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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•184
But none of the mosques are seen in
any general view of Calcutta, being too
small, too low, and built in too obscure
corners to be visible, till one is close upon
them. They rather, indeed, resemble the
tombs of saints than places for public wor-
ship, such as are seen in Turkey, Persia,
and the south of Russia. Though diminu-
tive, however, many of them are pretty,
and the sort of eastern-gothic style in which
they are built, is to my eye, though train-
ed up to reverence the pure English style,
ex-tremely pleasing. They consist generally
of a parallelogram of about thirty-six feet
by twelve, or hardly so much, surmounted
by three httle domes, the apex of which
terminated by a flower, with small but richly
ornamented pinnacles in the angles. The
faces of the buildings are covered with a
good deal of arabesque tracing, and pier-
ced with a small door of gothic form, in
the centre of one of the longest faces, and
a small window, of almost similar form, on
each side. Opposite to the door, which
opens eastward, and on the western side,
is a small recess, which serves to enshrine
the Koran, and to direct the eyes of the
Kibla of Mecca. The taste of these little
oratories is better than their materials,
which are, unfortunately, in this part of
India, nothing but brick covered with plaster.
While they last, however, they are really
ornaments to the lanes and villages where
they occur, and might furnish, I think, some
advantageous hints to the Christian archi-
tects of India.
Calcutta is a very striking place, but it
so much resembles St. Petersburgh, though
on a less splendid scale, that I can hardly
lielp fancying myself sometimes in Russia.
Tlie architecture of the principal houses
is the same, with Italian porticoes, and all
white-washed or stuccoed; and the width
or straightness of the principal streets, the
want of pavement, the forms of the peasants'
carts, and the crowds of footpassengers in
every street, as well as the multitude of
servants, the want of furniture in the houses,
and, above all, the great dinner parties,
which are one distinguishing feature of the
place, are all Muscovite.
The. site of Calcutta is an almost perfect
level of alluvial and marshy ground, which
a century ago was covered with jungle and
stagnant pools, and which still almost every-
where betrays its unsoundness, by tho cracks
con.spicuous in tho best houses. To tho
east, at the distance of four miles and a
half, is a large but shallow lagoon of salt
water, from which a canal is cut pretty
nearly to ttie town, and in which all the
drainings of the city flow. To the south
of the city a branch of the Hooghly, called
Tolly's Nullah, flows into the Sunderbunds;
on its banks are the suburbs of Kidderpoor
and Allypoor. Westward flows the Hooghly,
at least twice as broad as the Thames be-
low London-Bridge, covered with large
ships and craft of all kinds, and affording
on its further bank the prospect of another
considerable suburb — that of Havrah.
To the north, the two great roads to
Dumdum and Barrackpoor lie over a vast
extent of fertile country, divided into rice-
fields, orchards, and gardens covered with
a thick shade of fruit-trees, and swarming
with an innumerable population, occupying
the large suburbs of Cossipoor, Chidpoor, &c.
The intermediate space between the salt
lake and the city is likewise filled with
gardens, orchards, and villages; but the
proximity of the 'bad water' renders this
district extremely unhealthy, and few Euro-
peans reside there.
The dwellings of the natives are some-
times of considerable size, but are mostly
wretched huts, clustered, in irregular groups,
round large square tanks, and connected
by narrow, winding, unpaved streets and
lanes, amidst tufts of bamboos, cocoa-nut
trees, and plantains, picturesque and strik-
ing to the sight, but extremely olfensive to
the smell, from the quantity of putrid water,
the fumes of wood smoke, cocoa-nut oil,
and, above all, the ghee, the Hindoo's prin-
cipal luxury. The tract of the northward
is drier, healthier, and more open.
The rides round Calcutta are very pleas-
ing. As soon as its boundary is passed,
the roads wind through beautiful villages,
overhung with the finest and most pictu-
resque foliage the world can show, of the
banyan, the palm, the tamarind, and, more
beautiful than all, perhaps, the bamboo.
Sometimes the glade opens to plains covered
at this time (December 15) with the rice-
harvest, or to a sight of the broad, bright
river, with its ships and wooded shores;
sometimes it contracts into little winding
tracks, through fruit-trees, gardens, and cot-
tages. The gardens fenced in with hedges
of olive and pineapple; the cottages neater
than tliose of Calcutta, and mostly of mats
and white wickerwork, with thatched roof
and cane verandahs, with gourds trailing
over them, and the broad, tall plantations
clustering round them.
The climate of Calcutta, from October
to December, is extremely pleasant; were
it always to continue so, it would be, per-
haps, the finest in the world. The morn-
ings, from five to eight, are in Decembe!-,