Evils attending a residence in India.—Frogs.—Flies.—Blains.— Musquitoes.—The White Ant.—The Red Ant.—Their destructive habits.—A Tarantula.—Black Ants.—Locusts.—Superstition of the Natives upon their appearance.—The Tufaun, or Haundhie (tempest).—The rainy season.—Thunder and lightning.—Meteors.— Earthquakes.—A city ruined by them.—Reverence of the Mussulmauns for saints.—Prickly heat.—Cholera Morbus.—Mode of Treatment.—Temperance the best remedy.—Recipe.
A residence in India, productive as it may be (to many) of pecuniary benefits, presents, however, a few inconveniences to Europeans independent of climate,—which, in the absence of more severe trials, frequently become a source of disquiet, until habit has reconciled, or reflection disposed the mind to receive the mixture of evil and good which is the common lot of man in every situation of life. I might moralise on the duty of intelligent beings suffering patiently those trials which human ingenuity cannot avert, even if this world’s happiness were the only advantage to be gained; but when we reflect on the account we have to give hereafter, for every thought, word, or action, I am induced to believe, the well-regulated mind must view with dismay a retrospect of the past murmurings of which it has been guilty. But I must bring into view the trials of patience which our countrymen meet while in India, to those who have neither witnessed nor [Transcriber’s note: illegible] them; many of them present slight, but living, op[Transcriber’s note: illegible] those evils with which the Egyptians were visited for their impiety to Heaven.
Frogs, for instance, harmless as these creatures are in their nature, occasion no slight inconvenience to the inhabitants of India. They enter their house in great numbers and, without much care, would make their way to the beds, as they do to the chambers; the croaking during the rainy season is almost deafening, particularly towards the evening and during the night. Before the morning has well dawned, these creatures creep into every open doorway, and throughout the day secrete themselves under the edges of mattings and carpets, to the annoyance of those who have an antipathy to these unsightly looking creatures.
The myriads of flies which fill the rooms, and try the patience of every observer of nice order in an English establishment, may bear some likeness to the plague which was inflicted on Pharaoh and his people, as a punishment for their hardness of heart. The flies of India have a property not common to those of Europe, but very similar to the green fly of Spain: when bruised, they will raise a blister on the skin, and, I am told, are frequently made use of by medical gentlemen as a substitute for the Spanish fly.