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ting depredations upon trade, like its quondam inhabitants, export and import jointly to the value of fourteen millions of dollars annually. The same British capital and enterprise, let it be added, regenerated Batavia
centuries to the productions of European industry, into extensive consumers of British manufactures. It is clear that the agents which are capable of producing such effects
may be safely recommended to the respect
itself, are still its main supports and converted and consideration of every prudent, and enfive millions of Javanese, strangers for two lightened government.”—Singapore Free Press.
ELIGIBLE STATIONS FOR TROOPS.
See rsa is situated in the heart of the Bhuttee country, in the centre of all the noted marts of the N. West and Southern States. About a century ago it belonged, I believe, to the Puttiala Rajah till wrested from him by the warlike Bhuttees under their renowned Chieftain, Jafta Khan, and his Lieutenants, Bhela and Bhugala. Under its native rulers it was the emporium of all the trade with Caubul, Lahore, Multan, Cashmere, Umritsur, Beekanee, Rajpootanah, and Ramghurh, and was inhabited by some of the wealthiest merchants in India, who deserted this famous city on its capture by the Bhuttees. Seersa, when in the height of its power, had 50 pergunnahs under its sway, and was looked upon as an impregnable city by all the Chieftains, who from time to time governed the countries bordering on it. It is now literally a heap of ruins, but still its fortifications shew what it has been. Its once noble outworks have fallen to decay, and its purgunnahs, alas ! have dwindled into a few insignificant villages, whose ryuts find it a hard matter to pay the revenue assessed on them.
As reports are rife that the authorities are about to abolish Hansi as a station for troops, owing to its unhealthiness, I think they could not do better than fix on Seersa for the site of the new cantonments. Its advantages are manifold, I assure you; the water is like new milk, the land, if cultivated, would yield abundant crops of wheat, rice, gram, &c. and materials for building are plentiful. Besides the above considerations, there is one more which certainly demands attention. If Seersa were garrisoned to-morrow, all the influential traders would send their gomastahs the day after, as they would be sure of protection, and the occupation of it would be a great benefit to them. Again, if the villages in Puttiala in the Seersa Ilaqua are ceded to Government, a body of efficient troops will be indispensably necessary to protect such a large tract of country, as well as a Collector and Magistrate, and no place is more favorable than Seersa for this purpose, from its commanding position. It may be objected by some that horses can't live here during the rains, to this I could reply that if the jungle is cleared away not a “dhunkey”
* A species of gnat.
will be seen during the whole of the rainy season. I had all my horses here for two months in the rains, and then sent two to Durbah, 5 coss off, but managed to keep two with me during the whole of the rains, by having a light in the stables during the night.
If a Collector or any other officer, were sent to Seersa, he would at once see why so many villages that might yield thousands of rupees, lie untenanted, and would of course apply the obvious remedy—throw the gagger open to zumeendars from Hegraon, and I then think it would be a hard matter to get an inch of ground for , encampment. This is in general a very healthy zillah, except at the breaking up of the rains, when all the world is sick. The principal ailments prevalent here at that time are fever and guinea worm. My observations, Mr. Editor, are not those of a travaller, who merely passes through a place and ventures to launch out; I have been living in sight of Seersa since June last, and can speak from experience. My information on the history of Seersa is gleaned from the oldest inhabitants in these parts. My only object is to give a subject, which may be the means of eliciting sounder observations from abler correspondents, who may have had better opportunities than myself of inquiring into such matters.
I hear that Agrowah and Jheend have been pointed out as good stations for troops. Jheend, I think, is too far away and but I shall tip you a stave on Agrowah, if this meets publication.—Vox VERI TAtis.
Agrowah is 10 coss from Hissar, N. by W., the only remains now extant are an old gurreh and a pucka tank filled with earth. It takes its name from Raja Agur its founder. There are great number of hills or collections of rubbish in the vicinity, which, together with the gurreh before alluded to, are seen at a distance of six coss. My reasons for supposing the hillocks before mentioned to be heaps of rubbish are these: during my rambles amongst them, I have frequently seen pucka drains and bricks, chunam, &c., and in those places where the road passes close to any of them, it is quite red like pounded brick—but the most conclusive argument for forming such a conjecture, is that some century and a half ago Agrowah was populated by Hindoos; the principal part of whom were Bunnyas, and it is said that there were 100,000 of this class. There chanty was so proverbial that even now and Ugurwalá prides himself upon giving alms and succouring those in distress. It is related of them, that when Agrowah was in the height of its splendour, if a helpless Hindoo of the Bunnya caste came into the city, and stated his grievances, every Bunny a contributed one tucca and 2 bricks, so that he was set up in trade and had materials for a dwelling. The Bunnyas, on the fall of their city, were distributed—some went to Beekaneer and Rajwara—some to the Dooab, some to the Punjaub, and many of the present race in Delhi, Hansi, Hissar, &c., are their descendants.
As a station for troops, Agrowah is decidely inferior to Hansi or Sirsa in a military point of view, and the same may be said of their relative advantages in regard to trade as well as their positions; with reference to the advantages that would result in the fiscal and judicial administration of the country. Its, – Agrowah is, in my humble opinion, situated very badly, both as a place of trade and as a military post, and does not command any tract of country sufficiently. I agree with Vox Veritatis in thinking Sirsa, on the contrary, commands the States of Puttialah, Beekaneer and the whole of Bhuttianah, besides which, a force could be sent at a very short notice from it to Jeypoor, Rajwarah, Bahawulpore on the Sutledge. Sirsa is known to every Sahookar and the only obstacle to their not settling there immediately is the want of a sufficient force to protect them—a regiment of infantry, a Collector and Magistrate and a Custom House at Sirsa, would, I am fully confident, not only confer a lasting benefit on the community in general, but also the Government in a pecuniary point of view. Besides the advantages that would arise from trade, the revenue of Government would be much augmented by the settlement of villages. I can adduce many cases in point, and will do so after concluding my remarks on Agrowah.
A principal objection to Agrowah is the water which is very brackish, and consequently, very unhealthy. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that no benefit would result from the change of posts in one respect, but on the contrary Agrowah would prove detrimental in every season of the year, whereas Hansi is only sickly in the hot season. I was at Agrowah during May, and though inured to privations, could not stomach the brackish stuff the inhabitants of Agrowah call water, but was constrained to send two coss for it. The villages in the vicinity of Agrowah only yield khureef crops: there are none of any note though, but Kalee Rawun and Beroput; the latter, however, is not in a very flourishing state, and I think Cheeken was is superior to it —ecce signum, one is peopled by Bhutties and the other by Bisnoce, Bagrees, the propensities of one are slothfulness and thievery, and of the other industry. Kalee Rawun is a
large populous village, 3 coss west of Agrowah. Karee Kharee, Buddee Kharee, Meerpore, &c., are mere bustees.
You may perhaps, Mr. Editor, ask for proofs. It is very natural to suppose so, I shall therefore proceed to enlighten you a little on that subject, but hope after I have been descanting at some length, you will not with a pish! exclaim “parturiunt montes nascitur ridiculus mus,” you must know then that my duties as a “ . * * * * * * * * * * * * * require me to be here, there and every where. I am therefore able to obtain information. which perhaps many might not succeed in laying hold of, if they lived years in this place; besides I am not one of those consequential fellows who would scorn to ask a poor devil with a tattered blanket a few questions regarding his resources, his manner of cultivating, and so forth, so that when people see I am anxious to obtain information they do not withold it.
The villages in the neighbourhood of Sirsa, at present are in a very deplorable condition owing to the system by which the revenue is assessed, as well as their sole dependance for rice and wheat crops on the periodical rains. The following villages, now lying waste might, if peopled, yield a handsome revenue to Government. Sucha at present assessed at 860 rupees, would, if peopled, pay 12 or 1,500 annually. Kotelee assessed at 910, could easily pay 12 to 1,500 annually, but as a lengthened detail might take up too much of your valuable time, I shall give you an abstract of what each village is capable of paying without oppressing the zemindars.
The above are only a few villages that have come under my own immediate observation, but notwithstanding exclusive of the two villages in farm and Aboodgurh, there is a clear loss to Government of 15,000 annually ; for with the above exception, Government cannot expect to reap any thing from old huts and kharas, among which number those not excluded may be reckoned. It is not, however, to be attributed to the country that the villages are not peopled, for I can assure you, Mr. Editor, that if any of them were farmed to Goojurs, Jats or Bagrees not an inch of ground would be left uncultivated, except the grazing grounds of each village. Look at the vast contrast between the state of the country North of Durbah and that to the South of the same village, and you will find a vast difference. The reason is obvious—the Bagree zemindars are afraid to farm lands in the Bhuttee country, owing to the well-known habits of the inhabitants, for they must, in case of being robbed of their cattle, trudge 40 or 50 coss, dance attendance at the cutcherry, and perhaps come back as wise as they went though poorer in pocket; for a few shiners put into the pockets of the thannader has generally the effect of bringing a Bhuttee out of a scrape. Here again the advantages of Seersa, either as a cantonment or civil station is apparent, for the presence of a British functionary is alone required to check the nefarious practices of the native local officers, but a force is required to curb the turbulent disposition and predatory habits of the Bhuttees, who depend upon the success of their forage for subsistence, and depend more upon chance than their own exertions for flourishing crops. When I have more time, I may perhaps send you further notes.—
Whether it was the contrast of stone built houses to the “mud edifices,” I had all my Indian life been accustomed to, I know not, but I was particularly struck with the general appearance of Sonah on a first view, and I had no cause to change my opinion on a more intimate examination.
It is very pleasantly situated at the foot and at the termination of a line of hills, or rather I should say of an abrupt bend in them, and as I before observed, is built almost exclusively of stone, which the hills produce in superabundance. The site of the town is a light soil, almost sand, and being slightly elevated, is very dry at all seasons.
From the peculiar locality it enjoys, a current of air under almost every circumatance of weather, and it would appear to be more healthy than places in the vicinity. But the lion of the place is a hot spring in the centre of the town. It is said, as all hot springs are, to possess miraculous healing powers, and if we may judge of the truth of this by the practice of the people we must believe it, for it has visitors at all hours, day and night, throughout the year. To the untutored Hindoo, who is willing to acknowledge the presence of the Deity under every circumstance, but more especially in the phenomena of nature, this spring is held in high veneration, and large sums are said to have been contributed, from time to time, for the erection and preservation of the buildings. The immediate spring is closed in with a flat roof, and four approaches with steps, down to the body of collected water, which may be about 15 feet square and 10 deep. The water continually flows out, and is received in a second open reservoir, and from that to a third and a fourth, from which it eventually runs off
waste. In these four reservoirs the various castes perform their ablutions: the higher grades in the enclosed one, and others in succession in the second and third ; the fourth and last being for the very lowest, as chumars, sweepers, &c. The different reservoirs are regularly emptied at stated periods by the combination of the town's people and then well cleaned out and the water appears peculiarly clear at all times. I am unable to say what the temperature of it is, but to a person unaccustomed to a a hot bath, it seems rather painfully warm.
The presence of sulpher is very evident, and is discovered by the smell long before one reaches the enclosure where the spring is. The water is slightly brackish, very wholesome, and in general use by the people of the place.
The hills, immediately above the town, are very abrupt, and the tortuous windings of the passes, with the immense masses of rock, piled in the most beautiful disorder, would appear to most people novel in the extreme. The view from the top of the hill, except to those who have been accustomed to the more lofty and grander Himalayas, is very striking, and in a clear day is very extensive. I know not the height above the surrounding country, but should think it cannot be less than 600 feet. There are several passes but only available to foot passengers; a regular road has long been made, but never upon a proper method until this season. The necessity of a good road up this particular part of the chain of hills, was too evident to escape the notice of the present Magistrate, and knowing as he did the immense value it would be of to all classes, but particularly to the growing trade of the country, he set about it in good earnest, and by means of oblique approaches, has constructed a road, up which the most timid may drive a buggy with perfect security. To effect this, he employed the convicts of the district, and under his able instructions they have outdone McAdam himself. In this case we have an instance of the proper way in which these general depredators should be employed.
Formerly the ascent was by one nearly straight road up, and from the bottom it appeared quite an undertaking to attempt getting a laden cart up it. Now it is accomplished not with comparative, but real ease, and when entirely finished, will influence the route of trade very materially.
Considering the nature and shape of what is called the Goorgoan district, it seems very unaccountable why Sonah was not pitched upon as the Head-quarters. It is more centrical in every way, and as far as my information goes, possesses many advantages over the present station. The dwellers in the low countries towards the Jumna are said to complain loudly of the distance to the Sudder offices, and this deserves the more consideration, when it is remembered, that by far the
greater portion of the district lies between would most certainly be accomplished by
the Jumna and the hills.
changing the Head-Quarters of this immense
I will not longer occupy your attention, district from Goorgoan to Sonah, and at a but will just remark, in conclusion, that “the very trisling expense to Government.—B.greatest happiness to the greatest number” Delhi Gazette.
NOTES ON IND I A N A F FA I R. S.
chARACTER of the PEoPLE, continued—HoNesty, MORALITY.
Dishonesty is another of the vices, the stigma of which has been universally applied to the people of India and yet compared with the common people of England, between whom and the corresponding classes of Indians the contrast is made, I have no hesitation in affirming that in this very quality the latter will shine to the most advantage.
The English residents in India make the comparison as they usually do, only acquainted with one side of the subject, and even with that partially : they judge by their serwants, and pretend to form a comparison with English servants. The first thing which strikes them on their arrival, is the dustooree or per centage” which a servant receives on every thing he purchases, and which, of course, is placed to the account of the master; and the tirades that have been launched forth on the natives on this head have been innumerable. I do not defend the custom, but on the subject in question there could not be a stronger proof of the assertion contained in my preceding number, viz. that scarcely one of the Civil and Military officers who had not been at home since their first arrival in India knew anything of the management of servants in England, or of the domestic economy of a family; or if they are indeed au fait on these points and are yet ignorant of the custom in England which answers to this “dustooree,” I can only say that their experience must have been confined to an extremely limited expenditure and a very small establishment.
In those families where the income is so small that it becomes the duty of the mistress to take the part of an upper servant, to superintend the detail of the kitchen, to go herself to market or to the different shops, and to pay for every thing with her own hands, I grant that no perquisites are or can well be made by the servants: but it is quite different in families who are in easy circumstances, and where these things are left to the housekeeper or the cook; these servants receive a gratuity, in some way or other, more or less, according to the expenditure from every tradesman who supplies any thing required in their depart
* The sum usually paid to the servant is two pice in the rupee; equal to a little more than three per cent. It is sometimes higher,
ment. It is not paid in a per centage, as in this country, but usually in some present of money, clothes &c., at Christmas, for what is called the “custom” or “good will of the house.” No tradesman who consulted his own interest would venture to refuse this. If the butcher, the fishmonger, the green grocer, or others were to do so, the meat, fish, or vegetables would be sent to table in a state scarcely fit to be eaten, and the blame would be laid by the cook on the tradesman, for supplying bad articles. Even if the master were acquainted with the real state of the case and wished to put a stop to these perquisites, and not to change his tradesmen, unless he or his wife would act as is abovementioned, in families where the strictest economy is necessary he could not do it: he might discharge his cook or housekeeper ; but the next he engaged would do just the same in order to retain their perquisites ; and unless the tradesman continued to secure the good will of these servants, they would certainly in the end, lose the custom of the family; because the master for his own sake would be obliged to employ others who were upon better terms with his servants upon whose good or civil offices so much of the comfort of domestic life in England depends.
In this country the superintendents of a sactory or mercantile concern, the foreman of a work-shop, or the upper servants in a family, enjoy perquisites, which do not exist in England: they usually receive a month's pay from every one for whom they procure service in the establishment. This is owing to two causes : first, that the lower classes of the natives of India are infinitely more honest than the corresponding ranks in England, which induces ten times, the precaution in hiring a servant there to what is necessary here; and secondly. the “grandee” system on which the English in India have usually moulded their conduct, which prevents one condescending to speak to a native, except to two or three head men or favourite attendants. Consequently, they usually recommend servants or workmen when they are wanted, and receive their perquisites accordingly. Several discussions have lately taken place upon the roguery of those natives who act in this way, upon whom the whole of the blame, of course, is laid, and on the best means of putting a stop to it—the remedy is very simple: we have only to lay aside a litt the of our indolence and silly pride. If the proprietor of a ship-building or manufacturing establishment wished to hire twenty or thirty additional work-men, instead of only telling his head native, he should intimate the same to all the workmen then in his employ ; most of them have relations and friends who want work; the news would be spread in the evening half over the town; and by the next morning probably, fifty or sixty would be waiting at the gate: let him go himself and make his own selection.
So with a private servant; if the master would inform all his servants of what he required, he would, probably, next day find half a-dozen or more in attendance: let him call them in, and make his own choice: after this practice had become general, those in search of employment would soon perceive that it rested with the master alone : and that no person belonging to the establishment possessed any influence in the matter: consequently all payments for the procuring a situation would speedily cease as men are seldom found willing to give money for any thing which they can obtain as well without it. It may be mentioned in further elucidation of the assertion, that we are much more to blame than our upper servants and that most of the civilians adopt such a magnificent style, that no native can ever gain access to them without giving a douceur to the servants. Some attempt to excuse this indolence and affectation when told of it, by contradicting it; others by asserting that it is impossible to prevent it: by men of their stamp it may be impossible, but not by such as are really acquainted with the customs of the people and will exercise a little trouble and vigilance. I have known men to whom the arrival of any native who wished to speak to them was immediately reported, and to whose servants not one farthing was ever paid. I grant that even in England noblemen and gentlemen who dislike business or are much occupied with their own pleasure sometimes allow the abuses above described to prevais in their establishments, and that the favourite valet or groom, is often the instrument of approach, through the same means, a douceur; but no one who really does his duty to his dependents, or wishes to secure their respect, would allow of such things; and indeed, where they do exist little honour or credit usually attaches to the house, since dependents are proverbiably alive to the characters and conduct of their superiors, and can hardly hold men in high estimation who are governed by those whom they despise as their own inferiors. In England when a person applies for service, he is called up before the master: a hundred questions are asked him, and references required and made ; not only to his last master, but often to two or three of those in whose service he has previously lived: and notwithstanding all these precautions people are in constant dread of being robbed by their servants, and very few robberies take
place in which the servants or work people connected with a house are not in some degree concerned. The first thing that is dinned into a man's ears when he returns from India, especially in London (for in the country there is often a better state of things) and visits his relations is—“Don’t leave any of your things about, keep every thing under lock and key; throw no temptations in the way of servants, I will not answer for their honesty, &c.
How different is it in India . Here we generally entertain the first man that offers himself provided he appear Smart and intelligent; no question is asked as to character, further than the written one, which if he have not of his own, he can purchase for a few pence.” Scarcely ever does the master ask his name, still less make any inquiry as to his family, his residence, &c.—his home may be five hundred miles off; yet to a servant who is hired in this careless way, who is called a head bearer and receives seven rupees a month (£7 a-year) are frequently instrusted clothes, plate, and other valuables to the amount of several thousand rupees, besides very often several hundred or a thousand rupees, in cash. By far the greater number of Englishmen hire their servants with the same neglect of inquiry and indifference as to characters, and we constantly leave watches, jewels, trinkets and other valuables lying about our rooms through which fifteen or twenty servants are constantly passing and repassing, so that it would be almost impossible to fix upon or even suspect the guilty individual. Yet how rare is it for a man to be robbed by his servants in India. What would be the consequence of hiring six or eight or more servants in England with a similar want of precaution 2 In the first place the master would be deemed insane, and before a month were passed he would be eased of one half of his property.
If, however, it be conceded that Indian servants display a higher degree of honesty in matters of importance, great complaints are made of their petty pilferings ; here again we are not aware that such things go on in every country, and probably much more in England than in India from the circumstance of their greater capability of being turned to account. The kitchen servants, those attached to the farm-yard or dairy, the gardener, all as a matter of course have their regular pilferings: there is rarely to be found a butler who is allowed charge of the wine who does not drink his wine after dinner as regularly as his master. The fact is that the scale of the morality of the lower classes in all countries is formed on a curious model; the very same servants who would scorn the idea of stealing any thing of value, look upon these petty pilferings as a sort of perquisite to which they are entitled. I am convinced that the Natives of India are in this respect by no means so bad as the servants at home,
* In consequence of the constant fluctuation among the English population, a personal reference is usually impossibie ; and # is the practice to give servants who are discharged written characters. These are constantly forged, the name of the person whose
writing it purports to be, being of course that of some one who is either dead, or has returned to England.