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SIR CHARLES FORBES, BART., &c. &c.
During our residence of two years and a half in Great Britain, we have, from the day of our landing up to the present time, received innumerable acts of kindness, attention, and friendship from you. Your valuable advice upon all occasions has proved of the greatest advantage to us, and the interest and anxiety you have evinced for our welfare, has far exceeded our most sanguine expectations.
Your unwearied exertions for our country and her children, are too well known to need any comment from us, but your uniform and neverceasing attachment to the Lowjee Family, of which we are members, deserves our most grateful public acknowledgments.
Your first contracted friendship was with our
grandfathers, then with our fathers, and latterly with ourselves. Thus you have through three successive generations preserved that friendship with the same warmness of heart, and with the same disinterested motives.
Allow us, therefore, Sir, respectfully to dedicate to you this brief and unpretending volume, which is the result of our sojourn in this country, as a slight token of our gratitude; and with sentiments of respect and esteem, we have the honour and gratification to subscribe ourselves,
DURING our residence in England we have been so often asked our motives for leaving our homes and placing ourselves under instructions in ship-building at Chatham, that we have deemed it expedient to draw up a brief account of our actuating motives, and also to exhibit a faint outline of those things, which we had an opportunity of witnessing during the limited time that we allowed ourselves for recreation, and to give a little repose to our minds. We considered that keeping the bow always bent would only tend to weaken it, but we were careful in our hours of relaxation to visit such exhibitions, and to associate with such people, as would instruct while they amused, and of which the following pages contain the result.
It has not been our intention to journalize our proceedings or to describe things in the order that we saw them, but we have endeavoured to place before the reader a sort of bird's eye view, as it were,
of what we have seen from the 29th of March, 1838, the day we left Bombay, until the
middle of April, 1841, when we cease this compilation, being about to return to that place.
First, then, as to our actuating motive, there are two of us, Jehangeer Nowrojee, the son, and Hirjeebhoy Merwanjee, the nephew, of Nowrojee Jamsetjee, Esq., the present master builder in the Honourable East India Company's dock yard at Bombay, and we are grandsons of Jamsetjee Bomanjee, who was also for years master builder of that yard. We were both educated with a view to being brought up in the profession of our forefathers, and were attached at an early age to the Bombay dock yard, which was founded by our progenitor, Lowjee Nasserwanjee, in the year 1735, and after whom our family is called, viz., “ Lowjee Family.” It is necessary to state that before the above named year all vessels were built at Surat, the principal commercial city on the western side of India. The Bombay government having contracted with a Parsee builder there in the same year, to build a ship, which was called the “ Queen,” Lowjee superintended this vessel in the capacity of a foreman, and Mr. Dudley, who was sent to Surat by the government of Bombay to see her properly built, was so much pleased and struck with the attention and ingenuity of the foreman, that he persuaded him to accompany him to Bombay, in order to establish a building yard there. To