« EdellinenJatka »
Cats, and Monkeys of every description, she seems attracted towards them by a mysterious sympathy; while if her languid eyes are cast towards any of the company, it is only to express the language of disdain.
Notwithstanding my admiration of this amiable protectress of the brute creation, I cannot help feeling a fuperior degree of pleasure, in contemplating the unaffected charms, and unaffuming loveliness of a young widow; the beauty of whose countenance is shaded, though not concealed, by the veil of forrow. Whilft bestowing on her fatherless babes the soft caresses of maternal tendernefs, I have obferved the tear which glistened on the fille en fringe of her fine black eyes, mingled with the faviles of tender eomplacency.
Betwixt this Lady and her husband, at an early period of life, a mutual attach:ment had taken place. Prudence could not at that time fanction their union ; fer in a country where luxury has fixed her residence, it becomes difficult to procure the neceffaries of existence, and withoutthese, how would a man answer the calls of an infant family? The affection of these lovers, at length triumphed over every difficulty: the gentleman went to India, where in process of time, he was promoted to the of and no sooner found bimself in a situation
to support a family, than he claimed in the promise of his betrothed bride, who, throwing aside the timidity of her sex, and unprotected, save by the model dig. nity of virtue, nobly braved the inconveniences and hazards of an Indian voyage. She was received with transport , by her anxiously expecting lover, whose happiness was completed by their immediate union. Their's was not that transient glow of joy, which, like the crimson-tinted cloud of morning, vanishes while gazed on; it was permanent as pure. Each met in each the enlightened companion, the wise adviser, the faithful friend. But, alas! while fondly. looking forward to a long period of fe-, licity, the stroke of death, suddenly deftroyed the fair, but fallacious prospect. You will, perhaps, think but indifferently of her, who in such circumstances, would persevere in preserving life:- But it is the custom of her nation! And she perhaps imagines, that she may as effectually evince her regard to the memory of her husband, by devoting herself to the care and education of his children, as if she had mingled her ashes with his.
Three fire boys look up to her for proteciion, and already begin to benefit by her instructions. Their innocent vi. vacity, thoughi a source of amusement
to most of the party, is a great annoyance to the monkey-loving Bibby, who declares, that “ of all the odious tor“ ments of a long voyage, that of being " teized with the noise of children is the c worst.” At the sound of her voice, the diffonant screams of her feathered favourites, seem to ratify the declaration of their fair benefactress; whilst the young and lively niece of the Dewan, cafts towards the many-coloured objects of her aunt's affection, such an expressive glance, as seems to say, they are almost as bad.
Of this young lady I can say little, but that she appears gay, and good humoured. The Surgeon, indeed, from whom I have all my information respecting my fellow voyagers, tells me, that she had been brought to India by her uncle, in order to be married to the gentleman, who was to succeed him in his appointment; but that on tbe voyage from Europe, a mutual affection had taken place between her, and a young votary of Lackshmi* who must obtain the smiles of the Goddess, before he can procure the hand of his mistress. Her uncle, in the mean while, insists on her return to Europe; and from the hilarity of her countenance, I should not suppose the disappointment to have entered deeply into her heart.
A sad bustle has just taken place. One of the little boys having been allured into the great cabbin, by the comical tricks of a Marmozet, was attacked by a huge Baboon, one of the fiercest animals in Mrs. 's collection. His ciies foon gave the alarm; every one flew to 'the place from whence they issued. No description can give any idea of the con. fused scene which followed. The voice of the sufferer, was foop lost in universal uproar. The screams of the ladies, the chattering of the monkeys, the barkiog of the dogs, to say nothing of the squalling of the parrots and maccaws, made altogether, such a noise, that the thunder of the contending elements could scarcely have been heard in it. When peace was at length restored, and the little boy, whose leg was sadly torn, had been committed to the care of the surgeon, the Dewan ventured to renionstrate with his fair partner, on the numbers, and bad behaviour of her favourites. It was a tender point; the very mention of it, though managed with the utmost gentleness, threw her into a paroxyfm of anger, which at length terminated in a flood of
Ia truth, there appeared to me in these tears, fo much more of paffion than of tenderness, that I could not regard
them as any ornament to the cheek of beauty! Perhaps you may blame my infenfibility, and bestow more unbounded admiration on this benevolent woman, who generously prefers the welfare and happiness of her tailed, and feathered favourites, to the peace and comfort of her huband; and whole heart expands, with more lively affection, for the meaneft quadruped in her possession, than for the orphan child of any friend on earth.
Intelligence is just brought me of our having cast anchor in the road of Madrass. -I will from thence send you this letter. May it find you in the possession of the belt bleffings of life, health, and tranquillity! What can I say more?
The day after I concluded my epinle from Madrass *, we returned on board our ship, and the morning following weighed anchor, and proceeded ou our voyage, in company with many floating fortresses of superior size, sent by the king of England, to protect the fleet of the Company The gentleman who I mentioned to you in my last, prorcs indeed a valuable acquisition to our society,
* Which lerter does not appear—and is suppose! by the Editor ic have been lolt.