Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER IV.

INTRODUCTION AND RECEPTION AT THE EAST

INDIA HOUSE.

SHORTLY after our arrival in England, we were taken by our friend, Mr. George Forbes, to the East India House in Leadenhall Street, and we had the honor of being introduced to the then Chairman of the Honorable East India Company, Sir James Law Lushington, and the Deputy Chairman, Richard Jenkins, Esq. (now Sir Richard Jenkins). We were received with great condescension by them, and were assured of our receiving every encouragement during the prosecution of our studies in Great Britain.

We were very much struck with the appearance of the India House, and we could not help remarking how much of the future happiness or the misery of the countless millions of India depended on the transactions carried on within the walls of this building, and as we thought that our countrymen would like to know something about this celebrated place, we have, in another part of this little work, annexed a brief account of it, as well

as the origin and the history of the Company, which we hope will prove acceptable.

We subsequently waited upon several members of the Honorable Court of Directors, and their worthy Secretary, James Cosmo Melvill, Esq., and J. C. Mason, Esq. (Marine Branch), from all of whom we met with the kindest reception, and subsequently experienced many favors, which we have acknowledged in our preface.

We had brought a letter from one of our native friends, to our present worthy governor, Sir James Rivett Carnac, Bart., and it would be impossible for us to express our gratitude in terms strong enough for the numerous favors conferred on us by that excellent and worthy personage. We had the high honor of being introduced to the Right Honorable Earl of Minto, First Lord of the Admiralty, the Right Honorable Lord Glenelg, the then Colonial Secretary, Sir John Barrow, Bart., Secretary to the Admiralty, and Sir William Symonds, Surveyor of Her Majesty's Navy, by the means of letters which Sir James honored us with, and the reception and civility we met with from these noblemen and gentlemen, far exceeded all our expectations. We hailed his Excellency's appointment (which very shortly took place), as Governor of Bombay, with much pleasure and satisfaction, as we knew the regard he had for the natives of India : and on our waiting upon His Excellency a few weeks before his departure, he most kindly and condescendingly expressed a desire for us to come from Egham to pay our respects just before he left England. We did not fail to do so; and on our taking leave, we sincerely prayed to our God for health and happiness to himself and his family, and we deeply regret the indifferent accounts, that have reached us since his Excellency's arrival at Bombay, concerning his health, but trust that Providence will, ere long, restore him to strength and vigor, and that he may long enjoy all the blessings in this world.

The anxiety His Excellency evinced for our improvement was very great; it was now three months since we had commenced our studies, and had made a little progress in them, with which His Excellency was much pleased, and suggested the propriety of sending out the book we had written to our friends, in order that they may know what we have been doing, at the same time he condescendingly undertook to take them out and deliver them to our friends at Bombay. This we considered a very great favor, and we very much admired the affability and kindness with which His Excellency treated us, who were so much inferior to himself in station of life, rank, and fortune; but we concluded that it is by good behaviour that one secures kindness and esteem of great men in England, and not by wealth and fortune. We also had the honor of being introduced to one of the Misses Carnac.

We beg the indulgence of our readers for occupying so much of their time in enumerating all we have said, but we feel that we should be wanting in gratitude did we not inform our countrymen of the attention we met with in England, in order that they may be actuated to visit the country for the purpose of educating and enlightening themselves, and that by their seeing the wonderful progress the English have made in the arts and sciences, they may excite the energy of their fellow-brethren in India, and impress them the more with the great importance of knowledge, and of which we are so much in need.

CHAPTER V.

PUBLIC CONVEYANCES AND BRIDGES.

One of the first things that struck us with astonishment was the immense number of carriages of different descriptions, that are to be made use of in London for conveyance of passengers from one part to another, and the largest, which are called Omnibusses, first claim our attention; a carriage of this description is in the possession of Framjee Cowasjee, Esq., at Bombay, which, we believe, he ordered to be made in England, for his own use, a few years ago. Where they all come from, where they are going, where the people could be found to fill them; how the owners, drivers, and conductors were to be paid seemed a mystery to us, and we diligently sought for information upon this subject. We hear that nearly seven hundred are running in all directions every day; and as some of them perform their journeys four times each day, they pass a given spot each day eight times, thus making above five thousand trips a-day. They cost from £100 to £140 each, and are so constructed as to carrytwelve or fourteen

« PreviousContinue »