Calcutta is a modern city compared with the rest of India. It has been built around old Fort William, which was the headquarters of the East India Company 200 years ago, and is situated upon the bank of the River Hoogly, one of the many mouths of the Ganges, about ninety miles from the Bay of Bengal. The current is so swift and the channel changes so frequently that the river cannot be navigated at night, nor without a pilot. The native pilots are remarkably skillful navigators, and seem to know by instinct how the shoals shift. For several miles below the city the banks of the river are lined with factories of all kinds, which have added great wealth to the empire. Old Fort William disappeared many years ago, and a new fort was erected a mile or two farther down the river, where it could command the approaches to the city, but that also is now old-fashioned, and could not do much execution if Calcutta were attacked. The fortifications near the mouth of the river are supposed to be quite formidable, but Calcutta is not a citadel, and in case of war must be defended by battle ships and other floating fortresses. It is one of the cities of India which shows a rapid growth of population, the gain during ten years having been 187,178, making the total population, by the census of 1901, 1,026,987.

The city takes its name from a village which stood in the neighborhood at the time the East India Company located there. It was famous for a temple erected in honor of Kali, the fearful wife of the god Siva, the most cruel, vindictive and relentless of all the heathen deities. The temple still stands, being more than 400 years old, and "Kali, the Black One," still sits upon her altar, hideous in appearance, gorgon-headed, wearing a necklace of human skulls and dripping with fresh blood from the morning sacrifice of sheep and goats. She brings pestilence, famine, war and sorrows and suffering of all kinds, and can only be propitiated by the sacrifice of life. Formerly nothing but human blood would satisfy her, and thousands, some claim tens of thousands, of victims have been slain before her image in that ancient temple. Human offerings were forbidden by the English many years ago, but it is believed that they are occasionally made even now when famine and plague are afflicting the people. During the late famine it is suspected that an appeal for mercy was sealed with the sacrifice of infants. Residents of the neighborhood assert that human heads, dripping with blood and decorated with flowers, have been seen in the temple occasionally since 1870. It is the only notable temple in Calcutta, and is visited by tourists, but they are allowed to go only so far and no farther, for fear that Kali might be provoked by the intrusion. It is a ghastly, filthy, repulsive place, and was formerly the southern headquarters of that organized caste of religious assassins known as Thugs.

A little beyond the Temple of Kali is the burning ghat of Calcutta. Here the Hindus bring the bodies of their dead and burn them on funeral pyres. The cremations may be witnessed every morning by anyone who cares to take the trouble to drive out there. They take place in an open area surrounded by temples and shrines on one side, and large piles of firewood and the palm cottages of the attendants on the other. The river which flows by the burning ground is covered with all kinds of native craft, carrying on commerce between the city and the country, and the ashes of the dead are cast between them upon the sacred waters from a flight of stone steps which leads to the river's brink. There is no more objection to a stranger attending the burning ceremonies than would be offered to his presence at a funeral in the United States. Indeed, friends who frequently accompany the bodies of the dead feel flattered at the attention and often take bunches of flowers from the bier and present them to bystanders.

The Black Hole of Calcutta, of which you have read so much, no longer exists. Its former site is now partially built over, but Lord Curzon has had it marked, and that portion which is now uncovered he has had paved with marble, so that a visitor can see just how large an area was occupied by it. He has also reproduced after the original plan a monument that was erected to the dead by Governor J. Z. Howell, one of the sufferers. You will remember that the employes of the East India Company, with their families, were residing within the walls of Fort William when an uprising of the natives occurred June 20, 1756. The survivors, 156 in number, were made prisoners and pressed into an apartment eighteen feet long, eighteen feet wide and fourteen feet ten inches high, where they were kept over night. It was a sort of vault in the walls of the fortress, which had been used for storage purposes and at one time for a prison. The company consisted of men, women, children and even infants. Several of them were crushed to death and trampled during the efforts of the native soldiers to crowd them into this place, and all but thirty-three of the 156 died of suffocation. The next morning, when the leader of the mutiny ordered the living prisoners brought before him, the bodies of the dead were cast into a pit outside the walls and allowed to rot there. The monument to which I have alluded stands upon the site of the pit. To preserve history Lord Curzon has had a model of the old fort made in wood, and it will be placed in the museum.

Calcutta is a fine city. The government buildings, the courthouses, the business blocks and residences, the churches and clubs are nearly all of pretentious architecture and imposing appearance. Most of the buildings are up to date. The banks of the river are lined for a long distance with mammoth warehouses and the anchorage is crowded with steamers from all parts of the world. There is a regular line between Calcutta and New York, which, I was told, is doing a good business. Beyond the warehouses, the business section and the government buildings, along the bank of the river for several miles, is an open space or common, called the Maidan, the amusement and recreation ground of the public, who show their appreciation by putting it to good use. There are several thousand acres, including the military reservation, bisected with drives and ornamented with monuments and groves of trees. It belongs to the public, is intended for their benefit, and thousands of natives may be found enjoying this privilege night and day. An American circus has its tent pitched in the center opposite a group of hotels; a little further along is a roller skating rink, which seems to be popular, and scattered here and there, usually beside clumps of shade trees, are cottages erected for the accommodation of golf, tennis, croquet and cricket clubs. On Saturday afternoons and holidays these clubhouses are surrounded by gayly dressed people enjoying an outing, and at all times groups of natives may be seen scattered from one end of the Maidan to the other, sleeping, visiting, and usually resting in the full glare of the fierce sun. Late in the afternoon, when the heat has moderated, everybody who owns a carriage or a horse or can hire one, comes out for a drive, and along the river bank the roadway is crowded with all kinds of vehicles filled with all sorts of people dressed in every variety of costume worn by the many races that make up the Indian Empire, with a large sprinkling of Europeans.

The viceroy and Lady Curzon, with their two little girls, come in an old-fashioned barouche, drawn by handsome English hackneys, with coachman, footman and two postilions, clad in gorgeous red livery, gold sashes and girdles and turbans of white and red. Their carriage is followed by a squad of mounted Sikhs, bronzed faced, bearded giants in scarlet uniforms and big turbans, carrying long, old-fashioned spears. Lord Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum and the Boer war, appears in a landau driven by the only white coachman in Calcutta. Lord Kitchener is a bachelor, and his friends say that he has never even thought of love, although he is a handsome man, of many graces, and has contributed to the pleasure of society in both England and India. The diplomatic corps, as the consuls of foreign governments residing in India are called by courtesy - for all of India's relations with other countries must be conducted through the foreign department at London - are usually in evidence, riding in smart equipages, and they are very hospitable and agreeable people. The United States is represented by General Robert F. Patterson, who went to the civil war from Iowa, but has since been a citizen of Memphis. Mrs. Patterson, who belongs to a distinguished southern family, is one of the recognized leaders of society, and is famous for her hospitality and her fine dinners.

The native princes and other rich Hindus who reside in Calcutta are quite apt in imitating foreign ways, but, fortunately, most of them adhere to their national costume, which is much more becoming and graceful than the awkward garments we wear. The women of their families are seldom seen. The men wear silks and brocades and jewels, and bring out their children to see the world, but always leave their wives at home.

There are several sets and castes in the social life - the official set, the military set, the professional people, the mercantile set, and so on - and it is not often that the lines that divide them are broken. During the winter season social life is very gay. The city is filled with visitors from all parts of India, and they spend their money freely, having a good time. Official cares rest lightly upon the members of the government, with a few exceptions, including Lord Curzon, who is always at work and never takes a holiday. Dinners, balls, garden parties, races, polo games, teas, picnics and excursions follow one another so rapidly that those who indulge in social pleasures have only time enough to keep a record of their engagements and to dress. The presence of a large military force is a great advantage, particularly as many of the officers are bachelors, and it is whispered that some of the lovely girls who come out from England to spend a winter in India hope to go home to arrange for a wedding. Occasionally matrimonial affairs are conducted with dispatch. A young woman who came out on the steamer with us, heart whole and fancy free, with the expectation of spending the entire winter in India, started back to London with a big engagement ring upon her finger within four weeks after she landed, and several other young women were quite as fortunate during the same winter, although not so sudden. India is regarded as the most favorable marriage market in the world.

Calcutta has frequently been called "the city of statues." I think Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, the poet-viceroy, gave it that title, and it was well applied. Whichever way you look on the Maidan, bronze figures of former viceroys, statesmen and soldiers appear. Queen Victoria sits in the center, a perfect reproduction in bronze, and around her, with their faces turned toward the government house, are several of her ablest and most eminent servants. In the center of the Maidan rises a lofty column that looks like a lighthouse. Its awkwardness is in striking contrast to the graceful shafts which Hindu architects have erected in various parts of the empire. It is dedicated to David Ochterlony, a former citizen of Calcutta and for fifty years a soldier, and is a token of appreciation from the people of the empire. The latest monument is a bronze statue of Lord Roberts.

Facing the Maidan for a couple of miles is the Chowringhee, one of the famous streets of the world, once a row of palatial residences, but now given up almost entirely to hotels, clubs and shops. Upon this street lived Warren Hastings in a stone palace, and a little further along, in what is now the Bengal Club, was the home of Thomas Babbington Macaulay during his long residence in India.

The governor of the province of Bengal lives in a beautiful mansion in the center of a park called "Belvedere," just outside the city. There are few finer country homes in England, and associated with it are many historical events. Upon a grassy knoll shaded by stately trees occurred the historic duel between Warren Hastings, then governor general of India, and Mr. Francis, president of the council of state. They quarreled over an offensive remark which Mr. Francis entered in the minutes of the council. Hastings offered a challenge and wounded his antagonist, but the ball was extracted and the affair fortunately ended as a comedy rather than a tragedy.

There are many fine shops in Calcutta, for people throughout all eastern India go there to buy goods just as those in the northwestern part of the United States go to Chicago, and in the eastern states to Boston, Philadelphia or New York. Of course, the Calcutta shops are not so large and do not carry such extensive stocks as some dealers in our large cities, because they are almost entirely dependent upon the foreign population for patronage, and that is comparatively small. The natives patronize merchants of their own race, and do their buying in the bazaars, where the same articles are sold at prices much lower than those asked by the merchants in the foreign section of the city. This is perfectly natural, for the native dealer has comparatively little rent to pay, the wages of his employes are ridiculously small and it does not cost him very much to live. If a foreigner tries to trade in the native shops he has to pay big prices. Foreigners who live in Calcutta usually send their servants to make purchases, and, although it is customary for the servant to take a little commission or "squeeze" from the seller for himself, the price is much lower than would be paid for the same articles at one of the European shops.

Occasionally you see American goods, but not often. We sell India comparatively little merchandise except iron and steel, machinery, agricultural implements, sewing machines, typewriters, phonographs and other patented articles. One afternoon four naked Hindus went staggering along the main street in Calcutta carrying an organ made by the Farrand Company of Detroit, which has considerable trade there. American pianos are widely advertised by one of the music dealers. The beef packing houses of Chicago send considerable tinned meat to India, and it is quite popular and useful. Indeed, it would be difficult for the English to get along without it, because native beef is very scarce. It is only served at the hotels one or twice a week. That is due to the fact that cows are sacred and oxen are so valuable for draught purposes. Fresh beef comes all the way from Australia in refrigerator ships and is sold at the fancy markets.

The native bazaars are like those in other Indian cities, although not so interesting. Calcutta has comparatively a small native trade, although it has a million of population. The shops of Delhi, Lahore, Jeypore, Lucknow, Benares and other cities are much more attractive. In the European quarter are some curio dealers, who stop there for the winter and go to Delhi and Simla for the summer, selling brocades, embroideries, shawls, wood and ivory carvings and other native art work which are very tempting to tourists. Several dealers in jewels from Delhi and other cities spend the holidays in order to catch the native princes, who are the greatest purchasers of precious stones in the world. Several of them have collections more valuable and extensive than any of the imperial families of Europe. Prices of all curios, embroideries and objects of art are much higher in Calcutta than in the cities of northern India, and everybody told us it was the poorest place to buy such things.

The most imposing building upon the Chowringhee, the principal street, is the Imperial Museum, which was founded nearly a hundred years ago by the Asiatic Society, and was taken over by the government in 1866. It is a splendid structure around a central quadrangle 300 feet square with colonnades, fountains, plants and flowers. Little effort has been made to obtain contributions from other countries, but no other collection of Indian antiquities, ethnology, archaeology, mineralogy and other natural sciences can compare with it. It is under the special patronage of the viceroy, who takes an active interest in extending its usefulness and increasing its treasures, while Lady Curzon is the patroness of the school of design connected with it. In this school about three hundred young men are studying the industrial arts. Comparatively little attention is given to the fine arts. There are a few native portrait painters, and I have seen some clever water colors from the brushes of natives. But in the industrial arts they excel, and this institute is maintained under government patronage for the purpose of training the eyes and the hands of designers and artisans. In the same group of buildings are the geological survey and other scientific bureaus of the government, which are quite as progressive and learned as our own. A little farther up the famous street are the headquarters of the Asiatic Society, one of the oldest and most enterprising learned societies in the world, whose journals and proceedings for the last century are a library in themselves and contain about all that anybody would ever want to know concerning the history, literature, antiquities, resources and people of India. Here also is a collection of nearly twenty thousand manuscripts in Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Hindustani and other oriental languages.

There is comparatively little poverty in Calcutta, considering the enormous population and the conditions in which they live. There are, however, several hundred thousand people who would starve to death upon their present incomes if they lived in the United States or in any of the European countries, but there it costs so little to sustain life and a penny goes so far that what an American working man would call abject destitution is an abundance. Give a Hindu a few farthings for food and a sheet of white cotton for clothing and he will be comfortable and contented.

The streets of Calcutta, except in a limited portion of the native section of the city, are wide, well paved, watered and swept. There is an electric tramway system with about twenty miles of track, reaching the principal suburbs, railway stations and business sections, and whether Moline (Ill.) got it from Calcutta or Calcutta borrowed the idea from Moline, both cities use the same method of laying the dust. The tramway company runs an electric tank car up and down its tracks several times a day, throwing water far enough to cover nearly the entire street. Other streets, where there are no tracks, are sprinkled by coolies, who carry upon their backs pig skins and goat skins filled with water and squirt it upon the ground through one of the legs with a twist of the wrist as ingenious and effective as the method used by Chinese laundrymen in sprinkling clothes. No white man can do either. The Hindu sprinkler is an artist in his line, and therefore to be admired, because everybody who excels is worthy of admiration, no matter what he is doing. The street sprinklers belong to the very lowest caste; the same caste as the garbage collectors and the coolies that mend the roads and sweep the sidewalks, but they are stalwart fellows, much superior to the higher class physically, and as they wear very little clothing everybody can see their perfect anatomy and shapely outlines.

Much of the road mending in India is done by women. They seem to be assigned to all the heavy and laborious jobs. They carry mortar, and bricks and stone where new buildings are being erected; they lay stone blocks in the pavements, hammer the concrete with heavy iron pestles, and you can frequently see them walking along the wayside with loads of lumber or timber carefully balanced on their heads that would be heavy for a mule or an ox. Frequently they carry babies at the same time; never in their arms, but swung over their backs or astride their hips. The infant population of India spend the first two or three years of their lives astride somebody's hips. It may be their mother's, or their sister's, or their brother's, but they are always carried that way, and abound so plentifully that there is no danger of race suicide in that empire.

Next to the Sikh soldier, the nattiest native in India is the postman, who is dressed in a blue uniform with a blue turban of cotton or silk cloth to match, and wears a nickel number over his forehead with the insignia of the postal service, and a girdle with a highly ornamental buckle. The deliveries and collections are much more frequent than with us. It is a mortification to every American who travels abroad to see the superiority of the postal service in other countries. That is about the only feature of civil administration in which the federal government of the United States is inferior, but, compared with India, as well as the European countries, our Postoffice Department is not up to date. You can mail a letter to any part of Calcutta in the morning and, if your correspondent takes the trouble, he can reach you with a reply before dinner. The rates of postage on local matter and on parcels are much lower than with us. I can send a package of books or merchandise or anything else weighing less than four pounds from Calcutta to Chicago for less than half the charge that would be required on a similar package from Evanston or Oak Park.

The best time for a stranger to visit Calcutta is during holiday week, for then the social season is inaugurated by a levee given by the viceroy, a "drawing-room" by the vice-queen and a grand state ball. The annual races are held that week, also, including the great sporting event of the year, which is a contest for a cup offered by the viceroy, and a military parade and review and various other ceremonies and festivities attract people from every part of the empire. The native princes naturally take this opportunity to visit the capital and pay their respects to the representative of imperial power, while every Englishman in the civil and military service, and those of social or sporting proclivities in private life have their vacations at that time and spend the Christmas and New Year's holidays with Calcutta friends. Moreover, the fact that all these people will be there attracts the tourists who happen to be in India at the time, for it gives them a chance to see the most notable and brilliant social features of Indian life. Hence we rushed across the empire with everybody else and assisted to increase the crowd and the enthusiasm. Every hotel, boarding-house and club was crowded. Every family had guests. Cots and beds were placed in offices and wherever else they could be accommodated. Tents were spread on the lawn of the Government House for the benefit of government officials coming in from the provinces, and on the parade grounds at the fort for military visitors. The grounds surrounding the club houses looked like military camps. Sixteen tents were placed upon the roof of the hotel where we were stopping to accommodate the overflow.

Good hotels are needed everywhere in India, as I have several times suggested, and nowhere so much as in Calcutta. The government, the people and all concerned ought to be ashamed of their lack of enterprise in this direction, and everybody admits it without argument. There is not a comfortable hotel in the city, and while it is of course possible for people to survive present conditions they are nevertheless a national disgrace. Calcutta is a city of more than a million inhabitants. Among its residents are many millionaires and other wealthy men. It is frequently called "the city of palaces," and many of the private residences in the foreign quarter are imposing and costly. Hence there is no excuse but indifference and lack of public spirit.

The Government House, which is the residence of the viceroy, is one of the finest palaces in the world, and in architectural beauty, extent and arrangement surpasses many of the royal residences of Europe. None of the many palaces in England and the other European capitals is better adapted for entertaining or has more stately audience chambers, reception rooms, banquet halls and ballrooms. It is truly an imperial residence and was erected more than a hundred years ago by Lord Wellesley, who had an exalted appreciation of the position he occupied, and transplanted to India the ceremonies, formalities and etiquette of the British court. The Government House stands in the center of a beautiful garden of seven acres and is now completely surrounded and almost hidden by groups of noble trees so that it cannot be photographed. It is an enlarged copy of Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire, and consists of a central group of state apartments crowned with a dome and connected with four wings by long galleries.

The throne-room is a splendid apartment and the seat of the mighty is the ancient throne of Tipu, one of the southern maharajas, who, during the latter part of the eighteenth century, gave the British a great deal of trouble until he was deprived of power. The banquet hall, the council chamber, the ballrooms and a series of drawing rooms, nearly all of the same size, are decorated in white and gold, and each is larger than the east room in the White House at Washington. The ceilings are supported by rows of marble columns with gilded capitals, and are frescoed by famous artists. The floors are of polished teak wood; the walls are paneled with brocade and tapestries, and are hung with historical pictures, including full length portraits of the kings and queens of England, all the viceroys from the time of Warren Hastings, and many of the most famous native rulers of India. In one of the rooms is a collection of marble busts of the Caesars. These, with a portrait of Louis XV. and several elaborate crystal chandeliers, were loot of the war of 1798, when they were captured from a ship which was carrying them as a present from the Emperor of France to the Nyzam of Hyderabad.

The palace cost $750,000 and the furniture $250,000, more than a hundred years ago, at a time when money would go three times as far as it does to-day. Lord Wellesley had lofty ideas, and when the merchants of the East India Company expressed their disapproval of this expenditure he told them that India "should be governed from a palace and not from a counting-house, with the ideas of a prince and not those of a retail dealer in muslin and indigo."

Great stories are told of the receptions, levees and balls that were given in the days of the East India Company, but they could not have been more brilliant than those of to-day. The Government House has never been occupied by a viceroy more capable of assuming the dignities and performing the duties of that office than Lord Curzon, and no more beautiful, graceful or popular woman ever sat upon the vice-queen's throne than Mary Leiter Curzon. No period in Indian history has ever been more brilliant, more progressive or more prosperous than the present; no administration of the government has even given wider satisfaction from any point of view, and certainly the social functions presided over by Lord and Lady Curzon were never surpassed. They live in truly royal style, surrounded by the ceremonies and the pomp that pertain to kings, which is a part of the administrative policy, because the 300,000,000 people subject to the viceroy's authority are very impressionable, and measure power and sometimes justice and right by appearances. Lord and Lady Curzon never leave the palace without an escort of giant warriors from the Sikh tribe, who wear dazzling uniforms of red, turbans as big as bushel baskets, and sit on their horses like centaurs. They carry long spears and are otherwise armed with native weapons. Within the palace the same formality is preserved, except in the private apartments of the viceroy, where for certain hours of every day the doors are closed against official cares and responsibilities, and Lord and Lady Curzon can spend a few hours with their children, like ordinary people.

The palace is managed by a comptroller general, who has 150 servants under him, and a stable of forty horses, and relieves Lady Curzon from the cares of the household. Lord Curzon is attended by a staff of ministers, secretaries and aids, like a king, and Lady Curzon has her ladies-in-waiting, secretaries and aids, like a queen. People who wish to be received at Government House will find three books open before them in the outer hall, in which they are expected to inscribe their names, instead of leaving cards. One of these books is for permanent residents of Calcutta, another for officials, and another for transient visitors, who record their names, their home addresses, their occupations, the time they expect to stay in Calcutta, and the place at which they may be stopping. From these books the invitation lists are made out by the proper officials, but in order to secure an invitation to Lady Curzon's "drawing-room" a stranger must be presented by some person of importance who is well known at court. At 9 o'clock those who have been so fortunate as to be invited are expected to arrive. They leave their wraps in cloakrooms in the basement, where the ladies are separated from the gentlemen who escort them, because the latter are not formally presented to the vice-queen, but they meet again an hour or so later in the banquet hall after the ceremony is over.

The ladies pass up two flights of stairs into waiting-rooms in the third story of the palace, pursuing a rather circuitous course over about half the building, guided by velvet barriers and railings, and at each comer stands an aide-de-camp or a gentleman-in-waiting, to answer inquiries and give directions to strangers. When the anteroom is at last reached, the ladies await their turns, being admitted to the audience chamber in groups of four. They are given a moment or two to adjust their plumage, and then pass slowly toward the throne, upon which Lady Curzon is seated. The viceroy, in the uniform and regalia of a Knight of the Garter, stands under the canopy by her side. There is no crowding and pushing, such as we see at presidential receptions at Washington and often at royal functions in Europe, but there is an interval of twenty-five or thirty feet between the guests. After entering the room each lady hands a card upon which her name is written to the gentleman-in-waiting, and, as she approaches the throne he pronounces it slowly and distinctly. She makes her courtesies to the viceroy and his lady, and then passes on. There is no confusion, no haste, no infringement of dignity, and each woman for the moment has the entire stage to herself.

On either side of the throne are gathered, standing, many native princes, the higher officers of the government and the army, the members of the diplomatic corps and other favored persons, with their wives and daughters, and their costumes furnish a brilliant background to the scene. The rest of the great audience chamber, blazing with electric lights, is entirely empty. The viceroy greets every lady with a graceful bow, and Lady Curzon gives her a smile of welcome. The government band is playing all this time in an adjoining room, so that the music can be only faintly heard, and does not interfere with the ceremony, as is so often the case elsewhere.

Having passed in review, the guests return to the other part of the palace by a different course than that through which they came, and find their escorts awaiting them in the banquet hall. When the last lady has been presented, the viceroy and Lady Curzon lead the way to the banquet hall, where a sumptuous supper is spread, and the gentlemen are allowed to share the festivities. The formalities are relaxed, and the hosts chat informally with the guests.

It is a very brilliant scene, quite different from any that may be witnessed elsewhere, particularly because of the gorgeous costumes and the profusion of jewels worn by the native princes. At none of the capitals of Europe can so magnificent a show of jewels be witnessed, but the medals of honor and decorations which adorn the breasts of the bronzed soldiers are more highly prized and usually excite greater admiration, for many of the heroes of the South African war were serving tours of duty in India when we were in Calcutta.

The viceroy's levee is exclusively for gentlemen. No ladies are expected, and a similar ceremony is carried out. It is intended to offer an annual opportunity for the native princes, and officials of the government, officers of the army, the Indian nobility and private citizens of prominence to pay their respects and offer their congratulations to their ruler and the representative of their king, and at 9 o'clock on the evening appointed, two days later than Lady Curzon's reception, every man of distinction in that part of the world appears at the palace and makes his bow to the viceroy as the latter stands under the canopy beside the throne. It might be a somber and stupid proceeding but for the presence of many natives in their dazzling jewels, picturesque turbans and golden brocades, and the large contingent of army officers, with their breasts covered with medals and decorations. This reception is followed a few days later by a state ball, which is considered the most brilliant function of the year in India. Invitations are limited to persons of certain rank who have been formally presented at Government House, but Lady Curzon is always on the lookout for her fellow countrymen, and if she learns of their presence in Calcutta invitations are sure to reach them one way or another. She is a woman of many responsibilities, and her time and mind are always occupied, but few Americans ever visit Calcutta without having some delightful evidence of her loyalty and thoughtfulness.

There were many other festivities for celebrating the New Year. All the English and native troops in the vicinity of Calcutta passed in review before the viceroy and Lord Kitchener, who is the commander-in-chief of the forces in India.

In one of the parks in the city was a native fair and display of art industries, and at the zoological gardens the various societies of the Roman Catholic church in Calcutta held a bazaar and raffled off many valuable and worthless articles, sold barrels of tea and tons of cake, and sweetmeats to enormous crowds of natives, who attended in their holiday attire. There was a pyramid of gold coins amounting to a thousand dollars, an automobile, a silver service valued at $1,000, a grand piano, a carriage and span of ponies, and various other prizes offered in the lotteries, together with dolls and ginger-cake, pipes and cigar cases, slippers, neckties, pincushions and other offerings to the god of chance. Fashionable society was attracted to the fair grounds by a horse and dog show, and various other functions absorbed public attention.

The great sporting event of the year in India is a race for a big silver cup presented by the viceroy and a purse of 20,000 rupees to the winner. We took an interest in the race because Mr. Apgar, an Armenian opium merchant, who nominated Great Scott, an Austrian thoroughbred, has a breeding farm and stable of 200 horses, and everything about his place comes from the United States. He uses nothing but American harness and other accoutrements, and as a natural and unavoidable consequence Great Scott won the cup and the purse very easily, and his fleetness was doubtless due to the fact that he was shod with American shoes. The programme showed that about half the entries were by natives. His Royal Highness Aga Khan, the Nawab of Samillolahs; Aga Shah; our old friend of the Chicago exposition, the Sultan of Johore, and His Highness Kour Sahib of Patiala, all had horses in the big race. Some of these princes have breeding stables. Others import English, Irish, Australian, American and Arabian thoroughbreds. There was no American horse entered for the viceroy's cup this year, but Kentucky running stock is usually represented.

There are two race tracks at Calcutta, one for regular running, the other for steeple chasing, and, as in England and Ireland, the horses run on the turf, and most of the riders are gentlemen. A few professional jockeys represent the stables of breeders who are too old or too fat or too lazy to ride themselves, but it is considered the proper thing for every true sportsman to ride his own horse as long as he is under weight. The tracks are surrounded by lovely landscapes, an easy driving distance from Calcutta, and everybody in town was there. The grand stand and the terraces that surround it were crowded with beautifully dressed women, many of them Parsees, in their lovely costumes, and within the course were more than 50,000 natives, wearing every conceivable color, red and yellow predominating, so that when one looked down upon the inclosure from a distance it resembled a vast flower bed, a field of poppies and roses. The natives take great interest in the races, and, as they are admitted free, every man, woman and child who could leave home was there, and the most of them walked the entire distance from the city.

The viceroy and vice-queen appear in the official old-fashioned barouche, drawn by four horses, with outriders, and escorted by a bodyguard of Sikhs in brilliant scarlet uniforms and big turbans of navy blue, with gold trimmings. The viceroy's box is lined and carpeted with scarlet, and easy chairs were placed for his comfort. Distinguished people came up to pay their respects to him and Lady Curzon, and between visits he wandered about the field, shaking hands with acquaintances in a democratic fashion and smiling as if he were having the time of his life. It is not often that the present viceroy takes a holiday. He is the most industrious man in India, and very few of his subjects work as hard as he, but he takes his recreation in the same fashion. He is always full of enthusiasm, and never does anything in a half-hearted way. Lord Kitchener came also, but was compelled to remain in his carriage because of his broken leg. The police found him a good place and he enjoyed it.

On the lawn behind the grand stand, under the shade of groups of palm trees, tables and chairs were placed, and tea was served between the events. Ladies whose husbands are members of the Jockey Club can engage tables in advance, as most of them do, and issue their invitations in advance also, so that Viceroy's day is usually a continuous tea party and a reunion of old friends, for everybody within traveling distance comes to the capital that day. Every woman wore a new gown made expressly for the occasion. Most of them were of white or of dainty colors, but they did not compare in beauty or elegance with the brocades and embroidered silks worn by bare-legged natives. Half the Hindu gentlemen present had priceless camel's hair and Cashmere shawls thrown over their shoulders - most of them heirlooms, for, according to the popular impression, modern shawls do not compare in quality with the old ones. Under the shawls they wear long coats, reaching to their heels like ulsters, of lovely figured silk or brocade of brilliant colors. Some of them are finished with exquisite embroidery. No Hindu women were present, only Parsees. They never appear in public, and allow their husbands to wear all of the fine fabrics and jewels. With shawls wrapped around them like Roman togas, the Hindus are the most dignified and stately human spectacles you can imagine, but when they put on European garments or a mixture of native and foreign dress they are positively ridiculous, and do violence to every rule of art and law of taste. Usually when an oriental - for it is equally true of China, Japan and Turkey - adopts European dress he selects the same colors he would wear in his own, and he looks like a freak, as you can imagine, in a pair of green trousers, a crimson waistcoat, a purple tie, a blue negligee shirt and a plaid jacket.

If you want to see a display of fine raiment and precious stones you must attend an official function in India, a reception by Lord or Lady Curzon, for in the number, size and value of their jewels the Indian princes surpass the sovereigns of Europe. One of the rajahs has the finest collection of rubies in the world, purchased from time to time by his ancestors for several generations, most of them in Burma, where the most valuable rubies have been found. Another has a collection of pearls, accumulated in the same way. They represent an investment of millions of dollars, and include the largest and finest examples in the world. When he wears them all, as he sometimes does, on great occasions, his front from his neck to his waist is covered with pearls netted like a chain armor. His turban is a cataract of pearls on all sides, and upon his left shoulder is a knot as large as your two hands, from which depends a braided rope of four strands, reaching to his knee, and every pearl is as large as a grape. You can appreciate the size and value of his collection when I tell you that all of the pearls owned by the ex-Empress Eugenie are worn in his turban, and do not represent ten per cent of the collection.

Other rajahs are famous for diamonds, or emeralds, or other jewels. There seems to be a good deal of rivalry among them as to which shall make the greatest display. But from what people tell me I should say that the Nizam of Haidarabad could furnish the largest stock if these estimable gentlemen were ever compelled to go into the jewelry business. We were particularly interested in him because he outranks all the other native princes, and is the most important as well as the most gorgeous in the array. His dominions, which he has inherited from a long line of ancestors - I believe he traces his ancestry back to the gods - include the ancient City of Golconda, whose name for centuries was a synonym for riches and splendors. In ancient times it was the greatest diamond market in the world. It was the capital of the large and powerful kingdom of the Deccan, and embraced all of southern India, but is now in ruins. Its grandeur began to decay when the kingdom was conquered by the Moguls in 1587 and annexed to their empire, and to-day the crumbling walls and abandoned palaces are almost entirely deserted. Even the tombs of the ancient kings, a row of vast and splendid mausoleums, which cost millions upon millions of dollars, and for architecture and decoration and costliness have been surpassed only by those of the Moguls, are being allowed to decay while the ruling descendant of the men who sleep there spends his income for diamonds.

The magnificence and extravagance of these princes are the theme of poems and legends. There is a large book in Persian filled with elaborate and graphic descriptions of the functions and ceremonies that attend the reception of an envoy from Shah Abbas, King of Persia, who visited the court of Golconda in 1503. Among other gifts brought by him from his royal master was a crown of rubies which still remains in the family, although many people think the original stones have been removed and imitations substituted in order that the nizam may enjoy the glory of wearing them. When his ambassador went back to Persia he was accompanied by a large military escort guarding a caravan of 2,400 camels laden with gifts from the nizam to his royal master.

The present capital of the province, the city of Haidarabad, was founded in 1589 by a gentleman named Kutab Shah Mohammed Kuli, who afterward removed his household there on account of a lack of water and a malarial atmosphere at Golconda. He called the city in honor of his favorite concubine. The name means "the city of Haidar." The province includes about 80,000 square miles of territory, and has a population of 11,141,946 of whom only 10 per cent are Moslems, although the ruling family have always professed that faith.

The present nizam is Mahbub Ali, who was born in 1866, was partially educated in England and is very popular with all classes of people - particularly with those who profit by his extravagance. The revenues of the state are about $20,000,000 a year, and the people are very much overtaxed. The nizam's taste for splendor and his desire to outdo all the other native princes in display have caused the government of India considerable anxiety, and the British resident at his capital, whose duty is to keep him straight, enjoys no sinecure.

Haidarabad is one of the oldest cities in India, with a population of 355,000, inclosed by a strong wall six miles in circumference. The city stands in the midst of wild and rocky scenery and is one of the most interesting places in India, because the nizam is fond of motion and music and color, and has surrounded himself with a large retinue of congenial spirits, who live at his expense and pay their board by amusing him. As the most important Moslem potentate except the Sultan of Turkey, he has attracted to his service Mohammedans from every part of the earth, who go about wearing their distinctive national costumes and armed with quaint weapons - Turks, Arabs, Moors, Afghans, Persians, Rajputs, Sikhs, Marathas, Pathans and representatives of all the other races that confess Islam. His palaces are enormous and are filled with these retainers, said to number 7,000 of all ranks and races, and the courtyards are full of elephants, camels, horses, mounted escorts and liveried servants. It reminds one of the ancient East, a gorgeous page out of the Arabian Nights.