MADRAS, Tuesday, January 28.

We arose to find ourselves at anchor in the open sea opposite Madras. There is not a harbor upon the whole western coast of Hindostan. Government is engaged in constructing one, but it is slow work, as the immense blocks of concrete used can be handled and laid only in smooth seas, which seldom occur. Sometimes the mail steamers find it impossible to land passengers or cargo, and are compelled to carry both to Calcutta. The surf often sweeps over the top of the iron pier, which is certainly twenty feet high. Passengers are taken ashore in native boats twenty feet long and five feet deep. Across the boat, on small round poles, sit ten rowers, five on each side; another man steers, and in the bow stand two boys prepared to bail out the water which sweeps in as we plunge through the surf. Fortunately the sea was unusually calm, and we had no difficulty in reaching dry land. When the surf is too strong for even these boats to encounter, natives communicate with ships by tying together three small logs, upon which they manage to sit and paddle about, carrying letters in bags fastened upon their heads. As the solid logs cannot sink, they are safe as long as they can cling to them, and an upset is to them an occurrence of little consequence. We saw many of these curious contrivances, but one must have a good deal of the amphibious in his nature, or full faith that he was not born to be drowned, to trust himself upon them through the Madras surf.

India at last! How strange everything looks! Brahmans, Cullrees and Banians, devotees of the three different gods, with foreheads marked to denote their status, the white sandal-wood paste upon the Brahman's brow. Our first glimpse of caste, of which these are the three main divisions, to one of which all persons must belong or be of the lowest order, the residuum, who are coolies. There are many subdivisions of these, and indeed every trade or calling constitutes a different order, the members of which do not intermarry, or associate, or even eat with one another. Generations pursuing the same calling, and only marrying within themselves, acquire a peculiar appearance, and this effectually creates a caste. Carpenters, masons, merchants, each are distinct, and the occupation of a man can readily be known by his dress or manner.

Caste! what is caste? whence did it spring? and what are its effects today in India? Whatever story I tell about its origin, some great authority will flatly contradict it. The beginning of caste, like that of most existing institutions, is lost in obscurity; but the most likely guess to my mind is that which founds caste upon this natural train of reasoning.

Before men travelled much, when the race were serfs and all their needs were supplied by those immediately about them, it was almost inevitable that the son should be put to his father's handicraft. He could be of service there at a much earlier age than if he had to go to a stranger. Besides, he had a chance from his infancy to become familiar with the work, and again, his father's reputation would serve a purpose. Therefore, successive generations remained bakers, smiths, carpenters, agriculturists, laborers, and eventually this developed special aptitudes under the law of inherited tendencies and each occupation became a caste.

Those who were in the highest employments being the best educated, they soon took measures to secure their privileges, and in the past ages nothing could rivet the chains so effectually as the sanction of the gods. Therefore, we need not be surprised that in good time a revelation came to this effect: "When man was divided how many did they make him? What was his mouth? What his arms? What his legs and feet? Brahma was his mouth, Kshatriya his arms, Vaisya his thighs, and Sudra his feet."

This gives four grand divisions for the race, and their duties toward the State and to each other are clearly defined by the part of the "Grand Man" or "God" from which they sprang. The following are a few of the principal items of the code which regulates these classes: To the first, or Brahman, belongs the religious department - he studies and expounds the sacred books, officiates at sacrifices, and is the recipient of the "presents" offered to the gods. These are modern clergymen. To the second, or Kshatriyas, are given the war department, force, and criminal justice. These are our human butchers, the military class, who are yet not ashamed of the "profession of arms." To the third, or Vaisyas, belong commerce and agriculture, and to the poor fourth estate, or Sudras, are left the mechanical arts and service to the other castes. The first three alone wear the sacred thread.

The Brahman is entitled by primogeniture to the whole universe. He may seize the goods of a Sudra, and whatever, beyond a certain amount, the latter acquires by labor or succession. If he slanders any of the other castes he pays only nominal fines graduated according to classes. Whatever crime he may commit his personal property cannot be injured, but whoever strikes a Brahman even with a blade of grass becomes an inferior quadruped for twenty-one generations. He is the physician for men's bodies as well as for their souls.

The one duty of the Sudra is to serve all the three superior castes "without depreciating their worth." In administering oaths, a Brahman swears only by his veracity - "his honor as a gentleman." A Kshatriya swears by his weapons, a Vaisya by his cattle, while the poor Sudra has to swear by all the most frightful penalties of perjury.

A curious survival of this same idea lingers in England, where the theory is that all men are equal before the law. Nevertheless members of the Royal Family are still released from the suspicion that they would not tell the truth unless they took an oath to do so. They are not required to take an oath before testifying in court. But imagine Herbert Spencer and the average Prince giving evidence; whose word would go the farther the wide world over? Yet the former would be insulted by being compelled to swear, while the latter would be allowed to testify upon the "honor of a prince," a very scanty foundation as princes have ever been and must ever be. History seems to teach us that it has been difficult to get this class to keep the oaths they did take. If I were an M. P., I would move that this be changed. The Brahman, notwithstanding his superior station, is nevertheless held to be much more liable to pollution than the lower orders, and is therefore required to bathe more frequently, and to be much more watchful against the tempter. Our Brahmans at home might take a lesson from this. A high authority has told us that

  "Life can be lived well, 
   Even in a palace."

But Burns has the truth:

  "And certes in fair Virtue's heavenly road 
   The cottage leaves the palace far behind."

I have given you the ideal of caste and its laws. Their administration is a far different matter. It is no longer possible for Brahmans to enforce strictly their claims. Caste crumbles away before the progress of the age. Your railway is a "sure destroyer" of all branches of inequality among men. The Press a still greater; but ages will pass ere we have among the two hundred and fifty millions of Hindostan anything approaching that degree of equality and intermarriage of classes which even England possesses, to say nothing of America. The marvel is that caste took such root throughout India apparently in opposition to the teachings of Gautama Buddha. But it is scarcely less strange than that the fighting Christian nations found their system upon the teachings of the Prince of Peace.

Here is the true doctrine of the Eastern Christ: As the four rivers which fall into the Ganges lose their names as soon as they mingle their waters with the holy river, so all who believe in Buddha cease to be Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. The same doctrine is beautifully expressed in the "Light of Asia." Buddha asks for a drink of milk from a shepherd.

  "'Ah, my Lord, 
   I cannot give thee,' quoth the lad; 'thou seest 
   I am a Sudra, and my touch defiles!' 
   Then the world-honored spoke: 'Pity and need 
   Make all flesh kin. There is no caste in blood, 
   Which runneth of one hue, nor caste in tears, 
   Which trickle salt with all; neither comes man 
   To birth with tilka-mark stamped on the brow, 
   Nor sacred thread on neck. Who doeth right deeds 
   Is twice-born, and who doeth ill deeds vile. 
   Give me to drink, my brother. '"

Our friend in Madras gave us a rare treat by driving us out to see the celebrated Madras tigers, for nowhere else in the world are such tigers kept as here, and indeed I go so far as to declare that until one has seen these grand animals he has no adequate idea of what a tiger is. All that I have seen hitherto - and I do not forget the "Zoo" in London - are but tame mockeries of the genuine monster. I walked up to a large cage, but was startled by such a fright. A tiger was in an instant flat against the cage, and between me and it were only a few small iron rods which rattled like reeds as he struck them. I thought the whole cage was in pieces, and that beast upon me. Such glaring eyes, burning like immense topazes in his head! and then when he found himself unable to get at his prey, such a yell! but I was many feet from him ere this came, I assure you. He had sprung from the back of his cage against the bars, a distance of at least fifteen or eighteen feet, the moment he saw me, and no doubt hurt himself as he dashed against them. The keeper told us this one had only been caught a few months ago. His stripes were glossy black, and his coat not that sickly tawny color we are so familiar with, but a light fiery brown. Compared with the tiger, it is impossible but that even the noblest lion must seem tame and inert. We took no interest in the lions, although there were some fine specimens. In the evening we enjoyed hearing the Governor's band performing on the beach and seeing Madras society congregated there, and for the first time since we left America saw full-sized horses again. Several gentlemen were riding animals that would pass muster in Central Park. Thus far we have found only little ponies in use.

Our races have never been brought face to face with famine, but in India the masses are always upon the brink of starvation; a little too much, or too little, rain during the monsoon, and the lives of millions are endangered. The miserable wretches - mere skeletons - we saw to-day sitting on the dusty road sides beseeching passers-by for a pittance, are traces which still remain of the terrible famine of the years 1876 and 1877. Both the monsoons of the former year failed, and the season of 1877 was little better, although the government spent more than eleven millions sterling ($55,000,000) in strenuous efforts to supply enough food to render existence possible. More than five million human beings, more than the entire population of the State of Pennsylvania - far more than that of Scotland - were sacrificed from want and disease resulting from the famine of these two years. There is no doubt about the correctness of this startling statement, for it is founded upon the increased death rate in the afflicted districts.

It was while the shadow of this calamity, unparalleled since the beginning of British rule in India, was over the land that the most gorgeous "durbar" ever held in India was ordered for the purpose of gratifying a whim of Queen Victoria, who had induced Lord Beaconsfield to have her proclaimed Empress of India, or, as is far more probable, which he had instigated her to accept. The natives who spoke of this to us were outraged at the act, and quoted it as proof that their lives and sufferings were held as nothing by England. This does England gross injustice, for, as I was able to tell them, English opinion was itself averse to giving the Queen a title in India which they could not be induced to tolerate at home, and only acquiesced because Victoria had really done so much that was good during her long reign that they did not wish to deny her what she had unfortunately set her heart upon; and then after all the poor Queen probably did not know about the famine. Her books show that her interest in life is confined strictly to the petty details of her household and narrow circle of satellites.

Today our Sunday-school recollections were again aroused by a sight of the terrible car of Juggernaut. It is really an immense affair, elaborately carved in bold relief, and on the top is a platform for the priests. I should say the car is twenty-five feet high and about eight by twelve at the base; it has six wheels, four outside and two in the centre, the former nine feet in diameter and the latter six, all of solid wood clamped together with iron bands, and all at least two feet in width of tread. Such a mass, drawn through the streets by elephants and accompanied by excited devotees, its hundred bells jangling as it rolled along where there was not another vehicle of any kind with which to compare it, or a house more than one small story high, must have appeared to the ignorant natives something akin to the supernatural; and I can now well understand how wretches, working themselves into a state of frenzy, should have felt impelled to dash under its wheels. It is still paraded upon certain festival days, invariably surrounded, however, by policemen, who keep the natives clear of the wheels, for even to-day, if they were not prevented, its victims would be as numerous as ever. Imagine, if you can, with what feelings we stood and gazed upon this car, which has crushed under its ponderous wheels religious enthusiasts by the thousand, and which still retains its fascination over men anxious to be allowed the glory of such self-immolation, at the supposed call of God, who would be a fiend if he desired such sacrifice.

We left Madras on Wednesday morning, and had a fine smooth sail across the Bay of Bengal to Calcutta, the City of Palaces and centre of the British power in India. Coming up the river we pass the shipping in review, and never before have we seen so many large, magnificent sailing ships in one port, not even in Liverpool or London. The trade requires large clippers, and these splendid vessels lie four and five deep for two miles along the river, all in fine trim, flags flying, and looking their best. We pass the palace of the old King of Oude, who was brought here when deposed for his misdeeds. He is allowed a pension of $50,000 per month, which seems a great waste of money, as it is mostly squandered by the old reprobate. His collection of birds and beasts is a wonderful one, for he pays any price for animals; last month he paid $12,500 for two grand tigers, but they escaped a few days afterward and swam across the river.

The first queer thing that strikes you at your hotel is that two natives take you in custody without even saying "by your leave," and never while you are in Calcutta will you be able to get out of sight of one or the other of these officers. One attends in person to your room, brings you your tea and toast at six, prepares your bath, takes your shoes to the proper "caste" man below (he wouldn't black them for the world, bless you!), and plays the valet while you dress. At night you find him stretched out across your door, like a dog on the watch, and there he lies all night, subject to master's call. I hurt my man's feelings one night by gently stepping over his prostrate form and getting into my room and going to bed without his aid. I turned the key when I got inside, and not many moments after I heard him move. Missing the key, he suspected something was wrong, and tried the door several times; but as he met with no response he finally gave it over, and lay down to sleep. The other attendant is our waiter at table and out-door servant. You find these people curled up and lying at every step through the halls, and are in constant danger of stumbling over them. Every guest generally has two, although the hotel professes to keep an efficient staff of its own. We hear amusing stories told of servants in India, their duties being so strictly defined by caste that one must be kept for every trifling duty. Our friend the Major tells us, for instance, that upon a recent occasion his wife wished to send a note to him at the Fort, a very short distance from his residence. The proper messenger happening to have been sent elsewhere, she asked the coachman to please take it to master, but he explained how impossible it would be for him to comply, much as he wished to do so. Persuasion was useless; but madame thought of a remedy - order the carriage. The grooms prepare and harness the horses, the coachman mounts the box and appears at the door. "Now drive to master's, and, attendant, deliver this note." All right. This brought it within the sphere of his caste. He is bound to obey all orders connected with the carriage. Incidents of this nature are too numerous to recount. It is in India that political economists can best study the division of labor in its most advanced stage of development. My friend Mrs. K. kindly gave me her list of servants and their various duties, They numbered twenty-two, although Mr. K.'s establishment is a moderate one.

We find the Zoological Gardens very interesting. Here we saw for the first time monkeys running about unfettered among the trees, and a lion chained to a dog-kennel doing watch duty like a mastiff. We also saw an entire house devoted to the display of pheasants. These birds make a fine collection, for there are numerous varieties, and some exceedingly beautiful. There are here two full-grown orang-outangs and one child, the former even more human than the pets we had recently been in charge of. The huge crocodile in a large pond failed to make his appearance yesterday, and while we were there five natives with long poles and two in a small boat were detailed to stir him up and see what was the matter. It was amusing to see these naked attendants as they waded in a few feet and poked about, ready to jump back at every movement of the water, and sometimes frightened at each other's strokes; but all will agree with me that this business of stirring up crocodiles at twenty cents per day yields no fair compensation for the risks involved. There are good tigers here also, but having seen the tiger of the world at Madras, all others are but shadows. It is the same now with peacocks, which in these latitudes are far superior to those with us, but the peacock is at Saigon, in Cochin China, and we never see one without saying, one to the other, "How poor!" We are in a few days to see the Taj, and I suppose it will be the same as to buildings hereafter. Even Walter Scott's monument at Edinburgh - my favorite piece of stone and lime - must be surpassed by this marvel of perfection.

I have been considering whether it is more productive of pleasure really to have seen or heard the admitted best of everything, beyond which you can never expect to go, and as compared with which you must actually hereafter be content invariably to meet the inferior, or whether one had better, for the retention of future interest in things, not see the very topmost and unrivalled of each. I have met people whose ears, for instance, were so cultivated as to render it painful for them to listen even to the grandest music if indifferently performed; some who had "atmosphere" and "chiaro-oscuro" so fully developed that copies of even the "Madonna di San Sisto" were only daubs offensive to the eye; others who, having seen Macready in Macbeth, find the tragedy stale in others' hands. Now I don't believe this ensues where the love of the art itself is genuine; and I rejoice to say that having once listened to an oratorio at the Handel Festival with four thousand selected performers, that oratorio becomes forever a source of exquisite enjoyment, performed where or how it may be. If poorly done, the mind floats up toward the region, if it does not attain quite the same height, where it soared at the perfect recital; the distinct images there seen, which Confucius justly gives music the power of creating, come vividly again as the notes swell forth. The priests who call are different, indeed, but the gods who respond are one and the same. So having seen Janauschek in Lady Macbeth, all other Lady Macbeths participate in her quality. Having almost worshipped Raphael's Madonna, all other Madonnas have a touch of her power. It is of the very essence of genius that it educates one to find beauty and harmony where before he would only have trodden over barren sands, and the grand and poor performances of any masterpiece are not a contrast to the truly receptive, but are as steps leading from the lowest to the highest in the same temple. Because one has been awe-stricken by Niagara's torrent, are the other waterfalls of the world to be uninteresting? No; to the man whose soul has really been impressed, every tiny stream that tumbles down in foam is related to the greater wonder, partaking to some extent of its beauty and grandeur. Having seen the Himalayas, are the more modest but not less dear Alleghanies to lose their charm and power? Never! Let me go forward, then, and revel without misgivings in the highest of human and divine creations, as I may be privileged to see or hear or know them. I do not fear that I shall ever become a member of the extensive band we meet in our travels who have become incapable of enjoying anything but the best.

We paid a visit to the river one morning to see the Hindoos performing the sacred rite of bathing, which their religion commands. Crowds of men and women enter the water promiscuously and pray together. What a mercy that Brahma thought of elevating, personal cleanliness to the rank of the virtues! What thousands are saved every year in consequence! What this crowded hive of human beings in hot India would become without this custom it is fearful to contemplate. I find our friends all regretting that Mohammed was less imperative upon this point. His followers take rather to sprinkling than immersion, for dipping hands and feet in water is held by them as quite sufficient, and both are not equally efficacious as purifiers in the tropics, however they may be as religious ceremonies.

A Boston clipper ship was being unloaded of its cargo of Wenham Ice as we strolled along the wharf in the warm early morning. The great blocks were carried upon the heads of the naked Sudras, one at a time, and even at this early hour the ice was melting fast, the drops of cool water forming tiny rills on the soiled, dark skins of the carriers, who no doubt enjoyed the rare luxury of something really cold. The exportation of ice to the East was a great Boston industry at that time; today it is wholly gone, the artificial being now made and sold at every centre for one-third the price commanded by the natural product. A slight improvement in the mode of manufacture, and, presto! here at the Equator, where the temperature is always at our summer heat, we make ice by the ton and are able to sell it at prices which the poorest population in the world can readily pay. Where are we going to stop in the domain of invention?

One day we visited the temple sacred to the bloody goddess "Kali," from whom Calcutta derives its name. She took her rise, as many gods have done, from her insatiable thirst for human blood. One powerful giant alone was able for many years to withstand her arts, he being secretly informed by a spirit that when she pursued he had only to stand in water, and if one drop of his blood was spilled, other giants would spring forth and devour "Kali" herself. This secret she divined, however, and one day attacked him even in the water, strangling him and sucking every drop of his blood without spilling one. But her tongue grew so large and red that she was never afterward able to get it back into her mouth, and now she stands fixed in this temple, her big red tongue hanging out, a most revolting sight. So powerful is she esteemed that pilgrims to her shrine, who have spent months in coming hundreds of miles by measuring their bodies upon the dusty ground, are sometimes seen passing through the by-lanes of Calcutta. Lying flat, they mark their length, rise, and lie down again at this mark, and go on this way, never leaving the path day or night, and begging food and water enough to sustain them as they proceed. I was told of one man who travelled eight hundred miles in this manner. Imagine the strength of the superstition which can so blind its dupes. But even this is nothing compared with the self-inflicted torture practised by many "who seek to merit heaven by making earth a hell." It is not rare for fakirs to stand in postures that cripple them for life. One elects to stand on one foot until it becomes impossible for him ever to put the other to the ground. Another determines to raise his arms to heaven, never taking them down. In a short time, after excruciating pain, the joints stiffen so as to render any change impossible, and the arms shrivel until little but bone is left. Some let their nails grow into their flesh and through their hands. The forms of these penances are innumerable, and those who undergo them are regarded as holy men and are worshipped and supported by their less religious fellows. Kali must still have her blood, and hundreds of kids, goats, buffaloes, and other animals are sacrificed daily at her shrine. We saw the bloody work going forward. Crowds of pilgrims, numbering at least three hundred during our short stay, came in bands from the country to propitiate the goddess. Each one presents an offering as the idol is shown. It is the most disgusting object I have ever seen, and a sight of it would, I am sure, frighten children into crying. The business is skilfully managed. A small dark hall, capable of holding about twenty-five worshippers, occupies the space before the idol. This is filled with people and the doors closed; then, amid the murmurs of priests and beating of gongs, two sliding-doors are drawn aside, and the horrible she-demon, with swollen blood-red tongue, comes into view for a moment only, and the gifts are thrown at her. The crowd is excited by fear and awe, but ere the figure can be closely scrutinized the doors close, and the poor ignorant wretches seem stupefied with what has been revealed. They pass slowly out, looking as if they had been almost blinded with a glimpse of the forbidden mysteries, and another batch crowds in to be similarly worked upon. We saw other forms and figures of worship too gross to speak of. Nothing yet seen can be called idolatry when compared with this, and I felt like giving up all hope of improvement in these people; but then when one sees the extent and character of the superstitions of the East he cannot help having doubts of the advancement or elevation of the species. There is, however, this consoling knowledge, that the worshippers, such young girls and boys as we saw today excepted, know that Kali is but the symbol of power, not the power itself. Around this fact the forces able to overthrow superstition may be evolved hereafter. The germ is there.

The hundreds of young, pretty, innocent children whom we saw brought to-day to witness such rites by kind, dutiful, religious parents - the most conscientious and most respectable of the native race - were dressed with as much care and pride as a corresponding number of young Christians would be when taken to the rite of confirmation. How could I be otherwise than sad and murmur, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." Thus far is plain sailing, for every one will agree with me; but when I denounced to the priests the pools of clotted blood as offensive, even to coarse men, and wholly unfit as a satisfactory offering to any power to whom we can ascribe the name of God, they retorted by saying this is also part of the Christian system: the God of Abraham demands his sacrifice of blood also. It is in vain to intimate that this day is past and that our Father in heaven no longer takes delight in the blood of rams or of bullocks. I shall never forget the malicious inquiry: "Does your God change, then?" "No, certainly not; but our conceptions of him change year by year as we gain knowledge." They smile, and I am troubled. Let us pause and reflect before we rashly assail any form of religion until we know that what we have to offer in its place is really free from the errors we mourn over in others. In the progress of the race such dreadful conceptions of God must apparently exist for a time. Has not Herbert Spencer himself assured us that,

  "Speaking generally, the religion current in each age and among 
   each people has been as near an approximation to the truth as 
   it was then and there possible for men to receive."

I needed all this from the philosopher to restrain my indignation at first and afterward to mitigate my sorrow. Even this was not quite sufficient, but how much an anecdote will sometimes do, and this one the philosopher above quoted told me himself. At times, when disposed to take gloomy views of man's advance, and sickened by certain of his still barbarous beliefs and acts, he had found relief in the story Emerson tells of himself when in similar moods. After attending a meeting - perhaps the one where he was hissed from the platform for denouncing human slavery - he walked home burning with indignation; but entering his grounds, and wandering among the green grass and the flowers, silently growing in the cool moonlight, he looked up at the big trees and the big trees looking down upon him seemed to say: "What! so hot, my little sir!" Yes, we must upon our "distemper sprinkle cool patience." If all is not well, yet all is coming well. In this faith we find peace. The endless progress of the race is assured now that evolution has come with its message and shed light where before there was darkness, reassuring those who thought and who therefore doubted most.

General Litchfield, United States Consul, fortunately accompanied us upon this visit, and he knew two of the officiating priests, who spoke English perfectly. These escorted us round and told us about everything. The history of these two natives is most suggestive. They were educated by the government in one of its colleges, and very soon saw the falsity of their religious tenets, but failing to get suitable employment, they had to return to their families, who owned a share in the Kali Temple, which is still profitable property, held like any other building. The revenues are now divided among a hundred priests, and maintain these and their families, all of whom are of the same family. Should another son marry he becomes entitled to a certain share, and so on. They carry this imposture on simply as a matter of business, and laughed at us when we said they knew it was all humbug. If it be true that no religion can long retain vital force after its priests know it to be false, then there is hope for the speedy fall of idolatry in India; but I fear there will be no lack of men who will, like these hypocrites, continue to preach what they know better than to believe, as long as rich livings are at stake.

In one of our drives General Litchfield pointed out the house where Macaulay wrote some of his essays while here laying the foundations of the law code which has proved such a boon to India. I see one great tribute paid to this monument of his genius: the codification of the law in England is urged forward by pointing to the indisputable success of the Indian code.

India has also great capabilities in regard to another article of the largest consumption - tea. In this it is not improbable she will some day rival even China. 
 We have been travelling for some days with a gentleman largely interested in its cultivation in the Assam district, and learn from him that the tea grown there commands a higher price than the Chinese article. It also prospers in several other parts of India, and the amount grown is increasing rapidly. The total export in 1878 was 34,000,000 pounds, while last year, 1883, it reached, it is stated, 57,000,000 pounds, a large increase, while the tea culture in China is about at a stand-still, the amount exported to England in 1868, L11,000,000, exceeding that in any year since. India, therefore gains rapidly upon China, and prophets are not wanting who assert that as India was the original home of the plant (as some authorities claim), so India is going to furnish the world in future most of its tea. This may all be true and yet the amount grown in India be a bagatelle to the product of China, which consumes at home about nine times the amount exported. Indian tea is pure, while that raised by both the Japanese and Chinese is adulterated. It is also much stronger. I advise all to give the Indian tea a fair trial.

India, you see, has great possibilities. She is distanced in cotton, is a good second in wheat, and has a place in the race for tea, with odds in her favor in the latter as far as export goes. I think this describes her situation fairly.

There are very few really successful equestrian statues in the world, but Calcutta boasts one of these - Noble's statue of General Outram. The artist has taken a bold departure, and instead of the traditional eagle glance of the hero, the general is represented as just checking his impetuous speed and casting a look behind; the body turned round, and one hand resting on the horse's flank, while the other reins in the horse; his head bare, as if in the attack he had outrun his troops, lost his helmet, and was stopping a moment for them to overtake him. I liked this statue much, and wished that some others of which I wot partook of its merits.

We attended the Viceroy's ball on Wednesday evening, and enjoyed the brilliant scene. The uniforms of British officers as well as those of the Civil Service are gorgeous, and set off a ball-room effectively. We saw more ladies here than upon all other occasions combined during our travels, and their general appearance was certainly better than elsewhere, showing the climate to be less severe upon them. Lord Lytton is a small man of unimposing appearance, and entirely destitute of style, but the Commander-in-Chief, General Haines, seems every inch a soldier, as do many of his subordinate officers. Native princes were formerly invited to these balls, and their presence, attended by their suites in Oriental costumes, added much to the brilliancy of the scene, but it was found desirable to discontinue the practice; they could not partake of European refreshments nor understand the appearance of women in public, and especially their dancing, nor, I fancy, could they look with becoming gravity upon dignitaries so engaged, as they employ people to do their dancing. I confess it struck me as bordering upon the farcical to see Lord Lytton, charged with the government of more than two hundred millions, and General Haines, Commander-in-Chief, with an active campaign on his hands, Sir Thomas Wade, Her Majesty's Ambassador to China, and the Lieutenant-General, all in uniform, and the two former in knee-breeches, "all of ye olden time," doing "forward four and turn your partner" in the same quadrille. Imagine President Lincoln, Secretaries Seward and Stanton, and General Grant so engaged.

The Viceroy of India has certainly to do his part in the way of ceremonial. Flaming handbills of an English circus announce that the performances are under his direct patronage. "Victoria, the Empress of the Arena," is to-night to perform her unparalleled feats in the ring in the presence of His Excellency. This was the only tribute we saw paid in India to Her Majesty's spick-and-span brand-new title of Empress. We attended the performance, which was really creditable, but the natives sat unmoved throughout every scene; so different from the conduct of the Japanese, who scream with delight like children under similar circumstances. The Indians seem to take their pleasures sadly, like ourselves.

We did not fail to visit the famous banyan tree of Calcutta, by far the largest in the world. Vandy and I started and paced it around until we met, counting three hundred and thirteen steps, or, say, three hundred yards; the main trunk is probably about thirty feet in circumference, but from each main branch roots have descended to the earth and become supporters of these branches, allowing them to extend still farther. In this way a branch may have in its course three or four supporters at intervals of twenty or thirty feet; the leaves are thick, and much resemble those of the rubber tree in size and character.

We see numerous native barbers engaged in shaving the people. Victim and operator squat down in a corner on their "hunkers," facing each other, and the operation then begins, the utensils being laid out upon a rag on the ground. It seems the most unnatural posture in the world for shaving or hair-dressing, but as it is the custom there must be some advantages in it which we cannot even guess.

One morning we drove to the burning ghat, and from personal examination of cremation, I am able to express my preference for Christian burial. The business of burning the dead - for in India it is a business like any other, and belongs to a low caste - is carried on in the most heartless manner. A building is erected upon the river-bank, about a hundred feet in length and twenty-five feet in width, and open on the side toward the river. The dead are brought there upon stretchers wrapped in a little cloth, and are first shaved by the attendants, who open the mouth and pour down a vial of the water of the sacred Ganges. The body is then bent into a sitting posture, carried out to the middle of the building, and wood built around it. We saw the embers of several piles which had just done their work, and one pile blazing, through the interstices of which parts of the body were plainly visible. It was all horrible to me as conducted here, but I can conceive of the grand funeral piles of the high priests being made most impressive; and so I am told they are, but the cremation of the poor lacks every element of this nature. My heart bled for a poor widow whose husband had just been taken to the pile. She was of a very low caste, but her grief was heartrending; not loud, but I thought I could taste the saltness of her tears, they seemed so bitter; but she has this consolation to comfort her after the outburst, that she insured the eternal happiness of her mate by having his ashes mingled with the sacred river of God. No one will touch or associate with the caste who dress and burn the dead, nor could any one be induced, save one branch of this caste, to furnish the fire which lights the funeral pile, for which sometimes large sums are exacted, in case the relatives of the dead are wealthy.

The absence of women, other than coolies, which has struck us everywhere in the East, is if anything even more marked in India, where, so far, we have scarcely seen one woman of high caste. The Mohammedans do not permit their ladies ever to leave the house, and upon rare occasions, when temples must be visited, they are closely concealed from view and driven in a close carriage or carried in a sedan chair. The Hindoos are not quite so strict, and we have seen a few in secluded streets going a few steps, but closely muffled up and with faces covered.

Do you remember with what laughter the sun-spot theory was received? At least I know I laughed when I first heard of it - but here in India, where the rainfall is the prime condition of existence to millions and the sun is much more powerful than with us, the Meteorological Department has just reported that there is apparently a sure connection between the rainfall and its distribution and the spots upon the sun. When these spots are at the minimum there is a tendency to prolonged excessive pressure over the land and an unusual amount and irregular distribution of rain.

  "There is blood upon the moon,"

still stands as a poetic expression; but "there are great spots upon the sun" must pass as presaging famine. There seems to have been an element of truth after all in "the signs of the heavens" of the astrologer, only the great law which governs them was unknown.

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