Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

30.  I ought to except Confucius, the great Chinese moralist. [W.  H. S.]

31.  For a brief notice of Sadi (Sa’di) see ante, chapter 12, note 6.  The Gulistan is everywhere used as a text-book in schools where Persian is taught.  The author’s extant correspondence shows that he was fascinated by the charms of Persian poetry, even during the first year of his residence in India.

32.  The work was ‘begun upon’ many years ago, and ’a superstructure of municipal corporations and institutions’ now exists in every part of India.  But ‘the same foundation’ does not exist.  The stout burghers of the mediaeval English and German towns have no Indian equivalents.  The superstructure of the municipal institutions is all that Acts of the Legislature can make it; the difficulty is to find or make a solid foundation.  Still, it was right and necessary to establish municipal institutions in India, and, notwithstanding all weaknesses and defects, they are of considerable value, and are slowly developing.


Declining Fertility of the Soil—­Popular Notion of the Cause.

On the 18th[1] we came on ten miles to Sahar, over a plain of poor soil, carelessly cultivated, and without either manure or irrigation.  Major Godby left us at Govardhan to return to Agra.  He would have gone on with us to Delhi; but having the command of his regiment, and being a zealous officer, he did not like to leave it so long during the exercising season.  We felt much the loss of his society.  He is a man of great observation and practical good sense; has an infinite fund of good humour, and a cheerfulness of temperament that never seems to flag—­a more agreeable companion I have never met.  The villages in these parts are literally crowded with peafowl.  I counted no less than forty-six feeding close by among the houses of one hamlet on the road, all wild, or rather unappropriated, for they seemed on the best possible terms with the inhabitants.  At Sahar our water was drawn from wells eighty feet deep, and this is said to be the ordinary depth from which water is drawn; consequently irrigation is too expensive to be common.  It is confined almost exclusively to small patches of garden cultivation in the vicinity of villages.

On the 14th we came on sixteen miles to Kosi, for the most part over a poor soil badly cultivated, and almost exclusively devoted to autumn crops, of which cotton is the principal.  I lost the road in the morning before daylight,[2] and the trooper, who usually rode with me, had not come up.  I got an old landholder from one of the villages to walk on with me a mile, and put me in the right road.  I asked him what had been the state of the country under the former government of the Jats and Marathas, and was told that the greater part was a wild jungle.  ‘I remember,’ said the old man, ’when you could not have got out of the road hereabouts without

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