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a party of dancing-boys, dressed up as girls, whose whole repertory of songs seemed to be two, and those not complete.
The natives of India are essentially a grave and dull people, whose one thought by day and dream by night is money. Stop and listen to the conversation of any group of men you may see on the road, and it is ten chances to one that they are speaking of rupees and pice, or, if not, that they are talking of some suit pending in a civil or criminal court. More litigious than a lawyer's clerk, a native here probably thinks more of money than a German Jew, and yet he is not exactly avaricious. India is the paradise of poor relations. As long as they have a wealthy fifteenth cousin, they need never want; and relatives are in general extremely kind and generous to each other.
It is common to hear a native reckoning up the number of eaters, as he calls them, that he has to keep, or, as we should say, the number of mouths that he has to fill. One of our better domestic servants will often have ten or a dozen upon his hands. “ There is my mother-in-law,” he will say, "and my wife's aunt's husband, and his grandson, and my old mother's sister, besides my own children and wife ;” and he will share his last rupees amongst them. The Hindustanees are not singular in their eagerness to make money and be rich, but they do, as a nation, seem singular in their complete inability to enjoy themselves by the way. Again, when they are rich, or when a son succeeds to his father's painfully earned wealth, though he is almost certain to squander it, yet he does not squander it in what we should call amusements. He does not race, he does not hunt, he does not drink-as a general rule, he does not even gamble ; but he spends great sums in pure pomp and show, keeps a large body of retainers only to look at, and horses for the same purpose. He will involve himself to any amount for a gaudy and gorgeous marriage procession and feast, to pay for which he borrows from the mahájins, or native bankers; and, once he has done this, his fate is sealed; he will never recover himself, and his descendants will probably become the seryants of the banker who negotiated him his first loan.
But let us come back to our fair. Here come a lot of men bringing along a pickpocket in triumph, caught red-handed. I try him in the afternoon. His line of defence is worth mentioning, to show the ingenuity and audacity of a native's lies. A European thus caught en' aŭtw pwpo would probably confess, and throw himself on the mercy of the court. Not so our friend the Indian pickpocket. Though he has never seen them before in his life, yet he calls to Heaven to witness with solemn asseverations that the prosecutor and his witnesses are, each and all of them, his ancestral enemies, and have brought a false charge against him to get him into trouble. He declares that the prosecutor bears him a grudge, because he (prisoner) once refused to give false evidence on his behalf; that one of the witnesses had quarrelled with his grandfather about the rent of a paddy-field; that another swore he would have his life because he would not give him his sister in marriage, &c. &c. I ask him if he has any witnesses. Oh yes; and he names a string of his own relations, who are quite prepared to prove all this. He is, however, summarily convicted, and flogged in the evening, to the satisfaction of a large crowd, and the particular delight of the women, who always make a point of attending a flogging.
A good example of the shameless lying of the Hindus came before
me the other day. I was trying some petty case, and, being aware that the prosecutor had brought another complaint, the hearing of which was fixed for a different day, I took the precaution to ask the witnesses then before me if they knew anything about the other case. Oh no! They knew nothing of that charge; they were not there at the time.
Three days afterwards the other case came on, and the principal witness was a man who gave evidence in the former case, a fine, honestlooking Rajput, Lotan Singh by name. I said nothing, but let him tell his story, and a circumstantial, congruent, and detailed account he gave.
I then turned round upon him, and asked if he had not himself told me, three days previously, that he knew nothing about this matter, which he had just given me full details of as an eye-witness.
He was confused, and at first inclined to deny it, but on my reading to him his former deposition, he confessed that his first statement was quite true, and that he really did know nothing about the circumstances he was swearing to. He said that his master had told him to give evidence, and so, of course, he took the oath, and perjured himself to order.
This little incident, which happened in my own court, may give people in England some idea of the difficulty that a conscientious magistrate, who, it must be remembered, is judge of facts as well as of law, has in satisfying himself which party to a suit has any truth on his side, and how much truth.
One only general rule for such cases I know, and that is, that when a native most solemnly protests that he is telling the naked truth, it is then most certain that he is telling a lie.
Patiently threading our way through the crush, let us look a little at the folks who compose Here comes a splendid old man. His snowwhite beard, his large turban of delicate muslin, and some peculiarities of dress, show any one who knows the people at all that he is a Mussul
He is six feet high, if he is an inch, well built withal, and as upright as a dart, with short, straight nose, fine black eyes, and bushy eyebrows; and altogether as handsome an old fellow as you would see in any country. His dress is very effective. A long cashmere chapkan of cream-coloured broadcloth combines admirably with his dark blue shawl, thrown loosely over his shoulders, and drooping in well-arranged folds over his left arm. He carries, like everybody else about here, a long and heavy stick in his hand, and has a sword at his side. The hilt of this he offers me to touch as his salutation, showing that he has been in the army, where he was probably a native commissioned officer in an irregular cavalry regiment. He is most likely a Pathan, with a grandsounding name.
But there are many as fine men quite as he. Here comes a portly Hindu zamindar, a high-caste Brahman (it is a great though common mistake to suppose that all Brahmans are priests—not one ten-thousandth
* The Mahommedan names are all of them significant, and very beautiful. The name of the present Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Ayiz, means the Slave of the Dear One (God); Subhan Ullah, the Praise of God; Inayat Ali Khàn, the Good Gift of Ali; Marahmat Hussain, the Bounty of Hussain ; Amin ud Din, the Believer in the Faith; Fateh Ullah, the Victory of God; Nur ud Din, the Light of the Faith, &c. &c. We must admit the religious feeling of a people who habitually call their children by such names as these.
part of them are), about as tall as the Mahommedan, and twice as fat. He is dressed in pure white from head to foot, with one of those ugly made-up stiff turbans on his head which it is customary to depict all natives as wearing
Here, again, are half a dozen koiris, the most industrious agriculturists in India. The work done by those poor fellows might well make us English hesitate before we apply to all Hindustanees the sweeping epithet of “lazy." Before daylight they are in their fields, drawing water from the wells they have dug for irrigating the parched and sandy soil; weeding, ploughing, sowing, or reaping, till eight P.M. or so. Then, instead of going home comfortably to bed, they sit up the whole night through to prevent the fruit of the labours of the day being carried off by thievish beasts, or more thievish men, in the darkness !
It is well known that no landholder would let one of them have a patch of ground on such cheap terms as he would a man of a different stock, because he feels convinced that the poor koiri, by his hard work and perseverance, will make the land yield a better crop than any one else would, and he is mulcted for his good qualities accordingly. All round the central space on which the booths are placed are shady groves of mango and tamarind trees, where the visitors have settled down. It is worth looking a short time to see how exceedingly simple the people's family and domestic arrangements are for a few days' outing. The climate is such that no shelter better than the overshadowing branches of a tree is required. Privacy they do not care about, and a little piece of string supported on twigs, enclosing a dozen square feet or so, marks off their lares et penates for the time being. Each member of the family takes with him the rice, flour, and spices for his day's consumption, done up in a corner of his dress; and the youngest carries the one large earthen pot, value three farthings, which cooks the family dinner. For plates, the people ingeniously pin together leaves with thorns, and make capital dishes out of them. The elaborate accessories of cleanliness, which the Englishman cannot do without these people entirely dispense with. The men wash themselves by pouring water over their bodies at the nearest well; the women, I regret to say, do not wash at all, and they are always less particular as to cleanliness in India than the male sex, if indeed this be not the case all over the world, as I am rather inclined to believe it is. With impediments so light as this, a native Indian army ought to be the most handy and quick-moving force in the world. That it is not so, shows bad management somewhere. The natives themselves call their lower orders Khāna badosh-i.e. like the snail, they have their house on their backs. Of course, all the visitors to the fair do not come in this unencumbered way, and if they did, half the picturesqueness of the scene
Bright-coloured tents, guarded by gaudily-dressed retainers, glance in the sun in every direction. Horses with velvet caparisons and gold-embroidered head-stalls struggle to snap their heel-ropes and get at each other, and a pretty scrimmage periodically takes place about every halfhour, when one of them succeeds in breaking loose. Elephants look philosophically on out of the corners of their small sagacious eyes, appearing merely to accept their life of servitude because, after a mature consideration of the question, they are of opinion that it is more con
would be gone.
ducive to the nonchalance that becomes an animal of weight to take things as they are than to make a disturbance about it. An elephant is eminently a judicial creature. He never does anything without due deliberation, and looking on both sides of the subject; you won't find him, even in so small a matter as the breaking off the bough of a tree to whisk away the flies, taking the nearest one merely because it is the nearest. After due reflection, he selects the branch which seems the best, breaks it off in a methodical manner, and applies it to the purpose for which he intended it, and as long as he remains in that place he will use that identical branch and no other, thereby offering a laudable protest against vacillation and want of steady purpose.
That ugly, cross-grained, ill-conditioned, ungainly, useful brute, the camel, is also in considerable force; and bullocks there are, innumerable, of all sizes and values, from the sleek handsome pair for the native lady's covered cart, which cost ten or eleven pounds each, to the ill-used bullock of the wandering pedlar, which he picked up for eight or ten shillings. Babies and children, naked as they were born, sprawl about the ground and roll over under the hoofs of the horses and bullocks apparently with perfect impunity, for they never seem to get lost or to come to grief
. How their bare bodies and legs can stand the broiling heat of this sun is incomprehensible to a European, who feels his brains fast becoming addled, in spite of his great pith hat and his umbrella; for the thermometer is 103 deg. in the shade, and goodness knows what in the
Of course the great heat affects in some degree the constitution and temperament of
every one, and it is no doubt the principal cause of that listlessness and fatalism which are conspicuous in the native character. One night I was awoke by a fire breaking out in the centre of the bazaar. I snatched up a few clothes and rushed to the place, and found exactly three men feebly doing what they thought best to put out the fire, and at least three thousand sitting by looking on, without ever offering to lend a hand. My own servants and myself soon routed out the police, and by pulling down inflammable materials in the neighbourhood, and making a circle of wet stuff round the place, succeeded in stopping the flames, but it was a touch and
thousand rupees' worth of property should be destroyed or not, and no one would have stirred a finger until the booth next to his own had caught fire. But then they had never heard of Ucalegon.
The religious tolerance of the natives of India is much greater than people in England are apt to suppose. No objection was offered to my entering the Hindu shrine whilst sacrifices were going on, and a Mahommedan head-constable kept guard there as a matter of course.
One word I wish to add about the two great religions of India, and the part taken by the professors of each in the mutiny of 1857, before I say good-bye to the fair and this article.
Many writers who ought to know better, both at home and out here in India, have fallen into a way of saying and thinking that the tragedy of 1857 was a rebellion of the Mussulmans of India against our rule, and of arguing that, so long as we keep a tight hand over the Mahommedans, it does not matter what we do with the Hindus. This is a great mistake.
The mutiny was a mutiny of soldiers, and nothing more. Had it been more, we should have been cleared off from every inch of Indian soil in a month. In the army that mutinied, the Hindus were to the Mussulmans about as three to one. Again, who was the prominent villain in 1857? Who wrought the foul deed at Cawnpore that made England shudder and put forth her strength? Nana Sahib, a Hindu. Who was the bravest man and the best general opposed to us in the mutiny ? Koer Singh, a Hindu. Who resisted our arms the longest, and gave our commanders the greatest trouble? Tantia Topee, a Hindu.
If our rulers think that our sole danger in India is the religion of the Prophet of Islam, and that in any future troubles they can rely upon the Hindus, they might do well to recollect these facts.
T. W. G.
CHARLEMAGNE AND THE BISHOP.
BY WILLIAM JONES.
CHARLEMAGNE was a prince who was true to his word,
Ho, sirrahs !” the prelate in anger exclaim’d,
, “You shall have a good steed;