out with his gun, accompanied by a native Christian of the name of Perswa. Whilst they were in the jungle they suddenly heard a distant shout, as of some one calling 'Perswa, Perswa!' They sat down and bent their ears to the ground to listen. Presently the cry was repeated, 'Perswa, Perswa!' Again it was renewed, 'Perswa, Perswa!' 'It is a tiger,' cried his follower. They immediately hastened back to the village, but found no one there but four old women, who told them that one of their people was hurt by a tiger. Mr. L. started instantly to his rescue, and as he left the village he was joined by at least fifty men, who in their fear were hiding, but, being now encouraged by the presence of a white man, sallied forth with him. Following the direction of the cries of the poor wretch, they soon came to the spot where he stood facing a large tiger.

"It seems that the man, whilst in the jungle, had suddenly caught sight of it on the very point of springing upon him. With great presence of mind he stood perfectly still, and fixed his eyes steadily on the monstrous brute. The tiger wavered for an instant, then, quailing before his eye, he slunk behind a bush. Still the man kept his eye upon him, whilst the tiger every minute peered forth to see whether that dreaded eye was withdrawn.

"From bush to bush the tiger moved, as if seeking to avoid the gaze, in order that he might spring out to seize his prey. Slowly the man turned from side to side, still facing his dreaded foe, and calling upon Perswa and the Padre Sahib to come and save him; and this he continued till the party came up, who by their shouts forced the tiger to abandon his intended meal. Now this seems a strong instance of the power of the human eye."

"It does indeed," replied F. "I have known it exercised with equal success in another case. A young officer was walking through the jungle; he foolishly had nothing but his pistols with him. Suddenly he heard a noise, and observed the branches shaking near him; he crept forward on his hands and knees, to see what animal was there. Presently he found himself face to face with a huge bull bison. He started to his feet, drew a pistol from his belt, and fixed his eye upon that of the animal. The bison tore the turf with his teeth and horns, stamping furiously, but yet he dared not charge while the human eye was fixed on his. Presently the beast appeared to become uneasy, moved his enormous shaggy head from side to side, and at last slunk off to join the herd that were feeding in the distance; and so my friend was saved by his own presence of mind and the power of the human eye."

BATS.

But we have been long enough at the commissioner's dinner-table; so let us go home and to bed. It is ten o'clock, and for the people in the Mofussil that is a very late hour. I have told you what a nuisance the mosquitoes are, and also the white ants. There is another creature from which you are comparatively free in England, and that is the bat. Numbers of all sizes make their nests up above the chats or ceiling-cloths in the bungalows, some not bigger than the humming-bird, others, as I have told you, so large as to deserve the name of flying foxes. Often at night they come into the rooms. One evening, when my wife was going to bed, she found five large bats wheeling round and round in her dressing-room.

On such occasions as this I post myself in one corner of the room, and my chokedar or watchman in another, both armed with long sticks, with which we keep hitting at the bats until we knock them down, and then we throw them out of doors. Often, as they whirl round the room, one will hit himself against the punkah, and fall to the ground. Instantly the mungoose springs upon him, and we hear the bones crushing in his jaws.

One night I was suddenly awakened by something moving and scratching about my head; I raised my hand, and found a large bat clinging to my hair; dreading a snake, I had started up—there was a weight upon my head. I dashed him off, and soon went to sleep again; but he appeared to have taken a fancy to me, and I was again awakened in the same manner; this time, therefore, I got out of bed, knocked the animal down, and killed him. I have several times been roused at night by a great cockroach, three or four inches long, crawling over my lace. The other evening a flight of large maulises came into the parlour, and soon drove us to bed. I have two cobras, which were both killed in my own house; also a tarantula, which I caught in my dressing-room.

To turn to another subject. I have been endeavouring to render society here more friendly and agreeable than it can be at large formal dinner-parties, and I am happy to say it has been followed by some of the most influential, and I trust that the custom may become general. The plan is to invite about eight, and those all friendly and intimate, to a quiet dinner at four o'clock. By the time this is over the sun is getting low; and, instead of sitting for a couple of hours over the wine, we soon follow the ladies into the drawing-room. The carriages come to the door for those who like a drive. Some stroll into the wood with their guns; some talk; and so the time passes for about an hour, when the sudden darkness falls upon us almost without warning. We all reassemble at seven for tea and coffee; then spend a pleasant chatty hour or two, or disperse at about half-past nine, having had more amusement than can be enjoyed at a mere dinner-party.

We are making rather a large flower-garden between the house and the river. The wages to a good gardener are about two pence a-day—to a coolie, or labourer, a penny three farthings. My mollee, or gardener, is a very good one; but I must explain what we mean by a good gardener. It signifies neither more nor less than a good thief. I plan my garden and lay it out, showing the man where the paths are to be, where the beds, and where the lawns. Within a few days after it is laid out I expect to find it tolerably full of flowers and shrubs. Where they come from I do not know: you cannot purchase any such things here. Of course, then, everything must come from the gardens of my neighbours. In England this would be considered, and would in fact be, a very dishonest mode of proceeding; but in India it is the custom.

The mollees have the charge of the gardens, and they mutually supply one another. If after a time I should have anything very choice in my garden, my mollee would give cuttings or small plants of it to any of the other mollees who wished for them, and thus every garden would be improved. A person must be very churlish indeed to interfere with this system of general accommodation, which in the end is equally advantageous to all. The system, however, is liable to abuse, and therefore I do not think I altogether approve of it myself. I was once dining with a young officer, and we had some remarkably fine peas. After praising them, I observed that I did not know he had a garden. "Why, no," he replied, laughing; "but I keep a very good gardener." Now this was decidedly most unjust. This young man would not be at the trouble or expense of a garden himself, but chose to take an unfair advantage of the industry and liberality of others. I was not at all surprised to hear, shortly afterwards, that a court of inquiry had been sitting to examine into the circumstances of a most dishonourable action which he had committed, and for which, if it had not been for the leniency of his commanding officer, he would most probably have been cashiered.

CRUEL TREATMENT OF SERVANTS.

I think I have told you how cruelly some of the people here beat their servants. I was standing with an officer in the porch of his house when I was last at Midnapore, when his syce, or groom, brought his horse to the door. Captain L. turned to me, and said, "I have not given that fellow a thrashing for a long time, and he'll forget what it feels like, and grow lazy." Now the fact was, the man was so attentive and industrious that Captain L. could not possibly find any fault with him. However, he went down the steps, and, on the pretence that the man did not hold his horse properly, gave him several violent blows on the face and head, kicked him three or four times with all his force, and struck him on the back with a two-foot rule with such violence that the man was obliged to have his back plastered and bandaged up: and all this without the slightest fault on the part of the servant.

Much as has been said about slavery, I do not believe that any of the slaves in Jamaica were ever worse treated than are the servants of some of our officers here. The excuse is, that it is impossible to manage the Hindus without the whip; but I never use it, and I am certainly quite as well served by all, excepting two. With these I am going to part, for they have been spoiled by living with a very violent man. I will give you an instance of the punishments I employ.

My sirdar always goes home to his supper at nine o'clock. The other evening, after he was gone, I found that he had neglected to get the night-lamp ready, so I was obliged to do it myself. The following morning, instead of thrashing him, I made no observation whatever on the subject; but at nine o'clock in the evening, when he came to ask whether he might go home, I said, "You did not bring the night-lamp last night; I may want something else that is not ready, so for the next week you will not go till eleven." This was a great punishment to him,and yet it did not degrade either the man or myself as a beating would do. At the same time I fully admit that the natives, by their slowness and inactivity, are sometimes very provoking; but surely that is no excuse to the Christian who gives way to angry feelings.

FOOTNOTES:

[4]Plenty of barley is grown in Bhootan.