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on some specific, practicable plan, and then hold to it. Be it but half an hour daily for reading, or a Rupee a week for charity, let it be regularly appropriated, and the collective result will soon surprise the gatherer.

We have ventured, in no unfriendly spirit, to comment on the faults and foibles of our country-women in India, hoping that some among

them may be roused to their own higher destinies, to the happy possibilities within their reach. Among them, we know there are many who will feel that they at least have not sat for any of our portraits ; and many more, who are willing to exert themselves in the pursuit of higher aims, if they only knew how to begin. We have adverted to some of the peculiarities which limit and paralyze benevolent exertion towards the natives, but there is scarcely a station in India that does not contain women and children, perhaps of purely European blood, and bearing the name of Christian, who require to be "excavated from the mass of heathenism in which they lie embedded,” as much as any Hindu.

Among these, it strikes us, lies the legitimate, the imperative field of duty, to every Christian lady in India, especially the wives of officers. Personal kindly interest, opportune help, countenance of the deserving, sympathy, and above all, example, would do much for these neglected females; but whoever attempts the work must be prepared to meet with much discouragement, perchance disgust. The popular literature of the day headed by that noble fellow, Punch, is doing much towards bringing the poor, face to face with the rich. We fear, however, that the interest thereby excited turns too much on the picturesque accessories of poverty.

One class of exaggerations is gone out of fashion ; the lovein-a-cottage, and brown-bread-and-milk school, has vanished before the stern realities of homeless starvation. Fictitious poverty is now more frequently invested with moral interestthe highest of all interests, if correctly employed, but too frequently used to impart embellishments for which we look in vain among the poor and ignorant. Real life contains very few « Oliver Twists” and “ Little Nellys.” Perhaps we are prepared to sympathize with a youthful, heart-broken widow, in her decent, mourning garb, refusing to be comforted. Help may, however, be as much needed, by a poor uncouth looking girl, in a dirty white bed gown, resembling one whose appearance and words now rise vividly to our remembrance, as she mingled her lamentations for “the poor fellow she had just buried,” with most business-like consideration respecting the next husband she should take, “ when decency would permit.” My mother," said the poor girl we speak of, who, be it observed was herself a



mother, though not quite fourteen years old, “My mother is thinking of a poticary for me, but I would rather take another man out of the Artillery.” “ You had a good husband, then ?” said we, “ Indeed I had, my mother thought he was not kind to me because he used to beat me; but I deserved it well, for I was a great scamp." “ A great scamp !" we repeated, in some dismay. “ How ?" “ I used to be playing marbles with the boys, when he wanted his supper ready.". Pity must put on her walking-shoes, when she steps forth to help cases like this, or when she is not chilled, while listening to some narrative of sudden bereavement, by some such parenthetic remark of the speaker's as this : “ At that time I was in the light Company, the next husband I got was the Canteen Sergeant, and the man have now, is only a Lance Corporal.” And this reminds us of a woman who, after listening respectfully to some remarks about the ignorance in which her daughter was growing up, replied : “ Yes, but people are just as bad at home, when I married my first husband, poor ignorant creature that I was, I did not know a Sergeant's stripe from a Corporal's."

When a European Regiment was taking the field, our commiseration for the cares and sorrows of the women who are left behind, has ere now been rudely disturbed by observing the anxiety of parents that their daughters should be married before the Corps marches, “ Why,” we have asked, “ should you allow such a mere child to marry, when her husband will leave her next week.” “Because she can then draw wife's pay while he's away: and if any thing should happen to him, she will get her six months' widow's pension.” On these, and many other points, perhaps the women of the barracks merely say, what some of their more refined sisters think. At any rate, there is wisdom in training ourselves to remember that people can feel, who do not feel in precisely the same way that we should ourselves on a like occasion.

Even a marching regiment, however, is not without its scenes of tender home interest, of which one instance recurs to our recollection. It contains no incident which has not frequently occured to others; but we know it to be true, and, indeed in these remarks on Barrack life, we give no one illustration beyond the pale of fact.

It is now many years ago since H. M.'s 44th Regiment embarked on the Ganges in a fleet of country boats. Among them, at that time, were two sisters, the eldest of whom was not above sixteen years old: Mary and Eliza were great favorites in the regiment, and were both married to kind and respectable

The husbands, desirous of securing more comfortable


accommodation than could be found in the boats provided for the privates, arranged that their wives, each of whom had a young infant, should proceed in the boat with the SergeantMajor and his wife, while they themselves were with their Company. Near Dinapore, the feet encountered a violent gale, and was dispersed, and many boats were swamped. Towards night, the tempest lulled, and the shattered remnant of the fleet, “ cast anchors out of the stern, and wished for day.” They missed the Sergeant-Major's budgerow, which had been driven across the river, while the other boats had sought refuge on the Dinapore bank. Next morning, as soon as it was light, a small party of the 44th, including the two husbands we speak of, went across in a Dinghi, to see what had become of the budgerow. They found it aground, close to the shore, the after part under water and only the bow visible. The Sergeant-Major and his wife, with the crew were sitting on the bank, cold, dripping and hungry. Having been on the roof when the vessel struck, they had managed to scramble ashore ; but Mary and Eliza were in the cabin, and no one had ascertained their fate. All was now calm; the river had subsided sufficiently to admit of the men breaking open the roof with hatchets, and making their way into the cabin. There lay the two young mothers, each with her infant; the water appeared to have rushed in so suddenly as to suffocate them, before they could even make a struggle. Some of the men immediately returned to Dinapore, to carry the sad news and to bring back some women to dress and lay out the bodies. About sunset that evening a mournful group were assembled, some standing on the bank; others crowding the sterns of those boats that had escaped the storm ; all eagerly watching the course of a black speck that was seen approaching from the other side. Just below its confluence with the Soane, the Ganges takes a bend, expanding into a vast lake-like sheet of water, and this broad, shining surface now reflected the boat, as it neared its destination. In it stood the boatmen, nearly naked, plying their huge, unwieldy oars, and apparently unconscious what freight they carried. There were the grey-headed Sergeant-Major and his wife, pale, exhausted, death-like : beside them sat two young men, who neither spoke nor moved, but whose eyes were fixed on a white sheet, spread over part of the deck of the boat. There also were the women who had crossed the river in the morning ; they were loud in their wailings and lamentation as they neared their comrades, and lifting up the sheet, showed the corpses of poor Mary and Eliza, each dressed in grave-clothes and each with her infant resting on her arm. They were buried at Dinapore that same evening.

Interest of another and more harrowing kind, attaches to the interior of a barrack, especially in reference to its influence on woman. Wisely do those interested for Hindustan aver that its inhabitants can make no general advance in improvement, while the female part of its population are uninstructed. But will any intelligent Hindu or Mussulman believe that these are more than high-sounding speeches, when they look at European female life in India— when they see the condition of mothers and daughters in our barracks—living and growing up without any instruction, principle, or restraint, that might stand them instead of those motives to self-respect which even native women may feel? “Perishing for lack of knowledge;" their bodies perishing by scores,* because their understandings have not been exercised regarding the simplest physical laws—and their souls passing away into the presence of Him, who alone can estimate the cruel temptations amidst which these poor creatures lived and died; but who assuredly will not hold guiltless those women who, with more knowledge, leisure, and money at command, saw their sisters perishing and passed by on the other side.

There is not an Ensign's wife who might not effect some good, however small, to some one portion of the classes we allude to. There is not a native regiment that does not reckon, besides its non-commissioned officers, a number of drummers, who with their families, bear the Christian name, but are distinguished from the surrounding heathen by little except their indiscriminate diet, and by coming to the Padree Sahib, the commanding Officer or the Magistrate to be · Shadi-kurd or Christiankurd.'—married or christened—We have seen many a couple come to be married who could not even make the responses to the service in English ; and mothers bringing their children to baptism without an idea that to Christian-kur' meant any thing beyond to 'nam lagao,’ (affix a name.)

We protest against the 'tu quoque' answer, that like heathenism may be found at home. One evil is no palliation for another, and at present we are not haranguing about the moral destitution of other countries, but trying to grapple with an evil at our own door. Men and women are equally skilful in diluting down duty to their own taste; there is ' a lying spirit' ever at our ear whispering that what demands self-denial is impracticable. And,

No returns are published of the deaths among the children of our European soldiery, but the mortality is frightful. We can at this moment recollect not less than half a dozen women, sober and well conducted, who, out of families of five, six, seven or nine, have reared respectively one two or three children, or are now entirely childless. Even this sweeping away by death is scarcely so serious an evil as the languid, feeble frames, which we see in those who reach maturity.

truly, when we look at the wall of ignorance and misery that encompasses our European regiments, to hope for a breach' in it by any human means appears about as reasonable as it would be to compass about for seven days' an enemy's fortress, and expect the walls to fall down at the sound of the trumpet.' Some. times, however, a bolder or more clear-sighted champion discerns in the citadel of vice and ignorance a practicable spot against which an assault may be hopefully directed. Experience proves that this assailable point is to be found among the young

Calcutta contains several institutions both public and private for imparting instruction to the young; within the immediate circuit of our Presidency there may perhaps be an adequate supply of educational machinery; but Calcutta is not India, nor is the Bengal presidency limited to Bengal. The events of the last seven years have drawn an unusually large proportion of our European troops to the North-West Provinces; too remote from Calcutta to admit of any but a very small number of the children of these regiments benefitting by schools at the Presidency. Indeed it would be madness to transport them thither, while localities with a much better climate are close at hand.

The Upper and Lower Orphan Schools are among the best known of our Calcutta educational institutions. The former, few of whose inmates are of purely European blood, is probably more eligibly situated in the plains than in a colder climate. The Lower School contains a majority of unmixed European parentage, and for such there can be no question that they would be better located in the Hills. In both establishments the system of training for the girls might be greatly improved by being rendered more homely and practical; more a preparation for the stations they are likely to fill. A soldier or clerk would probably rather that his wife knew how to cut the largest possible number of shirts out of a piece of long-cloth, than that she could work the most beautiful bead-purses in the world. Not many weeks have passed since we were conversing with a respectable woman who came to India about twenty years ago as a soldier's wife. We asked her about the characteristics of the Eurasian women in the barracks, whether they were not better suited for that life as constitutionally acclimated, and as less accessible to the temptations of drink than our poor European women. Her reply was, *They care less for liquor, but more for clothes. One of them would do any thing for a pair of gold-ear-rings ;' 'and do you, we inquired, find no better habits among those from the Orphan school ? • Indeed,' replied our informant, "I see very little they have learned there. They like to be lolling on the bed all day,


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