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none of the great objects. One day him. 'Oh, yes, there are lots of Niebuhr spoke of Palestrina. What is theorists in the world, oniy too many. I that ?' said the King. * What, your represent den gesunden Menschenverstand Majesty does not know that?' exclaimed (sound common sense).' Delighted at Niebuhr in a tone of astonishment. The this declaration, I raised my eyes and King was extremely annoyed, and turn- saw a face beaming with the most uning round to some one said, “Stuff and doubting self-complacency. He went nonsense ; it's bad enough never to have on to detail certain schemes of his for learnt anything, without having it pro- the good of his country-Oldenburg, as claimed aloud.'
it seemed. My husband began to inter“ Niebuhr's ideas about his own im- rogate him about Oldenburg, and I said portance, and his excessive cowardice all I knew of it was from Justus Möser. were such, said B- that at the time The worthy Rath looked at me amazed, of the Carbonari affairs, he actually and said (this was the first time he ever wrote home to the Prussian Govern- heard Justus Möser mentioned by a ment that the whole of this conspiracy lady. I said so much the worse, there was directed against himself.
is an infinity of good sense in his writ'In the steamer from Mainz to Bonn ings. Yes, but he never expected to was-inter alios-an individual of the hear of his being read by a lady, and genus Rath. He sat opposite to us at that I was evidently the second repredinner on the deck, and first attracted sentative of sound common sense in my attention by the following reply to the world, worthy to be my disciple,' his neighbor, a man who appeared to added he with emphasis.”—Macmillan's entertain the profoundest admiration for Magazine.
EXPERIENCES OF AN INDIAN FAMINE.
RECENT telegrams from India told us large areas, the difficulties of dealing that, in addition to large numbers of with it satisfactorily are immeasurably poor employed on various relief works, increased. Misery is in no degree lesthere was more than a million of penple sened by being wider spread, and all the still receiving charitable relief, and fur- various episodes of suffering are multither that the prospects were still bad in plied to an unlimited extent. Madras.
In 1868–69 many districts of the It is hard to realise the intensity of Central and North-west Provinces misery that is condensed into this brief suffered severely from long-continued report, or to understand what a terrible drought and its after-effects. Fortustate the country must be in before so nately the area thus affected was limitmany thousands have been reduced to ed, so that Government was able in that abject stage of suffering, which has great measure to cope with the enemy and compelled them to seek for help at the ward off many of famine's worst attricharitable hands of Government. butes; still, even when Government
Famine is unfortunately of late years does its utmost, the areas to be suplied no novelty in India, so that many of us, are so vast, and the numbers so unwhose lives are spent there, know from wieldy, that the sufferings of the masses hard experience how awful the calamity cannot but be terrible. In the year now impending over India is; and pos- 1866 to 1868 the Jubbulpore district was sibly a short account of the personal ex- peculiarly unfortunate. In one year the perience of one official, telling what was rainfall was slight, so that but a poor done and suffered a few years ago in crop was gathered; in the next the rainone district, may be useful in showing fall was so heavy that almost all the grain how great the difficulties are that have sown in the rainy season was destroyed; now to be encountered, and what vast in the third year the rains failed altoefforts to save life are necessary.
gether. Where as a rule sixty inches of It must be remembered that this ac- rain fell, in 1868 there were not more count only refers to one district : where than twenty-five. In consequence all the famine, as it now does, spreads over the rice and millet crops-the staple
food of the bulk of the population-fail- part of India is mainly agricultural, and ed entirely : the ground was so hard and it relies for its support and food on the dry that the wheat sown in November crops dependent on the rainfall—that is, never came up at all. Prices rose higher rice, Indian corn, and several kinds of than had ever been known since the millet. On the other hand, the produce famine of 1839, and starvation stared of the cold weather crop-such as wheat, the miserable population in the face. grain, and other varieties of pulses-are
At that time Jubbulpore was much looked to to enable the cultivator to pay more cut off from the world than at his rent, buy plough cattle, and obtain present : now the main line of the Great such luxuries as his means allow. Each Indian Peninsular Railway has its termi- village is as a rule a community in itself: nus in Jubbulpore, where it is met by a it has its head-man, its artificers, village branch of the East Indian Railway from watchman, and herdsman ; in the larger Allahabad. In 1868 the first of these villages there is the school, the police lines was in course of construction, and post, and the village accountant or Putthus not available for the transport of warri. grain. The famine affected the neigh As soon as it was fairly understood boring districts on both sides, though how grave the situation was, every effort not as much as Jubbulpore itself; still was made to meet the difficulty. The little assistance could be obtained from Chief Commissioner of the Provinces them, while in the native states to the gave the district officials authority to act North-Rewah, Punnah, Myhere and to the best of their ability to save life; others—the distress was equally great, he also authorised suspension of the Govand the arrangements for relief not so ernment demand for revenue wherever gocd. In consequence the difficulties such was found to be desirable. He of the officials were very greatly enhanced himself visited the most distressed part by the streams of emigrants which of the district, and after 'inspecting the poured into our relief camps on the first various measures for relief gave permiswhisper of Government aid to the dis- sion to draw on the Government Treastressed being bruited abroad. The East ury for such sums as were found to be India Railway from Allahabad to Jub- absolutely necessary to save life and bulpore was open, but grain was so suffering A commencement was first scarce in the North-west, and prices ran made by converting police posts into so high there, that it hardly paid private centres of relief. This was done very speculators to import by rail. At first early in the year.
When the police the markets were scantily supplied officer on his tour found that the poorer through the local merchants, but as this classes were even then beginning to fail, was the third year of trial, the existing he supplied his subordinates wtih funds stock in the hands of the better classes and directions to succor the distressed of land-owners was soon exhausted, and wherever it laid in their power. The grain had to be imported by rail from village watchmen and the proprietors Patna and other places where fortunately generally were ordered to report at once it was procurable at reasonable prices. to the police, or to district head-quarFrom the terminus at Murwarra, in the ters, the existence of all such distress as absence of carts, it was conveyed to the the village community could not allay various relief centres on pack bullocks, of itself. Schoolmasters and village acwhich fortunately were that year avail. countants were employed in the same able. Inland carriage is always a seri- service; and finally twenty-seven relief ous difficulty in these emergencies, for camps were opened for such poor peoin the rains the roads are quite imprac- ple as had nothing. The Government ticable for wheeled conveyances of any was most liberal: relief works were sort.
opened throughout the localities where The famine was at its 'worst from the distress was most prevalent; and March to July 1869; but pressure had for people who could not work seither begun to be felt as long before as No on account of age, illness, or suffering vember 1868, when it was seen clearly through their privations, huts were set that all the wet crops had failed through apart and attendants to minister to their want of rain. The population of this wants.
The relief works generally consisted consider that their death has been of lengths of road, intended eventually brought about by the hand of God, conto act as feeders to the railway. Where sequently no one is to blame; although there was no room for these the oppor- it is quite possible that a little extra care tunity was taken of all the tanks being or exertion on the part of lookers-on dry, to clean them out thoroughly, and might have saved some at any rate of repair their embankments. The laborers the lives. They have never until rewere paid according to their work-cer- cently seen a Government accept the tain tasks being allotted for men, women, responsibility of its position towards its and children-and payment was made subjects in the matter of famine, after in grain, or where there was a market in the manner of the English, who enforce which supplies could be purchased, in the practice of saving life, where such money. Supplies of cooked food were life can be saved by human agency, kept always ready for such unfortunates without counting the cost. as were brought in too far exhausted to Natives are charitable to a degree: help themselves; and these were not a they give with great liberality, but they few. It constantly happened that men lack the energy to see that their charity and women of good family, ashamed to takes the right direction. Instances are beg, quietly gave themselves up to die, not rare of distress in native states. in preference to coming to ask for relief. The chief considers he has done his To find out these cases was, and always duty liberally if he authorises a remiswill be, a great difficulty in an Indian sion of land revenue; he takes no steps famine. Nominally, the proprietor or to see the remission reaches the unforhead-man of the village is held responsi- tunates for whom it was intended; in ble, and he is expected to keep the consequence often the only gainer is the police, or the nearest Government offi- farmer of the village, who is probably in cial, informed of any such cases; prac- collusion with the revenue official ; the tically, he is often nearly as badly off tenants are forced to pay up the utterhimself as the worst cases in his village, most farthing, and if after that they die and is quite unable to render assistance. of starvation, their death is set down to Much may be done, and is done, by the visitation of God, and the liberality house to house visitation ; but to carry of the chief in remitting his revenue is out thoroughly such visitation over the extolled. It is these peculiarities of enormous areas that have now to be character that cause some of our many dealt with, is a work of vast magnitude difficulties in India. and cost. European officers are not With a district short-handed in the available in sufficient numbers, to say way of Europeans, it was no easy task nothing of the enormous addition to the to organise and see carried out all the cost of relief if Europeans are employed arrangements requisite for the saving of so largely, while low paid natives in sub- the many lives that would otherwise asordinate positions cannot be trusted to suredly have been lost wthout these carry out thoroughly a matter of life and efforts. The country was, however, fordeath of this sort. Not only are natives tunate in having men who devoted themapt to work in a perfunctory manner, selves to the work, not only from a sense but even if they were very carefully of duty, but out of sheer kindness of supervised, they are, I may almost say, heart. Conspicuous among all was an physically incapable of looking at the engineer officer in the employment of matter in the light that we do. Few of the East India, Railway. He, from his them will have sufficient knowledge of long residence among the people, was the anatomy of their fellow-men to ena- thoroughly acquainted with their wants, ble them to judge satisfactorily whether and earned their confidence to a wonthe latter are in a dangerous state of derful degree. He was thus able to renemaciation; neither will they have kind- der the most valuable assistance to the ly feeling towards their fellows in an district officials, who happened at that equal degree to Europeans. Natives time not to have been very long in the look upon an infliction of this terrible district, and consequently were not nature as a direct visitation from Hea- nearly so conversant of the requirements ven; and if men die of starvation, they of the country and people as he was. His was no easy or pleasant work. His their turn, they too would obtain a suphouse was situated in the midst of the ply of food. Gradually, however, the most distressed country. Of his own lesson was learnt, and the camp at Murfree-will he took charge of all the relief warra, though the largest, and crowded camps within a radius of some twenty- with the worst sufferers, used to be the five miles. In this area there were some most orderly in the district. At the fourteen different camps; and after his other end of the camp stood the hospiown morning's work was over, he used tals-one for cholera patients, one for to devote his days to these poor suffer- smallpox; for general ailments, medicine ing people. At his own head-quarters was given out either at the local dispenthe relief camp was perhaps the largest sary, or by a peripatetic dispenser in the in the district. The numbers there va- open air. About a quarter of a mile or ried from 800 to 4000 souls in all stages more from the camp was the burial of emaciation and sickness, for sickness ground, which, alas ! was very full bein all its most terrible forms always fol- fore the famine ended. To this camp a lows famine. His servants died of chol- native doctor was attached; and he used era or smallpox, and his own employers to do his best to attend to the sick in begged him to leave his famine and other places as well, but, scattered as the plague-stricken residence; but he re- relief camps were over the country fused, and remained calmly at his post some miles apart, but little could be until good times came again. His as- done in the way of real medical attendsistance to the district officials was sim- ance to all who required it. The numply invaluable, and it was given out of ber of medical men available was far too pure philanthropy.
limited to admit of a doctor being atA short description of the relief camp tached to each camp. Even if such an over which he presided may be interest- arrangement had been feasible, it is ing. All the camps were more or less doubtful whether the people would have alike, and on the same principles, so that appreciated the boon. They are quite the description of one will do for all. unused to meet medical practitioners, or
On an open plain somewhat cut up men who deserve the name, in the daily with ravines, which all led down to the round of their lives; so that, in these bed of a river, were several rows of huts, sad emergencies, they neither expected roughly constructed of boughs of trees nor cared particularly for any such a and grass : for the sake of order and luxury. Most villagers (have a certain cleanliness these huts were built in knowledge of the medical properties of streets in contiguous order, with clear herbs and barks, and in every village there spaces in front and in rear. At one end is some wise-man who is supposed to stood the store for grain, protected from • understand the art of charming away plunder by a strong barricade of wood, diseases : with these the people are quite and guarded by policemen and chupras- satisfied. They can always fall back sies, who on that occasion were equiva- upon police posts, which are supplied lent to special constables. The entrance with simple medicines and directions for to this store was through a barrier, care- use. Perhaps the greatest difficulties we fully guarded, and the recipient of the had to cope with were the carelessness of dole was taken through the grain store the people as regards infection, and their to where the fire-wood was deposited. utter disregard of all proper sanitary arThere he received his allotted quantity, rangements. Nothing but constant superand was then passed out at the other vision sufficed to keep the camps in anyend, to make his own'arrangements for thing like a wholesome condition, and to cooking and eating. At first there was segregate smallpox patients from their resome difficulty in preventing the starv- latives. Even now the people do not recing crowds falling on those who went in ognise the necessity of keeping sufferers first and robbing them of the grain, which from smallpox apart. Only last year, in was immediately devoured raw. The visiting this very part of the district, my offenders in this way were new-comers duty was to visit the various schools; who were on the verge of starvation, and there. I constantly found children and did not believe that, if they waited covered with confluent smallpox, sitting among their fellows, brought in just to family that had been subsisting on diet swell the complement of pupils at the of this description : it just sufficed to examination.
retain life, but as there was little or no When the first rush of starving poor nourishment in the substance eaten, the to these relief centres was over, they people were walking skeletons. Their were at once drafted to the various re- limbs were nothing but skin and bone, lief works in the neighborhood, and told while the stomach was enormously disoff to task work, each according to his tended; the faces drawn and haggard, physical ability. It was necessary to marked with this blue pipe-clay, gave supply all comers with food charitably them a most ghastly appearance. It was at first, as many came from long dis- when they were found or brought into tances, and were quite exhausted by the relief camps in this state, that the the privations they had suftered on the greatest care was necessary to prevent journey; but as soon as ever they were their over-eating themselves, and dying fit to move they were given employment. of repletion. I was much struck by their willingness Many were the instances of real hero, to work; all the decent agriculturists ism that were seen during that time of preferred working for their bread to re- terrible distress : parents depriving ceiving it in charity, and many used to themselves of their last mouthful to save work on until they dropped, in prefer- their children; sons, hardly able to arence to begging. Of course there were ticulate, begging the relieving officer to many idlers and bad characters, who send help to their people dying at home, took advantage of the opportunity, and before attending to them ; people with did as little as they well could ; but a barely enough to support their own fampercentage of bad characters is a neces- ilies shared that little with the helpless sity on occasions of this sort. The bet- children of their neighbors; children ter classes avoided asking for help until left orphans, or perhaps deserted, were all they possessed was gone, and then taken charge of and cared for by neighresorted to every sort of substance to bors, or even strangers, who little knew stave off the pangs of hunger before ask- but that theirs would be the next turn. ing for relief. The fruit of the Mhowa Of course the picture had its reverse (Bassia latifolia) always, when procur- side, and terrible it was. Little chilable, forms a considerable portion of dren unable to walk alone were deserted ; the food of the poorer population; the aged parents, ill and decrepit, were left flowers and fruit are collected, dried, to die; wives were left by their husbands and mixed with the millet flour com- to starve; and the strong robbed the monly in use, and baked into the un- weak of even their last morsel of bread. leavened cakes of daily use : in 1869. It is a time like this that brings out this crop had almost failed. Another human nature in both its worst and best fruit, the Bér or Zizyphus Jujuba, is also forms; yet one striking feature was the a favorite addition to the simple food fact that there was a far greater inclinaof the people in times of scarcity. tion among the bulk of the people to lie This was scarce; and it was an ordi- down and die in despair, than to turn to nary sight to see the people scattered violence and lawlessness. A grain-dealthroughout the jungles in search of this er's shop was plundered here and there, or any other fruit with which they might but there was nothing like grain riots, or stave off the pangs of hunger. The bark grain robbery on any systematic scale. of the Indian cotton tree (Bombax În the relief camps it was necessary to malabaricum) contains a considerable protect the store houses and to put up quantity of starch : these trees were strong barriers to prevent starving newstripped as high as the people could comers plundering their weaker brethren reach; the bark was boiled down, mixed of their bread; but once settled down with a large portion of pipe-clay, and to work, and the receipt of regular food eaten in quantities; the people being or pay, these poor people were marvelquite careless of the fact of this bark lously orderly and obedient. having strong medicinal properties as It is sad to think of the various stages well. The pipe-clay was said to obviate of misery these sufferers had to wade this effect; but it was terrible to see a through: the story of one man's life at