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between his finger and thumb, and scattering it gently before us, dropped it of a red, blue, or yellow colour, as we required; but that which pleased me most was throwing up eight balls into the air, so as to keep them in a ring at equal distances for a considerable time. He perforined a variety of other tricks, in which, being naked from the waist upwards, he could derive no advantage from the concealment of any of his implements in his dress. The small exhibitions being over, the juggler took a round stone, as large as his head, between his heels, and making a spring with it, he threw it to a considerable height, and caught it on his shoulder, whence, by another effort, he threw it and caught it on bis back, and so on, receiving it on his sides, the inner part of his elbow, his wrist, or his stomach. But the most curious, though disgusting sight, was the swallowing the sword, and in this there is no deception, for I handled the weapon both before and after he performed the operation. I should have thought that this exercise would have injured him ; but he is the healthiest-looking native I have seen, well made and proportioned. They begin this trade when very young, the children exercising with short bits of bamboo, which are lengthened as the throat and stomach are able to bear them, -a curious proof of the power of education over the body.
August 10.--I have been much pleased with a visit to the female orphan asylum. It seems adınirably conducted, and the girls neat, and very expert at all kinds of needle-work. It is really gratifying to see so many poor creatures well brought up, and put in the way of gaining a livelihood. There is likewise a male orphan asylum, where the boys are brought up to different trades. If such establishments are wanted anywhere, it is in India, where the numbers of half-cast, and therefore if I may use the expression), half-parented children, exceed what one could imagine. I cannot but think it a cruelty to send children of colour to Europe, where their complexion must subject them to perpetual mortification. Here, being in their own country, and associating with those in the same situation with themselves, they have a better chance of being happy.
"I often see natives of Pondicherry, French converts, going about with boxes of lace and artificial flowers, made chiefly by the ladies of the decayed French families in that settlement. There is something in the gaiety of the French character that communicates itself to all around. I have seen a black man from Pondicherry, handle a lace, a flower, a ribbon, with all the air of a fine gentleman, and in his rags shew more politeness and gallantry, than half our Madras civil servants are possessed of. Besides these French pedlars, there are a set of Mahometans, who go about selling moco stones, petrified tamarind wood, garnet, coral, nock amler, and a variety of other trinkets, and who are, in their way, as amusing as the Frenchmen. The manner of living among the English at Madras has a great deal more of external elegance than at Bombay ; but the same influences operating on the society, I find it neither better nor worse.
• August 18.---I was two evenings ago at a public ball in the pantheon, which contains, besides a ball-room, a very pretty theatre, card-rooms, and virandas. During the cold season there are monthly assemblies, with occasional balls all the year, which are very well conducted. The pantheon is a handsome building; it is used as a free-masons lodge of modern masons, among
whom almost every man in the army and navy who visits Madras enrols himself. The only other public place at Madras is the Mount road, leading from fort George to St. Thomas's mount. It is smooth as a bowling-green, and planted on each side with banian and yellow tulip trees. About five miles from the fort, on this road, stands a cenotaph to the memory of lord Cornwallis. It has cost an immense sum of money, but is not remarkable for good taste: however, I love to see public monuments in any shape to great men. It is the fashion for all the gentlemen and ladies of Madras to repair, in their gayest equipages, to the Mount road, and after driving furiously along, they loiter round and round the cenotaph for an hour, partly for exercise, and partly for the opportunity of Airting and displaying their fine clothes, after which they go home, to meet again every day in the year. But the greatest lounge at Madras is during the visiting
hours, from 9 o'clock till 11, when the young men go from house to house to retail the news, ask commissions to town for the ladies, bring a bauble that has been newly set, or one which the lady has obliquely hinted, at a shopping party the day before, she would willingly purchase, but that her husband does not like her to spend so much, and which she thus obtains from some young man, one quarter of whose monthly salary is probably sacrificed to his gallantry. When all the visitors who have any business are gone to their offices, another troop of idlers appears, still more frivolous than the former, and remains till tiffin, at two o'clock, when the real dinner is eaten, and wines and strong beer from England are freely drank. The ladies then retire, and for the most part undress, and lie down with a novel in their hands, over which they generally sleep. About five o'clock the master of the family returns from his office; the lady dresses herself for the Mount road; returns, dresses, dines, and goes from table to bed, unless there be a ball, when she dresses again, and dances all night ; and this, I assure you, is a fair, very fair account of the usual life of a Madras lady.
* Calcutta, Sept. 8, 1810.----Business of a most distressing nature requiring my presence at Calcutta, I left Madras, on the 26th of August, in his majesty's ship Illustrious, and arrived here so late as to make it impossible to return to Madras before the month of December, as the monsoon is set in on the coast; and I have, moreover, missed the friend to whom I came, so I am here a stranger, and in a manner a prisoner. From the time of my embarking the weather was cloudy and hot. After sailing slowly along the low coast, which was constantly obscured by haze, and passing the Jagernauth pagoda, which stands by itself on a beach of sand, that seems to have no end, the first land we made was point Palmyras, or rather the tops of the trees which give their name to this low sandy cape. On anchoring into Balasore roads, the breakers, and the colour of the water, told us that we were in the neighbourhood of land, though none was visible in any direction. The water looked like thick mud, fitter to walk upon than to sail through. Here we left the ship, and
proceeded in a pilot's schooner. Nothing can be more desolate than the entrance to the Hoogly. To the west, frightful breakers extend as far as the eye can reach, and you are surrounded by sharks and crocodiles; but on the east is a more horrible object, the black low island of Saugor. The very appearance of the dark jungle that covers it is terrific. You see that it must be a nest of serpents, and a den of tigers; but it is worse, it is the yearly scene of human sacrifice, which not all the vigilance of the British government can prevent. The temple is ruined, but the infatuated votaries of Kali plunge into the waves that separate the island from the continent, in the spot where the blood-stained fane once stood, and crowned with flowers and robed in scarlet, singing hymns to the goddess, they devote themselves to destruction; and he who reaches the opposite shore without being devoured by the sacred sharks, becomes a paria, and regards himself as a being detested by the gods. Possessed by this frenzy of superstition, mothers have thrown their infants into the jaws of the sea monsters, and furnished scenes too horrible for description; but the yearly assembly at Saugor is now attended by troops, in order to prevent these horrid practices, so that I believe there are now but few involuntary victims. As we advanced up the river, the breakers disappeared, the jungle grew higher and lighter, and we saw sometimes a pagoda, or a village between the trees. The river was covered with boats of every shape, villas adorned the banks, the scene became enchanting, all cultivated, all busy, and we felt that we were approaching a great capital. On landing, I was struck with the general appearance of grandeur in all the buildings; not that any of them are according to the strict rules of art, but groups of columns, porticoes, domes, and fine gateways, interspersed with trees, and the broad river crowded with shipping, made the whole picture magnificent.
Oct. 22.--The English society of Calcutta, as it is more numerous, affords a greater variety of character, and a greater portion of intellectual refinement, than that of any of the other presidencies. I have met with some persons of both sexes in
this place, whose society reminded me of that we have enjoyed together in Britain, when some of the wisest and best of our countrymen, whose benevolence attracted our affection, as their talents commanded our esteem, loved to relax from their serious occupations in the circle of their friends. Among the few here who know and appreciate these things, the most agreeable speculations are always those that point homeward to that Europe, where the mind of man seems to flourish in preference to any other land. If we look round us here, the passive submission, the apathy, and the degrading superstition of the Hindoos; the more active fanaticism of the mussulmans; the avarice, the prodigality, the ignorance, and the vulgarity of most of the white people, seem to place them all on a level, infinitely below that of the least refined nations of Europe.
• October 25.-- This is the season of festivals; I hear the tomtoms, drums, pipes, and trumpets, in every corner of the town, and I see processions in honour of Kali going to a place two miles off, called Kali Ghaut, where there has long been * a celebrated temple to this goddess, which is now pulled down,
and another more magnificent is to be erected in its place. In all the bazars, at every shop door, wooden figures and human heads, with the neck painted blood-colour, are suspended, referring, I imagine, to the human sacrifices formerly offered to this deity, who was, I believe, the tutelary goddess of Calcutta. Three weeks ago, the festival of Kali, under the name and attributes of Doorga, was celebrated. On this occasion her images, and those of some other divinities, were carried in procession with great pomp, and bathed in the Hoogly, which being a branch of the Ganges, is sacred. The figures were placed under canopies, which were gilt and decked with the most gaudy colours, and carried upon men's beads. Several of these moving temples went together, preceded by musical instruments, banners, and bare-headed Bramins, repeating muntras (forms of prayer). The gods were followed by cars, drawn by oxen or horses, gaily caparisoned, bearing the sacrificial utensils, accompanied by other Bramins, and the procession was closed by an innumerable multitude of people of all casts.