Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•183
days afterwards, and were solemnly com-
mitted to the deep on the twenty first of
February, one thousand seven hundred and
seventy nine.
143. CALCUTTA.
Calcutta, according to Bishop Heber,
when seen from the south, on which side
it is built round two sides of a great open
plain, with the Ganges on the west, is a
very noble city; with tall and stately houses
ornamented with Grecian pillars, and each,
for the most part, surrounded by a little
apology for a garden. The churches are
not large, but very neat and elegant build-
ings; the government-house, to say the
least of it, is a more showy palace than
London has to produce. These are, how-
ever, the front hnes; behind them ranges
the native town, deep, black, and dingy,
with narrow, crooked streets, huts of earth
baked in the sun, or of twisted bamboos,
interspersed here and there with numerous
brick bazaars, pools of dirty water, cocoa-
trees and little gardens, and a few very
large, very line, and generally very dirty
houses of Grecian architecture, the residence
of wealthy natives. There are some mos-
ques of pretty architecture, and very neatly
kept, and some pagodas, but mostly ruinous
and decayed, the religion of the people
being chiefly conspicuous in their worship
of the Ganges, and in some rigid painted
wooden or plaster idols, with all manner
of heads and arms, which are set up in
different parts of the city.
Fill up this outline whit a crowd of people
in the streets, beyond anything to be seen
even in London; some dressed in tawdry
silks and brocades, more in white cotton
garments, and most of all black and naked,
except a scanty covering round the waist;
besides figures of religious mendicants, with
no clothing but their long hair and beards
in elf locks, their faces painted white or
yellow, their beads in one ghastly, lean
hand, and the other stretched out, like a
bird's claw, to receive donations; marriage
processions, with the bride in a covered
chair, and the bridegroom on horse-back,
so swathed round in garlands as hardly to
be seen; tradesmen sitting on the ground
in the midst oftheir different commodities;
and old men, lookers-on, perched, naked as
monkeys, on the flat roofs of the houses;
carts drawn by oxen, and driven by wild-
looking men, with their thick sticks, so un-
mercifully used as to undeceive, perfectly,
all our notions of Brahminical humanity;
attendants, with silver maces, pressing
through the crowd before the carriage of
some great man or other; no women seen,
except of the lowest class, and even these
with heavy silver ornaments on their dusky
arm and ankles; while coaches, covered up
close with red cloth, are seen conveying the
inmates of the neighbouring seraglios to
take, what is called, 'the air;' a constant
creaking of cart-wheels, which are never
greased in India; a constant clamour of
voices, and an almost constant thumping
and jingling of drums, cymbals, &c., in
honour of some of their deities; and add
to all this a villainous smell of garlic, ran-
cid cocoa-nut oil, sour butter, and stagnant
ditches; and you will understand the sounds,
sights, and smells of what is called the
'black town' of Calcutta. The singularity of
; this spectacle is best and least offensively
enjoyed on a noble quay, which Lord Hast-
ings built, along the shore of the river,
where the vessels of all forms and sizes —
Arab, Indian, Malay, American, English;
the crowds of Brahmins and other Hindoos
washing and saying their prayers; their
lighted tapers, which towards sun-set they
throw in, and the broad, bright stream
which sweeps by them, guiltless of their
impiety and unconscious of their homage,
afford a scene such as no European, and
few Asiatic cities can at all parallel in in-
terest and singularity.
The horses are most of them but small
and poor; while the dirty white dresses
and bare limbs of their attendants have,
to an unaccustomed eye , an appearance of
anything but wealth and luxury. The ex-
ternal meanness of all the shops, deposi-
tories, and warehouses in this great city ,
is surprising. The bazaars are wredchedness
itself, without any approach lo these cover-
ed walks which are the chief glories of the
cities of Turkey, Russia, and Persia, and
which, in a climate like this, where both
the sun and the rains are intolerable, would
be more than anywhere else desirable. 'Yet
I have read,' says Heber, 'magnificent ac-
counts of the shops and bazaars of Cal-
cutta; — but they were in the same au-
thors who speak of the picturesque appear-
ance of its 'minarets;' whereas there is no
single minaret in Calcutta; nor, so far as
I have seen or heard, in any of its neigh-
bouring towns. There are many small
mosques indeed, but the muezzins all stand at
the door, or on some small eminence ad-
joining. Minarets there are none. Perhaps
Hamilton confounded the church and steeple,
and supposed that mosque and minaret were
synonymous.