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LETTER FROM MADRAS.
To the Editor of the Oriental Herald.
THE new year was ushered in here by a splendid ball and supper, given by the Right Honourable the Governor at the Banqueting room, Government-house, on the evening of the 1st of January. The company was numerous, and the fête went off as all such enter. tainments generally do here, where the body is more benefited than the mind; for, as far as such enjoyment is in question, all seemed to be highly satisfied. The viands were of course excellent, the wines as good as are usually met with on such occasions, and the host affable and courteous.
The ship Wellington arrived early in January, from England: amongst the passengers by her, came Captain Marjoribanks, the new master attendant for this Port, appointed from the India House, in the room of the late Captain Grant: Mr. Gascoigne reverts to his former situation of Deputy he had acted as Master, since Captain Grant's death.
Sir Ralph Palmer, our Chief Justice, returned on the 15th, from Bengal, by the ship Clyde.
Our Superintendant of Police, Major Ormsby, has also returned from his sea voyage, and resumed the duties of his situation. Mr. Elliot, who acted in his absence, is, it is said, to be otherwise provided for, At the sessions, held on the 23d, Sir G. W. Ricketts, in delivering his address to the Grand Jury, took an opportunity of paying a high compliment to Mr. Elliot, for the very able and satisfactory manner in which he had filled the office of Superintendant during Major Ormsby's absence, and added that, in doing so, he also expressed the opinions of the Chief Justice and Sir R. Comyn.
No trials of any interest came before the Court at this time.
At several times during the month, the weather has been wet and squally, and often bore a threatening appearance: the swell was at times excessively great, and so high was the surf as to cut off all communication with the shipping. An old military officer, who had been on board the ship Wellington, looking at her accommodations, previously to his taking a passage home in her, was upset while coming ashore in a boat with his European servant, when about twenty yards from the beach. Luckily they both clung to the boat, which was soon again righted by the boatman, assisted by some catamarans that were fortunately at hand when the accident occurred. The parties were well ducked, and looked rather out of humour on mounting the Colonel's curricle to drive home.
Our races commenced on the 21st, and the assemblage at the course, on the first morning, was very respectable, the Right Honourable the Governor, his Excellency the Commander-inChief, and many other leading characters being present. There were several days' running; but the sport was very meagre, and by no means equal to what was expected. Few individuals here enter into this amusement with any spirit. The Commissary-General, a captain of dragoons, two or three military and civil officers, with sundry idle attorneys, are the only persons who seem to have a taste for the turf; and to some of them it has tasted so bitter, sour, and disagreeable at this meeting, that they have been heard to express their determination of abandoning it, at least as far as horseracing goes; but a subscription has been entered into for getting a pack of hounds, and the association bears the name of The Madras Hunt.'
A match for three thousand rupees, between two celebrated horses, Wildblood and Orelio, took place the first day of the meeting, and created very considerable interest: it was gained by the former, contrary to general expectation; and, as very large bets were pending on the match, a good deal of money was lost and won, and some very long visages were to be seen at the race-stand on the termination of the match, realising exactly Hogarth's picture of the Gamesters in the Rake's Progress. Fortunately, the propensity for gaming does not prevail here to any great extent. We are not, as in England, disgusted by seeing a peer of the realm arm in arm with a gamester or a pugilist of low birth and vulgar deportment. However, but few years have elapsed since occurrences arose from horse-racing here that excited pain, indignation, and disgust throughout the whole community, and tended much towards stirring up malignant passions, ill-blood, and disagreements that time will never obliterate.
The Right Honourable the Governor has, for the present, abandoned his intention of proceeding to the Neilgherry Hills, and of visiting other districts in the interior. Preparations had been made for his departure about this time, and there are different reports as to the cause of the journey being put off. A report of that dreadful disease the cholera being prevalent at several villages on the route, and of the Mysore and Seringapatam fevers being rather more violent than usual this season, is stated to have induced him to remain here, rather than run risks. The same causes are said to have induced his Excellency Sir G. T. Walker, the Commander-inchief, to give up his intention of proceeding on a military tour, for which preparations had likewise been made. There are other reports in circulation as to the reasons these great men have for remaining at the Presidency; and one, of no little consideration, is the probability of the new Governor-General, Lord W. Bentinck, touching here previously to his proceeding to Calcutta. His Lord
ship was universally admired and esteemed during the four years he directed the affairs of this Presidency, (viz. from 1803 to 1807,) and has many friends at Madras, European and Native. It is generally wished that he may gratify us with a visit.
Our Right Honourable Governor also has his hands pretty full of business, and, to all appearance, he is highly competent to it.' Numerous removals and changes are going on amongst the civilians. David Hill, Esq., Chief Secretary to Government, has been removed from his situation, and is succeeded by R. Clive, Esq., formerly Secretary to Government in the military department. An old civilian, Collector and Magistrate of one of the principal districts under the Madras Government, has been removed from his situation, and another appointed to it. Report says that he had been tyrannically severe on some part of the Native population, and guilty of other improprieties; to investigate which a commission is to assemble on the spot.
A determined spirit to economise, pervades every act of our Governor; and public report says, some of those who sit in judgment' with him are not equally zealous. Having long indulged themselves in habits of luxurious extravagance, they are averse to check it in others; but, from the spirit evinced by the Governor, there is no doubt that he will carry his work of retrenchment into every department; and it is rumoured, that some of the members of Government are so annoyed at what is going forward in this way, that more than one seat in Council are likely soon to become vacant by the departure of their occupants to Europe.
Some reductions are also spoken of in the Army, the Ordnance, and Commissariat Departments, that will lead to economy, without lessening the efficiency of the establishment. The Medical and Ecclesiastical Departments have also undergone a scrutiny; but it is not thought any alterations can be effected in either, there being more need of additions than curtailments to both, unless it be in the establishment of the Kirk of Scotland, as we have here two chaplains to it, with their two clerks, &c., and there is only service for about an hour and a half on Sunday morning, to a very limited congregation; which duty these Rev. northern divines take alternately, so that each has about three hours' labour monthly. Their monthly salary is about equal to what many of their brethren at home get yearly; yet those men at home do as much duty in a week as these, here, do in a year.
I attended, lately, the examination of the Vepery Academy, which is conducted by Mr. David Kerz, assisted by Mrs. K. and others. It was truly pleasing to observe the progress the young people had made in the various branches of education. I may safely say, if this seminary is equalled, it is not excelled by any other in India: every thing seems to be conducted with so much regularity, good taste, and propriety, that I almost fancied myself in some Eng Oriental Herald, Vol. 18.
lish seminary, until the (brown, but comely) countenances of the youths reminded me where I was. I send you copies of letters,' (as cut from The Government Gazette' here,) addressed to Mr. Kerz, by clergymen who attended the examinations: they are of a highly satisfactory nature, and, if you can afford them a place in your columns, you will confer a benefit on the rising generation.
Public parties and private entertainments have been very frequent during the month of January, as they usually are: the Monthly Public Ball, the Race Ball, &c., have tended to enliven society here, although, upon the whole, there is but little sociality prevalent-but much state, stiffness, and formality. Those midnight as-semblies, card-playing and scandalising conventions, are very far from being agreeable; health, beauty, and fortune, are there frequently sacrificed without any adequate compensation in return. To a stranger, newly arrived, the ladies (many of them at least) appear as just risen from the bed of sickness: their voice is soft and spiritless, and every step betrays languor and lassitude: they certainly want the glow of health in the countenance, that delicious crimson (lumen purpureum juventa) which, in colder climates, enlivens the coarsest set of features, and renders a beautiful one irresistible :
'Youth's orient bloom, the blush of chaste desire,
And full in Albion's matchless daughters shine.'
The subscription for erecting a monument to the memory of the late Sir Thomas Munro, amounts now to above one hundred thousand rupees that for the relief of the crews of the seven ships that were wrecked by the storm, in December last, amounts to about twelve thousand.
The Right Hon. S. R. Lushington, our Governor, has graciously condescended to become Patron of the Literary Society of Madras ; and we are promised the speedy appearance of the first volume of the Society's Transactions, which is said to contain several interesting communications.
- There has been a good deal of sickness about Madras, during the month of January; and some cases of cholera are said to have occurred: from the Institution for boys, (viz. the Male Asylum,) there were fifteen funerals within the last month. There is an adage, When the devil finds men idle, he generally gives them employment; and it seems fully verified in the Madras Army, there being three European General Courts-Martial at present sitting; viz. one at Masulapatam, one at Bangalore, and one at Trichinopoly. The former two are for the trial of officers of the Honourable Company's Army, and the last for the trial of King's soldiers. A murder of a very atrocious nature has recently been committed here by one of the Beguins, (alias a lady of the family
of the Nabob of the Carnatic,) on one of her female domestics, and within the precincts of Cheaupauh Palace.
There are various editions of the story in circulation, but so contradictory as to render it impossible to give a correct statement of it. No doubt, however, exists as to the murder having been committed. I heard the Superintendant of police say so two days ago; and the Lady herself admits its having been perpetrated in her presence, and under her direction. She has been admitted to bail; but three of her Native servant-girls have been committed to gaol: they were participators in the act, as report states. The matter will stand over till the assizes in April next.
DEBATE AT THE EAST INDIA HOUSE.
A QUARTERLY General Court of Proprietors of East India Stock was held on Wednesday, June 18.
On the motion of the CHAIRMAN (W. Astell, Esq.), a dividend of 51 per cent. was declared on the Company's capital stock, for the half-year commencing on the 5th of January last, and ending on the 5th of July
The CHAIRMAN then moved, That this Court do confirm the Resolution of the General Court of the 28th ult., granting to Major Cunninghame, of the Bengal retired list, an allowance of 2007. per annum, in addition to his present pay end allowance of 1307. per annum.
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (John Loch, Esq.) seconded the motion. General THORNTON expressed a wish, that, in granting pensions, a saving clause should always be added to the resolution, providing that the pension should only continue while the individual on whom it was bestowed' was out of employment.'
The motion was then carried unanimously.
The CHAIRMAN said it was his duty to propose the annual election of 15 gentlemen to form a Committee for inspection of the bye-laws. He moved that the following gentlemen be re-elected :-Honourable Douglas Kinnaird, Mr. G. Cumming, Mr. P. Heatley, Mr. G. Grote, Mr. R. Williams, Mr. B. Barnard, Sir H. Strachey, Bart., Mr. J. Darby, Mr. J. H. Tritton, Mr. J. Carstairs, Mr. R. Twining, Mr. Hallett, and Sir J. Shaw, Bart.
The motion was unanimously agreed to.
Mr. CUMMING, on being proposed, observed that it had last year been stated in that Court, that his attendance in the Committee had not been regular. He could only say that he had been for twenty-two years member of the Committee, and, during that time, had failed to at tend but one of its meetings. The hon. Proprietor produced a let ter from the Clerk of the Committee, in confirmation of his state
The CHAIRMAN observed that Mr. Cumming's valuable services were well known, and properly appreciated by the Company. He then stated that two of the members of the Committee had died in the course of the