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Fifty-seven years after its foundation, Massalia was reinforced by another exodus from Phocæa, whose citizens were fleeing from the severities of Harpagus, the Mede, General of Cyrus. The city grew and flourished, and extended its territory. Its inhabitants introduced into Gaul the culture of the vine, the olive, and wheat. They established the manufacture of soap, which has always been a special feature of Marseilles industry. They embarked in commerce, and soon acquired so large a share in the trade of the Mediterranean, that Rhodes and Tyre and Carthage became jealous of their new rival, and strove unsuccessfully to curb its rapid progress. Several Greek historians tell with pride of the spoils and trophies won in naval engagements with these powers, and displayed in the citadel of Massalia and in the Temples of Apollo and Diana. Three consuls, aided by 600 councillors, ruled the city, which, before it was two centuries old, had planted Nice and other towns as colonies of its own along the adjacent coast. The arts and sciences were liberally encouraged in Massalia; its Academy rivalled that of Athens. Herodotus, Strabo, Cicero, Tacitus, and others speak in high terms of its wealth and power and high civilisation, and Pliny sums up by calling it “the Athens of Gaul.” The divinities worshipped in Massalia were the Delphian Apollo and Ephesian Diana. To the latter a temple was built by the first colonists, who brought with them a statue of the goddess from the great temple at Ephesus, and all the coins of the city long bore her image.
Protis and his companions called at Rome on their way to the coast of Gaul, and entered into friendly relations with Tarquinius Priscus and his subjects. This alliance with Rome was maintained for nearly six centuries. Massalia sent the Romans a warning of the approach of Hannibal, and on several occasions the two States rendered each other mutual assistance. But in A.D. 49 Pompey and Julius Caesar were struggling for supremacy. Massalia sided with the former, and consequently his great rival besieged and conquered the city. Henceforth it was a commercial Republic under the protection of Rome.
A Roman citadel rose beside the Greek city, but the latter retained its ancient laws and institutions. From the fifth century Marseilles had only short intervals of restVisigoths, Burgundians, Franks, successively held it; now and then the Saracens besieged and pillaged it; sometimes it was ruled by Viscounts who were nominally lieutenants of the Kings of Provence; sometimes the low city, representing the ancient Greek colony, was an independent Republic fighting against the high city, representing the Roman citadel, and governed by its bishops. Notwithstanding its troubles, the city was able to supply the entire fleet of galleys in which the army of St. Louis set out for the Crusades. King Réné made great efforts to restore and aggrandise Marseilles. His successor bequeathed Provence to the King of France, Louis XI. But the Kings of France found Marseilles had a will of its own, and it was long before it quietly settled down into an integral portion of the French Monarchy. Louis XIV. and other kings had much trouble in suppressing revolts.
During the French Revolution, Marseilles passed through some terrible experiences. It was the scene of the most violent of the provincial riots that broke out when the National Assembly in 1789 was engaged in its preliminary struggles with the king and the nobles. As the Revolution developed, Marseilles supplied it with its soul-stirring
In the Revenue Survey executed by command of the Emperor Akbar, in 1596, there is a brief entry referring to the rent-paying village of Kalikata. Nearly a century later (in 1686) Job Charnock, president of the English merchants at Hooghly, in consequence of difficulties with the Mogul authorities, removed the English factory to Sutánatí. The settlement soon extended to the adjacent hamlets of Kalikata and Govindpore, and these three mud-villages on the bank of the Hooghly gradually developed into the town of Calcutta. In 1689 the East India Company made it their head-quarters for Bengal, and soon afterwards built the original Fort William, and purchased the three villages from Prince Azim, the son of the Emperor Aurungzebe.
The principal event in the history of Calcutta is its capture in 1756 by Surajah Dowlah, the Nawab or Viceroy of Bengal. This prince, on the death of the old Viceroy, his father, had conceived the idea of driving the English from the country and plundering the fort, which he doubted not was rich with untold treasures. Upon a frivolous pretext he commenced hostilities, and with an army of 70,000 horse and foot and 400 elephants he marched against the city. After several repulses he captured it, and drove the English into the fortress. Here ammunition was short, and the greater number of the occupants took to the ships and sailed down the river. Mr. Holwell and about 250 effective men held the fort for a time; but the ammunition was soon exhausted, several of the defenders were killed, and at length, overpowered by vast numbers, the English yielded. The Nawab promised personal safety to the brave defenders, but in spite of this he shut up the 146 survivors of the defence in a strongly-barred room eighteen feet square, henceforth known in history as the “Black Hole of Calcutta.” There were only two windows, both opening westward and shadowed by a projecting verandah, so that but little air could enter; other parts of the fort were at the time in flames, and the atmosphere was therefore unusually oppressive, so that the sufferings of the prisoners from thirst and from the foul and stifling air became terrible to the last degree, and in a few hours many died. In the morning it was found that only 23 out of the 146 survived. Of those who escaped from the terrors of that ghastly night, one was a lady, Mrs. Carey, eleven were gentlemen, and the remainder English and native soldiers.
For seven months after this Calcutta was a Mohammedan city, officially styled Alínigar; and at the expiration of that time-namely, in January, 1757–came retribution. Five ships of war, carrying 2,400 English soldiers and sepoys, under the command of Admiral Watson and Colonel Clive, sailed up the Hooghly, and after an attack of only two hours' duration Calcutta was re-taken. The town was found to be in a very ruinous condition ; the old Church of St. John and most of the houses of English residents had been demolished, and everything of value taken away.
Twelve months later—in June, 1757-Clive routed the Indian forces at Plassy, Surajah Dowlah was deposed and killed, and Meer Jaffier, the nominee of the English, became Nawab, and indemnified the merchants of Calcutta for their losses to the amount of nearly £800,000. Commerce, which had flourished even while the Mogul Empire was in its death-struggles, now revived, and it is from this period that modern Calcutta dates. Henceforth its history is one of smooth prosperity, unmarked by civil war or any great disaster.
The site of Calcutta as the capital of British India is generally acknowledged to be bad.
THE QUARTIERS AND STREETS.
and is the favourite promenade of fashionable loungers. In the Quartier de la Joliette the streets are regular and uniform. From the end of the Boulevard des Dames a striking panorama is presented to the view;—the new harbours, the fleet of vessels of all kinds, the broad substantial quays, the immense warehouses and docks, the innumerable waggons, tramcars, and omnibuses, and the crowds of officials and workmen, make up a scene wonderfully significant of the vastness of the commerce of Marseilles. The Quartier St. Lazare is one of the poorer districts, being mostly given up to divers kinds of small industries; here also are seen the tall chimneys of numerous factories. The Quartier de St. Michel, or Quartier de la Plaine, is intensely respectable. It covers a hill that was once a Roman camp, and was for a long time a desert waste. Since 1818 it has become a fine suburb, with broad, well-planted streets, and a vast number of elegant villas with pretty gardens. In business hours a calm silence pervades this district, except when the Fair of St. Michel, in September, fills the central Place St. Michel, and then Provençal gaiety shows itself in a thousand characteristic forms. The Quartier de Longchamps displays rows of fine houses in monotonous uniformity. The Quartier de la Préfecture is chiefly inhabited by rich merchants, and is mostly deserted in the day-time. Les Catalans is a very aristocratic region ; above it, on the hill-slopes, are a great number of the bastides, of which there are about 6,000 round Marseilles-Lilliputian retreats for the enjoyment of the dolce far niente on Sundays and holidays.
The above-mentioned quartiers comprise all Marseilles, but there are several streets and open places that may be mentioned before proceeding to speak of the public buildings and other monuments. The Place which has successively borne the names of Royale, Neckar, République, Révolution, Liberté, Impériale, and a few others, is a beautiful square, with a fine cascade, and a statue of Puget the architect. Shoals of infants, with their bonnes, congregate here daily. The Place de Leuche marks the site of the Convent of St. Sauveur, founded by St. Cassian. During its long existence, till the end of the eighteenth century, this convent experienced many vicissitudes ;-sometimes it was immensely rich, and sometimes wretchedly poor; sometimes noted for its holy austerity, and sometimes for its startling scandals. Amongst other early trials, it was occasionally pillaged by Saracens. On one occasion the good nuns cut off their noses, and otherwise disfigured their faces, to render themselves objects of disgust to their conquerors. They were all massacred; and in memory of the event, it is said that the convent at one period adopted self-mutilation as a portion of its discipline. Close by the convent were the famous Caves of St. Sauveur, leading down to the port, said to have been Roman baths or barracks, and to have been utilised as a prison for Lazarus. During adjacent alterations and rebuilding, the money was not forthcoming to purchase these caves, as desired by many archæologists, and they accordingly perished. Upon the Place de Leuche is seen the house which, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was the dwelling-place of the famous family of Riquetti de Mirabeau—a name destined to attain to a more world-wide celebrity in the great Revolution of 1789. Brilliant fêtes took place in the old mansion, and in it Louis XIV. dwelt three days in 1660. Since 1759 the house has been a hospital, a college, a barrack, and an amateur theatre.
The Place Neuve, beside the Old Port, is the most interesting and agreeable promenade From early dawn, that is to say from four o'clock in the morning, till the sun is some distance above the horizon, crowds of the inhabitants of Calcutta, European and native, enjoy the cool morning air in the broad, noble park, esplanade, plain, or common, called the Maidan. On one side the Maidan is bounded by the river, with its forest of masts, and on the other by a crescent of about two miles of elegant white houses mingled with
rich foliage, and here and there the spire of a church. These houses of the rich merchants of Calcutta are elaborate in every form of luxuriousness and magnificence — ideal dwellings which English architects have not dreamt of in their wildest dreams. Within the park are numerous foot-paths, garden-plots, and broad level carriage-drives bordered with stone balustrades, where in the evening all the wealth and fashion of Calcutta assembles.
That portion of the Maidan known as the “Course " encloses a labyrinth of luxuriant walks called Eden Gardens, where strollers witness the grand display of equipages of all kinds, from European carriages and the four-in-hand to the humble one-horse chaise, all mingling freely with the native palanquins and hackeries.