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William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
lathes in many country towns.  The mills are generally hired out for the season, and kept in repair by the speculator.  The Raja of Nahan or Sirmur in the Panjab, who has a foundry employing six hundred men, does a large business of this kind, and finds it profitable.  Since the first patent was taken out, many improvements in the design have been effected, and the best mills squeeze the cane absolutely dry.  Messrs. Mylne and Thompson have been successful in introducing other improved machinery for the manufacture of sugar in villages.  The Rosa factory near Shahjahanpur in the United Provinces makes sugar on a large scale by European methods.

When the author says that the large canes are sold ‘as a fruit’ he means that the canes are used for eating, or rather sucking like a sugar-stick.  The varieties of sugar-cane are numerous, and the names vary much in different districts.  According to Balfour, the Otaheite (Tahiti) cane is ‘probably Saccharum violaceum’.  The ordinary Indian kinds belong to the species Saccharum officinarum.  The Otaheite cane was introduced into the West Indies about 1794, and came to India from the Mauritius.  It is more suitable for the roller mill than for the indigenous mill, the stems being hard (Cyclopaedia of India, 3rd ed., 1885, s.v.  ’Saccharum’).  In a letter dated December 15, 1844, the author refers to his introduction of the Otaheite cane, and mentions that the Indian Agricultural Society awarded him a gold medal for this service.  The cane was first planted in the Government Botanical Garden at Calcutta.

CHAPTER 29

Interview with the Chiefs of Jhansi—­Disputed Succession.

On the 14th[1] we came on fourteen miles to Jhansi.[2] About five miles from our last ground we crossed the Baitanti river over a bed of syenite.  At this river we mounted our elephant to cross, as the water was waist-deep at the ford.  My wife returned to her palankeen as soon as we had crossed, but our little boy came on with me on the elephant, to meet the grand procession which I knew was approaching to greet us from the city.  The Raja of Jhansi, Ram Chandar Rao, died a few months ago, leaving a young widow and a mother, but no child.[3]

He was a young man of about twenty-eight years of age, timid, but of good capacity, and most amiable disposition.  My duties brought us much into communication; and, though we never met, we had conceived a mutual esteem for each other.  He had been long suffering from an affection of the liver, and had latterly persuaded himself that his mother was practising upon his life, with a view to secure the government to the eldest son of her daughter, which would, she thought, ensure the real power to her for life.  That she wished him dead with this view, I had no doubt; for she had ruled the state for several years up to 1831, during what she was pleased to consider his minority; and

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