Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

13.  ‘Pucka’ (pakka) here means ‘masonry’, as opposed to ‘Kutcha’ (kachcha), meaning ‘earthen’.

14.  Native Christians, according to the census of 1872, number 1,214 persons, who are principally found in Bettia thana [police-circle].  There are two Missions, one at Bettia, and the other at the village of Chuhari, both supported by the Roman Catholic Church.  The former was founded in 1746 by a certain Father Joseph, from Garingano in Italy, who went to Bettia on the invitation of the Maharaja.  The present number of converts is about 1,000 persons.  Being principally descendants of Brahmans, they hold a fair social position; but some of them are extremely poor.  About one-fourth are carpenters, one-tenth blacksmiths, one-tenth servants, the remainder carters.  The Chuhari Mission was founded in 1770 by three Catholic priests, who had been expelled from Nepal [after the Gorkha conquest in 1768].  There are now 283 converts, mostly descendants of Nepalis.  They are all agriculturists, and very poor (Article ‘Champaran District’ in Statistical Account of Bengal, 1877).

The statement in I.G. 1908, s.v.  Bettiah, differs slightly, as follows: 

’A Roman Catholic Mission was established about 1740 by Father Joseph Mary, an Italian missionary of the Capuchin Order, who was passing near Bettiah on his way to Nepal, when he was summoned by Raja Dhruva Shah to attend his daughter, who was dangerously ill.  He succeeded in curing her, and the grateful Raja invited him to stay at Bettiah and gave him a house and ninety acres of land.’  The Bettiah Mission still exists and maintains the Catholic Mission Press, where publications illustrating the history of the Capuchin Missions have been printed.  Father Felix, O.C., is at work on the subject.

CHAPTER 3

Legend of the Nerbudda River.

The legend is that the Nerbudda, which flows west into the Gulf of Cambay, was wooed and won in the usual way by the Son river, which rises from the same tableland of Amarkantak, and flows east into the Ganges and Bay of Bengal.[1] All the previous ceremonies having been performed, the Son [2] came with ‘due pomp and circumstance’ to fetch his bride in the procession called the ‘Barat’, up to which time the bride and bridegroom are supposed never to have seen each other, unless perchance they have met in infancy.  Her Majesty the Nerbudda became exceedingly impatient to know what sort of a personage her destinies were to be linked to, while his Majesty the Son advanced at a slow and stately pace.  At last the Queen sent Johila, the daughter of the barber, to take a close view of him, and to return and make a faithful and particular report of his person.  His Majesty was captivated with the little Johila, the barber’s daughter, at first sight; and she, ‘nothing loath’, yielded to his caresses.  Some say that she actually pretended to be Queen herself; and

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