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of the buggy with his feet resting on the step, and was apparently well satisfied with his position.
For two or three miles, after passing Chowringhee, where Julian Jenks had picked up his companion, the road seemed to the young gentlemen to lie through a bazaar, as densely populated, though not quite so confined, as that which they had visited a few days before. At first the streets were tolerably broad, and were skirted with houses of considerable dimensions, that had doubtless at one period been vastly comfortable abodes, but which now appeared somewhat out of repair. A great number of these houses were punch-houses or taverns, as was sufficiently indicated by the large staring boards appended to them, or the coloured flags waving over their portals; whilst others were houses of a still worse character, sinks of infamy of the vilest description. Along the streets were to be seen tottering onward, sailors, intoxicated even at that early hour, or unsteady from the last night's debauchlow Portuguese and East Indians, male and female -numberless natives “ of sorts,” Hindoos, Mahommedans, Chinamen, Arabs, and here and there, though at rare intervals, the flat face of the Mhug. Passing onward, the streets became narrower and the houses at their sides smaller-long rows of native shops now appeared, all open in the front to the street, and displaying their contents, which were for the most part of a scanty and one-sorted description, to the view of the passer by. Peregrine could not but admire the way in which they seemed to abstain from infringing on one another's conventional privileges, for there were no miscellaneous stores to be seen. Trade amongst them wore a multiform aspect, and dispersed itself thinly over a wide surface, for one man had nothing but brass pots in his shop, whilst another had nothing but earthen ones, a third sold turbans and nothing else, a fourth skull-caps, a fifth looking-glasses, and so on. The earnings of each man must have been small, but then they all earned something—there were no monopolies amongst them, and they all looked contented, and whether from principle, from prejudice, or from indolence we know not, but they seemed to respect one another's rights, and without knowing any thing about it, to have hit upon the true source of national prosperity. · Mingled with these shops every here and there, a few paces withdrawn from the road, were some spacious but dilapidated edifices, principally of red brick, which, with their extensive porticoes and lofty columns, called to mind an age of by-gone magnificence, when Chowringhee and Garden Reach were not. In front of the shops and by the side of the aqueducts, which in some places ran along the road, were to be seen natives, men, women, and children, washing their limbs and their long black locks, which, unconfined, streamed over their shoulders ; sitting on their haunches at the thresholds of their houses were others, submitting
to the operations of the barber, or disentangling one another's wet hair, before twisting it up in the seemly knot behind, which gives to men such a womanlike aspect; whilst walking slowly along the street and staring wildly around, were some men, almost naked from head to foot, who, with their smeared and painted faces, and their loamed hair, to our friends, who had never before seen a Sunyasse, looked like denizens of another and a lower sphere, roaming abroad on a terrestrial visit. Altogether the scene was novel and interesting; and in spite of the difficulty of getting along through so densely populated a locality, Peregrine Pultuney and Julian Jenks were really sorry when they found themselves on a clear road, where carhanchies* and hackeries were almost the only things in their way.
The latter half of the journey to Dum-Dum was performed in less than half an hour, which our hero spent very profitably in swearing at the road and making his observation on the quantity of water, that seemed to have fallen on the country adjacent to it. There can scarcely be a more unpicturesque three miles than those three last on the route to Dum Dum; so it must be acknowledged that it is an admirable arrangement of the executive engineer's, which provides for the wants of the passenger so admirably, by giving him, in the absence of all other subjects of conversation, a never-failing one in the badness
* Native carriages drawn by bullocks.
of the roads. What are people to do in an unpicturesque country, if they have no holes and ruts to swear at by the way?
But our friends, by a marvellous piece of good fortune, reached Dum Dum without breaking their buggy springs. Now Dum-Dum is a place not at all like Woolwich ; for Woolwich is built on a hill, and Dum-Dum is certainly not-for though Mr. Croley has apostrophized the mountains of Bengal,* it is very certain that there are none in the province, and more certain still that there are none near DumDum—for where that place is not surrounded by a salt-water lake, it is surrounded by jungles and paddy fields; and has been especially selected as the head-quarters of the artillery, because it is the dampest place in India, and therefore considered eminently adapted to the purpose of carrying on experiments in gunpowder; and, moreover, on account of its morning fogs, a very fitting place for practising, at a long range, against invisible targets. It has other advantages besides this—it is a “halfbatta station,”t and, as such, it is an admirable school of economy, and just the place of all others, to teach a young officer, on his first arrival in the country, by his own painful experience, the misery of being in debt. * "How glorious are thy mountains, proud Bengal!"
Angel of the World. † Officers at the Presidency, and near the Presidency, are alo lowed less pay than those at a distance, because living is so much dearer.
We do not undertake to say, that these were the observations, which Supernumerary Second-lieutenant Peregrine Pultuney made upon first entering Dum Dum, for the fact is, that he observed little more than there were a number of broad overflowing moats, running alongside of the roads, several very black, weather-stained houses, and an inclosed plain, somewhat under water, which he predicted would make, in the dry weather, an excellent cricket ground. He had scarcely time to extend his reflections, before, aided by certain inquiries made by Peer Khan, he had discovered the locality of Mr. Clay's bungalow, and entered that gentleman's compound.
Mr. Clay was reading the newspaper, at full length on a couch, when the young gentleman entered the room, which struck Peregrine as being a much more habitable apartment than he had, from his uncle's description, expected to find in a subaltern's bungalow; and after having shaken hands with Mr. Clay, and introduced Julian Jenks, he incontinently expressed himself to that effect.
“ You have got a very nice house,” observed Peregrine.
“ Pretty well,” returned the lieutenant ; " but you seem surprised at the circumstance-why should I not have a nice house?”
“ Upon my word, I don't know," replied Peregrine, “ except that my uncle says a lady's chit, a governor-general's head, and a subaltern's bungalow, are the three emptiest things in the world."