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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.

9. ‘pakka’ here means ‘burned in a kiln’, as distinguished from ’sun-dried’.

10.  The ‘bigha’ is the unit of superficial land measure, varying, but often taken as five-eighths of an acre.  The ‘jarib’ is a smaller measure.

11.  The rules now in force require assessing officers to make allowance for permanent improvements, such as the well described in the text, so as to give the fair benefit of the improvement to the maker.  In the early settlements this important matter was commonly neglected.

12.  Tolerable bullocks, fit for use at the well and in the plough, would now cost much more.  This conversation appears to have taken place in the year 1839, The famine alluded to is that of 1837-8.

13.  This conversation gives a very vivid and truthful picture of rural life in Northern India.  Most revenue officers have held similar conversations with rustics, but the author is almost the only writer on Indian affairs who has perceived that exact notes of casual chats in the fields would be found interesting and valuable.

14.  The early settlements were made for short terms.

15.  The certificate would not be of much avail in a civil court.

16.  The Aligarh district is now irrigated by canals.

17.  This is the lender’s view of his business; the borrowers might have a different story.

CHAPTER 62

Public Spirit of the Hindoos—­Tree Cultivation and Suggestions for extending it.

I may here be permitted to introduce as something germane to the matter of the foregoing chapter a recollection of Jubbulpore, although we are now far past that locality.

My tents are pitched where they have often been before, on the verge of a very large and beautiful tank in a fine grove of mango-trees, and close to a handsome temple.  There are more handsome temples and buildings for accommodation on the other side of the tank, but they are gone sadly out of repair.  The bank all round this noble tank is beautifully ornamented by fine banyan and pipal trees, between which and the water’s edge intervene numerous clusters of the graceful bamboo.  These works were formed about eighty years ago by a respectable agricultural capitalist who resided at this place, and died about twenty years after they were completed.  No relation of his can now be found in the district, and not one in a thousand of those who drink of the water or eat of the fruit knows to whom he is indebted.  There are round the place some beautiful ‘baolis’, or large wells with flights of stone steps from the top to the water’s edge, imbedded in clusters of beautiful trees.  They were formed about the same time for the use of the public by men whose grandchildren have descended to the grade of cultivators of the soil, or belted attendants upon the present native collectors, without the means of repairing any of the injury which time is inflicting upon these magnificent works.  Three or four young pipal-trees have begun to spread their delicate branches and pale green leaves rustling in the breeze from the dome of this fine temple; which these infant Herculeses hold in their deadly grasp and doom to inevitable destruction.  Pigeons deposit the seeds of the pipal-tree, on which they chiefly feed, in the crevices of buildings.

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